Best Mathews Hunting Bows Ever Made

Mathews is one of the top bow manufacturing companies in the world today.  They consistently create world class bows that somehow manage to up the game of the bows created in previous years.

The latest hunting bows that Mathews has released for 2020 are the VXR 28 and the VXR 31.5.  The VXR lineup features the two best bows that Mathews has ever released, and to some, maybe even the best in the world.  But surprisingly enough, Mathews still has several other world class bows that feature technology that dwarf other competing brands.

Because Mathews has some great bow options, this article will feature the top bows that Mathews has released to date.

Here are the best Mathews Hunting bows

  • Mathews VXR 28
  • Mathews VXR 31.5
  • Mathews Vertix
  • Mathews Triax

Mathews bows are some of the most technologically advanced hunting bows in the world, and it shows.  They are extremely powerful, quiet, durable and have almost zero hand shock.  If you were to take a look a the cream of the crop Mathews bows, it would be either the VXR 28 or the VXR 31.5.  The two are almost the exact same bow, with the only major difference being the axle to axle height.

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Best Mathews Hunting Bows Of All Time

As I said above, the VXR 28 (28″ ATA) and the VXR 31 (31.5″ ATA) are very similar.  But, I ranked the VXR 28 first, over the VXR 31 because I personally favor how compact the VXR 28 is.  Taller axle to axle bows do have some advantages over shorter axle to axle bows although.

After the the VXR lineup, the next best Mathews bow is the Vertix (30″ ATA).  It was released for 2019 and it is still extremely popular amongst bowhunters across the world.  The final hunting bow on the list is the Mathews Triax (28″ ATA).  It was released in 2018 and it was the first year that Mathews really came out with an incredibly premiere hunting bow.

Mathews VXR 28

The Mathews VXR 28 hunting bow released for 2020 is considered by many to be one of the best tree stand and close quarter hunting bows, on the market right now.  It’s very compact at only 28″ axle to axle and is the quietest and most dead-in-the-hand hunting bow Mathews has ever released (along w/ VXR 31.5).  It’s an extremely accurate and consistent bow, that has the ability to take a beating out in the bush.   

Mathews VXR 28 Specs:

  • 28” axle to axle 
  • IBO rating up to 344 FPS 
  • Draw weight: 60, 65, 70 and 75 
  • Draw length: 25.5” – 30” 
  • Let-off: 80 or 85% 
  • Physical weight: 4.44 lbs 
  • Brace Height: 6″

Advantages of the VXR 28: 

  • Awesome compact size for hunting in close quarters 
  • Deadly silent 
  • Little to none hand shock
  • New riser design (great balance and control) 
  • Engage grip 
  • Durable 
  • Very fast IBO rating 
  • Silent Connect System 
  • SwitchWeight Technology Cams

Disadvantages of the VXR 28:

  • Isn’t super stiff side to side at full draw
  • Draw cycle is tougher than other bows on the market 
  • Potential string concerns as Mathews Vertix had marginal strings (no issues yet) 
This is a picture of the full Mathews VXR 28 bow.
Mathews VXR 28

Advantages of the Mathews VXR 28

When I shot this bow for the first time, it reminded me of lathering warm butter onto a breadstick.  It was so incredibly smooth… It felt as though nothing happened in my hand, but my arrow sticking out of my target, 10 yards away from me.  I fell in love with it instantly, not an hour or two later, I was walking out of the archery shop with a new bow… 

Balance

Even though the VXR 28 is only 28″ from axle to axle, it’s extremely balanced and steady before the shot.  This can be credited to the tall riser design that Mathews implemented into the 2020 VXR lineup and the bottom heavy design.  The super tall riser creates a super balanced bow, resulting in super steady shots.  I can hold the pin of my sight on my GlenDel 3D Buck target 40 yards downrange, without my sight wavering at all.  That is, until my arms are so dead that I can hardly shoot anymore.

The VXR 28 Is Deadly Quiet

When the arrow is released it hardly makes any noise at all.  Literally I feel and hear a slight “whoompf” and my arrow is sticking out my target.  There is not a lot of sound coming from this bow at all.  Even with, or without my favorite stabilizer on this bow, it’s still deadly silent.  

The VXR 28 is probably one of the quietest bows that has ever hit the bowhunting market.  And I’m not just saying that to say that, this bow is extremely good.

