Mathews Creed XS Review

Mathews Creed XS

Average user rating

out of 6 user reviews
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  from $649.99


  • Short axel-to-axel measurement of 28-inches
  • A long riser measurement of 24.58-inches for increased stability
  • Forgiving 7.5-inch brace height
  • Lightweight at 3.8-pounds


  • IBO speed of 321 feet per second may be a bit slow for some shooters
  • $999 price tag may be too much


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Editors' review

The Mathews Creed XS continues the trend of Mathews following a new bow release with a shorter version of the same bow the next year. Last year, Mathews released the Creed, which sported a 30-inch axel-to-axel measurement; naturally, this year Mathews released a new bow with a 28-inch measurement. The Creed XS is not a fast shooting bow, but it screams forgiveness. With a short axel-to-axel measurement, the riser is actually the majority of that measurement, which means it is very stable for a shorter bow and will hold well on target. The 7.5-inch brace height means the bow is going to be very forgiving as well. For $999, the Mathews Creed XS may be a bit overpriced for some, but the quality and workmanship of the Mathews bow is fantastic. The smooth drawing Creed XS will be a great addition to those wanting a short, lightweight hunting rig from a top notch manufacturer.


2014 brings with it five finish options for the flagship Creed XS. Mathews bows have been offered in their very own Lost Camo for years, and the Creed XS is also available in this camo pattern as well. Those not interested in a camo finish have four choices to choose from. The first is the popular tactical pattern with a black riser and carbon fiber look alike limbs. Shooters not wanting the carbon limbs can also opt for the all black look with black riser and black limbs. Those wanting to add a little pizazz can choose the Black Crimson model which adds crimson red limb pockets and accent colors. The last finish pattern is a new one for 2014 called Desert Tactical. This pattern is a solid gold-yellow color on the limbs and riser. The gridlock riser proposes a few challenges for finishing because of the designed cutouts and skinny surface areas, but the riser is done without mistakes. Even the hard to reach areas are completely covered and the finished product looks really great.


Mathews bows have had a unique look since the introduction of the z7 series several years ago, and the Geo Grid Lock Riser is still a focus on the Creed XS. This geometric design allows for superior strength while allowing extra weight to be cut from the overall mass of the bow making it as light weight as possible. Weighing it at 3.8-pounds, the Creed XS, is exactly what many hunters are demanding from a hunting bow. The 28-inch axel to axel measurement is a bit misleading. Longer bow designs are often associated with being easier to hold on target. Although this generalization is good in theory, the reasoning typically comes down to the riser length, not the axel to axel measurement. The riser length of the Creed XS is 24.58-inches, which is pretty impressive. To put this a bit more into perspective, the Mathews Chill R is a 33-inch axel to axel bow and has a riser measurement of 23.647-inches. The point is to keep in mind a shorter bow can still hold well on target like a longer bow. Mathews has made a point to keep vibration and noise to a minimum with the Creed XS adding three major dampening devices to the bow. The rear mounting Dead End String Stop Lite is a lightweight version of the popular Dead End String Stop. It functions well stopping the strings forward movement and transferring the vibration away from the shooters hand to the front mounting stabilizer bushing mounted directly in line with the string stop system. The riser has two cutouts on the top and bottom close to the limb pockets designed for the circular dampening devices. The harmonic stabilizer lite and the harmonic dampeners absorb a large percentage of the vibration caused by the limbs after the arrow is shot. All three of these devices do a great job keeping vibration away from the shooters hand and giving the bow a smooth feel after the shot.


One trademark of Mathews bows is the stock walnut grip. The Creed XS comes from the factory with the wooden grip, and it makes the bow look very high quality. The grips itself has a nice feel as well. Mathews has slimmed down the wooden grips over the years to make them a bit more torque free and comfortable. After spending some time shooting the wooden stock grip, shooters should have no trouble adjusting to the size and feel. For those wanting something a bit thinner, the Focus grip is an option as well. This rubber grip is not contoured and has a smaller feel. Some shooters feel this grip is easier to repeat. Regardless of which grip shooters choose, they should be satisfied especially after spending some time with it.


