Maven Optics Review

There are a lot of optics brands out there, so when Maven Optics asked us for an honest take on their products we were happy to put them to the test. Prepare to meet your new favorite glass.
Kenzie Fitzpatrick

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Disclosure: Products are selected by our editors. We may earn a commission on purchases from a link. How we select gear.

Maven Optics Field Test (Cover)
Maven Outdoor Equipment Company is an American-based company founded in 2013 by Brendon Weaver, Mike Lilygren, and Cade Maestas. Their goal was to create an optics company that puts quality and performance first without the big box store markup.
 
Maven prides itself on its mountain town roots, operating today from Lander, Wyoming. They design innovative products for the modern outdoorsman, all designed by modern outdoorsman. 
 
While Maven Optics headquarters is in America, the source of their optical components all comes from Japan, which might come as a surprise, but those of us who work in the industry know this is where some of the best glass comes from. Maven’s S, B, and RS Series use Japanese components, while the C Series uses a combination of Japanese components and optical elements from China.
 
When Maven reached out to ask us to take a look, I honestly had never even heard of the company, which made time with the product even more impressive. These guys know how to pull together quality kit, so read on to get my take on the best of Maven’s current product line-up.

In This Article:

Maven Optics Comparison

Below is my list of the best Maven Optics products for 2022. I list the best choices in terms of value, performance, design, and cost.
 
Click on the name to head to the product page, read reviews and check prices or skip ahead to the list of optics.
NameSelectionPrice
Maven RS.4 RiflescopeBest Overall$1,800
Maven RS.3 RiflescopeRunner-Up$1,585
Maven Optics RF.1 RangefinderBest Rangefinder$450
Maven Optics CS.1Best Spotting Scope$800
Maven Binocular B1.2Best Binoculars$950
Maven Optics CM.1 MonocularBest Monocular$195
Maven Optics RS2 RiflescopeLightest Scope$550
Maven Optics Backcountry Guide BundleBest Bundle$2,240
Maven Optics Yellowstone Spotting Scope KitBundle Runner-Up$2,360

Why you should listen to us

Trijicon LPVO in Competition
Me using a Trijicon Credo in a competition setting.
Maven reached out to us to ask our team to review their products honestly. At no charge to us, they sent two scopes, binoculars, a range finder, and a spotting scope for us to test out and ship back once we finished testing.
 
As an active competitive shooter, a firearms instructor, and someone with experience with hundreds of optics, the team leaned on me to review Maven’s products. Over the years, I’ve competed in 3 gun, 2 gun, NRL22, and other competitions that don’t use scopes on guns (USPSA, IDPA, GSSF).
 
I have spent a lot of time understanding scope magnification levels for different shooting sports, the difference between first and second focal plane reticles, and understanding your DOPE (data on previous engagements) for the proper holdovers on targets. Every optic and reticle is slightly different, and with so many manufacturers making optics, it’s hard to figure out what works best for the activity you want to do.
 
I don’t go to a range without a range finder. I use a range finder not just to range targets for firearms but also to range distances when shooting archery. I also use a range finder when hunting. It’s vital to know your comfort level of how far you can cleanly kill an animal. If you are only accurate out to 100 yards, and you range an animal at 150 yards, you can avoid making a risky shot that could injure the animal vs. killing it.
 
If you are comfortable shooting at distance, ranging your intended target takes the guesswork out of what to dial to on your scope or what holdover to make the shot.
 
Lastly, binoculars and spotting scopes are necessary for calling hits in shooting competitions. Most longer-range shooting competitions with targets past 1,000 yards will use flash targets that activate when there’s an impact on the target, but for targets 600 yards and in, we don’t always have that luxury. In PRS, NRL22, 3 gun, and 2 gun competitions, there are usually a minimum of two “spotters” who call hits on long-distance targets.
 
These spotters can also call an impact on the target faster than the shooter can hear it since the speed of the bullet is faster than the speed of sound. When seconds count in competition, these spotters calling hits are essential for the shooter to know to move on to the next target.
Overall, my impression of Maven is a positive one — and one that you can trust to be both honest and rooted in the critical eye of a competitive shooter.

