In order to have a successful hunting experience, you will need hunting optics. A solid pair of binoculars is a great choice for all hunters when stepping out in the field. “If you can’t see it, you can’t hunt it.”
Hunting binoculars will save you time by allowing you to see more details further away. Instead of hiking across a canyon to get a closer look at an area you can toss up your binoculars to see if it’s worth the hike. In addition, binoculars can also be used to practice good safety practices. You can check if another hunter is in the area when you see movement or the popular hunter orange.
One of the most annoying things about carrying binos into the field is keeping them safe and secure on your body. If you only use the neck strap that comes with most binoculars you will regret trying to keep them secure when walking up and down hills or trying to pack out your harvest.
Why You Need A Bino Harness
Let’s face it, hunting binoculars aren’t cheap. If you spend a couple of hundred dollars on your optics you want to make sure they aren’t going to be dropped or have a bunch of dirt and dust getting between the case and the glass.
A bino harness is a convenient way to keep your binoculars right in front of you on your chest so they are easy to access, have a safe place to ride when you are hiking, and can provide extra storage for handy tools like bullets, game calls, and tags.
5 Things To Consider When Buying A Binocular Harness
- Comfort – you will want your bino harness to be comfortable because you will likely wear it for multiple hours per day.
- Secure – the bino harness needs to be the right size so your binoculars are completely protected and tight against your body. This will allow you to make sure they are safe when not in use.
- Quality – spend time researching the best brands for bino harnesses and pick one that is reputable so it will last you multiple seasons and not fail in the field.
- Extra storage – most bino harnesses will have extra compartments so you can stash other gear like range finders, game calls, and tags. Find one that has more storage so you can easily access other useful hunting gear.
- Size – make sure your binoculars will fit the bino harness, each manufacturer should tell you the maximum objective and length that will fit in their harness.
Which Binocular Harness Is Right For You?
I have bought a few bino harnesses in my day and regret a few of them. The biggest piece of advice I can give you is strongly consider exactly how you plan on using the bino harness. Here are some questions to help you narrow down your search.
- Will you attach your range finder?
- Do you need extra space for other gear?
- How big are your binoculars?
- Do you want your binos protected from the elements (rain, dust, mud, sticks, etc)?
- Do you plan on wearing the harness for multiple hours?
- Do you have a small, medium, or large budget for this piece of gear?
Your answers to these questions will help you decide which bino harness is best for you and your style of hunting.
If you plan on sitting in a stand or doing a lot of truck hunting you can find a lightweight harness (we will get to that later in this post) that is cheaper than other options.
If you plan on getting out into the backcountry and hunting hard for multiple days you will likely want one that can hold more gear and is robust and durable so it can handle the elements.
The Best Binocular Harness Options
There are a ton of different options when it comes to securely pack your binos around. In this section, we are going to share some of our favorite options and review their features and benefits.
Alaska Guide Creations Bino Harness
For the last two hunting seasons, we have been using the Alaska Guide Creations harness. We really like the construction of this harness and think the quality is some of the best out there. We opted for the Kodiak model with the extra pocket (it comes in the bottom).
We enjoy the extra pockets where we put our elk calls, wind check, extra bullets, a small knife, and our tags. If we ditch our packs and head off we have most of what we need right in our bino harness.
Getting to the binoculars is painless and there are plenty of adjustments to fit most hunters (large and small).
You will need to make sure you select the right size so the main binocular compartment will fit your objective size.
The only thing we noticed about this style of bino harness is when hiking in warm weather the area over your chest can get really warm but that is to be expected. It’s not a big enough complaint for us not to consider the Alaska Guide Creations harness as a great all season, all hunting type harness.
Vortex Optics Guide Harness
If you like the idea of having your optics brand match your harness then this is the setup for you.
This bino harness…
- Will store all sizes of binoculars even the Vortex 15x56mm Vulture!
