Are you wondering what to look for in a bino harness system?
Most of us want our binoculars under control, but that’s just part of the equation.
In this article, you’ll get a breakdown of the three main components and the role they play.
Hopefully, it will put you in a better position to make a choice.
Let’s first clarify why you should use a bino harness.
Why use a bino harness
Ultimately, a bino harness should help you get faster.
Because deer don’t give you a second chance.
And I mean faster as in able to operate your gear efficiently.
It needs to keep your binoculars out of the way when you don’t need them.
But ready for action when you do.
That way, you get more time to set up for a shot.
And you improve your chance of putting wild meat in the freezer.
Let’s look at how that’s achieved. After we’ve covered a few terms.
Binocular harness terminology
You should consider the harness system from three perspectives.
1. The harness - secures the caddy to your body
2. The caddy - holds the binoculars
3. The system - gives you options for carrying extra gear
Some folks refer to this set-up as a Bino caddy, a bino harness, a chest pack or something completely different. They all mean the same thing.
1. The harness
The harness is the critical piece that keeps your binoculars under control.
It should give you the following benefits:
• Binonoculars snug to your body
• Binoculars secure and under control
• Optimal weight distribution
The primary benefit of a harness, compared to a strap, is control.
The harness must stop your binoculars from swinging around and getting in the way.
The devil is in the detail, though.
Some harnesses only connect with the caddy or the binoculars at the top.
That’s not optimal, as it allows the binoculars to swing around the mounting point.
The harness needs to connect at the top and the base of the caddy to give you full control.
The harness also needs to move with your body and distribute the weight evenly. Otherwise, it won’t be comfortable on longer days out.
A good harness will also include some form of security strap that connects directly to the binoculars.
That way you can let go of your binoculars if you’re in a hurry to shoot or move.
The caddy holds the binoculars.
In essence, a caddy must deliver three key benefits.
• Clean optics
• Easy access
• Snug fit
Getting the right balance between the elements is critical for success.
Here’s why they’re essential.
Let's look at them one by one.
This one is pretty obvious. Without clean optics, your binoculars are close to useless. Or they rob you of precious time when sorting them out.
Here's the important point.
To keep your lenses free of dirt or water, you just need the caddy to cover the eye-cups and the objectives.
Without easy access, a harness system will slow you down.
And speed is king when getting ready to shoot. Deer usually don’t give you a second chance.
When you quickly need a second look at the trophy. Or when you are suddenly in a hurry to shoot.
The caddy must be quick to use.
Some systems use a pouch, others a more open design.
Here at RedKettle, we favour the open design, because it gives faster access to your binoculars.
And there is no practical downside. The open design will keep your optics free of water and dirt.
The caddy must meet the goldilocks rule... Not too big. Not too small, but just right.
A pair of binoculars that rattle in the caddy might not be “out of control”. But they will drive you nuts when you can feel them moving around.
3. The system
You can think of the system in terms of two extremes.
Minimalist vs modular.
On the minimalist side, the harness provides limited adjustment but might come in at a lower price point.
On the modular side, you get a system you can adapt to your needs. And one that allows you to carry extra gear.
At RedKettle favour the modular end of the scale.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself if you’re after a modular system.
• Does it work with accessories
• Does it let you you adjust to your needs (and binoculars)
A great system will allow you to mount accessory pouches on the harness.
And ideally also let you adjust and/or remove pieces to get the best fit with your binoculars.
Lot’s of things to look out for.
I hope this article gave you food for thought. And help to choose the solution best for you.