I’m going to Tarantino this review a bit by starting from my overall impressions and then dive deeper into what lead me to these conclusions. All of which are based on nothing more than dozens and dozens of blank bail shots conducted over more than an hour. So realize this review is strictly representative of my first impressions during this testing and is in no way a comprehensive review (though one will be coming…).
To the untrained eye the Vertix is simply a Triax with a growth spurt. Like its 28” predecessor the Vertix features the same Crosscentric cams, aluminum riser design (just longer), and bottom mounted 3D vibration dampener as the Triax but in a 30” axle to axle frame. So as you might expect you get a similar draw cycle, speed, shot impulse and noise as the Triax. But upon closer inspection the cams and riser have a few new tricks hidden up its skirt. For one, there is a dovetail machined into the back of the riser just behind the Berger Button Hole. This is intended for use with a new Mathew’s QAD collaborative Ultrarest Integrate MX. MSRP-ing for $250 this rest, which is essentially nothing more than your typical QAD Ultrarest but with an aluminum launcher blade and new mounting hardware, is absurdly expensive when compared to any of its peers. But I will concede that I love the philosophy behind its design and hope the industry follows suit. Which is why I ordered one with my new bow. Yes you read that right I ordered a Vertix as my 2019 bow of choice. So like pretty much every review you will read on this site my opinion will be as honest and objective as possible but I feel obligated to reveal any potential biases or conflicts of interest. So there you have it. My personal bow will be in the below specs. The only decision left to make is whether or not I mount a back bar.
Now my bows travel a good deal. They ride in the backseat of my car, get thrown in the back of UTV’s, the beds of pickup trucks, and fly pretty often. We’ve all heard stories of guys getting to hunting camps, take a shot at the buck of a lifetime, and miss terribly realizing after that something shifted on their way to the stand. Because of this I make it a habit to mark every screw and bolt on my bows with a paint pen so when I unpack my gear or start my walk from the truck to my stand I can quickly confirm nothing has shifted on my ride in. On my Hoyt Pro-Defiant, which the Vertix is replacing, I have an AAE Pro Drop rest with Hoyt-tec riser mount. This mount limits the amount of adjustability I have with the rest but it also provides a rock solid mount that I confidently set, tuned, and forget. Unlike other rests I’ve owned, I never once had an issue with the tolerances or settings on my pro-drop shifting. My hope is that the QAD Ultrarest Integrate MX (gosh that is a mouthful) will perform the same.
Also new for 2019 the Switchweight technology introduced to the Crosscentric cams of the Vertix allow for the use of different modules to adjust the peak weight of the bow without the need for a press or new limbs. That is right, whether you decide to shoot 50lbs or 75lbs you can utilize the same limbs and adjust the peak weight in 5lbs increments via interchangeable modules which can be purchased from your Mathews dealer. This is huge for a lot of guys and girls like me who love to hunt with a heavy poundage setup but also like to get a lot of shooting done in the off-season but don’t want to blow out their shoulders. Now I can utilize the same bow for indoor as I do for hunting by simply swapping out my 75lbs hunting mods for 60 or 65lbs ones. This increases the amount of arrows I can send in a day without fatiguing.
One of the things you may notice is missing from the 2019 Mathews lineup is Mathews signature Lost camouflage. Mathews has decided to shut down Lost and honestly I can’t really blame them. When it comes to camo I would venture a guess that more deer have been killed by flannel wearing hunters than any other pattern. But I concede that our understanding of animal’s eyesight and the technological development that now goes into camo patterns has come a long way and undoubtedly has its benefits.
Let’s be real, as masculine as hunting may be there is a fashion component to it. There is an old Special Forces mantra that says;
- Always know where you are and what you are doing.
- Always look cool.
- Even if you don’t know where you are or what you are doing, look cool.
Like any form of fashion camo patterns go in and out of style. Next to any of the modern patterns offered by First Lite, Sitka, Kuiu, Kryptek, even the new Realtree Edge, the Lost patterns just look antiquated. It’s unclear whether Mathew’s plans to re-develop their own proprietary pattern in the future but hopefully they will redirect the resources from Lost to further develop their bows and accessories in the meantime.
But back to the new features of the Vertix…
The trade marked Engage grip featured on the Vertix is brand new and is also included on the new longer Axle-to-axle Traverse and TX-5. This new design is slimmer, more rounded on the edges, features additional rubberized texture, and is angled a bit more than previous years’. This grip has received a lot of fan fair. Personally, I like it but I also didn’t have any issues with the grip on the Halon or Triax. Ultimately bow grip always boils down to personal preference but you’ll likely enjoy the rounded edges and new texture of the 2019 Mathews.
When it is all said and done these features, mainly the modular poundage options and dovetailed rest, are a step forward for Mathew’s and the entire industry. But when you walk into the woods with your bow setup optimized, accessories picked, and setup tuned tighter than an F1 car on race day, is a fully dressed Vertix better than an equally equipped Triax? I don’t think so. Some of you may be going “WHAAAAAAT!?!?!? But look at all the features you just named, and isn’t the Vertix 20% quieter and deader in the hand?”. The thing is all of these features equate to a bow that can be better optimized for your particular needs but in terms of performance it is essentially the equal of the Triax. We shot a Triax side by side with the Vertix for over an hour and there were split decisions as too which we liked to shoot more. As for the much advertised 20% quieter and more dead in the hand, none of out testers felt that drastic of a change. But we aren't scientific instruments and none of this is meant to take away from the Vertix prowess. In my opinion it is not a better shooter than the Triax, it is its equal BUT with some game changing features you may or may not need. So if you already own a Triax spec-ed out to your liking you might not be blown away by the Vertix. But that is about the only draw back to this bow (aside from the weight…) that extra features aside, as a shooter it is the equivalent to the greatest selling compound bow in history. That says a lot.
Check out all the features of the new Vertix and Mathews full line of 2019 bows at your local dealer or https://www.mathewsinc.com/