Whether you are a bird watcher, a hunter, or anything in-between, being able to access your pair of binoculars quickly when needed is essential. A binocular harness (also known as a bino harness) can help do that and more.
It will take the weight off your neck, allowing you to comfortably carry your binoculars while making it far more accessible than when using your pack, hand, or regular straps (Source).
But, not all harnesses are that effective. Also, considering that there are so many different options, choosing one isn’t that easy too.
Generally, the best binocular harness needs to be comfortable to wear, be able to support different sizes of binoculars, and offer quick and easy access to your optics whenever you need them.
Besides, if you are planning to get binocular with instant focus, consider buying the best autofocus binoculars. They are set at the factory to focus on a particular field of view, typically over 25 feet away.
However, in light of this, we’ve picked the top 5 binocular harnesses on the market and included a brief review of each model below.
How Much Does a Binocular Harness Cost?
Table of Contents
- 1 How Much Does a Binocular Harness Cost?
- 2 Why Use a Binocular Harness?
- 3 How Does a Binocular Harness Work?
- 4 Comparing the Best Binocular Harness
- 5 1. Badlands Bino X Camouflage Harness – Best Overall
- 6 2. S4 Gear LockDown X – Best Low Profile Binocular Harness
- 7 3. ALPS OutdoorZ Extreme Bino Harness X – Best Binocular Harness for Hunting
- 8 4. Bushnell Deluxe Binoculars Harness – Best Basic Binocular Harness
- 9 5. Vortex Optics Binocular Harness – Best Binocular Harness for Bird Watching
- 10 How to Use & Attach a Binocular Harness
- 11 Choosing the Right Binocular Harness
- 12 Ready to Buy the Best Binocular Harness Picks?
Most binocular harnesses cost less than $20, but the most durable models may cost $50 or more. Such harnesses will last longer, as they won’t fade or rip as often.
Buying a harness from a trusted brand like Badlands will give you the security you want, without the hassle of having to replace one regularly. The best binocular harness will be easily adjustable, comfortable, and durable.
Why Use a Binocular Harness?
You must have noticed that most binoculars come with a harness. Usually, they come as add-ons to your binocular purchase. But, why exactly should you consider using the binocular harness with your binoculars?
First, it depends upon how you decide to use the binoculars because a harness is not essential for every kind of binocular use. For example, some people are searching for a pair of “car binoculars.” They will perhaps find a harness to be too much for their needs.
However, there are others who want to hike with their binoculars. Or, some who might need a binocular harness for hunting. Those groups of buyers may find a harness making their ventures much more enjoyable and less tiring.
Moreover, if you use binoculars for a long time, your neck starts hurting. You can stay safe from fatigue with a harness. Additionally, using harnesses saves your binoculars from falling accidentally. So, it is mostly secure to use them in your wild ventures.
How Does a Binocular Harness Work?
Simply put, each strap is worn over your shoulder, and your binoculars should be placed firmly against your chest. Adjust your harness to ensure the binoculars are drawn up, and the eyepieces are fixed at your eye-level (Source).
Comparing the Best Binocular Harness
|Badlands Bino X|
|S4 Gear Lockdown X|
|ALPS OutdoorZ Extreme Bino Harness X|
|Bushnell 19125C Deluxe|
|Vortex Optics Binocular Harness|
1. Badlands Bino X Camouflage Harness – Best Overall
The main feature that makes this Badlands harness stand out from its competitors is its great emphasis on support. The shoulder straps and chest packs are heavily padded with cushions. Those effectively reduce the pressure the binoculars exert on your shoulders and chest.
The weight distribution, both in the shoulders and back, is quite even. It makes the whole harness very comfortable to wear and use for prolonged hours.
Another huge plus is the fact that the Bino X Case utilizes a magnetic clasp rather than a zipper system. The magnets make it open and close flawlessly. It’s also effortless to operate. The best is that it does not produce any noise. It’s very silent, and you can easily operate it with one hand.
The bag is strong and very spacious. In fact, this is one of the largest full-size harnesses you will find in the market. The pouch has enough space to accommodate even large 20×56 binoculars as well as other items. It also offers more protection to your bino compared to other harnesses.
To sum it all, the Badlands Bino X is a top full-size harness that’s designed and built to the highest standard possible. The fabric used to make the straps and the whole harness is very strong and durable. Combined with its fantastic camouflage pattern, this harness is a perfect option for any avid hunter, birder or nature enthusiast.
