New Sitka mountain bino harness

406unltd

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2018
Messages
502
First impressions are great of the new harness from Sitka Gear. Obviously I do not have insight on things like durability but I just want to give a overview

Fit- the strap system will accommodate most any hunter and the layers they wear. The large one piece footprint the harness has makes it fit your torso very well and gives a solid, stable feeling. I feel no pressure points with the thin strap system when I have it loaded down with all my stuff.

Ergonomics- the layout of the harness is very intuitive. I do not find myself fumbling through the latch systems and or fighting the way each compartment opens ect. The harness has multiple stash spots that are also easy to access.

Function- the main lid is very easy to work. It latches easily and holds my 10x42 binos but a larger set would be a struggle. The seal at the top is decent with no major opening for weather and or dust to enter the compartment. The magnet system works great but only at keeping the lid folded and laying horizontally flat. The harnesses magnet system does not keep the lid upright against my chest while being worn. The angle that the base lays against my chest seems to keep the magnets from contacting and staying vertical. This doesn’t bother me as I just let it fold and lay flat. I actually prefer it this way as it keeps debris or weather out of the compartment while my optics are in use. A simple swipe of a finger lifts the lid out of the way and I can return my optics. With a small exterior sleeve on each side of the main compartment you have options for small items to have a place. The two smaller compartments on the sides have lids that open the opposite direction of the main compartment. The latch system for the lid is very secure but quick to access. These have a ton of space for items. With nice stretchy outer sleeves on the two small compartments the options are endless for storage inside and out of each compartment. At the top of the harness facing your body you have one small zippered pocket and a big sleeve. The zippered area is perfect for your tags and the big sleeve is sized to be very versatile. Of course each of the outer pockets can be detached from the harness and leave a bare spot that can accommodate some of your molle type pockets or accessories. The harness is not cumbersome nor does it protrude away from your body very much. It has a very streamline fit that won’t get caught on things, or cause issues when maneuvering through tight spots. I run my harnesses high on my torso and when laying down in the prone for a rifle shot my old AGC would create a problem. This harness does not have that issue and doesn’t hinder my ability to get on my gun in the prone. I ran the AGC for years and figured out a way around that but it was an issue so this is kinda nice I gotta say. Overall this pack has a lot of great functional qualities.

Materials- the face fabric looks to be durable yet remain quiet. It is hands down more quiet than my old harness. I have no doubt this sucker is tough and able to take a beating by the environment and or weather. But without time in the field I can’t speak of its ability to keep my equipment dry, and hold up to the abuse. My guess is it will perform great against aggressive weather and terrain. The inside portion of the harness that lays against your body looks to be fairly breathable and slightly padded for added comfort.

All in all I’m impressed by the piece. I am confident that it would be a welcomed addition to anyone’s loadout. Attached are a few photos of the harness and it’s features. If this item was on your list this year I suggest you buy with confidence!
Have a good one you guys

-Nick Orion
 

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OP
406unltd

406unltd

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2018
Messages
502
First trip out with it today was good. The straps rode great throughout the hike my son and I went on today. We went in about 3 miles and setup a trail cam in an elk area. Temps were about 65-73 while we were out and the large footprint didn’t give me a noticeable sweaty spot any worse than my old AGC harness. Comfort, and ease of use was good. The harness collects debris on the top of it where it folds up and so far that’s about the only bad thing I can say.
 

Bunkin

Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2014
Messages
59
Man, I really like the look of that but not a fan of magnets....

Thanks for the great write up
 

Laelkhunter

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Aug 26, 2013
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Location
New Orleans, La.
Great write up 406- and thanks for all the pics! Bunkin, I agree. The magnets seem to be hit or miss as far as effectiveness. BlackOvis did a 14 minute review with two different commentators in the review. One of them showed the magnets worked as designed and kept the top open to allow access to the binos. The other one showed the magnets did not work, and the flap kept falling down which hindered the removal of the binos. I'm not sure yet about this harness, I might have to wait and see. Also, you have to make sure the magnets don't interfere with any electronics or compass you might try to use.
I have the original Sitka Bino hub (with the zipper), and I am happy with it so far. I might just stick with it for now, and save the $150.
Man, I really like the look of that but not a fan of magnets....

Thanks for the great write up
 
Last edited:
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406unltd

406unltd

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Jul 6, 2018
Messages
502
Great write up 406- and thanks for all the pics! Bunkin, I agree. The magnets seem to be hit or miss as far as effectiveness. BlackOvis did a 14 minute review with two different commentators in the review. One of them showed the magnets worked as designed and kept the top open to allow access to the binos. The other one showed the magnets did not work, and the flap kept falling down which hindered the removal of the binos. I'm not sure yet about this harness, I might have to wait and see. Also, you have to make sure the magnets don't interfere with any electronics or compass you might try to use.
I have the original Sitka Bino hub (with the zipper), and I am happy with it so far. I might just stick with it for now, and save the $150.
I am also not a fan of magnets. Apparently I didn’t bother to finish my thoughts of the magnets in my assessment. What I wanted to add was that they work great to keep the lid system folded, but not so good at keeping it upright against your chest. I am going to go in and edit that so it’s more clear. With that said I do not bother trying to use them to keep the lid vertical. I simply unlatch it then move it upwards. This folds the lid and I leave it laying down. Then reach in and pull out the glass. For me I wanted it for the excessive amount of shit it holds.😬 I love it for that reason alone haha.
 

