In search of the best binocular harness for carrying your binoculars while traveling, birding, or hunting?

A pair of binoculars is a necessity for many outdoor activities, including hunting, fishing, bird watching, and even backpacking.

Carrying them in hand isn’t an option since you may need to lower them quickly to grab your rifle or a camera to get the perfect shot. But regular binocular straps put an unnecessary amount of weight on your neck, causing discomfort and pain.

That’s why many companies have come up with their version of the best binocular harness to take care of both these issues. A binocular harness uses multiple straps to evenly distribute the weight of your binos across your shoulders for less strain over a long day.

They have clips to attach your binoculars close to your chest while still allowing for freedom of movement. Many binocular harnesses also come with a pouch or case for added protection from dust or wet weather. Some even have extra storage pockets for carrying smaller items.

If you are in the market for a new bino harness system, check out our binocular harness reviews to see the top models available.

best-binocular-harness-reviews

Best Binocular Harness 2017

NameImageAttachment TypePadded StrapsCaseSizePriceOur Rating
Vortex Binocular Harness Strap

vortex-binocular-harness
ClipNoNoLow-profile$
See It
5
Bushnell Deluxe Binocular Harness
ClipNoNoLow-profile$
See It
5
S4Gear LockDown Binocular Harness
ClipYesYesFull-size$$
See It
4.5
Badlands Bino Harness X Case
Quick releaseYesYesFull-size$$$
See It
4.8
Vortex Optics Guide Harness & Case
Quick releaseNoYesFull-size$$
See It
4
Badlands Binocular Harness
ClipYesNoLow-profile$$
See It
4.5
Nikon Binocular Harness
ClipNoNoLow-profile$
See It
4.5
OP/TECH USA Bino Harness
ClipNoNoLow-profile$
See It
4.5
Allen 4 Way Adjustable Deluxe Binocular Strap
ClipNoNoLow-profile$
See It
4.5
Eyeskey Binoculars Harness Strap
ClipNoNoLow-profile$
See It
4.3

Binocular Harness Reviews

vortex-bino-harness-review

Vortex Binocular Harness Strap

This Vortex bino harness keeps your binoculars, camera, or rangefinder close and secure, no matter how fast you’re moving or how rugged the terrain. This keeps your binoculars safe, rather than allowing them to swing around while you walk.

There are two nylon/lycra straps that cross in the back for evenly distributed weight. This material is comfortable and flexible, giving you a wide range of movement. Though this binocular harness comes in only one size, the straps are adjustable enough to fit anyone.

There is a clip on each strap for attaching to your binoculars or other gear. These clips can be raised or lowered as needed, to give you the most comfortable use of your binoculars without missing the action.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Bushnell Deluxe Binocular Harness Review

Whether carrying a lightweight camera or a heavy-duty set of binoculars, this Bushnell binocular harness will keep you comfortable all day long. They keep your optics resting below your chin, so you can lift them comfortably when you need them.

The binocular straps are elastic, which stretches as you move while holding your binoculars tight to your chest. They are adjustable enough to fit pretty much anyone, even over a heavy hunting jacket.

There is a wide perforated back panel, which helps to distribute the weight on your front for less stress on your shoulders and neck. The perforations also keep you cool rather than locking in the heat, making this the best binocular harness for warmer, sweatier days.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

S4Gear LockDown Binocular Harness Review

For extra protection for your binoculars, the S4 binocular harness uses a moldable pouch to keep the bino casing safe and the glass free from scratches. This low-profile pouch is held tight to your chest, thanks to the comfortable, breathable harness that distributes the weight while keeping you cool.

When you’re ready to scan the area for game or doing a bit of bird watching, just undo the elastic strap holding the pouch closed and your binoculars are free. But don’t worry about them slipping from your hand, because even out of the pouch, the binoculars are still held tight by the ShockCord Security Straps.

Since the best binocular harness fits you and your style in even degrees, there are two adjustable sizes as well as two colors to choose from. Best of all, these fit a wide variety of brands, including Nikon, Bushnell, and Leupold.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Badlands Bino Harness X Case

The Bino X model is the best binocular harness Badlands has made so far. It is their largest model, able to carry 10×50 binoculars in a completely safe package.

The straps are adjustable over the chest and at your lower back, while the shoulder areas are fully padded for total comfort. This hands-free technology gives you freedom of movement for any situation.

The pouch gives your binoculars full coverage for fewer dings and scratches. The fabric is Badlands KXO-32, which is soft, yet durable, and totally waterproof. A built-in lens cleaner has also been added to the interior of this Badlands bino harness pouch for added convenience.

