Black Rapid RS-W1: A camera strap made for women!

Black Rapid RS-W1: A camera strap made for women!

A guest post by Valerie Jardin.

RSW1_Model_1.jpgThere’s never been a better time to be a female photographer! More and more camera gear is designed for women, colors are finally competing with the traditional black camera bags and even camera straps are now designed for us! The Black Rapid RS-W1 strap came out early summer 2010. I must admit that I was a bit leery at first at the thought of having my precious gear hanging from a single point of attachment.

All Black Rapid straps attach to the tripod mount or the lens. Once connected, the camera hangs upside down for quick and easy access. The adjustable bumper system will keep the camera in place while you are walking and allow you to quickly draw it to your eye to shoot.

I have used the strap attached to my camera body with heavy lenses such as the 24-70 mm f2.8 and the 70-200 mm f2.8. The camera stays in place and the weight is evenly distributed on your shoulder to prevent neck pain often caused by traditional camera straps. Since I was a bit concerned about the single point of attachment, I made sure to check often that the connector piece, made of solid stainless steel and screwed to the tripod mount, was secure. It never loosened up on its own, probably due to the rubber compression washer that prevents any movement.

What makes the RS-W1 strap different and designed specifically for women?

Its curved front pad with mesh underside is made to fit the woman’s body shape. Why didn’t anyone think of this before? It is made of Ripstop Nylon and webbing with a girlie touch as it features a cool frilly pattern on the shoulder and front of the strap. It retails for just under $60… Not cheap but it is definitely built to last and, in my opinion, it is worth every penny of it just for the relief it has given my neck! Now, if only it could come in a variety of colors…


Get a price on the Black Rapid RS-W1 at Amazon.

Black Rapid manufactures a variety of other designs, including a double strap as well as a newly released FastenR-T1 tripod mount that I will be writing about shortly.

Connect with Valerie on Facebook or visit her website.

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Black Rapid RS-W1
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Some Older Comments

  • Debbie Bates September 21, 2012 02:50 am

    love my blackrapid strap. after wearing my old neck strap for an hour, my shoulders start to bother me, with this strap I carried my camera for 6 hours and didnt have a bit of a problem. Wish I had found it a long time ago. Its worth the money to spend on it.

  • annet December 21, 2010 11:16 am

    I was SO excited to see the female version and bought it right away, the padded strap bugged me right away, the guy version was longer, wider and had way more padding, but i went with the female version.......and did NOT like it, i returned it for the male version and LOVE it, i have it on my 50D, and carry my 5D on the other side,
    it was a life(and neck-) saver at my last wedding, highly recommend it !!!

  • Anita December 14, 2010 07:30 am

    Sounds like a great product; it's going on my wishlist!

    As for the 'girliness' of it, without the close-up shot I never would've noticed the flowery pattern, and while I don't take offence with it, I think it's definitely unnecessary. I would've much rather had a couple of pockets for extra batteries and memory cards.

  • Kyle December 13, 2010 10:15 pm

    It sounds interesting, but I would not be comfortable my camera dangling from the tripod socket. I'd spend all my time checking to make sure it was screwed on tight and miss the shots.

  • Bill Peary December 13, 2010 02:18 am

    I have been using one for over a year now. I adjust it just high enough to prevent the top of the 580EXII from bumping the ground when I am kneeling. The connection can get a bit noisy in REALLY quiet conditions (metal on metal) but overall it is the best accessory I have ever purchased for the camera.

  • Kristina Guzman December 12, 2010 05:31 am

    Liz, I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting to be stylish, or adding personality to your gear. It doesn't mean you are any less serious about photography.

  • Kristina Guzman December 12, 2010 05:27 am

    Capturing Couture has some really cute ones for the women who are girly girls. It doesn't screw into the bottom, though, it attaches to the sides like the other camera straps. I am thinking of getting one from there myself. I really like the designs they have.

  • kristin December 10, 2010 10:46 am

    I thought about getting one but I also carry a shootsac and don't really want two things going across my body at the same time.

  • Denise December 10, 2010 09:56 am

    Hi All

    I bought this product back in August and cannot recommend it highly enough - put it on your Christmas list! I think it is one of the most valuable accessories you can buy and you will have no excuse for not carry your camera around.

  • Paula December 9, 2010 11:52 pm

    I bought the Black Rapid strap when it first came out and it was the BEST purchase I ever made. I eventually got the double strap. When I shoot performances/concerts, I alternate between two cameras (one shoots wide, the other shoots telephoto) the entire time with no pains whatsoever.

    That's great that there's (FINALLY!) a design specifically for women. I also agree with Carolyn Scott though, in that the men's version was just fine with me since I was not uncomfortable at all (I'm also not into "girly-frilly" patterns :-)). It's just nice to know there are more choices and women are being considered.

    Thanks for posting a review Valerie! :-)

  • scott detweiler December 8, 2010 07:42 am

    I love my R strap and highly recommend everyone get one. Best accessory you can buy.

