Maven B-2 Series 11×45 Binocular Review

Maven B-2 Series 11 x 45 Binocular Review

Whether you are a hiker, bird watcher, hunter, or armchair explorer, a high-quality set of binoculars is essential to the success of your pursuit. Binoculars are one of the most important pieces of gear I use when hunting big game. A good set of binoculars allows you to scan for animals that are hundreds of yards away and that are difficult to see with your naked eye alone. This makes them an indispensable tool in the field.

The world of binoculars is huge, and it can be a little daunting when trying to explore and learn about different brands and their features. I am by no means an expert, but I am an experienced outdoorsman and rely on my binoculars on every trip I take. The point of binoculars is to cover ground with your eyes, not your legs.

Maven B-2 Series 11x45 Binoculars

Optics
Clarity
Depth of Field
Construction
Low Light Performance

Outstanding Low Light Performance

The low light performance sold me on these Maven B2-Series 11x45 binoculars. As a hunter and outdoorsman, much of my time is spent searching for game in the early hours of dawn or the waning glow of a sunset. I was impressed with their clarity. The performance of these binoculars in those conditions was outstanding.

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Maven Outdoor Equipment Company is a optics company thatsells high quality optics directly to consumers instead of through retail in order to offer lower prices and better customer support.
Maven Outdoor Equipment Company sells high-quality optics directly to consumers instead of through retail in order to offer lower prices and better customer support.

30-Day Demo Trial

Maven Outdoor Equipment Company is a relatively new optics company based in Lander, Wyoming. In 2014, they began releasing products with a ‘straight to consumer’ business model. This gives buyers a great benefit of skipping retail store markups and dealing directly with the company for sales and personalized customer service.  A unique aspect of the Maven system is the ability for the customer to demo a selection of optics for up to 30 days.

I found this extremely helpful in my review because it’s really difficult to make a fair evaluation at the optics counter of a dimly lit retail store.  The ability to take them into the field and use them in various terrains and lighting conditions was extremely helpful in gaining a full appreciation of their construction and quality. Another bonus is once you have demoed the optics you can choose to keep them, or you can go to the Maven website and at a small additional cost, custom-build your binoculars with a variety of magnifications, frame sizes, body armor, labeling, and colors.

For this review, the company allowed me to demo the Maven B-2 series 11×45 binocular.

Specs & Features at a Glance:

  • Magnification: 11x
  • Fully Multi-Coated Optics with:
    • 45 mm Objective Lenses using ED Glass Elements
  • Prism type:  Abbe-Koenig Roof
    • Phase Correction Coating
  • Body: Magnesium Alloy
    • Waterproof & Nitrogen charged for fog protection
    • Twist-up eyecups
    • Tripod Adaptable
  • Field of view: 314ft @ 1000 yards
  • Close Focus Distance: 4.9 ft
  • Length: 7.1 in
  • Height: 2.2 in
  • Width: 5.7 in
  • Weight: 33.2 oz

Binocular Body

At first glance B-2 Maven binoculars have the typical look and design of most current roof prism binoculars with a couple of subtle differences worth discussing:

Although slight, the B-2’s are somewhat longer than your comparable 42 mm binocular. This is to be anticipated for two reasons. First, they have larger 45 mm objectives, and second, (without geeking out too much) Maven Optics uses the Abbe-Koenig design of roof prism, over the more commonly used Schmidt-Pechan design. Simply put the Abbe-Koenig design bends the light one less time than the Schmidt-Pechan design resulting in a brighter image at the small cost of a slightly longer frame.

The eye-piece housings are rubber coated metal, which offers added protection if the binocular is dropped
The eye-piece housings are rubber-coated metal, which offers added protection if the binocular is dropped

The position of the hinge sits nearer the eye-pieces instead of in the middle as is the case with many binoculars. This shift of hinge positioning leaves a larger area to hold onto, which I appreciated when using gloves, or holding in one hand.

The frames are made from lightweight magnesium which is lighter and stronger than aluminum, and the extra heft of the frame gives a sense of substance and value over a lesser polycarbonate framed binocular. The exterior is coated with a superbly textured rubber armor which offers a more tactile grip than some competitors. Another feature that I really like is that the eye-piece housings are rubber-coated metal, which is important because many others have plastic parts. This offers added protection if the binocular is dropped. Similarly, the objective lenses are well protected being set back deeply from the ends of the barrels.

The B-2 model is tripod adaptable by removing a small cover screw on the front face of the hinge
The B-2 model is tripod adaptable by removing a small cover screw on the front face of the hinge

The final feature of the body that I like is that this particular model is ‘tripod adaptable’ which means that it can be easily fitted onto a tripod by removing a small cover screw on the front face of the hinge and by using a standard tripod adapter. This bonus feature allows for hours of almost hands-free use from a steady position. The focus wheel has a knurled surface that allows for easy focusing even while wearing heavy gloves, with an optimal amount of resistance, and no free play or stiffness at any point allowing you to quickly focus, but not move out of adjustment while in use or hiking. 

B2-Binocular Optics

As mentioned, I spent some time in the field with these binoculars. In order for me to be as consistent as possible, I compared the view I see through the Maven 11×45 binoculars with two control binoculars (a mid-grade 10×42 binoculars, and a high-quality 8×42 European competitor).

The B-series have ED (extra-low dispersion) glass for optimal visual acuity in low light conditions at any distance.  As stated, Maven opted to use the Abbe-Koenig design in the B-2 line, which allows the prisms internally to reflect 100% of light that passes through them. More light is obviously a good thing in terms of image quality, contrast, and brightness.