Instead of zippers, this binocular pouch uses a magnetic closure, for less fumbling and noise when you’re out in the wild.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Vortex Optics Guide Harness & Case

When you buy a harness and case for your binoculars, you want to be sure it is big enough to hold them. This case by Vortex does just that, with large main pocket that can hold binoculars up to 8 inches in length.

The integrated binocular leash holds tight to prevent them from falling to the ground if you should release them intentionally or by accident. The adjustable front and back straps allow you to fit this Vortex bino harness perfectly to your body.

Since additional storage can come in handy when out in the woods, this binocular case also includes a large front pouch, two side pockets, and a zippered pocket on the back. There are even elastic sleeves on the top for those items you want close at hand.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Badlands Binocular Harness

If you need a great binocular harness for hunting, it needs to keep your hands free while your binoculars are as accessible as possible. That’s why Badlands has created these durable binocular straps for those who need to scan the area quickly.

The shoulder straps are thickly padded using perforated neoprene, which allows airflow while you’re walking. These shoulder straps also eliminate soreness that could be caused using thinner straps.

Attached to the padded areas are adjustable elastic straps for the perfect fit. These also reduce bouncing, so your binoculars stay close to your chest. Two thick plastic Delrin clips hold tight to your binoculars for exceptional security. They also release quickly when it’s time to remove your gear at the end of the day.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Nikon Binocular Harness

This lightweight Nikon binocular harness uses elastic shoulder straps to evenly distribute the weight of your binoculars across your shoulders and back instead of straining your neck muscles while you hunt, hike, or bird watch.

There are adjustments on the straps both above and below the binocular clips, so you can get the perfect fit for your body type, no matter how big or small you are. The back piece is also self-centering, so it will always be positioned in the most comfortable position.

For those who aren’t worried about concealment, there is a black harness available, but for hunters who prefer to blend in with their surroundings, the camo colored harness may be the best binocular harness for you.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

OP/TECH USA Bino Harness

This simple binocular chest harness is easy to use, even for beginners. The binocular straps are made of either webbing or elastic, so you can choose which one you find most comfortable.

The upper shoulder straps self-adjust to keep the small back panel centered in the most comfortable position. The lower straps that run beneath your arm are adjustable to give you the right fit, whether in a t-shirt or a heavy coat.

There is a Uni-Loop on each side to connect to your binoculars or camera. You can disconnect these from the straps for easier attachment to your binos, and then quickly snap them back in place when you’re ready to go.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Allen 4 Way Adjustable Deluxe Binocular Strap

The elastic body of this binoculars harness moves with you while you walk through the woods, making it easier to raise your binos to scan the area for game or other wildlife. They spread the weight of your binoculars across your back and shoulders, giving your neck a break during long days out in the woods.

You can adjust the size of the straps both above and below the clip, so you can position the harness as you need it. This also allows you to keep your binoculars close without restricting movement when you raise them to your eyes.

There is a quick-release clip for easy attachment, and a second set of clips and rings are also included for a second pair of binos or even a camera for those wanting a few pictures of the beauty around you.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Eyeskey Binoculars Harness Strap

You don’t want your high-quality binoculars flopping around in such a way that it risks damage. That’s why Eyesky has created this binocular harness to keep them close to your chest, for safety and convenience.

The binocular straps are made of durable nylon to withstand abrasions and tears from the branches they may catch on while you walk through the woods. This material also slides easily, so there will be no struggling when you need to lift your binoculars to your eyes to scan the area or sight in on a possible target.

The wide back panel distributes the weight easily and is perforated for breathability. Though it is a bit of work to attach the binoculars to the ties on the clips, they will hold tight over any type of terrain.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Binocular Harness Buying Guide

Why Get a Binocular Harness?

Binoculars are an expensive part of your gear. Though they can be made of heavy-duty materials, they are still delicate, especially the lenses.  That’s why carrying them around in your hand is dangerous since they could be accidentally knocked against a tree or slip out of your sweaty hand and break on rugged, rocky terrain.

Some choose to put their binoculars into a backpack to keep them safe, but this is inconvenient. Every time you need to use them, you need to stop, put down anything you might be carrying, and rummage around in order to find them.

 

For hunters and bird watchers, this isn’t an option, since that elusive bird or buck may have left the area by the time you have the binos up to your eyes.

Many binoculars come with a strap, but these are uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. The only solution is to get yourself the best binocular harness money can buy. These distribute the weight while keeping your binoculars close at hand.

