Elite Enlist Review

Elite Enlist

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Pros

  • First Elite bow released for 2018
  • An MSRP of $749
  • Return to solid limbs for those wanting that concept
  • Elite offers a payment plan option for those wanting to finance their new bow

Cons

  • 325 feet per second is far from fast
  • This back to basics bow is a bit like past year offerings from Elite

Video

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Editors' review

The Outdoor Group has decided to get back to their roots a bit in 2018 releasing a bow that is quite similar to some previous, and perhaps better liked models like the Answer or the Hunter. With the Enlist, Elite is able to offer a bow similar to those putting them on the radar of so many shooters years ago. The Enlist is a pretty well spec'd out bow with an almost 34- inch axel to axel measurement, an almost 7-inch brace height, a bare bow weight of under 4-pounds, and the draw cycle people grew used to from the Elite camp. The speed rating of 325 feet per second is slow, but still creates enough power to be effective in the field. This back to roots bow has less technology than the current flagship models, and its similarity to older models may drive some shooters away from the Enlist. However, those desiring the solid limbs, huge dwell zone, and outstanding shootability may really love the Enlist and its MSRP of only $749. As with anything in the archery world, the final decision for purchasing or not purchasing will be personal preference, but for those loving the old school Elite feel, this bow is exactly that for a fair price.

Finish

Elite has always done finishing well. The definition in the finished product, and the longevity of the applied dipped finish is exactly what shooters should expect from a high quality bow. The Enlist is no different, and the finished product is nice looking and well done. Elite chose to only offer two different finished looks on the Enlist, which include Ninja Black or Mossy Oak Break-Up Country camo. It would be nice to see the other offerings Elite has with the rest of its lineup, but for the cheaper price some sacrifices needed to be made. The limbs on the Enlist come in black only. For those wanting an all camo bow, the Enlist does not have that option. However, the black limbs paired with the Mossy Oak pattern still looks great, will blend in well in hunting situations. Aside from the limitations in the number of finish choices, the Enlist fit and finish is everything shooters have come to appreciate with the Elite quality and craftsmanship.

Riser

The riser is a throwback to the old days of Elite as well. The 33 7/16-inches axel to axel, measurement also gets a stable platform with longer riser length as well. The design of the Enlist creates a just under 7-inch brace height at 6 7/8-inches, which is the length established for forgiveness in the archery world. Although a lot of factors ultimately play into a bows overall forgiveness, a brace height over 7-inches is pretty favorable. The riser trims some unnecessary ounces as well by not incorporating the riser cage of more modern Elite designs. This keeps the bare bow weight of the Enlist just under 4-pounds, tipping the scales at 3.9-pounds overall. According to Elite, the riser cage stabilizes the bow quite a bit and adds some strength and rigidity to keep it from twisting as the bow is drawn. So the Enlist riser design may show signs of flexing or torqueing more so than an Elite bow with the riser cage as part of the design.In regards to technology, Elite has more advanced components, which are featured on other models in the 2018 lineup. However, Elite decided to keep it simple and do a bit of a throwback to previous innovations. For starters, the cable containment system is a simple cable slide. There are no rollers and no flexible slides on the Enlist, just the standard cable rod and slide. There is nothing wrong with this design, and it has worked well for years, but if shooters are interested in the latest and greatest innovations, this is not the bow. The string stop system function well, but there is nothing fancy about it either. Directly in front of the rear facing string stop system is front stabilizer mounting bushing. Although there is not a rear facing bushing, shooters wanting a side bar or the benefits of a back bar can always use a stabilizer attachment to get weight to the side or back of the bow.

Grip

The grip is perhaps the most noticeable difference on the Enlist when compared to an older model like an Answer or Elite Hunter model. The Enlist gets the newer grip, which is integrated into the riser design. This grip was designed through the collaboration of staff shooters from the Outdoor Group on the target and hunting sides of the company. This grip has been slightly more favorable by shooters than the older banana shaped grip of the previous Elite models, and should be easy for shooters to adjust to and get used to. The grip is pretty slim, and the flat back feels great when properly placed in the correct hand position. The side plates do not really offer much in terms of size or shape to the Enlist grip, but are present nonetheless. For shooters wanting a well thought out, slimmer grip, the Enlist has one. For those wanting the older Elite style grip, the Enlist grip may take some getting used to.

