Best Binocular Harnesses: Relax Your Back and Shoulders
Carry your binoculars more easily with these top binocular harnesses
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PUBLISHED ON December 4, 2019
Hauling around a pair of binoculars can be a hassle if you travel on foot. You can use the shoulder or neck strap, but over time, that can cause damage to your back and body. Another option is to invest in a harness that carries the weight of the binoculars without hurting your spine. It works by looping around your shoulders, so the weight is evenly dispersed across your body. If you need a more comfortable way to carry around your binoculars, consider these top harnesses.
- Best OverallBadlands Bino XR Binocular and Rangefinder Case with HarnessSummarySummary
This binocular harness doubles as a backpack. It provides you with a storage compartment to keep them out of the elements.ProsPros
Accessing the binoculars is easy with the magnetic clasp. The four-point harness features padded cushions and vents to keep you cooler on the go. The bag fits several styles of binoculars.ConsCons
It is limited to what size binoculars can fit and does not accommodate ones above 10x42. It may also take time to access the binoculars.
- Best ValueVortex Optics Binocular Harness StrapSummarySummary
This secure and lightweight binocular harness holds binoculars firmly to your body without being uncomfortable.ProsPros
The harness provides you with a more relaxed way to carry your binoculars. It is versatile and can hold cameras and rangefinders as well. It features a durable nylon strap system for easy positioning.ConsCons
The buckles that connect to the binoculars can be awkward and poke or jab into you. The binoculars may bounce around a bit and the clips can be a hassle to operate.
- Honorable MentionNikon 6121 PROSTAFF Bino HarnessSummarySummary
Nikon’s binocular harness ensures you carry your binoculars more efficiently and comfortably while hiking, walking, or hunting.ProsPros
The harness is lightweight, at only 2.72 ounces. It gives you easy access to the binoculars when you need them the most. It includes elastic straps with a secure grip and quick release. The harness goes on easy and securely.ConsCons
You will have to install rings onto the binoculars in order to connect them to the harness. The clips may be difficult to undo. It does not come with instructions.
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Benefits of Binocular Harnesses
- Free up your hands. It can be tiring hauling around a pair of binoculars all day on a hike. They are bulky and don’t fit into a compact space like a pocket very easily. The best binocular harness will leave your hands free to carry other things.
- Improved reflexes. A binocular harness keeps the binoculars within arm’s reach. This allows you to quickly grab them if you see something in the distance. If they’re in a backpack, they are more difficult to access.
- Increased stability. The best harness can reduce the amount of wobble or vibration you get when holding binoculars. Since they hold the binoculars tightly to your body, they are more stable in your hands.
Types of Binocular Harnesses
Strap binocular harnesses wrap around your shoulders similar to a backpack. They can be adjusted to be as tight or loose as you desire and are low profile. Each one also comes with its own attachment, typically in the form of a clip or clasp. That then connects directly to the shoulder strap of the binoculars.
A bag binocular harness is exactly what it sounds like. It is a small, sometimes waterproof, bag that hangs off your shoulders. Think of it as a reverse backpack for heavy binoculars and gear. It is more versatile than a strap harness in that it can carry more robust binoculars and extra gear. Many feature zippers or magnetic closures that prevent water from getting inside. However, accessing the binoculars can take a longer amount of time because you have to unzip the bag.
The Badlands company began in 1992 and sells high-quality hunting gear. It started in Utah and creates custom backpacks, accessories, and clothing designed for the avid hunter. Today, it has expanded and continues to design deluxe gear for all types of weather conditions. One of its top-selling hunting binocular harnesses is the Badlands Bino XR Binocular and Rangefinder Case with Harness.
With its headquarters in Barneveld, Wisconsin, Vortex manufacturers top-of-the-line optical gear. Since its founding in 2002, Vortex has created everything from riflescopes, red dot sites, binoculars, and harnesses. You can check out the Vortex Optics Binocular Harness Strap.
Nikon may be known for developing high-quality camera gear, but it also designs optic-related accessories. For the past 90 years, the company has produced glass lenses for binoculars, scopes, and rangefinders. It also makes harnesses to carry and hold all of that gear. One of its most popular binocular harnesses is the Nikon 6121 PROSTAFF Bino Harness.
Binocular Harness Pricing
- $20-$50: This is around the price you’ll pay for a basic harness. It will be comfortable, adjustable, and able to hold the weight of just about any type of binoculars.
- $50 and up: Here you will find harnesses that come with their own backpack. This will give you the ability to hold more gear and heavier binoculars. The straps will be more rugged and comfortable as well.
One of the key components of a binocular harness is its ability to be adjusted. It shouldn’t be too tight or too loose on your shoulders. Just like a backpack, you want it to sit on your shoulders and around your torso just right. Each one is equipped with adjustable straps that wrap around your upper body.
