OUTDOORS

Best Binocular Harness: What You Need to Keep Your Tools Handy

binoculars harness featured
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

Carrying binoculars while you’re out in the wilderness is a hassle. But there is a solution for your struggles and a way to help you carry those binoculars without your hands. We’ve found a few items quality enough to be considered the best binocular harness, so you can easily enjoy your next trip.

Before heading straight to the products, we will help you find the spots that will interest you the most when choosing one, to make the time element a bit more on the economical sight, not to mention the price themselves.

The products we will review today will fit all key points a buyer makes when selecting his desired product. This is what we will review:

Product NameWeightDimensionsQuick ReleasePrice
Butler Creek Bone Collector Edition 6.4 oz.1.8 x 5.4 x 7.2 inchesYesCheck price on Amazon
 ALPS OutdoorZ Extreme X13.4 oz.6.5 x 5.5 x 2.25 inchesYesCheck price on Amazon
TRACT Custom Binocular Harness 0.3 oz.7.1 x 4.1 x 1.8 inchesYesCheck price on Amazon
Allen 4 Way Adjustable Deluxe Strap N/A1 x 4 x 6 inchesYesCheck price on Amazon
Nikon 6122 Prostaff Camo6.4 oz.1.5 x 4.5 x 9.5 inchesYesCheck price on Amazon
Leupold Quick Release 55895  4.8 oz.5.1 x 1.2 x 8 inchesYesCheck price on Amazon
S4Gear LockDown Binocular Harness13.6 oz.6.5 x 4 x 9.5 inchesYesCheck price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying

Before any purchase you make, you might want to know a thing or two about what makes binocular harness suited for your next use. So what are the factors to consider before buying?

Weight

If you’re going to be carrying anything while you hike, backpack or even just walk around aimlessly, you want to know how much it’s going to weigh.

Walking through the mall with a bag or hiking down the block carrying a water bottle may not seem like a big deal, but as that walk gets longer, that item starts to feel a whole lot heavier than it actually is.

man using binoculars

As you continue walking it just seems to weigh you down more and more. That’s definitely not something that you want, and whenever possible, you want to make sure you cut down on the amount of excess weight that you’re taking on.

Knowing how much your binocular harness weight is going to help because you don’t want something that will weigh you down. And of course, you’re going to want a binocular harness because it will keep your binoculars from weighing you down.

Make sure you’re not trading off on carrying those binoculars in your hand by taking on a heavy harness that will weigh you down in other ways. Some harnesses are only a couple straps, but some are going to include excess pieces that may or may not make your hike a little easier. Balance out the things that you want with the things you actually need, and save the weight.

Attachment Method

How does your binocular harness actually attach? Some aren’t going to be much of anything because all you’re really getting is a simple strap that hooks around your neck and holds the binoculars. Some are going to be a pouch or bag that goes across your chest or over your shoulder to put your binoculars on.

Still other are going to have a strap or harness that actually wraps all the way around your shoulders, back and chest to provide a sturdy surface. It’s up to you which of these is going to work best for you.

It’s also important to look at the materials that the straps are made of for each type of attachment. A bag that slings over your shoulder may not be as important as something that attaches to your neck or around your back.

The right material could mean the difference between comfort and chafing when you start to sweat or get overheated during your trip. Look at whether the material is breathable and just how tight it’s going to fit when you’re wearing it for an extended period. You don’t want something too tight, but if it’s too loose you might lose your binoculars.

Versatility With Binoculars

When you look at different binocular harnesses you’ll find that some are compatible with any (or at least many) different types of binoculars. Some, however, are going to be partial to specific types of brands. Some may be okay for just about any type of binoculars but may be ideally created to work for one brand over all others.

wearing binoculars harness

You want to know what you’re getting into when it comes to this so you can be sure the harness you have will work with the binoculars that you have. Most types of binoculars will tell you what they are compatible with to make this easier.

If you’re always going to use the same type of binoculars and never need to be able to carry anything else then going with a proprietary brand is fine. On the other hand, if you’re going to be carrying different types of binoculars you may want to go with a more versatile type.

You’ll also want to look at how the harness fits onto the binoculars so you can tell (next time you need to buy binoculars) whether they’ll work with the harness that you already have. You don’t want to spend a bunch more money on a new set of binoculars and find out now you need a new harness, after all.

Overall Size

Look at how large the harness itself is. Holding your binoculars to your chest is going to be important, but you want to make sure the harness you have isn’t too wide so you’re being pulled forward. If the harness is too bulky in the front it can also be difficult to do other things, like starting a fire, or shooting a bow.

binoculars bag on grass path

No matter what you’re planning to do while you’re out there, you need your binoculars to be readily accessible but not in the way while you’re doing it and that can happen quite easily.

