Maven C.1 10X42 Binocular Review
By Jordan Budd, Rokslide Prostaff
When I first saw Maven was releasing a mid-class, affordable, compact pair of binoculars last year, a few things came to my mind. They looked like a great backup pair, truck pair and loaner pair of binoculars. While they are all of those things, once I got my hands on the 10×42 C.1 series earlier this year, I realized the real value that Maven is bringing to the market.
Beyond the curiosity of the new release, I did have a specific purpose in mind for them. I usually carry a larger pair of rangefinding binoculars, however, for bowhunting they are bulky and hard to use with one hand. Having to use a regular rangefinder anyways because of this, I didn’t need to carry the rangefinding binoculars. I also tend to run 15 power binoculars on a tripod 85% of the time glassing, so I’d been wanting a pair of lightweight lower profile binoculars to carry for archery season that still had the glass quality I needed, but not quite the cost. The C.1’s have definitely fulfilled that role for me.
Initially pulling them out of the box I positively noticed the weight and size that I was hoping for. My first look through the eyecups felt good; it wasn’t difficult to get comfortable in them. The glass was brighter and more clear than I expected in my first glance. While I didn’t have another pair in the same price bracket to directly compare to, I had used a pair of Zeiss Conquest 10×42 that retail for around $900 that I had used for five years prior, so I did have some comparison from memory. I also went ahead and compared to a $3,000 pair of Swarovski 10×42 EL Range binoculars.
After spending a small amount of time in the field with them I concluded that they were pretty dang close to the quality I had experienced in the Zeiss Conquest 10×42 pair I had used in the past. But instead of $900, the C.1 10×42 comes in at $350. Although I don’t think it’s an apples-to-apples comparison, they also stood up fair next to my Swarovski 10×42 EL Range. I compared mostly in the afternoon and while the brightness between the two were closer than expected, the C.1 had less clarity edge-to-edge and less overall definition. Again not an apples-to-apples fair comparison for the Maven’s, but I was happy with the C.1 quality for about 1/10th of the cost. Even though there was a definite clarity difference, I didn’t find the binoculars hard to focus into and they have never given me eye strain.
The largest test for the C.1 for me was low light performance. This is where a lot of entry-level type binoculars will show their “colors”, but I was pretty surprised with the performance of the C.1. In early June 2018, I was in Idaho on a bear hunt and brought these along. They held fairly strong in evening low light, but as it got darker they seemed to lose clarity quicker than they actually lost their brightness. Especially at distance, say over 300 yards, it was tougher to focus in on objects as the sun dropped. All in all, these would be a pair of binoculars that I would carry for an extra set or for certain situations. For $350, I believe you will be hard-pressed to match the C.1 10×42 from Maven.
I would recommend the Maven C.1 binoculars to anyone looking for an extra set of “in-case” binoculars, gifting them to your kid, wife, husband, friend or just tight on your gear fund for the year. These binoculars will get the job done efficiently and at a great value. With Maven being a direct to consumer company, they provide a very unique offering called the “Demo Program” which lets customers order a demo pair of any optic they offer, use it for two weeks, if they like the product they can purchase the demo pair, order a stock or custom pair, and if the customer decides they don’t like that particular optic they can return it to Maven.
- Weight: 10x42mm at 24.5 oz
- Price: $350 for the stock model
- Also offered in an 8x and 12x both with a 42mm objective.
You can comment or ask Jordan questions here.