Traditional camera straps that come with your initial purchase tend to be quite uncomfortable. They can also put a lot of unnecessary tension on your neck – especially if you wear them on a regular basis.
This can quickly become obvious if you’re an event or wedding photographer and you have to spend really long hours out there shooting.
If you’ve ever found yourself in this situation, it’s only natural to start thinking about buying a new camera strap.
But which one should you get? With so many different options on the market, finding the best camera strap can be a challenging task.
In this review I’m going to share my thoughts on one of the most popular camera straps: the BlackRapid Sport Breathe, which has already earned the trust of plenty of photographers around the world.
Table of Contents
BlackRapid Sport Breathe Specs
- High-quality materials
- Unique ergonomic comfort
- Allows your camera to slide across the strap for easy access
- High price for a camera strap
- The stabilizing strap is not well designed
- Strap Length – 36.0 to 65.7″ / 91.4 to 166.9 cm
- Strap Width – 4.0″ / 10.2 cm
- Item Weight – 6.7 oz / 189.9 gr
- Shipping Weight – 10.4 oz/ 284 gr
- Material – Nylon
- Comes in black only
Build & Appearance
The BlackRapid Sport Breathe feels like a solid and premium product – that was my first impression when I unpacked it and had a chance to get a closer look.
It does come in only one colour: black. So if you’re looking for something that’s functional, but also something light-hearted to match your outfit, this is not going to be love at first sight for you.
The only pop of colour that you’ll see on this strap is a wide rubber band with the logo of the company in white.
It’s quite minimalistic, but it also looks stylish and it’s a nice little escape from the all-black scenery.
The black shoulder pad is definitely going to grab your attention with the material it’s made of. It’s cushioned with a breathable mesh-like material which feels comfortable to wear and also lets the air circulate easily.
This breathable material can be a lifesaver if you’re an active photographer and you take your camera with you on strenuous hikes. It minimizes sweating and lets you focus on what you’re doing.
Another advantage of the black shoulder pad is the shape itself. This shape has actually been patented by the company for its unique ergonomic comfort.
There’s also an underarm strap (stabilizer) on the Sport Breathe which can be removed if you wish. The hook that’s holding this narrow strap properly attached is metal and so is the carabiner.
The buckle parts, on the other hand, are plastic. Although these are not as sturdy as metal, they do feel solid in your hands.
Aside for the strap itself, in the delivery package you’ll find a branded nylon pouch that’s great for storage and transportation.
There’s also a BlackRapid Lockstar Breathe Carabiner protector which is made of plastics and which is fully compatible with the BlackRapid straps that have a CR-3 ConnectR locking carabiner.
Ease of Use
The BlackRapid Sport Breathe is designed to be worn across your body. The one that I’ve tested is aimed at right-handed photographers but there’s also a version for those of you who are left-handed.
There’s one main advantage of the Sport Breathe that makes it so desirable and so generously rated by many users: This is the fact that it allows your camera to slide across the strap itself.
This is a really awesome feature because it gives you fast and easy access to your camera.
How does this work? The sliding locks let you put the camera exactly where you need it. For example, you might want to just have it on your right side while you’re walking, but if you’re climbing you definitely want it to be slightly behind for safety reasons.
The locks are easy to manage and they help you to place the camera at the most comfortable position for you according to the particular scenario.
You also have the option to lock the camera in one place so it doesn’t move around while you’re not taking pictures.
For a single strap, the BlackRapid Sport Breathe is able to distribute the weight of your equipment quite evenly. The longer you wear it, the more obvious this becomes.
Now let’s see exactly how you can attach the Sport Breathe strap to your camera.
There’s a carabiner and fastener system which, similarly to the cam locks, is quite trustworthy. The fastener screwing ensures that your camera is safely locked to the sport strap.
The carabiner clips onto the loops which are located on the fastener. You have the option to secure those clips even further by turning the twist lock and placing the flat cover over it. This keeps the twist lock from coming unscrewed by accident.
Another important thing to mention is that you can also use the mounting hole on your telephoto lens and attach the Sport Breathe strap there too.
Value for Money
Among all the camera straps on the market, the BlackRapid Sport Breathe is definitely not one of the cheapest. In fact its price even surpasses the middle range products from this category.
Is it actually worth the price? Bearing in mind the high-quality materials and superior manufacturing it’s highly likely that, yes – you’ll find it to be worth the investment.
It also really depends on how often you plan on using it. If you’re going to use the strap a lot, that’s another significant aspect which could easily justify the price.
The only downside is that the stabilizing strap is not so perfectly designed. The rear clip on it, which is supposed to attach the stabilizing strap to the main one, falls off sometimes – especially when frequently used.
BlackRapid Sport Breathe Review | Conclusion
Taking everything into account, the BlackRapid Sport Breathe is well worth the purchase, especially if you tend to spend long hours out there shooting.
It’s also a reasonable option to consider if you’re a wedding or event photographer or you’re into sports and like being very active.
Overall, the more time you spend actively using your camera, the more justified it is to invest in the comfort of this BlackRapid strap.