There are several reasons you may have never heard of Maven brand shooting and hunting optics, but we’re here to fix that
by Brad Fenson
Consumer-direct marketing continues to grow in popularity. Eliminating the retailer, companies can offer less than distributor pricing to the public, with further reduced costs via no storefront, staff, operational costs, or shutdowns. The original marketing term was “direct-to-consumer,” which better describes the sales channel, or in this case, the lack of one. Today, outdoor enthusiasts can find everything from high-tech clothing, optics, boots, backpacks, freeze-dried food, and literature to learn more about their passions. Over 100 established companies in the outdoor community offer direct-to-consumer products with fast shipping and good return policies.
The concept started decades ago when television ads offered viewers the chance to purchase things like music. Some might remember The Pocket Fisherman, shaving devices, and cooking equipment. The concept quickly grew, and most hunters or shooters are now familiar with companies like Kuiu, First Lite, Sitka, and Maven.
Maven Outdoor Equipment Company is a Wyoming-based enterprise founded in 2013. Three individuals started the company. They have been around long enough to have some history and background in optics for sporting applications.
The first product produced was its flagship binocular, the B.1. Since then, the company has strived to find a solution, or optic, for every budget and every need. Binoculars, riflescopes, spotting scopes, monoculars, and rangefinders are now in the lineup. Maven prides itself on not just releasing something new but also filling holes in the lineup to ensure they offer more to customers.
Understanding the naming system is easy. There are six models in the B series of premium glass with magnesium bodies in the binocular line and four in the “budget conscience” C series. The B.1.2 is a premium binocular that starts at $950 for 8×42. The B.3 is compact and the least expensive overall, starting at $525. ED glass is used in the economical C-series, with the C.1 starting at $400 for 8×42, which was introduced in 2017. The C.2 is the most economical at $225—built for a mid-level, more budget-friendly consumer.
The numbering system helps customers see innovation and new product development in all lines. The B.1 was followed by B.2, B.3, then B.4, and B.5. The most recent is the B.1.2. As Maven can source, find, and build new optics with the best available components, they add a new model. The changes are not simple upgrades. The company continually sources new components to perform better, like offering a wider prism, more light, or a more compact design. The change needs to be a complete remodel that will alter performance, size, or other optical advantage. In short, new models are innovative and improved.
The first riflescope was the RS.1 released in 2018. There are five models in the RS series and two in the CRS series. Again, the C series offers value while the RS line is meant to compete with the best on the market. Custom turrets are available to compete in the long-range categories. The RS.1 is the premium line with multiple options. The new economical line is the CRS series, born from the popularity of the C-series binoculars. Customers like the performance and price balance and wanted to see the same in riflescopes. CRS-series riflescopes are second focal plane due to demand. The RS line offers first focal plane, which is more costly to produce.
Spotting scopes are available with straight or angled eyepieces in the S.1 series. There are four models, including a fantastic compact unit. We used the compact spotter on a sheep hunt, and it was advantageous on weight, size, and optical clarity. The CS.1 series of spotting scopes is a great value that many consumers expressed interest in developing, so Maven built it.
There is monocular CM.1 8×32, and a rangefinder RF.1 model in 7×25. There are two rangefinders designed for golfers. The RF.1 is effective from 5 to 4,500 yards, with a line of sight/angle compensation and obstruction filter functionality, making it suitable for archery, rifle hunters, and long-range shooters. The RF.1 was field-tested on a spring bear hunt and worked well to filter through limbs and branches to pick up the intended target.
The company does offer some accessories, like custom turrets, cases, and things to protect or enhance optics.
Components are sourced worldwide, and all the glass is Japanese. The components are sourced wherever Maven can find the best materials. The B and S series scopes are assembled in the USA. Other lines are built or assembled off-site to remain more budget friendly.
Some readers may be familiar with the Maven name. Maven products have won awards for quality and value from several well-known publications like Forbes, Popular Mechanics, Gear Junky, Men’s Journal, and the Outdoor Life Optics Test, and Field & Stream Best of Best. The bottom line is they are worth a look if you are in the market for new optics.
