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Mathews Chill R Review

mathews_chillr_review_1Mathews 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.

Giddy Up

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_chillr_chart_2Mathews 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.

Hoyt Charger

Hoyt 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.

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. Check out the full review.

Elite Hunter

On the equipment side, Elite introduces the 2013 Hunter bow. The Hunter Cam is the centerpiece in Elite's drive for shootability, while the modules guarantee optimal performance at every draw length. Other highlights include Barnsdale limbs, Limbsaver damping accessories, Winner's Choice strings/cables, Kolorfusion camo finishes, Cerakote performance coating and one of the best grips in the industry. Check out the full review.


PSE's 2013 X-Force Dream Season DNA is loaded with features, including the all-new Flex Cable Slide, Core Hybrid Cam, 4th Generation X-Technology limbs, Centerlock 2 limb pockets, forged reflex riser, B.E.S.T. Raptor grip, new BackStop string silencer, America's Best string/cables and Detachable Limb Bands. Check out the full review.

Bear Motive 6

Bear Archery enters 2013 with a laser-like focus on the success of your hunt. A statement on the Bear says it best: 'We have a saying at Bear Archery: It's not about the hype or high cost — it's about the hunt. This defines the essence of our company, which grew out of the life and work of legendary sportsman Fred Bear. '

The company's new Motive 6 bow is all about the hunt. The Motive 6 is loaded with many features, including the powerful H13 Synchronized Hybrid cams, Max Pre-Load Quad limbs, Dual Offset String Suppressors, 4×4 Roller Guard and Bear Logo Overmold grip. Check out the full review.

Mathews Chill

The Mathews McPherson Series line of bows is Matt McPherson's playground in the two-cam market. He loves to create and improve current designs and brings his considerable engineering expertise to the table as his company pulls it all together for an impressive package in the Monster Chill. Check out the full review.

Hoyt Spyder

Hoyt Archery, one of the industry's finest bow manufacturers, continues to push forward with new technologies and higher levels of performance. The new Spyder line was created by diehard bowhunters and designed with a clear purpose — getting the job done in the field. There are three bows in the line — Spyder 30, Spyder 34 and Spyder Turbo. Check out the full review.

Hoyt Vector

Hoyt has been in the bow making game for a very long time, and the company remains focused on its customers, technology and integrity. Hoyt makes top-notch bows that meet advertised performance specifications, and the company's people are some of the best in the industry. Hoyt came on strong again in 2012 with an impressive lineup, and the all-new Vector 32 is one of the shining stars.

The Hoyt Vector 32 features the popular TEC LITE riser design with the new Perfect Balance Stabilization System, RKT Cam & 1„2, XTS PRO ARC limbs, Pro-Lock X-Lite limb pockets, 180 Pro Fit grip, In-Line Roller Guard and more. Check out the full review.

Mathews Creed

If you have never had the privilege of touring the Mathews manufacturing facility in Sparta, Wisc., you can catch a glimpse of their world-class machinery and capabilities by watching the 'Introducing the Mathews Creed ' video found on the company website. Among other things, you will witness state-of-the-art CNC machining and futuristic robotics.

Mathews is focused on the enjoyment and overall experience an archer is afforded when shooting one of its bows. The flagship Creed was created with a synergistic approach, meaning they brought together all of the top technologies from previous models into mechanical and aesthetic harmony. The Creed is outfitted with the SimPlex Solocam, split parallel limbs, super lightweight GeoGrid Lock riser, and much more. Check out the full review.

BowTech Experience

Few bow manufacturers have wielded as much influence on the archery industry in recent years as BowTech. Driven by its 'Refuse to Follow ' motto, BowTech has built a strong following by taking bold design risks and developing a host of leading bow technologies.

For 2013, BowTech introduces the aptly named Experience, a bow designed to maximize the archer's overall shooting experience, with a strong focus on accuracy. This rig features the new CarbonCore Limbs and Extinguish Dampening System, along with a host of proven technologies such as the OverDrive Binary Cam System, Center Pivot Extreme Riser, Two-Piece Wood Grip, FLX Guard Cable-Containment System and Octane factory string and cables. Check out the full review.

Mathews Heli-M

For 20 years, Mathews Inc. has been wowing the archery community with fantastic technologies, features and performance. The company has long been considered one of the world's top bow makers and has served the entire bowhunting community by pushing the envelope. There is no denying that founder Matt McPherson and his hard-working team are a special bunch. The proof can be found at the end of the manufacturing line year after year.

The 2012 Heli-m, like all Mathews bows, is home to an array of technologies and features. It all starts with a super lightweight GeoGrid Lock riser, which is home to the Reverse Assist Roller Guard, Harmonic Stabilizer Lite, Dead End String Stop Lite and the Rich Walnut SlimFit Inline grip. Also featured on the new rig are the company's SphereLock Pivoting Limb Cup System with Limb Turret, SE5 Composite Limb System and the Heli-m Cam. Check out the full review.

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