Field Test: QAD UltraRest Integrate MX for Hoyt Bows

The author learns firsthand that the QAD UltraRest Integrate MX ensures busted nocks, shredded vanes and incredible reliability.

Field Test: QAD UltraRest Integrate MX for Hoyt Bows

Even 2,500 years ago, Greek philosopher Heraclitus knew the only constant in life is change. Although I was aware of the necessity of change (and flexibility) in the Marine Corps, I didn’t learn how critical this life lesson was to business until I joined civilian ranks. Concerning our outdoor industry specifically, I quickly learned how significant change is to producers of hunting and shooting products.

What’s the bottom line in life and our outdoor industry, including consumers, manufacturers and retailers? Embrace change!

The good news is companies such as Quality Archery Designs (QAD) and Hoyt embrace change with innovation and style. Their recent collaboration resulted in QAD’s UltraRest Integrate MX integral UltraRest, designed exclusively for Hoyt. I was lucky enough to spend quality time with QAD’s latest offering powered by Hoyt’s new Axius compound bow.

 

Snapshot: Quality Archery Designs

If you’re going to put quality in your name, you had better pour quality into your manufacturing game.

Since 1992, Dan Summers’ team has committed to making good on the company’s namesake. QAD has built and maintained an industry-leading reputation for producing premium quality arrow rests, as well as other popular performance archery products like broadheads. As QAD’s founder and president, Summers attributes the company’s success to setting priorities, as well as treating everyone like family.

My personal opinion as an archer, bowhunter and many years ago as a technician, is QAD consistently succeeds. After nearly a decade of trusting QAD as my primary arrow rest and having loosed thousands of arrows, I have yet to be disappointed.

 

Snapshot: Hoyt Archery

Class of ’77 Archery Hall of Famer Earl Hoyt Sr. founded Hoyt Archery in 1931, in St. Louis. While Hoyt’s focus from the beginning mirrors QAD’s, the company has changed hands, changed names and locations.

In 1983, Easton purchased Hoyt and changed the name to Hoyt/Easton. Not long after, in 1989, the brands were split, and Hoyt/Easton was renamed Hoyt USA. During this period, Hoyt also relocated to Salt Lake City. Hoyt Sr. set Hoyt Archery’s vision of becoming the world’s foremost builder of premium archery equipment.

Clearly, he succeeded well enough to sell in 1983; however, Hoyt’s story gets better. Here we are in 2020, 89 years later, and we see Hoyt Archery’s vision hasn’t deviated from Hoyt Sr.’s original goal. His legacy and business remain in capable hands.

 

UltraRest Integrate MX: A Walk Around

There has never been a rest system quite like the UltraRest Integrate MX, certainly never one with a similar mounting application. The Integrate MX employs a proprietary dovetail type mounting system set on the face of a compound-bow riser nearest the shooter.

Why is this different?

Historically, all arrow rests have attached to one of a compound bow’s Berger holes — the two screw holes positioned directly above the bow’s arrow-launching shelf. For the rest to be installed, it must clamp onto a machined dovetail on the bow’s riser. Currently, only Hoyt and Mathews bows are compatible. Whether other bow manufacturers jump into QAD’s evolving arrow rest game remains to be seen.

The good news is Hoyt and Mathews shooters using the companies’ latest bows — in this case, the Hoyt Axius for my testing — get to reap QAD’s innovative spoils. I hope more manufacturers follow, as this arrow rest is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.

The Integrate MX’s body is constructed of precision-machined, aircraft-grade aluminum. So are the launcher and arrow containment bar components — a departure from previously utilized plastic parts.

The Integrate also boasts the same zero-bounce-back technology that demanding archers have come to expect from QAD rests. Like QAD’s UltraRest MX, the Integrate includes micro windage and elevation adjustability. Adjustments are made at the top of the rest as well as on the side of the launcher arm. Also, like the UltraRest MX, the Integrate MX’s adjustability is pared to .019 inch per click.

The QAD UltraRest Integrate MX has a proprietary dovetail mounting system for either Hoyt or Mathews bows. It features micro windage and elevation adjustability.
The QAD UltraRest Integrate MX has a proprietary dovetail mounting system for either Hoyt or Mathews bows. It features micro windage and elevation adjustability.

QAD didn’t jump into the Integrate MXs fundamental mounting change lightly. Considering existing QAD technology and the improved riser-face mounting design, the company’s focus has been purpose-driven, and definitely addresses challenging issues that have plagued archers for decades — most importantly, shifting.

Using brackets and installing via Berger holes have always left arrow rests susceptible to movement, either as a result of loosening mounting bolts or by impact. Mounting QAD’s Integrate UltraRest MX directly onto Hoyt’s dovetailed riser section, rather than attaching a mounting bracket via the Berger hole, completely eliminates any chance of tilting, loosening, shifting or other movement issues.

Even better, QAD’s auto-leveling technology, as designed into the Integrate MX, means the rest is perfectly leveled upon installation. The result is complete control over three axes, rather than the traditional two: roll, yaw and pitch. Of course, the QAD UltraRest Integrate MX Arrow Rest is also made in the U.S.A. and includes a lifetime warranty.

