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Sun-Sniper Strap-Surfer review: Leash your camera to a bag

The Sun-Sniper Strap-Surfer piggybacks on the strap of your favorite bag.

Lori Grunin

Lori Grunin

Senior Editor / Advice

I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.

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2 min read

If retrieving your camera from a bag is too much work while you're strolling around shooting, Sun-Sniper's Strap-Surfer might be just the ticket.

Sun Sniper Strap Surfer

Sun-Sniper Strap-Surfer

The Good

The <b>Sun-Sniper Strap-Surfer</b> lets you use your favorite bag's existing strap.

The Bad

It's hard to find a good length for the strap -- long enough to get the camera to your eye but short enough that it doesn't hang too far down. Also, the Strap-Surfer only really works with cameras that have viewfinders, since it's hard to pull it far enough forward to use the LCD.

The Bottom Line

If you want to attach your camera to the outside of an existing bag, the Sun-Sniper Strap-Surfer is a fine option.

It's a short strap with a tripod mount that connects to your camera on one end and your bag strap on the other, via an ingenious two-part magnet that interleaves to provide a smoothly sliding attachment. The strap itself is sturdy webbing reinforced with stitched-in steel wire down the center.

This isn't a strap for everyone: it's a nice idea, but can be awkward to use as a full-time strap. I leave it attached to my Shootsac (a lens-only bag) for days when I'm just going out to shoot and won't need to stow the camera at all.

The Strap-Surfer attaches to any bag's strap via an ingenious interleaved magnet.

In order to most effectively use the Strap-Surfer, you need a bag strap without any padding on it; for instance, the neck pad typical on a messenger bag's strap will interfere with the Strap-Surfer's ability to slide up unimpeded if you've got the bag against your lower back. Backpack straps are generally too thick.

Sun-Sniper's mount is simple but effective, with a built-in thumbscrew.

It's also tricky to set the strap length appropriately. Too long and it dangles farther than I'm comfortable with; too short and there isn't enough give to bring a camera up to my eye without dragging the weight of the bag up with it or to stash the camera inside the bag. On the other hand, the weight of the bag adds a stabilizing counterbalance to reduce camera shake.

The biggest problem with the Strap-Surfer is finding the right tradeoff in strap length: long enough to pull the camera to your face but short enough that it doesn't dangle halfway down your leg when not in use.

For people who carry around a standalone lens bag, the Strap-Surfer might be a nice option if you'd prefer not to load your neck up with straps.

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