A small frame for your binocular harness is going to be essential. You want to keep the binoculars where you need them after all, and that means you don’t want them beating against your chest while you walk or if you need to run either. You should be able to keep them resting against your chest while you move.

If the binoculars move too much it can definitely hurt and that will only lead to more problems for you in the long run. At that point, it’s easier just to keep the binoculars on the main strap that they probably came with in the first place.

Materials Used

It’s not just the straps that you need to pay attention to when it comes to the materials used on your binocular harness. You do want some good quality elastic straps but you’re definitely going to want to look at the attachments as well.

binoculars in bag

Are the pieces held together with plastic or do they use metal? Are there clips or latches? What is actually keeping your harness together? If it’s made with simple stitches and no additional support they could come apart easily. If your harness has plastic it won’t be as sturdy as metal.

The best thing you can get is a high quality metal ring to hold the binoculars on and any pieces together, but that’s not always possible. If you can’t get metal make sure everything is at least held together with high quality, heavy duty plastic pieces. That’s definitely going to keep it working for you even longer.

If it only has the stitching you may want to keep looking or be prepared for how long the stitches will hold. Check the quality of the work. If it’s not at least double-stitched you will probably want to move on as a single row won’t hold much weight for very long.

Adjustability

You might think that something that’s supposed to fit around your body to hold your binoculars would be adjustable, but that’s not the case automatically. Some binocular harnesses are considered one size fits all or they may only have a slight amount of adjustability to them.

adjusting binocular harness

Others may be fully adjustable and work for many different people of different sizes. The best option for you is to look for something that is adjustable so you can feel comfortable while using your binoculars for an extended period of time.

The adjustment should be easy to do even while you’re moving or at least when you have the harness on. You don’t want to be spending a lot of time taking it off and putting it back on again after you’ve had the opportunity to adjust the straps.

By carefully adjusting you’ll also be able to take into account any extra space you may need if you’re wearing a jacket or if you’re wearing the harness under a jacket. You can easily adjust it to fit different people as well, without having to purchase a new harness for each person who may want to use it.

Padding

Not all binocular harnesses are going to have padding but this can be the difference between okay binoculars and very comfortable ones. It can also be the difference between uncomfortable and okay binoculars. Look for straps that are going to be more comfortable over an extended period of time.

If yours at least have a little bit of padding it’s definitely going to help, but that padding should be around the top of the back near the shoulders to provide the most comfort. On the other hand, keep in mind that padding is going to add more weight and less breathability.

Look at the type of padding that’s being used as well. Some are going to just keep the straps up and off your back or shoulders. Others are going to actually rest directly on the back themselves. This is going to affect whether they actually pull the weight away from your back or put it directly there.

If you’re hiking or walking shorter distances a thick pad may be nice because the weight and the heat won’t affect much. If you’re going further distances or you’re hiking in the extreme heat, however, you’ll want to look for padding that has at least a little bit of rise to allow for air flow.

The Best Products in Today’s Market

Now that we know what are the important aspects in choosing a binocular harness, let’s see what are your best bets from the shelf or from online stores.

Butler Creek Bone Collector Edition

Butler Creek Bone Collector Edition 

Price: Approximately $20

Weight: 6.4 oz

Dimensions: 1.8 x 5.4 x 7.2 inches

Specific features: Universal attachment, no weight on your neck, adjustable straps

Best use: Moderate climate, extended hiking

The Butler Creek Bone Collector Edition features two adjustable straps to go around your arms and a clip to keep your binoculars right at waist level. The strap to hold your binoculars is adjustable on each side and the eyepieces actually clip directly into the system to make sure they’re sturdy and stable while you’re walking.

The back panel is a solid sheet that fits directly to your back to provide a frame of support for the straps but it also features holes for increased circulation so you don’t get too overheated while you’re walking.

The straps are made with elastic so they stretch a little even while adjusting slightly so you’ll be able to get a tight fit. You’ll also be able to attach nearly any type of binoculars to the system as it’s designed to be completely universal.

That means any pair with large enough eyepieces will be able to clip into the base and you can trust it to carry them around. Many of the clips, including the attachment for the binoculars is made with plastic that can start to wear out over time and some of the side clips aren’t as good quality as they could be.

PROS:

  • Low price
  • Breathable backing
  • No weight on the neck

CONS:

  • Plastic attachments don’t last as long as they should
  • Large panel on the back gets hot

Related: If you’re going to have a binocular harness you need the binoculars to go with them and a lot of people love the Bushnell Trophy XLT Roof Prism Binocularsthat are available in this same version (Bone Collector).

