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The great strap shootout thread! Post your strap reviews here.

Discussion in 'Accessories [BG] - NEW!' started by JakobT, Sep 30, 2016.

  1. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    Inspired by fellow TB'er @louloomis I've decided to start this thread to compare the relative merits of different kinds of straps. I've been trying out a lot of them recently, without really finding the perfect one for me. So I thought that if we could gather a lot of strap reviews in one place, it would make the job easier for all of us. So please post your strap reviews here, and to make this thread more readable, please create a separate post for each strap you review. Let the fun commence!
    louloomis, basslifter and Blackjac97 like this.
  2. Asat77


    Apr 29, 2015
  3. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    The Betty - Mono, $49.99

    Overall, I've found this to be one of the most comfortable straps I've ever used, and I now have two of them. Still, there are some things about them that detract from their usefulness. The construction is bomb proof, the design is cool-looking, and it's animal-free, if that's important to you. The strap comes in long and short versions, and with two different material options in black and grey. The strap itself consists of a wide neoprene-backed section with memory foam, a wide nylon band with a metal buckle to make it adjustable, and synthetic rubber strap ends. The ribbed design makes it easy to fold, and makes the strap very gig bag friendly. The strap has a little pocket sewn on the back for picks. The only downsides I have found with this strap are the metal adjustment buckle and the rubber strap ends. The strap ends are nice and thin, and should fit most basses. The material is a little too soft, however, and the strap button escapes a shade too easily from the holes, which are also slightly too large. This makes the strap a little hair-raising to use, but can be mitigated with strap locks. However, I'd prefer it if the strap fit more securely without modification either to my basses or the strap. The other thing is the metal buckle. It's a little heavy, and as the strap is quite soft, it can hit the floor (or your bass) quite hard when you set your bass down in a stand with the strap attached. It also tends to slip a little over time. A plastic buckle would be better, and less likely to damage your instrument.

    My verdict:
    Comfort: 9/10
    Design: 8/10
    Materials: 6/10
    Value for money: 8/10
    IamGroot, Jeff K and Linnin like this.
  4. BassWaffle


    Apr 10, 2011
    +1 on the Comfort Strapp. I've used one for my (HEAVY) T-series Peavey basses for the past 5 or so years. This is the only strap I have tried that is meant for comfort though, so I do not know how it would compare to other straps that appeal to the same demographic.
    It's really wide, made of that flexible foam kind of stuff, is 30 bucks, what more could you want?
    It also sits at a great height for me. It can't really go below waist level, so if you're one of those dudes who needs to play bass like Robert Trujillo, then this might not be for you
    4StringTheorist and steelbed45 like this.
  5. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    Solostrap Neo - Gruvgear, $40-50

    The Solostrap Neo looked like the answer to my prayers. The strap comes in 2.5" and 4" widths, with a padded neoprene midsection, and an elegant set-it-and-forget-it length adjustment feature. I had the 4" version. This strap is also animal-free, with the end pieces and strap adjustment made of faux leather. The strap is super comfortable to wear, and makes light of the heaviest bass. The length adjustment is a little fiddly as you have to undo several small screws and reposition the end piece, but once you've set it to your taste you never have to do it again. The strap folds reasonably well, but not as well as the Betty. However, the faux leather started to fray around the strap pin holes almost immediately, giving me some concerns for the security and longevity of the strap. Again, strap locks might solve this problem, but it really shouldn't be necessary to use them.

    My verdict:
    Comfort: 10/10
    Design: 8/10
    Value for money: 7/10
    IamGroot and don21480 like this.
  6. howlin


    Nov 15, 2008
    I'm Not There
    Sounds like you've been walking in the same (strap search) wilderness that I have. Your reviews of the Mono Betty & the GruvGear Neo are spot on but I will go so far as to say that I think your reviews are a bit generous.

