Matt Golowczynski tests the Barber Shop Tight Contour leather strap

Barber Shop Tight Contour leather strap at a glance:

  • Handmade in Italy
  • Available in dark brown and grained-brown
  • Price: About £66
  • Website: www.barbershopbags.com

Italian-based manufacturer Barber Shop is better known for its stylish photographic bags, but it also carries a sizable collection of straps and other leather accessories. Its products are designed and handmade in Italy, and the company promises that only the finest leathers are used for its straps. The Barber Shop Tight Contour leather strap provides an alternative to more conventional neck straps (which, incidentally, the company has also recently started to provide).

The Tight Contour strap is a small hand strap aimed at DSLR users looking for something more refined than the norm. It’s available in dark-brown and grained-brown finishes, although it’s the third vegetable-tanned black option on test that visually makes for a better pairing with the average DSLR body. Branding is tastefully subtle, with just a small flash of red, white and blue striped material, and an embossed Barber Shop logo to declare its origins.

The pad that sits against the user’s hand is backed by a soft microfibre cloth, and in use this is very comfortable. The strap itself is made of neatly stitched leather, and is reasonably easy to fit and adjust. It comes with a solid-metal tripod bush connector through which the strap is looped, and this is topped with a rubber pad to protect the camera. However, the design of this fitting means that it’s not possible to use a tripod when the strap is attached to your camera.

It’s worth noting that this type of strap also only really works with cameras that have decent-sized hand grips, so it isn’t suitable for smaller mirrorless bodies. It’s not exactly cheap, either, but you can really appreciate the difference in quality against more conventional straps that typically blend leather with cheaper fabrics and plastic parts.

Overall, the strap is smart and beautifully made, and as a bonus it comes in very presentable packaging that would make it ideal as a gift.

Barber Shop tight contour leather strap

The hand pad is leather on one side and microfibre on the other

SCORE: 4 out of 5