2. S4 Gear LockDown X – Best Low Profile Binocular Harness
It does not really feature a pouch. Instead, it utilizes flaps that do a great job of holding the binoculars in place. The flaps are comfortable to the binos and fit snugly around it, keeping it safely secured to your chest. They are connected both to the shoulder straps and around the sides. Therefore, there is no bouncing or swaying while on the move, like with most cheap harnesses.
The two shock cords that attach the binos to the harness are heavy-duty, tubular, and not under tension. This is a nice change from the usual elastic harnesses. It allows you to bring the binoculars to your face for viewing without tension or tugging on the harness.
Another thing to appreciate about this S4 Gear is the substantial comfort it offers while wearing it. It has two straps that run around the shoulders. It also includes the vertical strap that holds on your backbone. They are both made of a non-stretching soft material that’s securely padded. The straps and the back panel are also lined with breathable mesh.
Therefore, it’s not only comfortable to wear with the binocular on board. The breathable mesh design will also help keep you refreshed and prevent sweating. The belt strap is another excellent addition. It gives the binos more support and adds to the overall comfort of the harness.
The only notable issue is that as much as the case is made up of flaps, it can only accommodate small to average-sized binoculars. If your model measures anything above 7.5”, then it won’t fit. However, if it’s small or medium-sized, then it might fit perfectly.
The S4 Gear LockDown X is a well-made harness that will provide a comfortable and stable place where you can keep your binoculars. You may use it while you are out hunting, fishing, or bird watching.
3. ALPS OutdoorZ Extreme Bino Harness X – Best Binocular Harness for Hunting
To start, the ALPS OutdoorZ Extreme Bino Harness is a robust and sturdy low-profile harness. Its design allows it to withstand the elements and any harsh environment. The whole harness is made of a highly-durable nylon ballistic fabric. This is a reliable material — one that can survive the harsh bush environment.
The straps do a good job of distributing weight around your shoulders and back too. They are not totally padded, except for the small part that meets with your shoulder blades. The small paddings prevent the harness from bouncing around your back. They also offer some level of comfort around the shoulder blades.
The quick-release straps at the bottom of the case make putting on and taking off the harness a lot easier. That remains true even with the pack on or when wearing bulky clothing. The main compartment is spacious. It has a large U-shaped opening on the front.
You can fit any type of binoculars inside the case without hassle. Additionally, it allows you to easily and quickly get the binocular in and out of the case silently. That is an essential feature, especially when you are out trailing your prey.
The case has a fleece-lined interior with a small lens cloth attached to the front of the main compartment. It holds the binoculars in place, keeping it safe and protected from damage. Another thing to appreciate is the fact that the case is located close to the chest. Thereby, you can easily access the things inside the bag at a moment’s notice.
Generally, the ALPS OutdoorZ Extreme Bino is a solid and durable harness made with premium materials that will withstand the elements. If you are looking for the perfect and most convenient low-profile binocular harness for your hunting activities, then this is definitely worth the investment.
4. Bushnell Deluxe Binoculars Harness – Best Basic Binocular Harness
It’s a simple harness but does the job right. The material that makes up the straps and the rest of the harness is quite sturdy and high-quality, unlike what you would find in ordinary harnesses. This one is quite tough and can withstand the weight of heavy binoculars.
The straps are not padded with cushion, but the central part is. Thereby, the weight of the binoculars is somewhat spread out throughout the body. That makes the whole harness fairly comfortable to wear.
The X shaped support panel located at the back, combined with the wide, elongated lower straps, facilitates a snug fit. Moreover, it makes the harness strong enough to support even heavier binoculars or full-sized DSLR cameras.
The back panel is also a bit perforated. Hence, it will provide some level of ventilation to your back area to keep you fresh during warmer hunts. The fact that it’s wide and nicely padded means that it will also help reduce back pains when you carry heavy binoculars for hours at a time.
When you attach the binoculars, they hang right below your chin. That is just the perfect height for quick access to them when needed. Generally, if you are looking for a basic, no fuss harness that can help lighten the load, then Bushnell Deluxe is a great choice.
5. Vortex Optics Binocular Harness – Best Binocular Harness for Bird Watching
No products found.Vortex Optics is another simple, lightweight, easy to use a harness that’s quite ideal for lovers of bird watching. Its compact size and strong fabric make it also just right for hunters. For those who don’t mind not having that extra protection that comes with having a pouch or case, this is the right choice.
It pretty much has the design of a basic harness. However, the straps are made from good quality nylon/lycra material. They are fairly comfortable when you put them on. Additionally, they are much better at distributing the binoculars’ weight around the body than ordinary straps. You will feel little to no weight on your back when carrying heavier binoculars.
