I first came across Maven optics while reviewing a set of their binoculars. They got my attention. They reviewed well again a few months later with one of their riflescopes. This year, Maven has rounded out their product lineup with another solid option, the Maven CRF.1 6X22 Rangefinder.
The Maven CRF.1 has all of the standard features we’ve come to expect in a quality rangefinder. There are three different reticle options. There are Line of Sight and the absolutely critical Angle Compensation modes.
The user interface is simple, intuitive, and toggles through menu screens just like most of good rangefinders on the market. The image clarity is great, without any clear change in color. There may be a bit of dimming in the image, but if there is, it’s very minimal. The CRF.1 comes with a CR2 battery pre-installed and ready to go.
The differentiator between the Maven range finder and just about everything else on the market is its Field and Forest modes.
The Field mode is what we’re all used to. This is the setting for finding small targets in more open areas, or targets in front of trees or bushes. It works well. Panning between targets at a local range, the Maven CRF picked up each of the dark green metal targets, but didn’t pick up on the rocky berm behind them.
Even better, it worked exactly as advertised on a recent hunt to south Texas. Deer standing in front of the huisache and mesquite thorn ranged perfectly out to the 400 yards they were visible.
There’s also the Forest mode, which is pretty much the exact opposite. This mode is used when that same deer is behind, or mixed in with those same bushes. Using the Forest mode, those same bushes, ignored by the Field mode, ranged just fine.
According to the manual, the Forest mode is also used in rain or snow. If it works, that would be a significant benefit. I’ve been very grateful that I grew up ranging through my reticle on Fall hunts in Idaho and Wyoming, as my previous Vortex and Leupold rangefinders were rendered useless by the snow.
Alas, neither snow nor any significant rainfall has been present in the Texas Hill Country during the months I’ve had the Maven CRF for review, so I was unable to test this feature.
In order to test the accuracy of the CRF.1, I headed out to a friend’s private 1,500 yard range not too far from Austin. He’s a man of some means and a stickler for detail, so he had surveyors come out and drive pins at 100, 1,000, 1,400, and 1,500 yards from the pin at the edge of his concrete shooting bench. We’ve measured the 100 yard target and the distance from the 1,400 to the 1,500 with a metal tape, and they measured right at 100 yards each time.
Using the Field setting and aiming at the bright white 4’X4′ metal square at 1,500 yards, I never got exactly 1,500 yards, but I never got more than three yards +/- that distance. This is about the same as any of the other rangefinders I own.
The Maven rangefinders come ready to mount to a tripod, which is a lot more helpful than you might think. Those small far away targets are awful hard to get a precise measurement just holding the device. Once mounted, a 4’X4′ plate at nearly half a mile was easy to range, as were all of the other targets on the field.
The Maven website claims the CRF.1 rangefinder will range from 5 to 2400 yards. Aiming at the tin roof of a shed, I was able to range out to 1,900 yards, using the Field setting. Using the Forest setting, I was able to range groups of trees out to 1,090 yards. I didn’t have a suitable target farther away than that. Two thousand yards is a plenty far touch for me.
Although you can quickly toggle the display colors between red and black, there’s no manual display brightness adjustment. The CRF.1 doesn’t need one. Maven’s CRF series automatically adjust for brightness. It worked so perfectly that I didn’t realize the feature existed. I simply never had to adjust the brightness. I tested it by walking inside a dimly lit room and then walking outside in bright sunlight. The display was clear and easy to read each time.
The only issue at all came when using the red display in very dim light. During the last few minutes of shootable hunting light, I found that the entire field of view turned a little red, giving everything a rosy hue, which slightly dimmed the visible image. That said, it never dimmed the image enough to darken the target too much to range, and the value of the auto brightness adjustment was most obvious in these situations.
The format itself is a tiny bit larger than most of the other compact laser rangefinders on the market, but still small enough and light enough to fit in the hand and carry all day.
Maven bills the CRF.1 rangefinder as “water resistant.” It’s annoying when companies don’t quantify that, so I dunked it in a sink to see what would happen. The joke’s on me, because the CRF floats!
I swished it around in the water for a minute then let it sit for half an hour. After allowing it to dry in the sun, and using the supplied carrying cloth to clean the glass, I found it functioned perfectly. I also left in the truck during a hot day and set it in the freezer overnight. Zero issues.
Beyond that, I’ve made it a point to take it with me on hunts throughout the Texas archery and rifle whitetail seasons, as well as dozens of range days over that time. It’s never failed me. I’ve never had to struggle with the menus or brightness levels. It works just fine every time.
Maven has impressed me again. They’ve made a compact laser rangefinder that will absolutely compete with higher priced big brand products.
Specifications: Maven CRF.1 6X22 Rangefinder
Size: 4.3 in. x 2.9 in. x 1.9 in.Weight: 8 oz.
5-2400 Yard Effectiveness
Made in the Philippines
Rating (out of five stars):
Overall * * * * ½
The Maven CRF.1 6×22 rangefinder works well. It’s easy to use, it’s durable, with glass as clear as any of the more expensive brands that cost 30% more…and then some. The Field and Forest features really set it apart, especially if it works in the snow as advertised. Maven continues to produce great performing optics at lower than expected prices. A solid value.