Review: Cotton Carrier StrapShot Holster

There are products in the photo world that I’m happily proven wrong about, but unfortunately for the Cotton Carrier Strapshot Holster this isn’t one of those cases. The Cotton Carrier Strapshot is a Peak Design CaptureClip rip off one of those camera strap alternatives designed to backpackers and photographers that always want to have their camera at the ready. And in many ways, it’s a great attempt at catering to the hobbyist and adventure photographer. Waaaaayyyy back in the day when I first started the Phoblographer, I decided that I’d review the original Cotton Carrier–which is a big, bulky system that you wear as a harness across your chest and attempt to lock a camera into. But unfortunately, its clumsy size, weight and just how unpractical it became vs many other alternatives on the market let it die out.

For the most part, the Cotton Carrier Strapshot honestly should too.

Tech Specs

Specs taken from the Cotton Carrier Strapshop product page

CCS StrapShot EV-1 includes;:

– EV-1 patented Velcro-Wrap holster

– Anodized aluminum camera hub and rubber washer

– Mounting strap

– Safety tether

– Hand strap

– Camera-hub mounting bolt

– Allen key

– Tether split-ring

– 3 year warranty against manufacturing defects

Gear Used

We tested the Cotton Carrier Strapshot Holster with the Canon Rebel T7i DSLR and the Nikon N80 SLR along with a number of lenses.

Ergonomics

Where do I even begin? Honestly, it’s more complicated than you’d think to explain the Cotton Carrier Strapshot Holster. But let’s start with the holster itself that you see on the right. This Holster attaches to a camera backpack strap or sling strap system. The catch for the holster itself faces up. And with that, you have a leash on either end. One attaches to the top strap of your backpack and the attaches onto the camera.

This is the actual business part of the holster. You can call it the female end–which receives the mounting system attached to the camera.

Here’s the male end of the holster system. This attaches to the camera and has a rubber bit which helps to both protect your camera and give the mounting system a bit extra grip. Then there is still another hole that lets you connect this to a tripod. This part of it is designed pretty well.

Using one of the straps, you attach the holster system to the camera’s strap lug to make it easier to maneuver and work with.

Build Quality

To effectively use the Cotton Carrier Strapshot Holster you slide the male end into the female end and turn to the left or right. When you do this, the camera won’t slide out. However, it’s still really loose and moves around with ease instead of locking in. This is perhaps one of the biggest faults of the system as it only really caters to smaller lenses. If you attach a lens with a tripod collar you can’t even end up turning the lens. Additionally it lends itself to a whole host of other problems.

Ease of Use

During my use period, I tested the Cotton Carrier Strapshot Holster in both Brooklyn, NY and Yellowstone National Park. Since I was using two different backpacks, I figured that Yellowstone would be the perfect place to use it with the Canon Rebel T7i. This totally would have been the case if the plate simply locked into place. But unfortunately, it’s way too simple for the plate to detach and sometimes come out of the strap. For example, sometimes I would bend down to adjust a tripod and the camera would slip out of the strapshot holster. This obviously wouldn’t have happened if it had a locking button system like the CaptureClip or it just locked when it turned.

I’m going to add to this that I’m not trying to be biased towards Peak Design. Personally, I’m not a big fan of their bags despite a whole lot of other people being so. Nor am I really smitten with their straps and I believe the LensSwap system to be a total disaster of an idea. The only product of theirs that I still actively use at the moment is the CaptureClip. So to that end, every time that I used the Cotton Carrier Strapshot Holster I kept yearning for my CaptureClip to instead be with me. At every moment, I’d know that my camera was safe.

Luckily what kept my camera and lens from falling down is the attachment strap system that hooks into the camera’s strap lugs. Though the camera kept falling out over and over again until I said “Fuck it.” gave up and undid the entire system. Then the Rebel went into the bag and I continued to work with other cameras.

When I arrived back in Brooklyn, I decided that I’d give it another try with a Nikon F80 and a Nikon 50mm f1.8 G lens. As I kept using it, I couldn’t stop thinking about just how useless the Cotton Carrier Strapshot Holster honestly is on photo walks, hikes, or even when loading your camera and camera bag up into a vehicle. In fact that’s when the Cotton Carrier Strapshot Holster tends to allow the camera to move all about. To give further justification to that statement, here’s what I could have done instead:

  • Used a regular wriststrap
  • Used the camera strap and wrapped it around my wrist
  • Sling the strap crossbodied around my torso
  • Sling the strap across my shoulder
  • Used a Capture Clip
  • Used a Sling strap like a BlackRapid
  • Put the camera in my camera bag
  • Used a messenger bag and taken the camera out only when I needed it
  • Used the new and really good Cub and Co strap designed for bikers

So to me, the Cotton Carrier Strapshot Holster doesn’t really make any sense. If the whole clip system locked then I’d honestly say that Peak Design had better watch out. But that isn’t the case. Instead, I just find it pretty annoying.

Conclusions

Don’t get it.