Mathews Triax Review

Mathews Triax

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Pros

  • 7 very high-end finish options make the bow look amazing
  • 6-inches of draw length adjustability from 24.5-30.5-inches
  • Choice between 75% or 85% let-off
  • One of the most dead in hand bows ever 

Cons

  • Shorter frame not for all shooters
  • Bare bow weight of 4.4-pounds may be too heavy for some
  • MSRP of $1099

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Editors' review

Mathews has done it again, creating a compact 28-inch axel-to-axel hunting bow. Although Mathews has more than a decade of experience creating short axel-to-axel bows, they are not for every shooter, and some will prefer a longer measurement for a more comfortable string angle and some added stability. However, those lucky enough to have already shot the Triax will quickly realize everything shooters tend to not like about shorter compact bows becomes a non-issue with the Triax. The Mathews Triax is equipped with 7 amazing finish options from Mathews proprietary Lost Camo, to Sitka gear, or Under Armor offerings. Not long ago, Mathews offered Lost Camo finish only, but the addition of the other two high-end brands is a welcomed addition to the lineup for Mathews. The bare bow weights in at 4.4-pounds, which like the previous Halon models, is substantially heavier than other competitor's models. For the Triax specifically, a 28-inch bow, weighing almost 4.5-pounds is over the magic 4-pound mark. Some shooters are going to love the added weight, but it may be a deal breaker for others in the hunting bow market for 2018. Mathews has designed this bow for just about every shooter with a draw length range of 24.5-30.5-inches. For hunters wanting the most maneuverable, compact hunting bow, combined with outstanding industry technology backed by one of the most recognized names in the game, the Mathews Triax is going to be hard to beat.

Finish

Mathews finish options have always been very well done. Mathews spent some time not long ago offering only their proprietary Lost Camo choices on their rigs. This pattern looked great, and helped their bows stand out from the competition offering a high-class look only available on the Mathews brand. Shooters wanting to stick with the elite Mathews look have the option to do so with the Lost Camo XD pattern. Shooters also have two really nice non-camo options as well with the Stone and Black look. In the past, that would have been it for finish options. However, the 2018 lineups have four more high-end looks as well. Sitka gear produces some of the best hunting clothing on the market, and their unique looking camo options have carried over to the archery industry. The two Sitka patterns available in the Mathews lineup are Optifade Subalpine, and Optifade Elevated II. Those liking the Under Armor lineup also have the ability to choose from their two upper end patterns Ridge Reaper Barren and Ridge Reaper Forest. No matter which finish options shooters choose, the dipping process looks outstanding, and hardcore hunters will have confidence in their concealment from the target animal they are after.

Riser

The Triax is the most recent edition of their interpretation of a short axel-to-axel bow Mathews has produced with hunting in mind. In the past, compact models have felt a bit unstable given the shorter riser measurements. Mathews has been able to counteract that though with a riser measuring almost as long as the 28-inch axel-to-axel measurement. Although some people will feel the 4.4-pound bare bow is too heavy for such a compact design, the added weight actually helps add to the overall stability of the bow as well. The Triax also has a six-inch brace height, which in the past has been a little scary for some shooters in terms of stabilization. However, the geometry of the Triax riser, in addition to its heavier mass weight, nothing is sacrificed as the specifications may indicate on paper. Mathews introduced harmonic stabilizing in the riser of their rigs almost two decades ago, and for 2018, they have reengineered this concept ending with what Mathews calls an Enhanced harmonic stabilizer. The 3D damping technology takes the harmonic dampener, and places it away from the shooters hand in the directions vibrations are most likely to travel. The placement is no longer in the cent of the bow riser, but in a new off set location towards the bottom of the riser design. Mathews has always created dead in the hand and silent shooters, but the Triax may be in a league of its own in regards to being absolutely silent and vibration free. Mathews sticks with the rear assist cable guard containment system, which has been used in recent years as the cable guard system. This has been a tried and true technology, which remains untouched for 2018. Mathews also continues with the Dead End string stop system to help the string come to a stop after firing the arrow downrange. There is nothing fancy in regards to how this rear-mounted string stop system works, but it does work well and helps keep things quiet. In addition to this, Mathews moves forward with the wider stance riser on the top and bottom. This cage type riser design helps improve the integrity of the riser strength and rigidness in response to how giant the cams are. As the string rolls on the massive crosscentric cams, the riser needs to be beefed up slightly to the added stress the cams cause on the riser from causing accuracy robbing torque on the bow. This eliminated torque keeps everything where it should be and helps the bow perform the same way shot after shot. However, it comes with adding extra weight to the Triax, which may or may not be well received by interested shooters.

Grip

Perhaps one of the most recognizable characteristics of a Mathews bow is the walnut grip. This display of Mathews heritage is almost as iconic as the Mathews cursive logo. It has been several years since Mathews has offered a fully wooden grip, which is so recognizably Mathews, but the tradition is kept alive with the integration of a wooden inlay proudly displaying the Mathews logo. The grip itself is a flat back rubber composite grip, which feels amazing in the shooters hand, and makes proper hand placement a breeze to repeat every single time. The overall thickness and width of the grip is pretty skinny, which also allows shooters to modify the grip a bit by adding tape or whatever else to give a customized feel without being too bulky. Overall, the Mathews grip is functional, feels great in hand, and should help with promoting more repeatability and accuracy down range.

