Any longtime readers will know that I have a thing for camera straps. I think a good camera strap can make all the difference. Over the last couple months I have been testing the Slide and Sentinel camera straps designed by RucPac, adding these quality straps to the scores of straps I have reviewed on this site.
RucPac is a company based in England that specializes in camera straps, headlamps and apparel. RucPac prides itself on thoroughly researched, well-engineered quality straps made with great materials and solid designs.
In my experience, I have learned there are not that many things that set a good camera strap apart. Sure, some straps I have tested have some cool pockets or attachment mechanisms, but at the end of the day, I really just want a strap that is comfortable, easy to use and for which I am not worried about it dropping my camera or wearing out too quickly. In all these regards, I think RucPac really excels.
The build quality in both the RucPac straps was immediately identifiable. It is clear that all the materials in these straps is high quality. The construction is really well done and the fixings are very strong and placed in such a way to protect your camera as much as possible. I have no complaints about the build quality on these straps. They will last a long time and I don’t worry about the safety of my camera hanging from these straps.
Both the Slide and Sentinel straps from RucPac are sling-style straps. This style tends to be my favorite style of straps mainly because I think they are the most comfortable. Sling-style straps are designed to worn over one shoulder and across your body, with the camera resting near your hip.
The thing I really liked about both straps is how lightweight they are without being small straps. Despite the material being really good quality, the straps are really light and comfortable to carry. the added width on the straps also makes them more comfortable.
The one thing I didn’t love was that both straps held the camera a little loose at the hip. There was a bit of bouncing where I like a strap to hold the camera a little more snug against my body. This could be mostly minimized using the clamps on the strap that allow you to lock it into place, but I would still prefer there be less room with the connectors coming off the strap so it was tighter to the strap. Overall, it was a small issue and wouldn’t stop me from using the strap.
The Slide strap is mainly what you would expect for a sling-style strap, but the Sentinel has a few extra features. The most obvious addition to the Sentinel is the underarm strap designed for extra stability. This small strap hooks around your shoulder and goes under your armpit to keep the strap in place while you are moving about.
Honestly, I haven’t made up my mind yet on the stability strap. There have been times where I like using it, mainly when I am hiking. Other times, when I am just out casually with the family or doing street photography in regular clothes, I don’t love the feeling of a strap pushing my shirt into my armpit. I guess, for me, it comes down to being more designed for hiking than casual use. Luckily, it is pretty easy to wear the strap without hooking your arm through the under strap so you can have your choice each time you where it.
The second big difference in the Sentinel strap is the padded shoulder on the strap that has a really nice ergonomic design. This pad fit me very nicely on the shoulder, was super comfortable and also added to the stability of the strap. It was maybe my favorite overall feature on both straps as it isn’t very often you find a padded shoulder that really is comfortable, but the design on this one is very unique and I really enjoyed wearing it.
Ease of use
The final big criteria for me when it comes to a good camera strap is how easy it is to use. There shouldn’t be that much to using a strap, but a few little additions and tweaks really can add all the difference.
The first thing I tested with these two RucPac straps is how easy it was to get them up to the sliding position. With a sling-style strap, it is important that the camera slides up the strap so you don’t have to rotate the whole strap around your body. On both the RucPac Sentinel and Slide straps, it was very easy to slide my camera up the strap to a shooting position.
To further help avoid the sliding of your strap on your body, the Slide strap has a silicone grip on one side to keep it from slipping off your shoulder. It grips pretty well and keeps the strap in place. On normal day-to-day use, this isn’t a big concern for me, but during a good hike with lots of climbing, this is a nice addition for sure.
One of the most important features for me regarding ease of use is how quickly I can get the strap off my camera if I want. I do this a lot when I am using a tripod or packing my camera. Both the RucPac straps have a quick release clip equipped with a security button you have to push to unhook your camera. This release is easy to use, which is great. My only complaint is I wish they disconnected a little closer to the camera so there was less strap remaining on the camera after disconnecting.
The most difficult part of using the strap for me came in the preparation. I wanted to test out the tripod attachment on the Slide strap, and the clasp was very difficult to get on the tripod screw. The screw is thick and the clasp was very hard to separate. Embarrassingly, it probably took me 20 minutes just to get it on. Once it was on, there were no issues, but if I had to do it again, I would just attach the strap to the side of my camera and not mess with the tripod attachment.
Unlike the Slide, the Sentinel strap attaches to side of your camera instead of the tripod thread. I really like this because it gives me the same comfort level and makes it just as easy for shooting, but keeps the bottom of my camera free for easy use with my tripod.
The final part of ease of use for me is how easy it is to pack. Both these straps, but especially the Sentinel, are a bit bulky to back in a backpack. This is just a matter of the straps being fairly big straps. This, of course, makes them more comfortable, which is usually more important that ease of packing so it is what it is.
The Slide and Sentinel Straps from RucPac have both been fun camera straps to use. In terms of style, design and comfort, I put them them right up there with my favorite straps from Peak Design and Black Rapid. The materials and construction are both top notch and though I have only been using them for a few months now, I have no doubt these straps will hold up well over the years I intend to keep using them.
You can check the current price of the RucPac Slide on Amazon.
And, check out the current price of the Sentinel strap on Amazon as well.
If you have any more questions about how these straps work, check out the video below from RucPac.