|Q-strap Double Sling|
Last year I purchased and reviewed the Q-strap Quick Strap Camera Sling , as an alternative to the Black Rapids Camera sling. I have used that sling religiously ever since, and it has held up great. They have recently released the two camera double sling version of that same strap, that sells for less than a third of the nearest competitors product. The question is does the quality of this strap hold up to its predecessor? And is it a viable replacement for the much higher priced name brand straps?
|Double Q-strap with Hardware|
What is a Q-strap?
The first thing you will notice when you receive this strap is the distinctive logo on the right strap. The square yellow Q, that is an obvious attempt to replicate the registered Black Rapids ‘R’. I am sure many people have been lured into buying this strap thinking that they are getting the name brand version. I do not necessarily agree with the marking of the product that way, but like many people, I can’t always afford to buy the name brand items, especially if there is a cheaper alternative available that will do the job. This strap came in at under $25 shipped to my door. Compared to $130 for the black rapids equivalent.
|Front Adjuster and release.|
How does it compare?
Since my review of the single Q-strap I have had the opportunity to use a couple of different brands of slings that belonged to some photography friends. The Black Rapids RS-4 for one, and a few other lesser known brands. So I should start by saying that Black rapids does make the Cadillac of slings, they are comfortable, sturdy and appear that they will last a long time. Also they are a bit more compact that the Original Q-strap. Do they justify the 400% price difference? I will leave that up to you to decide. I would recommend reading my other review , Q-strap Quick Strap Camera Sling, as many of the features are the same between the two straps.
|The Back of the Q-strap|
For those who at this point don’t understand what the double strap is for. This allows you to carry two cameras, one on each hip, both at the ready for that quick shot. You load one camera with a short lens, say an 18-55mm and the other with a telephoto such as a 55-200mm and your always prepared for the that quick shot, without having to change lenses. You could also use it to carry your DSLR on one hip and a point and shoot on the other. This puts your camera at the ready, at all times. You reach down grab your camera, take the shot, the just drop the camera and it slides back down to your side.
What do you get?
You will notice right away when you receive the double strap that the shoulder straps are narrower than the one that is on the single quick strap. It appears they have decided to more closely emulate the other manufacturers products in this regard. You will also notice the lack of the zippered pocket that is on the single strap. This was handy for storing an extra memory card or smaller lens caps.
The mounting plates ( 2 are included) on this unit are exactly the same as the ones on the single strap. They include the 1/4″ thumbscrew to mount it to your body, and a 1/4″ port on the bottom so you can mount it to your tripod while it is still in place. This is one feature that is not possible with the Black Rapids straps. There is also the second attachment point to allow you to put a safety strap on the camera for backup insurance.
Located on each strap is a stop that allows you to set how far the camera can slide when you release it. This is nice so that you can always have the camera in the position that is most comfortable for you. When I received mine these were located in front of the camera attaching rings, so I had to reconfigure them correctly. you may or may not use these, I found that the camera hangs pretty much in a comfortable place without them.
On the back is a quick release for each sling strap. You can remove this to reconfigure the strap, or move or remove the stop adjuster. This also serves as a length adjustment for each strap, a quick tug and you can shorten them up to fit the spot that you feel the most comfortable.
The attachment rings and caribiners are the same as on the previous versions, with the exception that they added a knurled surface to the thumbscrew which makes it much easier to loosen and tighten.
Two for the price of one.
|Two straps in one|
Essentially with this device you are getting two straps for the price of one. In the front there is an adjuster that allows you to set the width of the straps, based on the size of person using it. There is quite a bit of adjustment, so I believe it will fit just about everyone. The quick release is handy for putting the strap on and taking it off. But also serves dual purpose for separating the sling in to two individual slings. On the back you simply undo the Velcro clasp and remove it from the ring, and you essentially have two individual Q-straps.
Overall for $25 you get two very nice and decently built straps that can serve as a dual strap system when you need it. It is very comfortable when it is in use, I even forgot I had it on a couple of times with both of my cameras in place. I had a Sony A-55 with Tamron 28-200mm F3.5-5.6 on one side and a Sony A-550 with a Sony 50mm f1.8 and a battery grip on the other side. The balance was still good even with the weight difference. Both cameras were easy to use and hung very comfortably at my side when I was not using them.
There are really only two things I would improve upon with this strap. the first being to add a pocket to each shoulder pad, like the single strap. That was a nice little feature that allowed you to store extra memory or a lens cap. The second would be to upgrade the attachment rings on this. I don’t really like the look of them. They work, and I have yet to have a failure, but I do prefer the Black Rapids Carabiner attachment rings better. I still prefer the attachment plate of the Q-strap over the BR unit though. They are much sturdier and allow me to place the camera on a tripod or mono pod without removal.
Overall I believe the Q-strap is a good alternative to the higher priced brands if you want to save a few bucks, and still get a quality product.
Here are some handy links to the products discussed here.
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