The straps are strong enough to support a wide variety of binoculars sizes, even cameras if needed. It keeps the optics secured to the chest without causing any discomfort to your neck.
Like the Bushnell Deluxe, this a basic harness, so it does not provide any real protection to your binoculars. It is a nice option for bird watching. Although, if you are going to densely wooded areas, then you might want to consider the Badlands Bino X, and ALPS OutDoorZ Extreme Bino harnesses.
How to Use & Attach a Binocular Harness
Binoculars harnesses are quite handy and straightforward to use. They are easy-to-use tools when it comes to hunting, birdwatching, surveying, and scouting the land. They are created in a wide range of sizes.
However, you can adjust their length. If you wear binoculars around your neck, you’ll have instant access to the binoculars.
The process of attaching harnesses to binoculars is mostly universal. It is also switchable with various models of binoculars.
You may follow the following steps to connect them:
- First, you need to locate the loops or strap brackets on the top of the binoculars. You can distinguish the strap brackets by a small circle, bracket-like structure, or latch on the binoculars.
- After that, run one strap end through the loop. Then, run back it over onto the strap. Clasp it in its place. Now do the same for the other side of the belt. All straps will contrast to some extent in their fastening mechanism. But they all serve the purpose of attachment.
- Lastly, fix the length of the strap by liberating the slack out of the strap. The strap might have a buckle. You can slide that away from or toward the binoculars. It will help you lengthen or shorten the strap as per your needs
Choosing the Right Binocular Harness
Binocular harnesses come in different types, and it’s important that you pick the one that’s ideal for you. Basically, the four key types to choose from are:
1. Basic Harnesses
A basic harness employs a straightforward system. The said system consists of several straps that cross over the back. It uses ties and lips for your binoculars. They are very basic but more convenient than ordinary strands. You can even find models that have large padded back panels. Those are also perforated to reduce sweating.
However, they are not heavily padded, which makes them relatively comfortable when carrying small to medium-sized binoculars. Even so, they also offer less protection to your binoculars. In short, if you like bird watching or hiking, then this might be a good fit. But it is not the right choice when hunting in dense, bushy, or wood environments.
2. Low-Profile Harnesses
The Low-Profile Harnesses have a much more comfortable and extensive strap system. They are somewhat similar to basic harnesses. What sets them apart, though, are the upgraded and more comfortable straps. They have extra padding on the back panel and shoulder straps. It makes for additional support and comfort.
Furthermore, they offer some level of protection to your binoculars as most of them come with either a pouch or case. These storage bags are usually spacious. That’s why they can accommodate medium to large-sized binoculars. These are the perfect option if you are a hunter who’s always on the move. They are lightweight and offer great comfort while not being too bulky.
3. Full-size Harnesses
If you are looking for optimum comfort, protection, and durability, then you should consider getting a full-size harness. These types are multi-purpose, and they are the most used style of harnesses.
They are more elaborate with heavy extra padding around the shoulder straps and back panel. They also feature full-sized pouches that can accommodate almost any size of binoculars and offer ample protection. The best part about this type of harnesses is that they come with extra compartments for storage. You may also find some other useful accessories accompanying this product type.
However, they tend to be a little bulky and sometimes heavy. Nonetheless, if you are an avid hunter, these will do nicely. Or, if you are looking for a harness that can withstand the elements and rough environments and still offer ample protection to your optics, then you should go for a full-size harness.
4. Dual Harness
You might want to look at Dual harnesses if you want something that can allow you to carry your camera alongside your binoculars. These models give you the functionality and convenience of two harnesses all rolled up into a single package.
They have very comfortable paddings on the shoulder straps and back panels. They also feature a second set of clips. Use those to add a camera or a second pair of binoculars to your harness.
They can accommodate both heavy and lightweight binoculars. It makes them another ideal option if you often go camping or hunting deep into the forest for days or weeks.
Ready to Buy the Best Binocular Harness Picks?
When it comes to selecting the best binocular harness, your personal preference should take a significant part in your decision making. You want to ensure that you pick a model that will make it quite easy and comfortable to carry and move with your binoculars.
If your outdoor activities involve venturing into the woods or bushy environments, then you need to get a binocular harness for hunting that will endure the harsh environment. It should also offer ample protection to your binoculars.
The best options here are the Badlands Bino X, and ALPS OutDoorZ Extreme Bino harnesses. Otherwise, you can also go with any of the other three options. The bottom line is to make sure you invest your money in a decent harness that will suit your particular needs.
Apart from a binocular harness, if you are looking for a kit that gives you better control over your dog, consider buying a harness for dogs.