The parallel, split limb design is still relatively new for the solocam experts. Mathews has only offered two bows in the split limb offering in the recent past, one being the Creed from last year, and now the Creed XS. The split limbs are able to share the stress of being drawn a little better than the solid limb construction does. Mathews has a lot of experience with parallel limbs having pioneered them in in 1996. The limbs are offered in 50, 60, and 70-pound maximum draw weights and are adjustable ten-pounds lower than the maximum weights. Although the split limbs do not have any factory installed dampeners, the parallel limbs do a nice job canceling out any noise or vibration anyways. Those wanting an even quieter release can choose from a variety of after-market dampeners as well.

Eccentric System

Mathews continues to offer a solo cam bow for their flagship again in 2014. The SimPlex single cam design is what Mathews considers advanced simplicity. They have taken the single cam design and redesigned it so it simply works. The cam has a limb draw stop to help with the back wall, offers 80% letoff, and ease of tuning. The downside for the SimPlex cam is that it is draw length specific. Shooters should leave the pro shop properly fitted with the right draw length, but swapping cams for another draw could be an expensive affair. The draw length also tops out at 29.5-inches, which is a bit shorter than what many other bows offer. The draw length specific cams are available in 26.5-29.5-inches.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

The SimPlex single cam system is an example of engineers taking simplicity to the extreme. This single cam is easy to tune and stays that way without the need for a constant tune-up. The Creed XS is smooth drawing. Many may be a bit disappointed in the speed the Creed XS produces, but the smooth draw cycle will make up for that in minds of many shooters on the market for a new hunting bow. The weight stacks up pretty quickly, and rolls over nicely into a solid back wall aided by a limb stop post that contacts the bottom limb at full draw. At full draw, the Creed XS has no desire to creep forward offering a generous valley. For a short axel to axel bow, the Creed XS holds really well on target, and the shot is completely shock free. The Creed XS is quiet, decently fast, forgiving, and smooth all wrapped into a lightweight, compact design. For a hunting bow, it is hard to ask for anything else.

Usage Scenarios

The Creed XS will be a very accurate shooter, but may not be the best choice for a target bow. For a hunting bow, this rig fits the bill. Shooters have constantly demanded more compact, lighter bows. The Creed XS does this while adding forgiveness, and a silent shot. Hunters demand a bow that performs well in all conditions, and this bow is sure to do just that.

Mathews Creed XS vs. Mathews Creed

BowMathews Creed XSMathews Creed
Version 20152014
PictureMathews Creed XSMathews Creed
Brace Height "7 "
AtA Length "30 "
Draw Length "26.5 " - 29.5 "
Draw Weight lbs50 lbs - 70 lbs
IBO Speed fps328 fps
Weight lbs3.85 lbs
Let-Off 80%
Where to buy
Best prices online
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The 2013 and 2014 Mathews flagship bows are very similar. The Mathews Creed XS is a shorter more compact version, but other than that the differences are minimal. Both bows hold well on target and are marketed toward hunters that want a compact, forgiving bow. For shooters with a Mathews Creed already, it is hard to believe they will be willing to spend the MSRP $999 to replace. However, those not pulling the trigger in 2013, the XS may be a great choice.


The Mathews Creed XS does not bring anything Earth shattering to the market. Instead, it takes what Mathews has done well in the past and offers it in the simplest form. The compact XS flat out shoots. Although the speed is not setting records, the smooth draw cycle and forgiving shot are welcomed additions hunters are sure to love. For shooters interested in lightweight, compact hunting bows, the Creed is going to be a fine option.

User Reviews

  • 6 reviews
  • ( out of 6 reviews for all versions)
Great first bow!

Version: 2014 Mathews Creed XS


Pros: There is a smooth draw cycle. The bow is very light. The 28-inch axle to axle makes the moveability very awesome.

Cons: It could only go to 55 lbs and not to 50. you have to buy a different cam for each draw weight.

Full review:

I just turned 14 and this bow was passed down to me from my brother-in-law. It is 6 years old but looks new. I was only able to adjust the draw weight down to 55lbs, because that was the threshold, and the lowest I could drop it. I was able to pull it back still, but it took about two weeks of pulling it back every day, to be able to pull it back correctly and consistently. I love the draw cycle. Like I had expected the Mathews to do, It had a solid start and smoothed its' way back into the valley which had a slight hump, then a downwards feel. The solid back wall was awesome, absolutely zero sponginess. I am very happy with how the bow has a short axle-to-axle of only 28 inches. It makes it a little bit more maneuverable and great to hunt with. For a teenager or an adult, this would definitely be a great bow, to begin with, or get back into the sport. The bow is relatively quick compared to newer bows these days, shooting 321Ibo. This speed is complimented through the lightweight, maneuverability, and smooth draw cycle. I definitely look forward to harvesting a deer this coming season with it!

