6 Top Flagship Bows for 2019

If you’re in the market for a new compound this year, then check out our first impressions of the newest flagship bows on the market.

6 Top Flagship Bows for 2019

iStock Photo/treasurephoto

Let’s face it, over the last 20 years, bows have evolved significantly. At times, I feel like the point has been reached where there just cannot be anything new to make compound bows better. Yet, year after year, I’m always amazed and never disappointed as I review new bow lineups. Whether it’s a new feature that makes a particular bow faster, smoother and quieter, or if it’s just a new “cool factor” that tempts us, most of us want to run down to the local bow shop and spend our money. Regardless of the reason, we all love looking at the new offerings each year.

Following are my first impressions of six flagship bows from the biggest players in today’s bowhunting market. Later this year, I’ll provide three head-to-head bow reviews, taking an in-depth look at each of the bows in this overview. To do so, I will set up two bows with the exact specs and accessories. Each review will provide performance stats, such as actual speed, noise levels, felt recoil and tuning tips. Beyond that, I promise to do my best to give an unbiased review of the shootability of each bow.         

Prime Logic CT5

Initial Impression

Building off the popularity of the 2018 Logic bows, Prime archery has added a new member to the family, the Logic CT5. The new bow incorporates the TRM parallel cam system that gives them the look that has made Prime bows stand out in a crowd for several years. Don’t be fooled though, as this does a lot more than give the bows a cool look. It allows shooters to fine-tune their set up to meet their preferred feel regarding draw length and let-off. The two cams sandwiched together also allows for much less cam lean by using two string tracks. Prime stuck with their proven center grip design on the CT5. This helps provide an improved grip with optimal balance, which helps a variety of shooters feel a consistent fit.

Brand new on this year’s models is a new integrated quiver mounting system, making mounting the Prime Sherpa quiver to the bow, easy. For years, Prime has had a superb finish on their bows. To go along with their camo and solid-finish colors from last year, they have added two new solid colors, Morel and Tundra, as options in 2019.

Prime Logic CT5
Prime Logic CT5

Specs

AXLE-TO-AXLE: 35 inches

BRACE HEIGHT: 6 inches

SPEED: 340 FPS

MASS WEIGHT: 4.6 lbs.

DRAW LENGTH RANGE: 24.5-30 inches in half-inch increments

DRAW WEIGHT OPTIONS: 40, 50, 60, 65, 70 and 80 max weights

STARTING PRICE: $999

FOR MORE INFO: www.g5prime.com

“To me, Prime has always seemed to be a company that focuses on continually improving the little things that ensure a perfect finished product. Their finish is always great and they always seem to make a great bow in the longer axle-to-axle range. I’m excited to learn more about the performance of the Prime CT5.”

Hoyt Carbon RX-3

Initial Impression

For years, Hoyt has been a leader in carbon riser design. The RX-3’s riser features a new design that offsets carbon tubes horizontally, creating a wider stance, which equals more rigidity and stability. Also new for 2019 is the ZT Pro Cam that they claim creates a balanced side-to-side load through their Split Cable system, eliminating the need for a flexible cable guard. This cam system also has a higher let-off than previous systems and is both smoother and faster. Another interesting addition is the Patent-pending, Adjustable Grip system, which allows the shooter to adjust the grip laterally to achieve the perfect tune and center shot for their individual shooting style.

The RX-3 is available in Kuiu Verde 2.0, Realtree Edge, Under Armour Baron, Gore Optifade Subalpine and Elevated. As well as solid colors, Blackout and Storm.

Hoyt Carbon RX-3
Hoyt Carbon RX-3

Specs

AXLE-TO-AXLE: 30.5 inches

BRACE HEIGHT: 6 inches

SPEED: 342 FPS

MASS WEIGHT: 3.9 lbs.

DRAW LENGTH RANGE: 25-28 inches, 27-30 inches

DRAW WEIGHT OPTIONS: 40, 50, 60, 65, 70 and 80 max weights

STARTING PRICE: $1,699.99

FOR MORE INFO: www.hoyt.com

“Over the years, I have personally owned several of Hoyt’s carbon bows and I had great luck with them. There are definitely a lot of nice new features on the RX-3, but the adjustable grip is the one new addition I am most excited to experiment with.” 

PSE Evoke 35 EC

Initial Impression

PSE has built on their Evolve Cam System that made the Evoke 35 popular and added it to their new caged riser design to create the Evoke 35 EC. The EC, in their words is, “Designed to deliver maximum shootability with zero sacrifice in performance.” The design is smooth and eases the shooter from peak weight into a deep valley that settles into a solid back wall. Other notable features of the Evoke 35 EC include the Rollerglide and Flex rod torque reducing system, which puts an efficient roller guard on the end of a Flex rod that shifts toward the center of the bow when it’s drawn, reducing torque during the shot.

The Evoke 35 EC is available in Black and Tan, as well as three camo patterns Mossy Oak Country, KUIU Verde and Realtree Edge. The camo bows have an incredibly realistic finish, provided by PSE’s Kolorfusion process.

PSE Evoke 35 EC
PSE Evoke 35 EC

Specs

AXLE-TO-AXLE: 35 inches

BRACE HEIGHT: 6.875 inches

SPEED: 320 FPS

MASS WEIGHT: 4.5 lbs.

