When you pick up a pair of binoculars by Maven, your first thought will likely be “dang, these MUST be expensive.” Then, you will stick them to your eyeballs and ooh and ah at the tremendously sharp view.
Maven Binoculars have the heft and sturdy construction of professional optics. Tough, heavy and precise, Maven calls them “an heirloom quality binocular,” and I’d be hard pressed to disagree.
And while they are pricy, they are actually less expensive than some similar models thanks to their direct-to-consumer business model. (The Swarovski SLC goes for around $2000.)
Maven: Customizable Binoculars
Beyond high price point and exceptional optics, Maven Binoculars are unique in that they can be customized. The model I tested, the B.1, is a full size binocular and you can choose online from many different body armors, neck strap rings, focus rings, and tripod collar rings even adding engraving as a final touch.
And while all these nifty custom features are great, they mean nothing if the binoculars don’t work well. So I put them to the test for a couple months of hunting, hiking and general gazing into the distance this fall. Read on for the details.
Maven Binoculars Review
The Gear: Maven Binoculars Full Size Standard (From $900. Customizations add to the price.)
First Impressions: Durable and pricy. Remember the quote from Jurassic Park “Are they heavy? Then they’re expensive.” Well, it seems to apply to these binoculars.
Optically they are superior to any other binocular I’ve had the chance to test, but then again, I’ve never used a $1000 binocular before, so they’d better be! Crisp, clear and bright, these binoculars are extremely good for gazing over vast expanses of land while hunting or bird watching and they even work over eyeglasses!
But if you plan to carry them far — well, you’ll feel that heft in the pack.
Where To Test It: Bird watching, hunting or just gazing across huge vistas.
Who’s It For: Those who love high quality outdoors gear and don’t mind paying a premium. These will work perfectly any time binoculars are the right tool — from hunting and hiking to eyeballing big walls from far away or watching birds.
The Nitty Gritty: Maven makes three models, two full size and one compact. The full size standard model I tested is available in 8x and 10x magnification. I tested the 10×42 model.
The optics are top-of-the line, with both models reporting better than 90 percent light transmission. With a twilight factor of 18.3 to 20.5 depending on magnification, they work well in low light (a twilight factor of 17 or higher is consider effective in low light).
Weight: 28.1 oz
Diopter correction: ±3
Internal gas: Nitrogen
Pressure tested to 1m for 30 min.
Eye Cups: All Maven binoculars have multi-position eye cups for use with or without glasses. As a near-sighted person, this feature is incredible.
Carry: The Maven’s are sold with both a neck strap and very secure and comfortable chest strap.
Focusing: Smooth and fast, the binoculars focus from about four feet to infinity in seconds. Even with glasses, the field of view is bright and clear from edge to edge.
Made In: Japan
Killer! Even in low light, these are sharp and bright. The large field of view makes hand shake unnoticeable and they are easy on the eyes. Viewing distant objects is pleasant even for extended periods.
Flaw: As with most high quality, full sized binoculars, they are heavy and will likely be left at home any time weight is an issue.
Who Should Buy It: Hunters, bird watchers and anyone who wants the best binoculars money can buy.
Contact Brand/More Beta: Maven
— Sean McCoy is managing editor. Our “First Look” column highlights new gear arrivals at GearJunkie.com. Photos © Monopoint Media LLC