Limbs

The limbs on the Enlist go back to the days of Elites solid limb construction. The double laminate limbs are a bit nostalgic to some, and the look is a bit more in tune with what many associate Elite with. The Enlist can be purchased with 60 or 70-pound maximum draw weight limbs. It is nice to see companies offer a large range of limb weights, and to only have 2 offerings is a little disappointing. However, the 20-pound overall range between the two limb configurations will meet the needs of an overwhelming majority of shooters on the market for a bow like the Elite Enlist. There are no Limbsaver products pre-installed on the limbs like previous solid limb construction models from Elite, but those can be added after the fact for a pretty small cost if shooters decide they want something quitter than the Enlist is right out of the box.

Eccentric System

The cam system is characteristic of the Elite bows many grew to love when they first came into the archery world. The Enlist offers draw length adjustments from 27-30-inches in half-inch increments. Shooters will need to get the correct module to match their exact draw length, but they are usually easy to come by, and easy enough to swap out for another draw length. The IBO rating for the Enlist is right at 325 feet per second, which is a bit slow for 2018. However, shooters interested in an Elite bow know what they are getting into with the super easy drawing cam system and huge let off, so the slower speeds are generally not a major concern for those on the market to purchase an Elite bow. The back wall is aided by a limb stop on each cam, which makes one of the most solid back walls in the archery business.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

The Enlist draw cycle is exactly what Elite was characterized as back in the day of their arrival to the archery world. The cams are smooth drawing, have a massive dwell zone, and one of the most solid back walls ever produced on a compound bow. Shooters can relax all they want at the back end of the draw cycle without fear of the string wanting to fling the arrow forward for not having enough pressure on the limb stops at full draw. Letting the bow down is a weird feeling because of this, as it almost feels as though shooters have to push the string forward in order to get it back to the resting state. For a hunter, or a target archer, this back wall and draw cycle feel amazing. Some shooters may have a personal preference for a spongier back wall, or a shorter valley, but for those wanting an easy drawing bow and a rock solid back wall, the Enlist will not disappoint. The grip feels great, the bow is balanced and pretty lightweight, and after the shot there is hardly no noise or vibration. The longer axel-to-axel measurement creates a comfortable string angle, and because of all these things, the bow aims very easily. The bow may be a bit slow for some at 325 feet per second, but the easy draw cycle may be more important to shooters interested in the Enlist. Personal preference may lead shooters to choose a different model to best meet their individual shooting needs, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Elite Enlist.

Usage Scenarios

Elite advertises the Enlist as a do it all bow including hunting, 3D, field archery, and indoor spot leagues. The Enlist specifications support the bow being an all around do it all bow as well, which makes the $749 price tag even more appealing. Although the Enlist can do everything, it seems like 3D shooters and hunters will be most drawn to the Enlist initially. No matter what shooters intend to do with this rig, the Enlist will not disappoint and should perform solidly in every situation it is placed in.

Elite Hunt Guarantee and Elite Archery Financing

Elite does something pretty unique in the archery industry in regards to their warranty. For shooters on a hunt, Elite has a hunt guarantee where if something happens to the shooter's bow while on a hunt, they will overnight a bow to their exact location so shooters can continue their hunt of a lifetime. The bow will arrive with a rest and peep, and will be set to the shooter's draw weight and draw length absolutely free of charge. This is not a replacement to the damaged bow, but a loaner so shooters can continue with their hunt. This bonus is an outstanding advantage of purchasing from Elite, especially those planning any once in a lifetime hunting opportunities. Hopefully shooters will never have to use this incentive, but it is a great feeling to have it available if Murphey's Law decides to take over.Another interesting perk for Elite fans is the new financing option they have established for shooters wanting a payment option. Although the Enlist is the lowest priced bow in the 2018, some shooters may be interested in the pay as you go option. Klarna is the company The Outdoor Group decided to work with on the financing side of things, and it is a neat idea for those not able to pay up front for their new rig. Elite has advertised monthly payments on their website, and the Enlist has payments as low as $67 a month based on the $749 purchase price.

Summary

The Enlist is done very well, but it may seem a little too familiar for some of the diehard Elite fans. It may seem like this bow was already released by Elite, and honestly it is not much different from some of the older models like the Answer and Hunter. However, it is different than the rest of the 2018 Elite lineup, and the Enlist offers some diversity in the lineup as well. It also gives archers another high quality option, at a pretty affordable price of $749. For shooters interested in a solid limb, easy drawing bow, the Enlist is in a class of its own. For shooters wanting a speedier bow, or something with split limbs, the Enlist is not going to be very popular. The Enlist has a ton of features shooters will appreciate. However, it may not meet the needs of every shooter. Those willing to give the Enlist a test shot will be happy with what it has to offer, and it should be a popular model for 2018.

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