Maven Optic Reviews

1. Maven RS.4 Riflescope

My first impression of the RS.4 riflescope was how incredibly clear the glass is and how smooth the adjustment knobs are — easily adjusted with just one hand. The RS.4 is also a first focal plane reticle with a 5-30×56 magnification.
 
This scope is, in my opinion, perfect for long-range shooters and for competing in NRL22 competitions. I was impressed enough with the RS.4 that it recently topped our updated list of best rifle scopes.
Bolt gun or semi-auto, the RS.4 exceeded our expectations in field testing.
Bolt gun or semi-auto, the RS.4 exceeded our expectations in field testing.

My current setup on my NRL22 rifle is a 5-25 FFP magnification scope that, compared to the Maven, is not as clear at max magnification. The RS.4 has edge-to-edge clarity at all magnifications.

The RS.4 is a 34mm tube scope, and I mounted it using my Warne Scope Mount for the perfect long-range setup. This well-built scope has a side parallax adjustment, both red and green illumination levels, a mechanical zero stop, and comes with the option for MOA or MIL-based reticles. I also thought it was a nice touch that Maven includes a neoprene scope cover.

I highly recommend using this scope on a rifle dedicated to long-range shooting.

Field testing the Maven Optics RS4
Field testing the Maven Optics RS4

2. Maven RS.3 Riflescope

The RS.3 riflescope has some unique differences from the RS.4 riflescope. The RS.3 is a 5-30×50 first focal plane reticle and is a 30mm tube rather than 34mm. This riflescope is available in two different MOA reticles and one MIL-based reticle.

Maven Optics RS3 Field Test
Maven Optics RS3 Field Test

Similar to the RS.4, the RS.3 still features the side parallax adjustment, a lockable zero-stop, and exposed turrets with toolless zero.

The best feature of this rifle is its weight. The RS.3 is 26.9oz and is over 8 ounces less than the RS.4. This would be a lighter big game hunting scope option than others on the market. The clarity of the glass is high as it uses Japanese components. The RS.4 trumps the RS.3 in the size of its objective lens diameter.

At the same magnification level (5-30x), the larger the objective diameter, the greater the light-collecting power. The more light that passes through the objective lens, the better the image brightness and, therefore, the image quality.

At 30x magnification power, the RS.3 only has a 50mm objective lens while the RS.4 gas 56mm. This smaller size was apparent with the RS.3 when directly compared to the RS.4 in terms of brightness and light gathering. That said, the RS.3 will save you almost $300. 

Maven Optics RS3 Field Test
Maven Optics RS3 Field Test

3. Maven RF.1  Rangefinder

As far as rangefinders go, the Maven RF.1 rangefinder is one of the best quality range finders I’ve looked through, at a price point that can’t be beaten.

Most companies have a high retail markup, but since Maven Optics cuts out the middle man, they can offer their rangefinder for $450. 

My Maven Range Day included ranging with the RF.1
This rangefinder is unique and valuable in its two range modes, field mode and forest mode. On the rangefinder side is a toggle switch to shift between the two different modes.
 
In Field Mode, it ignores larger reflective objects in the background and focuses on reading the distance of closer, less reflective targets. The best example of this mode is when you range an animal with trees behind it.
Maven RF.1 up close
Maven RF.1 up close

Forest mode ignores both brighter and dimmer objects in the foreground to range the furthest item that reflects back.

This mode will ignore snow and branches to focus on an animal at the end of a shooting lane, for example. The RF.1 has a 7x zoom on a 25mm lens and can range targets from 5-4,500 yards. I was impressed with the reading times as Maven advertises acquisition times as fast as .25 seconds.

I ranged out to 550 yards, where I shot and had fast and accurate readings on targets. Whether you hunt, shoot archery, or need a premium quality rangefinder at a reasonable price, I would buy and use the Maven RF.1 rangefinder ten times over.

Maven RF.1 Rangefinder
Maven RF.1 Rangefinder
Maven Optics RF.1 Field/Forest toggle switch.
Maven Optics RF.1 Field/Forest toggle switch.

