Shoulder straps for bags

Susan Fernandez January 01 2022

If your bag strap needs replacement or you just need a fresh look, you can upgrade your straps using standard belt webbing. The materials needed are fairly inexpensive and the process is fairly easy with minimal sewing skills.

What to consider when choosing the bag strap?

The length of the strap you'll need will depend on where you carry your bag. If it's a shoulder bag, choose a fairly long strap that will be long enough to wear cross-body style--about 56 inches is a good length for women's bags and about 70 inches for men's.

If you want to use the strap as a waist belt on smaller cross-body bags or backpacks, shorter straps can work here too--35-42 inch lengths are good choices. For larger items like laptop bags or book packs, longer straps work best--54-66 inch lengths can do double duty just fine.

The material that you choose for your new strap should be tough but versatile. A standard nylon webbing will serve the purpose well. Some people might want to use a seat belt webbing instead since it's made of polyester and is more durable than nylon, but it tends to be thicker and coarser which can make it uncomfortable on some body types.

If you want something even stronger yet extremely stylish, consider using climbing rope--which isn't as comfortable as either nylon or seatbelt webbing, but looks great! Seatbelt webbing works best for this application if comfort is priority number one.

The type of buckle that you use to secure your bag strap is completely up to personal preference. Standard metal buckles are hardy and very reliable in different weather conditions. Plastic buckles are convenient to adjust but can break more easily under stress.

Thrifty shoppers may want to look into using recycled roller skate wheels instead of standard metal/plastic buckle hardware, especially if they own old roller skates that they don't mind sacrificing for the cause!

How many holes in the strap?

One hole at each end of the tag ends is all you'll need since these ends will attach to the bag itself.

How long do I cut my strap?

For a shoulder-length strap, measure from your shoulder down to where you want the bottom of the bag to rest on your hip area. Cut that amount off for a cross-body style strap, or about 12 inches shorter if eyeballing it seems like a good idea.

For waist strap applications where the bag is worn at hip level, make your strap 36-42 inches long if you're female or 50-66 inches long if you're male. If you plan to use this as a backpack extension so that should strap can be adjusted using standard hardware buckles, consider making your new straps about 4 feet in length--this gives you plenty of room for an adjustment!

TOP-10 shoulder straps

  1. The Strap Sultan: This fully adjustable bag strap is padded with foam and faux fur to be both stylish and comfortable. The materials are high quality and this item is guaranteed to last a very long time with proper care.
  2. The Shotgun Messenger: This bag strap uses recycled skateboard wheels for hardware on all ends of the strap, adding a unique look that everyone will love! One size fits all, so buy one for your boyfriend too!
  3. Strap Queen: The Strap Queen is made from industrial-strength nylon webbing to ensure durability even when used over rough terrain. On the other hand, it's also stylish and comes in 4 basic colors--black, blue, red, or yellow--so you can match any outfit without worrying about who will be staring at your bag strap.
  4. The Sling: This simple bag strap is 100% cotton webbing, so it's comfy on the shoulder but not too durable. It's best for bags that don't get used very often, but the price is just right.
  5. Gearhead: This simple bag strap features a unique "gear" design that will add style to your favorite bag! The heavy-duty metal buckle also ensures durability and strength...not bad for such a low price!
  6. The Bomber: Made of thick seatbelt webbing material, this strap is built to be both stylish and durable--it can handle rough terrain and still look awesome when it starts wearing out! Buy one today to complete your urban survival kit or zombie prep supplies checklist!
  7. The Urban Warrior: Made from recycled skateboard wheel belts, this edgy bag strap is great for roller derby or bike messenger style applications! A flashy, sturdy buckle ensures durability while the rivets keep the buckle securely in place.
  8. The Spicy Latina: This bag strap is made of 100% cotton webbing material so it's soft on your more blisters! On the downside, this strap is not very durable even though it's machine washable. Buy one for yourself or a friend today!
  9. The El Blanco: Made of 100% cotton webbing with tan leather accents, this bag strap delivers style and comfort all in one package! The unique design also adds some extra flair to any purse you decide to use with it!
  10. The Dipper: A well-shaped canvas bag strap in a classic black color that complements almost any outfit. The free shoulder pad will keep your shoulder from getting sore and the unique hardware design is both stylish and durable.

What strap to choose for a golf bag?

Although the majority of golf bags have detachable shoulder straps that are interchangeable with other similar designs, there are several options available if you need a replacement strap.

The standard cotton webbing has an adjustable buckle and is generally about 1 or 2 inches wide depending on the size of your bag. The cotton will not hold up well if it's exposed to water but dries relatively quickly so it works well for people who play golf in warm climates. A black nylon strap is very durable and can be used as a replacement for any bag, regardless of the original color.