Check the price on Amazon

ALPS OutdoorZ Extreme X

ALPS OutdoorZ Extreme X 

Price: Approximately $50

Weight: 13.4 oz

Dimensions: 6.5 x 5.5 x 2.25 inches

Specific features: 4 lashing points for accessories, moderate price, moderate weight, pocket for protection

Best use: Hunting, extended trips

The ALPS OutdoorZ Extreme X actually features an extensive strap system that keeps it fitted right to you and to your needs. The straps above and below the back panel are each adjustable so you can get the tight fit that you want and make sure that the pocket in front for your binoculars sits right where you want it to.

It’s also super easy to use this system because you slip it over your head and clip the bottom straps to the sides for your pouch. You’ll be able to get on your way quickly and easily and you can slip the binoculars in the pouch easily.

There is a simple latch on the pouch to keep it closed when you want but this is very easy to flip open whenever you want to pull your binoculars out. Because of this, it holds different size binoculars easily. Prices around $50, the pocket is padded to keep your binoculars safe and has a zipper pocket to hold the included lens cloth.

The binoculars themselves are not attached when you’re using them, but are easily held and carried while you’re walking so you don’t have to worry about dropping them as you go.

PROS:

  • Nylon ballistic fabric
  • U-shape access to binoculars
  • Easy use with bow or other hunting equipment

CONS:

  • Larger binoculars may not fit
  • Straps don’t fit over larger jackets

Related: If you want to be able to carry some of your other stuff with you on this harness you could use the OP/TECH USA 1301222 Utility Loop Connector System as well. Prices around $6, you’ll be able to easily carry whatever you need.

Check the price on Amazon

TRACT Custom Binocular Harness

TRACT Custom Binocular Harness

Price: Approximately $20

Weight: 0.3 oz

Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.1 x 1.8 inches

Specific features: Quick release system, ultra lightweight, easy to use

Best use: Moderate length trips, lightweight needs

The TRACT Custom Binocular Harness is inexpensive at under $20 and it attaches around your body easily and comfortably. The binoculars clip directly onto the bands to make sure you can always reach them.

The straps are also designed so they don’t fit skintight to your body, making it easier to lift the binoculars when you want to use them without releasing them from the straps at all. Instead, you just pick them up and use them and then let them fall back down around your stomach area. The straps are also attached to the binoculars with clips that are easy to release whenever you want.

Designed to work with TORIC & TEKOA binoculars specifically, the system still works with a range of additional binoculars as well. The straps are just thick enough, to hold firm around your shoulders and back. They are also adjustable so anyone can use them, from a small child to a full grown adult.

This is great because it means that one system works well for anyone and can be transferred between different people. You’re also able to get them very inexpensively and you can trust each of the pieces to work well for an extended period of time.

PROS:

  • Highly adjustable for young or adult
  • Easy to use quick release
  • Binoculars stay attached while using

CONS:

  • Clips are made with plastic
  • Fit is not tight in the front

Related: The Vortex Optics New 2016 Diamondback Prism Binoculars are a great option if you’re looking for binoculars and you want something high quality. They’re expensive, at over $200, but they are definitely going to give you excellent quality.

Check the price on Amazon

Allen 4 Way Adjustable Strap

Allen 4 Way Adjustable Deluxe Strap 

Price: Approximately $10

Dimensions: 1 x 4 x 6 inches

Specific features: Easy to use, elastic straps, pouch option available

Best use: Holds anything, inexpensive

There are two options with the Allen 4 Way Adjustable Strap. You can opt for the standard that looks nearly like a pair of suspenders. You can also choose the higher level option, which comes with a pouch to hold your binoculars.

It’s entirely up to you to which one you choose, but the price is just about $10 for either one. That means you can pick the one that’s going to work easiest for you, and you can use these systems for just about anything including your binoculars or even a camera.

The straps on these binoculars go over and under your arms to ensure the fit is secure but they don’t fit too tight to your body. They’re also highly adjustable to make sure they fit people of all different sizes.

Your binoculars will clip directly onto the straps so you can use them whenever you want, and even while keeping them attached (though that isn’t the case with the pouch version).

Because of the style of the clips you don’t have to worry about attaching to anything and you’ll be able to keep them together with extra rings and clips that are included in the set.

PROS:

  • Inexpensive with options
  • Lightweight
  • Keeps weight off your neck

CONS:

  • Not as good in extreme temperatures
  • Not as good with heavier binoculars

Related: The Allen Company Pathfinder Fanny Pack connects over your shoulders and around your back to make sure you always have what you need. It’s larger for more things but you can put your binoculars in it too.

Check the price on Amazon

Nikon 6122 Prostaff Camo

Nikon 6122 Prostaff Camo

Price: Approximately $20

Weight: 6.4 oz.

