• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Cotton Carrier Skout binocular harness

Sling type binocular harness
Manufacturer
Cotton carriers

Item details

April 28, 2021
Several years ago I got fed up with having a sore neck from carrying binoculars. so I swapped to using a harness, first with my Opticrons and latterly with my Zeiss when I bought these for a major birthday.

Recently though, my Zeiss harness has stretched so that the bins knock against my legs...if I am lucky.
I tried using Ikea food bag clips to hold the straps tight which worked to some extent. It was suggested to me though, and rather forcefully I felt, that the look was, perhaps sub-optimal. I decided therefore to get a new harness.

Initially I put out a request on birdforum and had a couple of types suggested, but I also did my own on-line research.





It became apparent that there is not that much information available. The harness that looked the best, in my opinion was no longer available from any supplier which left just 3 or 4 rather similar ones and this one The Skout Binocular Harness.

I had been pointed towards the Cotton Carrier website by my friend Jason who uses their camera harness, where I discovered that they did one for bins too.

Because of the general lack of info on-line I've decided to do my own review, especially as it looks so different to any other design. I have now had the harness about a week and have used it in the field for at least 12 hours over 4 days.

The picture above shows the front pad with its push and twist mounting.

This second image shows the second part attached to the binoculars




and below again in a closer view



Once you have firmly attached the velcro strip with the plastic bracket onto your bins and looped the security cord through one of the strap holes and secured it you are ready to go.


The sling simply hangs over your shoulder and you clip in the chest strap



The bins are aimed vertically so that the bracket drops into the slot on the grey plate and they then rotate by gravity which locks them in place.

To use them you rotate to vertical and lift



So what is it like in the field.

It took me two trips out to feel confident that the bins were not going to fall out as it is such a departure from a neck strap or normal harness. Once I had overcome this fear, though I have become very comfortable about the system.

Putting the sling on is incredibly simple. You put it over your shoulder, pull the chest strap round from the rear and clip it in.

Rotating the bins to release them has become second nature already for me and does not slow me down at all.

The harness is very lightweight and most important of all does not slip about or flap when you walk.

Ill admit that my heart was in my mouth the first time I climbed a gate with this set up but in fact it stays rock steady.

It is also important to have the straps tight as when loose they make the bins much slower to undo. I learnt this within minutes and have not had a problem since I adjusted them correctly !

I carry a rucksack over the top of the harness and often a camera slung over the same shoulder too without any feeling of heaviness or lack of comfort.

There is a waterproof cover which seemed to work fine in the rain this morning but after an hour I took it off and just used the eye-caps as this was faster.

Overall I have to say that I am impressed with the system and hope it gets more widely known.

It does what I wanted, which is keeps the bins safely and securely held to my chest, (not banging my unmentionables), is really easy to put on and most of all makes access to the bins fast and instinctive.

I'd like to point out that I was not asked or paid to do this review and no models were harmed in the process.

Item information

Category
Miscellaneous Wildlife Products
Added by
cafe birder
Views
297
Last update

More in Miscellaneous Wildlife Products

Share this item

Top