Nocs Provisions, a San Francisco-based optics company, celebrates nature, the environment and Indigenous art in a new collaboration with artist Amelia Winger-Bearskin and outdoor giant REI.
This limited edition bundle, sold exclusively at REI, includes one pair of Nocs Standard Issue 25 millimeter binoculars, a strap designed by Indigenous artist Amelia Winger-Bearskin, a storage bag, cleaning cloth and Nocs Photo Rig Smartphone Adapter for taking photographs through the binoculars. The Nocs Provisions Honor Native Land Binocular Bundle is available for $150 in two colors at REI.
Born 10 blocks from the surf, Nocs is entirely about being inspired by nature. Inasmuch, it’s dedicated to protecting and teaching about nature. The company has been a member of 1% for the Planet since day one, where it supports Trips for Kids Marin, a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting youth to nature.
In fact, Nocs takes special care with the packaging, providing everything in a plastic-free box made from recycled cardboard. The compact design includes instructions printed directly on the box using soy-based ink.
Amelia Winger-Bearskin brings an Indigenous perspective to the project, being a member of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation of Oklahoma, Dear Clan. The design on the strap represents traditional beadwork from the tribe. In addition to being a digital artist and tribe member, Winger-Bearskin is deeply involved in many projects, including a role with the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture: Honor Native Land nonprofit where this collaboration found its theme. The goal of the organization, and this product release, is to bring awareness to the history and culture of Native lands.
“For so long, the indigenous artwork and designs of my people and other Nations have been copied, repurposed and profited from by organizations that have no intention of honoring the original artists. This collaboration with Nocs is an example of how native heritage can be recognized and preserved,” said Winger-Bearskin. “And I’m honored to have the opportunity to collaborate on this with both Nocs and REI Co-op.”
The binoculars also feature adjustable eye cups that cater to those who wear eyeglasses. Built for the outdoors, they are also waterproof in depths up to three feet for up to 30 minutes. The lenses are fog-free for clear viewing.
“We are so grateful for the opportunity to work alongside Amelia and have a part in honoring and acknowledging Native Land with this collaboration,” said Chris McKleroy, Founder and CEO of Nocs Provisions. “We’ve always approached what we design as tools for discovery, and we hope that the Honor Native Lands project can help encourage people to recognize artists and explore native lands.
Nocs first earned Climate Neutral certification in 2020 and is still certified in 2022. Climate Neutral certification is a third-party evaluation of carbon use. It begins with a comprehensive evaluation of carbon production throughout the sourcing and transport of materials in addition to the energy used throughout the manufacturing cycle. The company then offsets any residual carbon and sets goals for future reduction.
Review of Nocs
The company sent me a Nocs Provisions Honor Native Land Binocular Bundle for review, which I traveled with this past weekend and enjoyed along the McKenzie River in Oregon.
Furthermore, the bundle arrived in a timely manner and I was impressed by the packaging. It’s obviously well thought out. What starts as a flat piece of cardboard folds into three sections without any glue, each of which is dedicated to holding an essential piece of the bundle. The box is printed with instructions for attaching the strap to the binoculars and using the cell phone picture-taking accessory. This thoughtful touch means less waste from unnecessary additional instructions.
Colorful and striking in its detail, the strap is sturdy and beautiful. It hangs comfortably and securely holds the binoculars in place.
The binoculars are lightweight, weighing just 11.8 ounces. They are also compact and fit easily into the provided storage bag. The rubber exterior then provides a surface for a slip-free grip. As binoculars, they work the way they are supposed to. There’s nothing complicated here. The middle hinge allows for setting eye width. The adjustable eye cups are a unique touch to add comfort and the focus is located between the eye cups as expected.
As a standard issue, they offer an 8×25 magnification and a field of view that extends 357 feet. Looking downriver or across the road, I estimated I was viewing rocks, leaves and downed branches at about 100 yards, which would fall inside this range. These binoculars are great for weekend trips, daily bird watching and checking the surf before you head out on your board. They are affordable, accessible, compact and comfortable. I’m excited to have a pair of my own.
The cell phone attachment
Additionally, the cell phone attachment is a nice feature. I’ve often tried to amplify the distance on my cell phone by capturing an image through binoculars or my larger-lens camera but have never found success. It was fun to view the world through the cell phone/bino combination and capture some closer shots. I didn’t think there was much value in the process as objects really didn’t seem that close.
In two shots I took, I focused on a red reflector in the driveway. Obviously, the closer version is through the binoculars. The image that looks down on a bush with a blanket of leaves on the road behind it is the same shot without the zoom of the binoculars, showing the advantage of zooming up to 400 millimeters.
Images via Nocs and Dawn Hammon