4. Maven CS.1 Spotting Scope

Maven’s 15-45×65 CS.1 spotting scope was the best quality spotting scope I have looked through in years. Of all the products we tested I fell in love with this the most thanks to its outstanding optical quality.

The CS.1 goes well being just having “good glass” — the clarity of the glass was unreal, and I found myself bird watching, zooming in to see the most delicate details on tree branches, and moving from focusing on close-up targets to longer-distance targets. This spotting scope has a 65mm objective lens, a magnification range of 15-45x, and is built using the extra-low dispersion ED glass. 

Using the CS.1 from a tripod
Using the CS.1 from a tripod

It is waterproof and fog-proof, and the lenses are fully multi-coated. It is made with a tripod mount to screw it into your favorite tripod easily. Maven includes a lens cap and a double-layered microfiber storage bag. Highly recommended.

Using the Maven CS.1 spotting scope was a joy
Using the Maven CS.1 spotting scope was a joy

5. Maven Binocular B1.2

The Maven B1.2 binocular improves upon their flagship B.1 design. They’re made larger, with wider Schmidt Pechan roof prisms, as well as improved coatings that increase the already wide field of view.

The Maven B1.2 binos in our binocular review are slightly lighter and more compact than the previous iteration, thanks to the polymer frame. 

Maven Optics B12 Binocular Field Test
The Maven B series binoculars are their premium line of binoculars, made for hunting, birding, and general-purpose wildlife viewing.

The Maven B series binoculars are their premium line of binoculars, made for hunting, birding, and general-purpose wildlife viewing. These Maven binoculars come in your choice of 8x or 10x magnification with just a $50 difference in price points.

The focus wheel is durable and easy to move without being too loose to overpass the level of focus you want. 

Maven B1.2 ranging in the forest edge
Maven B1.2 ranging in the forest edge

The diopter adjustment allows the user to set both tubes up to their eyesight, fully customizing the view. The Maven B series B1.2 binoculars are tripod adaptable and come with a neoprene neck strap, lens covers, removable three-position eye cups for easy debris clean-out, and a double-layered microfiber storage bag.

The CS.1 and RF/4 make a great combo package.
The CS.1 and RF/4 make a great combo package.

6. Maven Monocular CM.1

If you need magnification without the typical weight of a binocular, the Maven CM.1 monocular is just 8.7 oz and is easy to transport. The monocular makes for excellent everyday carry or can be a mainstay in your vehicle. The C series is a mid-range line of optics but still transmits a clear image for birdwatching, casual hunting, or general-purpose viewing. 
 
The field of view is still generous even with its 8×32 configuration. Compared to other monoculars on the market, the CM.1 is priced lower than almost all offered in a similar format. Finally, it includes lens caps and a double-layered microfiber storage bag.

7. Maven RS.2 Ultralight Riflescope

The RS.2 is a 2-10×38 second focal plane riflescope, weighing just 12 ounces. This riflescope is designed for hunting small game, eastern whitetail, and western big game. This riflescope is the perfect all-purpose scope for new shooters, all-purpose hunters, and range enthusiasts to enjoy.

Maven designed the RS.2 with the Duplex MOA reticle or SHR MOA reticle. 

Maven Optics RS.2 Field Test
Maven Optics RS.2 Field Test

This scope is anodized for maximum durability, is waterproof and fog-proof, and features the extra-low dispersion ED glass. The focus is adjustable as well for a clear image every time.

Finally, the RS.2 includes a neoprene cover that can be used to protect your optic from the woods to the stand.

8. Backcountry Guide Bundle

If you’re planning on hitting the backcountry, the Backcountry guide bundle can save you money and time in getting you set up with what you need. 
 
This bundle includes the B.5 binocular, compact tripod, binocular tripod adapter, and pistol grip tripod head kit. The B.5 is a durable binocular built on the foundation of the B.1 binocular, but with a smaller/lighter magnesium frame. 
 
The B.5 features the Abbe-Koenig prism, has a generous eye relief, uses the fluorite glass in the S series spotting scopes, and comes in your choice of 15x or 18x magnification. This is the best of all Maven’s high-end binoculars for great low light performance in big, open country.

