Binoculars help us see the natural world. Birds and wildlife can be viewed up close without disturbing them. Nocs Provisions binoculars from a third-generation Alpine Meadows resident are a new and innovative binocular that is compact, lightweight and easy to carry.
Chris McKleroy, CEO and founder of Nocs Provisions, wants to make a difference in the world with his company and products. He wants to help people enjoy nature and see the environment. He also wants to give back to social justice and environmental causes with every product he sells.
“We are about making it easier to connect with nature,” says McKleroy.
McKleroy co-founded a business in San Francisco that made speakers in 2010. It was during that time he learned about marketing, building a brand and making a product. He wanted to explore a new project and began looking for a unique and innovative product he could create.
“[Binoculars] all look so tactical. They were big. They all looked the same. I thought, what if there was a good, compact, high-quality binocular that you could take with you anywhere? If you’re river rafting, hiking or camping.” –Chris McKleroy
“I was living out by the beach in San Francisco and built a 3-D printer,” he says.
The idea for binoculars was inspired by a conversation he had with his roommate. He came home and said he wished he had a pair of binoculars for the music festival he attended. This was the spark that ignited the creation of Nocs.
“I did a bunch of research about the binoculars and there was a ton of binoculars. They all look so tactical. They were big. They all looked the same,” he says. “I thought, what if there was a good, compact, high-quality binocular that you could just take with you anywhere? If you’re river rafting, hiking or camping.”
McKleroy began 3-D printing several versions of compact binoculars, creating different models and shapes.
“I came up with this really crazy-looking design — totally different than what the industry is used to,” he says.
A friend mentioned his product in a blog before they launched it and people began asking for his prototypes.
“It was like a fun art project. And it was really fun to see the friends’ reactions,” he says.
They began selling binoculars on the Internet. His side project took off. He launched Nocs Provisions just as the pandemic began. This turned out to be a good thing for his company as more people wanted to get outside.
Every unit sold supports 1% For The Planet. Each set of Nocs Binoculars is sold in plastic-free packaging. Not only is this a more sustainable choice, but it also aligns with the company philosophy of creating long-lasting products. The binoculars have a lifetime warranty. They are also set at a price point; their standard-issue waterproof binoculars can be purchased for $95.
“We made this compact, go-anywhere binocular that is high quality and weighs 11.8 ounces. It’s great for backpacking and it can live in a sprinter van,” he says.
They also designed a monocular that weighs 8.3 ounces, which is also light and compact. The binoculars have Swiss optical engineering. The binoculars’ exterior has ridges for better handling and protection and come in several colors.
“You can use the binoculars and our monoculars as a lens for your smartphone and take photos through them,” says McKleroy.
Nocs Provisions sell in REI stores nationwide where McKleroy says, “They’re one of their fastest growing brands.”