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Home / John Stallone / 2016 Bino harness review

2016 Bino harness review

December 9, 2016
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Well the results are in… we ran theses bino harnesses through the ringer some of them were brand new to us and some like the Kuiu pack we have intimate knowledge of. I’m not going to add a lot of fluff and fill in, and I’m not going to pull any punches. I’m just going to get to the point and give you an honest review. The group A or higher end category was tight race and really came down to overall preference but I will say this that 4 out of 5 of my team all agreed with me on the overall winner, but we will get to that in a moment. The group b race was a blowout on all accounts; it was clear from go who the winner would be. But before I give you the results let me give you a quick review of each pack.

Group A

Kuiu I’ve personally owned the Kuiu pack for the last 2 years and so has two of my team members it’s a very light compact design that really keeps your binos safe. However, I always had the same rub with this pack, that after a few hours of use you really know it’s there. And as a bow hunter the way the binos deploy is very cumbersome. Many times on my hunts I’ve become frustrated with the pack while I was in close range of an animals. Also not very easy to adjust while on the body or without someone elses help. Lastly there are no accessory pouches for your rangefinder and no little gear pockets on the unit itself. This pack is very sleek and sits close to the chest all in all it’s a good pack but not my first choice.

Alaskan Guide Creations This pack for me was exactly what you would expect from the name. Big, rugged and full of features, you almost don’t need a back pack. They really outfitted it with some innovative and intuitive pockets and accessories. Excellent construction and good components makes it super rugged pack. The drawback for me personally may be someone else’s plus, like one of my team members who fell in love with the pack, but for me it was a bit too much. I prefer trim, light and sleek, although, I could see having a pack like this in the arsenal for those trips where you gotta carry more. The top access is a bit cumbersome. However, the structured sides were a big plus for getting your binos in and out of the pack. As far as comfort goes this pack can be worn all day without any discomfort the straps are wide and lightly padded just enough to be comfortable without getting in the way your backpack straps.

FHF Gear This pack for me was the most comfortable and had the best rangefinder pouch. The harness itself was very well made and comfortable I had little to no fatigue on any of the hunts it accompanied me on. It was light weight and had just enough pockets to be useful. The rangefinder pouch was a perfect fit for my rangefinder easy in and out plus it came with a drop and go tether for the rangefinder which proved to be useful on my elk hunt. It had excellent components actually my favorite of the bunch. And did I mention it was comfortable! However, my biggest rub with the design is the way the bino “deploys” much like the AGC pack the top flap has a tendency to get in the way with one hand operation.

Marsupial She’s sleek, she’s light and she tough… This pack functionally is the best out of all them its kangaroo style bino hatch is ingenious. Made for super quick deployment and the ability to just set it back in without closing the hatch for those moments when you are in close. Its sits tighter to the chest then the FHF and AGC packs with none of the fumbling you have with the Kuiu pack. The accessory pockets are well placed and purposeful. Excellent construction and good components. The adjustments were easy to make to set this pack up to fit me and when I shed clothes it was easy to re-adjust. The only drawback I had with this pack it wasn’t as comfortable as the FHf or AGC packs. The straps were noticeable after a few hours of use. I believe it’s the angle of the top straps and how they are mounted sideways creates a bit of stress on the old “traps”. But functionally as a bino deployment and protection system the design is awesome.

 

Group B

Tenzing the pack is comfortable, it’s in expensive and it protects your binos but honestly I don’t have much to say about this pack. I am sponsored by Tenzing and I feel they make excellent backpacks, that are very intuitive, comfortable and full of features. This pack is not… I can honestly say I would not recommend it to anyone. It’s a shame because I love my Tenzing 2220, 1250 and CF Legend these are my go to packs and fit all my hunting needs.

S4 Gear this pack has some cool features and was light weight and easy to use. The harness itself was very comfortable and easy to wear.  The rangefinder harness was very well thought out. Although this pack was full of features it just had too much going on for lack of better terminology it’s a bit sloppy. All in all a nice pack for the money but not my first choice.

