Mathews Z7 Xtreme Review

Mathews Z7 Xtreme

Average user rating

out of 9 user reviews
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  • great shooting bow from draw to release (one of the best in 2011)
  • very compact and lightweight - ideal for tree-stand or blind hunting
  • has great blend of smoothness and speed
  • very smooth (but a little bit stiff) draw cycle
  • very quiet rig with little vibration
  • has a solid back wall


  • cam specific eccentric system - new cam is needed to change draw length


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Editors' review

The Mathews Z7 Xtreme is a high quality and great shooting bow from the Z7 series launched by Mathews in 2010. When it comes to shootability, the Xtreme feels almost exactly the same as the original Z7. However, a few interesting changes were introduced by the Mathews design team for this bow.


click on any pic to enlarge
Riser - top
Riser - bottom
Very lightweight, rigid, & incredibly tough riser delivers a great shooting platform

Checkered with multiple isometric cutouts, the new riser is built using the same Grid Lock Riser technology that was used for building the riser on the original Z7 but with a few minor differences. The new riser is designed to be shorter to reduce the axle to axle length and has a slightly different grid pattern in both top and bottom parts of the riser. Not only does this technology help to reduce the overall mass weight of the bow by minimizing the amount of material, but it also delivers high rigidity and integrity. The riser delivers a very solid platform that performs exceptionally well while being lightweight and well balanced.


SE5 Composite Limbs - top
The SE5 limbs are thin, strong and very efficient

The Z7 Xtreme features new SE5 composite limbs utilizing the same Slim Limb technology that was used in 2010. Not only this technology is extremely reliable and efficient, but it also helps to minimize limbs size and maximize performance. In addition, the proprietary Mathews SE5 material allows for manufacturing slim and lightweight limbs without sacrificing reliability and durability. Admittedly, this Mathews technology is one of the most reliable on the market. Although the technology is the same as in 2010, the new SE5 limbs have slightly different size and are not interchangeable with the older SE3 and SE4 limbs. In addition, the SE5 limbs ride on different turrets that are also not interchangeable with older models. Experts say that while the new SE5 limbs are nearly identical to the last year's limbs, they deliver slightly better efficiency.

Limbs-to-riser connection

Limbs to riser connection - top
Limbs to riser connection - top
Limbs to riser connection - bottom
Limbs to riser connection - bottom
Limbs-to-riser connection - SphereLock Pivoting Limb Cup System & Limb Turret

The new SE5 composite limbs are connected to the riser through the SphereLock Pivoting Limb Cup System and the Limb Turret. This system is very efficient, extremely reliable, and accurately controls the limb-to-riser orientation.


Factory grip
Factory grip
Mathews Focus grip
Mathews Focus grip
While the factory grip (left) works for many shooters, others prefer replacing it with the more comfortable and less torqueless Mathews Focus grip (right)

The factory walnut SlimFit Inline grip has a distinctive red line to clearly indicate the centerline of the bow. While some archers are happy with this factory grip, others say it's not as comfortable as the new Mathews Focus (aftermarket) grip. Admittedly, the latter is designed to have less hand torque compared to the standard handle. This is achieved by keeping pressure in the center part of the grip. So, if you don't like the factory grip, you can always replace it with the Focus grip which should be more comfortable and have less torque.

Eccentric system

Powering the Z7 Xtreme to reported IBO speeds reaching 330 fps is the very efficient and smooth ZX performance system. This eccentric system has been specifically designed to sit between very easy drawing bows (Mathews DXT or Mathews Switchback) and fast single cam bows like Mathews Reezen 6.5. In other words, while this cam is very smooth, it is also a bit stiffer to draw compared to some other super easy drawing Mathews rigs. But at the same time, it's much faster.
Idler wheel + string suppressor
New 2011 ZX Cam
New 2011 ZX Cam specific performance system offers a great blend of speed and smoothness

When it comes to adjustability, draw lengths are available from 24 to 30 inches in half inch increments. This is a cam specific performance system that requires a new cam for each draw length. While this is not a very flexible design in terms of adjustability, it allows for delivering optimal performance for individual draw lengths. If you decide to get this bow, be sure to order it with the right cam for your draw length. In any case getting a new cam for your specific draw length should not be a problem at all.

