There are no shortage of camera straps out there which promise to make carrying your interchangeable-lens shooter more comfortable. The Boomr, which is currently the subject of a crowdfunding campaign, aims to do this by using built-in bungee cords to act as shock absorbers. We recently spent some time with a pre-production model to see whether the Boomr is worthy of bouncing its way onto your camera.
The Boomr camera strap is being launched on Kickstarter by StatGear, which has previously produced survival gadgets including the T3 Tactical Auto Rescue Tool, and has five successfully-funded Kickstarter campaigns under its belt. The idea behind the strap is said to be making it more comfortable to carry a big camera for longer periods of time.
The strap consists of a polypropylene shoulder strap filled with memory foam, 1-inch heavy duty bungee cords, and anodized iron carabiners and D Rings to attach it to your camera securely. Adjusting in length from 44 to 58 inches (111 to 147 cm) the strap can be worn as a neck strap, a cross-body sling, or over the shoulder.
We recently got the chance to take the Boomr strap for a spin, to see how it compares to our usual BlackRapid Curve strap, and offerings like the CustomSLR Dual Strap which we recently tested. The strap we were using on this occasion was a pre-production model, so that’s worth taking into account when considering our findings.
First impressions are that the Boomr strap is of a very high quality compared to a lot of straps on the market, and certainly the ones cameras ship with. It’s an instant upgrade in that regard. The memory foam padded shoulder strap is comfortable, and the moisture-resistant mesh on the underside helps it from becoming too sweaty even when wearing it for several hours.
Our only negative about the build of the strap is that the carabiners and D Rings seem thin compared to those on some rival straps, and we’d have liked to see a locking mechanism like those on BlackRapid carabiners. When we raised this issue with StatGear, it said the strap has been rated for 13 lb (5.9 kg), and that it will add a US$50,000 stretch goal to include heavy-duty carabiners, possibly with the threaded locking mechanism.
Comfort-wise the Boomr strap achieves its goal of making carrying a large camera more comfortable, to a certain extent. The spring of the bungee strap helped make our full-frame camera feel less hefty, though the bounce that is introduced takes some getting used to, and can be annoying, especially if you’ve got a large lens attached. With a small prime on the strap felt great, but with a larger telephoto attached the camera felt like it was moving around way too much.
In our experience the strap also works best as a neck strap, albeit a long one even at the shorter settings. As a cross-body strap it lacks the smooth sliding movement of some rivals, but this was probably unable to be implemented because of the bunched-up polypropylene over the bungee. We also found that when using the strap in this way the bounce became more prominent and frustrating, and a camera bobbing around at your side feels more exposed than one around your neck.
In conclusion, there's still room for improvement, but the Boomr looks like it could be a pretty decent addition to the range of camera straps available, and one which could appeal to DSLR users who find the weight of their camera too much. We’d say the strap works best for small to medium-sized interchangeable-lens cameras with smaller lenses – so not a full-frame DSLR with a 70-200-mm F2.8 mounted.
A super early-bird Kickstarter pledge of US$25 will currently get you a Boomr bungee camera strap with prices rising to an early-bird $29 when those have gone, and $34 if those are also snapped up. If the $25,000 funding target is met by December 23rd, and everything else also goes to plan, the straps should start shipping in February 2016.
You can check out the Kickstarter video for the Boomr camera strap below.