Your body is a temple, they say? If that’s the case, you need to see my top 5 of the best guitar straps for back pain and heavy guitars
Imagine being halfway through a gig and being struck by a sudden bout of back pain. It’s highly distracting, sucks all the fun out of playing, and does not help with your playing or concentration.
Of all guitar accessories, the importance of good quality and a comfortable strap is most often overlooked. Whether you’re an acoustic, bass, or electric player, you can benefit from a solid strap.
Although the strap won’t do anything about the weight of your instrument, it can distribute that weight in a comfortable way. This is achieved by adding padded elements and other clever innovations that help achieve this comfort. Below are some quick links to get you started.
|Kliq AirCell Strap||Gibson Switchblade||Dunlop Strap||Gruv Gear Strap Double||Neotech Strap Harness|
|My Top Choice||Most Comfortable||Best Budget Strap||Double Guitar Strap||Most Ergonomic|
First, I’ll review some conventional or traditional guitar straps. After which, I’ll look at some more innovative products such as the weighted and dual straps. I also talk about what to look for in a good guitar strap. As well as the different types. You can use the short navigation below which will take you to where you need to be
- My Top 5 Best Guitar Straps That Are Comfortable
- Elements Of The Best Guitar Straps
- Ergonomic Guitar Straps
- Double Shoulder Guitar Straps
- Electric Guitar Straps
- Acoustic Guitar Straps
- Classical Guitar Straps
- Bass Guitar Straps
Below are my top 5 ergonomic straps for electric, acoustic, and bass guitar. I’ve tried these all and this is my honest review and how they do for those suffering from problems whilst playing guitar. If you’d like to read more about ergonomic guitar postures, check this article here
You absolutely cannot go wrong with black—it never seems too formal or too simple. Worn with enough confidence it even adds a certain edge to your vibe. Combine that with innovative technology, and you get the KLIQ AirCell.
Leather just isn’t for everyone, and KLIQ Music Gear makes the most of this. While the ends are still made of leather to prevent any tears and mishaps, the strap itself is made of 3″ wide neoprene, ensuring even weight distribution over your shoulder and back.
The underside of the strap features unique AirCell technology which offers unprecedented support while preventing sweat. Don’t be fooled by its bumpy look.
The padding is lush and unobtrusive, so you won’t notice the little knobs themselves, but you most definitely will notice the effect they have.
Not only will your guitar feel like it’s floating, but there’s also even more to this product that makes it one of the best guitar straps out there. I like the price point of this strap and it is completely affordable for guitar players on any kind of budget.
- AirCell technology reduces pressure, absorbs shock, and provides lasting comfort.
- Lightweight neoprene & black lycra.
- Elastic without being bouncy.
- Slip-resistant and wicks away sweat and allows your shoulder to breathe.
- 3″ woven strap.
- Widely adjustable range from 46 to 56 inches.
The Gibson switchblade is by far the most comfortable guitar strap I’ve ever tried. The only reason it fails to make my number one spot is due to its high price tag. But, in all honesty, you get what you pay for with this strap.
Gibson is known for making some pretty heavy guitars. Les Paul is a great example of this. Also, their SG models have been known to have neck dives. With this switchblade strap, all of these problems are negated.
Some guitarists say that this strap is a little overkill for lighter types of guitars. However, I believe that if you’re a sufferer of any back problems from guitar, this strap will be the best choice for you.
It costs considerably more, but if you’re interested in your health and ergonomics, then I’d highly suggest getting this strap.
Furthermore, it is one of the best straps for bass guitars out there. Especially because bass guitars are known to be so heavy. However, this strap will work on pretty much all electric, acoustic, and bass guitars.
- High-quality strap made in the United States
- Comes with padded memory foam for extra comfort
- The strap is around 33 x 1.1 x 2 inches wide
- Length= 47″ – 60″
As the name states, this is a no-frills accessory of only the best quality. Some might find leather straps a bit old school, but ask yourself this: Why do we still appreciate film photography or scratchy old records featuring Keith Richards and Wilco who had no autotune?
Suitable for acoustic, electric, and bass guitars, this strap is for those who want to add a bit of personality to their playing without compromising on comfort.
The leather will burnish and develop a unique collection of scratches and other imperfections over time, making it 100% yours. And, the best part—leather becomes softer and softer with use.
- Made of genuine, full-grain leather for utmost durability.
- Industrial grade thread for reliable strength.
- Handmade to ensure the finest quality.
- For comfort, premium padding is a feature between layers.
- 3″ width for weight distribution.
- An adjustable length that ranges from 45″ to 54″
Dunlop is a reliable name when it comes to manufacturing and they make fantastic guitar straps.
While they have a multitude of other straps with amazing designs, we chose this little fella because of the patented comfort edge webbing and remarkable tensile strength.
The webbing is designed to keep the strap from digging into your flesh, even when carrying heavier instruments.
Since the strap is unusually adjustable, it’s ideal for tall players or bassists who like their instruments low. At first, it may take some effort to fit the ends onto your guitar, but they provide a secure fit and will become more flexible after some time.