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Dead In The Hand

Mathews implemented the 3D Dampening system in their bows starting with the Triax in 2018, and its deadly smooth.  Mathews has dramatically improved the system over the last couple years, and in the VXR 28 you will definitely notice how smooth it is.  This is probably one of the biggest reasons that this bow is favored over other bows.  It really doesn’t have a lot of hand shock.

SwitchWeight Cams

The SwitchWeight Cams allow for quick and easy change of the draw weight in the VXR.  I haven’t changed the draw weight on mine, but there isn’t a whole lot that takes place when doing so.  All it takes is a different module to be put in place of the one that is currently on the cams.

Silent Connect System

Mathews does have an additional option to put on what they’re calling the silent connect system.  It’s basically two knobs between limbs on the top and bottom of the bow, to attach either a sling or para chord to haul your bow up into the tree quickly and efficiently.  

Engage Grip

The engage grip is also a fan favorite of hunters that use Mathews, it can be swapped out and changed around for different designs or a different feel.  I personally think that the Engage Grip is ok.  It’s nothing special, I’m sure there are custom grip builders that make em better.  

Durability

The VXR 28 is built like a tank.  It’s a very hard core and compact hunting bow that will definitely stand the test of time.  The design, performance and even the paint on this bow all feel as though it a first class bow.  My biggest concern here is the durability of the string, I’m hoping that it’s built well.  

Disadvantages Of The VXR 28

There was not a lot of negatives that I’ve come across when shooting the VXR 28.  It’s overall a pretty solid bow, but I did have a couple minor qualms with it.

Side To Side Twist At Full Draw

The first and most annoying aspect of the VXR 28 is that it’s not rock solid left to right, at full draw.  What I mean by this is that I can actually hold my anchor point of the bow at full draw and twist the riser of the bow left to right with my other hand.  It isn’t perfectly solid.  But, that is to be expected with a shorter axle to axle bow, the Triax in 2018 had the same issue.

This one situation where the VXR 31.5 is better than the VXR 28.

Draw Cycle

The draw cycle on the VXR 28 is a bit tougher than other bows on the market.  It drops into the back wall decently hard, but it doesn’t move a tad bit when it gets there.  It isn’t super hard to pull back, I just noticed that when I shot the Bowtech Revolt at the same draw weight, the Revolt had a much easier draw cycle.

But then again, the Revolt is designed for comfort and the VXR 28 is designed for speed and hunting.

Potential String Issues

The final complaint of this bow isn’t even a complaint.  I haven’t had any issues with the strings, but the hunters that got the Vertix last year had some problems with their peep sight twisting and strings over extending.  I guess time will tell if the string is good or not on the VXR lineup, so far, it looks very good.

Final Thoughts On The Mathews VXR 28

At the end of the day, I believe that the VXR 28 is the best hunting bow that Mathews has released up to this point.  It’s quick, compact, silent and powerful.  It also has an awesome looking design and almost zero hand shock.  Many hunters would agree, this bow is an absolute machine.

Related Article:  2020 Mathews VXR 28: Field Tested and In Depth Review

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Mathews VXR 31.5 

The VXR 31.5 is very similar to the VXR 28, the really obvious difference is that it’s taller from axle to axle.  It isn’t quite as compact, but a big advantage the VXR 31.5 has over the VXR 28 is that it’s a lot stiffer at full draw.  Not only that, but it has a bit more stability too, not by much though.  A downfall is that it’s a little bit heavier and bigger than the 28 and not as ideal for tight quarter hunting.  

Mathews VXR 31.5 Specs: 

  • Axle to axle height: 31.5”
  • Brace height: 6” 
  • IBO rating up to 343 fps 
  • Draw weight: 60, 65, 70, and 75 
  • Draw lengths: 26.5” – 31” 
  • Let off: 80 or 85% 
  • Physical weight: 4.66 lbs

Advantages Of The VXR 31.5

  • Great size for hunting in open areas or stalk and spot
  • Deadly silent
  • Almost zero hand shock 
  • Tall riser design for balance (better than VXR 28)
  • Longer draw lengths 
  • Engage grip 
  • Great quality 
  • Very fast IBO rating 
  • Switchweight Technology in the cams 
  • Silent Connect system 

Disadvantages Of The VXR 31.5 

  • Potential bowstring concerns (unconfirmed, time will tell) 
  • Bigger and heavier than other Mathews bows 
  • Tough draw cycle (about same as VXR 28) 

Picture of Mathews VXR 31.5

Advantages Of The VXR 31.5

Because the Mathews VXR lineup is very similar to one another, I’m just going to go over the differences between the VXR 28 and the VXR 31.5.  I went a bit more in depth above with the VXR 28, most of the features are exactly the same… and there is no real point in going over the exact same features, back to back.  