Advantages of Using a Binocular Harness

There are numerous advantages of using a binocular harness. The main one is that they are more efficient than the usual neck strap you see included with many pairs of binoculars.

They are made using a couple of straps that stretch over your shoulders and under your arms. They meet at the back to distribute the weight, causing less strain. Let’s face it, binoculars can be heavy, especially when you’re carrying them all day while hunting or hiking.

There are connectors on the front that clip onto your binoculars, keeping them close to your chest for less bouncing. This limits the damage your binoculars will sustain when you’re moving on uneven, rougher terrain. You pretty much need to fall forwards on top of them to cause any amount of damage when wearing the best binocular harness.

Another benefit is that you keep your hands free when you aren’t using them, while still keeping them close enough to grab and lift to your eyes in a matter of seconds when you need them.

Binocular Harness vs Binocular Straps?

A binocular strap can be an easy way to carry your binoculars, but easy isn’t always the best. The first downside to a strap is that they force you to carry the full weight of your binoculars on your neck, which can cause discomfort at first and pain if carried this way for too long.

Another disadvantage of the binocular strap is that it allows the binos to swing around in front of you while you walk or when you bend down to retrieve something. This is risky since you could accidentally bump your binoculars on something, causing irreparable damage.

best-binocular-harness-and-case

A binocular harness is different since there is more than one strap that stretches over your shoulders and across your back. This helps to distribute the weight over a much larger body area, reducing the strain for a more comfortable fit.

A binocular harness also offers more protection by holding the binoculars closer to you, eliminating the swinging and the possibility of damage. But the closeness of the binoculars doesn’t impair your ability to use them. You still have freedom of movement when you need to check out your surroundings.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Binocular Harness

Comfort

When it comes to comfort, it all depends on how long you’ll be wearing your binocular harness, and whether or not it’s the only thing on your back.

The basic straps are lightweight and can fit under the straps of your backpack if needed. They can also be enlarged to stretch over a heavy coat in the winter time without feeling too tight.

For days when you are wearing a light t-shirt, you may want something a bit more protective between you and the straps. Though weight distribution isn’t a problem, the straps could still move on your shoulders, causing some irritation.

There are a variety of binocular harnesses that come with padding over these areas for a more comfortable fit. These can be a bit bulky, though.

Before you buy, consider the type of clothing, gear, and conditions in order to decide just how much padding, if any, you’ll be needing.

Attachment Type

There are two types of attachments to choose from when checking out the best binocular harness.

The first is the quick release attachment, which uses a buckle-type closure similar to what you would find on a backpack. They are easy to use and release as quickly as their name suggests. This type of closure is also thicker and more durable, with less chance of snapping under heavy use. They can usually be tied onto the binocular anchors for a tight hold.

The snap-on attachment is also pretty sturdy, but not as convenient in the beginning. This is because it requires a metal ring that needs to be placed onto the anchors of your binoculars so they have something to attach to. The snap-on clips are a bit thinner, too, and may not last as long as their thicker counterparts.

Another disadvantage of the snap-ons is that the metal ring may rub against the binoculars, scraping against the finish and wearing it off.

Both of these attachments are sturdy and strong and will keep your binoculars held tight to your harness, so which you choose is really based on your personal preference.

Binocular Case

Though basic harnesses are just a set of straps and clips, the full-size harnesses can come with either a pouch or a full binocular case to carry your binoculars in.

The difference between the two has to do with the amount of coverage each offers. For instance, the pouch usually folds around the top and bottom of the binoculars, leaving most or all of the sides exposed. This is mostly to protect the glass lenses, keeping them safe from dust and debris that could be carried on the wind.

The case gives you full coverage, enclosing the binoculars completely, and sealing the in with a zipper, a magnet, or a loop and tab closure system. These offer the most protection from dust, rain, and anything else you might encounter.

The benefit of using both types of bags is that your binoculars are still accessible when you need them with little fuss. There is also the inclusion of storage pockets on some of the larger bags, which gives you more room to carry those items you’d like kept out of your backpack.

Profile

There are four types of binocular harnesses to choose from. These are the basic, the low-profile, the full-size, and the dual harnesses.

The basic harness is just like it sounds. It consists of a couple of straps that cross over your back, with a clip on each side at the front. There may be a small or large back panel, depending on the model. The larger panels are usually perforated to reduce sweating.

