The Well-Equipped Birder: One Size Doesn’t Always Fit All

by Chuck Jakubchak

RYO Ultra-Light Bino Harness, available at Redstart Birding.

I have used a traditional bino harness for several years but always considered it awkward when wearing or storing. The RYO Ultra-Light Bino Harness caught my eye in a recent issue of Bird Watcher’s Digest because of its thin profile and advertised light weight. I ordered the XL size, recognizing that my stature required the largest size available. (I am an exception to the belief that “one size fits most.”)

My first impression after opening the package was positive. Attaching the Ultra-Light Harness to my binos was simple, and the harness easily slipped over my head and shoulders. The unique shock cord system did not tangle or twist and immediately conformed to my torso. A simple and impressive design!

On warm, summer days in the field, I experienced the best benefits of the new, lighter RYO Harness. It was comfortable, and the thin cord did not trap body heat, unlike the thick straps of my conventional harness. Binos were held snug against my chest, yet were easy to raise to eye level when needed. Removing the harness after birding was easy, and the cord wrapped neatly around my binos for compact storage.

I felt like the RYO XL Ultra-Light Harness was made for me. There is a generous amount of lightweight shock cord that evenly distributes bino weight across my large frame, and the cord is easily adjusted. Whether I am birding in a t-shirt or a heavy winter coat, one tug of the adjustment clip customizes the fit in seconds.

When considering whether to purchase the RYO harness from Redstart, I wondered whether it would be right for me.  Thankfully, Redstart offers a 30-day “no regrets” policy that influenced my decision. Plus, the harness comes with a lifetime guarantee on the shock cord, which is the heart and soul of the product. With those factors in mind, I ordered the harness and have discovered that the RYO Ultra-Light Harness is a huge improvement over the traditional binocular harness.

Chuck Jakubchak has been birding for more than 30 years and has been a BWD reader for longer than he can remember.

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