Made for the Tree Stand Hunter

Version: 2014 Mathews Creed XS


Pros: QUIET! Very smooth draw, well balanced, very forgiving and light weight.

Cons: Have not come up with any-negatives after three years in the field.

Full review:

Best bow I have owned to date. I started with the Mission Line and have worked my way up typically buying a new bow every three years. I traded in my Z7 Extreme for the Creed Xs wanting something a little lighter as I age and have to admit I was a little skeptical at first but very quickly fell in love with the bow. I love the size and super smooth far the quietest bow I have hunted with. I live in an area that has a deer management program for bow hunters and have taken over 20 deer in the last three years with the Creed XS and unlike in the past I do not plan on trading this one in anytime soon.

Great compact bow

Version: 2014 Mathews Creed XS


Pros: ATA size, light weight, fast for a compact, VERY accurate, forgiving, VERY quiet, and no vibration.

Cons: Price...

Full review:

This is my second Mathews bow. The only reason I purchased it was because my local archery shop gave me a great trade in deal on my Mathews DXT. Ended up taking $450 off that $1k price tag with my trade. Swapped over my Apache drop away rest, HHA single pin sight, and peep sight. My bow is set at 60# and 28" draw. I am no professional shooter but love to hunt. I have taken whitetails, hogs, and turkeys with it. Great bow for climber stand and blind shooting. With my set up I am holding a consistent grouping at 60yds comfortably. I cannot shoot at the same target point within 40yds or I will have to re-fletch or purchase new shafts. The bow draw cycle is smooth as silk and comes to a great solid stop. I can go out and target shoot for hours with this bow. There is no creep or jump. It is a very accurate bow for it's size. I cannot say enough about all the good the bow offers. The only con is it't cost. It is a very expensive bow and there are many other options in that kind of price range. Best way to figure out what bow is for you is to get to a shop and shoot some bows. You will find the one that is "right" for you. All in all I love this bow and plan on using it until I am unable to. Thanks and Semper Fi.

smooth draw, accurate shooter, awesome hunting bow

Version: 2014 Mathews Creed XS


Pros: nimble, smooth draw cycle, lightweight.

Cons: the draw length was 1/2" off my traditional mathews draw length

Full review:

I have taken 2 deer with the Creed xs, it was built with the tree stand hunter in mind. the short ATA is offset with the generous brace hieght making the Creed an accurate shooter. I had a qad on it and tuned up along with sight pins set out to 40yrds in less than an hour and a half. took it out and hunted with it that afternoon taking a doe at 33yrds. Love the Creed and all trree stand hunters will too.

This is my first Mathews I'm not a follower I chose this one because it's the best I tried out

Version: 2014 Mathews Creed XS


Pros: Smooth draw. Super sweet valley. I like th fact it didn't try to jump forward at a relaxed state.
Lite weight was a big plus for me as I do a lot of spot n stalk.
Has a good draw stop. No yo yo action.

Cons: Nothing to talk down as if now. If it performs on the cold and snow like it does now I'll rate it a 10 of 10.

Full review:

Has a natural fit at the grip. Has a good balance and good fall away. No kick back or jump
Ibo speed is not a big factor for me at 321. It makes up for it as a flat shooter.
The black on black with crimson limb brackets, wheel, pep ,dampers zebra string & string stop
with the black quiver and crimson insert is just a bonus.

Very nice upgrade to my trusty old Q2, pleasantly surprised at the forgiveness and shootability.

Version: 2014 Mathews Creed XS


Pros: I was really impressed with the portability of this bow as a tree stand hunter. I also found it to be astheticly pleasingly, particularly the riser design and lost camouflage colors

Cons: I was not sold on the split limb design, having always shot bows with conventional limbs.

Full review:

I have been very pleasantly surprised by my ability to shoot this bow accurately, having been used to shooting a 34" A2A bow. I also noticed immediately how 13 years of technological advancement made the Creed XS a big step up from my beloved Q2 (which I will keep). For one thing, there is absolutely no perceptible shock and the bow stays stationary in my relaxed hand upon release. It is Sooo quiet. As I am getting a bit older, I opted for a #50 - 60 lb. bow instead of a #60 to 70. I dispatched a big-bodied central MD 4-point with this bow last week and can't wait to get back in the tree.

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