Certain gear is easy to fall in love with. From shiny new electric guitars, to oversized tube guitar amps or a brand new fuzz pedal; some things just press the right buttons. Other items can get overlooked, despite their importance. Items, for instance, like the best guitar straps we've rounded up in this handy buyer's guide.
Whether you play sitting down, stood up, or some other unique and acrobatic position, a quality guitar strap can mean the difference between your guitar staying in place and flying off into the crowd or hitting the cold hard ground.
Fitting a decent guitar strap can also mean the difference between comfortable, hours-long playing sessions, and crippling shoulder or back pain that leaves you less likely to pick up the guitar. If this is you, then choosing a slightly wider strap can help better distribute the weight of your guitar on your body.
So, it's fair to say that a good guitar strap is an essential bit of kit for any discerning guitarist...
With Black Friday on the horizon, it could be worth holding off on picking up a new guitar strap until the Black Friday guitar deals start emerging. We'll be reporting on the best offers right through to Black Friday itself.
What is the best guitar strap you can buy?
While it won't win any prizes for head-turning aesthetics, the Fender Broken-In Leather Strap does score highly where it counts. Namely, the materials are well chosen, the buckle-less design gives it one less thing to go wrong in the middle of your solo, and the finishes are tasteful and give an air of authority and craftsmanship to the package. This is one of the best leather guitar straps around.
Of all the guitar straps on display here, this is one you could comfortably call the 'everyman'. It won't offend anyone, yet it'll quietly get on with doing its job, year after year. Pound for pound, this is one of the best guitar straps on the market today.
Best guitar straps: buying advice
While it's not the most glamorous of purchases, a guitar strap is arguably one of the most important for any player who is going to be spending a lot of time with their guitar.
As well as giving you the freedom to operate in a number of playing positions, a the best guitar straps also provides a level of protection against dropping or damaging your instrument. Even for players who predominantly play sitting down, a guitar strap helps give the instrument balanced and keep it steady, leaving you to concentrate on playing.
Modern guitar straps tend to land in a relatively small number of categories. You have the basic, entry-level models; these are typically made from nylon or polyester, and are likely to feature plastic buckles.
These straps are great for beginners as they are inexpensive, lightweight and come in a huge range of colors and designs. The payoff, however, is that durability isn't necessarily what they're built for, so we'd hesitate to venture on stage too many times with one. Cheaper straps are also prone to slipping on your shoulder, meaning playing sometimes becomes a secondary concern behind keeping the guitar still...
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At the mid-range, you start to see models made from a wider selection of materials like neoprene and leather guitar straps. You'll also often see padding included in the shoulder strap, making it more comfortable for longer playing sessions.
Travel to the higher-end of the market and pre-worn leather, metal buckles and memory foam enter the fray, all making for a much more enjoyable playing experience. Brands like Gibson, Taylor and Levy's make some of the best of these premium guitar straps, which are designed to serve you well your entire playing career. Naturally these come at a considerably cost.
And finally, it's worth considering the style-factor. A cool guitar strap can really complement a lush guitar finish and add to your on-stage persona, so you should definitely take that into consideration when choosing the right guitar strap for you.
The best guitar straps available today
While for some a guitar strap is another way to express themselves, for others a strap is merely a tool to allow you to concentrate on playing. That's not to say there can't be a quiet elegance to a strap though. That's exactly where the Fender Broken-In Leather guitar strap comes in.
Coming in four tasteful finishes – green, brown, black and tan – this classy strap gives you the confidence that it will last the distance. Its oiled finish gives the cowhide leather a softness, while the generously adjustable length makes it ideal for guitarists of any height. Hands-down the best guitar strap available right now.
It's fair to say nobody would align KLIQ with the bigger names in the guitar world. However, with its AirCell guitar strap, it may well have carved itself a nice little niche in the accessories world.
The AirCell boasts unique technology which packs a host of air-filled cells (you can see where they got the name from) onto its underside, making it one of the best guitar straps for comfort. These distribute weight more evenly, aided by the 3” strap width, while also giving a cushion to ensure heavier guitars don't take their toll on the player's neck and shoulders.
As well as comfort, the cells also provide the dual benefit of taking moisture away from the skin or clothing, allowing your shoulder to breathe over long playing sessions.
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A sad fact of life, for many of us, is that the body starts to give up long before the mind does. So, while in our heads we could play for hours and hours every night of the week, often our neck and shoulders have other ideas. Thankfully, the good folk at Ernie Ball have a solution.
