AllOutdoor Review: Meopta MeoPro Air 10×42 Binoculars
Eve Flanigan 05.28.21
Over this spring, I’ve taken with me a pair of the latest binoculars from Meopta called the Meopta MeoPro Air. There are two magnification versions of this model: 8x42mm and 10x42mm. I’ve been using the more powerful 10x42mm. The binoculars in this test have been used for sightseeing in New Mexico’s “Enchanted Circle” near Taos, for spotting game in conifer forests and the desert, for scanning forest fire activity, and for simple birdwatching from my kitchen window at a distance of approximately 50 feet. Temperatures during the test have ranged from 23F (with precipitation) to 96F. Elevations have ranged from 3,000 to 10,800 feet.
As I sort of expected after having tried another Meopta product, the Optik6 mid-range scope, the Meopta MeoPro Air has great clarity. Details of game and landscape features afar are surprisingly clear and, out the kitchen window, minute details of bird markings are easily seen.
It’s easy to become a bit spoiled by superior lens clarity, and forget what it’s like to see the world through lesser optics. My foray to Taos was for a family reunion of sorts, and the binoculars were shared by relatives as we hiked or stopped by the roadside to take in the scenery. Their reactions to these binoculars are telling of the quality of their experience using them. My uncle became interested in upgrading his old binoculars to these after his first look. Another relative is a regular on Colorado’s “fourteeners.” He peered through the Meopta MeoPro Airs after describing how his 6x monocular aids him in picking trails to ascend. His jaw dropped in amazement when he raised these binoculars to view snow-capped Wheeler Peak. The consensus was in: the view through these is remarkable.
One of the features everyone agrees they like is the adjustable eye relief. The ocular lenses have cups that turn clockwise to open with four palpable set points that allow eyes to be closer or farther from the lens while also shielding from outside light. Everyone seems to have their own preference with this and it’s easy to adjust between users.
Handling the Meopta MeoPro Air is pleasant. The magnesium alloy body is infused with rubber for good grip. The weight is centered making one-handed use and fatigue prevention part of the experience. The body extends as a shade hood a bit past the optical lens side providing great protection. The body is also impact-resistant. When using the binoculars as heavy snow was falling the lenses never got wet, but if they had, they’re treated with MeoDrop hydrophobic coating to keep the lenses free of distortion.
Users can customize the Meopta MeoPro Airs for their own eyes’ preferred adjustment using the dioptic correction dial first, one side at a time. When that’s adjusted, the wide and easy-to-use focusing dial can be moved to make the image sharp from a distance 7.75 feet or greater.
The binoculars come in a sturdy case that provides good protection from both impact and dust. A padded neck strap is included and can be threaded through the built-in loops on the body. Polymer squeeze buckles on each side of the strap are compatible with the receiver buckles on the sides of the case allowing the neckstrap to become the case carry strap. I did find the strap’s shortest adjustment just a bit long for my relatively short frame.
Conveniently formed to fit onto the neck strap is the ocular lens cover – a rubberized, custom-fitting cover. At first, I thought one of the loops that holds it to the strap broke on Day #1 of the test. When the vendor read this review, I received a correction: there’s a slit purposely cut into one loop to keep it in place during storage, but it also gives way for quick deployment. It’s a great idea and a good way to keep track of lens covers and encourage frequent use.
“Over-engineered” is the best-fitting adjective I can think of for the ocular lens covers. They are separate, floppy, rubbery, round covers with tabs. At the end of each tab is a socket that holds a very strong, but tiny magnet. The magnets are the size of the hockey puck-shaped batteries that power many watches, and they stick to lots of things. For example, one day I laid the binoculars down on the console between the driver and passenger seats. Later that day, I went to open the console cover and it felt stuck in the closed position. I looked down to find the lens covers sticking to its latch.
On a recent jaunt in a national park, I laid the binoculars which had been around my neck on a log for a bit as I sat down to tie a boot. Many paces down the trail, I realized there was something dark on the front tail portion of my shirt. I looked down to discover the lens covers riding weirdly on the front of my shirt – they’d decided that the steel of the gun under said shirt was more “attractive” than staying on the binoculars. Their magnetic attraction when in use only serves to either keep the two lens covers together, or to keep their tabs’ little sockets that match them, built into each lens housing. As I discovered, the magnets will decide where they go when I’m not looking. These lens covers are an unnecessarily complicated solution to a simple problem.
Despite this little annoyance, these are great binoculars and it would be a source of pride and enjoyment to own them. To get specific, they deliver a 360-foot span of view at 1,000 yards. Light transmission is good at 83% in daylight conditions. They measure 5.9 x 5.0 x 2.0 inches. Without the strap or lens caps, the weight is 29 ounces.
Meopta works with a dealer network which can be found on the company website. Retail pricing for the MeoPro Air binocular in 10x is $999.0, with the 8x version being $979.00. “A better view of the world” is what the package inserts promise and the MeoPro Airs deliver.
Updated 5/29/2021 @11:57 MDST to correct lens cover and pricing information.