While the new ZX cam is very similar to the last year's Z7 Cam - it has a slightly different form and is not interchangeable with the 2010 version. With pretty much the same shootability characteristics, the new ZX cam is reported to be more efficient compared to the 2010 Z7 cam.

Draw cycle / Shootability

The draw cycle on the Xtreme is very smooth but a little bit stiff (this is a pretty fast rig, so speed should come from somewhere). While many shooters like the draw cycle on the bow, some people will have to get used to its slightly stiffer (but still very smooth) draw cycle. When it comes to release, this bow is reported to be extremely quiet. With a very efficient silencing package, the Z7 Extreme is as quiet as the original Z7 and is considered to be one of the quietest bows out there.

Silencing package

The Mathews Z7 Xtreme comes with an impressive silencing package including many proven components designed in the past. All these technologies work together to deliver quiet shots with minimal vibration. First of all, the SE5 Composite limbs help to eliminate vibration due to the parallel design and proven technologies. Secondly, a number of other components further reduce unwanted noise and vibration. Let's take a closer look at the silencing package the Z7 Xtreme is equipped with:
  • Dead End String Stop reduces the noise coming from the string. This string stop is exactly the same as the one the 2010 Mathews Z7 comes with. What that means is the Xtreme will be as effective as the Z7 in suppressing vibration coming from the string
  • String Suppressors and String Grub help to eliminate string vibration making for a quieter shot
  • Reverse Assist Roller Guard reduces friction and delivers a smoother draw cycle. This is the same roller guard as the one on the 2010 Mathews Z7
  • Harmonic Damping System and Harmonic Stabilizer effectively absorb vibration in the riser. These silencing technologies have been used on many Mathews bows for years and proved to be very efficient in eliminating vibration.
  • Monkey Tails serve to eliminate noise and vibration coming from string and cable. Each Z7 Xtreme bow is equipped with 3 monkey tails (as opposed to 4 monkey tails on the 2010 Z7 version)
Dead End String Stop
Reverse Assist Roller Guard
Harmonic damper
Harmonic stabilizer
Dead End string stop, Reverse Assist roller guard, Harmonic damper, & Harmonic stabilizer constitute a very effective silencing package delivering very quiet shots
Overall, this silencing package is very effective and makes the Z7 Xtreme a very quiet shooting bow with minimal vibration on the shot.

Ideal for tree-stand or blind hunting

Measuring 28 inches from axle-to-axle, the new Mathewx Z7 Xtreme is a very maneuverable bow. Admittedly, this is one of the best tree-stand or blind hunting bows in 2011. While this rig is not ideal for long draw length shooters due to the sharp string angle, the short-to-medium draw archers should really enjoy hunting with this bow due to its compact design, fast IBO speeds, and extreme quietness.

Mathews Z7 Xtreme Tactical

The Z7 Xtreme Tactical is a slight modification of the standard Z7 Xtreme. When it comes to shootability, the two bows are nearly identical. First of all, there are no structural differences: the Tactical is all black and comes with carbon fiber limbs (the same SE5 Composite limbs as on the standard Xtreme). The only difference that affects shootability is the new torqueless Focus grip the Tactical is equipped with. In addition, the Tactical is more expensive (by approximately $150). So, it really is a matter of personal preference and budget: if you want a black Z7 Xtreme with carbon fiber limbs and a better grip (and don't mind spending more money) go with the Tactical. Otherwise, you may want to save budget and get the standard Z7 Xtreme which is as good as the Tactical in terms of shootability.

Mathews Z7 Xtreme vs. original Mathews Z7

BowMathews Z7 XtremeMathews Z7
Version 20122011
PictureMathews Z7 XtremeMathews Z7
Brace Height7.375 "7 "
AtA Length28 "30 "
Draw Length24 " - 30 "24 " - 30 "
Draw Weight40 lbs - 70 lbs40 lbs - 70 lbs
IBO Speed330 fps333 fps
Weight3.98 lbs4.0 lbs
Let-Off80% 80%
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While the new Xtreme bow is designed using the same technologies as the original Mathews Z7, there are a few differences between the two. First of all, the new Z7 Xtreme has been designed to be more compact: with 28" from axle to axle, it is 2 inches shorter than the original Z7. Also, the Xtreme has a slightly more forgiving brace height (7 3/8" inches compared to 7" on the standard Z7). So, it is even more forgiving than the original Z7 but as a result it is also a little bit slower (330 fps compared to 332 fps for the original Z7 bow). The majority of shooters agree that these two rigs are almost identical in terms of shootabilty. They are very fast, smooth to draw, and quiet on the shot. Many experts say the new Z7 Xtreme is going to be as popular as the original Z7 especially for those hunters who enjoy shooting compact bows. In terms of the look, the new riser has a slightly different grid pattern, but is as strong and lightweight as the original one. Overall, if you are a longer draw length shooter the original Mathews Z7 or even Mathews Z9 would probably fit you better. On the other hand, if you like shooting short bows, the Z7 Xtreme is a very good choice.


