Earlier this week I was offered the chance to test out and give my thoughts on the Peak Design Slide Lite Strap. I’ll start off by saying that I was offered the product for free however was asked by Peak Design to offer my honest and unbiased opinion, which to the best of my ability I have done.
Firstly I thought it best to introduce the type of photographer I am. Since most of the photography I do for this blog involves lots of travelling around Edinburgh, and I am by no means a professional with demanding needs, I generally travel very light. Currently I’m using a Fuji XT10 with a XF18-55mm, a couple of vintage primes, filters, and when it necessitates, a tripod too.
Since I purchased the Fujifim Xt10 I’ve been completely sold on its lightweight portability, and immediately did away with the frankly uncomfortable and impractical neck strap which was included, instead opting for a leather wrist strap I bought from etsy, which not only looked nicer but meant I always had my camera ready to take a shot. When not in use, my camera would just stay in my bag. In recent months there have been increasing times when this setup has become impractical to the point of annoyance. Having a wrist strap is great in a number of situations, but sometimes you really need both hands free, for switching lenses or just paying for your coffee. This brings us nicely on to the Peak Design Slide Lite. Which is the smaller brother to the Peak Design Slide, and is targeted at the mirrorless market.
There are several features of the strap which arguably make it one of the most versatile straps around. The first are the Ankor Links which are used to attach the strap to your camera. These small red dongles are compatible with all other Peak Design straps and can easily be looped in to either the camera eyelets or the included Arca compatible tripod mount. Four of these are included with the strap but more can be purchased separately, which would make swapping the strap between cameras super easy. To attach the links, you simply push them in until you hear a reassuring click, and to release simply push the link down again. It’s worth noting that even though the links look very thin they are capable of holding around 80kg and I would certainly also trust them with larger DSLR cameras. The straps are also made of three layers of material, black, yellow, and red to warn if they are wearing thin, however I’ve never heard of this being an issue. One thing that’s worth noting is that they do bounce about a bit, however as they’re plastic they shouldn’t cause your camera any damage.
The strap itself has several features which I’ve also found really handy, firstly the material is seatbelt like which I found to be far comfier than the fujifilm neck strap especially if wearing for long periods of time. It also features an anti-slip coating on one side, but I didn’t find it to be much use and stuck to the uncoated side. The defining feature of the slide neck straps however are the two buckles for adjusting the strap length, these make adjusting the length incredibly easy. Simply click out the metal buckle pull to adjust and click back down. In real world use this means one can easily adjust the length when swapping between sling and should strap, and is one of the things I most love about the strap.
Whilst I’ve really enjoyed using the strap, there are a few niggling issues which I feel are worth pointing out. Firstly is the fact that the strap adjusters are metal, which gives the strap a really well made feeling, however, if stuffed into a bag with your camera, have potential to rub again the screen or lens, which is something that several people have pointed out. For me this really hasn’t been an issue, as long as you’re wary of it when positioning in a camera bag. Another solution, is to simply unclip the strap from the ankors and store separately (another example of how useful these links are). Another slight issue I found is when you have it adjusted to length to use as a neck strap there’s a lot of excess material which can get a bit messy if you set your camera down. That being said, the extra length is necessary for use as a sling strap.
The other drawback to the product is the price since it RRPs for $49 or £43. Whilst this might not seem like much to professional photographers with ££££’s worth of equipment, especially when compared to similar products from other competitors, for the most amateurs this is a fair chunk of money especially if they’re perfectly happy with their camera’s included strap. That being said, the quality and lifetime guarantee of the strap do well to justify this.
The few days I’ve spent with the strap have been enough to convert me. The versatility and robustness of the strap to me justify the price and outweigh the few drawbacks and whilst I accept this may not be a necessity for everyone, if you’re looking for a new strap with excellent functionality, I cannot recommend this enough.
Also if you are looking at buying anything from Peak Design, we’re part of the Peak Design Affiliate Program, which means clicking through this link you can get a choice of free accessories worth up to £17 when you spend the equivalent of $65 or more, just click here.