• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

How do you carry your binoculars? (1 Viewer)

How do you carry your binoculars


  • Total voters
    222
For me the neck strap around the neck is fine as long as I am wearing a hoodie or a coat. On longer outings or when I am just wearing a T-shirt I carry my binoculars like this:
View attachment 1426883
My anorak has a kangaroo pouch into which my bins slip easily when they're on the rucksack rig.
Thanks for sharing, this is cool. This is not so different from the badlands concept except they hook to four points on the pack and they are connecting their binopack instead.
 
.
On a week long birding break earlier in January I didn’t see anyone using a harness on bird reserves/hot spots around the north coast of Norfolk. That was out of a sample of well over 100 individuals.
Only one birding friend of a group of approximately twenty people I know well and see regularly, uses a harness.
And, of the birding friends mentioned above, the preference is for 10x42 binoculars (Leica, Swarovski and Zeiss are the preferred brands).

I wonder how much of the perceived preferences you have observed are due to geographical location.
There probably is something regional or cultural to it. I live in the western United States, with time in both Utah and Idaho. We have expansive landscapes where public lands are plentiful, with access to abundant trails and expansive viewsheds where veiwing distances are measured in miles. Also, my peers are wildlife or natural resource professionals and are often birders as well. So they do tend to get ideas from each other and form cultural norms. My other group of peers are big game hunters who are hiking off trail for miles over steep and rough terrain with a pack, a rifle in a sling and often a range finder as well. That group also tends to form cultural norms. Its rare to see them use the neck strap. I should note that most of my peers from both groups are using harnesses, not chest packs like I use, but the chestpacks are becoming more common. Also 10x is more common among my peers compared to 8x, and you do see 12x from time to time.
 
Thanks for sharing, this is cool. This is not so different from the badlands concept except they hook to four points on the pack and they are connecting their binopack instead.
It is very comfortable and the weight of your binoculars are not an issue because of the counter weight of your rucksack. I own two alpha x42s which I otherwise would not use so often in the field. The only downside really is that you don't have direct access to your rucksack. I have also fitted a regular strap with those anchor links.
 
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.
Harnesses are a nuisance, and that's putting it mildly. If you live in a part of the world where the weather changes a lot you need to change your clothing all the time. Wind, rain, sunshine, sudden showers ... Plus I always carry a small backpack. So, say, I need to get into my raingear, that means I take off the backpack, get out of the harness, put on my rain jacket, put on the harness. No way. Too much of a hassle.

Harnesses? I hate them.

Hermann
 
Harnesses are a nuisance, and that's putting it mildly. If you live in a part of the world where the weather changes a lot you need to change your clothing all the time. Wind, rain, sunshine, sudden showers ... Plus I always carry a small backpack. So, say, I need to get into my raingear, that means I take off the backpack, get out of the harness, put on my rain jacket, put on the harness. No way. Too much of a hassle.

Harnesses? I hate them.

Hermann
I definitly hear you on this. Its what I put up with too and it is a hassel with a harness. But for me its worth it as a tradeoff instead of a neck or back ache. I totally get it though.
 
There probably is something regional or cultural to it. I live in the western United States, with time in both Utah and Idaho. We have expansive landscapes where public lands are plentiful, with access to abundant trails and expansive viewsheds where veiwing distances are measured in miles. Also, my peers are wildlife or natural resource professionals and are often birders as well. So they do tend to get ideas from each other and form cultural norms. My other group of peers are big game hunters who are hiking off trail for miles over steep and rough terrain with a pack, a rifle in a sling and often a range finder as well. That group also tends to form cultural norms. Its rare to see them use the neck strap. I should note that most of my peers from both groups are using harnesses, not chest packs like I use, but the chestpacks are becoming more common. Also 10x is more common among my peers compared to 8x, and you do see 12x from time to time.
Who’s , what brand harness?
 
