A Versatile Camera Strap for Mirrorless Cameras: We Review the Peak Design Leash
Camera straps are an often-overlooked accessory for photographers. If it’s something you’ve not considered before, then it’s worth looking at the adaptable Peak Design Leash.
Most photographers I see are still using the OEM neck straps supplied with the cameras. For many, these are adequate. However, they do have their limitations, not least their propensity to become unbuckled and send cameras crashing to the ground.
Having the camera bounce against your chest as you walk long distances can be uncomfortable too, so you may well have to hold the camera to stop it from happening. Also, carrying the weight of the camera, especially when coupled with a big lens, can be painful. As I’ve mentioned before, I sustained a neck injury after carrying a heavy DSLR and lens combination around Helsinki many years ago.
The most common alternatives are either a chest harness that locks the camera against your body or a shoulder strap.
I used a chest harness and never found it that comfortable or convenient. So, for the last couple of years, I’ve been using another brand of shoulder sling, and overall, it has worked well but it had its limitations.
The big disadvantage of that old sling was that it was attached to the camera using the tripod mount. Swapping between the strap and the tripod was a faff. Furthermore, I often shoot very low-level photos, and the strap could reach not do that when wearing the sling without disconnecting the clip attaching it to the camera, and the additional safety tether. It was all a hassle that took away from the spontaneity of the moment. Consequently, I was eager to try the Peak Design Leash.
The Leash, like the other straps in Peak Design’s range, is an enormously adjustable strap. It can be quickly shortened to hang around the neck or lengthened to work as a cross-body harness. It’s attached to the camera by secure and quick-release Anchor connectors.
The all-cardboard packaging it arrives in has within it,
1 x Leash strap, 4 x Anchor connectors 1 x low profile Anchor Mount 1 x 4mm hex wrench to tighten the Anchor Mount to the camera 1 x microfiber storage pouch
The Leash is the lightest-weight version of Peak Design’s collection of straps. At the top end of the range is the highly respected Slide, designed for big DSLRs and rigs with heavy lenses. For slightly smaller setups, the Slide Lite is available. The leash is an even lighter version that packs away small enough to slip into a small pocket.
Saying that, it’s not lightweight when it comes to payload, as it can carry up to 200 lbs (90.7 Kg). That maximum payload is similar across all the straps in the range and this exceptionally strong limitation is the clever design of the anchor connectors. These consist of a two-layer anti-abrasion woven thermoplastic Anchor cord with a thermoplastic Anchor over-molding. In simple terms, they are strong anchor buttons attached to a super-strong cord.
Those Anchor Connector buttons slide and lock into glass-reinforced plastic links at either end of the strap and secure in place with a stainless-steel spring. It requires a double action to release them (push and slide) so there is no fear of them coming undone.
The strap itself is made from 1.2” (30mm) seatbelt-style nylon webbing, which has adjuster buckles made from anodized aluminum. It also has Hyperlon and leather accents. It’s available in Ash (gray), Black, Midnight (blue), and Sage (green)
Fitting the Leash to the camera is easy. It is supplied with four Anchor Connectors. To attach them, you slide the Anchor connectors’ chord loops through the camera’s two eyelets or D rings, and then you put the button through that loop, forming a larks head knot.
If you wish, you can then attach another to the anchor mount that screws into the base of the camera. Separately available is the Arca Swiss compatible Standard Plate that can be used instead of the mount that is supplied with the strap. That negates the hassle of attaching and removing the plate when you want to shoot on or off the tripod.
The strap length is easy to change using the sliding adjustment buckles on either side of the strap. The buckles run smoothly but lock firmly into position and don’t slip. Its shortest length is 32.5” (830mm). When I use it thus, the camera hangs just above my solar plexus – a little too high so I would not use it that short, but a smaller person might.
Extending it, I can comfortably carry the camera by my right hip with the strap over my left shoulder. I am 5’ 10” tall and there is plenty more scope for adjustment for someone much taller than me. Halfway between those two extremes, the length is just right for carrying over one shoulder, i.e. not passed over the head.
I’ve used this strap continuously for the last few weeks, and I am hugely impressed. It's comfortable to wear and easy to take off, either by just removing it from my body or by releasing the Anchor connector buttons from the strap. My old strap was much harder to put on and remove, especially if I was using a rucksack for carrying teaching aids on workshops.
Using the additional Standard Plate, I could mount the camera on a tripod, and quickly remove the strap so it wasn’t blowing around in the wind. I just rolled it up and slipped it into my pocket. I could also use it in conjunction with both the Peak Design Clutch and the Micro Clutch.
This is a well-thought-through product with a multitude of things I like:
Are there any improvements I would like to see? I’m hard-pushed to find fault with this strap. It’s a fabulous piece of gear and a great addition to the lineup of straps made by Peak Design.
This is a splendid piece of kit and a good replacement for the original camera manufacturers’ straps. It is also a big leap forward from the cheaper shoulder straps available online. It’s worth the investment.
For photographers like me who travel light, The Peak Design Leash is perfect.
Earning a living as a photographer, website developer, and writer and Based in the North East of England, much of Ivor's work is training others; helping people become better photographers. He has a special interest in supporting people with their mental well-being through photography. In 2023 he became a brand ambassador for the OM System
For sure. THE best strap I've ever used!
I find that these are still missing the grippy shoulder padding. UPstrap have always been on my cameras for that reason. Comfortable and no chance of slipping.