- Protects your binoculars from the elements
- Integrated binocular leash helps prevent accidental drops
- Multiple pouches and pockets for extra storage
You can’t go wrong with this bino harness. It has a ton of positive reviews on Amazon, MidwayUSA, and Vortex’s website. Save on shipping and buy it on Amazon today.
ALPS OutdoorZ Extreme Bino Harness
Unlike other binocular harnesses, the ALPS OutdoorZ extreme has a slim profile and fewer storage compartments. However, you still get the benefit of the main bino sleeve to keep your optics from the elements and the retention strap to help prevent against accidental drops.
The ALPS harness comes in two sizes Standard and X-Large, so make sure you read and get the right one to fit your binos. They don’t do a great job of showing the difference in sizes but through research, we found that the X-Large size will retain binos with the following dimensions 6.5″ x 7″ x 2.75″.
If you have a smaller pair of 10x42s you can get away with the standard size but it will be snug (which is how you want it).
A nice added benefit is the pack comes with a free bino lens wipe.
KUIU Bino Harness
Some hunters want all their hunting camo gear to match. If that is the case chances are you will own some KUIU camo and be excited to learn they also make a great bino harness.
Designed to keep your binoculars tight to your chest and eliminate the sag, bounce, and flop of traditional neck straps. This system provides a fleece lined structured pouch to protect your valuable binoculars from the abuses of hunting.
Adjustable lid locks over the eyecups to stay in place when closed, then easily folds open with one hand for constant access. Two sizes (L or XL) fit a wide range of binoculars from 8x40s up to the largest current 56mm objective binos on the market.
The proper function of the bino harness is achieved when worn with the side straps secured snugly around the torso, keeping the pouch from sliding down the body when the binoculars are removed for use. A hook and loop system on the bottom of the pouch provides an attachment point for optional rangefinder and/or ammo holders (sold separately). Includes a silk-nylon rain cover and a minimalist strap which allows the harness to be used without the full pouch.
This bino harness option is fully featured and a really good choice for a hunter looking to protect their gear and cut down while not sacrificing on size, weight, and quality.
Badlands Bino XR Binocular and Rangefinder Case with Harness
Badlands makes quality, affordable hunting gear. I have used the backpacks in the past and have been impressed with the quality and the design. Badlands does a good job of designing their products with enough features to compete with other top-tier brands. Although I haven’t run this specific bino harness in the field I know plenty of guys who have and love it.
The biggest benefit to this specific bino harness is how quiet it is when you are getting in and out of the compartments. Most of the closures are magnetic clasps which make it a great choice for archery hunters who need to be quiet on their stalk.
Again, you need to make sure you look at sizes to make sure your binoculars will fit.
A unique selling point to this bino harness is their bigger models have the ability to add a water bladder which makes this a great option for a hunter looking to be as light and minimal as possible.
Badlands Bino Basics Camouflaged Binocular Strap Harness
Up until this point we have only talked about complete harness systems. There are a lot of options out there if you only want the straps to secure your binoculars to your chest. Again, I would recommend a brand like Vortex, KUIU, or Badlands for a simple strap system to secure your binos to your chest. You might be tempted to buy a cheap set but you want the straps and connections to be high quality so you don’t drop your hundred dollar binos.
The strap system isn’t my favorite because you lose extra storage but they are a great option for hunts where the weather is warm and dry. They are lightweight and easy to move around with.
Protect Your Optics
If you are on the fence about buying a bino harness, let me push you off. You likely spend several hundred dollars on your binoculars and a couple more on your rangefinder. I think we can all agree these are vital peices of hunting gear when looking into a big canyon or across a huge field. Protecting your gear from the weather, accidental drop, and making it easy to store while you walk around is a no-brainer. A bino harness checks all the boxes when it comes to a hunter who needs to be mobile and bring their gear with them into the field.
There are a handful of bino harnesses on the market that aren’t mentioned in this blog post. I haven’t had much experience with them so I decided to exclude them. That is not to say they aren’t good quality options but I rather stick to talking about things I know from firsthand experience, extensive research or from people I know and trust.
If I missed a harness you run and you love, let me know.