Nigel Atherton puts the Op/Tech Utility Sling-Duo through its paces
Op/Tech Utility Sling-Duo at glance:
- Price: £34.99
- Website: www.optechusa.com
Op/Tech pioneered the use of neoprene in the manufacture of camera straps, as the material’s spongy texture and elasticity make it more comfortable than webbing or leather. The company’s new Utility Sling-Duo is designed to carry two cameras simultaneously, up to a total of 6.8kg, on a strap worn across one shoulder. This 6.3cm-wide strap features a non-slip underside and two sets of clips to which 1in-wide webbed sling straps are connected, and hang on either side of the body.
Cameras are attached to the sling straps with Op/Tech’s own Uni-Loop connectors, which, once attached to a camera’s strap lugs, enable it to be clipped on and off very quickly. Four Uni-Loops are provided with the Utility Sling-Duo, but most cameras (except heavy pro DSLRs) need just one. It’s best to attach the loop to the camera’s right lug for the right-hand camera, and the left for the left, so a strap doesn’t cross the back of the camera – or your face, when held to the eye.
The loops enable cameras to slide up and down the sling straps as required, and the straps themselves are height-adjustable. If only one camera is needed, the redundant strap can also be disconnected.
I found the Utility Sling-Duo quick to put on and take off and a good alternative to harness-style duo straps. Although it can be disconcerting to hang a camera by a single loop from one lug, the lug is clearly strong enough and arguably preferable to alternative systems, such as the tripod bush – which wasn’t designed for this purpose.
Set up properly, the Utility Sling-Duo is very comfortable, even when fully loaded. I wore it for ten hours with two DSLRs fitted with heavy pro lenses, and had no discomfort. And yet I was able to unclip my cameras in seconds.
Compared with some alternatives, the Utility Sling-Duo represents good value for money, too.