My harness was/is a sportsmens warehouse retail store brand. I have seen Leopold, Vortex, Rustic Ridge, Crooked horn, I don't notice much difference between them. For bino chest packs I have seen people with the the Vortex glass pack, Kuiu, Eberlestock, Alps, but I see Badlands the most. I got my son a Vortex Diamondback binocular for a christmas present and it came with their Vortex glasspak instead of a case.
 

Attachments

  • 20220128_212324.jpg
    20220128_212324.jpg
    2.9 MB · Views: 34
  • 20220128_210831.jpg
    20220128_210831.jpg
    2.3 MB · Views: 31
  • 20220128_210948.jpg
    20220128_210948.jpg
    2.8 MB · Views: 32
  • 20220128_211001.jpg
    20220128_211001.jpg
    2 MB · Views: 29
  • 20220128_211226.jpg
    20220128_211226.jpg
    3.3 MB · Views: 30
  • 20220128_211356.jpg
    20220128_211356.jpg
    2.2 MB · Views: 29
Here is the bino connect system from Badlands, modeled by my son.
 

Attachments

  • 20220128_211926.jpg
    20220128_211926.jpg
    1.7 MB · Views: 21
  • 20220128_211922.jpg
    20220128_211922.jpg
    1.9 MB · Views: 21
.
On a week long birding break earlier in January I didn’t see anyone using a harness on bird reserves/hot spots around the north coast of Norfolk. That was out of a sample of well over 100 individuals.
Only one birding friend of a group of approximately twenty people I know well and see regularly, uses a harness.
And, of the birding friends mentioned above, the preference is for 10x42 binoculars (Leica, Swarovski and Zeiss are the preferred brands).

I wonder how much of the perceived preferences you have observed are due to geographical location.

My own experience (mostly London area, UK) is very similar. I doubt I have seen any more than a handful of birders carry their binoculars with a harness, and I have never felt the need to use one myself. (in terms of format I definitely see both x32 and x42, and I'm pretty sure a good many 8x as well as 10x)

When I go birding I normally carry just my binoculars and a smallish rucksack with, at most, a bottle of water and a couple of chocolate bars - maybe an extra jumper. The furthest I need to walk to my vantage points is about half an hour, and I'm almost always in an urban or semi-urban environment. My observing sessions are normally two to a maximum of five hours, although during the long days of summer I may be out twice or even three times (morning, midday, late afternoon). In really tropical climates I find even a strap round my neck unpleasant and put it over one shoulder, using the binoculars with the strap wrapped around one wrist.

It would be interesting to know what other folks would do in the same situation.
 
Harnesses are a nuisance, and that's putting it mildly. If you live in a part of the world where the weather changes a lot you need to change your clothing all the time. Wind, rain, sunshine, sudden showers ... Plus I always carry a small backpack. So, say, I need to get into my raingear, that means I take off the backpack, get out of the harness, put on my rain jacket, put on the harness. No way. Too much of a hassle.

Harnesses? I hate them.

Hermann
Hi Hermann,
I used to think harnesses looked like a hassle until I tried one. I use one all the time now.
I live in Britain where the weather is extremely changeable. If it starts raining or it gets hotter or colder, I have to change my clothing which means I have to take my pack off, put clothes on or off. Taking a harness on or off is just an extra thing to do .. No big deal compared to the level of comfort it provides.
As for rain, I carry a poncho. If it really hammers down with rain, poncho goes over everything. Me, the pack, the bins, even my scope and tripod hanging from a strap on my shoulder. Everything is sheltered.

Best wishes
 
Hi Hermann,
I used to think harnesses looked like a hassle until I tried one. I use one all the time now.
I live in Britain where the weather is extremely changeable. If it starts raining or it gets hotter or colder, I have to change my clothing which means I have to take my pack off, put clothes on or off. Taking a harness on or off is just an extra thing to do .. No big deal compared to the level of comfort it provides.
As for rain, I carry a poncho. If it really hammers down with rain, poncho goes over everything. Me, the pack, the bins, even my scope and tripod hanging from a strap on my shoulder. Everything is sheltered.