9. Yellowstone Spotting Scope Bundle

The Yellowstone spotting scope bundle is everything you need for extended-range viewing. This is the premium package with the best glass clarity and everything you need to capture content through the spotting scope on your cell phone. 
 
This kit comes with the S.1 spotting scope and scope case, the Benro Adventure AL Tripod/S Pro head, Phone Skope adapter ring and case kit, and the Phone Skope shutter remote 2.0. With the Phone Skope tool, you can capture photos and video by directly attaching your cell phone to the spotting scope.
 
The spotting scope comes in your choice of straight or angled, your choice of color combination, and can be engraved.

Who is Maven Optics?

Lander, Wyoming’s Maven Outdoor Equipment Company was founded in 2013 by Brendon Weaver, Mike Lilygren, and Cade Maestas, three guys who wanted to create quality optics they would want to use without the retail markup. Their goal was to sell direct to consumers and back their products with a lifetime warranty.
 
They are known for designing high-quality optics for outdoorsmen designed by outdoorsmen. They pride themselves on using a “direct to consumer” business model that cuts out the middle man and eliminates the need for traditional retail product markup.
 
They make riflescopes, spotting scopes, binoculars, a monocular, and rangefinders.

Where are Maven products manufactured?

The Maven S Series and B Series are assembled in a military standard (MIL-SPEC) facility in San Diego and are then shipped to their headquarters in Lander, Wyoming, where they inspect and test for quality assurance.

The RS Series is assembled in Japan, and the C Series are assembled in the Philippines. Once assembled, they are shipped to their headquarters, where each batch is sample-tested for quality assurance.

Types of Maven Products

Riflescopes

Maven Optics makes some of the best riflescopes I've ever tested.
Maven Optics makes some of the best riflescopes I've ever tested.
Maven offers various magnification riflescopes, but they are generally designed for long-range shooting as they don’t make a low power variable optic. Most manufacturers do not offer the ability to build your own custom riflescope.
 
With Maven’s Custom Builder, you can change the base body color, rings color, turret color, zoom lever color, engrave, etc. You choose your reticle and can essentially build a one-of-a-kind riflescope for your dream build.

Spotting Scopes

Putting Maven's CS.1 to the test
Putting Maven's CS.1 to the test
Maven has four spotting scopes at three different levels of magnification. The two spotting scopes with higher magnifications of 25-50×80 are each built slightly differently for a specific purpose.
 
The S.1S is a straight-lined spotting scope, while the S.1A has a curved neck. The S.1A is designed for hunters, birders, and wildlife viewers. Most long-range competitions utilize this style of spotting scope for spotters to naturally look down into the scope rather than trying to line up the S.1S with a straight line to the target.
 
The Maven S Series line uses fluorite glass which gives an edge-to-edge clarity for the user, is superior in low light performance, and images are clear with no aberration or distortion, even when at max magnification.

Rangefinders

Using the RF.1 spotting scope, a suprizingly high-quality rankgefinder for the price.
Using the RF.1 spotting scope, a suprizingly high-quality rankgefinder for the price.
Maven has four spotting scopes at three different levels of magnification. The two spotting scopes with higher magnifications of 25-50×80 are each built slightly differently for a specific purpose.
 
The S.1S is a straight-lined spotting scope, while the S.1A has a curved neck. The S.1A is designed for hunters, birders, and wildlife viewers. Most long-range competitions utilize this style of spotting scope for spotters to naturally look down into the scope rather than trying to line up the S.1S with a straight line to the target.
 
The Maven S Series line uses fluorite glass which gives an edge-to-edge clarity for the user, is superior in low light performance, and images are clear with no aberration or distortion, even when at max magnification.

Binoculars

Using Maven Optics binoculars in the field
Using Maven Optics binoculars in the field
You don’t have to be gun enthusiast to want good-quality binoculars. Maven binoculars are available in both the premium B series line of binoculars and a mid-range C series. While the components are different between the C and Maven B series binoculars, both series are of a high enough quality to get the job done. Maven binoculars perform in low light, have an edge-to-edge clarity with a generous depth of field, and are built for durability.
 
The Maven binocular line ranges in magnification from 6x magnification to 18x magnification. The most valuable differentiator between Maven and other optic companies is that each model binocular Maven offers the customer’s choice of magnification.
 
