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How do you carry your binoculars? (1 Viewer)

How do you carry your binoculars


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In my experience the biggest disappointment with bino harnesses is not that they fail to deliver the promised benefits ...
But they do work, especially if you use heavy binoculars.
... but rather so few users understand in advance the discomfort of walking through a Summer woodland with the equivalent of a ‘D’ cup sports bra clamped to their man boobs!
Interesting comparison. I trust you conducted some experiments to make sure both really do feel the same ... :sneaky:

Hermann
 
In my experience the biggest disappointment with bino harnesses is not that they fail to deliver the promised benefits but rather so few users understand in advance the discomfort of walking through a Summer woodland with the equivalent of a ‘D’ cup sports bra clamped to their man boobs!

Trust me

LGM
Agree that the chest straps of harnesses chafe, silk t shirts provide a partial fix.
Vero Vellini used to offer a Y shaped strap that clipped to the belt in the back, so the weight of the glass was removed from the neck and nothing chafed.
That was difficult to wear with cold weather gear though.
Think bandoleers are a decent compromise, easy to put on or take off, comfortable and adequate for most occasions.
 
For What Its Worth:

This is what I have been using. It is called a "Binocsock". It has been quite useful. (Those are my Nikon 8x42 LX binoculars.)

The thing over the ocular lenses is a "Bino Bandit". It is nice to keep out stray light. And it just folds down and fits inside the "sack".

The attachments at the binocular are rubber O-Rings that attach to the plastic clip on the binocsock.

My brother and I each purchased a Binocsock many years ago (maybe 18 years ago?).
After maybe 8 or 9 years (not sure how long) the elastic was losing its stretch pretty bad, so it was time to replace it.
Since my brother had never used his and it was like new, I purchased his Binocsock.

Now, the elastic is getting all stretched out again, so it is looking like it is time to replace it.

I haven't figured out what I am going to do. Whether I will replace it completely with a regular neckstrap or buy some new elastic and ask a seamstress to sew it back together..... or??

One problem with the binocsock is that it is open on the one side and can get debris inside, especially while walking through dried leafy bushes. The elastic straps can also get caught on branches.

I have wondered about the Rick Young Binocular Harness for some time. It seems like it would work pretty well for most circumstances, but is perhaps better with lighter binoculars. It seems like the thin chord may feel like it is almost cutting into your skin. But, if you have on several layers of clothes perhaps that is not much of an issue. And, I like the way it can be worn in several different ways ... as a harness, a regular neckstrap, like a bandolier/purse, or in his bow hunter method demonstrated in the video:

OP/TECH makes some interesting straps and connections, too:

Not sure what I will end up doing to replace my Binocsock.

Dennis
 

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Dennis,

The Binosock looks nice, very similar to the Bino Shield which I have/use on several bins. The Bino Shield looks a little different based on your pictures in that it is designed to be used with a neck strap (OEM or other). This allows for instant conversion between strap and harness carry so to speak. I also like the Bino Bandit and use them depending on conditions.

The RYO harness is another favorite of mine but unless used with heavier clothing I prefer to use it with smaller 30/32mm bins and larger 25mm.

The non elastic web version of the Optech binocam harness is also especially good for smaller 32 through 28mm models.

Mike
 
For What Its Worth:

This is what I have been using. It is called a "Binocsock". It has been quite useful. (Those are my Nikon 8x42 LX binoculars.)

The thing over the ocular lenses is a "Bino Bandit". It is nice to keep out stray light. And it just folds down and fits inside the "sack".

The attachments at the binocular are rubber O-Rings that attach to the plastic clip on the binocsock.

My brother and I each purchased a Binocsock many years ago (maybe 18 years ago?).
After maybe 8 or 9 years (not sure how long) the elastic was losing its stretch pretty bad, so it was time to replace it.
Since my brother had never used his and it was like new, I purchased his Binocsock.