Limbs

The Triax limbs are short, split limb technology, which are offered in peak weights of 50, 60, and 70-pounds. The split limbs masterfully hold the giant cams in place throughout the entire draw cycle. The split limb technology also allows the cams to be much larger than a solid limb bow can. The short limbs give the Triax a pretty unique look, but keep it very similar to the look and feel of the previous Halon models. The finish on the limbs perfectly matches the riser finishes, and the Mathews and Traix logos are very tastefully done. The limb pockets are very functional as well and work to keep everything where it should be during the draw cycle. There is nothing too special with the limb pockets, but they function well and will last a long time under normal use.

Eccentric System

The Crosscentric Cam System powers the Mathews Triax, which is the same cam offered on all of the Mathews flagship products both in the hunting world and in the target world. The draw lengths offered on the Triax range from 24.5-30.5-inches, and can be adjusted in half-inch increments within that draw length range. Shooters also have the option to pick 75% or 85% le off depending on the overall feel each shooter wants from the high efficiency cam system. The IBO speed rating also produces speeds up to 343 feet per second with a six inch brace height. Mathews claims the Crosscentric cam system is the most efficient cam they have ever produced. This means the energy produced by the cams is transferred to the arrow, not into noise and vibration felt and heard by the shooter. The draw weight is designed around human physiology, which means draw weight is gradually added when it is manageable to do so making the draw force curve easier to draw.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

The Triax draw cycle is an absolute dream for a hunting bow. The Crosscentric Cam System and the technology behind it is legit. For a company as successful as Mathews to put this cam on every flagship model they offer, regardless of shooting style is really saying something. Every part of the Triax is designed with hunting in mind. The bow has a compact design measuring only 28-inches axel-to-axel. This makes it an ideal bow in any hunting situation, whether it is backpacking in the mountains, sitting 20 feet in the air, or in a ground blind watching the sun come up. The Triax is extremely maneuverable, and fits the marketing slogan, "Stealth is Lethal" perfectly. The paper specifications make the bow seem like other shorter bows Mathews has created. Although the Triax looks similar on paper, the experience is different than other similar models from Mathews. The bow is heavy, tipping the scales at 4.4-pounds before anything is added. This is a bit heavy for such a compact bow, but it gives the bow a sturdy feeling in hand, and makes it feel like a longer rig. The riser is beefed up in all the right spots as well adding strength to the riser where the huge cams could cause some torque issues, but it balances well, and feels great on target. The six-inch brace height has been scary in the past, but the Triax handles it beautifully. The draw cycle feels similar to other Crosscentic cam models, most notably the Halon from previous model years, and the ability to change let off from 75-85% gives shooters options for how the bow feels on the back end. The Triax really shines after the shot. The bow is absolutely dead in the hand, and has no felt vibration in the shooters hand whatsoever. The arrow zips to the target, and the slap against the target is the loudest noise the Triax makes. For a hunting bow, the Triax is a great performer and should make a lot of shooters happy this fall.

Mathews Traix vs. Mathews Halon 32

BowMathews TriaxMathews Halon 32 6
Version 20182018
PictureMathews TriaxMathews Halon 32 6
Brace Height6 "6 "
AtA Length28 "32 "
Draw Length24.5 " - 30.5 "25.5 " - 31.5 "
Draw Weight40 lbs - 70 lbs30 lbs - 70 lbs
IBO Speed343 fps340 fps - 343 fps
Weight4.4 lbs4.73 lbs
Let-Off75% - 85% 75% & 85%
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Despite some differences, these two bows are extremely similar in specifications and performance. With the same crosscentric cam system powering each model, perhaps the most deciding difference between the two models is the axel-to-axel measurement. Those wanting the piece of mind with a longer axel-to-axel bow, will more than likely gravitate to the Mathews Halon 32 6. Those wanting the most compact bow possible will like the advantage of the shorter 28-inch Triax. Both bows are absolutely dead in the hand after the shot, but there is a slight advantage to the Triax with the new harmonic dampener design being even quieter and vibration free. There is no wrong answer with either Mathews model, but the decision between the Halon 32 and the Triax will more than likely come down to which axel-to-axel measurement is preferred.

Usage Scenarios

The 2018 Mathews Triax is a hunting bow. Shooters will have fun shooting with friends during the summer to hone their hunting skills in preparation for fall hunting season, but the Triax is best fitted to hunting situations. Those interested in target or competition archery should look to other Mathews products to help win them money in 3D or target archery. The Triax is a hunting bow, and is most comfortable in tight places.

Summary

Mathews has a formula that works well for them and their customer base. The 2018 Triax is another take on a compact hunting bow, where engineers were focused on making the Triax as invisible as passible. The tagline "Stealth is Lethal" truly rings through with the latest from Mathews for 2018. On paper, the Triax seems to be just another compact hunting bow. However, the feel, balance, draw, and after the shot dynamics of the Triax make it something many shooters are going to become believers about. Mathews has created another maneuverable hunting bow, built for diehard bow hunters to take to the woods with them this fall. With performance up to 343 feet per second, a proven cam system, and a 28-inch axel-to-axel measurement, the Triax is going to get the nod for tons of shooters in 2018. The 6-inches of draw length adjustment in addition to the amazing finish options should help off set the $1099 suggested retail price and 4.4-pound bare weight measurement. Shooters wanting the best in short axel to axel bow technology from an industry giant, should have exactly what they are looking for in the Mathews Triax.

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