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How do you carry your binoculars? (1 Viewer)

How do you carry your binoculars


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KevinL

Well-known member
Someone on another thread said something recently about harnesses not working for them so it made me wonder how others carry their binoculars. When I got my first binocular I went with the original neck strap. I I found myself carrying it more often off one shoulder safari style. I quickly switched to a shoulder harness and used that for several years. It was far better than the neck strap, but the problem I had was that the binoculars were not very well protected and got dirty. Plus they kind of still flop around back and forth at times if I had to lean down to pass a low branch or something. While I was out once, I saw a guy with a bino harness/chest pack that had a magnetic flap that opened for easy access to the binoculars. I was like whoa that is so cool. So shortly afterwards I purchased chest pack harness made by Browning. That worked well for the compact binoculars I had at the time but when I upgraded my optics to a larger pair, the new pair no longer fit in the browning pack. So I gave that bino pack and binocular to my wife and it is what she still uses. The upgraded binocular came with a case and I fashioned a makeshift chest pack out of it with a harness and an extra strap. That worked pretty well for a little while, but I felt like I had too many straps around me with that set up. When I could afford it, I got a badlands chest pack. It has offered me easy access, comfortable carrying, protection for the binoculars and it has kept my binoculars clean as well. I have to clean my lenses far less with the chest pack. It has pockets and so I include a lens pen and a cloth for cleaning. I don't get fatigued at all with my chest pack even with all day use. The one draw back of my badlands model is the connectors were such that they were not easily removed from the binoculars, so sharing my binoculars with someone else or putting them on a tripod was not possible. Sharing is important to me because I have young kids who always want to look but don't have their own binoculars yet. I solved this by attaching some small plastic clips to the binocular that lets me easily disconnect them. The other drawback was that when I was wearing a backpack in addition to the chest harness, it feels like I am doubled up on straps. Badlands solved this by adding a binoconnect systems for their backpacks wherein I can clip the harness directly to the shoulder straps of their back pack. So I had to get a badlands backpack to use it. It is a nice idea but I have not used it much in practice. It is sort of inconvenient to have to disconnect your binoculars every time you want to take your backpack off. On the other hand, the times when I did use it, the binoculars counterbalance the backpack and I hardly notice them. I highly recommend a chest pack and especially the badlands models with the magnetic doors. They are just so great. Here is another method I found recently, something they call the pirate method (see picture below). I have a friend who connects the case his binoculars came with to a belt and carries them that way. Anyway, I look forward to your responses. Tell me how you carry your binoculars, what you have tried and what worked the best for you?

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Nice thoughtful in-depth post.

I have used a shoulder harness for years. Even with light weight bins. Why strain your neck?
I like the idea of counterbalancing the pack and bins against each other but only if I was going to wear the pack for long periods. My birding tends to be short walks with drives in-between so I haven't tried this method.

I think the photo looks like the wedgie harness method though 😂
 
Nice thoughtful in-depth post.

I have used a shoulder harness for years. Even with light weight bins. Why strain your neck?
I like the idea of counterbalancing the pack and bins against each other but only if I was going to wear the pack for long periods. My birding tends to be short walks with drives in-between so I haven't tried this method.

I think the photo looks like the wedgie harness method though 😂
I agree the shoulder harness was my preferred method for more than a decade. So much so that I wondered why manufacturers even continued to provide neck straps. Looks like some still use them. After using a binopack Im not likely to go back.
 
Ah, Manufacturers strap, around neck, (at junction of neck/shoulder) one side, threaded down and across body to opposing waist/hip. Strap (if padded), adjusted/biased slightly for where the bino resides, more on low chest rather than hip, while walking and for an at the ready position to slide up to face, when needed. Aka, "cross body." That help?
 
Rick Young harness for most of the bins I use regularly, and I use a bandolier style carry for regular straps.

I should mention that with the Rick Young string harness, because of the camera I often carry (Nikon 950), I only put one shoulder in the harness so the binocular goes to the side opposite the camera, which is carried bandolier style.

-Bill
 
Rick Young Harness and 8x32 SF has been amazing for me. I wear it multiple ways - bandolier, harness, regular neck strap, and even some sort of quasi one shoulder/neck strap thing sometimes.
 

I really like this chest pouch. Very minimalist, light, and unobtrusive.
He's also a 'cottage industry' which means if stock sizes don't work for new product or something unusual, it's possible he can modify or update size etc.
 

I really like this chest pouch. Very minimalist, light, and unobtrusive.
He's also a 'cottage industry' which means if stock sizes don't work for new product or something unusual, it's possible he can modify or update size etc.
Nice addition, thanks.
 
I carry my main binocular in the case over my shoulder until I start birding, and then I use the neck strap and I have objective covers and a rain guard to protect the lenses which I keep on until I star seeing birds. My pocket binoculars I carry in the case strapped to my belt and then remove them when I start birding and hang them around my neck with the neck strap. I don't care for harnesses that much. Too heavy and complicated to use.
 

I really like this chest pouch. Very minimalist, light, and unobtrusive.
He's also a 'cottage industry' which means if stock sizes don't work for new product or something unusual, it's possible he can modify or update size etc.
Plus they actually have two sizes to fit porros, one for 8x30s and one for 7x42s/10x40s. Very commendable, especially since he upgraded the rigging with triglides on the front straps for better adjustment.
 
I did not expect to see the original neck strap wind up in the majority. I remember wondering why manufacturers bother even including a stap because so many I know use a harness. Come to think of it, no one I know uses the original strap as all use harnesses. I thought it was a near universal default. After switching to a harness I would never go back to the single strap. And after using a bino harness pack, I will probably only go back to a regular harness under special circumstances. One thing that makes sense to me now is the seeming majority preference for 32mm and other compact binoculars by folks here on bird forum. I can completely understand why that is now. If I were using the provided neck strap, I would also prefer a smaller lighter binocular. My first 8x42 binocular used to give me a neck ache after only a half day of use. That went away and I could go all day with my bins when I swiched to a harness and even more so with he chest pack.
 

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