Now, the elastic is getting all stretched out again, so it is looking like it is time to replace it.

I haven't figured out what I am going to do. Whether I will replace it completely with a regular neckstrap or buy some new elastic and ask a seamstress to sew it back together..... or??

One problem with the binocsock is that it is open on the one side and can get debris inside, especially while walking through dried leafy bushes. The elastic straps can also get caught on branches.

I have wondered about the Rick Young Binocular Harness for some time. It seems like it would work pretty well for most circumstances, but is perhaps better with lighter binoculars. It seems like the thin chord may feel like it is almost cutting into your skin. But, if you have on several layers of clothes perhaps that is not much of an issue. And, I like the way it can be worn in several different ways ... as a harness, a regular neckstrap, like a bandolier/purse, or in his bow hunter method demonstrated in the video:

OP/TECH makes some interesting straps and connections, too:

Not sure what I will end up doing to replace my Binocsock.

Dennis

I wore a pair of 8.5x42 Swaro ELs on a RYO harness for approximately 9 hours straight yesterday during my visit to the Masters golf tournament. I experienced no ill effects! It's surprisingly comfortable and one of the major advantages is you can quickly and easily switch from "harness mode" to "bandolier mode". I would switch modes based on whether I was walking or sitting for extended periods. Also, it's so easy to quickly pop the bins off, hand them to another person to share a view, then pop them back onto the harness. It never got in the way of my pullover sweater, badge lanyard, holding a camp chair while walking, or any other scenario. Then at the end of the day it easily wraps around the binos and isn't too bulky to slide into a case with the bins so you never really have to detatch it.

I'm a firm believer that the RYO harness can't be beaten with the price and versatility. I highly recommend it.
 
Dennis,

The Binosock looks nice, very similar to the Bino Shield which I have/use on several bins. The Bino Shield looks a little different based on your pictures in that it is designed to be used with a neck strap (OEM or other). This allows for instant conversion between strap and harness carry so to speak. I also like the Bino Bandit and use them depending on conditions.

The RYO harness is another favorite of mine but unless used with heavier clothing I prefer to use it with smaller 30/32mm bins and larger 25mm.

The non elastic web version of the Optech binocam harness is also especially good for smaller 32 through 28mm models.

Mike
Hi Mike,

Thanks for your comments, they are greatly appreciated.

That Bino Shield looks interesting. But, is it only used with the binocular pack, or can it be used alone with a neckstrap/ harness?

Interesting you mention the RYO harness for smaller binoculars. That is right up my alley with my new lighter Nikon E2s.
I especially like how compact the RYO harness is.

A few things bother me about the RYO harness.

One, it appears to be elastic, which it seems will loose its stretch over time.

Two, is how to attach the binocular rainguard (lens cover) to the RYO harness. They do seem to make an attachment ($5.00) for that purpose.

Third, is using those metal split rings attached to the binoculars. It kinda bothers me to attach steel to the binoculars, since it is likely to cause some wear over time. RYO does seem to have a "connection strap" ($5.00) for that purpose also, but then they use a split ring above the connection strap,... but will it still rub?

There are probably ways to get around those issues, though.

The non elastic Optech harness looks interesting, too. I like the idea that it will last a long time because it isn't going to lose its stretch.

Thanks again.

Dennis
 
Its a start-up company from California, Peak-Design - catered mainly to photographers with excellent bags and straps. They hired a former apple engineer for some of their product design and it shows. I have been buying stuff from them for the last decade. Lifetime warranty on all their products (hence its worth checking out their used marketplace for their "certified pre-owned" stuff thats often discounted). I have their full size strap for my camera and use their smallest strap, "the leash" for bins. The material is top notch, comfortable, and easily "packable". The latch mechanism is brilliant. The adjustments to length are very easy to make and it doesn't slide or let loose. For the price its well worth a try.

