You either use a monocular or you don’t.
I’ve found that many optic snobs love their binoculars and tend to underestimate the monocular.
In my extensive testing I took the Maven CM.1 monocular birdwatching, lent it to a cop to check out its tactical use, and assessed its suitability for hunting.
How did it weigh up?
The Maven CM.1 8x32 has high power with a decently large objective lens to provide value to field work like casual hunting and birdwatching. The Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass and dielectric coating upgrades the optic to mid-range status for improved performance when sightseeing and backpacking.
Don’t forget about its polymer frame, weatherproof-ready build, and reasonable size. All things considered, the CM.1 proves to be a powerful and practical tool for outdoor fun and work.
Get an eyeful on this Maven CM.1 review!
What We Like: Big glass
What We Don’t Like: Not tripod mountable
Best Uses: Casual Hunting, Birdwatching, Wildlife Glassing, Events, Backpacking, Hiking, Recreational Use, Some Tactical Use
- Magnification: 8x
- Objective Diameter: 32mm
- Coatings: FMC
- FOV: 393 ft/1000 yds
- Eye Relief: 14.9mm
- Dimensions: 1.75 x 5.1 x 2”/8.7 oz
Our Verdict: The Maven CM.1 monocular is a solid-performing optic for its mid-range quality and performance. As such, it competes on a level with optics twice its price. As a result, you have great value, mid-range quality, and a monocular that can be and should be taken everywhere.
Why Trust Me?
After hundreds of hours of hand-testing monocular in the field and on the hunt, and thousands more hours researching, writing, photographing and creating videos about them, I feel I have earned the title of expert when it comes to optics!
Optics are not just my passion, but also my full-time job!
I get my hands on as many of the optics I test as possible (through buying, borrowing or begging!) and run them through their paces to make sure they will perform out in field.
Check out our optics testing process here.
Over a decade of experience birdwatching, glassing wildlife and hiking has been integral in putting together this Maven CM.1 8x32 review.
How Does the Maven CM.1 8x32 Perform?
The Maven CM.1 is a champion of monoculars. The glass and build integrity are what sets the 8x32 monocular apart from mediocre alternatives available in the market. It’s different in the fact that it offers fantastic mid-range performance.
A large part is due to the ED glass and specialized prism coatings. Almost no optical aberrations are discernable. Although there are some natural edges to the CM.1, it has note-worthy clarity and sharpness with an incredibly large and forgiving field of view. Even with 8x magnification, the handheld optic is easy to stabilize.
During hands-on testing, the monocular proved to be a no-brainer to throw into a pack, onto the passenger seat, or on the dashboard for tag-along trips. Whether glassing from your truck or on your stroll, the monocular proves a worthy pack-and-go and on-person companion for all things observation.
Who is the Maven CM.1 8x32 Best Suited to?
There are those in the market that are specifically looking for a monocular, and those people will appreciate the value in the CM.1 8x32.
Many will want the monocular to be a replacement of their binoculars but that should not be its primary purpose. As a single-tube optic, it’s fast and easy to use, a lot cheaper than comparable 8x binoculars with ED glass, and it’s decently pocket-sized – if you have big pockets.
Ready for all recreational and observational activities, it does have mid-range features to try its hand in the hunt, at work while on duty, and for some limited target range use.
Features & Benefits
Maven delivers quality above all else. The CM1 pocket monocular is small but has big glass. The 32mm objective lens features ED glass elements, and the prism has a dielectric coating to improve light transmission which results in a better performing optical system.
The CM1 has more glass quality than it has any right to have for its low price point. A huge field of view of 393 feet at 1000 yards is well-paired with the optical quality it packs.
Maven didn’t forget about how exterior coatings also matter. The objective lens has a scratch and oil-resistant coating to keep them free of wear and tear.
While compact and lightweight at 5.1” (length) and 8.7 oz, the CM.1 monocular is just as pocket-sized as any other monocular in the market. It goes a step above by also having a rugged, full-body armor and polymer frame.
For a monocular, it’s excellent to see that it’s weatherproof ready. It’s IPX6 rated to be as watertight as you need for observing in the rain. It’s also nitrogen-purged to keep the optics from fogging up… think cold outside temperatures and heated vehicles – a damaging recipe for inferior optics to succumb to.
The eyecup is twistable and sits in four multi-click positions if you include all the way down. With 14.9mm of eye relief, it’s borderline snug for people who wear glasses, but since there’s no ‘zoom,’ you don’t lose the ability to hold the eyebox. The entire FOV is easily achievable.
The Maven monocular also has a focus ring. It’s stiff to use especially because the knurling is recessed. I found out during field testing that it’s easier to grip and use when the eyecup is out. When used that way, its inherent stiffness isn’t bothersome. Buyers have said that it loosens up over time.
What I especially found noteworthy is that the monocular comes with both an eyepiece cap and tethered objective lens cap. They are valuable accessories to have considering they can sit in a pocket or in the vehicle where dust particles and other things can damage the glass without you knowing.
There’s a lot to be done with pocket-sized monoculars. With mid-range quality, the Maven CM.1 will quickly outperform many alternatives.
During my field test, they proved to be best suited to observational applications. That would be activities like people-watching, observing events, wildlife glassing, hiking, backpacking, camping, and all recreational uses.
For birdwatching, the extra glass quality and huge FOV makes it easy to identify and observe bird species both perched and on the fly. For hunting, the 8x32 monocular is not a lowlight performer, but there’s no harm in packing it with your gear during the actual hunt.
Thanks to its mid-range power and compact size, they could be better for the thick timber or treestand hunter.
For tactical use, it’s largely user preference. Many Law Enforcement Officers use binoculars, but some will opt for monoculars due to their size for covert use. This would be a great option for general observation, and they are fast and to employ since it only requires one eye.
Not Tripod Mountable
This is not a big deal for 90% of buyers. For the rest of us, we will miss the ability to mount up and digiscope with maximum image stability.
Tremors and handshakes will affect the overall experience especially when you’re glassing long-range distances for small details.
Monoculars are designed for instant handheld use as are comparable binoculars. Alternatively, you can consider the Maven B.3 30mm Series if you really want a compact binocular with tripod-mounting adaptability.
On average, Maven’s C Series optics have Japanese and Chinese materials and are assembled in the Philippines. However, the CM.1 Monocular is assembled in Japan. This can be confirmed by looking at the serial stamp on the underside.
The Maven CM.1 8x32 monocular has a multi-position eyecup. Starting with all the way in, eye relief is at its longest and may be within comfort levels for people who wear glasses. Adjust the eyecup by rotating out to further customize eye relief.
The Maven CM.1 monocular has ED glass that significantly reduces chromatic aberration. While very difficult to see during normal glassing conditions, you may see some slight colored edges at the very edge of the FOV and in very bright conditions such as white targets against a setting sun.
Binoculars are excellent for multiple uses but the Maven CM.1 monocular wins out in price point and fast use. It has the same glass as Maven’s C Series binoculars. See our discussion on Monocular VS Binocular.
There are a lot of reasons why the Maven CM.1 monocular should be a top contender on the monocular shortlist. The mid-range glass and overall build quality are instant qualifiers as the superior option against other alternatives, even more expensive ones.
But getting down to the real reason; the CM.1 8x32 costs less than $200. Its low price point offers mountains in value, and for that reason alone, it’s not a buy you can pass up if you’re glassing around for a monocular that’s worth buying.
Even though it’s affordable, it’s still covered with Maven’s Unconditional Lifetime Warranty. Monoculars shouldn’t be underestimated after all, eh?