Height

The first big advantage of the VXR 31.5 is that it’s taller than the other bows that Mathews has released in the past several years.  This is helpful for bowhunters that prefer a longer draw length, a sharper string angle, or both.

Since the VXR 31.5 is taller than the VXR 28, it’s also a bit more stabile.  Not by much, but taller bows in general are just more balanced in general.  The amazing stability can also be credited to the new riser design that Mathews implemented into the VXR lineup.

When you are at full draw with the 31.5, there isn’t any side to side twist.  It holds rock solid and there is no movement in the back wall either.  That’s a big advantage over the VXR 28 or the other top Mathews bows, the VXR 31.5 is super steady during the shot.

The post shot of the VXR 31.5 has a little less jump than other shorter axle to axle Mathews bows too.  Again, it’s not super significant, but it is just a tad bit smoother; simply because it’s a larger bow.

Disadvantages Of The VXR 31.5

The biggest and most obvious negative of the VXR 31.5 compared to the other Mathews bows is its size.  If you are out in a tree stand or blind, you’ll have a bit less room to pull your bow back.  Now, that might seem insignificant, but for a short hunter it can make a big difference.

The VXR 31.5 is also a single FPS slower than the VXR 28 too.  This is very minuscule though.

Other than that, there really isn’t any disadvantage that is different from the VXR 28… Really it’s just the size of the bow.

Conclusion of the VXR 31.5

This wasn’t the largest of reviews, but I didn’t want to repeat everything that I wrote in the VXR 28 review.  The biggest advantages that you will get in the VXR 31.5 compared to the VXR 28 is, less movement side to side in the back wall, more stability, and less jump in the post shot.  You have to pay the price by adding an additional 3.5″ and a little bit of weight to the bow although.

If you are considering getting the VXR 28 or the VXR 31.5, I would suggest getting the VXR 28 if you have a shorter draw length, and a VXR 31.5 if you have a longer draw length.  These two bows are almost the exact same thing, with only subtle differences.

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09/20/2020 09:40 pm

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2019: Mathews Vertix 

Mathews Vertix Specs: 

  • Axle to axle 30” 
  • IBO rating up to 343 fps 
  • Draw weight: 60, 65, 70, and 75 
  • Physical weight: 4.67 lbs 
  • Draw lengths: 26” – 30.5” 
  • Let off: 80 or 85% 
  • Brace Height: 6″

Advantages Of The Vertix 

  • Deadly silent 
  • 20% less hand shock than Triax (2018) 
  • Balanced feel 
  • 3D dampening system 
  • Switchweight technology in cams 
  • Accurate 
  • Taller than Triax (2” taller) 

Disadvantages Of The Vertix 

  • Bad strings 
  • Some hunters prefer taller bows 

This is a picture of the Mathews Vertix.

In 2019, Mathews continued their hot streak of creating great bows by releasing the Vertix.  Even more deadly and stealthy compared to the Triax released in 2018, the Vertix has a lot of technology that many bowhunters will still love today.  Really at this point, it’s just a slightly lesser version of the VXR 28.  The Triax is the same way, a deadly bow with slightly less amplified features.  

Stealth

To start, this bow is very smooth and quiet.  Mathews took the 3D dampening system from the Triax over to this bow and it’s incredible.  There is very little hand shock in this bow because of the dampening system, and even without any additional equipment, (stabilizers) it’s stealthy.  

With the Triax in 2018, many hunters wished that Mathews had a taller bow option; so in 2019, Mathews added two inches from axle to axle on the Vertix.  It added more stability during the shot at full draw and reduced the twist of the bow at full draw.  

SwitchWeight Technology

New in the Vertix, Mathews added what they are calling the Switchweight Technology in the cams.  It allows for hunters to adjust the draw weight of the bow with little hassle, just unscrew a module and swap it for a new weighted module.  

