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Do you use a vest when birding?

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Old Monday 7th September 2015, 00:53   #1
Aaron Feuer
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Do you use a vest when birding?

I am currently using Big Pockets equatorial vest and I absolutely love it. It's lightweight, keeps you cool and has a total of 12 pockets. What vests do you guys use?
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Old Monday 7th September 2015, 01:34   #2
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Old Monday 7th September 2015, 04:37   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Feuer View Post
I am currently using Big Pockets equatorial vest and I absolutely love it. It's lightweight, keeps you cool and has a total of 12 pockets. What vests do you guys use?
Agreed, an excellent product which I've used for years and which, in addition to the virtues you mention, wears like iron. In recent years in fact I've started wearing one all the time, birding or not, and now own 3 so I always have a clean one on-hand for "social" occasions.
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Old Monday 7th September 2015, 07:41   #4
kkokkolis
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I have an Americanino vest, mostly a fashion item than a real field vest. I put my gear in my monosling or backpack.
But I use a Dark Skies Apparel's Hooded Observing Vest for astronomy every time and this proved very useful. It has open big pockets. It could be used outside astronomy, the hood would be of no use though (unless it gets used to cut off the sun hitting the eyepieces from the side, something I might try). It is aslo quite warm for our summer period here. 42mm binoculars and the Collins guide fit easily in
That Big Pockets looks well thought and an item of quality. I might order it.
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Old Monday 7th September 2015, 09:44   #5
Aaron Feuer
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Originally Posted by fugl View Post
Agreed, an excellent product which I've used for years and which, in addition to the virtues you mention, wears like iron. In recent years in fact I've started wearing one all the time, birding or not, and now own 3 so I always have a clean one on-hand for "social" occasions.
It definitely is a great vest. My favorite spot to go birding here in Cincinnati is Gilmore Ponds Preserve Metro Park. It tends to be humid around there so the mesh linings cooling effect is a nice touch and the light weight of the vest itself means it won't become too cumbersome.

On a side note, BP also offers the tropical vest which features 10 pockets. The equatorial vest cost me only an additional 10 dollars.
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Old Monday 7th September 2015, 10:19   #6
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Got the Big Pockets about 10 months ago - love it, although I think it makes me look 10 years older than I actually am (but the birds don't care!).
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Old Monday 7th September 2015, 15:58   #7
Aaron Feuer
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Originally Posted by gandytron View Post
Got the Big Pockets about 10 months ago - love it, although I think it makes me look 10 years older than I actually am (but the birds don't care!).
Haha! I personally think it looks professional.
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Old Monday 7th September 2015, 15:59   #8
Aaron Feuer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkokkolis View Post
I have an Americanino vest, mostly a fashion item than a real field vest. I put my gear in my monosling or backpack.
But I use a Dark Skies Apparel's Hooded Observing Vest for astronomy every time and this proved very useful. It has open big pockets. It could be used outside astronomy, the hood would be of no use though (unless it gets used to cut off the sun hitting the eyepieces from the side, something I might try). It is aslo quite warm for our summer period here. 42mm binoculars and the Collins guide fit easily in
That Big Pockets looks well thought and an item of quality. I might order it.
That will definitely get the job done. My father uses a similar vest and he has no trouble.
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Old Friday 11th September 2015, 07:41   #9
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I tried the Dark Skies Apparel's Hooded Observing Vest today in the morning (it will be too hot in a couple of hours but I see it fine for 8 months per year). I simulated some birding on pigeons, putted various pieces of equipment in the pockets. I used
Collins Bird Guide (right oughter)
LG Tablet (left oughter)
Bicycle Gloves (left outer)
Canon 12x36IS or second 32-42mm pair (left or right inner)
Canon 18x50 fits there too!!! (with strap hanging though)
Pentax Papilio 6.5x21 (left or right inner)
e-Cig (right top)
Eyeglasses (left top or any middle)
iPhone (left middle)
Caps- Covers (from Canon, any middle)
Free space for handkerchiefs, pens etc (middle and left upper)
Zeiss 8x42 on neck. With short strap it goes between neck and hood, with long any way it feels comfortable
The hood was a great glare killer, although in public places one might look peculiar.

I don't have long hands enough to take a selfie, but here I am before a star party.

http://www.darkskiesapparel.com/Costas&Tassos1.JPG
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Old Wednesday 30th September 2015, 21:11   #10
David in NC
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I wear a vest everyday when off duty but I realize my situation is not a direct answer to the OPs question.

I have 4 generic Supplex vests (for 3 seasons use-similar to an older Columbia model) that I rotate and wear until they get stained or "smelly" then go to the next while one is in the cleaners. They certainly serve while birding but mainly they make easy covering garments for concealed weapons and you really become addicted to the extra pockets! I'm old enough to not care that some fashion geeks would have a stroke at wearing a Supplex vest every single day with khaki cargo pants and polos and the practicality rules.

With the ultrathin Supplex and vents in the vest there is almost no added "heat" buildup. Again, the extra pockets also become addicting. I can carry pens, a couple of EDC type flashlights, lens cloth for sunglasses/optics, wallet, checkbook, pocket knives, etc.

In the wintertime I wear a fleece, wool, or hemp-like vest as wardrobe dictates in place of the warmer weather Supplex models.

Even when wearing a coat in wintertime my vest stays on-I have to take the coat off riding in a car or going inside a business or restaurant but the vest continues to do it's job of concealment and providing the extra pockets.
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Old Monday 11th January 2016, 21:53   #11
June
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I'm interested to know if anyone who uses the Big Pockets vest (either one) also wears a binocular harness over it. How does that work?
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Old Wednesday 13th January 2016, 19:56   #12
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Hi all I use Country Innovation waistcoats, two Venture and one Traveller, and I find them excellent, I have no connection to the company!
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Old Sunday 17th January 2016, 14:25   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by June View Post
I'm interested to know if anyone who uses the Big Pockets vest (either one) also wears a binocular harness over it. How does that work?
I've used the Big Pockets equatorial vest extensively with a harness.
The vest goes over the harness, which works well because the vest front is quite open and does not interfere with the harness like a jacket would.
In the warmer regions, a binocular suspender harness is imho much more comfortable than the usual harness arrangement of 2 arm loops attached at the back with the glass hung from the front.

Vero Vellini has a one such model, hard to find, but still on auction:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/301830537543

These should not be confused with their BinoPal harness, a standard 2 arm loop design.
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Old Tuesday 19th January 2016, 16:15   #14
June
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Thanks! I've looked at the suspender type binoc harness online, but wonder if, attached to lightweight pants, it might create a wedgie effect.
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Old Tuesday 19th January 2016, 16:48   #15
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Some people pay extra for that

If you want a cheap and simple way to try a suspender type harness, one way is to buy a pair of suspenders (or braces as we Brits call them) get the type that are basically two separate pieces with a plastic clip holding them together, and just shorten one.

This has the advantage that it will work with your existing binocular strap.

Last edited by Torchepot : Tuesday 19th January 2016 at 16:59.
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Old Tuesday 19th January 2016, 20:19   #16
etudiant
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Thanks! I've looked at the suspender type binoc harness online, but wonder if, attached to lightweight pants, it might create a wedgie effect.
Have not ever found that to occur, even with light weight buzz-off pants.
The neoprene shoulder straps don't shift easily, weighted down as they are by the binoculars.
Torchepot, I like your idea, it seems a smart budget alternative.
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