PROS / Its aluminum housing on the front lens makes it a sturdy pair of binoculars.
CONS / It only has partially multi-coated lenses.
VERDICT / Its large field of view and durable build give it a high-quality feel but the Leupold Acadia’s eyepiece distance and portability are not on par with the top three binoculars.
Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about binoculars here.
As one of our higher ranked pair of binoculars, the Leupold Acadia boasts several important features for casual bird watching and roughing it in the mountains or the desert. There are a few drawbacks, but not enough for you to overlook the Acadia.
The Leupold Acadia 8x42 has several impressive optics features that any binocular reviews should point out. The Acadia has a large field of view at 131 meters and a 2.5-meter minimum distance. The eye distance ranges from 54 to 76 millimeters and you can adjust it per eye. This is important because both of your eyes don’t have the same degree of focus. It can give you a clearer image and put less strain on your eyes.
The Acadia has phase correction coating, which is not always included in the best binoculars. However, it is only partially multi-coated. The biggest difference with coatings is the lens layers, which you should research as you learn how to buy binoculars. It's best to have fully multi-coated lenses because they are constructed specifically with glass-to-air surfaces, which will help the parts cohere better. Essentially, it creates a more effective set of binoculars. These coatings are also important because they help with color fidelity, brightness, clarity and contrast.
These binoculars are made of polycarbonate, which is lightweight but somewhat susceptible to thermal expansion, despite being a thermal plastic. The problem with thermal expansion is that if the housing expands enough, it could throw off the angle of the lenses and prism. If that happens, the image view may become distorted, which makes binoculars unusable. Leupold added aluminum housing around the objective lenses, which should counteract the problems of thermal expansion because aluminum is more resistant to it. As long as the two are locked together well, the aluminum should hold it from expanding.
The Leupold Acadia comes with a strap for easy carrying and is relatively lightweight at 22.7 ounces, which is typical for binoculars at this size. The weight varies depending on the housing material and how many lens elements are inside. They shouldn't slow you down on your next hiking trip.
The Acadia is covered by a lifetime warranty, which will take care of any factory defects but doesn't cover accidental damage. There is also plenty of information on Leupold’s website about how to use the binoculars, plus a customer support email and telephone service if you need a question answered quickly.
Leupold Acadia 8x42 binoculars perform beautifully with their linear field of view and solid durability. They're also far more affordable compared to other high-quality 8x42 binoculars and offer an attractive lifetime warranty.