When it comes to bass guitars, they are much larger and heavier than your average six-string. Being able to hold your bass on stage with the proper strap will allow you to play longer without feeling uncomfortable.
One of the worst feelings is constantly adjusting or worrying about your strap while on stage when you truly should be focusing on your performance. The strange thing is, the bass strap is probably one of the least talked about piece of performance gear.
Luckily for you, we’ve made a little guide that is going to tell you exactly what you need to look out for when purchasing your next bass strap!
Top 5 Bass Straps
Looking for possibly one of the most comfortable bass guitar straps out there? Well, look no further than the Kliq Bass Strap, complete with their unique AirCell technology.
The strap offers more flexibility and cushioning than just about any other product out there. For long concerts, there's honestly nothing better!
At 3" wide, you have more than enough surface area to help disperse the weight of your bass across your shoulder. This means that you can play for longer without feeling a strain on one portion of your shoulder.
The strap is completely adjustable from 46"-56" so that you can fit just about any size bass or guitar on it. The ends of the strap come complete with high-quality, stitched leather that is both durable and secure. Enough about the typical traits though.
The most unique strap quality is the moisture wicking, in which air has been trapped in-between the neoprene bubbles to allow your shoulders a bit of room to breathe.
Bottom Line: For a modern-looking, long-lasting, and extremely comfortable bass guitar strap, there is no reason to look past the Kliq Aircell Bass Strap. It is easily one of the most high-quality and innovative straps around.
The Levy's Leathers strap is a high-quality leather bass guitar strap with comfortable foam padding and a swanky suede backing. At 3.5" wide, it has enough surface area to keep pressure off of particular areas of your shoulders and back.
It's adjustable from 36" to 52", though can also be purchased in an extra-long size for an added foot of length for bigger players. The Levy's strap is not only comfortable and durable but also incredibly stylish thanks to the minimal leather design.
A strap should totally reflect your style, so for them to make something simple and classy is a significant plus for us!
This same strap is used by major players in the industry such as Chad Kroeger from Nickelback and Blasko from Rob Zombie's band. The thick leather stays nice and tough over the years while slowly forming to your shoulder to create a more personalized fit.
Bottom Line: The Levy's Leathers Bass Strap has a nearly unbeatable combination of leather and suede to give you the utmost durability and comfort. If you're looking for class and style, it's a must buy!
Best Budget Option
Donner is widely known for making a variety of affordable music accessories. Their Donner DR-1 Bass Strap is easily one of the cheapest options for those who are on a serious budget.
It is made of a mixture of nylon and cotton, which is not the most comfortable, though it will remain strong for years to come. We love the fact that it is adjustable in such a wide range, making it perfect for players big and small.
At the ends, you'll find vinyl-like leather holes that come with a handy little pickpocket built in to help keep your picks stored when they're not in use.
While not anything revolutionary, the design on the Donner DR-1 is classy and straightforward with the flat, black color and the gold insignia on the leather end. Essentially, this strap will never be dated.
Bottom Line: The Donner DR-1 is easily one of the best budget straps on the market and just about as cheap as you can go before you start hitting low-grade territory. For a simple and utilitarian strap without all the flare and comfort, it’s an excellent choice.
If you know anything about good leather, you have probably heard of Walker and Williams. That is because their leather business goes back over 100 years!
Whoever thought that they would go from buggy whips and carriage trimmings to the incredible guitar straps that they produce today.
Their Super Wide Bass Strap is one of the best in their lineup with the 4" strap that is perfect for alleviating shoulder and back pain. You can also thank the double thick padding (around ½ an inch) for giving you the authentic feel and touch of designer-grade leather.
The style of the strap is a deep black polished top grain leather with a top welt. It's very old school, almost seeming from the era of Hank Williams or Johnny Cash. Throughout the strap, you'll notice a gorgeous double needle topstitching that adds a nice contrast to the leather.
Bottom Line: If you're a lover of leather and a sucker for the vintage look, the Walker and Williams Super Wide Bass Strap is an excellent choice. It's thick padding and luxurious, leather build will give you an utterly stylish look while keeping you comfortable.
If you’re looking to spend a little less money while still getting the comfort benefits of neoprene, the Asmuse Bass Strap is an excellent choice! It comes complete with Neoprene and SBR Memory Foam that helps keep the weight pressure off of your shoulders and back.