This strap offers a few different color options in bold, original jacquard woven and poly-woven designs. While it’s quite sturdy, it’s also surprisingly lightweight.
In conclusion, the D3814GY features true comfort and practicality at a reasonable price, so you won’t be out of pocket after purchasing a single accessory.
- Comfortable nylon webbing.
- Comfort edge webbing ensures comfort and prevents neck irritation.
- Easy adjustment of custom buckles.
- 2″ wide strap.
- Adjustable from 38″ – 65″
5) Jacquard Weave-Hootenanny
Okay, simplicity may not be your thing. If that’s the case, this guitar strap from BestSounds is the perfect solution. This accessory will truly personalize your instrument and let you live out your personality.
The Hootenanny features a unique and striking design, available in several colors, so whether you’re into floral patterns, braided patterns, skeletons, the sun, or animal print, there’s a strap for you.
The strap is only two inches wide, so may not be the best choice for those with exceptionally heavy instruments.
However, it offers genuine comfort through a double layer and exceptionally soft materials.
The back of this strap is non-slip and woven from a myriad of fine threads which are interlocked along the way.
Its wide range of adjustability makes it suitable for tall guitar players, shorter individuals, or younger players.
- Premium quality materials that are soft to the touch.
- The materials are extremely sturdy, and the strap is built to last.
- The ends are stylishly tapered and reinforced.
- Multiple colors and patterns are available.
- 2″ wide.
- Can extend from 35″ to 59.5″.
**Bonus Strap Review**
6) LeatherGraft Leather Guitar Strap
Another leather strap, but this one with a vintage twist. The buckle creates an unusual look and makes you feel like walking straight into the 1930s—or maybe a Western movie. It’s the ideal accent for guitars with wooden bodies or warm color schemes.
LeatherGraft has been making handcrafted leather products in Liverpool, England since 1979.
If a company has been around for such a long time, you can be sure they manufacture quality products.
This strap is made from their new premium distressed leather with a soft suede back for extra comfort.
Where the Jacquard Weave Hootenanny is more suitable for lighter instruments, this guitar strap was designed to carry the beasts.
It’s able to carry instruments of up to 25kg and the wide shoulder area is designed to lessen pressure on your neck, chest, shoulders, and back.
- Durable genuine leather.
- Ultra-Soft material.
- Non-Slip backing that ensures maximum control and comfort.
- Suitable for all types of guitars.
- 3.15″ wide.
- Adjustable from approximately 40″ – 52″.
Elements Of The Best Guitar Straps
Now that I’ve rounded up the good guitar strap options for those with bad backs, you should have a much better picture of solving your ailment.
However, in order to make the best purchasing decision, one needs to think about a few key factors. Besides the obvious comfort and ergonomic factors, there are some more considerations to keep in mind.
The points below will guide you in choosing the most comfortable guitar strap for your needs.
- Guitar Style (Acoustic Electric Classical)
- Strap Material
If you don’t already know, ergonomics refers to the practice of good health when working or exercising. For example, you get ergonomic stools and keyboards.
The same goes for guitar and their straps. Our bodies can take a hit from playing the guitar. And, believe it or not, we need to take care of our bodies otherwise we can do long-term damage.
That is why ergonomics is an important factor to consider, especially when it comes to those guitarists who suffer from back pain and other ailments.
Double Shoulder Guitar Straps
With the dual guitar straps, we really start getting into specialist products specially designed for the purposes of what this whole article has been about.
To refresh, these two things are comfort and ergonomics so that we can combat any physical pain whilst playing our beloved instrument.
You’ll notice that these double guitar straps are quite different from the conventional strap. And, at first glance, one might be very wary to try these out.
However, They’re actually pretty epic and once you start wearing one, you’ll wonder why this hasn’t caught on. Actually, that is most likely because it looks like the least rock n’ roll piece of gear ever made.
But, the important factor here is comfort. And with these double guitar straps, you really do get the best weight distribution and a completely different playing experience that is well worth the try.
This is the best double strap on the market. In my opinion, it not only feels the best in terms of comfort. But, the design looks the best in terms of style. And, the weight distribution is fantastic.
In all honesty, this is possibly the best strap for back pain. What I like about this double guitar strap over others is that from the front, it looks like you’re playing with a regular conventional guitar strap.
Due to the fact that the dual strap is concealed on your back. This is not the case with the other two below which make it pretty obvious that you’re wearing a double strap. Furthermore, this is perfect for bass as well as electric guitar.
b) Neotech Harness Support Strap For Guitar
Now, this strap looks more like you’re about to go bungy jumping than it does like you’re about to play guitar.
Having said that, it is a pretty innovative and cool guitar strap that covers both your shoulders and makes a harness guitar strap. Not only do the two straps cover your shoulders, but, there’s a torso strap that keeps everything together.
This is a really epic strap. But, the biggest downside to this strap is that it will be very obvious that you’re wearing this vest strap contraption.
You might get a few odd looks but hey, comfort over style right!?
c) Weighted Guitar Strap
In around 2010, a company released a weighted guitar strap called the “heads up”. This strap literally came with weights as well as a special pouch in which to place the weights.
