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Custom/DIY neckpad for straps?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Linh, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    Given the light weight nature of the m43 systems today, I am actually pretty happy with the neck straps Panasonic provides. Except for one thing, it's too short by about 5-10" depending.

    I carry my camera across the chest, so I need something a little longer. I have a bunch of 3/8" webbing I used to make a custom length that would fit to my needs, and it works great for the most part. What needs improvement is the some sort of padding or something so it's not so narrow/cutting into my shoulder/neck.

    Anyone have any suggestions? Ideally, something that I could do but still keep it neat? No, R-straps or similar things are not suggestions in this case =)
  2. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    Sure. Neoprene, same stuff scuba wetsuits are made from. Neoprene Closed Cell Foam and Specialty Foam : Water Resistant Fabric : Seattlefabrics.com I'd use 5mm.

    Cut the strap and splice in a piece of neoprene about 1 1/2" x 8-12" It's both a really soft pad and a shock absorber.

    The sewing needs to spread the loads well so the straps don't pull out of the neoprene. I have a binocular strap done this way with 1/2" nylon web and I used 1" square leather patches on both sides of the neoprene, sewing through the patches and the strap at each end plus sewing around the edges of the leather. You can use a heavy-duty sewing machine or something like this: Tandy Leather Factory - Sewing Awl Kit

    The neoprene is really stretchy, but surprisingly strong. If you want a little less stretch, sew a piece of 1" elastic (from a fabric store) to the back side before you attach the straps. You could double up the neoprene, too, but that might be a PITA to sew.
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