I take my binoculars anywhere and everywhere outdoors every time I go. It doesn’t matter if I’m scouting, hunting, shed hunting, driving through the canyon, or even on a walk with my family in the foothills, I’ve always got my binoculars handy because you never know what Mother Nature has in store for you! When I started out hunting, I used/borrowed a pair of $50 binoculars that my dad kept in his closet but seldom used. I did my best to take care of them, but looking back I think I was actually pretty careless. I’d carry them around my neck on a strap with nothing more to protect them than a set of flip-off covers for the objective lenses and nothing covering the ocular lenses. Those binoculars took a beating, bouncing around on my chest all day and suffering whatever the elements had in store from sun, wind and dust, to rain and snow.
When I decided it was time to get serious about my optics and that I needed an upgrade in the binocular department, I knew that before I ever purchased a high end set of binoculars, I needed to figure out a good carry system for them. I had to have the carrying system selected and purchased before I purchased the new binoculars or else I’d be too tempted to take them out and use them just once or twice or maybe twenty times before I got around to purchasing the carrying system. I had made up my mind to not let that happen. One reason I was so adamant about having the carry system before buying the binoculars was that I’d had a friend who bought new binoculars and took them out into the field before getting a carrying case. Long story short, he ended up dropping them while coming down a wet hillside when he fell and actually cracked one of the lenses. I did not want to chance ending up in that situation!
When I first began researching the options available for binocular carrying cases, I was a little naïve in my selection process. I knew I wanted 10×42 binoculars, a pouch that rode on my chest, and something that offered complete protection when shut. That was about the extent of my criteria. I looked up different options online and read about them, but what eventually helped sway my decision was some input from close friends to get the Badlands Magnetic Binocular Pouch.
Over the last several years I have not taken my binoculars anywhere without also taking the pouch to keep them fully protected. I have really come to appreciate how well it protects my binoculars and keeps them handy and in the perfect spot. The magnetic closure is something I’ve really grown to like. The only downside to it is that there are two tiny straps toward the bottom of the lid where it connects to the body of the pouch. These straps help to keep the lid from falling open too far, but something I didn’t initially realize is that if you are standing on any sort of uphill incline (and sometimes even on level ground), if you open the pouch to bring your binoculars up to look through, the pouch will snap back shut. It’s not that the straps are pulling the lid closed, they merely keep it from falling too far open, but they are only long enough so as to keep the lid at such an angle that it will sometimes fall shut without warning and make a loud snapping noise. This loud snap the lid makes when abruptly shut can be mitigated by attaching some cords from inside the case that have key rings on the ends to the little bars on the sides of most binoculars that are there specifically for this purpose, but I’ve just never been in the habit of connecting my binoculars to the pouch in that fashion. I’ve tried it before, but sometimes I’ll turn my head one way further than the straps allow, so then I have to shift my whole torso, so I’ve always left them unconnected from these cords and simply used my right thumb to quietly shut the case so it doesn’t make any loud noise each time I remove my binoculars.
On the inside of the lid there are five pockets: two small mesh pockets that are side-by-side with a zippered closing, a larger mesh pocket right below the zippered ones, and two sleeve pockets that span the length of the lid, one of which you access from the top, while the other has an opening that runs all the way down the right hand side of the inside of the lid. These pockets are useful for storing a handful of small things so you can get at them quickly and easily, but you can’t stuff too much into them or the lid won’t close securely because it will bulge out too far. I store an elk call, a lens cloth (in addition to the one that comes secured to the inside of the pouch), and if I’m hunting I’ll usually store my tags, license, and any associated maps I may have in these pockets inside the lid. I haven’t ever used them to store more than that.
There is a small zippered pouch on the back of the harness where the four straps converge that rides in between your shoulder blades (exactly where it rides may vary based on how tight or lose you prefer the case to fit against your chest). If you unzip this pouch, inside there is mesh pouch that folds out of it that is sewn in at the top to the inside of this little pocket. The mesh pouch is about 6” wide about 10” long and has a zipper that runs down the length of it in the middle. I like to think this pouch was designed to carry a water bottle, but I’ve only ever used it once. I think that it was one of those things that sounded like a good idea in theory, but not one person that I know of that has this binocular pouch uses that pocket for anything. In fact, a couple that I know of have actually cut it out to remove that little bit of unnecessary bulk. I’ve noticed it before occasionally when I have a pack on, and sometimes it can be a little uncomfortable, but I’ve yet to remove it. I guess I keep thinking I’ll find a use for it eventually. If there was one thing I would change about the design of this pouch, removing this pocket would probably be it. I just may cut mine out tonight…
Something I like about the pouches design is that the shoulder straps are about 3 inches wide, soft, and they’re made out of a stretchy material with a series of holes to help with ventilation. I’ve never had a problem with the straps rubbing or making me uncomfortable at all, no matter what I’m wearing or how many layers I may have on.
I also have really come to appreciate the protection this case offers. I’ve hiked with my binoculars on my chest in this pouch in rain, wind, sun, and snow, and it has always kept my glass protected from the elements. One thing I’ve really come to appreciate it how dustproof the case is. It’s something that I took for granted until one day when I was out in the field with a friend who had one of the S4 Gear cases that are an open-style case. There was quite a bit of wind that day, and he was constantly complaining about having to clean dust off his binocular lenses. The Badlands Magnetic Binocular Pouch will definitely keep your glass dust free, not to mention dry.
I have really enjoyed this product from Badlands and would recommend it to anyone serious about keeping their binoculars protected and easily accessible at the same time. It is a perfect fit for my 10×42 binoculars, and I’ve even heard of people comfortably using it to store 10×50 binoculars, but I would make sure to test this out first as binocular size and bulk can vary from brand to brand. Below is a picture of how my Meopta Meostar HD 10x42s fit in the pouch.
Get the Badlands Magnetic Binocular Pouch to safely protect those binoculars you spent your hard-earned money on and then go hit the hills!