Like many photographers, I have a drawer full of camera straps. With very few exceptions, I hate them all. Manufacturer straps with the company logo and camera name imprinted on the strap are my least favorite—I don’t want a piece of apparel to advertise to thieves how expensive the camera I’m shooting is. I have a variety of straps that are designed for function over appearance—my favorite being from Upstraps and BlackRapid and I wear them when I’m on a commercial shoot. But what I’m lacking in my collection is the kind of strap my father had in the 1960’s and 1970’s, a well-designed, subtle-yet-beautiful leather strap that is both attractive and functional.
Handmade Cub & Company Camera Straps
Thanks to the magic of online advertising, I stumbled on straps from Cub & Company, a company founded by New York graphic designer and videographer Joel Chavez. The company’s straps are, according to Chavez’s website “made by hand, from scratch, with pristine quality full grain leather. The leather is initially hand treated and waterproofed with bees wax and natural oils, then meticulously buffed and finished to a beautiful sheen. Similarly, each piece is hand-stitched using the strongest of waxed linen threads, and reinforced with beeswax.”
Straps Handmade In The United States
I reached out to Chavez—who produces some design work and video work under the handle “Street Cub,” which explains the meaning behind the name—and we chatted about the beautiful straps his company makes.
While the cigar brown model I most wanted to look at was sold out, Chavez was able to make me a one-off for review–which is one of the advantages of making everything by hand, from scratch.
The strap arrived and it’s beautiful and functional. I’ve attached it to several of our review mirrorless cameras and even the Nikon D750 and it doesn’t pull on my shoulder or slide around. It’s a bit more of a conversation piece than I’d usually wear, and photographers ask me about it all the time. That said, it doesn’t advertise the value of the camera to which it’s attached, and it certainly looks better at a fancy event or party than any of my utilitarian camera straps.
The company has branched out, making camera bags and belt attachments designed to hold rolls of film (which are sold out as of this writing). Many items go out of stock but then come back in stock as a new production run is made. Straps run from $65 for wrist straps to $110 for the bigger straps like the Cigar Brown Shooter Strap I tested.
Cub & Co can be found online at cubandcompany.com