The Ernie Ball Neoprene Polylock guitar strap is designed, first and foremost, with comfort in mind. Coming in both 2” and 3” widths, this strap is the equivalent of playing with a pillow tucked under the strap. Not only that, Ernie Ball’s patented Polylock system securely attaches to your strap buttons for a safe connection without the need for modification.
As far as statement guitar straps go, Coffin Case’s velvet guitar straps are difficult to beat. Clearly modeled on the inside of a rather luxurious casket, what this strap lacks in subtlety it more than makes up for in dark, macabre vibe.
While we wouldn't want to typecast, it's easy to see how this strap would appeal to a certain type of player. It could be the colorway, it could be the name, or it could be the fact it's adjustable to a whopping 70”, making it ideal for players whose riffs are low, slow and full of foreboding.
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While it's true a guitar strap is merely a tool, an enabler, there's no harm in adding a bit of cool to the proceedings. Enter the Levy's guitar strap range. Where the other straps on this list focus heavily on function, comfort and durability, the Levy's MS17ASF range has all those things but then isn't shy of incorporating a dash of style too.
While it's not a cheap strap, as such, it is built with the highest quality suede and features a range of glorious leather and embroidered designs. These add a touch of class, meaning you'll look as good as you sound.
Chances are, if you're a guitar player, you've either seen or owned one of these babies over the years. The Fender Monogrammed guitar strap has been ubiquitous in guitar stores across the planet for decades now. Because style never goes out of fashion, of course.
Jokes aside, if you're looking at the lower end of the price scale, you can't go far wrong here. Fender doesn't generally put its name on bad gear so, even though this is a shade over ten dollars, it still comes with a certain level of quality, durability and ‘90s charm.
As one of the acoustic world's best-respected names, you can be assured that the accompanying straps offered by Taylor will be of a superior level. The Taylor Wings guitar strap does not disappoint, offering multi-layer distressed leather in a tasteful dark brown finish.
The Wings straps come in either 2.5” or 3” widths, while the embossed logo and wings motif demonstrate a quiet confidence. This one would look rather dashing around the neck of any folk or country player, if we do say so ourselves.
The eagle-eyed among you will notice something familiar about the Levy's Deluxe Amped Grill Cloth guitar strap. Particularly those of you with a penchant for amps from a certain big brand beginning with F...
The addition of classic silverface-esque cloth within the strap gives it a unique, almost industrial feel, which we're big fans of. The strap itself is well made, featuring a three-piece cut out design and a foam padded back for extra comfort. We could see this style working with other well-known amp brands too...
We're big fans of LM Products here at Guitar World. Each strap that comes out of the factory in Anderson, Indiana, is handmade, and the level of passion that goes into each one is apparent immediately. The leather is reassuringly heavy, while the brass detailing complements the simple design brilliantly.
The LM Products Odin guitar strap forms part of a wider range of Norse themed straps, with each boasting subtle design touches which ensure they are worthy of the names they bear. Indeed, it's not hard to imagine the All-father himself attaching one of these to his axe.
Yes, it’s constructed from scratch-resistant strips of gorgeous cocobolo wood, but before you dismiss it as exotic designer jewelry, you should know Revo’s novel connective design for the Cocobolo Revo wooden strap actually maximizes airflow, providing a cooler feeling strap on hot, humid days because wood doesn't absorb as much heat as leather.
It’s one of the finest and most interesting guitar straps we’ve come across, and considering wood isn’t a pliable material like leather, Revo’s line of wooden straps allow for a more snug and flexible fit that distributes your guitar’s weight evenly and comfortably without fatigue.
Made by a woodworking family in Costa Rica for over twenty years, each one of these wood straps are handmade and hand-polished, and natural variations of the wood species ensure that each Revo wooden strap is one-of-kind.
Revo straps come in three design styles (Solano, Revo, and Gordo) and each strap arrives in a custom wooden crate. Less than 100 of the Cocobolo Revo straps are made each year, but if you want to cut the price nearly in half and still get the same exquisite craftsmanship and comfort, the Mahogany Solano guitar strap ($89.00), is a worthy choice, and hey, it’s the strap Carlos Santana uses.
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This premium accessories company has partnered with the likes of Gibson and Martin over the years, yielding a range of desirable merch, and its guitar straps are similarly high quality.
Many of Thalia's accessories integrate real wood as part of the design, and this particularly stylish example boasts a AAA curly Hawaiian koa and pearl star inlay, set into a 2.5" wide Italian leather strap, adjustable up to 54" in length.