Ridgeline binoculars and Kahu harness

Review: Ridgeline 10×42 binoculars & Kahu harness

Ridgeline’s 10×42 binoculars are surprisingly good for their meagre $300 price. It’s not a lot of money at all for a full-size set of 10x42s and if you’d told me they cost more I wouldn’t have doubted it.

The all-important optical quality is very good in this price bracket, probably because Ridgeline used BAK-4 prisms, which establishes a high benchmark from the start. 

Ridgeline binoculars and Kahu harness
The Kahu harness is an excellent option if you stalk with your binoculars

The clarity and contrast are very high with great colour rendition in all conditions. Their low-light performance is quite good and I’ve used them on an overcast evening in a canyon without feeling handicapped as the last light faded.

I did spend an evening out scouting with someone carrying a bigger and more expensive set of European binos and, despite using his a few times, I felt no need to swap, and nor did I struggle to see what he saw. That impressed me.

The only fault is that the lenses blur towards the edges, not to a large degree but enough to notice. It’s a small criticism and I guess you can’t have perfection for $300.

The eye cups twist out to provide eye relief, coming out in two steps. I’d have liked a third step a little further out again to suit my eyes.

The right barrel offers diopter adjustment so you can balance the focus from side to side. Like the focus wheel in the centre, the diopter ring is hard plastic with grippy texture making it easy to move. 

The focus knob turns smoothly with only light resistance, ensuring you can find a sharp picture at any distance quite quickly.

The barrels are coated in a rubbery armour that enhances your grip on the binoculars.

Size is on par with other 10x42s, meaning they’re a practical size for hunting, and the combination of magnification and objective lens size is considered just right these days — hence the popularity of 10x42s.

Ridgeline sells the binoculars with a pouch, strap and lens covers. The covers for the objectives can be knocked off almost intuitively with your fingers as you lift the binos to your eyes, and as they are held on by rubber loops they don’t easily get lost. Well, not unless the loops let go without being noticed.

For another $180 you can pair the binos with Ridgeline’s Kahu chest harness, which is a ripper. Like all such harnesses, it makes carrying binoculars far more comfortable and keeps them almost at your fingertips.

It stands out for its quick and quiet magnetic opening system and the small pouches and webbing loops that enable you to carry all sorts of minor items, including the rain cover that comes with the harness.

The Kahu is very well designed, should fit everyone’s body, weighs only 415g and comes in Excape camo or plain olive. It’ll hold other binoculars if you’re already set for optics.

The binoculars and harness have served me for over a year of regular use without any significant wear or tear, and I’m as impressed now as I was at the start.

The binoculars are excellent value, with optics and features better than the modest price suggests. 

Visit the Ridgeline website for specs and other details.




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Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.