Can’t drop a small fortune on a pair of binoculars but still need good glass? That’s exactly where this Maven C1 binoculars review was born. Over the years here at Backwoods Pursuit we’ve tested A LOT of glass, everything from entry level up to the most elite alpha glass out there. The reality is, though, a lot of folks can’t, or don’t want to drop the coin on top tier binoculars.
Sifting through the extensive selection of more budget friendly binoculars on the market is daunting, but we’ve been able to find a few great pairs of binoculars that don’t break the bank, but still give you respectable performance in the field.
The Maven C Series Binoculars come in a number of variations depending on your needs. You’ve got the options of the smaller C2 7×28 and 10×28 models, the more typical C1 8×42, 10×42, and 12×42 models, the larger C3 10×50 and 12×50 options, and finally the largest C4 15×56 and 18×56 models. Maven Optics pretty much offers something for every type of glassing situation in their C Series of binoculars and at a price point that won’t break the bank.
Love optics? We certainly do here at Backwoods Pursuit, so make sure to check out our MONSTER 26 BINOCULAR REVIEW, as well as our massive 19 SPOTTING SCOPE REVIEW. For both of those reviews, we lined up the optics and tested them side by side!
If you are in the market for some top tier binoculars, make sure to check out our review comparing the Swarovski NL Pure vs Zeiss Victory SF vs Leica Noctivid binoculars. We dive deep into the performance differences of those three pairs of binoculars.
The Specs: Maven C1 Binoculars Review
The Maven C1 10×42 binoculars are right about in line with other 10×42 binoculars in this price category at 24.5 oz and 5.7 inches in length. They are comfortable in hand and provide a nice, solid in feel. They are compact and easy to pack around the mountains for days on end.
Here are some of the specs for the Maven C.1 10×42 binoculars:
Eye cups: Maven C1 10×42 Review
The eye cups on the Maven C1 binoculars are solid, feel well built, and offer 4 different positions. When fully extended to the furthest position out (max eye relief) or the closest position in (minimum eye relief), there isn’t any play and they stay put well. However, there is considerable play in the eye cups when at the 2nd or 3rd position. This was a bummer for me as I found that those were the two positions I used the most. They do a good job of staying in place when set regardless of what position you are using and don’t unintentionally twist up or down in your bino harness.
I didn’t notice the play in the eye cups while using them, so it wasn’t an issue during use, just when going to adjust the eye cup position, the play was noticeable.
Tripod Adaptability: Maven C1 Binoculars Review
The Maven C1 binoculars offer you the ability to put them on a tripod for stable glassing. I’m a huge fan of glassing from a tripod, and any pair of binoculars I use has to have the ability to attach to a tripod. The Maven C1 10×42 binoculars have a place in the front of the bridge, closer to the objective lens, where you can unscrew the cap and screw in a bino adapter stud. This is the perfect placement (in my opinion) for a tripod adapter, as I’ve found that I get the most stability with a stud located in this position.
Check Our Video Review of these 4 Great Tripod Adapters
We’ve tested a number of other tripod adapters as well, so take a look at our comprehensive binocular tripod adapter review for additional options!
Focus Mechanism: Maven C1 Binoculars Review
The focus mechanism of the Maven C1 10×42 binoculars is silky smooth and doesn’t have any play whatsoever. This is super impressive for a binocular in this price class. There is an ever so slight spongy feel when the wheel first engages, but it makes for a very pleasant experience when using them. I also noticed that they focus quite rapidly and can be a bit touchy to really refine the image at longer distances. It’s great for quickly getting an image in focus, but the fast focus makes image refinement more difficult.
They offer just the right amount of resistance when turning them, and the resistance is consistent all the way from one end of the focus wheel to the other. The focus wheel barrel is not rubber coated and has a bit of a hollow feel to it. There are grooves on the focus wheel that give it plenty of grip for all weather conditions.
Diopter Adjustment: Maven C1 Binoculars Review
Unfortunately, the diopter adjustment on the Maven C1 10×42 binoculars does not lock into place. It does, however, offer substantial resistance to being accidentally moved, so it works just fine. I always prefer a locking diopter so it’s a “set it and forget it” kind of thing, but given their price point, it’s not uncommon for binoculars not to have a locking diopter.
Feel/Rubber Armor: Maven C1 Binoculars Review
The Maven C1 10×42 binoculars are protected by a rubber armor that have a great, non-slip feel to it. The Maven C1 binoculars have a nice thumb cutout on the underside of the barrels making them feel really nice in your hands. Everything about their feel says they are well-built and sturdy. There is no play in the hinges and they are very tight so they do a good job of staying in place when riding in your bino harness. The focus wheel offers the right amount of resistance, and they just feel beefy.
