Review of Wildbirds Unlimited Slide/Flex Bino-System Binocular Strap

The following is a review of the Wildbirds Unlimited Slide/Flex Bino-System Binocular Strap or what we refer to as a “binocular harness”. Read to the bottom for a chance to win a free item from the Wildbirds Unlimited Store. Contest now closed.

I’ve seen numerous birders using binocular harnesses before but always thought they were pretty cumbersome, especially compared to the simple, padded straps that come with binoculars. Perhaps some of this predisposed opinion was from the various dog harnesses and horse halters I’d dealt with; they always required some trick to learn since they were all different.

But after getting the binocular harness I am thrilled with both how easy it is to use and how effective the system works.

Wildbirds Unlimited Slide/Flex Bino-System Binocular Strap
Binocular Harness

I started by laying out the strap and wondering what the little rings and ties were for. After a failed attempt to hook the harness to my strapless Swarovski ELs I deduced correctly that the rings provide a large enough hook area. Two pairs of rings are included for up to two binoculars. They can be left on the binoculars if you want to go back to the regular neck strap.

Rings and zip-ties included with binocular harness
Binocular Harness Connector Rings

Closeup of ring connected to Swarovski EL binoculars
Binocular Harness Connection

Binocular harness ready to go!
Binocular Harness & Swarovski Bins

Once the harness was attached to the Swarovskis we decided to do some birding and put it to the test. It took a couple tries to get the strap correctly in place around my back. It wasn’t too hard once we realized it is really like putting on a backpack, although it helped to have Stacia checking to make sure it was on correctly.

Swarovski’s positioned nicely on the binocular harness
Me Modeling Binocular Harness

Back view of Wildbirds Unlimited Binocular Strap
Back View of Binocular Harness

I was pleased that the strap fit nicely even with large hoody and my bulky Under Armour winter coat. In warmer months I could see this being easy to take on and off but it was nonetheless simple to put on.

We hiked for an hour and a half and from the moment the harness was on it felt like the Swarovskis were floating in air. They rested snugly against my chest but without any pressure. There was no “binocular bounce” at all. The tension was a bit tight and took some getting used to. You have to stretch it a bit to hold the bins up but this was without any adjustment (and while wearing thick clothes).

I was carrying my camera (with large lens) which made it a bit cumbersome to switch between using the camera and bins. I am used to switching back and forth regularly so I had to fumble a bit with the strap getting in the way. This is most likely something I would just need to get used to and wasn’t a burden but a mild annoyance.

Looking for birds with the binocular strap
Me Using Binocular Harness

Overall, I am thrilled with the binocular strap and highly recommend it. I felt no neck pressure (except when carrying the camera) and Stacia is doubly excited because neck strain is one of her biggest hurdles to go birding for extended periods of time. This will be perfect for her!

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Contest Details

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4 thoughts on “Review of Wildbirds Unlimited Slide/Flex Bino-System Binocular Strap

  1. I’ve been using a Op/Tech USA harness for my camera for almost a year now and love it. My hands are free to dig around my pockets for accessories (and snacks) and to climb while keeping my camera safe and ready to use.

  2. I like the bark butter best–the birds seem to really like it, and it consistently nets me a brown creeper in the yard. Plus it’s fun to slather into cracks and crannies in the bark, AND my dog likes to eat anything that makes its way to the ground 🙂

  3. I love nyger seed almost as much as our finches do! It’s fun to watch full nyger socks with a dozen goldfinches hanging on, and there’s always the possibility of Pine Siskins or even Redpolls.

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