Nicole Elliott by BlackRapid at a glance:
- Reversible for right or left-handed wear
- Pockets for storing accessories / lens caps
- Safety Tether included
- Removable and washable shoulder piece
Designed by women for women, the Nicole Elliott sling by Blackrapid takes its inspiration from baby-carrying slings. With its shoulder-hugging design, the strap takes away pressure from the neck and back, promising to make your camera feel “virtually weightless.”
Both right-handed and left-handed shooters are catered for, with a reversible design that can be quickly switched over. Not everybody likes cross-body straps, but it’s hard to argue with how well the weight is distributed. Being wide, the strap also sits well on the chest, where thinner straps might cut across uncomfortably.
The shoulder-hugging flexible pad is also very comfortable, but in the colder months I found that bulky winter coats don’t leave too much room for it, and it can occasionally slip off. In the summer when wearing thinner fabrics it fits much better.
I’ve regularly been using the strap with the Nikon Z7 II and a variety of lenses, including heavier optics such as the 70-200mm f/2.8. The strap does an excellent job of making the camera feel lighter than it is, and after a long day shooting I’ve not felt the usual sore neck / back that I might otherwise experience, particularly with thinner straps.
Nicole Elliott by BlackRapid key features:
- Shoulder-hugging: Pressure points are taken away from the neck and back by “hugging” your shoulder
- Pockets: There’s two zippered pockets for memory cards, batteries or other small accessories.
- Pouches: Help keep track of your lens caps with two lens cap pouches also included.
- Connection: The strap very simply screws into your camera’s tripod mount.
The strap is extendable to 63” in circumference, so it should be suitable for most body types. The adjustable length is helpful for making the camera sit precisely where you want it to. For me, I am able to place it so the camera remains relatively static when not in use.
One of the advantages of the way straps like this attach is that you can quickly move it between multiple camera bodies. However, it being so easy means that it’s possible for your camera to detach without you noticing. I find myself regularly checking that the attachment is screwed in as tightly as it should be.
For even better peace of mind, the strap comes with a Safety Tether included in the box. The tether attaches to one of your camera’s strap lugs, with the other end attaching to the carabiner on the strap, acting as a fail-safe. Indeed, there was one occasion where one of the cameras I was using fell from the strap and onto the floor, so it certainly makes sense to fit the tether, at least initially.
A bonus of the wide design is that there’s space for pockets. Two are lens cap pouches, while two others are zippered for small accessories, such as memory cards or spare batteries, or perhaps non-photographic items such as keys. That makes it useful when you don’t want to also carry an additional bag.
Nicole Elliott by BlackRapid: Our Verdict
At around £84, this is by no means cheap for a camera strap. However, if you find that standard camera straps leave you with a sore neck or back, then it’s certainly worth considering as a good investment.