Since 2019, California-based Nocs Provisions has been making a strong case that binoculars aren't just for birders and that—with some new thinking in terms of design—high-quality optics and sleek, fun aesthetics aren't mutually exclusive design elements. The company is continuing to make that argument with the launch of the new Nocs Field Issue 32mm Binoculars.
As with previous Nocs products, the Field Issue Binoculars have a light, compact, and grippy form factor that's available in a variety of colors. They're also waterproof and fog proof, making them ideal for use in any weather conditions, and work in tandem with your smartphone camera to provide an extra bit of zoom for quick photo snaps.
But where the Field Issue differs from previous releases—which include the Standard Issue and Pro Issue binoculars—is in balancing that form with the function of its internal optics. Nocs calls it "midsize," and it does fit squarely between those two previous releases, maintaining enough portability for hiking and backpacking (and weighing in at 16.7 ounces) while housing a high-grade, multi-coated lens array that magnifies whatever you're scoping out with high-quality color reproduction and clarity.
Other features include adjustable eyecups that can accommodate users who wear glasses and an oversized focus wheel that helps you easily dial in the view. The Field Issue binocs are also rated for waterproofness up to IPX7, which covers dust, water, humidity, and submersion up to three feet. You can get them with either 8x or 10x magnification depending on how much you prefer (10x will bring far objects closer but also require a steadier hand to keep them in view).
We've been testing an early sample through the past couple of spring weeks and can attest that yeah, Nocs hit the nail on the head with this one. Looking through a good set of binoculars is like tapping into a superpower; it's easy to forget how fun it is to get a closer look at a nearby peak or distant shore from the comfort of camp. And, if you're climbing or backcountry skiing, these things can be invaluable when it comes to scoping out potential lines for the price of a little extra weight in your bag. True ultralight acolytes will probably still skip them—though Nocs does make a monocular called the Zoom Tube that only weighs 9.5 ounces—but we'll be keeping them stashed in the car so that we don't forget them on any impromptu adventure.