Playing shows with a heavy instrument becomes a drag real quick. The folks at Mono have come up with a solution to the woes of musicians who contend with a boat anchor every night: The Betty GS1 guitar strap. This spine-saver costs $50 USD (£35, $59 AUD). Looking for more guitar accessories/gadgets? Then go to the SoundBrenner Pulse Review.
Perfect for guitar or bass
The Betty guitar strap is available in short and long versions. These are sized at 40″-46″ and 47″-59″ respectively. The strap weighs in at 8oz (227gm) and has a broad width of 3″. Mono offer it in black and ash coloured versions. It’s worth noting that the strap is called the Betty on some sites while it’s referred to as the GS1 on others. The strap isn’t just for guitarists, as it would be perfect for easing off the load of a heavy bass. I bought the Betty after buying a 4.4kg Fender Precision, which is a full kilogram heavier than my previous bass (Ibanez SR 300, reviewed here).
Pros of the Betty guitar strap
So what makes the Mono Betty worth dropping $50 on? First of all, it’s heavily padded and wide, so the weight is distributed fairly evenly. It’s also made of tour-ready material. The rubber, steel and Neoprene design is seriously tough. I think even if I deliberately set out to tear it up, I’d struggle to do much damage using my hands alone. Another big advantage is that the strap end holes are tight and robust. The fit on the guitar is about as iron-clad as you can get without using strap locks. Finally, it doesn’t use leather, which is rare among high end straps. Mono doesn’t specify exactly what each part in made of, but as far as I can tell none of it is animal products.
Not a winner in the looks department
It’s doesn’t look bad, but this material isn’t going to put leather straps out of style any time soon. If you wanna look like a rockstar, it’s probably not for you (not everyone can rock it like Scott Ian in the header). Also, I’m not 100% sold on the bulges in the fabric. It’s possible they are there to contour to the body better, but it seems sometimes the bulges actually push more into the collarbone than a flatter design would. This is a small issue though, it doesn’t make the strap hugely uncomfortable or anything.
It’s worth mentioning, the two sides of this strap are not created equal. The proper padding and feel is only on the interior matte side. I’ve seen reviews trashing the Mono Betty on the basis that it sticks to your shirt and drags it around. I suspect these users tried the strap the wrong way around, as only the outer, shiny side has this problem. If you don’t look at it closely, it is pretty easy to get it swapped around and put the wrong side facing inwards.
The Mono Betty verdict
The Mono Betty GS1 guitar strap is a great design. It’s definitely worth the $50 asking price. It’s built tough, relieves the weight off your shoulders and it stays put on your guitar very firmly. I’d definitely recommend the strap to anyone with a heavy instrument. Before buying I looked at pretty much every non-leather 3″ strap on the market, and I didn’t find anything in the same price range with this degree of quality. The only real downside I can see is that it doesn’t look very rock ‘n’ roll.