When it comes to bino harnesses, I’ve always been a less is more kinda of guy. I don’t need or want a small backpack sized compartment on my chest that I’m forced to dig into every time I want to glass something, which is about every 38 seconds. I simply want to reach down and grab my binos, remove the lens covers, and bring them to my eyes to glass.
Like most of us, my first bino harness was the crooked horn outfitters type with 1″ elastic straps and a piece of leather in the back. They worked well until the straps started to loosen up and my binos ended up bouncing off my waistbelt. Even if I tightened up the straps before a hunt, by the end of the hunt they would be sloppy and loose again. Another problem was vibration created by the straps flapping in the wind.
I was introduced to the Rick Young Bino harness a few years ago. I immediately liked it’s simplicity. Instead of an adjustment on each strap like my old harness, it just has one adjustment point on the back, a simple plastic cord grip that will never slip and can even be adjusted while wearing. The straps themselves are made of a rugged shock cord material that will not stretch out over time. The shock cords run through a small ring and attach to a quick disconnect on the binos. The quick disconnects are a nice feature for when you want to put you binos on a tripod or let your buddy look through them without taking the harness off. The quick disconnects are tiny but extremely tough, and don’t worry about them accidentally coming detached while wearing; it’s virtually impossible for that to happen.
Functionally, this harness has solved every problem that I’ve had with previous bino systems. My binos stay at the height I want them, which for me is just below my sternum. The shock cords hold the binos tight to my chest and prevent vertical bounce with every step. And if I need to belly crawl I can wrap the lower straps around the objective end of the bino’s which basically puts my binos in lockdown mode tight against my chest (Pictured below). The round shock cord also eliminates wind vibration, so glassing in the wind is no longer a problem.
The Rick Young harness is as comfortable as any other harness I’ve worn, and most of the time I forget that I’m wearing it. The only difference in comfort is there is no patch of leather in the back to trap heat and get sweaty. The small diameter shock cords don’t dig into my traps or collar bone like I thought they would. I should mention that I’m using the Vortex Razor 10×42’s which are only 24oz. If you use a larger 15×56’s bino that weighs more than 40oz; there is a chance you might feel some pressure where the shock cord rests on your collar bone. If that becomes a problem, an extra base layer should offer enough padding to eliminate any discomfort. The plastic cord grip in the back rides above the shoulder harness of my backpack but below my shirt collar.
Overall I have nothing but good things to say about the Rick Young Bino Harness, and I’ll be wearing it for years to come. This is the best bino harness you’ve never heard of.