Mathews is a powerhouse in the archery industry, and for that reason I expect big things year in and year out. The company has played a major role in advancing bow design on many fronts, and for that we all benefit.
Smartly recognizing customer enthusiasm for the 2013 Chill, Mathews elected to build on that success to create the new-for-2014 Chill R. This version has many of the same components, features and technologies as the original. However, it is longer and faster. The Chill R features the AVS DYAD cam system, Quad V-Lock limbs, GeoGrid riser, Reverse Assist Roller Guard, Focus Grip and more.
Grid, Grip and Guard
Since the 2010 Z7 bow, Mathews has been producing risers that venture into a grid-like design concept. A version of that still exists today in the form of the GeoGrid riser, which is at the heart of the all-new Chill R. The GeoGrid design allows engineers to reduce overall mass weight while increasing strength and rigidity. This equals less carrying weight and greater shooting consistency.
The Focus Grip gets its name from what Mathews calls the Focus Ridge. Basically, it is an archer-facing raised rib that runs down the middle of the grip. The intent is to force hand pressure to the center of the grip even when form may be lacking. In addition to the performance, you also get some comfort and insulation from the grip’s rubber material.
Mathews’ exclusive Reverse Assist Roller Guard is mounted to the GeoGrid riser nearly midway up the sight window. This system wraps the cables around the archer side of the rollers rather than on the front side like many other systems on the market. As a result, it reduces friction and torque on the cables during the draw cycle. This, of course, makes the bow more forgiving, accurate and smoother to draw.
One of the key differences between the new Chill R and the original is brace height and resultant speed. There are obvious benefits in gaining speed, which include a flatter trajectory (less opportunity for errors in judging distances) and deeper penetration.
The Mathews DYAD AVS (Advanced Vectoring System) cam system generates an advertised IBO speed rating reaching up to 342 fps. AVS technology moves the force vector from one side of the axle to the other during the draw cycle, which coupled with the inner and outer cable wheels, increases stored energy and letoff. This system also terminates the ends of each cable to the opposite cam, forcing the system to work in sync and thereby automatically correcting for imbalances. This translates into dependability for bowhunters.
The DYAD AVS cam system rides on sealed bearings and stainless steel axles, produces 80 percent letoff and offers draw lengths from 23-30 inches, in half-inch increments, through a series of modules.
The War Against Shock
Mathews readies the Chill R for war against shock, vibration and noise by outfitting it with many features and technologies designed specifically for that task. The past-parallel split limbs are key warriors, as they move in opposite directions at the shot to cancel much of the unused energy. Joining the fight are two Monkey Tails and a set of String Grubs, both designed to remove string oscillation. Properly positioned String Grubs may actually increase speed as well.
The Dead End String Stop Lite also focuses on reducing string vibration and noise. A Harmonic Damper located at the top end of the riser consists of a weight suspended in an elastomer web and is so effective at reducing vibration that other industries want a piece of it. Mathews advertises a 75-percent reduction in residual vibration from their Harmonic Stabilizer Lite, which is 70 percent lighter than the original version.
As with the 2013 model, the new Chill R is a great blend of shooting enjoyment and performance. It is one of the most efficient bows I have ever tested, reaching the high 80s in terms of dynamic efficiency percentage. It is surprisingly lightweight and quiet, while registering only small amounts of shock and vibration.
The draw cycle is a little stiff up front, but not inconsistent. Balance and aim are solid, and the Focus grip is both functional and comfortable.
Manufacturer: Mathews, 608-269-2728
Model: Monster Chill R
Cam System: AVS DYAD
Weight: 3.95 pounds (advertised); 3.9 pounds (as tested)
Brace Height: 6 1⁄8 inches
Axle-To-Axle length: 33 inches
Letoff: 80 percent
Draw Weights: 50, 60 and 70 pounds peak
Draw Lengths: 23-30 inches, in half-inch increments
Riser: Reflex, GeoGrid
Limbs: QUAD V-Lock
String: Zebra Trophy, 63.25 inches
Cables: Zebra Trophy, 30.625 inches
Grip: Focus Grip
Finish: Lost AT, Black, Desert Tactical, Blue Ice, Black Tactical
Advertised IBO Speed: up to 342 fps
Suggested Retail Price: $999 for Lost AT — all others have an additional charge
Comments: Lightweight, quiet and solid on target.
<h2>Hoyt Charger</h2><a href="http://www.hoyt.com/" target="_blank">Hoyt</a> is well-known for producing some of the world’s top bows year after year. Recent hits include the innovative Carbon line, Spyder Series, Vector, CRX, Maxxis and the one you still hear bowhunters talk about today, the AlphaMax. <p> What you may not know is that the same company with this impressive string of top-end stars also offers one of the best “bang for your buck” bows on the market—the Charger. <a href="http://www.bowhuntingmag.com/2013/06/04/hoyt-charger-review/" target="_blank">Check out the full review</a>.