Ridgeline’s handy harness a bino benefit, writes Chris Redlich
Binoculars are an essential and valuable item for hunters and protecting them from the elements during a tough stalk will help preserve them for when performance is paramount. Ridgeline are a respected apparel and accessories brand used by hunters throughout Australia for decades and known for producing reliable and affordable kit, in fact most of my hunting shirts and micro fleece tops are made by Ridgeline and have provided years of continuous wear.
New to their merchandise range is the Kahu binocular harness. I’d been scrolling through numerous designs on the internet until a retail ad for the Kahu bino harness in Australian Shooter grabbed my attention. At first glance it was exactly what I was after and ordered one straight away and while I don’t particularly like buying things without seeing them first, I had full confidence in Ridgeline’s format and on their arrival I wasn’t disappointed.
By all appearances construction of the Kahu harness is heavy-duty yet lightweight in the hand and has been made to accommodate most sizes of binoculars and from my own experience fits a pair of standard 10×42 roof prisms perfectly. For larger binoculars the Kahu has three removable foam shims to customise the fit for varying sizes.
The shims are accessed inside the base of the harness and were removed to fit a new review pair of Steiner LRF binoculars. Access to the main pouch is by a low-profile angled lid, grasped easily via a loop-style handle and the lid firmly shuts out the elements with a stitched-in magnetic strip while all internal surfaces are padded and a solid foam base provides impact protection for the binocular objectives.
Outer construction is of ripstop polyester to withstand abrasion or tearing and this is additionally protected by a water-resistant coating. Dual side pockets and molle webbing enhance utility of the harness but don’t add any noticeable bulk overall. I don’t like extra pouches or bulk to my binocular harness but this is a handy addition if ever the need arose to stow a rangefinder or extra ammo. A sizeable padded pouch to the rear of the harness is available for secure phone storage, accessed by a large zipper with a well thought-out yet simple cord-style loop.
The Kahu ‘H’ harness has a breathable airmesh system which provides shoulder support to all the main pouch tethers, these tethers or straps made from tough Cordura-style nylon that’s double stitched at all critical connection points. The entire harness is completely adjustable with plenty of length to suit any wearer’s height and girth.
Differing somewhat to my older harness are the metallic hooks of the girth straps which provide quick attachment or release to the webbing loops of the pouch, this system really effective in providing a strong connection point. The only downside I found with the alloy hooks was they make a slight ‘tink’ sound when brushing against my riflescope or steel watch band and while a minor risk, this could have the potential to disrupt a silent stalk but all things considered I can’t see the harness being this strong using anything but alloy. Remaining adjustment buckles and connection clips are nylon, the fastex connection clips including tiny but strong braided nylon loops for attaching securely to the binoculars.
Kahu is available in two colours ‑ beech and escape camo – and I opted for the latter. Rounding out the last of the harness inclusions is an elastic-sided plastic rain protector which resembles a shower cap though I honestly feel the pouch material is good enough to repel water without the need for an additional rain protector.
Not long after receiving the harness I was hunting the hills for deer and putting it to the test. Many days and many kilometres over the following months leading up to and during a successful roar, was ample time to draw a conclusion and, as expected, the Kahu binocular harness lived up to expectations and I’m happy I made the purchase. Backed by a lifetime warranty and retailing for $179.50 at time of writing, I believe the Kahu is priced well for a quality product that’s been devised and tested by Ridgeline in the wilds of New Zealand. For more information and to find stockists of the Ridgeline Kahu binocular harness, visit the Australian distributors website at osaaustralia.com.au.