PSE EVO NXT 35 Review

PSE EVO NXT 35

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Pros

  • Amazing do it all bow for hunters are target shooters alike
  • SE cam system has all the great characteristics as the Evolve, but a bit smoother
  • Draw length adjustment from 25.5-31-inches
  • Two factory grip choices

Cons

  • 4.7-pounds may be a little heavier than some shooters are used to
  • The new riser looks less like the aggressive PSE style of previous years
  • 328 feet per second is not very fast in 2020
  • $1099 is a fair asking price, but still a premium MSRP for many shooters

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Editors' review

PSE has focused on creating a bow for every single person on the market for a long time. They choose different cam styles, pricepoints, varied axle-to-axle measurements, and a wide range of speed options to literally meet the demands across all parts of the bow market. The new EVO NXT platform is an improvement on everything shooters have loved about previous model year flagship bows, but extending the riser, and laying the limbs back a bit to make the draw cycle even smoother with the Evolve Cams even smoother than before. The EVO NXT 35 is a designed hunting bow, with a 35-inch axle-to-axle measurement, but truly has capabilities to be shot for any style of compound archery. The SE, or Small Evolve cam system has always been featured on the longer versions of the aluminum flagship models, and has the same feel and customization as the Evolve cam, but may even be smoother than the Evolve on the draw cycle. The draw length range fits most shooters with a 25.5-31-inch draw length range, adjustable in half-inch increments. The let-off can also be adjusted in 5% increments from 65-90% with the correct module. The advertised speeds peak at 328 feet per second, which is a bit of a let down on paper, but practically speaking, these bows meet their speeds right out of the box, and have even been clocked outperforming the specifications. PSE did not end there either, they created a second factory grip option, redesigned the riser and limbs, and focused a great deal on shootability with the PSE EVO NXT 35. The bow weighs 4.7-pounds, which may seem a touch heavy on paper, but feels about perfect in person. The price is premium with an MSRP of $1099. However, that is competitively priced with other flagship models on the market, and is cheaper than many target rigs available in 2020. Not often enough does a bow come along with the ability to be used for spots, 3D, and hunting. The 2020 EVO NXT Evo can really do everything shooters ask of it, and it does it very well.

Finish

PSE has always seemed a bit limited when it comes to finish options on their highest end models. Although the EVO NXT 35 still has a fairly limited number of finish options, it has been enhanced from previous years. The finish looks amazing on their bows, and is durably applied so it will last under the conditions shooters demand from their rigs. The choices include: Mossy Oak Country, Kuiu Verde, Realtree Edge, First Lite Fusion, Black, and Tan. With the EVO NXT 35 also being a superb do it all bow, it would be great to see some additional target bow color offerings; unfortunately, that is not the case. With First Lite being added in 2020, hopefully that is a sign of more additions to come from PSE in the future. Admittedly, it does make it tougher on dealers to have more color options offered from the factory. With a bunch of choices, it makes it very difficult for shops to stock everything, and smaller shops would suffer from that the most. Being able to stock all the EVO NXT platform, in all finish options, may be more than how many EVO's a shop could even sell. From a customer standpoint, it would be nice to see a few more options though.

Riser

The EVO NXT platform got a new riser design from the ground up. The riser got extended from previous models, which creates a more stable shooting platform for improved accuracy. Time and time again, shooters have come to realize a longer riser improves the hold down range more so than the advertised axle-to-axle measurement. With the 35 model, the riser is massive, and it is fairly straight up and down, which can also lead to high stability for many shooters as well. The minimally reflexed riser also allows for a forgiving 6 ⅞-inches brace height. When this longer brace height is combined with a long riser, shooters are going to gain a lot of confidence with the bow! The overall bare bow weight is 4.7-pounds, which seems heavy on paper, but is not too bad when holding. The bow is longer than most hunters are used to. However, the perfectly balanced system does not make the bow feel heavy whatsoever, and the balance actually adds to how nice it feels in hand. The cable containment system is a pretty slick design. Although there is often bad ratings related to a cable system, this PSE version is a bit different. The cables are actually contained in a roller system, which allows the cables to smoothly pull on the rollers as they want to flex towards the middle of the bow naturally as the shooter goes to full draw. That roller system glides along the cable rod, which can be adjusted for the best tune as well. With any rig attempting to do every style of archery, it must be able to tune well with a variety of arrow and vane configurations, which this system allows for.PSE also went through great lengths to allow for vibration dampening and stabilization to occur as shooters' preferences demand. The rear mounted string stop system is perfect for stopping the strings forward movement and eliminating almost all the noise and vibration occurring in the system after the arrow is released. PSE also has the standard front mounting stabilizer bushing, directly in front of the string stop system, to transfer all residual vibration out to the stabilizer. There is also a rear mounted stabilizer bushing as well, which is designed for shooters wanting a back bar for weight stabilization. PSE also incorporated another really cool mounting hole below the standard location, just above the lower limb pocket. Shooters using this lower mounting location have noted a different feel in comparison to the standard top mounting hole, but each shooter will be able to choose which mounting location feels best to them, instead of adapting to just having one location to make work. The riser shows a commitment from PSE to give shooters the best experience right out of the box, and allow for customization after that to meet every shooter's needs. In a bow that can do every kind of archery a compound bow is capable of, those are really great qualities to design in.