 

Hoyt Axius Alpha: A Walk Around

The bow I received to field-test the QAD UltraRest Integrate MX arrow rest was a 70-pound 2020 Hoyt Archery Axius Alpha. My previous years’ work as an archery technician granted countless opportunities to shoot Hoyt bows. However, they have never been my personal bow of choice. I’m rethinking that after shooting the Axius Alpha — it’s something of a dream to shoot!

I had been used to the heavier Hoyt bows of many years ago, the hand shock, shallow valley and other consistencies I had encountered as a tech. They had been good bows, just not my cup of tea.

In 2020, I’m eating a little crow.

While I had shot a handful over recent years I truly enjoyed, I was never sold. The Axius Alpha did that. It’s one of the finest bows I’ve had the pleasure of shooting. At 4.3 pounds the aluminum machined Axius Alpha is exceptionally comfortable to carry over long hauls. With an IBO speed of 342 fps, roughly 270 fps with my setup and shorter draw length, there’s plenty of energy and momentum to anchor anything in North America. I found the draw to be butter-smooth, too. The valley was comfortably deep, making for easy extended holds at full-draw, and the solid back wall eliminated any feeling of the bow’s draw trying to creep on me while holding back. This all makes good sense considering Hoyt’s enhanced ZTR cam system.

The bow was whisper quiet, dead in my hands and — from a tech’s perspective — incredibly easy to set up for my personal use and to tune for precise, consistent shooting and to prevent taxing the bow’s sight or QAD’s UltraRest Integrate MX to compensate for improper setup.

As a note on initial bow setup, I left the draw weight maxed to match my normal draw weight and adjusted the draw length to just 27 inches to accommodate my stubby arms. With a D-loop installed, I’m effectively at 27.5 inches. For the QAD Integrate MX’s testing, my complete setup included a 3/16-inch G4 style machined aluminum peep sight, HHA Optimizer King Pin bow sight, Carbon Express Maxima 350 arrows and a Tru-Fire Panic X Foldback Buckle wrist release.

At a remarkably compact axle-to-axle size of just 29.5 inches, Hoyt’s shortest bow yet, the Axius Alpha is a dream for bowhunters like me who spend quality time hunting in thick woods and who often blood track in even thicker underbrush. I also appreciate the Axius’ other features like an adjustable X-ACT Grip system, Fuse custom string, ultra-smooth roller guard system, StealthShot technology and Shock Pod dampeners.

 

Integrate MX Set Up

Fort Grard Archery and Guns owner Randy Grard once again offered his deftly skilled handiwork on the Axius and Integrate MX. The key to appropriate arrow rest setup is a precisely tuned and properly set up bow.

Installation was simple; the QAD Integrate simply clamps onto the dovetailed area of the riser face. Once in place, Grard then checked the launcher’s timing and then attached the rests cable to the bow’s down-cable. With the Integrate MX installed, Grard adjusted the nocking point, added a D-loop and adjusted the center shot.

In short order, utilizing the Integrate MX’s .019-inch per click micro-adjustability, Grard’s perfectionist work, as well as the Axius, QAD, HHA and Carbon Express combination, manifested into precise paper-tune tearing. The setup was shooting bullet holes.

To test the QAD UltraRest Integrate MX, the author mounted it on a 2020 Hoyt Axius Alpha. QAD UltraRest Integrate MX
To test the QAD UltraRest Integrate MX, the author mounted it on a 2020 Hoyt Axius Alpha. QAD UltraRest Integrate MX

Stacking Sticks: UltraRest Integrate MX Results

Once installation and paper tuning were completed, I was ready to shoot. I set up my GlenDel Buck target at 20 yards and shot incredibly tight groups. My best resulted in shredded vanes on four of five arrows. I replaced the arrows with three more and tested again, this time with my hunting arrows tipped with 100-grain Zeus hybrid broadheads. The arrow and Zeus Broadhead combo delivered similar results — I sacrificed three more arrows.

As a final 20-yard test, I added a handful of bare-shaft arrows to the mix with FOBs instead of traditional fletching. FOBs are constructed of rigid plastic. If the rest doesn’t fall quickly enough, damage to the rest, FOB, and arrow can be extensive, even dangerous. At full draw weight, with my short 27-inch draw, the Integrate MX fell more than quickly enough to accommodate FOB-shooting.

During field tests with the QAD UltraRest Integrate MX, the author shot tight groups. The one in the photo above was from 20 yards and resulted in a couple damaged nocks and vanes.
During field tests with the QAD UltraRest Integrate MX, the author shot tight groups. The one in the photo above was from 20 yards and resulted in a couple damaged nocks and vanes.

Satisfied with 20-yard grouping and now down more than a half-dozen arrows, I refilled the quiver, set my BigShot Iron Man target out at 60 yards, and dialed in the King Pin. Out of the gate, I shot a 4-inch group — good enough for me. As a final test, I dialed the Kingpin to 100 yards and shot at a steel gong. The result was a broken arrow shaft.

The QAD UltraRest Integrate MX Arrow Rest is a huge win for industry innovation, as well as archers and bowhunters at all experience levels looking for reliable, incredibly consistent shootability.

For retailers and bow technicians, the UltraRest Integrate MX is a boon, too. The rest offers quicker, simpler setup, fine-tuning and more than enough performance to meet the demanding expectations of even their most discriminating clientele.

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