Dimensions: 1.5 x 4.5 x 9.5 inches

Specific features: Lightweight, easy to carry, comfortable for extended wear

Best use: Extended use, small size needed

This Nikon 6122 Prostaff Camo  is super easy to wear because all you need to do is slip it over your shoulders and clip your binoculars on the front. You can adjust the straps to fit your body easily, which means you can size them up or down frequently, if needed.

The harness itself is very lightweight and balances everything easily over your shoulders. Made with elastic and fitted with a quick release connection for your binoculars, this harness is lightweight and works with nearly any binoculars so you’re always going to be prepared.

The straps are about 1.5” wide, so you can easily slide them over easily and don’t have to worry about them chafing over your shoulders. The straps are attached and linked with plastic rings and clips so you’ll have no problem getting everything adjusted.

The system itself will work well for going on binoculars for hunting, sports or anything else you want to do. The straps are designed to make it easy for you to do whatever you want to do with your binoculars and always have them handy for use.

PROS:

  • Connects to a number of different items
  • Comfortable for extended wear
  • Wider straps make it easier to wear

CONS:

  • Leather attachment points are not high quality
  • Quick release doesn’t work quite as well as it should

Related: In case you need to clean your binoculars you might want something to help you out. The Nikon 7072 Lens Pen Cleaning System is less than $10 and it can help you keep your binoculars in great shape.

Check the price on Amazon

Leupold Quick Release 55895

Leupold Quick Release Binocular Harness

Price: Approximately $25

Weight: 4.8 oz

Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.2 x 8 inches

Specific features: High quality system, works during bumpy activities, quick release technology

Best use: Moderate length trips, easy binocular use

The Leupold Quick Release 55895 allows you to keep your binoculars close with extremely adjustable straps on the upper and lower sections. No matter what you’re doing you’ll be able to keep your binoculars secure and tight to your body, so they won’t jostle around.

They feature a quick release that ensures you can always get moving and use your binoculars whenever you want. You don’t even have to release the straps in order to use the binoculars, which is definitely a benefit because you can use them and put them away right away.

Designed to work with any type of binoculars, this harness uses nylon straps all the way around. When you’re ready to use these binoculars you can slip the harness on quickly and easily and then take them off again as well. No matter what size you are or whether you’re an adult or child, the harness can be adjusted to fit comfortably.

Even better, you don’t have to worry about losing anything else either because this system can be used for a camera or just about any other device that you don’t want to lose.

PROS:

  • Holds anything you want
  • Comfortable to wear for an extended period
  • High quality materials

CONS:

  • Works less efficiently for women
  • Straps are not as quality as other systems

Related: The Leupold Lens Pen 48807 can be a great item to add to your kit. It helps you keep your binoculars clean and ready to go whenever you need them and it’s priced under $10.

Check the price on Amazon

S4Gear LockDown Binocular Harness

S4 Gear Lockdown Hands Free

Price: Approximately $35

Weight: 13.6 oz

Dimensions: 6.5 x 4 x 9.5 inches

Specific features: Breathable harness, padded harness straps, moderate pricing, pouch for binoculars

Best use: More gear to carry, easy to adjust

The S4Gear LockDown Binocular Harness  is definitely a high quality one and it’s something you’ll definitely want to take a look at. Priced under $35, this harness has a large pouch to hold your binoculars and anything else you may want.

The harness itself has shoulder straps that are highly padded and feature breathable material to keep you comfortable while you’re walking longer distances. The harness also features a waist strap that keeps the pouch secure.

All of the straps are adjustable, making it a lot easier for you to get comfortable while you’re moving around and to make sure you can use the harness no matter what your size.

It can be used with options that are up to 7.5” long and uses anti-bounce technology that keeps your binoculars from moving around too much while you’re walking. What’s even better is it has lens protection built into the system so your binoculars will be safe.

PROS:

  • High security for binoculars
  • Low profile unit
  • Holds just about any pair of binoculars

CONS:

  • Must continuously adjust straps to keep them firm
  • Plastic clips to hold the unit together

Related: If you want to connect anything else to your pouch and the system you’re definitely going to want OP/TECH USA Adapt-Its. These connectors are less than $4 and make it easy to hold everything you need.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

No matter what type of binocular harness you’re looking for, the important thing is keeping these factors in mind. By knowing what you’re looking at and knowing a number of the best possible binocular harnesses around, you’ll be able to see a whole lot more about them.

You’ll be able to make an informed decision on something that you’ll be using for a very long time. All you need to do is make sure that you have time to check them out and maybe even a little time to see how they work.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dennis Owens
Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.

0
0
Total
0
Shares