    I've had one of the Betty straps pretty much since they were introduced and, up until the other day, was my go to strap though not wasn't exactly by choice. The fact that the buckle DOES NOT hold adjustment is my #1 beef. #2 is again regarding the buckle. METAL?!? REALLY?!? It's the perect example of over-engineering a product and making it worse. Your comment regarding it hitting the floor or worse - an instrument - actually happened to a beautiful sunburst Les Paul that I had. I was sick when I realized that I was putting little dents in the finish and the pickups due to the way that centerpiece sticks out. I ended up using gaffer's tape to hold it in position + keep it from touching anything.

    I'm not going to even comment on my experiences with the GruvGear strap. The list is just too long and annoying to delve into.

    So, what is my go to strap these days? The NeoTech Mega. 4" wide, plastic buckle that actually holds position without denting anything and it's reasonably priced. The reason it took so long to bond with it was that I hadn't realized that I had the longer version. I've developed a half-a$$ed way to work around that issue and will order the shorter version soon. If anyone looks into these straps please be aware that the retail stores we all shop at (GC, MF, etc.) seem to only carry the longer one. No big. I don't find paying the MSRP a problem, if I know that it works. Better than the myriad collection of useless items I have filling up my store room.

    This plays into a slogan that I've been using lately: I like the concept but the product itself leaves something to be desired.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
    JakobT likes this.
  7. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    Italia 4" leather strap - italiastraps.com, $79

    Gorgeous handmade leather strap, 4" wide, also available as 2.5". The strap is constructed with a smooth leather upper, and suede backing. The generous width ensures that the weight of the bass is well distributed, and the suede backing combats neck dive. Italia offers several colour choices, so you can get the strap with a different colour upper and backing. A problem, which I discovered with my black/tan specimen, is that the suede backing tends to shed on your clothes. After using the strap for the first time, I had tan suede residue all over my black shirt. A lint roller took care of it, but it was annoying nevertheless. Besides, how many bass players bring a lint roller to gigs?

    The length adjustment uses the standard strap-looped-through-slots arrangement, which I've never really liked, but which has the advantage of having no hardware to scratch your bass. The 4" version also has a tendency to dig into the side of your neck after a while, especially if you wear T-shirts or anything else without a collar.

    My main problem with this strap (as with every other strap I have reviewed so far) is how it works with ordinary strap buttons. In this case the strap is so thick that it's a real struggle to get on and off. Once it's on, though, it won't come off in a hurry. It works better with some strap button designs than with others, Fenders are OK, for instance, Musicman not so much. Yet again, strap locks would help, but it should really not be necessary.

    EDIT: Forgot to mention - huge and really tough to fold, so not really gigbag-friendly, unless you leave it on the bass, which I don't like to do. That said, since there is no metal anywhere on the strap, it poses no risk to the bass if you choose to do so.

    My verdict:
    Design: 7/10
    Materials: 8/10
    Value for money: 7/10
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
  8. 10cc


    Oct 28, 2013
    Who has their strap on?:woot:

    Happy Friday
  9. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    The strap in my avatar is a Levi's. It isn't anything fancy or high tech, but mine I've had since (IIRC) 1987 and it is still in good condition. Since I like each bass to have its own strap, I've bought each of the a Levi's, except one. I don't know what it is, but I plan to replace it with a Levi's soon.
    Bass Strap M4GF-BRN - Levy's Leathers
  10. 10cc


    Oct 28, 2013
    Speaking of Levis. Does anybody care to guess why blue jeans have rivets on the pockets? I just found out why and it's actually pretty interesting.
    bdplaid likes this.
  11. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    Glad you've found a strap that works for you! It would be interesting to know more about what features of the strap you like most, and if it has any flaws we should know about. :)
  12. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    I believe I've heard a story about it being a way to strengthen the nugget-filled pockets of California Gold Rush prospectors. Nowadays they're purely decorational, much like any rivets found on Levy's straps. :)
    10cc likes this.
  13. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Well, it is comfortable, obviously durable since I've had it for 29 years. And I've never had to use strap locks with it. It doesn't slide around, but I can change angle without it pulling at my shirt. I can't think of any flaws I've noticed. I'm not saying there are not better straps available, but I tend to stick with something that is working and I'm happy with. Maybe that's why 4 of my 6 basses are Fenders. ;)
  14. 10cc


    Oct 28, 2013
    Bingo! Once Levi went from canvas to denim the pockets just couldn't hang. Nowadays they are great for ruining guitar finishes for those who tuck in their shirts.
    JCooper, bdplaid and RicoTheBassMan like this.
  15. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
    Italia 4". Cut to fine tune, put it on the bass and leave it forever.

