Accessories for Your Binoculars

Neck strap. Most binoculars come with a neck strap. (Cheaper pocket binoculars may have a string instead.) Depending on the quality and style, you might want to “upgrade” to another strap, but generally the one supplied by the manufacturer is sufficient. Be sure to adjust the length of the strap so your binoculars sit against your chest. If they’re too low, they’ll swing around a lot. Avoid binoculars that come with a strap that can’t be taken off or replaced. (If may break, or you might want to move up to a nicer, cushioned strap.)

Harness. There are pros and cons to using a harness with your binoculars. On the up side, a harness holds the binoculars safely and securely against your body, which is especially helpful if you’re hunting or otherwise maneuvering through brush or other obstacles. Also, wearing a harness distributes the weight of the binoculars more evenly and thus may be more comfortable to wear and a godsend for people with neck or back trouble. But harnesses can be inconvenient if you expect to be shedding or adding layers of clothing, since you’ll likely have to remove and adjust the harness each time. You can also rule out a harness if you plan on sharing binoculars with someone else on the same outing. Brand-name harnesses can be purchased for under $20.

Rain guard. Some binoculars come with a one-piece rain guard that attaches to the strap and can be positioned to protect the lenses. You can also buy a rain guard separately. You can even fashion your own.

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