When we reviewed the Mono M80 dual-guitar gig bags, their functionality, design, and level of gear protection blew us away. Mono set the benchmark against which we judge gig bags for guitars and basses. We have yet to encounter a gig bag we like more, and at least half of our editorial team now owns at least one Mono case.

So when Mono introduced a new line of guitar and bass straps, we couldn’t wait to see what founder/designer Daniel Kushner did with this otherwise familiar item that we all use. We took three different straps from the GS-1 line for a spin on our guitars: The Betty, The Doolittle, and The Warsaw.

The straps are beautifully constructed and feature minimalist styling — very basic patterns and earthy solid colors, and they are constructed from a few different materials that make each of these models special in its own way.

The Betty is an ideal strap for bassists and players with heavy electric guitars. This strap has fabric on top, a thin memory-foam core for padding, and neoprene on the under-side. We loved the feel of this strap, as it makes wearing a solid mahogany body electric guitar feel much more pleasant. However, a bassist friend of ours who likes to play with instruments higher on his body than we’d consider “cool” wasn’t able to adjust this particular strap short enough for his tastes. We didn’t even notice the cool, hidden holder for picks (or a slide) on the strap until we read about it on the Mono website.

The Doolittle is more of a general-purpose strap, and a good choice for players who like the feeling of cloth more than the feeling of “strap.” The two-inch wide cotton weave was soft to the touch, and the strap length was adjusted from an understated but totally stylish metal buckle, shaped in the style of Mono’s logo. The strap appears traditional at first glance, but modern with its little details. The devil is in those details, you know…

Finally, we adorned our guitar with the Warsaw strap, made from automobile seat belt material. If you’re the musician who considers guitar or bass playing a life saving experience, how can you resist this one? We wouldn’t have expected it to feel comfortable, yet we wear a seatbelt in our car for hours every week without ever complaining about the feel. Sure enough, this strap was almost frictionless against our clothing, and there’s probably zero chance of it ever just breaking or tearing. The stylish buckle was present on this strap, too (but not at all on the Betty strap).

All of the strap ends are made from industrial rubber instead of leather, and they are so strong that we had trouble installing the straps on some of our guitars. We were actually scared that we might break off a strap peg on at least one guitar the fit was so tight.

Regrettably, we can’t imagine using one of these straps with a strap lock system because there just doesn’t seem to be enough give in the openings. We’re not sure how simple it would be to drill out the holes in the industrial rubber, but that might prove to be a workable option.

The GS-1 straps (MSRP $50) can each be purchased for $39.99 directly from the Mono website. If you appreciate understated beauty or simplistic elegance, you owe it to your guitar or bass to pick up one of these expertly crafted straps.

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