Gear Review: Maven B1.2 Binocular in 8 x 42
Updated: Jan 13
Overview: I was heading out for my first big game hunt in Montana; a trip with my son in the works for nearly two years. Simply put, I needed better binoculars. I knew this effort would involve a great deal of glassing and while I already own a pair of 8 x 42 binos, I knew that spotting was at least half the battle and I wanted to come prepared. I have been following Maven for a while and after reading a number of reviews, decided to pull the trigger on some high-level glass that would work well out west and back in Michigan.
The B1.2 in 8 x 42 is Maven's go-to for an all-purpose optic for hunting, and general-purpose wildlife viewing. Developed to handle most any situation, they feature extra-low dispersion Japanese ED glass glass with fully multi-coated lenses. This provides superior low-light performance, sharp edge-to-edge clarity and generous depth of field. They come with a neoprene neck strap, lens caps and a double-layered microfiber storage bag and retail for $950.
I had the chance to put them to use in a variety of situations on that Montana trip as well as during both archery and gun hunting in the big woods of northern Michigan. Here's what I found.
What I like: There are a couple things that I noticed right away.
First, the Maven ED glass is tack sharp providing an exceptionally clear, bright and high- contrast image at range and in low light. It was a night and day difference from my previous glass. The 8x worked well for me out west, glassing well out over 1,000 yards, but also is appropriate at home in Michigan for archery or gun season where I might only be glassing out to 150 yards.
Second is how they feel in the hand. They are slightly on the heavier side, but they have a substantial feel. Solid. Tough. Durable. I put the waterproof/fog proof capabilities to the test, using these in rain, snow, sleet, and temps ranging from the low 20's to the upper 70's all without fail. The focus mechanism is exceptionally smooth and the eyecups are very comfortable.
A few other important points to touch on.
The first is that these binoculars offer an unconditional lifetime warranty. Learn more here: https://mavenbuilt.com/pages/warranty-registration
Second, Maven offers a demo program. Being a direct-to-consumer company, this program allows you to "try before you buy". You have two weeks to put the product through its paces and then decide whether it's the right fit for you, or if you'd like to purchase a custom model, a stock model, keep the demo, or return it for a full credit to your card. Pretty slick. Learn more here: https://mavenbuilt.com/collections/demo-units
Last, is the ability to customize the various components of your binoculars in terms of colors, camo patterns, etc. You can create a pair that is entirely unique to your tastes and your needs. Learn more here: https://app.mavenbuilt.com/#
What I don’t like: There really isn't much to say here. When people ask me how I like these binos my response is that I don't like them, I love them. But there are two very small picky points.
First, I found that the adjustable eyecup on the right lens would, on occasion, work itself down a little and I would have to thread it back out.
Second, the lens cover for the ocular lenses didn't seem to fit that well and would come off. For me this wasn't a big deal because I carried the binos in a covered binocular harness which offered protection, but it was a small annoyance.
Perfect for: For me, the Maven B1.2's are a perfect all-purpose bino, especially if you can only purchase one pair. They are more than enough for the "out west" hunting I did and yet not too much for shorter ranges here in Michigan. The lens quality is simply remarkable (I've looked through A LOT of different glass) and the product is built to be rugged and durable. Combine that with an unconditional lifetime warranty and it's tough to beat; especially for the price.
Stars: 5 out of 5