To summarize, the Mathews Z7 Xtreme is a very compact and high quality bow with the same impressive shootability characteristics as the original Z7. While the eccentric system is cam specific, each cam is optimized to deliver the best possible performance. Although it's a little bit stiff to draw compared to the easiest drawing bows, the draw cycle on the Z7 Xtreme is very smooth and the bow is pretty fast for a single cam rig. With a very forgiving brace height and efficient cam system, this is a high performing rig from draw to release. Also, the Z7 Xtreme is outfitted with a high quality silencing package, making it very quiet bow with little hand shock and vibration. While it's shorter AtA length may not suit some long draw length shooters (because of the sharp string angle), this rig will be ideal for short-to-medium draw length archers who enjoy shooting shorter bows or need a great rig for tree-stand or blind hunting.

User Reviews

  • 9 reviews
  • ( out of 9 reviews for all versions)
Very good review. Love the comparison of last years Z7 and the Extreme.

Version: 2011 Mathews Z7 Xtreme Tactical


Pros: The draw cycle of the bow and the back wall. It is also quiet and with the short ATA should more moveable in a blind or stand. Incredible speed for such a short package.

Cons: Newer technology comes with a price and this bow isn't cheap. Should have replacable draw modules similar to the monster series. The paint finish on the bow doesn't seem to hold up.

Full review:

Would like to see Mathews showing more real IBO speeds. They use speed as a selling point, but most people are not 30" draw and able to pull 80#'s. List speeds on various poundage and draw. The features on the new Extreme is outstanding. Love the grid lock riser, which decreases the weight of the bow and the shorter ATA is great as well. Does not seem like you are shooting a 28" bow. Great draw cycle on the bow. Love how the bow holds at full draw and it is quiet after the shot. One downside is the draw length on bow. It is draw length specific, it should have replacable modules similar to a Monster.

Very good bow, smooth draw cycle and hard backwall

Version: 2011 Mathews Z7 Xtreme


Pros: The bow was very smooth and the backwall was tremondous. Ata is very good and great for treestands. Grip is great.

Cons: The price is alittle much but you get what you pay for.

Full review:

All in all the bow was very good. Every feature on the bow is technologically advanced. I think it should come standard with a focus grip the slimfit is a great grip. Draw cycle is amazing. Very fast and lots of kinetic energy. Best bow on the market.

Compact,smooth,quiet,accurate,fast for a single cam

Version: 2011 Mathews Z7 Xtreme


Pros: Love the compact design, very easy to maneuver in a tree stand or blind. The brace height makes this bow very accurate even in my hands. This bow is very quiet. A very well balanced bow.

Cons: A little stiff when you first start to draw the bow, but not really that bad.

Full review:

Honestly this is my first Matthews bow and I love it. I would recommend this bow to anyone who shoots a 28 1/2 draw length. I am not what you would call a pro, but at 30 yards I can shoot amazing groups. With other bows I would have not even attempted to make shots out to 40 and 50 yards, with this bow bring on those white tails grazing in those cover crops. Thank you Matthews it was worth every penny.

By far the nicest shooting bow I have shot. Love it. Thinking of buying a second just for hunting.

Version: 2011 Mathews Z7 Xtreme Tactical


Pros: Nice compact, light, Fast, smooth draw, Little vibration and after shock. Nice valley with a noticeable back wall. Love the Carbon fiber look limbs on black riser.

Cons: Little spendy but worth it. The one size cam is only a con if you decide to sell a bow and buy a new one. Once again ALMOST to nice to take into the thick Western Washington woods but I will.