Field of View: Maven C1 10×42 Binoculars Review
The field of view of the Maven C1 10×42 binoculars is an area where they do not quite offer what other 10×42 binoculars do when we did our huge 26 binocular side by side comparison. At just 314 feet at 1000 yards was the smallest field of view of all 26 we tested. A more typical field of view we saw was around 330-340 feet at 1000 yards. Is that noticeable in the field? The Maven C1 binoculars do seem to have a bit more of that tunnel feel than others because of this, but it’s not that noticeable unless you hold them up side by side to other binoculars.
Color and Clarity: Maven C1 Binoculars Review
The color and clarity of the Maven C1 10×42 binoculars is very good. While they weren’t the top performers in their respective price category, they offer nice, vibrant colors and very good clarity at the center of the image. Now I’m not saying they are anywhere near the performance of top tier binoculars, but for the price point, they are extremely competitive.
When you get out to longer distances, you can certainly notice the difficulty in fully resolving an image, but they are very comparable to others in this price class. You simply can’t expect a binocular in this price category to perform like those that cost many times more than them. Image clarity is typically one of the reasons you pay a lot of extra money for elite glass. You simply get a clearer, brighter, and more contrasted image with high end binoculars.
Edge-to-Edge Clarity: Maven C1 Binoculars Review
One of the trademark features of a really good pair of binoculars is how they perform in the edge-to-edge clarity department. While the Maven C1 10×42 binoculars were amazing in a lot of areas, the edge-to-edge clarity was an area where they noticeably suffered in their performance.
The center of the image offers a reasonably crisp, well-contrasted image, but the overall image clarity suffers significantly as your eyes move to the edge of the field of view. I’d say about 50% of the image (the center portion) offers you a nice image, but as you move to the edges of the image, you notice a significant reduction in clarity that is quite noticeable.
This is no surprise as edge-to-edge clarity is something that even some of the best binoculars out there struggle to offer. The edge-to-edge clarity of the Maven C1 10×42 binoculars was something that I thought could have been better though, even in this price class.
Eye Strain: Maven C1 10×42 Review
Eye strain for the Maven C1 binoculars is surprisingly good. Naturally, your eyes will strain more with any pair of binoculars that don’t offer quite the clarity as your eyes work to focus on whatever image you are looking at, but I found my eyes able to relax while using the Maven C1 binoculars. Long periods of glassing will certainly cause eye fatigue with these Maven C1 binoculars, but shorter periods aren’t bad.
What I liked: Maven C1 10×42 Review
There was A LOT to love about these Maven binoculars. They offer a great rubber armor coating, a durable, well-built housing, great ergonomic feel, super smooth focus wheel, tripod adaptability, robust eye cups, and a clear image. The functionality of the focus mechanism was very impressive, and they seem built to last.
- Smooth focus mechanism
- Light weight
- Compact size
- Good color contrast
- Great rubber armor and housing
- Stiff hing
- Tripod adaptability
The Maven C.1 10×42 binoculars are a nice, lightweight and compact binocular that are easy to carry around and are very pleasant to use.
What i didn’t like: Maven C1 10×42 Review
The Maven C1 10×42 binoculars had a few things I felt could be better. Their edge-to-edge clarity isn’t great, and the eye cups are a little loose for my liking (in the 2nd and 3 positions). I always prefer to have a locking diopter in any binocular, but at this price point, you often times don’t get that feature.
- Poor edge-to-edge clarity
- Eye cups have play (2nd and 3rd positions)
- No locking diopter
- Decent image resolution at long distance
Maven Optics Unconditional Lifetime Warranty
Maven offers their “Unconditional Lifetime Warranty” on their binoculars. While I haven’t needed to use it, it’s great knowing there’s a lifetime warranty. Accidents happen in the backwoods from time to time. It’s comforting to know you’ll be taken care of if that happens to you. The best warranty is one you don’t have to use, but if you do need to use it, it’s there.
Maven C1 10×42 Review Conclusion
At the end of the day, not everyone can afford to drop big money on a high end pair of binoculars. If you are in that boat, consider looking at the Maven C.1 binoculars. While they certainly don’t compete with high end glass, they will more than get the job done in helping you spot the game you need to, while saving some cash for other gear you’re looking to buy. The build quality is very good on these binoculars, and they are lightweight, compact, and come with a great lifetime warranty to ensure you are covered in the event an accident happens.
We had the distinct pleasure of being able to extensively test these Maven binoculars against 25 others, so we were certainly spoiled in that regard. Doing that optics review project ruined us all for life when it comes to analyzing glass, but at the same time, we gained invaluable knowledge with a majority of the binoculars we use as hunters and sightseers.
During that review, we all saw first hand the difference between a more entry/mid level binocular, like these Maven C.1’s, and higher end binoculars. With that being said, it certainly doesn’t take high end binoculars to be successful in the field. If top tier binoculars are not in the budget for you, give the Maven C.1 a good hard look.
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