The company return and satisfaction policy include an unconditional lifetime warranty. Maven will fix or replace any optics, even if the user is at fault.
The Maven line is now available on Amazon. The purchaser decides shipping type and priority. Prime customers can save on shipping or stick with the direct-to-consumer concept and visit mavenbuilt.com.
In 2014, Maven launched the B.1 binocular, creating a stir in the industry by offering customization. The company now provides popular brand name camouflage patterns, a slew of anodized colors, and the ability to customize a riflescope. Some of the premium lines offer customization when ordered on the Maven website. Check out the Maven Custom Builder to create a one-of-a-kind binocular, spotting scope, or riflescope.
Maven offers a demo program to send a lightly used optic to evaluate. Customers get the demo unit to try for two weeks. If you don’t like it, there is a return label to ship it back. If you want it, you return the loaner and Maven will send out a new unit.
If you haven’t checked out direct-to-consumer hunting and shooting products, you may be paying too much for your optics and other equipment. For Maven, the direct-to-consumer business model allows them to build best-in-class optics. Maven is not worried about the cost when developing new items. It is more about affordability, with no markup in retail.
This past fall, I had an opportunity to take my first test drive with a couple of Maven products—the RS.5 – 4-24×50 SFP rifle scope and the RF.1 7×25 rangefinder. Both products revealed that Maven is not only a serious contender in the large field of mid- to top-tier shooting optics manufacturers, but that their products also demand first-look consideration for anyone in the market for fresh glass, be it for hunting or target shooting.
The RS.5 delivers exactly what you need in a long-range optic suited for open-country hunting or for tickling steel at way-out-there distances. The 30mm tube and 50mm objective lens funnels a razor-crisp, high-definition image downstream to the eyepiece.
Operational controls on the RS.5 are “snug,” meaning you must intend to move the magnification ring, parallax focus ring, and eyepiece focus ring if you want to make adjustments. It may be more effort than some folks are used to, but it also means that your settings will not easily move on you. Combine that with the positive turret detents, extra-low dispersion ED/high color fidelity glass, and the precision machining of the components and you quickly realize that this optic justifies its $1,400 price tag.
Another highlight of this second focal plane scope is the reticle. I opted for the MOA version (Maven also offers a MIL option) and loved it. The fine glass-etch reticle’s windage and holdover subtensions along with a center dot provides just enough to work with but without complicating the field of view. In low light conditions, the shooter can select one of 10 brightness settings via the illumination dial located on the parallax adjustment knob. The elevation and windage adjustment come in .25 MOA/click and the elevation turret features a mechanical zero stop.
The RS.5 delivers excellent glass and diverse function for the experienced long-range shooter and the hunter who aspires to take full advantage of a premium optic system.
Maven’s RF.1 rangefinder, quite simply, won me over in short order. I’ve used plenty of rangefinders over the years, but this one sits high in the pecking order for both its excellent performance and for its operational simplicity.
Too many rangefinders require a bit of a learning curve to effectively navigate the menu options. That’s because most rely on multi-function buttons, and it can be easy to “get lost in menu” until you figure it out. Not so with the RF.1. The ergonomic dial on the side includes a center button that rolls through the display/function options with each press. Push the button to enter the mode you want and then rotate the dial to select the function. Super easy, with no learning curve worth mentioning.
Another standout of the RF.1 is its bright and clear glass boasting 7x magnification and a generous 25mm objective lens. This makes it easy to see through even in low light and ensures precisely targeted ranging on the most distant objects.
Speaking of ranging, the RF.1 has a maximum reflective range out to 4500 yards and an accuracy of +/- 3 yards to that same distance. Naturally, ranging efficiency and accuracy increases the closer the target. Features include most that we’re all familiar with and now expect in a quality rangefinder, such as line-of-sight or angle compensation, unit of measure options (yards/meters), adjustable illumination, reticle style options, and an obstruction filter for shifting between open ranging and woodland environments. The RF.1 is water resistant, boasts a magnesium/aluminum frame, and operates on a single CR2 battery. – Rob Reaser