The Best Minimalist Straps on the Market

The Best Minimalist Straps on the Market

On August 15th, Peak Design is launching two newly refreshed products, the all new Leash and Cuff straps. But if I can be totally honest, it's more like three updates and one totally new product.  More on that in just a minute, but let's dive right into what's coming out.

First up, the all new Peak Design Leash. The original leash was a very minimalist strap that really was just a long piece of nylon webbing that accepted their anchors at each end, as well as serving as a safety tether that could be secured to a backpack in case you dropped your camera. This new one is all new, literally. New nylon webbing that's got a tighter weave, a completely new design and take on adjusting strap length (something I haven't seen done with any strap company), new anchor attachments, and even new color ways in Ash and Black.

So that new adjuster for the strap length, let's spend some time on that. With the Slide and Slide Lite, I've occasionally had the strap length adjust a tiny bit, but the adjustment was so smooth and effortless, it was something I could overlook and forgive. But this new design is ingenious. Doesn't creep on you, still takes minimal effort to adjust when you need to. All you do is slip a finger under the hypalon strap, it'll angle the buckle in such a way that it allows adjustment, and you just pull up to shorten, pull down to lengthen. Easy as that.

Remember when I said three updates and one totally new product? Well this is it, the anchor mount that's included with the new Leash. The company realized that while their arca-swiss compatible tripod plate was amazing because it took their anchors, it was bulky for those of us that shoot with mirrorless cameras and don't use a tripod frequently. So they made something super small and low-profile and now we've got something that's perfect when you just need the camera and nothing but the camera. Personally, it's glued to my X-Pro2 and X-T1 all of the time because it never goes on a tripod. It doesn't get in the way of the battery door or cause similar issues that I had with the tripod plate so I couldn't be happier.

Now we're on to the second refreshed product, the newly designed anchors. This might be as exciting as a new camera strap. The new anchor (top anchor, old anchor on bottom) has a tapered design. What that means is we no longer have to depress the anchor to lock it into the strap. All you have to do is give the strap a little tug and it's secured. Peak Design also sent the rest of the anchors to Jenny Craig because those cords are THIN! Made of the same dyneema, they've realized that they can reduce the strand count/thickness while still maintaining over 200 lbs of strength. They can still save you if you're hanging off a cliff but this is my disclaimer saying not to test this statement out.

So last but definitely not least, the all new Peak Design Cuff. I own the old cuff and I used it quite frequently, I know exactly what I didn't like about it and everything has been answered here. That silver rectangle is the new adjustment for strap length but unlike the old one, or even the new Leash, you don't do anything to adjust it. Wrap it around your wrist, clip it to your camera, let go of that camera and the weight will automatically adjust the strap to your wrist diameter. There's enough tension at that point so it won't loosen on your wrist unless you physically do so. Just like the Leash, this guy comes in Ash and Black as well.

So the old Cuff had a anchor attached so you could wrap it around your wrist when you weren't using it attached to a camera and that's clearly gone in this one, so what did Peak Design do? They took a page out of Steve Job's book and pulled a iPad 2. They went with magnets. The anchor's link is magnetic, so they've hidden a magnet within that strap to hold it in place when you're not using it, and it gets better. The magnet moves inside of the strap to fit your wrist diameter, all you need to do is pinch the sides of the Cuff and it'll move to where you need it.

So let's recap what's new here. New Leash design that makes this product more of a neck-strap in it's own right and can't be considered the "cheap" option next to the Slide or Slide Lite. It's punching above it's weight class like Manny Pacquiao in his prime. Also comes with a new anchor mount that's small and perfect for mirrorless cameras. New Cuff design that adjusts to your wrists automatically, no more tightening and loosening it each time you put on and take off. New anchors that fit mirrorless bodies perfectly and are tapered to make strap attachment quicker.

In my opinion, this is Peak Design's most important release to date. Everything up to this point has been a new product (aside from Capture Clip V2). This launch proves that they're not sitting on their success and aren't trying to get repeat customers by doing incremental updates. They've taken the time to completely rework every product from the ground up. Not to mention that these new designs and how they function must be the beginning of a new direction with Peak Design. Frankly, I can't wait to see what they're coming up with next.