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Whether you’re spending time in your backyard, front porch, or off in the parks and forests, you’ll find yourself wanting to see something that’s further away. You might be the nosy neighbor on the street, trying to see what, exactly, is on your roof, or what bird that is hiding up in the branches. For that, you want a pair of binoculars. Perhaps even a pair like the Nocs Provisions Standard Issue Waterproof Binoculars that we spent time with.

Now, you can get some really inexpensive ones, that really don’t do anything. I mean, just about every kid has some sort of cheap binoculars in their toybox, often with plastic “lenses” that don’t do anything. Sure, you could step up to something that’s maybe $20-30 and get real glass. While the Nocs Provisions Standard Issue Waterproof Binoculars come in a bit more than that ($95, to be precise), these are binoculars that should last you a good long time, over a variety of use situations.

First off, let’s talk about the looks. First off, the Nocs Provisions Standard Issue Waterproof Binoculars are small. You might confuse them for a child’s toy, but they’re not. While they’re compact, at almost 12 oz, they’ve got a bit of heft to them. Fortunately, the colorful exterior is covered with a very grippy texture, so you won’t drop them easily. And even then, the included neck strap (or even optional wider ones, which are $27) will keep it from hitting the ground. You might be surprised that there are no lens caps on either end, as we’re used to seeing those. Here, the lenses are set in deep enough I wouldn’t be concerned about scratching them, unless you’re being well and truly careless.

And instead of a rigid (or even more robust) case to store the Nocs Provisions Standard Issue Waterproof Binoculars in (as I’ve had in the past) you’ve got a simple microfiber pouch that fits around the binoculars, and closes with a drawcord. This furthers the idea of the packaging remaining lightweight, and keeps things easy to get to when you need them. On a recent camping trip, I kept the binoculars in the pouch while they were in my backpack, but once I put them around my neck, they were out of the pouch and ready for quick use.

One I had the Nocs Provisions Standard Issue Waterproof Binoculars adjusted to fit my face (spreading them out to get the eye alignment correct, and then using the diopter adjustment to fit my own vision), they were ready to go. I used them to look down onto (and across) the lake after hiking up a trail, seeing what the kids were up to when they were up ahead, and looking for wildlife. And they work great for that. And yes, I’ll admit, I’ve used them around the house (well, outside) to see what in the world the birds were doing on the side of the house. No spying on the neighbors, though.

While I wouldn’t say binoculars are a necessary piece of kit when you head to the outdoors, if you’ve got the space, they can be quite handy. I mean, if nothing else, you can use these as a zoom lens of sorts for your phone’s camera. While they sell an adapter to help line things up, you can just line it up. This relies on how steady your hands are – one is holding the phone, the other the binoculars – but it does let you see things further away. If you’re steady, you can get a nice, clear shot. For my goofing around with it, I definitely saw things that the camera itself couldn’t capture, but they weren’t anything that would replace what a good DSLR and zoom lens could do (I blame that more on my own hands stability, than the quality of the lenses).

Speaking of the quality of the lenses in the Nocs Provisions Standard Issue Waterproof Binoculars – I found them to be very clear and crisp. The full specs of what you get in these are down below, and here’s a quick rundown of some of the more notable features of the Nocs Provisions Standard Issue Waterproof Binoculars

  • Compact and crystal clear
  • Fully waterproof (IPx7 certified) and fogproof, due to being filled with nitrogen
  • Fully multi-coated lenses – 6 pieces of glass in each cylinder, each coated with anti-reflective coating
  • Rugged no-slip grip
  • Lightweight – 11.85oz (336g)
  • Fits all faces: with twist up eyecups with an adjustable eye relief of 7-13mm, Nocs work for glasses wearers and raw eyes alike. With an interpupillary distance of 56-74mm, and +/-3º of diopter adjustability, Nocs fit all faces and eyes, correcting for astigmatism.

For a pair of binoculars that are going to be sort of grab-and-go, I think that waterproof rating is key. Yes, that along with the nitrogen fill helps with anti-fogging, for sure. But it also means you could bust these out on a slightly rainy day and not have to worry about water getting into the casing. Or, say, coming outside from air conditioning out into the humid outdoors. In other words, it’s a lot more useful than you might think at first.

So, who are the Nocs Provisions Standard Issue Waterproof Binoculars for? I’d say it’s for anyone looking for a compact, relatively lightweight pair of binoculars that easily slip into a pack, or that you won’t feel weighed down having around your neck when you head out for your evening walk through the park. Given the eight different colors, you can find one that fits your style, or even pick up a pair for your responsible kid who’s ready to move on to a “real” pair of binoculars for their nature exploring. As mentioned earlier, these retail for $95 and are available directly from nocsprovisions.com

Tech Specs from Nocs Provisions

Power:8x 
Objective Lens ø:25mm 
Lens Coating Type:Fully Multi-Coated, anti-reflective 
Prism Type:Roof / BaK4Fully Multi-Coated
Waterproof Rating:IPX7 – 30 min under 3ft water 
Fogproofing:Nitrogen filled, with sealed O-rings 
Diopter System:±3º, Right Eye 
Eyecup System:Twist Up 
Eye Relief:7mm6mm – 13mm
Number of Lenses:6 pieces / 4 groups (per cylinder)Central Focus System
Field of View (6.8º):357ft @ 1000yds113M @ 1000M
Close Focus:13ft4M
Height:45mm1.77″
Dimensions:115mm x 108mm4.53” x 4.25”
Weight:336g11.85oz
Resolution:2.44M8ft
Exit Pupil Diameter:3.1mm6/50”
Interpupillary Distance:56mm – 74mm2.2” – 2.9”

By Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.