There is a multitude of bino harnesses on the market, which makes choosing the right one a difficult chore unless, of course, you make things easy and read the to-come ink about the best bino harness in the business.
by Clint Casper
When it comes to bowhunting, there are a few items that I cannot hunt without. One of those must-have gear pieces is the Marsupial Bino Chest Pack Enclosed Binocular Pack, Rangefinder Pocket and Zippered Pouch.
I have fumbled with numerous binocular pouches and configurations for twelve years as a diehard bowhunter. I’ve always tried creating a quiet, protective, sleek, multifunctional bino system that incorporates a rangefinder pocket. Unfortunately, this process has been a task, and I was never satisfied with my previous harnesses. That all changed when I found Marsupial.
The Marsupial Chest Pack Bino Harness is specifically designed with the hunter in mind. After years of using it and putting it to the test in several extreme environments, I feel like the harness was made just for me, and I’m confident that if you try it, you will feel the same way. The harness is built to allow quick, one-handed operation and access to your favorite optics. Utilizing very powerful, neodymium magnets, the front lid folds quickly out of the way, but your optics remain secure in the open pouch until you a ready to pull them out and use them. In fact, most of the time, I hunt with the flap folded down, and unless I’m really moving quickly, crawling, etc., the binos, if sized right for the pouch, hold tight. The binos are held safe and secure with Marsupial’s quick disconnect and removable safety straps, which means when you’re pulling them out to use and drop them, they will never hit the ground. We pay a lot for our binos, and I won’t trust my optic protection to anything else. I must add these straps are hardly noticeable and weigh absolutely nothing. Also, there is a wide array of colors and color configurations to customize the harness to your liking better.
To fully secure your binoculars, you pull up the front lid, which swallows up your binos, and now your optics are safe and sound. I like the fully enclosed model because when the flap is up, dirt and debris can’t get inside. This harness has a front zippered pocket and two elastic side pouches, and a rear cell phone pocket, which is incredibly handy. There is ample storage for your wind checker, game calls, lens cloth, and other need-right-now items. I attach Marsupial’s Rangefinder Pocket on the right side and a medium-sized Zippered Pouch on the left to hold items like wrenches, extra knife blades, chapstick, and my Garmin inReach.
We all want a safe, secure bino system, but we also don’t want to feel like we have a cinder block hanging off our chests. Not only is the Marsupial Bino Chest Pack light, it comes in three sizes to fit a wide range of binocular styles and sizes. For help with sizing, I highly recommend visiting Marsupial’s website and clicking on the Binocular Pack Size Guide tab. The small harness weighs a mere 12 ounces, the medium 12.5 ounces, and the large comes in at a fighting weight of only 13 ounces. Impressive. Only a one-ounce difference between the small and large sizes shows how much thought has gone into making this bino harness. Marsupial has hit a home run with this incredible design, and most of the time, you will quickly forget that you even have it on your chest. The harness doesn’t move and swing wildly. It holds tight to the body, and is never in the way when you draw your bow.
Let’s Get Technical
Another thing I love about this harness is its simplicity and how it quickly becomes an integral part of your bowhunting system. I have a system with all my bowhunting gear — everything has a purpose and a place — and this harness fits perfectly into my bowhunting repertoire. Some very technical features of this harness are the new super durable fleece lining, which makes sliding binoculars in and out silent while only using one hand, which is super important if your bow is in your other hand.
The material used on this harness is much quieter in cold weather and when hunting from a treestand, than other brands I have used over the years. This is a huge selling point for a whitetail guy because close encounters happen often, and deer can hear exceptionally well.
This harness also has a front zippered pocket, where I store my tags, lens cloth, and permission slips for access to private land. You’ll find two elastic side pouches, and a rear cell phone pocket, which is incredibly handy. On my right elastic pocket, I always have my wind checker tucked inside, and the location of the pocket allows me to have my bow in my left hand and check the wind effortlessly in a split second with my right hand. I keep a lightweight, solid-blade knife in the other elastic side pouch. Like my wind checker, the knife is secured but readily available for any task that may come up. You’ll find Molle webbing on the bottom of the pack, which makes this harness incredibly versatile and customizable. You can attach endless accessories to this webbing, which is a huge added benefit. I mentioned earlier that I add Marsupial’s Rangefinder Pouch and a medium pocket pouch to my harness system, which completes the puzzle for me.
Why This System?
A bino harness needs to do the following: keep my binoculars and rangefinder safe and secure, be fast, quiet, and reliable, and it needs to be a part of my minimalistic bowhunting system, not a hindrance. In short, this harness does it all and more. Not only does it store my optics safely, but its design and add-on pouches allow me to be a more prepared and confident bowhunter because of what it allows me to bring into the field and have fingertip access to.
Last spring, I was on a grinder of a public land bowhunt for turkeys, and time was running out. On the last morning of the hunt, I found an opportunity to cut off a lone longbeard and took off. Quickly, I got into position and waited for him to appear. He was reading the script perfectly until a lone hen entered the party and pulled him further to my right than I had anticipated. Calmly, holding my bow in my left hand, I took my right hand and reached for my Rangefinder Pocket. In seconds I had the bird re-ranged and was at full draw. I slipped a Sevr Broadhead through his boiler room a few seconds later. Because of the quick accessibility to my rangefinder on this harness, I could change my plan, get a new range, and punch my Nebraska turkey tag.
My harness system, which, as I’ve noted, incorporates the Rangefinder Pouch and Accessories Pouch allows a guy like me to be the most mobile, efficient, and deadly hunter I can be, and that’s something that I am very, very happy about. Give one a try this season. You won’t be disappointed.