Is there ever such a thing as too much gear? I say yes and no. If you are going on a ten mile hike into the backcountry looking to shoot an elk, then definitely there is such a thing as too much. But kicking around in the basement, it’s hard to say when there is too much. I definitely have too much, but maybe that’s not a bad thing.
I’ve carried a few bino harness’s around in my day, starting way back with those old Crooked Horn outfitters things that looked like a man-zier. There are many models I like, and I’ve been using the Badlands Packs bino case’s for several years now. But today we are discussing a new one from one of my favorite companies. I say my favorite not because I have all their stuff, but because they are always innovating the market of shooting soft-goods. They are constantly coming up with great new products, some that take off, and others that may not have. But they have the balls to take risks and bring American made high-quality textiles to the precision rifle shooting community.
Among the many products they make, my favorites have to be the Ammo Novel, (a great way to safely transport your precious handloads), their Tripod Leggings (which create a perfect little load-bearing shelf under your tripod head), and of course their Suppressor Covers that protect from contacting hot cans, and keeping the mirage down. But today we are on the subject of bino harness’s so I’ll stop gushing and get to the point.
Why do you even?
If you missed the bus, you’ll notice that everybody who didn’t is using a carry pouch or harness of some sort to protect their precious extra eyes. They are extremely useful for all kinds of things beside just keeping your binos close. Who doesn’t carry a phone these days? And it fits right close to your heart where you can keep an eye on it. Everything from phones to game-calls to earplugs and chewing-gum, but don’t mix those last two up. It keeps all your most important things front and center, I almost use it like a catch-all-wallet when I’m in the mountains.
The Bino PremierPack
So lets get into the Cole TAC version of this handy predator purse. I was surprised to see a lack of padding around the shoulder straps, something I had grown quite accustomed to using other models. I was also surprised at how robust the harness material was, seemed strong enough for a day pack, but balanced enough for a bino case. The harness panel that runs across your back spreads the weight carried up front over a wide area making it feel lighter, as well as giving molle attachment points for extra accessories (might I suggest the ammo novel). There are also molle attachment points on the front, which are handy for attaching additional pouches or gear.
The pouch itself features a padded compartment for your binoculars, big enough to fit the average pair of hunting binos with a little wiggle room. The lid of the pouch is secured by a neat little elastic draw-string that slides through a magnetic catch. The catch has both magnetic retention, as well as a physical retainer by way of a dovetail. It goes together so quick I rarely have to do more than get them close together for them to lock right up. You can adjust the elastic draw-string to keep a safe amount of retention on the lid.
In the back of the pouch there is a zipper compartment that rides right against your chest. A great place to keep dope cards, deer tags, or any other little items you’d like to keep handy.
The buckles and other fasteners on the pack are very stout, I don’t recommend that I’d tie-off to it when in a tree-stand, but as strong as they are I’d be afraid of hanging myself if it got caught on a branch on the way down.
So does it WORK?
The first thing I did was adjust it for a good fit, and I wore it around the office for a whole day. I was sure that the lack of padding would make it less comfortable than I was used to, but boy was I wrong. To my surprise, not only was it comfortable but it felt great even after eight hours. And the best part was that it didn’t sag at all, it stayed right where I had put it.
The smaller straps that secure the binoculars to the pack are easily attached, and your binos are easily disconnected with a squeeze of the coupler clips should you need to share your view.
The lid and its securing strap proved to be very intuitive, never did I worry about them coming open and spilling my contents.
The zipper pouch is perfect for small things, though I wish it was a touch bigger so I could fit my big fat clubber-girl phone in there.
The attachment points both front and back proved to very useful for accessories and such when I didn’t want to carry a whole backpack. I did in fact attach my ammo novel to the molle panel across the back, this was a great place for as it was out of the way and the weight helped balance the whole harness even more.
I’ve been carrying the PremierPack for a month or so now, hiking, riding, and driving. Its comfortable and robust, and it feels much stronger than perhaps some of the more elegant looking products from big names, though I’d wager those ones are made overseas. Cole TAC products like the Bino PremierPack feel like they were made for NASA missions to the moon.
With so many gadgets and gizmos piling up around, the gear-queer in me loves it when cool ones that I will actually use come out. The Cole TAC Bino PremierPack will definitely stay in my go pile, and I look forward to seeing what the next great thing they either improve upon, or build from scratch.