Alps well made, comfortable, slim, light and easy to use. You get a lot of the same features of units that cost a lot more for a mere $49 price tag. The components were quality and easy to adjust and form fit to suit your body. The binos fit in well and were easy to manipulate. This is a great pack and is our top pick for the B group and really wasn’t far behind our top pick overall because of what you get for the money. Honestly I don’t see a reason why anyone who was looking for a pack in this price range not buy this pack…

I had to get critical because really all the packs in the upper category shined in one area or another so it really came down to what was more important to you, comfort, features or function.. So who was my top choice ? I Well you already know who we chose for group B but the winner of group A and overall winner is the Marsupial  gear pack. The functionality of the unit far outweighed any of its shortcomings. I am very big on functionality as are most of my team members we don’t like to sacrifice anything in the field. This pack really fit this bow hunter’s needs. It was a very tough choice between the FHF gear and the marsupial packs and really I wish they would have a baby together and take the comfort of the FHF and the functionality of the Marsupial add the FHF rangefinder pouch and they would have an unstoppable combo. Well I hope this will help you make your decision wisely to suit your needs I don’t think you can go wrong with either the AGC, FHF, or marsupial depending on your style and needs of hunting.

 

Test parameters: A groupKuiuFHF gearAlaskan GuideMarsupial      Weight/perceived weight109710     Ease of use/functionality88810     Durability9101010     Warranty10101010     Components81099     Mounting accessories09108     Comfort 71088     Totals52666265Test parameters: B groupS4 gearAlpsTenzing       Weight/perceived weight9109      Ease of use/functionality986      Durability7106      Warranty101010      Components797      Mounting accessories700      Comfort 797 Totals5656450

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John Stallone

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My Bio

John Stallone Marketing Director: The Hunting Channel Host of Days in the Wild Content coordinator: for The Outdoor Insiders Field Editor for Earned DIY journal  Facebook Twitter Instagram I am the marketing Director for The Hunting Channel, a National pro-staff shooter for Mathews, Swhacker, trufire, Sneek Tec, Bow IQ , cogburn and Gold tip as well as many more . I am a outdoor videographer and writer in the hunting industry. My program is viewed over  4million x monthly, I am a published outdoor writer and have over 4 million views on youtube and receive traffic upwards of 65 million each year on my video clips. I have completed my whitetail slam and currently working on my super slam. My TV show was voted viewer’s choice for 2014 on Carbon TV and I have been successfully producing shows for over 11 years. Here is some of my video work: Chevy :Mathews, Tenzing Swhacker Broadheads, Cogburn    Here is a sample of my Hunting Show My books: The Whitetail Hunter’s Blueprint The Secrets of Hunting Western Game  Some of my accolades:  Featured in Tom Miranda's book rut hunters  Certified Deer Steward from QDMA and Clemson University Certified Wildlife Manager from Penn Foster Master Degree from Colorado State in Rangeland Management and Ecology   Some more about me:  1981 first deer hunt 1990 first deer with a bow 1996 won first archery tournament 1998 Received a Bachelor’s of Science from Grand Canyon University 2001 Started shooting Mathews as Pro-shop field staff 2002 Became chief of Infield testing for Huntech Inc 2004 started The Hunting Channel online 2004 Published First article in Midwest Whitetails 2005 Started TV Show Days in The Wild 2006 Release 1st book The Ultimate Guide to staying Scent Free 2006 Enter # 11 pope and young by spot and stalk Antelope 2007 Started Market My Hunting Business 2007 Started THC’s Tip of The Week 2008 Released  2nd Book The Secrets of Hunting Western Game 2008 Began The Hunt Fit Program 2009 Released 3rd Book The Whitetail Hunters Blueprint 2009 Began The Hunting Channel Blog 2013 Completed Master’s of Science Rangeland Management and Ecology 2013 Was awarded  The Whitetail Slam 2013 Was featured in Tom Miranda’s book The Rut Hunters 2014 Became Field Editor for Earned Magazine 2014 -2015  Days in The Wild awarded Viewer’s Choice Carbon TV 2015 first to Harvest a Florida Mt. Ibex with a bow on film 2015 Became The Content Coordinator for The Outdoor Insiders