Grip

PSE grips on their flagship models have always had a flatback and been fairly thin, even before it was popular for everyone to do it. Despite this being a very comfortable option, and one still offered with the new EVO NXT lineup, PSE created a second factory grip for shooters to choose from. The second grip option allows for shooters to use the one-piece composite grip over the standard grip worked into the riser itself. The Comfort Grip allows shooters to choose which works best for them, which is a bit of a theme with the EVO NXT platform. The composite grip is larger than the standard feeling grip, but still has a comfortable shape and feel in the hand. Regardless of which option shooters decide to go with, it is always a great thing to have choices. The grip is the most connected part to the shooter at all steps of the shooting process, so it is paramount that shooters are able to find some comfort in what the grip feels like.

Limbs

The limbs are a different breed for PSE, although they stay with the split limb design they have used for a while now. The EVO NXT 35 gets a shorter, more laid back limb design for 2020, which takes away from the aggressive looking bow dating all the way back to the original X-Force days. These shorter, less pre-stressed at rest limbs actually smooth out the Evolve cam, or in this case the SE cam, even more than it is already known for. The new limb configuration also makes the bow quieter and more vibration free than previous models. The split limb technology is available in maximum draw weight of 50, 60, 65, and 70-pounds, which should be just fine for the majority of shooters wanting the 35-inch version of the EVO NXT. The 31 and the 33 EVO NXT also offer 80-pounders, so if a shooter is set on going as heavy as possible, the 35 may not work for them since it will peak at 70-pounds. The limb pockets are a slightly different design to accommodate the newly designed limbs, but it is still a solidly built system, with near zero tolerances, and sure to withstand any conditions a bowhunter can throw its way. There is a split limb dampener included from the factory as well, which can be swapped out for a variety of colors as well. The limb graphics are simple including the bow name and PSE is red and white lettering. Everything about the limbs work with the new designs to create the quietest aluminum hunting bow PSE has ever made.

Eccentric System

The EVO NXT 35 is outfitted with the SE cam system, although shooters can also opt for the standard Evolve Cam if they choose. The SE cam system, when paired with the 35 platform, allows shooters within the 25.5-31-inch range, with a rotating draw length module. The half-inch draw length adjustments fit a large range of shooters, and helps with resale value down the road because the rotating module fits all shooters with swapping cams or having to purchase a different module. The draw let-off is also adjustable between two different modules as well. Shooters can opt from 65-90%, in half-inch increments. This gives shooters an option to pick what holding weight and valley feel they prefer to match the type of shooting they are going to do. The SE cams are not fast, with an ATA/IBO speed rating of 328-320 feet per second. However, the longer axle-to-axle measurement and the almost 7-inch brace height are not designed to supply a surplus of speed anyways. PSE speed numbers are also exact. There is no inflating of the speed rating, and shooters will find the arrows shoot those speeds with bows right out of the box. The SE cams also do well with heavy arrows, meaning they do not lose speed as quickly as some other cams do when shooting heavier weighted arrows. This efficiency does not reflect on the specification card, but it will be a nice feature when shooters are outfitting their arrows with a heavier weight to pack more of a kinetic energy punch.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