Full review:

I have been shooting bows for the last 20 yrs. I Started with a PSE. I have shot Hoyts Martins High Countyt's and have had 2 Alpines which I swore by until Mathews. Bought my first Mathews in 96(Ultra light). Bought a Black Max2 in 2003 Fast bow, accurate but very unforgiving. Sounded like a 22 going off and vibrated the hell out me. I bought a DXT in 2008. The DXT was my first semi parallel limb bow. Still think it is a great bow, good speed and compact (Still my spare bow). I was not impressed with the Reezen enough to justify buying a bow so soon. When the Z7 cam out I was not sure of the Grid riser, however I liked the feel in the hand and at full draw. However did not shoot it. When the Extreme came out The feel and draw was impressive. It made my DXT feel really stiff and I personally think it is smoother than the Z7. I held off shooting it at that time again. Knew if I shot it I would buy it. The wife may not of understood. When I saw the add for the tactical at the shop I instantly fell in lust with the look. So I finally sent an arrow down range with an extreme. Lust turned to love and had to have it. Bought the first tactical that came into the shop 2 days later back in February of 2011. Still the wife does not fully understand. However she might when she gets her Jewel. As I stated earlier the draw is really smooth compared to my DXT and night and day compared to the Black Max 2. The cam has a slight stiffness right before the break point. However this does not keep me from drawing the bow straight out in front of me with almost no motion, at 70#. The back wall fits me perfect at 29" Not like hitting a brick wall but noticeable enough to ensure a nice solid anchor. The valley is just right, enough room to be able to settle in a concentrate on aiming and not have to worry about hitting the front wall. Unlike my dxt which the valley seemed a little small and the front wall instant. I was always nervous I was going to relax a little to much while at draw on an animal and hit the front wall on the DXT. The extremes wall is still instant, but gives good confidence at full draw for those times when the bull just does not want to take that last step. The light weight will be come in nice in Sept for elk season since I spot and stock and cover a lot of ground each day. And the nice compact size makes it nice for the thick Western Washington under growth. Also the light weight makes it really nice at full draw when holding the pin on target. Once again, nice when waiting for the Bull to present the sweet spot. Shooting the bow I was amazed on how little vibration and after shock the bow had. The speed was just right. Not as fast as my black Max 2 however speed is not everything. Usually speed means you must give up on forgivesnesshowever the Extreme has speed and forgiveness thanks to the brace height. The bow is also extremely quite. Compared to the DXT it has all the good traits of the DXT. Compact size, forgiveness, smoothness quiet and made them way better. Also brought back the 2 piece quiver option which the DXT lacked. I can not say enough about the Extreme, love the bow would recommend it to anyone. Not sure how Mathews will improve on this bow but they always seem to. Looking forward to see how. Maybe an even lighter bow or an adjustable cam so the bow is easier to pass to the son or daughter. However that only matters when looking to pass it on for a new bow.

Possibly the best all around bow ever made

Version: 2011 Mathews Z7 Xtreme


Pros: The bow is extremely quiet, very fast, covers for alot of mistakes made by shooter error, kills every north American game, and possibly one of the most accurate bows I've ever shot.

Cons: Pricey! But if your serious about getting a high quality bow the price is perfect.

Full review:

I have had this bow for two months and have shot it probably 500 times. I'm 29" draw at 70lbs shooting a 400gr easton axis st at 298fps producing upwards of 75-80 ft-lbs of energy. As far as accuracy I'm shooting inch to inch and a half groups out to 55yds VERRY accurate bow. Quiet... Compared to most it is like a stick snapping in the wind, deadly silent. The 7 3/8 inch brace hight is verry forgiving too it will correct your mistakes when the big one walks by and the excitement takes over. In my opinion the Mathews Z7 extreme is the most deadly bow ever made by any company. All this in a compact package makes it perfect in any situation on the ground, in a stand, in a blind or in thick brush. I want to thank Mathews for the innovation and technology and the devotion to making the best bows known to man.


