Hunting Tip: Wear a Binocular Harness

Lugging a binocular in the field can be a pain in the neck — literally. That’s why you should always use a binocular harness.

Hunting Tip: Wear a Binocular Harness

Chances are good that you own a binocular for hunting deer and other big game. You likely use it for scouting from your vehicle, and much (or all) of the time you take the bino into the field, too. A binocular is handy for finding animals in the distance, and it also helps determine whether a buck or bull is something you’d like to shoot.

Assuming you carry a binocular into the field, do you use the neck strap that was included with the bino? I sure hope not.

Lugging a binocular can be a pain in the neck — literally. This is especially true if you own a full-sized bino such as a 8x42mm, 10x40mm, etc. Not only are these binos heavy, which can cause neck pain over time, but the optic flops against your chest as you walk. And if you attempt to crawl while stalking an animal, the bino drags on the ground. Not good.

The best way to carry a bino in the field is with a binocular harness. The first one on the market, called the Slide and Flex Bino-System (photos above and below), was invented decades ago by Lennis Janzen, founder and owner of Crooked Horn Outfitters. He understood the need to find a better way to carry a full-sized on western big game hunts, and eventually developed his Bino-System, which uses your shoulders instead of your neck to support bino weight.

The elastic straps of a harness allow a binocular to slide up and flex out when glassing (left). When the bino isn’t being used, the harness holds it securely against your chest (right).
The elastic straps of a harness allow a binocular to slide up and flex out when glassing (left). When the bino isn’t being used, the harness holds it securely against your chest (right).

I’ve used Janzen’s Bino-System for at least 20 years, and it’s outstanding. One bowhunting-specific benefit I’ve found that isn’t mentioned often is the harness works well for compressing bulky late-season clothing on your chest, which provides additional bowstring clearance at full draw. The harness is fully adjustable so you can use it no matter what you’re wearing for clothing.

Check out the video below from Bino-System inventor Lennis Janzen on the best way to attach a bino to a harness.

P.S. — Many years ago while talking to Janzen at the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show — SHOT Show — I asked him why I’ve seen so many copycats of his Bino-System on the market. “Well, I have a patent,” he said, “but I could never afford to enforce it.”

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