Laelkhunter

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Aug 26, 2013
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I think you said it correctly 406unltd, but I didn't. The magnets failed to keep the flap against one of the person's chest, but it did keep the flap folded, it just kept falling down on top of the binos. It would keep some dirt, water, and other debris from getting onto the eyepiece of the binos, but I don't think it was designed to do that. I would much prefer to have the flap completely out of the way for quick access to the binos, and not having to use one hand to pull the flap back, then the other hand to remove the binos from the pouch.
 

Bunkin

Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2014
Messages
59
Great write up 406- and thanks for all the pics! Bunkin, I agree. The magnets seem to be hit or miss as far as effectiveness. BlackOvis did a 14 minute review with two different commentators in the review. One of them showed the magnets worked as designed and kept the top open to allow access to the binos. The other one showed the magnets did not work, and the flap kept falling down which hindered the removal of the binos. I'm not sure yet about this harness, I might have to wait and see. Also, you have to make sure the magnets don't interfere with any electronics or compass you might try to use.
I have the original Sitka Bino hub (with the zipper), and I am happy with it so far. I might just stick with it for now, and save the $150.

Yeah, my big issue is the electronic and compasses. I realize there are work arounds, but if I’m using my compass and forget to either hold it far enough away and make a bad course correction, that could end up a big deal....

I’m looking hard for the perfect low pro rig for this season. I think I’m between FHF and Kuiu pro right now. I would do marsupial but again with the magnets....
 
OP
406unltd

406unltd

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Joined
Jul 6, 2018
Messages
502
Yeah, my big issue is the electronic and compasses. I realize there are work arounds, but if I’m using my compass and forget to either hold it far enough away and make a bad course correction, that could end up a big deal....

I’m looking hard for the perfect low pro rig for this season. I think I’m between FHF and Kuiu pro right now. I would do marsupial but again with the magnets....

The damn magnets.... idk why they insist on them. It’s not a must have so it’s confusing why so many want to put them into the gear. Hopefully they see conversations like this and listen. You will almost 100% notice that the magnet is messing up you nav plot. It’ll bounce and move the needle pretty violently.
 
OP
406unltd

406unltd

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Jul 6, 2018
Messages
502
So after a full season of use I feel comfortable speaking on behalf of the harnesses overall performance. I hunter all of archery season and most of rifle season with the harness.

During archery I couldn’t have been happier with this harness and I thought it was the greatest thing ever. Comfort was excellent, function was excellent, and the durability was proving to be what you would expect.

Enter rifle season. Massive snow storm hit us in W MT. I went from the utmost confidence in the harness to hating it in a matter of 4-5 hours after hiking in that morning.

In the blowing snow with the lid closed, I would open it up to grab my glass and the eye cup portion would be filled with snow. Now this happened all day and was enough for me to never bring it again while it was snowing. I went back to my AGC harness for the remainder of rifle season if it wasn’t a clear and warmer day. This to me was unacceptable and our honeymoon was over. Another thing is the bungee system on one side wouldn’t hold the lid down tight on a side compartment when it was really cold. I had to knot up the bungee cord tighter than how it shipped to me.

Also, when it would snow, this harness will collect tons of snow on the fleece material thats on the front, and top of the side compartments. The constant clearing of that snow becomes labor intensive and very annoying. A simple shake of the harness like you normally would won’t get rid of it. It has to be scraped or wiped off. Even then it collects it right back on there in no time because of the type of material it is.

Like I said I couldn’t have possible been happier with this product in early season. I honestly thought it was going to be my favorite piece of gear. No jokes. But when that snow flew and temp dropped, I fell out of love with it just as fast.

All in all if you are looking for a harness and all you will be using it for is early season or in warmer climates without the chance of sideways snow and whatnot then buy it. It’s awesome when the weather is good. It’s very clear to me that Sitka has some refining to do on this product and if I only could have one, this wouldn’t be it. Come archery season, it will be what I use, but then after that it’s going to be at home.
 

Trial153

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Oct 28, 2014
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6,948
Location
NY
Nice review.
Back folding openings are a deal breaker for me otherwise I would try it.
I still like last version for the minimalist I am.
 

Desk Jockey

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Joined
Apr 5, 2015
Messages
3,946
Great review. I like the idea of a chest rig. I run one made of some tactical gear and an fhf bino pouch. The snow accumulation issue is a thing. I think it also directs rain back toward your body and can take a while to dry out when wet. On balance I find it the best way to carry gear that I want on my body while hunting but not while in camp.
 
OP
406unltd

406unltd

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Joined
Jul 6, 2018
Messages
502
Nice review.
Back folding openings are a deal breaker for me otherwise I would try it.
I still like last version for the minimalist I am.
Thank you. I prefer them cause the lid goes back down and doesn’t let much debris, rain, snow inside. Pull out the optic and gravity does the rest to keep my stuff clean. To each their own, that’s why we have options
 
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406unltd

406unltd

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2018
Messages
502
Great review. I like the idea of a chest rig. I run one made of some tactical gear and an fhf bino pouch. The snow accumulation issue is a thing. I think it also directs rain back toward your body and can take a while to dry out when wet. On balance I find it the best way to carry gear that I want on my body while hunting but not while in camp.
I’ve never had an issue with a harness getting my chest wet from the weather. On other harnesses I would get some snow collection as it’s a shelf so naturally it does that but a good smack or shake and it’s off. With this one it would stick to that material and wouldn’t let go. Pain in the butt
 
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