Maven binoculars come with durable magnification focus wheels and a diopter adjustment on both tubes. Keep in mind that you may want to purchase tripod adapters for your phone and binoculars and a tripod for backcountry trips, hunting, and spotting targets.

Maven Optics Performance

Magnification

The maximum magnification you need in a scope might be completely different than what your buddy needs, it all depends on your use case and preferences.
The maximum magnification you need in a scope might be completely different than what your buddy needs, it all depends on your use case and preferences.
While Maven Optics offers low-power optics, they don’t have riflescopes that start at 1x magnification power. For shooting recreationally or in 2 gun and 3 gun competitions, the sweet spot is a 1-6x or 1-8x power scope. 
 
The most important aspect of a low-power variable optic is its total weight, especially if you’re running and gunning with a rifle for long periods of time. The Maven Optics riflescope line is more for long-range, precision, and hunting rifles. Maven shines with a variety of high magnification level riflescopes, your choice of magnification in all of their binoculars, and a few spotting scope magnification options. 
 
Lastly, the image quality in all Maven Optics at max magnification power is not distorted, which speaks volumes in the optics industry. Not always, but usually, at max power, scopes lose image quality on the highest magnification level.

Reticle

Reticle options vary by manufacturer and model
Reticle options vary by manufacturer and model
The choice of an MOA or MIL reticle is more of a personal preference, but when it comes to shooting longer-distance targets out to 800 yards and further, a MIL reticle is what I recommend. An MOA reticle makes holdovers easy and is a simple reticle for beginner shooters or shooting inward of 500 yards. 
 
Most, but not all, PRS and NRL competitive shooters use a MIL reticle, so if you’re planning on competing in these style competitions, it makes it easier to learn and share data if you have the same style reticle.

FFP or SPF

Choosing a first or second focal plane riflescope is a personal preference. An FFP reticle has a variable size reticle, while an SFP reticle has a static reticle at all magnification levels. 
 
Most long-range shooters prefer an FFP scope and reticle because it represents the same value regardless of magnification level. Each hash mark (MIL or MOA) represents the same value regardless of magnification level. In an SFP reticle, each hash mark is variable in what they represent.

Light Transmission

Light transmission depends on the size of the objective lens and the quality of the glass. Maven Optics has excellent low light performance even in the smaller objective lenses. The scopes and binoculars, for example, hold light within to transmit it from the objective lens to our pupil. In conjunction with light transmission, it’s essential to understand chromatic aberration and how it can affect images seen through riflescopes. 
 
Any difference between the image of an object viewed through a riflescope or binoculars and the ideal image of that object is called aberration. Chromatic aberration is when light rays pass through a lens focus at different points and can cause color fringing along the edge of objects in the image. All of this occurs because of the prisms in your lens that bends light with colors from that light splitting in different angles through the optic. 
 
While I didn’t have that experience with Maven Optics, it can happen and is something to be aware of, especially in different lighting conditions on the range or while hunting.

Glass Clarity

The glass clarity of Maven Optics was impressive. Maven uses two different kinds of roof prisms in their optics. For example, in the S.1A spotting scope, the prism type is Schmidt-Pechan, and in the Maven B.2 binoculars, the prism type is Abbe-Koenig. An Abbe-Koenig prism is named after Ernst Abbe and Albert Koenig. 
 
It is a type of reflecting roof prism used to invert an image (rotate it by 180°) but not change the handedness and is thus used in binoculars and some telescopes. The Schmidt-Pechan design is a merger of the Schmidt prism and the Pechan prism designs. By replacing the second prism in the Pechan design with a Schmidt prism, the Schmidt-Pechan prism can both invert and revert the image and so act as an image rotator.
 
Schmidt Pechan prisms are produced worldwide, while only six manufacturers make Abbe Koenig prisms. Abbe Koenig prisms are much more expensive, but you gain light transmission, critical for low light hunting or precision work like archery elk hunting. Binoculars made with Abbe Koenig prisms are longer than those with Schmidt Pechan prisms, so Schmidt Pechan is used more in compact forms and everyday use.

