A carrier shoulder strap is a length of fabric or other flexible material (such as leather, vinyl, rubber), used to suspend an item, often of some weight, from the shoulder(s). The strap may be worn slung over one shoulder or across the body. In the interest of comfort, they often have some manner of padding near the middle, where the strap rests directly against the shoulder or neck. Such items include purses, guitars, rifles, etc. In the case of rifles and other such weaponry, the shoulder strap is usually referred to as a sling. Shoulder straps may also be used in pairs on such items as a backpack or a baby carrier; the straps are worn one over each shoulder, and the item so carried is centred on the back or chest.
The use of such straps frees the hands for other use.