DRAW LENGTH RANGE: 26.5-32 inches

DRAW WEIGHT OPTIONS: 60, 70 and 80 max weights

STARTING PRICE: $999

FOR MORE INFO: www.pse-archery.com

“I grew up with my dad, the owner of an archery shop where our only line was PSE. I killed my first deer and elk with PSE bows, and I have owned many PSE bows over the years. However, I haven’t personally shot one since 2010. PSE has always been a leader in this industry and I am extremely excited to shoot the new Evoke 35 EC this year.”

Bowtech Realm SR6

Initial Impression

The SR in the new Realm SR6 stands for Speed Redefined, letting consumers know that they mean business. The SR6 comes in at ultra-fast with a 352 FPS speed rating. The SR6 super-fast speeds are achieved without sacrificing a smooth draw cycle by utilizing their Strategically Weighted Overdrive Binary Cam system. This split yoke system allows quick left and right string adjustments, which is extremely helpful when it comes time to tune the bow. As with the older Realm bows, Bowtech has stuck with the split limb design and CP dual lock limb system. Also onboard are their popular clutch grip system, flexible roller guard and Orbit vibration dampeners.

The Realm SR6 is available in Black, Mossy Oak Brown Country Roots, Mossy Oak Breakup Country, Kryptek Altitude, Gore Optifade and Flat Dark Earth.

Bowtech Realm SR6
Bowtech Realm SR6

Specs

AXLE-TO-AXLE: 32 inches

BRACE HEIGHT: 6 inches

SPEED: 352 FPS

MASS WEIGHT: 4.3 lbs.

DRAW LENGTH RANGE: 25.5-30 inches

DRAW WEIGHT OPTIONS: 50, 60 and 70 max weights

STARTING PRICE: $1,199

FOR MORE INFO: www.bowtecharchery.com 

“The RealmX was my personal hunting bow in 2018, and I got along well with it. The X provided a shootable platform, especially at longer ranges. I wanted a bow with a little more speed and that is exactly what the SR6 delivers. If the speed comes with the smoothness of the RealmX, it’s sure to be a winner and I can’t wait to see it firsthand.”

Mathews Vertix

Initial Impression

Ever since Mathews Archery came onto the scene, they have consistently provided new technology to the industry. This year’s Vertix is no exception. The Vertix has what they have labeled as “Switchweight modules,” allowing shooters to change modules on the cams to adjust peak draw weight, in 5-pound increments. Another thing that Mathews spent significant time on this year is their grip. Mathews claims that the new Engage grip ensures consistent hand placement, while reducing torque and increasing accuracy.

Mathews has hung their hat on making bows with low vibration for years, having done a great job of it. Mathews claims that the new Vertix has 20 percent less vibration than their 2018 flagship bow, the Triax, which was super-silent and silky smooth.

Mathews Vertix
Mathews Vertix

Specs

AXLE-TO-AXLE: 30 inches

BRACE HEIGHT: 6 inches

SPEED: 343 FPS

MASS WEIGHT: 4.67 lbs.

DRAW LENGTH RANGE: 26-30.5 inches

DRAW WEIGHT OPTIONS: 60, 65, 70 and 75 max weights

STARTING PRICE: $1,099

FOR MORE INFO: www.mathewsinc.com

“I fancy myself more of a long axle-to-axle guy, but I find myself intrigued with the new Vertix. Mathews’ bows have long been incredibly quiet with minimal vibration. I am curious to see if they have really made this bow with significant less vibration. Also, the Switchweight modules are a cool feature that I am excited to test further.”

Xpedition Mako X

Initial Impression

Xpedition Archery may be the least known company in the lineup, but they brought the fastest bow to the party with the Mako X. The company’s claim is a super smooth draw powered by an amazing 364 FPS on a 5-inch brace height. The bow has aggressive machining with multiple cutouts that gets its overall weight under the magical 4-pound mark. The Mako X has a roller guard and a classic looking wood grip that adds to its eye appeal. The oversized cam surely adds to the bow’s smooth draw cycle, without the big “hump” often felt in many speed bows.

The Mako X is available in three solid colors OPS Green, Tactical Sand and Molten Black, as well as two camo patterns Realtree Edge and Badlands Approach FX.

Xpedition Mako X
Xpedition Mako X

Specs

AXLE-TO-AXLE: 33.3 inches

BRACE HEIGHT: 5 inches

SPEED: 364 FPS

MASS WEIGHT: 3.9 lbs.

DRAW LENGTH RANGE: 24.5-30 inches

DRAW WEIGHT OPTIONS: 40, 50, 60, 65 and 70 lbs.

STARTING PRICE: $1,099

FOR MORE INFO: www.xpeditionarchery.com

“If I had to sum up my feelings about trying the Mako X in one word it would be ‘intimidating.’ I’ve personally never shot a 5-inch brace height bow, but hearing how smooth this one is, I am surely curious. If this bow is as smooth as they say while delivering those speeds, I think fun will be inevitable.”

Conclusion

This collection of 2019 bows is certainly diverse, with bows ranging in speed from average to ultra-fast and super-short, maneuverable 30-inch models to more stable 35-inch models. Still the more impressive feat may be the smoothness and quietness in each.

One thing is for sure: It’s a good time to be an archery consumer. Even though today’s archery equipment is trending toward expensive, you can rest assured when you do pull the trigger and buy a new set up, you will have a high performance machine that is a dream to shoot.

I hope to have met my goal by providing you with the information you need to make a more informed bow-buying decision.

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