Recently, while I was driving through Grand Teton National Park, I noticed a stack of cars pulled over on the side of the road and a gaggle of onlookers crowded at the edge of the pavement — a clear sign of something exciting.
Sure enough, a grizzly sow was foraging in a large field. I snagged parking on the shoulder of the road and could see her from my window. Instead of having to get out of my vehicle, though, I grabbed my Nocs Provisions 10×32 Field Issue binoculars and got a front row view of the activity.
With my naked eyes, the sow was barely a dark speck in the field. But with the clear 10x zoom of the BaK4 Roof Prism of the Nocs, I could make out the details of her cute fuzzy ears and even her facial expressions when she turned my way.
Without the Nocs binoculars, I may have only watched her for a few minutes before moving on. But with the view I had, I was entranced for at least half an hour. Having a better view of that kind of natural beauty truly enhances the outdoor experience. And there’s always more to see.
In short: I tested the Nocs Provisions 10×32 Field Issue binoculars ($175) while on a 2-week road trip visiting a number of national parks from Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon. Along the way I got wonderful up-close views of elk, moose, birds, vistas, rafters, and the aforementioned bear. These binoculars offer great clarity and image quality for its size and price and is a lightweight, durable, comfortable, and easy-to-use set of field glasses. They’re easy to pack along for any trip, and you don’t have to baby them along the way.
- 10×32 Version
- Obj. lens diameter 32 mm
- Prism glass/type BaK4/Roof
- Number of lenses 6 pieces, 4 groups (per side)
- Lens coating HiFi fully multi-coated
- Focus system Central
- Focusing lens Internal sealed
- Exit pupil diameter 3.2 mm
- Field of view angle 6º
- Field of view 315' @ 1,000 yds. (130 m)
- Close focus 2.8 m / 9.3'
- Relative brightness 16
- Resolution 172 mm / 6.8"
- Diopter system Right eyepiece
- Diopter comp ±3º
- Interpupillary distance 53-72mm
- Eye relief 16.8 mm
- Waterproof IPx7 (1m/30 min.)
- Nitrogen-filled Yes
- Eyecup system Twist-up
- Dimensions 124mm x 112mm, 4.9" x 4.4"
- Weight 473g, 16.7 oz.
- 8×32 Variances
- Exit pupil diameter 4 mm
- Field of view angle 7.38º
- Field of view 387' @ 1,000 yds. (130 m)
- Durable & waterproof
- Comfortable to grip
- Comfortable against the face
- Suffers in low light
- Included carry strap is very basic
Nocs 10×32 Field Issue Binoculars Review
If you’re new to binoculars, here’s a primer. First, this is a midrange-size binocular. The “10x” is the magnification power and indicates that the image you see through the lens will appear 10 times larger/closer than with the naked eye.
The “32” is the size of the diameter of the objective lens (the front lens) in millimeters. The bigger the objective lens, the more light it collects to provide a brighter image. This comes at the cost of weight, as glass is heavy and even small increases in size can mean significant increases in weight. The 10×32 size is a great compromise of weight, size, and view quality. Nocs calls this its “Goldilocks product.”
Nocs also makes the Field Issue in an 8×32 version. It’s the same size in your hand, but with only 8x magnification. The tradeoff for the lower magnification with the same size objective lens is better light transmission (a brighter image) and a wider field of view. The weight stays the same; in this case, 473 g/16.7 ounces.
Learn more about binoculars in GearJunkie’s Binocular Buying Guide.
The quality of glass in the lenses, coatings, and prisms are the most substantial in regard to the quality of binoculars and therefore the cost.
At the $175 price point (super-high-end models push $3K), Nocs uses the very common BaK4 roof prism. But it’s found an incredible sweet spot for the quality in this category of binoculars. While most of us will be able to see a clear difference between these and any binoculars over $1K, it would take a very discerning eye in bright conditions to notice the difference between these Nocs binoculars and a pair costing twice as much.
However, the difference does become more apparent on the fringes of the day when less light is available.
Nocs also notes that these binoculars are photo-compatible, meaning you can use a camera or even a phone to take pictures through them. The photo above of the grizzly sow in the field is an example of what that looks like.
Durability & Comfort
Where the Nocs Provisions brand really stands out is in the durable design of its products. The ridge-textured rubberized exterior of the Nocs offers both impact protection as well as grip to prevent dealing with an impact in the first place. The wavy rubberized exterior is also extremely comfortable to hold for extended periods (as I discovered while watching the brown bear in Grand Teton).
The Nocs come with lens covers for the objective lenses as well as the eyepiece lenses. And since it’s such a tough set of binoculars, it just comes with a cloth bag for long-term storage. I didn’t bother with the bag while bouncing around a number of the Western national parks in the testing process of these binoculars.
These binoculars are also fully waterproof and fogproof. That’s great for peace of mind when you’re in the rain, or if you happen to drop your binoculars in a creek.
Another comfort factor are the eye cups. Without side glare blinders, the Nocs are easy for anyone to use, with or without glasses. In fact, it’s pretty rare to find eye cups with glare guards anymore.
Nevertheless, the material used and the three-point depth settings available with the Nocs make them comfortable to have against your face for extended periods of time (as long as you’re not pushing too hard). Also, with a 19mm interpupillary size range (53-72mm) the Nocs Field Issue fits a huge range of face sizes.
Ease of Use
The large, ultra-precise focus wheel between the two lenses is easy to find and use with or without gloves. The right-eye focus diopter is smooth to adjust but appropriately firm so it doesn’t get bumped once it’s set. The same is true for the resistance of the interpupillary adjustability.
The included lens covers, for both the eyepiece and objective lenses, are completely optional. They’re easy to install and remove. If installed, they are also easy to take on and off between uses of the binoculars.
They also have leashes or loops to be able to connect them to the field glasses when they are removed to prevent them from getting dropped or lost. This lens covering style is pretty standard for many of the binocular brands available.
While these binoculars are intended for hand use, they do have a tripod mount stud for holding the lenses in place for long stints.
Easy to Take With You
The Field Issue is the mid-size of offerings from Nocs Provisions and only weighs 16.7 ounces (473 g). Even with the very basic strap included with these field glasses, they never caused any sense of strain or fatigue carrying them around.
To be fair, Nocs included one of their sold separately Woven Tapestry Straps ($27) with the test unit and that really made carrying the Field Issue binoculars entirely unnoticeable. While weight is entirely subjective, I wouldn’t have any problem taking these field glasses on a backpacking trip.
For my National Parks tour (I was working as a guide), I was grateful to find the Field Issue binoculars fit nicely into my Mystery Ranch Hip Monkey hip pack, my go-to bag for short hikes. Once on the trail, I would take them out and sling the binoculars over my shoulder to have at the ready.
Now that I’m home again, I’ve stashed them in the glovebox of my vehicle because there’s always an opportunity to glass some wildlife from the road here in Colorado.
The other sizes from Nocs include the Standard Issue (8×25 & 10×25, 11.85 ounces/336 g, $95) and the Pro Issue (8×42 & 10×42, 1.5 pounds/680 g, $295).
The Nocs 10×32 Provisions Field Issue binoculars are a great pair of field glasses. For a very approachable price, they deliver a good image, great durability, and easy use — and this all comes in a versatile size and weight. They can be taken backpacking without breaking your back. Or they can live in your vehicle glovebox for roadside discoveries.
The price and durability also means they don’t need to be pampered. And, with the 10x or 8x magnification power options, they can suit most casual users including birders, backpackers, hunters, travelers, and in my case, carside national park visitors and guides.