The B-series have ED glass for optimal visual acuity in low light conditions
The B-series have ED glass for optimal visual acuity in low light conditions

The color and image brightness of The Maven optics was excellent. Even in good light they appeared to me to be brighter than my mid-grade 10×42’s, however, where they really shined was when the ambient light was low, nearing sunset, and in the shadows of a heavily forested mountainside. For me, there was a large and noticeable improvement on the Maven B2 over my trusty 10×42 control glass in these conditions. Comparing them to the very best, highest quality 8×42 competitors, I could see no difference in the brightness of day or in low light forest conditions. Only as the light faded into twilight, did the 8×42 appear slightly brighter. Objectively, I would say that lower magnification and correspondingly larger exit pupil was likely responsible for the difference.

Accessories

The Maven B2-Series 11×45 Binoculars came packaged in a soft drawstring carry bag and I was a little surprised that it didn’t come with any sort of carry case, although one can be purchased on their website. In hindsight, this may be wisdom on the part of Maven, as many outdoorsmen have their own preferred aftermarket way to store or carry their binoculars. That being said, I will say that the included neck strap and attachment system appeared to be high quality, with a unique loop attachment system, which enables the strap to quickly snap into place with quick disconnect buckles. In all honesty, I would likely ditch the neck strap for my own favorite KUIU carry system.

The Maven B2 11x45 came in a draw string carry bag which has a soft microfiber liner used to protect and clean the optics
The Maven B2 11×45 came in a drawstring carry bag which has a soft microfiber liner used to protect and clean the optics

The rain cover for the ocular lenses fits over the eyecups snugly. I liked the fact that it had a flexible link between the cups so that you don’t have to adjust the hinge to put them on the eyecups. There is also a slot on the side of the rain guard that the neck strap can run through so that it’s not lost when the binoculars are in use. The lens covers for the objective side have a typical snug fit over the barrels with a flip-down design that tethers them to the lens. While completely functional, it was my least favorite feature as I worried that I might lose a lens cover while on the move or snag them in heavy brush.

Comparable Binoculars

Make / ModelLens DiameterWeightPrice
Maven B-211x4533.2 oz$1,045
Vortex Razor UHD10x4232.2 oz$2,149
Swarovski SLC 4210x4227 oz$1,777
Zeiss Victory SF10x4227.8 oz$2,700
Kowa Genesis 4410.5x4433.9 oz$1,399
Swarovski EL 5012x5035 oz$3,188

Recommendation

The Maven B2-Series 11×45 Binoculars have several outstanding features, but the low light comparison alone sold me on these binoculars. As a hunter and outdoorsman, much of my time is spent searching for game in the early hours of dawn or the waning glow of a sunset. I was impressed with their clarity. The performance of these binoculars in these conditions was outstanding.

What also stands out for me with Maven binoculars are the many upgrades and customizations, along with out of the ordinary size and magnification options available. They carry your standard 8×42 which is great, but even more intriguing are the somewhat wild cat combinations that are available through Maven such as 6×30, 10×56, or my choice the, 11×45 configuration.

Finally, Maven stands behind their products with an unconditional lifetime guarantee. If anything goes wrong with your optic, for any reason, they will fix it or replace it.

Admittedly because they are a direct-to-consumer company, you won’t find Maven in your average sporting goods store. However, if you are seriously considering investing in a pair of quality optics, I would strongly recommend looking into Maven and using their 30-day demo program to get your hands on their optics. You won’t be sorry.

Editor's note: Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support SectionHiker's unsponsored gear reviews, articles, and hiking guides.

About the author

Sven Peery is an all-season outdoorsman who enjoys backpacking, camping, hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing. He is also an experienced hunter and fisherman who is not afraid to wander off the beaten path. His wanderings have led him to hike and explore the vast trails of the High Uinta Wilderness, Wind River Range, and the Frank Church Wilderness in Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho respectively. Sven spent 8 years with a county Search and Rescue team in Northern Utah. His training includes man tracking, wilderness survival, backcountry, cave, and high angle rescue. Whether hiking in National Parks with family, rising up to 13,527 feet elevation of Kings Peak, or dipping nearly a mile below the rim to cross the Grand Canyon, he is always ready for the next adventure!

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8 comments

  1. Drool…

  2. Do you see a lot of variation in terms of performance in these $1K -$3K options compared to the $150-$250 Nikon Prostaffs or Vortex Diamonbacks?

    • It’s easy to balk at a $1000 pair of binoculars, let alone $3K with so many on the market to choose from. My advice would to look carefully at the higher end binoculars. Anything cheaper and you are making some major compromises. As I compared these Maven binoculars with other high end glass, it was clear that even though they were were less money than some of their European competition, the fit, finish, and quality was outstanding. They have struck a delicate balance between value and quality. I think partly due to direct to consumer pricing. Having worked in a retail sporting goods store, I can attest to some pretty high markups on almost everything. I would say, buy the best glass that you can afford , but do some hands on homework before your purchase .

  3. Interesting. Where are they made and assembled?

    • We use premium Japanese components for S, B, and RS Series optics. The S Series and B Series are assembled in a military standard (MIL-SPEC) facility in San Diego, and are then shipped to our headquarters in Lander, Wyoming where we 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 our headquarters where each batch is sample-tested for quality assurance.
      https://mavenbuilt.com/faq/

  4. How is their customer service? I am interested to buying, but wanted to talk to them before buying! When I call, all I get is a recording that they are not available. I’m afraid they are going out of business. Is their warranty on paper only and worthless if you need any replacement especially since they won’t be in business after this COVID PANDEMIC

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