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JOBY UltraFit Sling Strap-1

San Francisco-based JOBY, makers of the popular Gorilla Pod, designed a series of sling straps last fall. JOBY’s design team researched their sling’s design with the help of over 500 male and female photographers to help determine a camera strap’s ideal position and movement about the body.

JOBY UltraFit Sling Strap-11

It would be hard to write this review without drawing comparisons to Black Rapid’s RS-W1, a ladies’ DSLR strap that I reviewed last year. After all, the two straps are similar in features and size.

JOBY UltraFit Sling Strap-1 JOBY UltraFit Sling Strap-2
[L-R in both photos: Black Rapid RS-W1; Joby UltraFit Sling Strap]

Like Black Rapid, JOBY designed a separate strap for men and women, with ergonomic design features individually worked into each. Most importantly, both models are designed to evenly distribute the camera’s weight to prevent strain.

JOBY UltraFit Sling Strap-3

For the women’s model, the length and width of the strap’s pad, the length of the webbing, and the size and placement of the pivot ring are all optimized for a woman’s body.

JOBY UltraFit Sling Strap-5

I noticed several sturdy components upon taking the strap out of its box. A SpeedCinch™ system keeps the camera secure when you’re out shooting in busy spots. This system will automatically extend its strap length when needed so that the camera will be brought to eye level in one swift motion.

JOBY UltraFit Sling Strap-9

JOBY’s security-mounted system has a pivot ring with a nut and screw incorporating a flip-up metal ring to help tighten and later loosen the nut when either mounting or removing the strap.

JOBY UltraFit Sling Strap-6

While the RS-W1’s pivot screw system is designed with a carabiner attachment, I slightly prefer the JOBY system with the flip-up ring and strap clasp integration. It seems more secure with less overall movement.

JOBY UltraFit Sling Strap-4

As for the strap’s comfort, I prefer Black Rapid’s design and texture: it’s also softer, with a .6cm thick foam pad and infused knitted polyester mesh fabric. JOBY’s strap is made of polyethylene vinyl acetate with comfort in mind, but the padding could have been slightly thicker. JOBY uses exclusive UltraFit Layered-Pad Technology™ for lightweight support without the bulk of thick padding, but somehow it makes for a stiffer feel.

I do like the shape of JOBY’s padded portion of the strap, nearly identical in length to Black Rapid’s.

JOBY UltraFit Sling Strap-8 JOBY UltraFit Sling Strap-10

I tested the UltraFit strap with a Nikon D90 and 60mm micro f/2.8 lens attached. While this isn’t my heaviest lens, it’s an average lens weight-wise and one that I use frequently.

JOBY UltraFit Sling Strap-7

The strap lock clips firmly to keep the camera close at bay when you don’t need it. Releasing it again will extend the strap length to eye level. Smaller compact system (CSC) cameras can also benefit from the UltraFit and rest on the back just under the arm. Keep in mind that if you’re working with a tripod, you’ll have to remove the UltraFit Sling Strap before mounting the camera onto the tripod, as the strap’s screw uses the same socket at the bottom of the camera.

JOBY UltraFit Sling Strap-2

JOBY also makes a 3-way camera strap that will allow for three wearing modes: wrist, neck, and shoulder. The UltraFit Sling Strap retails for CDN $49.95 and is available locally at Dunne & Rundle, Broadway Camera, and Leo’s Camera Supply in Vancouver as well as Photo Express Fotosource in Maple Ridge.

Disclosure note: I was sent the UltraFit Sling Strap for the purpose of writing this review: cmply.2

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2 Comments

  • Comment by Kevin Jaqua — October 5, 2013 @ 8:24 am

    I am interested in where (what company) makes your pivot ring with a nut and screw including the flip-up metal ring? I would appreciate a note back. It seems like it would work very well for equipment where it is hard to reach screws requiring access periodically. It would minimize the amount of time spent in a position that might cause or increase my back problems. This is a solution I’ve been looking for for a while; it might even help some people I work with keep their job.. My thanks, Kevin Jaqua

  • Pingback by Reviewed: JOBY UltraFit Hand Strap with UltraPlate | Vancouverscape — September 15, 2014 @ 11:00 am

    […] can use the UltraFit with a bottom-mounted sling camera strap (see my earlier reviews for JOBY’s UltraFit Sling Strap and Black Rapid’s RS-W1 Camera […]

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