It may seem pretty unnecessary to consider which guitar strap you’ll be using before you play a gig or start learning guitar; however, the right one can make a massive difference to your playing.
Some guitars, especially Les Paul and Gretsch models, are pretty heavy. Therefore a strong, durable support will make holding comfortable.
In this article, we look at the best products for both electric and acoustic guitar and give you a considered opinion on which are worth considering.
At a Glance – Our Choice of the Best Guitar Straps on the Market
- D’Addario Auto Lock Strap
- Mono M80 Betty
- Ernie Ball Polypro
- Mr. Power
- Vintage Tweed Strap
- Planet Waves Planet Lock
- Martin Premium Rolled Leather
- Gibson Gear Woven Strap
- Levy’s Leathers MSS2-4
Note: Clicking the above links will take you to further information on Amazon.
Table of Contents
- Product Round-Up & Reviews – Best Guitar Strap
- Types of Guitar Strap
- Buyer’s Guide – Key Considerations
- So, Which Should I Choose?
Product Round-Up & Reviews – Best Guitar Strap
D’Addario Auto Lock Strap
With a simple integrative strap locking system, this Auto Lock strap from D’Addario is superb value for the money. The latch is spring-loaded, so it clamps down automatically on your guitar’s strap button and will not release accidentally.
Made with a padded nylon material and adjustable from 30” – 55″, it works with most strap buttons on the market so it’s likely to work with yours.
It’s designed in collaboration with American creator of innovative musical instruments, Ned Steinberger.
- Simple, integrated strap lock design
- Padded nylon material
Mono M80 Betty
Willing to spend a little more and get some real comfort? Then the Mono Betty is worthy of consideration.
Made from memory foam (you know, the stuff that fancy mattresses are made from) which is designed to increase circulation and to reduce fatigue (particularly good if you play long sets).
Its neoprene underbelly is also lightweight and reduces friction, so your shoulder won’t be shredded up after use.
There’s a handy hideaway pickpocket too.
- Memory foam core provides extra cushion for your shoulder
- Reduces friction thanks to its neoprene underbelly (increases airflow against skin)
- Ideal for long sets
Ernie Ball Polypro
If you’re looking to spend the absolute minimum on a strap but still get something decent, then the Ernie Ball Polypro is the one for you.
Available in 11 colors, and made from tough 2″ wide polypropylene webbing (that will not stretch), it has real leather ends that hold up to 3 guitar picks (not included).
For the money, nothing else really comes close.
- Superb value for money
- Real leather ends that holds up to 3 guitar picks
- Available in 11 different colors
- Tough 2″ wide polypropylene webbing (won’t stretch)
- Adjustable 36″ to 68″
If you’re looking for something cheap and cheerful, this number from Mr. Power is another contender.
Made from nylon and can reduce down to 36.6” or extend out to 65”, which is more than enough to fit an adult. It’s width, however, is smaller than usual, measuring just 1.8”, so possibly more suitable for children.
If you play with a pick, you’ll like the three pick holder slots that run along the strap’s body. In terms of aesthetic, it’s pretty neutral being black and grey, so it will blend in well with any clothing you’ll be wearing.
- Budget option
- Features three handy pick holders
Fender Vintage Tweed Strap
Made in Canada, this Fender Vintage Tweed Strap has a classy 50’s tweed which emits a vintage-style vibe.
2” wide, and made from polyester webbing with spandex for elasticity, its a lightweight elastic guitar strap that takes the weight off your shoulders.
The embossed gold Fender “F” logo on the real leather ends is pretty cool too.
- 2” wide
- Fully adjustable length (44″ to 52.5″)
- Lightweight elastic strap
- Leather ends with cool embossed gold Fender “F” logo
If you want an auto-lock strap made from leather, this is the one. It’s made from soft black leather and has a suede lining for extra comfort.
The ‘Planet Lock’ system works by securing into your guitar’s existing end buttons until you release the device’s side pin. The locking device itself is also non-scratch so that it won’t damage your instrument.
The length can also be adjusted from 35″ to 59.5″ to suit most adult players, and the overall neutral aesthetic here means it’ll satisfy pretty much any band with ease too.
- Planet Lock system
- Soft leather provides a good amount of support for your guitar
Martin Premium Rolled Leather
The Martin Premium Rolled Leather strap is made from heavy-duty leather for an old-time vintage aesthetic. The leather itself is 3″ inches wide and a rustic brown color. So, it’s a comfortable fit for most body builds and will look cool partnered with an acoustic or classic rock guitar like a Les Paul (an original or copy).