  • Dawn in NJ December 8, 2010 01:38 am

    Ha! it was already ON my Christmas wishlist!

  • Valerie Jardin December 8, 2010 01:36 am

    It is curved in the front for a better fit. See the picture.
    Have a great day!

  • Celesta December 8, 2010 01:34 am

    I am sorry for a really dumb question, but is it called a strap for women only because it is padded in the front to not rub against the natural relief of a woman's body? Or there is more to it?

  • Valerie Jardin December 8, 2010 01:27 am

    I am so glad to see that my review was well received and helpful. I own the Manfrotto 322RC2 plate and the FR-T1 tripod attachment was not compatible with that particular plate. I am waiting for a new one from BlackRapid to fit with my quick release plate and I will write an update as soon as I put it to the test!
    @Sally, I agree with your statement.

  • Jessica December 8, 2010 01:12 am

    I ordered this on Sunday...cannot wait to get my hands on it!

  • Kelly December 8, 2010 12:11 am

    It is now on my wish list - thank for the review!

  • Carolyn Scott December 7, 2010 11:44 pm

    As a very short woman, I needed a camera strap that wouldn't hurt my neck terribly. I bought the men's version of this and have had it for over a year and I LOVE it. It has a bunch of little pockets and compartments and doesn't leave my neck in pain the next day. Although I think the women's version may be slightly more contoured and less bulky, I say go with the men's if you're looking for more storage and versatility.

  • Mike December 7, 2010 10:18 pm

    @laryl There's a mount for using with the quick release plate of most tripods (FastenR-T1). It's been out of stock on the website for a while and my local stores don't have it. I had heard of some instances where that particular mount had backed out on people (using non permanent loctite or something similar had helped resolve that problem) so I do hope that they are trying to correct that problem.

  • Kimberly Gauthier Photography, Portrait Photography December 7, 2010 08:36 pm

    I bought one of these recently at an camera expo and it's amazing. My regular camera strap didn't work for me; my camera is just too heavy for my neck. This strap is perfect; what's amazing is that it holds my camera perfectly - my camera hasn't gone crashing to the ground.

  • susan December 7, 2010 03:49 pm

    i saw this a while back....i was just thinking about, making one a Christmas present to myself.. then here is a post about it! Clearly a sign.

  • Sally Wehner December 7, 2010 12:08 pm

    I've been using this strap for about 5 months. I have my quick release plate on one camera and this strap on my other and the camera that has the Black rapid strap on it is the one I use just about all of the time. The strap is very comfortable to wear and the camera is very secure. And as far as the strap being too "girly" because of the pattern, it is very subtle and nothing about it would make you to be taken less seriously. Just because I choose to carry my camera in a purple bag doesn't make me less a photographer than someone who carries theirs in a "serious" black one.

  • Valerie jardin December 7, 2010 10:49 am

    Liz, I am sorry you feel that way. I've been in the photography industry for many years and I never felt that women were taken less seriously than men... Adding such a subtle stylish design to a strap made for women was a great statement in my opinion.

  • Liz Gibson December 7, 2010 10:32 am

    Whilst it looks more comfortable for female photographers, mot all female photographers care about a "girly" pattern or what colors is comes in. I'm out there to take photographs, not to be a fashion model. No wonder woman photographers don't get taken seriously. *shakes head*

  • Aimee Giese | Greeblemonkey December 7, 2010 09:33 am

    Yes, please!

  • Rosi December 7, 2010 09:29 am

    I have this strap and it is very comfortable. It is attached through my quick release plate but have to unscrew the strap to use my tripod. A small annoyance but I shoot mostly handheld anyway. Highly recommended!

  • saundra December 7, 2010 07:39 am

    OMG I want this. It's just what I'm looking for.

  • Randy December 7, 2010 07:23 am

    My wife bought one of these and found it very comfortable and convenient to use. However, I was very disappointed that there's not a single pocket on the strap for camera cards or batteries. Hopefully Black Rapid will expand their offerings for women.

  • Valerie Jardin December 7, 2010 06:42 am

    Dear WW, I highly recommend it!

  • Laryl December 7, 2010 06:29 am

    Looks like a great strap but I for one am not going to take the quick release plate off the bottom of my camera.. ever. Let me know when you design something that works for those of us who use tripods too and have plates attached.

  • Jul December 7, 2010 06:24 am

    Oh wow! "Why didn’t anyone think of this before?" is exactly what I thought when I saw the photo, too. And how I'd love to walk around for hours with the camera out without getting a stiff neck. I might have to add this to my Christmas list.

  • Mandy C December 7, 2010 06:22 am

    I was just looking at this earlier today. I have a friend with the guy's version and he loves it, but I don't know anyone with the women's version so I wasn't sure how comfortable it would really be. Thanks!

  • Wayfaring Wanderer December 7, 2010 06:21 am

    Crazy that this post just came up because I was just looking at their website today! I'm happy to read this review, now I might be more likely to get one for myself. My normal camera strap is seriously a pain in the neck!