Here is my conquest modeling the strap some more haha.
I wonder, doesn't the strap hurts your neck when used as a neck strap? There is no padding or something like that.
 
I have wondered about the Rick Young Binocular Harness for some time. It seems like it would work pretty well for most circumstances, but is perhaps better with lighter binoculars. It seems like the thin chord may feel like it is almost cutting into your skin. But, if you have on several layers of clothes perhaps that is not much of an issue. And, I like the way it can be worn in several different ways ... as a harness, a regular neckstrap, like a bandolier/purse,
I use this RY harnesse now since many years with my Ultravid 8x42, about 800g, and I still think it's the best way to carry a binocular. Things I like:

-very versatile, I use it "bandoleer style" when casually walking, or in harness style in normal birding. Easy adjusted in length to fit different layers of clothing.
-especially comfortable in hot sweaty climate, as there is no fat padded strap against the sweaty neck, but only thin cords against the shirt. It does not hurt even after a long day use with a thin shirt. It would probably with a heavier bin though.
-I often cycle for birding, and unlike with a normal strap, the bin is not bouncing around with the RY

What I do not like indeed is the key rings. I use OpTech adaptors to which I have directly connected the cords. I have also run the cord directly through the rain guard, see pic. The cords btw remain elastic, I see no degradation here (not that the elasticity is very important).

Highly recommended!
 

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Hi Mike,

Thanks for your comments, they are greatly appreciated.

That Bino Shield looks interesting. But, is it only used with the binocular pack, or can it be used alone with a neckstrap/ harness?

Interesting you mention the RYO harness for smaller binoculars. That is right up my alley with my new lighter Nikon E2s.
I especially like how compact the RYO harness is.

A few things bother me about the RYO harness.

One, it appears to be elastic, which it seems will loose its stretch over time.

Two, is how to attach the binocular rainguard (lens cover) to the RYO harness. They do seem to make an attachment ($5.00) for that purpose.

Third, is using those metal split rings attached to the binoculars. It kinda bothers me to attach steel to the binoculars, since it is likely to cause some wear over time. RYO does seem to have a "connection strap" ($5.00) for that purpose also, but then they use a split ring above the connection strap,... but will it still rub?

There are probably ways to get around those issues, though.

The non elastic Optech harness looks interesting, too. I like the idea that it will last a long time because it isn't going to lose its stretch.

Thanks again.

Dennis

Dennis,

The Bino Shield can be used with either a neck strap or a harness. When used with a strap the combination functions like a harness helping to take weight off the neck and reduce swing and sway.

The RYO harness would probably work very well with the E2 because I find it more effective in reducing sway with short barrel bins as opposed to longer bins. As others say, I haven't experienced any loss of elasticity.

I actually use the Bino Shield with a neck strap on my E2 8 and 10x so I don't have to use lens covers.

On attaching to the harness to the bin (and the rainguard), I normally don't use the split rings substituting either the RY attachments or more often, zip ties. One helpful tip from the RY site, whatever method you use keep the attachment method as short as possible to maximize the benefits of the elasticity in reducing sway.

I use the non elastic Optec harness on my Maven 7x28 but have never tried it on larger bins.

Hope this helps and as always YMMV.

Mike
 
For my new SF 10x32 I got the RY harness and while there are things I like about it I'm not 100% sold on it. I've used a harness on my SLCs for decades and they were softer and simpler. Not adjustable on the fly though. I do like that about the RY. I just don't really care for the material. I'm sure I'll acclimate though.

I think I'll switch back and forth though. Harness for longer hikes and the neck strap bandolier style for shorter outings. To make the transition super easy I picked up some quick release camera attachments off Amazon. One side I attached to the bins and the other to the strap and the harness. So now I can quickly change the method I use. I also used one of the attachments for the objective covers and attached it to the ocular covers. So I can quickly unclip either/both based on my needs. I rarely use objective covers in the field as they are always in the way but like to put them on before I put the bins away.
 
