Anyone that follows any of my social media accounts will often see behind-the-scenes photos of my gear featuring a variety of Peak Design accessories attached to my cameras. I was first introduced to their products when the lightweight Leash camera strap was released. I’m a big fan of saving weight so I often have one of those in my bag. But I don’t always need a camera strap.
Sometimes I’m simply taking the camera out of my bag and putting it straight onto a tripod, or grabbing one quick shot before putting it back in the bag. For those occasions, I find the Peak Design Clutch hand strap to be an excellent solution. It gives me something to hold onto while I pull the camera from the bag, and the quick release system allows me to quickly switch it for a camera shoulder strap when I need one.
In this Peak Design Clutch review, we will take a look at how well the strap is built, how it fits to DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, and discuss the benefits of a hand strap compared to a regular camera strap.
Peak Design Clutch V3
Over the years there have been several minor iterations of the Peak Design Clutch strap, and now we’re up to the V3 version. Functionally there isn’t anything different from the V2 to the V3, but there are some minor cosmetic changes that you can see in the photo below. These have mainly been carried out to match the aesthetics of the updated Leash and Slide camera straps.
I’ve had a Clutch on my camera for many years now, and it’s safe to say I love these things! They’re extremely well made, and very comfortable to use. What’s also important to me is that it isn’t bulky. I can still fit my camera into any space in a bag that I’ve always used.
I also trust the strength of the attachment points. In fact I will often walk around carrying my camera by the Clutch strap instead of holding the camera body. The Hypalon construction is durable and the Anchor attachment on the base is rated to hold 200lbs.
Included Arca Tripod Plate
One additional change with the V3 Clutch is the inclusion of the newer low-profile Arca baseplate. It’s not quite as thick as the previous version and looks less obtrusive on your camera. It also keeps the height profile down when packing it into your bag.
In the past I have also tested and liked the comfort provided by the SpiderPro Hand Strap from Spyder Holster. It’s much bulkier than the Clutch when placing it into a bag because it sticks out a long way from the side of the camera. When you consider that the Clutch is nearly half the price of the SpirderPro, I think the Peak Design offering makes more sense for most people.
Does the Clutch Work With Mirrorless Cameras?
A few people have asked me whether the Clutch will work with mirrorless cameras. The answer is yes. I recently switched from Canon DSLRs to a Sony mirrorless system and my Clutch strap was able to make the move with me. Below you will find a few photos of the Clutch on a Sony a9 II.
The reason this strap is able to work so well with mirrorless is that the padded part is not too large. Some larger hand straps such as the previously mentioned SpiderPro, are simply too large to comfortably work with smaller camera bodies.
The Clutch definitely gets my long-term seal of approval. It’s a great addition to a camera if you also have a quick-release shoulder strap that often gets removed.
For me the most common situation is removing the shoulder strap to save some weight and bulk in my pack when hiking for landscape photos. I know that 90% of the time the camera comes out of my bag and goes straight onto a tripod. No shoulder strap needed. The Clutch is perfect here because it still gives me something to hold onto while moving my camera from bag to tripod. It also has me covered for the remaining 10% when I just want to grab a quick shot without a tripod.
Ay $39.95 I wouldn’t call it cheap, but some additional cost is justified by the inclusion of a nice lightweight Arca-Swiss compatible tripod plate.
Most people will probably still want to use a shoulder strap at some point. For this the best solution is to make sure your strap has a quick-release mechanism. With this you can easily swap back and forth between the strap and the Clutch as needed. My guide to the best camera straps has several options, as well as advice on converting existing straps to quick-release straps.