Due to the technology Mathews put into their bows, the bows they make are naturally accurate.  Such is the case with the Vertix, it’s very consistent and it puts the arrow directly where you want it to go.  

String Issues

The stock string on the Vertix isn’t good.  It over extends after only a couple hundred shots, and the peep sight starts to twist.  This causes issues with the accuracy and consistency while shooting.  Many hunters have said that as soon as a new string that was placed on this bow, it started shooting longer without issues.  

Short Height

Another problem with this bow is that taller hunters are still shooting a 30” axle to axle bow.  Now some are fine with this however many aren’t.  It causes twist and more instability at longer draw lengths.  Whereas a taller axle to axle bow wouldn’t have that issue, more than likely it would stay steady with little twist.  

Conclusion Of The Mathews Vertix

Overall, this bow is still one of the best bows in the world.  It’s deadly silent and very dead in the hand.  It’s quick, powerful and durable.  The biggest issue hunters have had with this bow is when the string over extends and the peep twists out of place.  Other than that, the Vertix is one of the best bows that Mathews has ever released.  

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2018 Mathews Triax

Mathews has always made high end hunting bows, but the Triax was the first bow that really put Mathews in a league of their own.  It was the first year that featured Mathews 3D Dampening system on their bows too.  Overall, the Triax is another hunting bow that really impresses bowhunters because of its incredible stealth and power.

Mathews Triax Specs:

  • Axle to axle: 28″
  • IBO rating up to 343 fps 
  • Draw weight: 40-70 lbs
  • Physical weight: 4.4 lbs 
  • Draw lengths: 24.5” – 30.5” 
  • Let off: 75%-85% 
  • Brace Height: 6″

Advantages of the Mathews Triax

  • Silent
  • Smooth
  • Compact
  • Durable

Disadvantages of the Mathews Triax

  • Top heavy
  • Lesser version of the VXR 28

The Mathews Triax is really just a lesser version of the VXR 28.  At the time of its release, it was one of the smoothest and quietest hunting bows to scratch the surface of the Earth.  Today, it’s still an incredible hunting bow, even though it isn’t the newest bow out there.

Stealthy

The Triax was the first bow that Mathews implemented their 3D Dampening system on their bows.  This technology basically created a bow that was deadly silent and had little hand shock.  Because this was the first version of the 3D Dampening, it’s not the best version Mathews has released; but, it’s still one of the quietest and hand shock free bows on the market.

If you have been shooting an old bow for ten years, but don’t want to spend the big bucks for a brand new bow, I would recommend getting a Triax.  Like I said, it was one of the first bows on the bowhunting market that really just shocked people with how quiet and stealthy it is.

Compact and Durable

The Triax isn’t very large at only 28″ axle to axle.  Some hunters loved this, others not so much.  It really comes down to personal preference.  I really like shorter a more compact bows so I am a fan of the Triax, even though it has some side to side twist at full draw.

The build of the Triax looks really clean, like all of Mathews bows.  Built with CNC machined aluminum and elite quality limbs, this bow is built to last.  And last it will, it’s already proven that it can withstand the test of time, as it’s been around for a couple years now.

Disadvantages of the Triax

The biggest issue with the Triax is that it’s a bit top heavy.  The bow seems to want to tip forward whereas the newer Mathews bows don’t have that issue.  It isn’t the biggest of problems, and a stabilizer kit can fix it, but it’s definitely annoying.

It also has a little side to side twist at full draw, but that’s standard for short bows.  The other obvious disadvantages compared to the newer model of Mathews bows is that it just doesn’t have the same enhancements of technology that the new bows have.

Triax Conclusion: Not A VXR

This is obvious, but it’s true.  This bow doesn’t offer the same quality and performance that the new VXR bows offer, even though this bow is incredible.  The upside with getting an older model of bow is that it will be cheaper than the newest models of bows released.  And still, you are getting a premiere level of hunting bow from only two years ago, if you go with this one.

Saying that this bow is as good as the VXR 28 is going to be tough, because the VXR 28 is so good; BUT, compare it to a cheapish model of bow that is released this year and you are most likely going to find better technology in the Triax, or the Vertix.

Those are the best Mathews bows

For right now.  I’m excited for the new lineup to come out this fall!

I hope this article helped you out, thank you and best of luck!

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