I can see that if you have a larger camera, and maybe one of the wider models would work better. I've thought about (getting my wide to sew because she's better than me) a homemade shoulder pad. The one disadvantage would be it would limit the minimum adjustment length. Thanks for commenting.
I'm a fan of these straps too, and went to the Leash because it has no grippy stuff. I have other Peak Designs straps with the grip and it reacts to either sweat or bug spray and the black goop comes off on shirts. Not to say they aren't my favourites but the shirt issue has been a problem
I would guess it's bug spray. I've known the solvent in them to react with rubber-like materials, including the grips on cameras. No wonder the mosquitos don't like it!
I bought one of these several years ago when I bought my EOS M5. Honestly, I wish I had bought one sooner. Very versatile and easy to swap for a wrist strap if need be. I tend to wear mine in 'sling mode' - dangling by my hip. With the quick length adjustment, I can shorten the strap as I raise it up to my eye to 'lock' the camera into my body for extra stability, then loosen it when I've finished. After a short while, this maneuver becomes second nature.
I agree, it's a superb bit of kit for quick adjustments. Thank you for sharing.
I got used to the Nikon AN-4B strap ~40 years ago when I was a Nikon shooter. It's narrow, has no advertrash on it, blends in inconspicuously with what I'm wearing, and carries my camera well (even if it's a Lumix G9). It also has a non-slip portion that works quite well. That said, I have it on Peak Designs anchor and attachment hardware. To be fair, it doesn't adjust anywhere near as quickly at the Leash.
This is the brand I've been using for quite a while. Very convenient and comfortable.
I'm glad they work for you too, David.
I had one some years ago, until the strap on one of the connectors broke during use. I should have checked their condition before every use, but that would just be one more thing to do every day. Nope!
Yes, the connectors, like all equipment, require inspection; it's in the instructions to do so. I always recommend checking all equipment before use. It takes less than a minute and can avoid disaster on the shoot. I used to do a lot of climbing and other outdoor activities, so such precautions are second nature.
The Anchor Links have been upgraded since the earlier versions. The new generation ones are far more resistant to fraying than previously. That's due to them having three layers of Dyneema. They also now give clear visible warnings of when you need to change them. The outside is black, the outer core is yellow and the inner core is red.
Thanks for the comment.
Similar experience. I also think this strap is uncomfortable if you have a heavier camera like the Z9 or heavier lens.
For a larger camera, the Slide or Slide Lite might be a better choice. The new anchor links are vastly improved over the old ones. Thanks for commenting Sridhar.
Yes, I ditched my black rapid after buying the PD Leash, if there might be some padding on the shoulder part, I give it 100% satisfaction, now they get 96%. but way better system than all the rest
That seems a common comment. I am sure they are reading! Thanks for sharing.
I've been using Domke Gripper 1" straps for decades, and will continue to. They double wrap on my hand, don't slip, and are very "under the radar" when out in public. I got a Peak Design strap with a camera I bought for my son and thought that it was over-engineered and way overkill for a modern mirrorless - but it makes a pretty good guitar strap.
Hi Rob, which model of Peak Design strap did you buy, and for which camera? I would be really interested to know.
I've been using the Leash with my OM-1 for a while now and it works pretty well, but I think the Slide Lite might be a better choice for that camera, so I just bought one of those for a friend's birthday present. I think the Slide would be overkill for most mirrorless cameras and far better suited to a larger camera. Is that the model you bought?
Saying that, I will be getting a large telephoto lens soon, and I suspect I might want a wider strap for that. Time will tell.
I'm going to try mine on my guitars later! Thanks for the idea.
The Domke Gripper is a good strap, but there was something that put me off. The permanently attached metal clips are in proximity to the camera so risk damaging the camera, especially in storage. The Peak Design buckles are metal are further up the strap and away from the camera and are removed in storage anyway. This won't affect everyone, of course, but for me, it was an issue.
There's always a degree of subjectivity with these things.
With that Domke strap, please check out this article of mine as it applies: https://fstoppers.com/gear/your-camera-strap-tied-incorrectly-heres-how-...
Thanks for taking the time to comment.
"I think the Slide would be overkill for most mirrorless cameras and far better suited to a larger camera."
I use a Slide to carry my Z7, usually wearing a 24-70 f/2.8 (sometimes a 100-400) and a battery pack. It may be mirrorless but it's no lightweight.
Yeah, I did say "most."
Hey Ivor - The Peak that I got "free" was the Slide Lite, and "yay me" I made it work as a guitar strap for my son. On the "tied incorrectly" article, I strap to the outside and loop it back over and through so the loose end hangs like a tail. I've looped straps like that for maybe 50 years and have no plan to change. I'm such a rebel! (Or maybe just a dinosaur.)
yeah these are great straps, I have two of these leash ones and then a larger one, but I definitely use these ones more. These are easy to just put in a pocket if not using or stow away in a bag until you need one a strap. But the ability to just in seconds put on or take off is my favorite aspect and I use it all the time! The quick adjustability is also very convenient as depending on what you are wearings or doing it may be more convenient to have a longer/shorter strap.
Thanks, Tyler. Yes, I've just been using it this morning when running a workshop. The speed at which it can be adjusted made a huge difference. One second, it was over my shoulder and the camera hanging by my hip, the next around my neck, and much shorter. Perfect.
Sometimes its just nice to go strapless. I also have some of the pucks on some of my larger telephoto lenses so that you can attach the strap directly to the lens to release some pressure off of the lens mount... if often balances better that way too.