A good pair of binoculars is a tool that should be on every hunter’s gear list. Whether you’re doing long-range scouting, hunting in the backcountry or sitting in a tree stand or blind on a farm, binoculars help you look for movement, see more than the naked eye and get a good visual of an animal. And when you invest in a good pair of binoculars, it’s important to protect them.
Until recently, I was using a basic harness that clipped onto my binoculars. It was comfortable and compact, but when hiking in rugged or steep terrain, I found that it bounced a lot and my optics weren’t protected from the elements. I have looked at various binocular harness packs in the past, but held out on purchasing one because I was leery of having a “front pack” in addition to my backpack—concerned that it would be too big, too hot, in the way and just uncomfortable.
After much consideration, I decided to purchase the ALPS OutdoorZ Bino Harness X pack. I received it in time to use on the last weekend of archery elk season.
FEATURES AND BENEFITS
Adjustable loop closure for quick, easy and quiet access. Many competitive packs have snap, zipper or Velcro closures which can make accessing binoculars slow and can be loud in the field. This was one of the most important features for my purchase. I like how easy and quiet the pack is to open and close.
Front U-shaped design allows for quick access to binoculars without having to reach into a pack. But, if the loop closure isn’t fastened, it may be easier for your binoculars to fall out if you bend over.
Attached lens cloth in separate zipper compartment is helpful for wiping dust from lenses, and since it is attached, there’s not issue with dropping or losing it. And being in a separate compartment, it doesn’t interfere with accessing your binoculars.
Adjustable and detachable harness fits a variety of body types/sizes and can be adjusted to fit over thicker or thinner clothing. It is easy to adjust, and includes elastic bands so the excess strap can be folded and tucked away.
Non-metallic attachment straps easily attach to your binoculars, and quick release snaps make it easy to disconnect.
Padded back panel is compact and comfortable.
Straps on the side of the pack for attaching other accessories, such as a range finder case.
Small side pocket can be used for wind indicator, mouth calls or other small items that you may need quick access too.
The Bino Harness X pack is available in two sizes with multiple color options:
Standard – 6.5" H x 5.5" W x 2.25" D, 11oz., available in Coyote Brown, Veil™ Cervidae or Veil™ Wideland
XL – 6.5" H x 7" W x 2.75" D, 12 oz., available in Coyote Brown
I purchased the XL case due to the dimensions of my binoculars, and they have plenty of room. The size is bulkier than I would personally prefer due to my size, frame and build, so I am considering purchasing the standard size. The harness is comfortable to wear and easy to adjust when wearing different jackets. It did not interfere with my backpack shoulder straps or camelback hydration pack. The loop closure is one of the biggest benefits to me, because it allows me to access my binoculars quickly without making any noise. The coyote brown color is neutral and a good option if you prefer a specific camo pattern, or if you want to wear you harness for vacations, instead of only for hunting trips.
Overall, I am satisfied with the purchase and would recommend this harness to anyone looking for a packing system for their binoculars. It offers many great features, and is a great value at $49.99 or $54.99 (depending on size purchased).
The Bino Harness X pack is available for purchase at ALPSOutdoorZ.com.
UPDATE: After initially writing this, I did end up purchasing the standard size bino pack and am extremely happy with the size. It has all of the same features as the XL but in a much more compact size that fits me and my build better. My Vortex Diamondback binos fit inside perfectly. Be sure to measure your binos to determine the size case you need.
Sarah Honadel is an avid outdoorswoman from Kentucky, now living in Idaho, who enjoys hunting elk, deer and turkey. She is a team member at Huntress View, Pro Staff for Browning Trail Cameras and Brand Ambassador for the GoWild app. Follow her on Instagram @waddysarah and @arrowridgecreations.
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