I’ve recently had the chance to play with the full line of URSA straps.
Let me bluntly say that they are a total gamechanger in the world of wireless bodypack straps.
They are thinner, more breathable and simply better built. They also have some ingenious design features that take them leaps and bounds above the existing market leader in straps, Neopax.
Let’s take a look at the differences: URSA vs NeoPax
- Material – The URSA strap is a 1 mm thick fabric that is much thinner than NP, yet still feels strong and stretchy. It can be easier to hide and is much more breathable. Costume department members and actors will be fans! They also take up a lot less space in the kit, which is an added bonus!
- Pouch – The pouch is sewed together with a much higher quality stitch than the Neopax, which, in my experience, are sometimes prone to come apart. Each ankle and thigh strap have an oval of nonslip gripper inside the pouch to keep the transmitter securely in place. URSA Pouch Protector straps are also available for absolute security.
- Nonslip – Ever had an actress hiking and pulling up her thigh strap over and over in between takes? Well URSA has applied the same nonslip strip in each pouch on the thigh strap which highly minimizes / eliminates the issue. Again, happy actors and costumers is a good thing!
- Cable Management – URSA has added a special cable Management pocket to effectively manage excess wire. There is a technique for using it, check out the URSA video: https://www.facebook.com/ursastraps/videos/386809564997907/
- Velcro Alignment – The velcro on the URSA strap is curved and also doesn’t go edge to edge. This, again, is for actor comfort. And it also won’t threaten to ruin a pair of tights like the Neopax thigh straps, which have velcro from edge to edge, have in the past. The curved velcro also can be helpful to blend in under wardrobe without the stark lines that can telegraph through wardrobe like with the Neopax. The velcro on the thigh strap is also of a lower profile to further reduce possible snagging and bunching up.
- Color Coded Identification – Again, a simple design idea that allows for easy identification of which strap is which. The color also quickly identifies the pouch’s top side orientation.
- Strap Colors – URSA comes in three colors: Beige, Brown and Black. Brown is a welcome addition for our darker skinned actors.
- Strap / Pouch Sizes – The URSAs come in five sizes: Ankle, thigh and waist (small, medium & large). Each strap also has two pouch sizes available to accommodate smaller and larger transmitters.
- Chest Strap – Chest straps have always been a difficult beast. I’ve never come across one that really worked. They’d slip, be visible under wardrobe and cable management was difficult. URSA’s Chest Strap manages all of these problems. Like the rest of the line, it is extremely thin for hidability. Similar to the thigh straps, it has the non-slip strips to keep the strap in place. And it incorporates cable management guides along the strap to guide the microphone cable in place under the strap.
- URSA Case – URSA also has a nice clear pouch available to keep your straps together in a neat orderly package along with the color-coded identification chart.
- Availability – Until recently, you couldn’t get URSA Straps in the US, but I’m hearing reports that the hurdle has been overcome with some design changes and you should be seeing them in stock around April or May of this year!
All in all, I think URSA is going take over the market for its segment of the production sound world. I for one, will be using them exclusively from now on!
Find out more at http://ursastraps.com/