Made Right, Right Here
I’ve used the Alaska Classic binocular harness now for two seasons, after having seen it on a fairly well known TV show and doing a little investigating I saw a little American Flag on the back center of the harness. That piqued my interest. There’s a lot of little shops in the United States making gear right here in our back yards because they won’t settle for anything less than the best. A manufacturer that builds gear in the US employs more Americans and it better able to share the wealth of their success locally. That says a lot about the values of a company to me. Well, off of the soapbox and on to the review.
The Alaska Guide Creations Alaska Classic Binocular Harness is the original, their classic harness that accommodates full sized binos up to 50mm objective lenses. My Vortex 12 Power Razor HDs fit snug as a bug in the padded interior pocket. It generally fits 10x and 12x power binoculars but obviously anything smaller will fit as well.
The closure on the front is with a bungee loop and hook so that getting your binoculars ready from your harness is quick when you need them. More important than it being speedy, it’s silent. It won’t be the noise spooking game as you reach for your glass. The inside of the main compartment is coated with a soft padding that won’t scratch the lenses if you choose not to run lens caps.
Inside the front pocket is a bungee for securing a rangefinder, and the pocket consequently is the perfect size for most handheld rangefinders. Though since I don’t typically have one on me I use mine for Clif Shot Bloks and to store my headlamp so that it’s ready when I need it.
My particular harness also has the M.A.X. (maximum storage!) pocket on the front that adds a large pocket at the bottom of the pack that you can use to store a headlamp or some gloves. On the top there are two elastic cubbies for a phone or mouth calls. I find that my turkey box call, flipped upside down works well in the sleeve provided. It keeps it handy while I’m walking closed logging roads for a yelp here and there.
The rear pocket that faces your chest is somewhat harder to get into, but is an ideal location for a paper map that you’ll want to reference and not leave in your pack. Every zipper, and there are five of them on this pack, has paracord with a pull tab that allows easy open and close even with gloves.
The Alaska Guide Creations Binocular Harness with M.A.X. pocket is available in 10 different colors including two from FirstLite, two from Mossy Oak, one from Kryptek, and the other colors you’ve come to expect from your hunting gear. It’s currently listed at $110 on their website but they do often have sales.
The Alaska Classic has multiple adjustment points on the strap harness. This means that it can be adjusted out in order to fit over bulky outer layers or cinched down over a t-shirt on hot days. It works well with a backpack on the back, and can be integrated into the Alaska Guide Creations’ new Scout or Stalker backpacks for a well thought out lightweight system.
Each of the four corners of the front of the pack have buckles with tag ends of the nylon webbing that can be adjusted. This way you get a four way adjustment to make the pack ride higher or lower on your chest as needed.
The shoulder straps of the Alaska Classic feature three MOLLE style straps to be able to weave accessories onto. In a Search and Rescue type configuration this might be a good area for a GPS or GMRS Radio pouch.
The Alaska Classic is hard to beat if you’re toting your binos on a quick hike or into the backcountry for a week. During my testing I found numerous positive points and very few negatives.
- Adjustable fitment fits well beneath multiple packs. Sternum straps on packs tend not to interfere with the positioning of the pouch.
- All compartments are easily accessible while the pack is worn, and while keeping your eyes on the critters you’re about to glass.
- It’s made in the USA and comes in numerous color patterns.
- The fabric is extremely durable and abrasion resistant.
- As a con, the direct contact of the rear of the harness will cause you to sweat if you run hot. Make sure you layer appropriately.
The binocular harness has become a keystone piece of equipment in my arsenal. Whether I’m out for a day hike and I want a pouch for snacks and binos or out for an extended hunting trip, this is what I bring.