URSA Strap – A better mousetrap aka THIGHstrap!

March 19, 2017 – 8:26 am

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

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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/
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Strap Colors – URSA comes in three colors: Beige, Brown and Black. Brown is a welcome addition for our darker skinned actors.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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/

  1. 2 Responses to “URSA Strap – A better mousetrap aka THIGHstrap!”

  2. Mark C. Grech

    Just now

    March 19, 2017 -8:19 am PDST

    Dear Sound Brothers and Sisters,

    In light of recent blogs posted on various sound websites,FB pages, etc. I now feel I have no choice but to stand up in defense of our products: NeoPax Wireless Transmitter Belts. We suggested to URSA, in earlier communications, that it is possible to promote their product without launching negative, and at times inaccurate attacks against their competitors’ products. Such statements, although seemingly, not coming directly from URSA, are primarily coming from other U.K. bloggers that may or may not have ties with URSA, a U.K. entity.

    Firstly, NeoPax belts are manufactured in Torrance, California by a reknowned wetsuit manufacturer: JMJ wetsuits, whose experience working with neoprene for many years, results in HIGH QUALITY stitching. They have the best equipment, staff and experience to easily acheive this.They are NOT prone to come apart. The earliest designs showed some need of reinforcement in certain places and that was addressed IMMEDIATELY and easily acheived. We had very few complaints even with the earlier design, we sent replacements, free of charge to anyone that contacted us, and have had NO complaints with the newer stitching improvements.

    Secondly, transmitters are easily secured into their pouches on our belts using the included, small “one wrap” straps. All you would ever typically need is ONE securing strap, to acheive what needs to be accomplished there, we include two… for free.

    Thirdly, I see no great advantage to a rounded attachment point on the male hook and loop end of the belt. It seems obvious to me that any change in a belt design is merely an attempt to appease U.S. Patent reviewers (“to make them look more “distinguishable”, from NeoPax). I’ve never heard of “Destroying Tights” EVER BEFORE I read it in a blog today. When you apply a belt properly to a performer, and it is in place, under clothing, it is essentially the same result, a continuous linear loop around a waist, thigh or ankle. Most clothing is rather loose by nature making thinner material only advantageous in a thigh application, typically on tight skirts or dresses on women. NeoPax’s Thigh-Hi belts do offer the advantage of a “Sideways” transmitter orientation so you DON’T suddenly have the problem of an anttenae protruding below the hem line, or uncomfortably upward into sensitive body parts.

    Fourthly, All NeoPax belts now have sewn on labels that identify immediately what type of belt you are looking at Standard Waist, SM Ankle, etc. No need for a chart to match up color codes.

    Fifthly, There are a few distinct advantages of slightly thicker material.They provide better insulation againt transmitters that tend to heat up. They are more durable and will last longer than thinner materials, and they make the hook and loop a stronger, more POSITIVE attachment than OTHER material does.

    I could go on and on defending our product, but I will stop there, for now.

    As far as the main competition goes, I’ve had many amicable correspondences with URSA’s leadership and I recommended that we NOT promote engagement in “Social Media Pissing Matches”, postings of untruthful or innacurate statements or discussions of possible pending litigation. We worked very hard on our own designs, our Trademark and U.S. Patent. We would be foolish NOT to protect and defend what we have worked so hard to acheive.

    Next month marks our Tenth Anniversary serving the needs of the Motion Picture, Television and Live Performance Industries, answering their questions and needs, making improvements, donating generous gift bags at R.A.M.P’s parties, Seth and Kriky’s Sound BBQ’s and L.A. Sound Mixer’s events. We are represented in 20 countries and 17 U.S. States through 75 retailers and growing.

    We have vigorously endeavored to keep pricing affordable with NO MAJOR PRICE increases in TEN YEARS!

    I can only hope that some or all of what I have said is received with, at least, some professional consideration and respect, as we hope to continue to thrive, and serve everyone for years to come. Thanks to all of our loyal end users and retailers! Peace!

    Mark C. Grech
    President, C.E.O
    NeoPax, Inc.

    By Mark C. Grech on Mar 19, 2017

  3. To be fair to Neopax, I’ve posted Mark’s response.

    Mark, I’m not a UK Blogger. I’m a US mixer who has moved to the UK recently. I have been a long time user of Neopax and have spent or approved many resources on Neopax products over the years.

    I also have no affiliation with URSA. I simply feel the URSA line is a more refined product.

    By Chris Durfy on Mar 19, 2017

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