Do I Need A Binocular Harness?

Need is a bit of a strong word – it’s possible to get along fine without one. But – and a pretty big but, too –  binocular harnesses are absolutely worthwhile for anybody who likes to look through theirs regularly whilst out and about, for numerous reasons.

First and foremost, a binocular harness ensures that you’re always ready to sneak a peek at your surroundings.

Do I Need A Binocular Harness?

Unlike when you’re using a case or stowing them away, there’s no need to unzip a bag, unsheathe your optics, take off your lens caps and then look, which can result in you missing the glorious sight you were trying to see in the first place!

Holding your binoculars tight to your chest, you’ll be able to grab them and start observing in a matter of seconds so that flighty wildlife won’t have time to get away before you can sneak a quick peek.

Keeping your binoculars so close to your body is also incredibly important for another reason: personal security. Again, they are not cheap to pick up, and some pairs can cost tens of thousands of dollars – a really pricey investment. 

Not only will it protect them from unwarranted damage swinging around against branches or rocky surfaces, but it also means you’re far less likely to be a victim of an opportunistic thief.

“Ha! A thief would never take my binocular, they’d have to wrestle them from my cold dead hands.” We hear you, but unfortunately, we can’t always be on 100% alert at all times.

However, if they’re quite literally strapped up to your chest, then that’s a different story. Then a thief would have to fight you for them!

Depending on what it is your binocular-based hobby focuses on, be it birds or wildlife you’re hunting, it’s probable that you’ll end up trekking through some pretty uneven terrain as you’re carrying them, which is obviously asking for trouble without a harness.

Given they’re not cheap to buy, one drop can result in hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of damage; not only does wearing them on a harness prevent this, but it also ensures that both your hands are free to throw out if you fall.

No longer worried about making sure your lenses don’t smash, you’ll keep your binos safe… and yourself!

Many folks who use their binoculars on a consistent basis have a lot to say about the neck fatigue from constantly wearing them like a necklace.

Some pairs can get pretty heavy quite quickly, so it’s important to take care of this fragile body part – by using a harness, you can reduce this strain and transfer some of it to your shoulders.

Not only are our shoulders much stronger and better able to handle the fatigue of carrying things, it separates the strain across two body parts – your left and right shoulders respectively – rather than putting it all on your neck. 

Harnesses can be worn in a variety of ways, too: there are several different carrying options, whereas with a neck strap you’re limited to one method of transportation.

However you’re comfortable, with a harness, it’s a lot easier to find the best and most efficient position for you.

What do you carry in your binocular harness?

That depends on where you’re going, what you’re doing with the binoculars and your specific model of harness. Though a few are designed only to accommodate your binos, many other designs have plenty of additional pouches and pockets for you to take advantage of.

Of course, a binocular harness was created to give users a way to smoothly transport their binos in an easy and lightweight manner, so they’re not meant to be used as a second backpack.

However, research from across the web has indicated there are several key items that bino fans from various cultures and creeds would recommend keeping in your harness if at all possible:


Naturally, while you’re out and about in nature, especially if you’re camping for a couple of days to spot something, in particular, you’re going to come into a spot of trouble.

Obviously, a giant pen knife kit isn’t going to fit in your harness, but the best and tiniest multitools can still accommodate a little knife, tweezers, pliers, a bottle opener, scissors, and other useful bits and pieces

Lens wipes

There’s nothing worse than trying to get a good view of something only to discover that your lenses are smudged up and blocking your sight. You might think, “Hey, I’ll just wipe ‘em on my shirt,” right? Wrong!

That’s a one way ticket to scratched up lenses and hundreds of dollars of damage. If you’ve got a mini pack of wet wipes on you at all times, that won’t be a problem.


Not just good for roughed up lips, but also skin impacted by wind burn, and even as emergency bowstring wax if you’re doing a little archery whilst you’re out, chapstick is a phenomenal piece of equipment.

Yes, we said equipment! You want to stay out for as long as you can, right? Well, if you’re properly prepared, then you (or more importantly, any unhappy kids being dragged along for the ride) won’t start whining after a minor inconvenience like chapped lips.

Miniature flashlight

Out on a camp and struggling to find your cellphone to use its torch (or perhaps you haven’t got an advanced enough model for that) and find something important?

Not anymore! You’d be surprised how much power even a tiny flashlight can pack, so having one on your person at all times can only be a good thing. If it won’t fit inside your harness, you could always clip it to a carabiner and hang it from the outside instead.

Eye drops

Ever had to call off a sightseeing session because your eyes were just too tired to carry on? If you keep some Refresh (or whichever brand you prefer) eye drops on you, you’ll be able to give yourself an instant refresh, no matter where you are in the world.