To Upgrade, Or Not To Upgrade?
Every year the major bow manufacturers release their innovations and disclose to the hunting and shooting community their all-new flagship options. This usually comes in the form of a “bow launch” of sorts. Not sure if there’s some sort of communicated scheduling between the different manufacturers in an effort to not overlap, but it seems like they do a decent job sharing the stage. Said launches are typically accompanied by sizzle reels from top influencers, hunters, and shooters, along with special short films, and more marketing.
It’s easy to market and sell a new color-way, but less easy to keep improving an already incredible product. Constantly innovating is a tall task!
Every year you should think, “Should I really upgrade?”, “Is it worth the cost?”, “Is there really that much that’s different?” With those questions in mind, here are a few of my thoughts and first impressions shooting the 2024 Mathews LIFT and comparing it to my 2023 Mathews PHASE 4 side by side. How much is marketing and hype and how much is real improvement and innovation?
LOOK GOOD. FEEL GOOD. PLAY GOOD.
I’ve always said the better you look and feel the better you will play or perform. That was relative to sports, but I think it’s the same with hunting. Listen, having a bow that gives you an indescribable confidence is a big deal. I submitted my specs back in October, but wasn’t aware of the new “fade-to-black option” they were coming up with. I was a little saddened by this because I would have 100% went with a fade-to-black option.
I could care less about the new camouflage color-ways as I’m mostly a solids guy, but this new earth color is legit.
WHAT’S ACTUALLY NEW?
1. It’s light AF!
The LIFT is a ½ pound lighter than the PHASE 4! That’s a really big deal if you’re a western hunter! Anytime you can shave weight off your weapon without sacrificing accuracy or anything else is huge! Every year I go through my pack and look at ways I can cut weight! Never before have I been able to shave the weight off my actual bow. For the record, the PHASE 4 all kitted out isn’t all that light although it’s not as heavy as the V3X.
2. It’s FASTER!
The LIFT boasts 8 FPS IBO faster than the PHASE 4. When you shoot your bow enough and then shoot something else you notice an increase or decrease in speed if you’re using the same arrow setup. This is especially important when you are spot and stalk mule deer hunting and coues deer hunting because that speed at which the arrow arrives at your target is important - especially for archery coues deer hunting! The all new Switch-weight X Cams were how they were able to do this. The PHASE 4 is quick, but not as fast as the LIFT.
3. New Limbs
The LIFT features RPD limbs to minimize post-shot vibration and a new top axle sytem for lightweight stability. In short, the bow is even quieter and more vibration free than the PHASE 4 and I thought that was quiet! The top-mounted axle system that maximizes the working surface area of the limbs while cutting weight and increasing stability across the entire platform. Paired with Resistance Phase Damping technology which tackles excess vibration directly at the source, this new limb design results in a stealthy and extremely stable shooting experience unlike any other hunting bow out there.
4. New MATCH-GRADE Strings
If there’s one thing that critics seemed to find weakness with Mathews it was with their Zebra strings. I personally had never had issues with the zebra strings stretching (although I did get some irritating peep twist from time to time). I’m looking forward to getting reps in with these match-grade strings!
5. SHOT SENSE
I haven’t had a chance to play with this yet, but apparently this integrates directly into the grip of your bow and the Shot-Sense module will track and record your shot analytics and provide you with real-time feedback through the Mathews Shot-Sense app.
Overall, this bow is unreal. Everything is just so streamlined, integrated, and polished compared to the 2023 Phase 4.
If you’re a backcountry hunter where shaving weight is constantly at the top of your mind then I wouldn’t look at another Mathews offering besides the LIFT. It’s quiet, quick, and vibration free - everything you want if you’re a western big game hunter. Further more, I wouldn’t consider another bow from a different manufacturer at this time because of how solid this bow is. Soups to nuts, the LIFT has it all. Sure, it’s good to go and shoot other bows and try things out, but you’re not going to find a lighter, quieter, more complete bow in 2024 than the Mathews LIFT. Guaranteed.
Watch the video below to see the one qualm I did have (if you could even call it a qualm).
- Tags: backcountry bowhunting backcountry hunting bowhunting Mathews Archery Mathews Lift muley freak