Using the adjustable straps, you can cinch the harness firmly to your body. This brings the binoculars close to your chest, so you can reach them quickly. The straps shouldn’t pinch your skin or be too tight. Once you’ve got the harness where you want it, you should be able to slide it on and off your body without an issue.
The type depends on your personal preference. If you just need a way to carry around your binoculars more easily, then a binocular strap harness should be perfect. However, if you lug around a lot of extra gear, like the lens caps, cleaning cloth, or tripod, you should consider a backpack harness. They include a pocket for the binoculars and extra storage space for other accessories.
- Attachment: The majority of binocular harnesses include a clip or quick-release attachment. These will attach to the neck or shoulder strap on the binoculars. You may also find some feature a cord that you wrap through the eyelet of the binoculars.
Best Binocular Harnesses Reviews & Recommendations 2019
If you’re looking for a harness that can carry the weight of your binoculars and extra gear or accessories, this one is for you. One of the benefits of this binocular harness is it doubles as a case or binopack. In addition to the provided storage compartment for the binoculars, it also comes with side pockets for the lens caps, cloth, or your bird watching book.
It’s able to fit several styles of binoculars, and accessing them is easy to do with the inclusion of a magnetic clasp. Also, it’s comfortable. The four-point harness features padded cushions to reduce strain and stress on your shoulders and back. Plus, it includes vents that keep you cooler on the go.
While it can carry any style binocular, it is limited to what size binoculars it is able to hold. It will not accommodate binoculars above 10x42 in diameter. Plus, since it’s a backpack style harness system, it may take you longer to pull the binoculars out of the bag. You have to bypass a zipper first then pull them free.
Best Value: Vortex Optics Binocular Harness Strap
If it’s style and comfort you’re looking for, Vortex Optics designs a superb binocular harness. This secure and lightweight binocular harness holds binoculars firmly to your body without being uncomfortable. It’s easy to slip on and adjust to fit your upper body as well. The binoculars are easily reachable and can be grabbed within seconds.
You don’t have to worry about the strap or the binoculars getting in your way. One of its best features is it provides you with a more relaxed way to carry your binoculars. It features durable nylon straps that don’t rub or chafe your skin. It’s also quite versatile and can hold cameras and rangefinders as well.
A few minor issues can make this harness a bit of a pain in some situations. The buckles that connect to the binoculars can be awkward and poke or jab into you. If you are hiking on difficult terrain, you may notice the binoculars can bounce around a bit. Another issue is the clips can be a hassle to operate.
Honorable Mention: Nikon 6121 PROSTAFF Bino Harness
As a leading manufacturer of camera gear and carrying accessories, Nikon understands how to make a high-quality harness. Its binocular harness ensures you carry your binoculars more efficiently and comfortably while hiking, walking, or hunting. It’s simple to slip over your shoulders and adjusts without an issue.
A huge benefit is the harness is lightweight and weighs just 2.72 ounces. Plus, since the binoculars are held tightly to your chest, it gives you quick access to them when you need them the most. It also includes elastic shoulder straps with a secure grip and quick release so you don’t fuss around with disconnecting them.
The harness has one small flaw you should be aware of, however. You will have to install rings onto the binoculars in order to connect them to the harness. And once it’s connected, the clips may be difficult to undo. So, swapping out for another pair of binoculars may take some time. It also does not come with instructions.
- A harness should fit like a T-shirt or vest. You can wear the harness by sliding the straps through each arm and making sure it sits flat against your back.
- A harness with a backpack is nice, but it increases the amount of time it takes to access them. Consider one that lets you grab the binoculars quickly.
- The binoculars should not move or sway at all when they are attached to a harness. They should cling to your chest without being uncomfortable.
Q: What is the purpose of a binocular harness?
A: Their main design is to allow the user to carry binoculars without harming their lower or upper back. A shoulder or neck strap can weigh down your body and strain your shoulders and neck. A harness evenly distributes the weight throughout your upper body, so you aren’t left with aching muscles or a sore back.
Q: How can I attach binoculars to a harness?
A: It depends on the style of harness. Many feature a specific clip or quick-release device. They should all install to the neck or shoulder strap attachment without too much hassle. You may need to insert rings or a cord through the eyelet on the binoculars as well.
Q: Who are binocular harnesses designed for?
A: They are built for anyone who wants to carry around binoculars. Hunters can use them as a way to quickly reach the binoculars. Hikers may use a harness as a way to carry binoculars without worrying about them swinging around. They can even be used at sporting events or by photographers.
For one of the best binocular harnesses to reduce back or shoulder pain, consider the Badlands Bino XR Binocular and Rangefinder Case with Harness.
You can also save some cash and check out the Vortex Optics Binocular Harness Strap for its relaxed fit and versatility.