If I’ve come to realise one thing about camera straps since starting this website, it is that choosing the most suitable strap ultimately depends on where, how and with what you are shooting.
Imagine you are walking through a chic part of London, ready to do some discreet street photography with your Fujifilm X100T. Considering the classy location, the stylish appearance of the camera and the genre, my first instinct would be to recommend an attractive and comfortable leather wrist strap.
The same would not apply to a long and arduous trek through the Welsh hills with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and a bag of 2-3 primes. In this case, I’d immediately recommend a shoulder strap over a wrist strap – something more rugged and practical.
In this review, we’ll be talking about a strap that falls into the “practical” category – the new Slide Lite from Peak Design, dubbed the “finest mirrorless camera strap” on the market.
In many ways, it is identical to the original Slide (see our review here). It has been fashioned from extremely durable seatbelt-like material that is both easy to clean and adjust thanks in part to the aluminium quick-adjusters. It is 100% compatible with Peak Design’s proprietary Anchor Link system. And it can be used as a neck strap, shoulder strap or sling strap depending on the length you choose and how you connect the anchor links to the camera.
Of all the straps we’ve tried, the Slide series is by far one of the most comfortable and convenient for long outings during which you might want to remove the strap or attach it to another body.
Now that we’ve established the basics, let’s have a closer look at the strap that is already proving to be one of Peak Design’s most desirable products.
As I mentioned above, the Slide Lite, like other products in the Peak Design line-up, has been designed to work with the anchor link system. It is perhaps the most original way of attaching and removing a camera strap ever invented.
To use the strap, simply attach the anchors to either:
- the two lugs on either side your camera, or
- one lug and the tripod mount using the provided standard arca plate
From there, you can latch the anchors onto the quick connectors on either end of the Slide Lite and modify the length of the strap by pulling on the quick-adjusters. All this takes mere seconds to perform.
I should mention at this point that the anchors in the Slide Lite kit are made from newly-upgraded 3-layer Dyneema cord, which is abrasion resistant and can hold up to 90kg in weight. Unlike the original “Kelvar” anchors provided with Peak Design’s first generation products, you can tell when the new Dyneema anchor is beginning to wear out because the colourful layers (yellow and red) under the black outer layer will begin to appear.
Yellow means that you should be thinking about changing the anchor, whereas Red means it is no longer useable.
The good news is that anchors tend to last quite a long time; in fact, all the ones we own, both old and new, have yet to wear out even though we’ve been using Peak Design products for well over a year.
The aluminium adjusters have been updated so that they are more robust and firmly click into place. This means that the weight of the camera pulling down on strap won’t cause it to extend. On the original Slide, we’ve found that the length of the strap will gradually extend over the course of a day because the adjusters aren’t quite tight enough. It isn’t a big deal but it does mean that you occasionally have to re-adjust the length to fit your height.
Since the Slide Lite is meant for mirrorless cameras, it has been slimmed down from 45mm (the width of the original Slide) to 32mm. Although I love the original Slide and often use it with our larger mirrorless bodies, I’ve always felt that its width was better suited to DSLR bodies, so it is great to see that they’ve made this improvement.
Another small update has also been made to the quick connectors at the end of the strap. They are a little wider and appear slightly more robust than those on the original Slide but otherwise, there isn’t a big difference between the two. Honestly speaking, I feel the design of the larger connector would suit the original Slide better, whereas the slimmer connector would be a better fit for the Lite version.
Recently, Peak Design released the original Slide in two addition colours (orange and blue) so I was surprised to learn that the Slide Lite is only available in black. However, this may be because they are testing the popularity of the product before they increase the colour range.
In the Slide Lite package, you receive everything you need to get you started: the Slide strap itself, the standard arca plate and four anchors. If you have two or more camera bodies, you may want to attach the anchors to both cameras so that you can easily switch between them. Otherwise, you can save the two extra anchors until the first two wear out. (Just be sure not to misplace the spare anchors, as they last a long time!)
The Slide Lite is also slightly less expensive than the Slide, priced at $49 instead of $59 on the official Peak Design website. It isn’t the cheapest strap on the market but it is certainly one the best in terms of practicality and robustness.
What I like about the Peak Design Slide Lite
- The reduced width of the strap suits mirrorless cameras well
- Just as robust, easy to clean and practical as the original Slide
- Utilises the incredibly straightforward Anchor Link system found on all Peak Design products
- The Anchors have been made more robust
- The adjusters have been made more robust and now emit a decisive “click” when locked in place
- Can be used as a shoulder, neck or sling strap
What I don’t like about the Peak Design Slide Lite
- The quick-connector of the original Slide would suit the Slide Lite better, and vice versa
- More colour choice would be nice
- A little on the expensive side (but worth the investment)