I’ve been a fan of Maven’s optical line for years and have used several models in the field. Some of my favorites include the B1.2 10×42 bino and the CS.1 15-45×65 spotter. Both optics proved their salt in the most remote and harsh locations of the West, and their clarity and low-light performance are strong.
Before we jump into the distance game, we need a little Maven history lesson. Maven’s top-of-the-line binos are the B Series line, and its mid-range, more budget-friendly options are the C Series. The only difference in their tuning range is that the B has been replaced by an S in the Elite line. .
Maven’s latest rangefinder is part of the C Series, making it a mid-range rangefinder built for the hunter on a budget ($225) who still wants a high-end product. Here’s how it performed.
The first thing I noticed about the new CRF.1 gauge were the traditional Maven colors – burnt orange trim mixed with gray and black – which are certainly stylish. I also noticed that the rangefinder is not super compact, but quite thick and long. Not too tall or too heavy, but those are indicators that Maven built the spacer on a budget.
The ergonomics are excellent and I applaud the gray rubber coating that covers most of the device’s exterior. I used the spacer a few times in the rain during testing and really appreciated the rubber coating. Provides a positive feel and grip. The burnt orange focus dial is a bit stiff and hard to grip, but it gets the job done.
Before I started fiddling with the spacers, I wanted to look through the glass. The 6×22 zoom is solid—transparent and gathers light well in all lighting conditions. I was very impressed. The CRF.1 feels balanced in the hand and is tripod adaptable as Maven brands it with a 2000+ yard reflection range. Although, the best I could get was 1,854.
Satisfied with the ergonomics and the glass, I was introduced to the CRF. Screen 1 and internal settings. Before I could do this the battery door had to be opened and a plastic card removed. Removing the card activates the rangefinder and I like the battery door lock design. I was glad to see that this door is labeled with locked and unlocked symbols.
The red LED grid display is bright and clear. I wish Maven had made the inner lettering and target grid a bit bigger, but that’s just me. It took a while to get used to and I appreciate that the LED readout didn’t cover the entire screen, but still, just a little more prominent on the other screen, Maven, please.
The range finder excels with its yardage return reading and is as good as any range finder I’ve tested. Press the rectangular power button on top of the rangefinder and the distance reading is instant. The range finder is set to LOS (Line of Sight) mode, but you can quickly switch to COMP (Angle Compensation) mode by holding the DISP/MENU button on the front left of the range finder for three seconds. After holding down the button, use the down arrow (PER) button to select COMP mode.
The range finder also has a trio of reticle options (Crosshair, Bracket and Square). You can switch between these quickly via the same method you used to switch from LOS to COMP, only this time, after holding down the DISP/MENU button for three seconds, use the same button to switch to the menu of the grid of distances.
As for the LED lighting, Maven notes that a built-in light sensor reads the ambient light and an internal software system adjusts the intensity of the red lighting. I’m no Einstein, but I’d say the system works well. The reading was never blurry or hard to see, and I tested it in every possible lighting condition. The CRF.1 can also be easily converted from yards to meters.
Maven’s CRF.1 6×22 sports FLD (Field) and FOR (Forest) buttons. These two buttons are also up/down when navigating the menu.
When shooting plains, prairie, or almost any open area, use the FLD button. All it takes to activate this feature is a press of the button. I recommend pressing the FLD and FOR buttons several times while viewing the grid. Doing this lets you see how quickly the rangefinder settings change—you’ll see the setting change via a red readout—and you’ll get used to using your other hand to navigate the menu.
FOR mode is recommended when shooting in timber or brushy ground. In layman’s terms, the FLD button will help you pick up small, hard-to-hit targets and ignore larger objects in the background, and the FOR button should be used when you want to know the distance of targets located behind brush or cover.