As you’d expect from Martin, the quality is top drawer. Its inside layer is grained and very supple for comfort and grip, whereas it’s exterior is smooth but robust, making it strong enough to hold heavier instruments.
It’s an excellent option for acoustic players of course, but equally great to strap onto to an electric guitar.
- Vintage looks that will complement an acoustic guitar or old electric nicely
- Quality Leather will be comfortable and last a lifetime
Gibson Gear Woven Strap
Looking for a woven finish strap to accompany a Les Paul (or any guitar of your choosing)? Then the Gibson Gear Woven Strap is an awesome choice.
It has retro design featuring six diagonal strings that is straight out the ’70s. It’s super light too, so can be slung over your shoulder with ease (and much easier than a leather strap). If you have a heavy guitar (like a Les Paul) you won’t want a heavy strap – this is a great option to remove unnecessary weight.
- Retro diagonal design
Levy’s Leathers MSS2-4 (For Bass Guitar)
For all you bassists out there, Levy’s MSS2 is something you should consider if you need durability and comfort while you play.
The width of the MSS2 is 4 ½”, with a length that’s adjustable between 36” to 52” to suit most builds of bassists. Made from comfortable foam padding and quality leather covering, the padding helps support the extra weight of your bass.
It also has a pretty good variety of length settings to choose from, making it versatile enough for both short and tall players.
- 4 1/2″ leather
- Adjustable from 36 to 52″
- Comfortable padded inner layer
Types of Guitar Strap
Acoustic vs. Electric
Certain models generally work better with specific instruments. For example, if you’re playing an electric guitar, you’ll usually need to attach it via two strap buttons on the body. Just be careful, some electric guitars come with built-in clips, so you may need to purchase a model that contains the correct counterparts.
If you’re an acoustic guitarist, your instrument will only have one attachment button at the far end of the body. So, you’ll need to secure the other side of the strap to the headstock with a string. If you’re a bassist, you’re going to need something longer, sturdier, and probably more expensive, that can support the instrument’s large size and extra weight.
Buyer’s Guide – Key Considerations
The average guitar strap features an adjustable length of 40”-60”, which is a decent enough range to suit most builds of people. However, if you’re a bassist, or like your guitar hanging low like Krist Novoselic from Nirvana, go for something that can reach a length of 70″ or more.
The width of an average guitar strap usually falls between 2″ to 4″. With 2” being very thin and 4” being on the wide side. Thicker ones are generally more supportive and can hold larger instruments, but saying that, if you’re a smaller build thinner ones can be more comfortable and not dig into your neck as much.
Most straps come with cut out leather hoops that you can attach to both ends of the instrument – the problem is that the guitar isn’t completely secure, and tends to slip off while you’re playing. This is not ideal, but luckily there is another option – Straplocks! These metal locking devices attach to your instrument and are designed not to slip off – bear in mind that these are usually a bit pricier than standard products, and you’ll have to get the correct mounts added to your guitar to use one.
The material the strap has been fashioned from is by far the most important aspect you should consider before you make a purchase. The most common materials used are nylon, cotton, leather, neoprene, and memory foam. Nylon or cotton models are used on budget items, while leather, neoprene, and memory foam are expensive but stronger and more comfortable.
If you’re going to be playing a heavy, solid-bodied instrument like a Gibson or a P Bass, you’ll need something that can support it properly. Your best option would, therefore, be spending a bit more cash on a sturdy leather or neoprene one, with the correct length. If you’re playing a lightweight guitar, you can probably get away with using a thinner variety, made from nylon or cotton.
So, Which Should I Choose?
Our top pick is this Auto Lock Strap from D’Addario. Spring-loaded latch that makes attached and detaching quick and easy, and made from quality padded nylon. Great value for money.
Our top premium pick is the Mono Betty. With a memory foam core (the stuff that fancy mattresses are made from) and a neoprene underbelly, its incredibly comfortable. Your shoulder will thank you for it.
The best budget guitar strap by a LONG SHOT is the Ernie Ball Polypro. Available in 11 different colors, tough 2″ wide polypropylene webbing, and real leather ends that hold up to 3 guitar picks.
Whichever you go for, best of luck and thanks for reading.