I was recently in the market for a new strap for my bass guitar – a walnut 5 string by Carvin. It’s a bit on the heavy side so I knew I wanted a wide (4″) strap. There are a lot of choices out there with a
quality go for nice leather straps (including the guitarist in my band). So the hunt began for a quality, 4″ strap that didn’t require a bank loan.
Enter Italia Leather Straps.
I went through their website and then Googled them. There’s lots of high praise and positive comments about them and being a great value. And they often have a buy one-get one sale.
From their website:
“An Italia Strap is the last guitar strap or bass guitar strap you will ever need to buy… Every Italia Strap is backed by our exclusive Lifetime Replacement Guarantee formaterials and workmanship. If your guitar or bass strap ever fails to perform to your expectations, we will replace it free of charge.
Available exclusively online from this site, each Italia guitar strap or bass guitar strap is handmade-to-order in the USA by skilled craftsmen in our Central California facility. We use only the finest, softest leather and suede imported from Italy. With more than 30 different color combination and 4 different strap sizes, our extensive product catalog allows you to match your strap to the look and size of your guitar or bass.”
After spending some time looking at the different colors and combinations I decided on a chocolate brown with a dark brown suede underside for $75. It looks fantastic with my walnut Carvin. Now at first that may seem expensive but then I looked at the pile of unused, mediocre straps I owned and those added up to more than $75.
After a reasonable wait time my strap arrived. Ah the smell of quality leather! The strap is very – very – well made. Solid yet flexible. This was my first leather guitar strap so I was curious if it would be comfortable. I use Hennessey strap locks and with a little effort I had them attached without any modifications to the strap or strap locks. I put my 10lb Carvin Icon bass on and immediately realized why people spend money on a quality leather strap. The bass didn’t feel heavy any longer and the strap was / is completely comfortable. It’s an ‘interesting’ comfortable. As you put the strap and instrument on, you notice the heft of the strap but once it’s on it seems to disappear into your shoulder. And the wide 4″ strap does an outstanding job of distributing the weight. I had some initial worries about the leather chafing a bit but my lower neck a bit, but this never occurred. The straps are offered with either a suede or smooth leather back. I purchased the suede back. The strap stays put but doesn’t ‘stick’ to your shoulder. I tried my band’s guitarist leather backed strap (not Italia brand) and it felt fine but too slick for my taste. I had some worries about the suede being too ‘sticky’ but it feels like a perfect balance for me. This is a personal choice and you really can’t go wrong either way.
If you’re looking for an amazing strap at a great price, check these out. Italia straps come in 2.5″ and 4″ widths, two lengths, and a variety of colors. Highly recommended.
* 08/07/12 – I’ve noticed that this strap is much less likely to get twisted around like all other straps I’ve used. An unexpected bonus!
* * 08/08/12 – I also use the strap on my Telecaster guitar and the guitar feels weightless. If I were a guitarist I’d probably go with the 2.5″ strap but for my bass the 4″ is an absolute pleasure to play with.
*** 08/31/12 – After lots of practicing and several gigs with the strap I can definitely say I will not use another strap! I have even purchased one for my guitar at the school I teach at. I tried going back to one of my old straps which I thought was nice but immediately took it off and ordered another Italia strap. These are amazing deals at the prices they sell them at.
***01/29/13 I bought another strap so I could have one set at a different length. Even as a brand new strap it is completely comfortable. The leather had a new, slightly stiffer feel compared to my broken in one but not to worry – felt perfect on my shoulder. The price is now $79 but they have a buy-one-get-one-free sale AND any strap after that is 50% off. Even with the modest $4 increase they are worth every penny!
Here’s a shot with my Telecaster and an Italia strap of chocolate brown and different back – looks great!