The reason this strap was designed was first and foremost to prevent neck dives. This as mentioned previously, is a common issue for instruments like the Gibson SG among many others.
However, over time, guitarists found that they could use these weighted guitar straps to create a sort of “bespoke” strap set-up that suited the specific instrument in which they were playing.
Unfortunately, this product (as far as I know) has been discontinued. Most likely because the dual harness strap takes care of this issue now.
Although there’s nothing stopping one from fashioning a weighted strap with a cheap version, some weights, and some materials.
Style Of Guitar
A very important consideration to take into account when choosing a guitar strap is determining what instrument you’ll be using the strap for.
For example, A classical guitar will require a different strap than an electric guitar. Furthermore, you can get straps that can work on multiple kinds of guitars.
In fact, most straps on the market today are compatible with a number of different kinds of guitars. However, there are still specialist straps. Scroll down a little more to see the different types of guitars and their respective guitar straps.
You might be wondering, what does the width of the strap have to do with comfort and ergonomics? Well, the truth is that it has everything to do with these two things.
You see, the wider the guitar strap the more comfortable it will be. Not only will it be more comfortable, but, it will also help with a bad back or neck pain.
This is because the wider design helps distribute the weight of the instrument better. A cool benefit of this is that a wide strap produces much less slipping.
Adjustable Guitar Straps
Besides comfort, a guitar strap needs to be adjustable in length. Some straps are more adjustable than others. For example, a leather strap might have 3 lengths available.
Whereas a nylon strap can be adjusted across a much broader spectrum. It is also important to consider that different types of guitars will require a different length to be set on your strap.
For example, if you interchange straps between your electric and acoustic, you’ll find that you’ll need to make the strap length to accommodate the bigger body of the acoustic. The same goes for the other way around.
Therefore, you can see the importance of adjustability when looking at buying good guitar straps
Most guitar straps don’t come with strap locks however, many guitar players don’t realize the importance of this accessory. Until such time as they drop their beloved instrument.
It should be noted that most guitar straps (besides some acoustic straps) come with strap locks. These systems are an external accessory that I’d highly recommend for anyone with a guitar that they don’t want to be dropped.
Material Of Strap
The material from which the strap is made will impact both the comfort as well as the lifespan of the strap itself. You see, sturdy materials such as leather or suede will tend to last a lot longer than synthetic materials such as cotton or nylon.
Also, think about the impact the material will have on comfort. Would you rather have a nice plushy and comfortable guitar strap made from suede or a brash and thin strap made from a synthetic material
When it comes to electric guitars, it is important to consider that they generally weigh more than acoustic guitars. For this reason, some different factors will come into play that you’ll want to look out for.
For my electric guitars, I always like to deploy the strap with the greatest width from my collection of guitar belts.
This is because, as mentioned earlier, will help distribute the weight of the guitar more evenly. And you’ll suffer from less back pain and neck cramps as a result.
For beginner guitar players, understanding different kinds of guitar straps can be confusing. This is most likely due to the fact that the acoustic guitar has various and differently designed straps that achieve the same purpose.
For example, you get straps that attach to the top of the acoustics headstock which would just not be suitable if done on an electric guitar.
Most guitarists tend to use your conventional guitar strap on their acoustics. This would essentially be the same one used on electrics. That is provided your acoustic has pegs that would accommodate this type of strap.
Some guitar players I know even tend to use the newer clip-on straps, something like the D’addario clip-on.
Lastly, we have classic guitar straps. These are generally completely different from the electric, acoustic, and bass straps. This is because the angle/position at which the classical is held differs from that of modern guitar styles and instruments.
These classical guitar straps will thus help angle the guitar to the suitable classical playing position. Sometimes, these types of straps will even resemble that of saxophone straps.
Also, it’s important to remember that most classical players will be sitting down. but will still utilize a strap to keep the instrument in place.
Finally, we have the bass guitar strap. In my experience, bass players tend to get the most back, neck, and shoulder problems out of most string players I know.
This is most likely due to the fact that most bass guitars are considerably heavier than traditional electric or acoustic guitars. As a result, this type of instrument will put a lot more stress on the player.
For that reason, you’ll often find bass players making use of the widest straps available with the most padding involved. A lot of bassists use padded guitar straps, even the ones who don’t suffer from any guitar-related injuries or ailments.
Choosing a well-made guitar strap is imperative if you don’t want to develop uncomfortable knots in your shoulder or sit with back pain after a gig. However, you don’t want to completely butcher your style for the sake of comfort.
Luckily there are multiple guitar straps out there that are the perfect compromise between style and comfort. For more reviews like this, check out guitar pick zone.
Hey, fellow guitar mate! I’m Justin, I have been a professional guitarist since 2012. I have traveled the world playing on different stages alongside some of the best indie bands, at some of the biggest music festivals in the world. As a result, I’ve played lots of different guitar gear. Instead of keeping that knowledge to myself, I have set up this site to share my honest reviews of various guitar gear. But most notably, my love for guitar picks.