The UPstrap® was designed by photographer/inventor Al Stegmeyer who was desperate to keep his cameras from slipping off his shoulder. Al's first UPstrap was a piece of bike tube glued to a slippery but beautiful camera strap. There were never plans to build UPstraps commercially. However, legendary photographer Jay Maisel changed all that with the words ". . .do this right and you will never have to deal with an art director that shows up to the shot on a skateboard. . ." It was Jay who convinced Al that UPstraps should be brought to market. UPstrap is now a small, responsive, innovative 99.99% made in USA company located in Tallahassee Florida.


One day Al contacted me and asked if I would like to evaluate his product. I was reluctant, not only because I was super busy, but also because I really didn't want to change my shooting groove. Old habits die hard.

Here's the story....

Over many years, constant shoulder shrugging and readjustment of the camera strap on my left shoulder (my Canon Mark II with the 16-35 f2.8 attached) became so routine that I never really considered it to be anything other than normal. Sure, it was a pain in the ass to keep fiddling with the strap on my wide lens body, while shooting with my long lens (on my right shoulder), but that was life…or so I thought until I found the UPstrap.

The patented grip surface on Al Stegmeyer's UPstrap is designed to grip whatever clothing you happen to be wearing. In fact, it grips so well, that the only complaint I have is that sometimes it grips too well!

Despite Al's recommendation to choose the SLR pad, which he pointed out, distributes the weight a little better, I settled on the RF. The RF does have a considerably smaller Non-Slip pad than the SLR-Classic and the SLR-Kevlar, but in my case, since I already have the R-Strap on that shoulder (The R-Strap is a bandolier style), I have very little "shoulder space available for an additional strap...hence my decision for the "skinnier" RF pad.

The RF is made for for mid-weight cameras under 2.5 - 3 pounds. Using one piece of 3/8" x 62" web and stainless grey-ox sliders, this strap will hold 1000+ lbs.

When it arrived at my door, I replaced my Canon L4 strap which I had purchased to replace the worn out original one which came with the camera. (See strap replacement info here).

My first field experience with the UPstrap came during an assignment in Haiti. I use a two camera setup every day, so I had a great opportunity to see how it would work in combination with the R-Strap which I use for my Mark II with the 70-200 f2.8. As usual Haiti was as hot as...well you know, and I was perspiring though my shirt on a regular basis. To my surprise, the UPstrap didn't budge even when given a soaking wet shoulder to hang on to.

I now use the RF strap on a daily basis. It's low profile, durable and it fits in my Think Tank bag easily. I was told that the grippy little nipples of the UPstrap will eventually wear out, but to date (April 2009) they seem to be doing fine.

In terms of design and durability, all UPstrap camera straps (except the bandolier) have the patented double sided Non-Slip Pad that is bonded to a single piece of web. The webs are rated from 600-2500 pounds. All camera straps are cut to 62". The LT is cut to 64". The quick release, (if you want or need a quick release) is mil-spec part rated at 300 pounds. All sewing is done by a military contractor, parts are chosen for the best strength and dependability NOT cost.

If you are looking for a strong, durable, non-slip strap, look no further, the UPstrap is it.

UPstrap makes a bunch of different models of straps to fit just about everyone's tastes. Have a look at the website and decide which is right for you

Al offers a "Try it for 60 days and decide for yourself 60 Day Money Back guarantee" so there is really no reason you shouldn't at least give it at try.

UpStraps are available on line direct from UpStrap.

Also, see my review of the Canon OEM strap, the R-Strap and the Wapti Strap