Mathews VXR Bow Review

By Justin ZarrNovember 12, 20193 Comments

New for 2020 from Mathews is the all-new VXR; a bow the company states is their most stable and accurate hunting platform ever devised. Combining time-proven technologies such as Crosscentric cams and the Engage grip, along with advancements in riser design and several optional updates, the 2020 Mathews VXR is a purpose-built hunting bow that all bowhunters should be looking at.

Mathews VXR 28 & VXR 31.5

In past years Mathews has typically built their flaghship hunting bow in a single axle-to-axle length. New for 2020, the VXR is offered in two lengths which allow archers to determine which is best suited for their style of hunting and size requirements. The 28-inch VXR is a compact hunting bow that’s well-equipped for the treestand or ground blind, which the 31.5-inch model offers a slightly longer riser and added draw length options for those who need it.

Mathews VXR 28 & VXR 31.5 side by side.

Thew Mathews VXR is available in 2 different models for 2020. The VXR 28 (left) features a 28″ axle to axle length at shoots 344 fps. The VXR 31.5 is 31.5″ long and shoots up to 343 fps. Here we see both bows in the new Ambush Green color option.

Both bows feature a 6-inch brace height and nearly identical speeds. The VXR 28 clocks in at 344 fps, while the 31.5 launches arrows at 343 fps. As expected, the 28-inch model weighs slightly less at 4.4 lbs and the 31.5-inch model tips the scales at 4.6 lbs.

Both bows are available in 60, 65, 70 & 75 lb draw weights. The VXR 28 is available in draw lengths of 25.5″ to 30″ and the 31.5 from 26.5″ to 31″.

MSRP on the VXR 28 is $1,099 while the VXR 31.5 comes with a price tag of $1,199.  Watch our full review below, along with real-world speed tests of the 2020 Mathews VXR.

Extended Six-Bridge Riser

The biggest improvement between last year’s Vertix and the VXR is the extended bridge riser. While this technology is nothing new to Mathews, having offered it in last year’s target bows, it is a first to be seen in their hunting bows. By redesigning the riser to include bridging throughout the entire length rather than just the top and bottom, it creates a more rigid and stable design. And when it comes to archery, stability translates directly into accuracy.

2020 Mathews VXR Riser

By tripling the amount of bridging in the riser, Mathews has created what they feel is their most stable, and accurate, hunting bow ever.

Crosscentric Cams with Switchweight Technology

The cam system on the Mathews VXR features the popular Crosscentric Cam system, which debuted several years ago on the original Halon. The Crosscentric Cam system was improved last year with the addition of Switch Weight technology, which allows you to modify the VXR’s peak draw weight in 5 lb increments by simply switching a cam module. No special tools or bow press is required to make the draw weight change.

This technology is beneficial for those who want to change draw weight based on their target animal or type of hunt, but don’t want to worry about messing around with cam timing, re-tuning their bow, or even changing limbs. Simply swap a module and you’re ready to shoot.

Mathews VXR cam system

The Crosscentric Cams are proven performers and with the addition of Switchweight technology, they are better than ever.

3D Damping & the EHS

A hallmark of Mathews bows for many years has been their industry-leading sound and vibration damping technology. New for 2020 the EHS (Enhanced Harmonic Stabilizer) has been repositioned in the VXR’s riser to provide the optimal amount of sound and vibration damping. The extended position of the EHS also provides added weight to the bottom of the riser, helping to provide additional balance while at full draw.

Mathews Engage Grip

The VXR features Mathews’ Engage grip, which was well-received on last year’s Vertix. The bow comes standard with the full grip, while the Engage side plates are still an option.  Learn more about the Engage side plates, along with full installation video and instructions, here.

Silent Connect System (SCS)

New for 2020 is the optional Silent Connect System, or SCS. As bowhunters, this is one of our favorite new features of the VXR. The SCS kit attaches to the limb pockets and provides two buttons that allow you to attach a bow sling or pull-up rope quickly and silently to your bow. The bow sling is very sleek and easy-to-use while allowing you to be hands-free while walking to and from your stand.

Mathews SCS system on a VXR bow

The new Silent Connect System (SCS) provides a quick and silent way to attach a bow sling or pull-up rope, which is a handy option for bowhunters.

New Ambush Green Color Option

All of your favorite solid colors and camo patterns have returned for 2020, with the addition of a new option called Ambush Green. This color is almost a military green finish that seemingly looks green in some light and brown in others. It’s a great option for bowhunters looking for a color that’s going to blend into their surroundings in the woods, while still looking great on the range. Still available for 2020 are Black, Stone, Ridge Reaper Barren, Ridge Reaper Forest, Optifade Elevated II, Optifade Subalpine and Realtree Edge.

Archer shooting a Mathews VXR in Ambush Green color

The new Ambush Green color provides another great color option for bowhunters looking to stand out from the crowd.

How Does the Mathews XVR Perform In the Field?

We’ve had our 2020 VXR bows for a few weeks now, and there’s no doubt they are well equipped to handle any bowhunting duties you can throw at them.   While Todd prefers the more compact and nimble 28-inch model, which feels similar to the popular Triax, Justin prefers the added length and stability of the 31.5-inch model, which is very similar to the Halon 32 and Traverse platforms.  Both bows have been shooting great and, fortunately, Todd was able to harvest a great Illinois buck with his VXR on November 5th.  A slightly quartering-away shot at 10 yards and a perfectly placed arrow from the VXR put this bruiser down quickly

Todd Graf posing with his 2019 Illinois whitetail buck

Todd is all smiles after harvesting his 2019 Illinois buck.


Todd Graf with his 2020 Illinois buck shot with the Mathews VXR

Todd Graf admiring his 2019 Illinois whitetail, shot with the new Mathews VXR 28 bow.

Justin Zarr
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Justin has been bowhunting for more than 25 years, harvesting a number of P&Y whitetails in his home state of Illinois during that time.  He co-hosts the popular bowhunting show 'Bowhunt or Die' and is a frequent guest on numerous hunting podcast.  Justin lives in the NW suburbs of Chicago with his wife and 3 children.
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