There are also two high-quality leather ends that help to keep your guitar secured nicely. Much of the comfort has to do with the 3.7” width that helps to distribute weight more evenly than most guitar straps. It is even adjustable from 43” to 53” so that you can find the perfect adjustment to fit your needs!
The strap is held together by a high-quality ABS buckle that makes those adjustments quick and painless too.
One of the most unique things about this strap is that it comes complete with a cut-out, built-in pick holder on the leather ends to keep your pick safe and secure while you’re not using it. Three heavy picks come with the package, great for those bass players who aren’t about the finger life.
Bottom Line: The Asmuse Wide Neoprene Bass Strap is a great mid-range strap for those who are seeking comfort at a comfortable price. The materials are decent, and you can expect that this thing will last you at least a few years of heavy playing.
Bass Straps vs. Guitar Straps
The first question you might have is,
"Is there a difference between these two?"
Well, the answer is yes and no…
Regarding functionality, guitar and bass straps are the same thing. They are both meant to hold your instrument up on your body firmly and safely so that you can play while standing up.
For the most part, you can throw a guitar strap on a bass and be okay. Most professionals, on the other hand, will tell you that you should likely get a strap that is made explicitly for the bass guitar.
One of the biggest things to consider is that basses are heavier and longer than guitars. If you have a weaker or thinner strap, it might not hold up over time. Thinner straps without comfortable material also tend to be much more fatiguing.
The major difference is that you will want to shoot for a higher-quality strap for your bass, one you may not need for a guitar.
Strap locks are essential if you want to make sure that you're bass stays on securely at all times. As we said, bass guitars are heavy instruments. The last thing you would want is for your pegs to slide out of the straps while you are playing, just to watch your bass fall to the floor.
While strap locks are a bit more expensive, they are an excellent investment for those who want to be a bit more cautious with their playing!
One of the most important things to consider when buying a bass guitar strap is to get one that is comfortable. This means that you’ll likely want to get one with more padding or material that is easy on the shoulders and durable enough to handle the weight of a bass guitar without cutting into your skin.
When looking for straps, look for specs on their thickness or padding to get an idea of how they’ll sit on your shoulders. Also, make sure that you get a strap that is wide. Remember this one thing:
We recommend getting something around 4". This depends on the width of your shoulders as well, as a wider strap might cut into your neck, so follow this "rule" with caution.
We would suggest that you find a place where you can try out different sized straps to get an idea of how they feel when in use.
There are three main types of material that we most often see when it comes to bass guitar straps:
Canvas guitar straps are best for those who are on a budget, as the material is the least the expensive. Canvas material is relatively thick (though not as thick as leather), and while comfortable, doesn't come in as many patterns or colors as nylon.
Looking to make a statement? Look no further than a sweet leather bass strap. Leather is easily the best material for straps regarding comfort and durability, though it is far more expensive.
One thing to note about leather is that it will stretch and change shape over time. If you've ever owned a pair of leather sandals, you've probably seen the footbeds form to your feet the more you wear them. Leather guitar straps are the same way.
Make a note of this, as while they come with many excellent characteristics, their malleability can make them difficult to adjust to the correct position the more and more you use them.
If you're looking for the widest variety in terms of style, we recommend getting yourself a good nylon strap. The beauty of nylon is that it retains its shape better than anything else and it's incredibly cheap.
The worst part about nylon straps is that they can be a little bit uncomfortable and dig into your skin. This is why not many people like them for bass guitars, as the sheer weight can end up irritating your skin if worn for too long.
A Word on Neoprene
Neoprene is a relatively new type of material that is being used for straps, which is the reason we didn't include it in our "three main types." Neoprene is the type of material that you often see in wetsuits for water activities.
Thanks to its stretchy and soft properties, it is one of the more comfortable types of materials out there. It is also highly resistant to water and other elements, making it one of the longest lasting types of strap materials in the industry. If you have the money and want the comfort and durability, neoprene straps are fantastic!
The Low Down
When looking for a great and comfortable bass strap, there are tons of different things to consider. From the materials to the features to the prices to the sizes, it’s not an easy task like you may have thought.
Hopefully, looking through our little guide has helped to narrow down your options so that you can choose the best bass strap for your needs.
Overall, if you’re looking for the best and most innovative strap, we would highly recommend going with the Kliq AirCell. The mix of comfort, durability, and style are unmatched!