Nikon's new ecobins binoculars feature eco-friendly glass which is lead and arsenic free, non-chloride rubber eye cups, a natural fiber carrying case and strap, no printed materials inside the box and tree-free packaging. Naturally with all these green friendly features these binoculars were something I was interested in checking out.
Available in 10x25 magnification the ecobins are compact, rugged, waterproof and fogproof. Nikon's premium optics include aspherical eyepiece lenses that provide distortion-free viewing, internal blackening to minimize light loss inside binocular tubes and multi-coated lenses that offer maximum brightness, contrast and true color.The included carrying case and strap are constructed from environmentally-minded Lenzing Tencel fiber that is fully biodegradable. Derived from the wood pulp of sustainable eucalyptus forests, Tencel fiber utilizes a revolutionary manufacturing process with minimal waste.
The eco-friendly features of this product carry all the way through to the manner it is packaged. Ecobins packaging is constructed from eighty-five percent post-consumer waste and is printed on recyclable FiberStone paper. This recyclable paper is completely tree-free and made from limestone collected as waste material from existing quarries for the building and construction industry. Production of this product uses no water or bleaching chemicals and releases zero pollution into the air according to the company.
Additionally, to minimize resources used to produce ecobins the instruction manual, product registration card and information regarding Nikon’s 25-year warranty are available online at and were not included in the packaging as printed inserts.
Like other 10x25 binoculars the Ecobins aren't ideally suited for scanning and spotting things like birds due to their limited field of view. However their 10x magnification and excellent quality optics help make up for that especially when you've located a target - for instance a perched raptor.
The strength of the Ecobins comes in their portability and light weight - they are an excellent general purpose binocular that allow you good looks at things once spotted. Their size and weight are significant pluses especially when trying to travel light or for casual use when a more substantial binocular may be overkill.
Optically the Ecobins are strong. As expected they provide the sharp crisp image Nikon is known for. They perform best during the day when the light is strong. At dusk or under difficult light conditions their performance isn't optimal - that is due to their smaller field of view which doesn't let as much light in.
I would say the Ecobins would be a great choice for backpackers and hikers who want to view wildlife and look from scenic vistas along the trail. They would also be a great choice for a general purpose all around binocular for all kinds of recreational activities.
According to a Nikon spokeswoman, the largest retailer for Ecobins is REI but they can also be found online with several different retailers. The MSRP is $169.99