    Always a two fer deal going on.
  16. Pete Schmidt Black Velvet-Red Stitch 3 1/2" - www.peteschmidt.com $49.95

    I'm glad this thread started because I thought about starting an "Unsung Heroes of Gear" thread just to talk about how much I love this strap. This is an absolutely handsome and well made strap. The leather is thick, but was incredibly supple from Day 1 and has gotten even more comfortable with use -- thick, but soft like glove leather. Though I normally use Dunlop strap locks with it, I have used it without and find it easier to get over strap buttons than the stiff leather ends on the Levy's Hootenanny strap I had for my acoustic guitar (Yes, I own a guitar. Don't judge.)

    The strap is not padded and is not a comfort strap with special ergonomic features, but it is the most comfortable thing with which I've hung an instrument on my body. But I prefer a minimalistic approach to comfort with things I wear, including clothing and shoes, and find extra padding, straps, buckles, etc. to be annoying.

    The 3 1/2" width does a great job of distributing the load of my bass and holding it in place. I was concerned that the smooth leather back would allow the strap to slide around on my shoulder, as was my experience with nylon straps, and I was tempted to buy something with a suede back. But, the natural tanned leather on the back is not as smooth as the colored leather on the front and has enough grip to securely hold my bass in place as I move about while playing.

    I'm a medium sized guy and I like to wear my Jazz bass so the pickups sit right about at my waist, so not like a low slung punk or high-riding mod, which leaves the strap adjusted right at the mid-point of its range. So, there is plenty of adjustability to accommodate other's size or preference.

    I paid $69, but the strap is $20 cheaper now on PeteSchmidt.com and Amazon than when I bought it. I hope that means it's a great deal, not that quality has changed.

    My verdict:
    Comfort:10/10 (YMMV)
    Design: 8/10 (It is a strap designed like thousands of other straps with no special features, but simply effective.)
    Materials: 10/10
    Value for money: 10/10 (If it's the same quality for $49.95 that I got for $69 than it is without question a great value.)
    IamGroot, Stranger Danger and JakobT like this.
  17. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    I have a few different ones. All wide. All leather. None with suede back. I prefer slippery leather and a balanced bass that doesn't need a "sticky" strap to stay upright. For a long time I have been trying to figure out the brand of my favorite one. It's about 4 inches wide, is unpadded and is unbranded. I would like to replace all my others but can't find that one anymore.
    JakobT likes this.
  18. I've got one of the 3 1/2" Levi's. It's the first strap I've bought specifically looking for one that is wider to take the weight of the bass. I have to say that when I play using other straps now I notice the weight a lot more. The holes for the strap button seem a bit undersized, it's really hard to get them in place; however it holds really well once they are in. The strap is pretty minimal as far as decoration and padding go, but for an inexpensive option it works well.
    IamGroot likes this.
  19. dcbassist5

    dcbassist5 Supporting Member

    May 11, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Endorsing Artist: Ashdown, Lakland, Hardwire
    I've used a TON over the years. The BEST I've found are the Reunion Blues Merino Wool straps for $39.99 they are the softest, and have heavy duty metal hardware.
  20. +1 Comfort Strapp. I like all points voiced above, plus it has a modest amount of elastic 'give' in it. Other straps had too little or two much 'bounce'.

    This really helps when dancing about on stage for 4hrs. It acts like a shock absorber = less shoulders/neck stiffness after gigs.

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