I thought it was a hip strap not a chest strap... I didn't take it off the rack though. The reviews I've seen of the 8500 were less than impressive but it probably takes a bit to break them in with that large of an engine.
P.S. - Oh, you saying it has a hip and chest strap? That would be sweet. That's how my backpacks are set up...just backpacks, not backpack blowers. Nice to be able to distribute the weight to your liking.