I had to reluctantly get used to a harness. The Canon 10x42 IS is too heavy for a neckstrap. The one I settled on is the Zeiss harness. Works pretty well, better in any case than the Optech harness.

Hermann
 
I wore a pair of 8.5x42 Swaro ELs on a RYO harness for approximately 9 hours straight yesterday during my visit to the Masters golf tournament. I experienced no ill effects! It's surprisingly comfortable and one of the major advantages is you can quickly and easily switch from "harness mode" to "bandolier mode". I would switch modes based on whether I was walking or sitting for extended periods. Also, it's so easy to quickly pop the bins off, hand them to another person to share a view, then pop them back onto the harness. It never got in the way of my pullover sweater, badge lanyard, holding a camp chair while walking, or any other scenario. Then at the end of the day it easily wraps around the binos and isn't too bulky to slide into a case with the bins so you never really have to detatch it.

I'm a firm believer that the RYO harness can't be beaten with the price and versatility. I highly recommend it.
Hi GDavis,

Thanks for your thoughts and the testimonial on the RYO harness.

I still haven't made a final decision on what I'm going to do.

It is tempting to just use the neckstrap that came with it.

Dennis
 
I didn’t say not to “protect your lenses” you said I said that. (sort of)

I am questioning whether or not anyone would be able to actually see the image degradation unless the scrach was very severe, and into the glass. (Not just the coatings)
I don't see them typically when in use but sometimes the scratch will catch a glare. It's more detrimental when trying to sell binoculars. Any type of scratch just kills resale value.
 
I don't see them typically when in use but sometimes the scratch will catch a glare. It's more detrimental when trying to sell binoculars. Any type of scratch just kills resale value.
In decades of field work in some nasty conditions I’ve never once scratched the objective lenses and I don’t use a cover for them. The ocular lenses I always cover. Most of the debris is falling down onto the ocular side and even when bushwhacking through manzanita and vine maple the binoculars naturally swing with the objective lenses protected by the body of the binoculars
 
I use the Rick Young harness with Swarovski 8.5 x 42 ELs. A brilliant product and you can buy adaptors that mean the metal rings do not make contact with the binos lugs. No more neck strain!
 
I’ve been using the Marsupial Gear enclosed harness for 2.5 months now with my NL12’s. I was using it up in the GA and VA mountains at the end of winter and now down in the FL heat. It’s still my favorite way to carry binos. I don’t sweat any more with the harness than without it. I took my EL8.5’s out the other day just carrying them with the neck strap and I missed chest harness… and the NL’s.
 
I stopped by the local sporting goods store last night and checked out the bino chest packs they had. In my opinion, badlands were the best design compared to the others in stock. The patented magnetic flap is just so clever and functional. Its quite, quick and secure. Badlands makes several models to suit various sizes of bins and situations. They offer the Bino C for compact bins, the mag bino for 42mm bins, the Bino X for large binoculars and the Bino XR with a pocket for a range finder.

 
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People with pacemakers and real watches (ie. hand-wound or automatic watches) should beware of items with magnetic flaps, catches or closures.
 
In decades of field work in some nasty conditions I’ve never once scratched the objective lenses and I don’t use a cover for them. The ocular lenses I always cover. Most of the debris is falling down onto the ocular side and even when bushwhacking through manzanita and vine maple the binoculars naturally swing with the objective lenses protected by the body of the binoculars
I have some fieldwork experience (roughly, latitudinally from the Arctic circle to East Antarctica, and Longitudinally from US to Australia). Yes, I have scratched both bin and camera glasses. I have actually smash an Swarovski glass that had to be replaced, a pair of zeiss Jena that are now just part of decoration, and a couple of cameras that ended up in the bin. I also broke a swaro STS80HD on fieldwork in Heard and Mcdonald island.
Shit happens, it is a matter how much you use a thing, how intense, and of course, bad luck.
 

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