Version: 2012 Mathews Z7 Xtreme


Pros: Light, easy to shoot, forgiving


Full review:

I have shot bows for most of my adult life. I (by no choice of my own) spent the last 3 years without a bow and was pretty sure that when I bought one that I would be back on the Hoyt train. Having never shot a Mathews I was alittle unsure of what to expect. I went to a local archery shop (Buck Rub) and shot three bows (RampageXT, Vecter35 and the z7x). Now, I am more used to the longer AtoA of the Hoyts and they brought back that old feeling when I let the three arrows loose from them, but then I picked up the z7x. I was amazed at how light it was and how short. I told my fiance, "I bet I can't even hit the target with this short thing". Well, I was wrong. Threee shots and three hits and to top it off, the 3rd was a robin hood!!! (now this demo model wasn't a rigged up and ready bow. There was a rest that had been set but the sights were awful). I thought that I missed the target completely but when I came walking back with the arrows in hand, the salesman asked "so what length do you want that draw in?" there was no way I wasn't walking out without that bow. So, the z7 xtreme has taken this avid Hoyt shooter and turned him into a SoloCam man. But since the price was so high, mine will be sitting in the box till I can afford to set it up.

God Bless America & God Bless Mathews!

Version: 2011 Mathews Z7 Xtreme


Pros: Lightweight - Aesthetically cool - accurate - quiet - 28' ATA (great for tight bush stalking)

Cons: Standard wood grip that creaks and although it looks nice, the rubber Focus grip performs better.

Full review:

Overall, an excellent bow. Still accurate after hundreds of arrows, multiple string replacements and plenty of bash marks after lots of hunting in harsh conditions. Added a short Axion stabilizer that gave it slightly better balance & dampened the already quite machine even further.

Worth every penny

Version: 2012 Mathews Z7 Xtreme


Pros: Smooth, Quiet, Accurate, Deadly!

Cons: there is nothing I dont like about this bow other than I have to keep fletching arrows

Full review:

Blacked out, but not tactical, original walnut grip, 70# 30"draw, 3/16 peep, Trophy Ridge Alpha V5 sights, Ripcord Red rest, Carbon Express Blue Streak Select arrows, 100gr G5 T3 mechanical broadheads, TruBall Short-n-Sweet release. This thing is an absolute lazer beam. As quiet as a mouse! I actually had to set the first pin to 30yrds as there was not enoughtdistance between pins at 20 and 30yrds. consistantly hitting a pie plate at 70 yards. The very first three shot group I shot with this bow was 1.5" at 40 yrds. Without doubt it has helped to make me a better archer my previous bow was a PSE Durango 30"draw 70#, Goldtip 5575 arrows, G5 T3 100gr broadheads, Two prong rest i cant remember the name, Tru Fire X calipre release. I was fortunate to take a number of animals with this bow, however it is nowhere near the z7 extreame I have now.

Perfect hunting bow.

Version: 2011 Mathews Z7 Xtreme


Pros: Smooth, fast, quiet, and just as accurate as a longer axle to axle bow. Short axle to axle makes it more maneuverable, but it surprisingly holds and feels like a longer bow.

Cons: No cons for me. I'm into my third hunting season and it is still in tune and the paint is holding up. I've probably shot it a few thousand times and I've hunted with it a lot.

Full review:

When I went into the archery store looking to buy a new bow, I immediately dismissed this one because of its shorter ATA. I thought it looked cool but I had heard shorter ATA bows were not as accurate and didn't hold as well as the longer bows. I had shot several high dollar flagship bows while I was there. While I was trying to make up my mind about which one I liked better, the store owner brought this one over for me to try out. I honestly thought I wouldn't like it and I told him so before I shot it. One shot was all it took for me to realize how wrong I was to judge this bow before shooting it. I soon forgot about those other bows, and the z7 xtreme had a new home. The farthest I've shot this bow is 70 yards. My groups are about 5 inches at that range. I'm no pro, so I'm sure there are many who could shoot better than that. My 5 pin sights are set to 20-30-40-50-60. I use an imaginary 70 yard pin right under the 60 to make those shots. 80 yards is too far for me to chance loosing an arrow using an imaginary pin. Arrows can get expensive lol. My accessories are QAD ultra rest, copper johns DN3 sight, axion 5" silencer stabilizer, and mathews t5 quiver. I do have a Doinker dish 12 inch stabilizer, but I can't tell a bit of difference in stabilization on this bow with the Doinker over the axion. So I went with the one that doesn't get in the way while hunting. I'm not putting down the Doinker, I'm just saying I prefer the Axion over the Doinker dish on this hunting bow. I love this bow and will be using it a long time. I've read things like it isn't accurate past 40 yards, and the wooden handle is uncomfortable, bad paint job, and overpriced. I haven't experienced any of those things with mine and it was cheaper than the other expensive flagship bows I was test firing so I guess those bows must be really overpriced since I thought this one was better.

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