Mission Journey Review
Where to buy
Editors' reviewIt's no coincidence that the Mission Journey carries the same specs as one of the most popular Mathews bows ever, the Switchback XT. Mission hit a homerun with the Journey when they decided to mimic the Switchback XT, but were able to offer it at a lower price. At just 31" axle-to-axle, this bow is easy to move around in the woods but the long riser and 7.5" brace height offer the shootability that is demanded by new archers and veterans, alike. The Journey makes a great back up bow to the Switchback XT, as well as the first choice bow for anyone.
Riser & LimbsThe dipped camo finish available on the Journey is Advantage Max-4 and provides the same durability that Mathews is famous for. Having a machined riser, Mission was able to get the total weight down to 4.25 lbs without sacrificing strength. In an effort to save the buyer money, the Journey comes with a carbon cable guard rod instead of a roller guard. During the draw, it would be hard to tell the difference between the two since a premium cable slide is used.
GripThe grip offered on the Journey is built out of beautiful walnut and the feel is similar to that of Mathews grips from the same years... some people love 'em, and some people hate 'em. It will be up to your personal preference as to whether or not you like the grip. If the grip is just too uncomfortable for you, aftermarket grips will help to alleviate torquing and hand placement issues by helping to ensure consistent hand placement with each shot. The grips are easy to remove and replace so an uncomfortable grip should not keep you from considering this bow.
StringZebra Hybrid strings are used on the Journey which are a step down from the Zebra Barracuda strings used on higher end Mathews bows. The string construction process is the same between the two, but the Barracuda comes pre-stretched to help eliminate peep twist and string stretch. You should consider putting many shots through it to let the string settle out before starting your initial tuning, as some stretch may cause the specs to be off by a little bit. Once the string has settled in (100 shots or so), you will likely not notice much, if any, more stretch.
Eccentric SystemYou will notice a perimeter weighted single cam and idler wheel on the Mission Journey. The round cam allows for a super smooth draw with speeds up to 315 fps IBO and 80% let-off. Tuning is easy with the single cam and you won't have to fight it to dial in your axle-to-axle, brace height, cam rotation, and idler lean. Cams are available for the Journey to meet draw lengths of 25"-30" in 1/2" increments and must me changed in order to change draw length, so if you are still growing, a bow that offers adjustable cams may be a better option. The 80% let-off will allow you to hold longer before shooting as a result of the decreased holding weight.
Draw Cycle / ShootabilitySince it's not one of the fastest bows, it is expected that the Journey be smooth and easy to draw... and it is! The smooth draw is one of the main selling factors for hunters so that they can be sure and draw the bow at the moment of truth. The 7.5" brace height ensures shootability and forgivability while the 31" axle-to-axle length makes it easy to maneuver. Even though it is only 31" long, the parallel limbs allow for a long riser which helps the Journey to hold steady on target. After release, the shot is quiet and has very little vibration even though it doesn't have as many dampers as the Switchback XT.
Silencing PackageThe silencing package on the Journey includes the Cable-X silencers and string suppressors at the limb tips. To cut down on price, Mission did not include harmonic dampers in the riser but this bow does not suffer as a result. The string suppressors at the limb tips help to keep the string from going forward past brace height after the shot, and help eliminate string vibrations. The Cable-X silencers work to cut down on string and cable vibration after the shot by dampening out those vibrations. Overall, the silencing and vibration elimination packages do their job to produce a quiet and smooth shot.
Comparison: Mission Journey vs Mathews Switchback XT
The overall shape, specs, and speed of the Mission Journey very closely reflects that of the Mathews Switchback XT with the biggest difference being the price. Neither of these bows are still produced, but they can both be found used if you are willing to shop around. When looking at the bows, you will notice that the Switchback XT has a roller guard and has harmonic dampers placed in the riser and roller guard. These dampers certainly help to dampen out riser vibration after the shot, but the Journey doesn't exactly vibrate a lot at the shot. The Switchback XT comes with a higher quality string than that offered on the Journey. When shopping around for a used bow, the Journey will be significantly cheaper as the Mathews Switchback XT has retained its value much better as a result of people being more willing to pay for a bigger name. The decision between these two bows should come down to your budget and how much you are willing to spend.
|Bow||Mission Journey||Mathews Switchback XT|
|Brace Height||7.5 "||7.5 "|
|AtA Length||31 "||31 "|
|Draw Length||25 " - 30 "||25 " - 30 "|
|Draw Weight||40 lbs - 80 lbs||40 lbs - 70 lbs|
|IBO Speed||315 fps||315 fps|
|Weight||4.15 lbs||4.25 lbs|
|Let-Off||80%||65% or 80%|
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