The polyester also holds up well to drenching storms but can become extremely hot during warmer months due to its non-breathable fabric composition. Suede leather is a very strong shoulder strap option that will adapt to your bag over time as it stretches. It can be a bit heavy if carrying a large, loaded travel golf bag but looks sharp and feels great against the skin.

What kind of strap should I use for my guitar case?

Most guitars have detachable straps, so you'll want to check that first before considering replacements. If your guitar came with a cotton webbing strap, this is a good way to go since they're relatively cheap and do an adequate job of holding up larger instruments.

For cases where you need extra padding on the strap, nylon webbing is generally more comfortable than polyester options due to its ability to stretch easily around your shoulder without off circulation or digging into the skin. If you feel your strap provides too much extra weight to your luggage, consider changing out the standard metal hook with a clip for attaching to the guitar body or headstock area.

Leather straps are usually reserved for upscale instrument models that are pricier but are definitely worth considering if you're willing to spend a little more money on your case hardware.

What kind of shoulder strap do I need for my purse?

Replacing the shoulder strap on a purse is simple so long as you have some idea where it's attached inside the bag. If there isn't any hardware showing at all, check through the stitching along the top edges of the facing material to see if it looks like one piece of webbing material has been sewn across horizontally without the two sides matching up. If that's the case, then it's just a matter of pulling out one side of stitching to release the existing strap which can be replaced entirely with nearly any alternative material you like.

What strap do I need for my sports bag?

Most sports bags come standard with cotton webbing straps but if yours has seen better days it might be time to look at an upgrade. The polyester option is great for high-performance athletes who sweat constantly, as the water-resistant material can be washed off much easier than cotton without degrading stitching or your logo attachments.

Nylon offers superior support over any other strap type, which means it's best reserved for heavy-duty equipment that you know will take a beating during competitive play. If you don't like the idea of having webbing straps constantly touching your skin, leather offers all-day comfort without sacrificing support during long tournaments where lots of gear has to be carried around in one go.

How do I attach belts?

Shoulder belt attachment is effortless in most cases but if you're looking to fit multiple objects into one section of the strap then it's important to plan ahead. Try and keep each item at least three or four inches apart from its neighbor so that there isn't any overlap where the hardware meets the webbing which could cause a failure of stitches under stress.

If your belt needs to go around bulky clothing items, consider adding an extra piece of cotton webbing just before the buckle to create something of a safety zone away from your skin for added comfort and durability during playtime.

How to customize my shoulder strap?

Replacing the nylon webbing of your shoulder strap is easy and can be done without any tools depending on how much slack you need for fitting around objects inside your bag. If you're looking to attach an additional accessory or two, then follow these steps:

  • Unhook the old strap from one side of the bag's hardware (again, make sure it's not attached across both metal pieces)
  • Feed the new nylon webbing through eyes located at both ends
  • Attach buckle back onto either end of new material with metal clip or pin if possible for added security
  • Stitch eyes closed wherever they meet along edges so that they won't separate under pressure

What is the best length for cross-body straps?

Cross-body straps are great for keeping your hands free and come in a variety of lengths depending on what you'll be using them for. If you're just trying to carry around the essentials such as car keys, cash, and credit cards then look for something shorter than 36 inches so that there's less chance of it dragging along the ground or getting stepped on by accident.

For walking with heavier objects such as tablets or small laptops, opt instead for one that is roughly 40" long so that it offers greater coverage between shoulder and waist height.

What elements to choose for attaching straps?

There's nothing worse than having your shoulder strap fail you when you need it most so be sure to take a look at the different ways of attaching them to the rest of your equipment.

The best method for durability is stitching but if that doesn't get the job done then it might be time to get creative with other options such as leather or metal clips that can loop around existing webbing for added security without sacrificing any of its support qualities.


There are many types that you can choose from depending on what you'll be using it for and the materials that go into making them. Customizing your strap comes with a variety of different options to consider as well as ways to attach them onto existing pieces of equipment. Nylon webbing is great for high-performance athletes who sweat constantly, as the water-resistant material can be washed off much easier than cotton without degrading stitching or your logo attachments.

Leather offers all-day comfort without sacrificing support during long tournaments where lots of gear has to be carried around in one go. If you don't like the idea of having webbing straps constantly touching your skin, leather offers all-day comfort without sacrificing support during long tournaments where lots of gear has to be carried around in one go.

Metal clips and pins are great for making your straps more secure but they need to be used sparingly as they can damage the webbing over time if attached improperly.