Best wishes

This has been my experience as well. I have a number of different styles of harness. The only type that has never worked well for me is the standard width all elastic shoulder harness. If adjusted secure enough for me there is too much tension to comfortably view. When adjusted loosely enough for comfortable viewing the bins swing around enough that the benefit of a harness is lost. But the versions with wider straps like Crooked Horn Magnum and the Nyack work very well. I also have a version with non elastic shoulder straps and elastic torso straps which works well. Non elastic harnesses also work well on smaller lighter bins like 28/30 mm models.

IME, even different length bins of same or similar weight may require a different harness to get the full benefit. Finally it really helps to experiment with the adjustment of the harness to fit your body, clothing and preferred carry position on the chest.

Mike
 
My own experience (mostly London area, UK) is very similar. I doubt I have seen any more than a handful of birders carry their binoculars with a harness, and I have never felt the need to use one myself. (in terms of format I definitely see both x32 and x42, and I'm pretty sure a good many 8x as well as 10x)

When I go birding I normally carry just my binoculars and a smallish rucksack with, at most, a bottle of water and a couple of chocolate bars - maybe an extra jumper. The furthest I need to walk to my vantage points is about half an hour, and I'm almost always in an urban or semi-urban environment. My observing sessions are normally two to a maximum of five hours, although during the long days of summer I may be out twice or even three times (morning, midday, late afternoon). In really tropical climates I find even a strap round my neck unpleasant and put it over one shoulder, using the binoculars with the strap wrapped around one wrist.

It would be interesting to know what other folks would do in the same situation.
I have a fanny pack loaded couple with power bars, trail maps, room for a rain jacket or vest, (depending) and water bottle hanging on a hook ready to go. Binos in their case. Grab and go those gets me to the trail head. Binos bandolier style and fanny pack are the way I hike. I am looking hard at the front pack though. Hiking by SF Bay means potentially, fog/mist, strong winds, no shade. The idea of keeping the elements off my lens is appealing, adding complexity, less so.
 
Here is the bino connect system from Badlands, modeled by my son.
Thanks Kevin,
Tried Kuiu or FHF? Looking for most protection with least bells and whistles. No need for all the extra punches sticking out here and there. Kuiu seems to get that front flap out of the way better, when pack open?
 
Thanks Kevin,
Tried Kuiu or FHF? Looking for most protection with least bells and whistles. No need for all the extra punches sticking out here and there. Kuiu seems to get that front flap out of the way better, when pack open?
I swear I'm not on the payroll... but if you want the LEAST 'stuff' check out BinoBro. Nothing else comes near.
 
Looked at the pics. Have you tried these others?

'Tried'... no. Fondled in stores? Some, yes. Most pouches are a full 6-sided heavy(er) fabric, and most have neoprene or padded shoulder straps, pockets, etc. I searched for something that would just:
1)take the weight off my neck
2) keep rain off bino eyepcs
3) require minimum 'handling' or movement to deploy binos
4) keep binos from flopping around even if I am crawling (literally)
5) involve minimum bulk so that I am unencumbered
I hunt in Eastern forests with a traditional bow and traditional methods (ground stalking). So for me, something even requiring a little latch, or which is made of noisy fabric, etc. is a non-starter. I wear a shoulder bag or fanny pack or daypack for storage etc., as needed.

I also - when not looking to fill our freezer for the year - enjoy viewing and observing wildlife, and birds in particular. Not suprisingly, I do that much like hunting, and the pouch is a great way to carry binos when out hiking or trekking about.

The harness is just flat webbing with some buckles (no bulk, less hot, fits under pack).
The fabric is a mesh like material towards chest - not as waterproof I guess, but the soft faced ripstop (waterproof) fabric towards exterior, forms a 'lid' which provides substantial cover. I have been in deluge, and it's of course not as good as a full-on pouch. The lid can be folded back so that I can pull the binos out one-handed.

