The more I hunt out West the more I appreciate the use of optics to aid in my success. By no means am I an aficionado of fine optics but I certainly know when something gives clear and concise views and is well built. Which, when attempting to cover ground with your eyes or differentiate between a legal and non-legal bull are qualities you’d want. I recently had the opportunity to get my hands on a pair of Maven field glasses. What Maven has done is eliminated the middle man (i.e. retail store price markups) and is creating a high quality glass at a not so high price by building and shipping directly to the consumer.
The pair I received was B.1 8×42 in grey/orange. Initially out of the box they appeared flawless and finely constructed. Handling them truly led me to believe they are fine pair of binoculars and I had high hopes for trying them out. Just to give you a little spoiler on how nice a pair of binos they are, I mistakenly compared them to a pair of 10×42’s I already own thinking they were of the same magnification. I had them pegged as giving a better view and further reach than the 10×42’s before I remember they were only 8×42’s!
I will give you a link to their stats page (scroll down to the bottom) but a few of what I think are some of the key items are:
Weight: 29.125 oz
Dimensions (WxHxD): 5×6.2×2.1
Field of View @1000 yrds: 388ft
Waterproof and Nitrogen Purged (fog proof)
For comparison I looked at the Swarovski EL 8.5×42 binos and they were very evenly matched with the EL’s weighing 29.5 oz, sized at 5.2×6.3×2.4, and a FOV of 399.
A few other details you should know: full size, magnesium chassis, phase corrected roof prism construction, fully multi-coated ED glass which allows for optimal image resolution, enhanced contrast, and true color fidelity (by aiding in light transmission).
What I did to get a frame of reference for comparison is took out the Mavens along with pair of entry level 6×30’s from a very reputable manufacturer and a pair of highly regarded 10×42’s from a lesser known company. What I found is their wasn’t much of a comparison. As previously stated while initially comparing them I failed to realize that the Maven’s were only 8×42 and still fared better than the 10×42. Not that there is anything wrong with an 8×42 or a 10×42 but they are certainly different magnifications. The images from the Mavens were much more clear and detailed than the other two and allowed me to single out specific leaves in distant trees whereas the others didn’t allow for such a fine distinction. The colors popped more in the Mavens as well which would make it easier to find that mule deer laying in the shadows during the midday.
The B.1’s really began to show their true colors as a top tier binocular as the light began to fade while I was giving them a serious stare down. I can say, without pun intended, it was night and day difference as far as light transmission goes looking through the Maven’s vs the other two. While the light began to dim I had difficulty discerning things through the other two but I could clearly and easily still see through the B.1’s.
I didn’t have these long enough to give you a true sence of long term durability, but what I can tell you is they had that solid, no worries feel to them. I carried them for roughly a month of my whitetail season and never had issues. What I did do just to put them through some sort of a real world test was left them out in 32 degree rain for 24 hours prior to comparing them to the other binos previously mentioned. There’s no guarantee it’ll be pleasant when in the field so I wanted to get a feel how they would perform under those conditions. Of course other than the exterior getting wet there were no leaks or degradation in performance.
Maven has an unconditional lifetime warranty that states, “If your binocular becomes damaged or is at all defective, contact us immediately for repair or replacement. We don’t care where or when you bought it or if it was your fault or not – if it says Maven, we will take care of it.” That really says something about how well they believe their product performs.
They offer a selection of stock optics you can order but if you have some very particular tastes or needs you can also custom build a set of binos from their website. Not many other manufactures offer this option that I’m aware of.
I was very happy with the Maven B.1 8×42 binoculars. They exceeded all other binoculars that I have been exposed to and do at a reasonable price due to their direct to consumer sales. If you are in the market for a high end bino without the huge price tag be sure to give these a long look.
Disclaimer: I received these binoculars for only a limited window and eventually had to return them. It wasn’t easy as these were by far the best field glasses I have used and I would love to have them this Oct hunting elk. I did my best to give you an honest look at them through the eyes of a guy who’s by no means an optics expert but does realize the importance of quality optics.