Binocular Harness - Why Do You Need One?

Binocular Harness – Why Do You Need One?

Many people view binocular harnesses as simple accessories. However, they are more important than mere accessories, and this guide will explain why. 

If you own a pair of binoculars, you may or may not own a simple strap for your optical instrument.

While simple straps may be suitable for light activities such as birdwatching, there are a few more benefits to owning a harness. 

Binocular harnesses will help prevent damage to your instrument and will keep it within arms reach at a moment’s notice. 

If you are thinking about buying a binocular harness, you have come to the right place. This helpful guide will explain what a binocular harness is and why you need one. 

We will cover how they help with fatigue, improve reaction time and keep your equipment safe. 

If you are ready to learn more about this topic, keep on reading. 

What Is a Binocular Harness

What Is a Binocular Harness

A binocular harness is a special piece of equipment that can hold your binoculars and store a few other small items.

The harness allows you to walk around hands-free, making it great for physical activities such as hunting, hiking, and wildlife watching. 

Most people use harnesses to keep their binoculars safe and keep them within arm’s reach to use at a moment’s notice.

Types of Binocular Harnesses

There are a few different types of binocular harnesses. Each style will come with its own benefits and will be suited for certain activities.

If you are thinking of buying a harness, read the list below to review the different kinds and choose one that suits you the most. 

Basic Harness

A basic harness is what it sounds like; it is simply a single strap with clips for your binoculars.

Since these harnesses are so simple, they work best for activities that are not too physically demanding, such as light hiking and wildlife watching.

Low Profile Harness

Low-profile harnesses have thin straps that are similar to basic harnesses. However, they provide a bit more room to store items in.

There will be a small pouch in the front near your stomach to carry your binoculars and anything else you want to bring with you. 

This strap will also provide a bit more support since the strap covers a good amount of surface area on your back; you won’t have to worry about the strap falling off. 

These straps will work well for physically demanding activities such as hiking and hunting. 

Full-Size Harness

A full harness will provide the most protection. With this harness, you can store your binoculars right next to you in a secure case.

It will be easy to reach but will also have enough protection to prevent scratches and dents. 

This type of harness will work well for those doing hard-core hiking or tracking in rough terrain. 

Dual Harness

Last but not least is the dual harness. This type of harness provides lots of storage for multiple items such as a camera, lenses, binoculars, and anything else you want to bring. 

While this harness will not be as compact as other harnesses, it will be the perfect choice for photographers or hunters needing to bring extra pieces of equipment. 

How Does a Harness Help With Fatigue

How Does a Harness Help With Fatigue

One of the main benefits of a binocular harness is that they help with muscle fatigue. 

Many people who don’t use a harness will experience neck strain. Since normal straps will not distribute weight correctly, your neck will bear most of the weight.

You will most likely experience neck strain after a few hours. 

However, a binocular harness will help distribute the weight of your instrument more evenly. Due to this, you will not experience as much neck strain.

Furthermore, a binocular harness will also prevent the binoculars from bouncing against your chest. 

Many people who use simple straps will experience muscle fatigue due to this reason since having a heavy instrument bang on their chest throughout the day will inevitably cause pain. 

A harness resolves this issue since the accessory keeps your instrument close to your body.

The binoculars will be strapped tightly to your chest or side, leaving no room for it to bounce.

Improving Reaction Time

Improving Reaction Time


If you are a hunter, birdwatcher, or wildlife observer, reaction time is probably an important factor for you. 

The last thing you want is to fail to get to your binoculars in time. Animals move a lot, and sometimes you will only have a few seconds to reach for your binoculars. 

If you do not have a harness or strap, you most likely carry your binoculars in a backpack or some sort of case.

It will be tough to quickly grab your optical instrument if you store them this way.

However, using a binocular harness will resolve this issue. Since the harness will keep your binoculars within arms reach, you will be able to grab them quickly.

So if you want to find a way to improve your reaction time when grabbing for your binoculars, consider investing in a good-quality harness. 

Keeping Your Equipment Safe 

Keeping Your Equipment Safe 

One of the main benefits of a binocular harness is that it will keep your equipment safe. There are a few ways that a harness will protect your binoculars. 

This section will review how harnesses can prevent damage and why you should use one. 

A Harness Will Prevent Swinging 

Even if you use a typical strap, the binoculars can still move around a lot and bang on hard objects such as rocks.

It is very common for binoculars to swing around on your neck when hiking or walking through difficult terrain. 

To get rid of this hazard altogether, use a binocular harness. A harness will keep your binoculars secure and close to your body, leaving no room for the instrument to swing at all. 

A Harness Will Prevent You From Dropping the Binoculars

Most importantly, a harness will protect your binoculars from hard falls to the ground. 

No matter how hard you try, you will most likely drop your binoculars at one point in time if you don’t keep them on some sort of strap.

To prevent a damaging fall to the ground, secure your expensive instrument to a harness. 

A Harness Will Prevent Scratches and Dents

Since the harness safely secures the binoculars to you, they will be less likely to obtain scratches from tree branches and other hard surfaces. 

Furthermore, many harnesses come with small pouches that you can store your binoculars in.

These cases will add an extra layer of protection and will greatly reduce the number of scratches and dents on your binoculars. 

Finally, storing your binoculars in a small case will also prevent dust and dirt from accumulating on the body and lenses. 

Other Uses for Binocular Harness

Other Uses for Binocular Harness

There are a few different ways you can use your binocular harness other than for storing your binoculars. Let’s take a look at what else you can store in the harness.

  • Snacks. Bring along a few granola bars if you are going out for a long hike. There will be plenty of room for this in a full-size or dual harness. 
  • Water. Get a water bottle that has a clip on the lid and clip it to your harness. 
  • Camera. If you have a dual harness, consider bringing your camera along with you, especially on a scenic hike. 
  • Rangefinder. If you are hunting and have a full-size or dual harness, bring along your rangefinder.
  • Sunscreen. You should be able to fit in a travel-size bottle of sunscreen in many harnesses. This will be important to bring, especially on long days in the sun.
  • Lighter. Pick up a mini-lighter and throw it in the front or side pocket of your harness case.
  • Flashlight. If you are camping, night hunting, or completing a multi-day hike, you can store a mini-flashlight in your pack.
  • Hunting tags. If you have a full-size or dual harness, it won’t be hard to fit a few hunting tags in the pockets. 
  • Wet wipes/hand sanitizer. It is important to have hand sanitizer or wet wipes on a long day trip or while hunting. 
  • Phone. Bringing your phone is always a good idea if you ever need help or directions.
  • Knife. You can easily fit a small pocket knife in most harness pockets. 


A binocular harness is an accessory with straps that holds your binoculars in place close to your body. Many harnesses come with a pouch to store items in. 

There are four main kinds of harnesses, including basic, low profile, full-size and dual harnesses. 

There are a few different reasons why you should use a binocular harness. First of all, it can help with muscle fatigue.

Many people who use basic straps experience neck and chest muscle fatigue; a harness will reduce these symptoms. 

A binocular harness will also increase reaction time. Instead of having to dig out your binoculars from a backpack, they will be easily accessible. 

Most importantly, a harness will keep your optical instrument safe. The accessory will prevent the binoculars from falling to the ground and decrease scratches and dents. 

The next time you pack your harness, consider bringing a few extra items such as snacks, water, sunscreen, a lighter, a flashlight, wet wipes, and a knife.