The SE cams have always been the cam of choice on the longer versions of the flagship hunting bows, and for good reason. This system has all the well liked features of Evolve cam, but are built on a slightly smaller scale to keep the overall size of the system a bit smaller. The great part about the SE cams, or if shooters opt to go with the Evolve Cams, is that shooters have the say in how everything feels. The draw is smooth no matter which setting in terms of transitioning from one section of the draw force curve to the next. The valley and holding weight is fully customizable, which also means it is difficult to characterize. Each shooter can have a variety of different feels depending on which let-off chosen. The longer bow holds so well on target, it is almost not even fair. The sting angle feels exactly like a target bow as well, and is super comfortable, even for those at the upper end of the draw length range. The bow balances super well without accessories, and is as dead in hand as any other bow in the PSE lineup after the shot. The three stabilizer mounting options are great as well, and gives shooters even more options for how they want the bow to feel overall. PSE created an amazing platform, and the ability to customize and make tweaks based on personal preference from there is greatly appreciated! Shooters will be hard pressed to find something they do not like about the bow. There may be another bow they prefer more, but anyone citing something being wrong with the EVO NXT 35 is simply talking about their personal preference, and not an actual flaw. Anyone choosing this bow for hunting, or target shooting, the EVO NXT 35 is outstanding.

Usage Scenarios

The PSE EVO NXT 35 was created to be a longer hunting bow. Although 35-inches is longer than many hunting bows on the market, many shooters still like the longer rigs to take into the woods. The longer bows sacrifice a bit in maneuverability, but many shooters feel the more stable platform is worth the sacrifice. Although the main design was for hunting, the EVO NXT 35 makes a great spot or 3D bow as well. Once in a while, a true multi-purpose bow comes along, and that is what we have with the 35. This bow can easily be used across archery styles, and is designed in such a way to allow for maximum customization in all archery styles. No matter what type of archery shooters are into, the 2020 PSE EVO NXT will perform in all of them very well.

PSE EVO NXT 35 vs PSE EVO NXT 33

BowPSE EVO NXT 35PSE EVO NXT 33
Version 20202020
PicturePSE EVO NXT 35PSE EVO NXT 33
Brace Height6.875 "7 "
AtA Length35 "33 "
Draw Length25.5 " - 31 "26.5 " - 32 "
Draw Weight40 lbs - 70 lbs40 lbs - 80 lbs
IBO Speed320 fps - 328 fps314 fps - 322 fps
Weight4.7 lbs4.5 lbs
Let-Off80% - 90% 80% - 90%
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All of the EVO NXT platform rigs share similar characteristics and the 33 and 35 share some traits of a do it all, multi-purpose bow. The primary difference between the two models is the axle-to-axle measurement, although there are some other differences between the two. For shooters with a primary focus on hunting, with a secondary focus on target archery, the PSE EVO NXT 33 may be the best option. The 35 version will be tougher to make work in a pop-up blind because they are generally not very tall for archers with larger rigs. However, for those with a primary demand for target archery, mixing in a little bit of hunting, the 35 may be the preferred model. It may also be worth looking into what draw length the shooter will be when deciding between these two models. If a shooter is on the longer end of the draw length spectrum, the 35 may be a bit more comfortable in terms of having a consistent anchor point without having a tilted head position. No matter which bow shooters choose, the EVO NXT platform is going to meet the needs of many.

Summary

PSE has always made exceptional equipment, and may be one of the most underrated bow companies in 2020. With a bow created for every shooter, and every price point, some shooters tend to look past PSE models because they are sold in just about every box store. However, the EVO NXT lineup is as premium as it gets, and the longest 35-inch model is a legitimate contender for the best do it all bow ever created. Everything from the cam system, with the ability to personalize the draw cycle, down to the added finish options in demand of offering more options to shooters, PSE has responded to the 2020 market demand. This EVO NXT 35 has taken some hits in online forums for topping out at 328 feet per second. However, those with any experience shooting the bow are quick to negate the speeds for how amazing everything about the EVO NXT 35 feels. For those on the market in owning a larger framed hunting bow, the 35-inch model in the beloved EVO NXT lineup is worth a long look. Anyone interested in dipping their toes into another variety of archery shooting, can have great confidence in the EVO NXT 35 not letting them down, no matter what style of archery.

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