Vanguard Comfort Harness
As a long time birder who has carried heavy binoculars, tripods and camera equipment over the years leading to various neck and shoulder aches and pains I was keen to try the new Vanguard Comfort Harness.
I previously switched to the “holster” type strap to reduce weight on the neck but found these a bit fiddly and not always convenient especially as they needed to go over your coat.
I gave the comfort harness a good field test during a week away birding, it straight away feels like a good product well made in relation to stitching, and padding with ample “waist room” on the straps and is comfortable even with prolonged use.
There is a good spread on the main body of the harness much more than on the current market options I have seen and the padded shoulder straps not only appear to help spread the weight but are comfortable too.
Once you have set your desired “hang” for your binoculars you are good to go, the harness itself can be worn under you jacket and left on all day if you wish, this is a great advantage for days when the weather is not great as it keeps it dry and also avoid the put it on, take it off scenario throughout the day, there are also quick release clips should you wish to pass your bins to a friend or if you wish to take them off whilst driving or for those times when you just want to grab them and not want the whole harness!.
The only real downside once you have got used to putting it on and clipping yourself in is that it can get a little warm on hot days as it covers more area than just a neck strap but this is only a small issue.
The real test for me was what effect it would have on weight distribution and I have to say for me it worked a treat, I could put it on in the morning and have it on all day with no ill effects in my case so much better than a neck harness and more practical than the “holster” straps.
I would definitely recommend that anyone who struggles with the weight of binoculars around their necks give it a go, it certainly worked for me. If you have already switched to a “holster” strap you would also find this a lot more practical.