12 August 2012

Test & Review of Ruck Strap by HoldFast Gear

As promised, today I'm going to tell you something more about Ruck Strap, the other product I got from HoldFast Gear. By the number of views of the Money Maker review I can see you were really interested in what I had to say about it, so I hope you'll like this one as much.

Somehow I tend to avoid having camera neck strap around my neck, as it is supposed to be worn. Usually it only bothers me or burns my neck when combined with sweat, which is mostly ugly. The closest I get to using it is wrapped loosely around my wrist. (Don't get me wrong, I have it attached to my camera at all times, for safety reasons :D, the only problem is that I am not really using it). Therefore, when I asked Matthew for his products, I asked him to send me a Wrist Strap, as it seemed perfect for me. He did not have any at that very moment unfortunately, so he sent me the Ruck Strap instead.

It is made of around 86 cm (33.8 inch) long and 6 cm (2.3 inch) wide duck canvas, that comes in three colours - navy, red and tanned. I got the navy one. At the end of the canvas is a 10 cm (3.9 inch) long leather strap that you attach to your camera through two key rings which also come in the set. The leather part is adjustable in length. It has two pockets on each side, that close with poppers, two rubber bands which will hold something like batteries, and my favourite part of all – a leather coating that goes around your neck, making it really pleasant to wear.

The Ruck Strap went through a bit simpler test than the Money Maker. I took it for a leisure day when I had no big shootings in mind. I just went to the hippodrome in Zagreb for a coffee, and I wanted to have my camera along with a 50mm lens attached to it. The leather straps were a bit too wide for my camera strap holders, so I had to use the key rings that came with it. Attaching the key rings was a bit difficult since they are quite firm, but after a few minutes I managed to do it. I put my money in one of the pockets and an extra memory card in the other one. I did not use the rubber band for two reasons - one is that I am in real panic when it comes to just inserting stuff somewhere without securing it somehow. I tend to loose things that way. And the other one is that I did not really find anything to insert there.

The Ruck Strap served me well during the day, because my essentials were all in one place, the summer heat and sweat did not pose a problem, due to the width of the canvas and the leather coating mentioned above. I even wore it as foreseen - around my neck :), although old habits die hard - sometimes I just could not fight my urge to wrap it around my wrist. At those moments, it proved a bit inconvenient to have firm objects in the pockets, but no major problem. I was satisfied with having it, because it was supple and does not get in your way while using it, and it looked really well with my outfit (I know this is no valid photographer’s reason for using it, but I hate that many photographers do not seem to care about their appearance at all).

Iva, as a nonprofessional, liked the strap as well, because she could finally walk around with her small camera looking good hanging around her neck :). I think she is going to steal it from me ;).

I am really satisfied with the Ruck Strap’s performance, but there are also two things I would like to suggest to be fixed in future editions. One would be to secure the rubber bands, and the other to switch the key rings for something a bit easier to attach, if possible.

+good length of the canvas
+adjustable length of the leather straps
+pockets that allow you to have documents, money, memory cards or anything else you might need at your side
+a soft leather coating around your neck, that makes neck burns from plastic history
+stylish appearance, that goes perfectly with casual everyday outfits

-the leather straps are a bit too wide for the usual camera strap holders
-the key rings are not really an "easy to use" solution

I feel I am repeating myself a bit, but my grade here is once more 6/7. It would be 7/7 if it was not for that wide leather at the end.

For those of you who are in search for a comfortable neck strap that is made out of natural materials, it allows you to carry any extras you may think of, at the same time looking stylish, and most definitely represents the best choice - I strongly recommend it!

Btw. At the time I got Ruck Strap for review it wasn't released, but since July 27 you can find yours on HoldFast Gear official web site in three lovely colours: tan, navy and red.


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