The low-profile harnesses still use a similar strap system, but with the addition of extra padding on the shoulder straps for additional comfort. They usually include a small carry pouch for the binoculars for a bit more protection.

Full-size harnesses are the most elaborate, with extra padding, and a large case or bag to store your binoculars in. These give them the most amount of protection from the elements. They sometimes have additional pockets, allowing you to pack more items into them.

Dual harnesses give you the convenience of two harnesses in one easy-to-use package. They have a second set of clips that can be used to add a second pair of binoculars, a camera, or a rangefinder to your harness.

Binocular Size

When you buy the basic binocular harness, the size is not an issue, since you are just clipping onto the strap anchors and leaving the binoculars themselves loose. The same goes for the dual harness.

But when you purchase a harness that uses either a pouch or a bag, the size of your binoculars will be something you need to consider. This is because these binocular holders are made to hold a specific size of binocular, and anything over the maximum size won’t fit properly.

For those using compact travel binoculars, this probably won’t affect you, but full-size binoculars are much larger and heftier, requiring a larger case to hold them and still be able to close properly.

Check the length, width, and height of the pouch or case of your chosen harness to see if it will fit easily. If not, keep looking, or just grab a decent basic harness for your binoculars.

Durability

The best binocular harness is durable and strong, able to last through years of use without so much as a tear. This is especially important since your harness failing means the possibility of your binoculars falling and smashing on a rock or other hard surface, destroying them.

That’s why you need to find a harness that can withstand the wear sustained from rubbing against your coat, the straps of your backpack, or getting scrapped or snagged by branches as you pass through denser areas of the woods.

But you also need to consider the weight of your binoculars. The heavier they are, the more strain they will put on the straps. The thicker and stronger those straps are, the more weight your straps can hold.

Nylon, neoprene, and even elastic are all used to make binocular harnesses, all of which are decent materials that can last for years, but this depends on how rough you are on them. The more carefully you treat your harnesses, the longer they will continue to meet your needs.

Design and Style

A binocular harness isn’t meant to win any beauty pageants, but they still have a lot of style when you consider what they are used for. They usually come in a few different colors that help you to blend in with your surroundings. For instance, if you will mainly be using your binoculars at night, the basic black models are perfect for this purpose.

Hunters want to fade into the trees and shrubs, so bright colors just won’t work. Many companies offer a few different camo patterns (many from RealTree) to help you blend into your chosen location. There are also camo patterns that fit in with the military’s usual colors of green and black.

No matter what color or type of harness you choose, they will all have similar designs. There will be an X pattern on the back where the straps meet. Then they will cross both over your shoulders and under your arms to meet over your chest where the binoculars will hang. With or without pouches, cases, or padding, they will all look the same when stripped down to the basics.

Price

In a perfect world, the price would never be an issue, but in the real one we live in, how much something costs is a huge part of whether or not you buy it. But since there is a wide variety of models available, you don’t need to worry about losing quality when shopping for the best binocular harness on a budget.

The basic harnesses are usually the cheapest and can be found for less than $20.00. They are still sturdy and durable, giving you the security you’re looking for without the frills the other harness types offer. Of course, there are more expensive ones available, but many of them are similar to the cheaper models, meaning you might just be paying for the brand name.

If you want a bit more protection for your binoculars, you’ll need to spend more money. This makes sense since it requires more material to make the extra pouches and bags you’ll find on the low-profile or full-size harnesses. But the extra protection and additional storage may just be worth the extra money.

The Bottom Line

No matter where you’re walking or what type of outdoor activity you prefer to spend your time on, you want to make sure your gear is in good condition and easy to use.

That’s where having the best binocular harness comes in. They keep your binos within your reach without occupying your hands. A good harness also offers some much-needed protection for your binoculars while keeping your comfort level at the highest possible level.

For the best of the best binocular harness, consider going with the Badlands Camouflage Tactical Bino X Hunting Binocular Case – Hydration Compatible which provides both a high level of comfort and protection. For a low-profile harness option take a look at the Bushnell Deluxe Binocular Harness.

If you are on a budget and are looking for a basic harness to keep your binoculars conveniently positioned, there are a couple of models to choose from. The Allen 4 Way Adjustable Deluxe Binocular Strap or the OP/TECH USA Bino Harness both cost very little, yet offer excellent durability and comfort.

For a bit more in the storage department, the many pockets, plus the comfort padding on the shoulders, of the Vortex Optics Guide Harness & Case might just make it the best binocular harness on the market.

You can also read our guides to the best compact binoculars, the best dry bags and other recommended travel products here.