Peruse any outdoor retailer’s offerings of optics and you’ll likely find options from only a small variety of brands, and in any color you want–as long as it's black. For those not satisfied with such otions, theres Nocs Provisions, founded in August of 2019 by San Francisco's Chris McKleroy to offer outdoors lovers a product that was affordable, compact, rugged, and fun.
McKleroy first cut his teeth in the outdoor lifestyle product space as the co-founder and designer of Boombotix, a wearable Bluetooth speaker launched from a Bay Area roll-up garage a la Apple Computers. While living in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset neighborhood McKleroy found a pair of cheap binoculars to keep tabs on the ocean’s swell from his porch. Soon after, he saw the benefit of having them on him for a number of outdoor activities.
Enter Nocs Provisions.
During the extensive R&D phase, over twenty prototypes were created by McKleroy using a hand built 3D printer before arriving at the final shape for Nocs’s flagship product, the Standard Issue Waterproof 8x25 Binocular ($89).
Weighing in just under 12 oz with a pocket-friendly size means the Standard Issue is the binocular you’ll want to take on every adventure.
The exterior is covered in a pattern of ridges for grip that pull equal inspiration from classic BMX handlebar grips and the abstract works of legendary artist Sol LeWitt. The binos are also fully waterproof with an IPx7 rating—so go ahead and bring em on your next SUP adventure.
Though the looks are an easy selling point, attention was not at all diverted when selecting the optic components—Swiss-designed Bak-4 prisms provide blissfully sharp views of birds and distant swell alike. The oversized eyepieces were designed to allow smartphones to shoot directly through them, effectively adding a whopping 400mm focal length to your Instagram photos. How's that for modern innovation?
As an outdoor lover through and through, Chris has taken steps to use as little plastic as possible by developing packaging made from a single piece of 100% post consumer cardboard and printed with soy ink. Outside of environmental impacts, Nocs has also partnered with Trips For Kids Marin to provide local Bay Area kids from underserved communities consistent access to mountain bikes, both by providing 1% of their profits to the organization and volunteering directly.
The Standard Issue Waterproof 8x25 Binocular is available directly from Nocs Provisions as well as Huckberry for $89; a standard strap is included but a handsome woven option is also avaialble for upgrades. Rumor has it that a monocular model will also be coming later this year, so keep your eye peeled for that.