Durability

Maven manufacturers waterproof and fog-proof, fully multi-coated optics with a lifetime warranty. Maven designed their products around active outdoorsmen, like themselves, who need gear to perform in the most extreme conditions. 
 
They make durable binoculars that can be used in the backcountry in rain, snow, wind, and heat. Their rifle scopes and rangefinders are built to be used in various hunting conditions and competitive shooting environments. The optical performance of Maven’s products is top-notch in any environment you plan to use them.

Field of View

The higher the magification the smaller the FOV
The higher the magification the smaller the FOV
The field of view varies depending upon the magnification level and the objective lens diameter. The higher-end binoculars have a wide field of view to give you the best opportunity to spot game in the field or forest, while the monocular has a smaller field of view but is a great tool to have in a pinch. 
Even at the higher magnification levels, the rifle scopes have a generous field of view with the perfect eye relief set up for you. 
 
The compact binocular models have a wider field of view, up to 446 yards at the smaller magnification levels, while the high-end binocular models like the B.5 only have a field of view of 194 in the 18x magnification model.

Price Ranges vs. Features

No matter what brand, even the best budget-friendly optics will suffer in glass quality and image clarity. Because there are so many magnification level variables, different optics, and products, it’s challenging to generalize price ranges vs. features.
 
To generalize scopes, I spend anywhere between $800 and $1,500 on low-power variable scopes and anywhere from $900 to $3,000 on higher magnification scopes for precision shooting and hunting. 
 
Sometimes, the optics cost more than the guns I mount them to, and lower prices typically mean a dip in quality and features.
 
The Maven Rangefinder is a highlight of their direct-to-consumer pricing approach — it’s one of the best-priced rangefinders on the market and is nearly the same price as similar models by Vortex Optics and Bushnell.
Spotting scopes are one of the most expensive tools for a hunter or long-range shooter. Depending on magnification offerings, spotting scopes range from $500 to $3,000. Maven’s spotting scopes are slightly higher than similar models but have better glass quality and more features. These are priced right for value.
 
High-end binoculars are similar to spotting scopes in that they vary widely in price based on magnification levels and features. I’ve used binoculars with a range finder built-in and Bluetooth holdover data directly to its linked optic to highlight what hash mark to use. 
 
These are not among the lower-priced binoculars. The amount of technology growth in optics has come a long way. Maven has so many choices regarding the size, weight, and magnification level of binoculars, that the price is worth the value to choose what works best for you.

How we selected these products

Maven Optics provided the first five product recommendations for us to review hands-on. These products were provided to us at no charge for testing and evaluation. For the other recommendations, we leaned on online gear reviews, and discussions with fellow PRS and NRL competition shooters and compared the similar features of these products with the ones we were given to review.

FAQs

I personally am saving up for the Maven Optics spotting scope, rangefinder, and the 5-30×56 RS.4 riflescope after spending a few range sessions with these products. Without this Maven Optics Review opportunity, I would have never been exposed to their products as I had not heard of their brand before. The build quality, customer service, high-end glass, and image clarity are what I look for in a quality optic I can trust to impact targets in competition.

The Maven B Series, S Series, and RS series use Japanese components. The Maven C Series uses a combination of Japanese components and optical elements from China. The S Series and B Series are assembled in a military standard (MIL-SPEC) facility in San Diego and are then shipped to their headquarters in Lander, Wyoming, where they inspect and test for quality assurance. The RS Series is assembled in Japan, and the C Series are assembled in the Philippines. Once assembled, they are shipped to their headquarters, where each batch is sample-tested for quality assurance.

Maven Optics has been manufacturing products since 2013. Maven Optics have some of the best binoculars, spotting scopes, riflescopes, and more for hunters, precision shooters, and outdoorsman who want a quality product they can trust to perform when it comes to a big game kill or target impact in competition. Maven truly makes gear built to withstand the elements with accessories that make it easy to stalk prey without holding all your gear in your hand. They stick to making the best quality optics without breaking the bank for those that want good gear to last a lifetime. Finally, all Maven Optics come with an unconditional lifetime warranty, so you can rest easy knowing they stand behind their products.

Sources

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