Mathews LIFT First Look Bow Review

By Justin ZarrNovember 14, 20232 Comments

New bow release day is always one of the highlights of the year for us gear nerds here at the office.  And no bow is ever as highly anticipated as the annual hunting bow release from the folks at Mathews.  2024 is no exception with the introduction of the all-new Mathews LIFT hunting bows.  Lighter and faster than previous models, the LIFT has been engineered from the ground up to be the best hunting platform to ever come out of Sparta, Wisconsin.

All-New Riser Design.  Lighter & Stronger Than Ever.

One of the primary changes you’ll notice in the Mathews LIFT is the new riser design.  The team at Mathews worked incredibly hard to produce a bow with a long, stable riser while removing almost 1/2 pound of weight from previous models.   The cutouts are a bit more aggressive than previous bows and look very sleek while maintaining rigidity for peak performance.

The LIFT is available in a 33″ model that weighs 4.26 pounds and shoots up to 343 fps, or a 29.5″ model that weights a mere 3.99 pounds and shoots up to 348 fps.  An aluminum bow coming in under 4 lbs with a riser of this size is truly impressive!

Brace height on the 29 is 6 inches and the 33 has a 6.5″ brace height.  Both bows are available in peak draw weights of 55 to 80 pounds in 5 pound increments.

Bowhunter shooting Mathews LIFT bow in mountains.

New Switchweight X Cams

Mathews Crosscentric cam system has remained largely unchanged since it’s introduction with the Halon several years ago.  For the LIFT, the team went back to the drawing board to create an all-new cam profile that produces more speed while maintaining the smooth draw and adjustability that we’ve come to love from the Crosscentric cams.  The LIFT uses the same tophat system to shim and tune the cams, and the Switchweight X modules allow you to change draw weight, draw length and let-off without changing cams or limbs. 

Mathews lift bow cam and axle system.
The new Switchweight X cam system is available in draw weights from 55 up to 80 pounds in either 80% or 85% let-off.

New Limbs, Limb Cups & Axle System

Outside of the updated riser design, one of the biggest changes in the 2024 LIFT models is the new limb design, new limb pockets, and new axle system.  Instead of running the axle through the end of the limbs, we now have a top-mounted system with the axle riding on top of the limbs.  This allows them to make the limbs thinner and shave some additional weight while maintaining stability and strength.

One thing we noticed on the LIFT versus last year’s Phase 4 is that limb angle is a bit more aggressive with more pre-load on it.  In fact, the riser on our LIFT 33 measures just over 33 inches, which is actually longer than the axle-to-axle measurement itself.  

New Color Options

The LIFT is available in 12 color options including a new solid color called Earth, that brings a bit more brown tone than last year’s Granite.  We also have Mossy Oak Bottomland for the retro camo fans and the new fade-to-black series that features a solid color on top which fades to black on the bottom.  Personally, I think this color combo is SICK and plan to get one on order ASAP.   The hardest decision will be whether to get Green, Granite or Earth.  What would you guys pick??

Mathews LIFT new color options for 2024.
From left to right: Mossy Oak Bottomland, Fade to Black, Earth

Mathews Shot Sense

An available option on the new Mathews bows is the Shot Sense system.  In a nutshell, this is a small sensor that mounts into the bow’s riser and measures all of the important things happening before and during your shot.  It measures how much you’re torquing your bow, your bow’s level, how long you’re holding on target, how steady you’re holding, and much more.  The app then evaluates all of this information and grades your shot with a score from 0 to 100.  This allows you to see exactly what you’re doing during your shot and work on improving those things that need to be improved.

The Shot Sense system allows you to use either side plates or a standard Engage grip and not only works with the new LIFT bows, but last year’s Phase4 as well.

Mathews Shot Sense
The Shot Sense system records important information about your shot and publishes it to an app on your phone, allowing you to see which areas of your shot need improvement.

Engage EXO Limb Legs

With the new limb pocket designs comes a new EXO limb leg design that is a bit sleeker and lighter weight than previous models.  And no, it won’t work on the older model bows.  I checked.

New Mathews Engage EXO limb legs.

Overall Thoughts on the Mathews LIFT

I’m generally hesitant to label a bow as my “favorite” of all time.  While I have really enjoyed the previous few models of the Halon derivative, especially the VXR and V3X, none of them have been bows that I would immediately label as one of the top contenders of all time.  And while I’m still getting acquainted with the LIFT, I am going to say this bow may very well go down as one of the best of all times.  It looks great, feels amazing, draws smoothly, is absolutely dead in the hand, practically silent, and has every feature I think I could want in the ultimate hunting bow.  

Time will tell where the LIFT ranks in my favorite bows of all time, but I have a sneaking suspicion it’s going to end up on the top of the pile before this year is out.

Justin Zarr
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General Manager at Bowhunting.com
Justin has been bowhunting for more than 30 years and co-hosting the popular bowhunting show Bowhunt or Die since 2010.  He lives in the NW suburbs of Chicago with his wife, 3 children, and semi-smelly dog.
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