The lack of bulk also means that if want to stow the whole thing, it's flattens into a pretty low-bulk package.

Anyway, not for everyone, but works for me!

Note that pics show binos with eyepc covers. I don't usually use them so that I can pull out one-handed ready-to-use (grabbed wife's 8x32 Trinnies for pic, which usually sits on kitchen counter). Also the top flap has an elastic cord so you can tighten it and then it'll snug up over top of binos. I don't, because i like the 'opening' to be wide so they come out and go back in w/out hanging up (again a result of stealth being important to me most of the time).

Looks like one of my straps going into pouch was twisted :-/

IMG_6385.jpgIMG_6390.jpgIMG_6386.JPGIMG_6387.jpgIMG_6389.jpgIMG_6388.jpg
 
Last edited:
'Tried'... no. Fondled in stores? Some, yes. Most pouches are a full 6-sided heavy(er) fabric, and most have neoprene or padded shoulder straps, pockets, etc. I searched for something that would just:
1)take the weight off my neck
2) keep rain off bino eyepcs
3) require minimum 'handling' or movement to deploy binos
4) keep binos from flopping around even if I am crawling (literally)
5) involve minimum bulk so that I am unencumbered
I hunt in Eastern forests with a traditional bow and traditional methods (ground stalking). So for me, something even requiring a little latch, or which is made of noisy fabric, etc. is a non-starter. I wear a shoulder bag or fanny pack or daypack for storage etc., as needed.

I also - when not looking to fill our freezer for the year - enjoy viewing and observing wildlife, and birds in particular. Not suprisingly, I do that much like hunting, and the pouch is a great way to carry binos when out hiking or trekking about.

The harness is just flat webbing with some buckles (no bulk, less hot, fits under pack).
The fabric is a mesh like material towards chest - not as waterproof I guess, but the soft faced ripstop (waterproof) fabric towards exterior, forms a 'lid' which provides substantial cover. I have been in deluge, and it's of course not as good as a full-on pouch. The lid can be folded back so that I can pull the binos out one-handed.

The lack of bulk also means that if want to stow the whole thing, it's flattens into a pretty low-bulk package.

Anyway, not for everyone, but works for me!

Note that pics show binos with eyepc covers. I don't usually use them so that I can pull out one-handed ready-to-use (grabbed wife's 8x32 Trinnies for pic, which usually sits on kitchen counter). Also the top flap has an elastic cord so you can tighten it and then it'll snug up over top of binos. I don't, because i like the 'opening' to be wide so they come out and go back in w/out hanging up (again a result of stealth being important to me most of the time).

Looks like one of my straps going into pouch was twisted :-/

View attachment 1427154View attachment 1427153View attachment 1427155View attachment 1427156View attachment 1427157View attachment 1427159
Ahh, I see that is different from those others. Would notve been able to make the distinction without your pics. Thank you
 
I used to think harnesses looked like a hassle until I tried one. I use one all the time now.
I tried a few. Didn't work for me, I'm afraid. Maybe I'll give it another try sometime.
I live in Britain where the weather is extremely changeable.
I know, I lived in England for a couple of years ... :) Did most of my birding in Suffolk and Norfolk at the time.
As for rain, I carry a poncho. If it really hammers down with rain, poncho goes over everything. Me, the pack, the bins, even my scope and tripod hanging from a strap on my shoulder. Everything is sheltered.
A poncho is nice. I also prefer a poncho over rain jacket and rain trousers - unless it's really windy. I wouldn't really wear a poncho in a howling gale.

Hermann
 
Thanks Kevin,
Tried Kuiu or FHF? Looking for most protection with least bells and whistles. No need for all the extra punches sticking out here and there. Kuiu seems to get that front flap out of the way better, when pack open?
I have not tried the kuiu nor FHF. I personally like the magnetic flaps of the Balands models the best, they are quick, secure and silent. Athough I would say that any bino pack has the same basic function.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top