Rudolf Abraham Travel Hiking Outdoor Writer Photographer Gear Reviews

Peak Design Leash Camera Strap – Review by Rudolf Abraham

I’ve been using a Peak Design Leash as the camera strap for my Nikon Z6 for several months now – this having replaced the original Nikon straps which I’ve used on a long succession of bodies, from the Z6 back through a pair of D700s to a D300, D200 and back out the other end of the digital era via an FM2n, and so on.

First off, I may as well point out that I didn’t have as much of an extreme dislike for the generic Nikon straps as some people seem to. True, they’re not particularly comfortable – and yes, they do have a more than annoying tendency to slip off your shoulder. (When shooting I generally had mine wrapped around my wrist a couple of times like a leash, which partly sidestepped these issues – though the constant looping action meant I would have to untwist the strap regularly). Oh and the Nikon straps were quite a fiddle to thread onto the camera or to remove (I usually only did that once and left them there), which effectively made them impossible to adjust. So yes, I was finding them a bit meh – rather limiting and frustrating.

So why did I gravitate towards a Peak Design strap? Quite simply, because they are infinitely more comfortable and adaptable, while still feeling every bit as strong and secure. Very, very secure actually – the Anchor connectors which attach the strap to the camera body are tested to support a weight of over 90kg, each. Not to mention, looking rather svelte.

peak design leash camera strap nikon z6Photo: The Peak Design Leash attached to a Nikon Z6

The Leash is one of three full-length camera straps made by Peak Design – the Slide is the beefiest with a strap width of 45mm, then there’s the Slide Lite with a strap width of 32mm and aimed more at the mirrorless user, and the more minimalist Leash with a strap width of just 19mm – perfect for outdoors and travel where you need to save on weight and bulk but giving up only a little in the way of comfort, and nothing in strength.

For a start, it’s a doddle to change between straps (from, say, the lightweight Leash for an extended hiking trip, to the more substantial and comfortable Slide Lite or Slide for other use), due to the cleverly designed Anchor connectors. These simply thread through an attachment point once you’ve hooked that onto the lugs on the camera body, and double back over themselves before being pulled tight. The strap then attaches easily and securely to the Anchors, or detaches, with a self-locking, push-button mechanism – simply slip the Anchor into the strap housing, pull tight to lock, and press the button with your thumb to detach. There are plenty of helpful how-to videos on the Peak Design website to take you through setup and use of their straps and other gear. The Leash (and for that matter the Slide and Slide Lite) comes with a set of four Anchor connectors, effectively covering you for two camera bodies or leaving you with a couple of spares.

It’s also incredibly quick and easy to alter the strap length (if for example you want to switch from carrying over one shoulder, to diagonally across your chest). Strap length is adjusted by way of a pair of low-profile, aluminium and Hypalon quick-adjusters, one at each end of the strap, which can be adjusted easily with just one finger – a particularly clever design feature. The strap length can be altered from 83cm right up to 145cm.

The materials used for the Leash are nylon webbing for the strap, along with anodized aluminium and Hypalon for the adjuster hardware (Ash, Sage and Midnight colours come with leather accents, as opposed to Hypalon on the black version); the Anchors and housings are made of thermoplastic, with 2-layer anti-abrasion woven thermoplastic for the Anchor cords. The webbing strap feels quite smooth and comfortable against the skin. The Leash weighs 86g.

The Leash also comes with an Anchor mount which screws into the base of the camera body, allowing for an alternative, sling-style carrying position, however I haven’t used this simply because I’ve been an L-plate user since pretty much forever, and for my work it makes more sense for my SmallRig L plate to stay put. Nevertheless, everyone I’ve seen using them has nothing but good things to say, from birders on an island out in the Mediterranean to hikers charging up and down steep mountains in the Vercors.

All in all I’ve found the Peak Design Leash to be a very reliable and extremely well thought out piece of kit. So much so that I can see myself getting a Slide next.

Peak Design is a climate neutral company, and their sustainability report can be found online. They have begun a transition to recycled aluminium, and use over 60% Bluesign-approved textiles. Peak Design’s primary soft goods factory, Vung Tau in Vietnam, is a Fair Trade Certified Factory (audited annually), and the company also pays a premium on all products manufactured at the factory, with this money going into an account managed by the workers themselves, who vote on how it is spent.

Find out more about the lightweight Peak Design Leash camera strap here.

Review date: May 2023 | Back to reviews

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