January 11, 2024
I don't know how many new-for-the-year bow roundups I've penned during my tenure, or how many individual bow test reports I've compiled. However, I do know the number is high. Still, few things get me as excited as new bow launches, and the 2024 lineup is shaping up to be good.
While we will provide a more in-depth review of the to-come bows after we've put them through the paces, the intel coming is solid for getting your 2024 bow search off on the right foot.
Once again, vertical bow manufacturers knocked it out of the park and continue to make strides to ensure personal shooting customization.
Here we go!
Bowtech Core SR & Core SS
A dynamic 2024 duo, Bowtech gives bowhunters its Core SR (25- to 30-inch draw length) and Core SS (26- to 31-inch draw length). The big story with both compounds is CenterMass Technology, which aligns the sight to create maximum stability and undeniable shot-to-shot consistency. Billed by Bowtech as being a sweet blend of speed and smoothness while providing ultra-stable balance at full draw, the Core Series is equipped with DeadLock Technology to ensure repeatable accuracy. TimeLock means rapid tuning thanks to quick and easy cam position adjustments, and the GripLock allows each shooter to achieve a custom grip angle. Both bows are available in peak draw weights of 50, 60 and 70 pounds. The Core SR measures 33 inches between the axles, weighs 4.5 pounds, and is capable of 344 fps. The Core SS is 31.5 inches axle-to-axle, weighs 4.5 pounds and has an fps-max of 337.
Hoyt Alpha X and Carbon RX-8
True to form, Hoyt gives bowhunters four flagship models for 2024. Available in a pair of axle-to-axle lengths — 30 and 33 inches — the Alpha X is the aluminum flagship and features many all-new innovations. The HBX Xact Cam comes in a trio of mod systems to provide precise draw-length adjustment in 1/4-inch increments. The cam also showcases an integrated kickstand to protect the cam and string from excess wear, and shooters can choose between X-hard and hard backwall options and letoff settings of 75, 80 and 85 percent. Hoyt bills the Alpha X to provide an 18 percent reduction in vibration and a 25 percent reduction in sound, and the Integrated Drop Cord Slot is a riser win for those who prefer to run a cable-driven rest. Helping squelch noise is new WireWRX Bow Strings and Holeshot V2 Silencers. The Alpha X 30 has a brace height of 6 3/16 inches, weighs 4.55 pounds, and is branded with a 344 fps (ATA) speed. The Alpha X 33 weighs 4.75 pounds, has an ATA speed rating of 334 fps, and has a 6 3/8-inch brace height.
Also, as they've done for years, Hoyt launched a pair of carbon-riser wonders — the 30-inch axle-to-axle, four-pound Carbon RX-8. And 34.6880-inch axle-to-axle, 4.4-pound Carbon RX-8 Ultra. As with the Alpha X duo, both bows feature the 1/4-inch draw-length adjustable HBX Xact Cam. Plus, you can't beat the strength-to-weight ratio of Hoyt's carbon-riser rigs. Hoyt bills its VitalPoint Grip as comfortable and repeatable. Both aluminum and carbon models come in many camo and solid options, including the new-for-2024 Tombstone solid.
MSRP: $1,339-$2,049 | hoyt.com
Mathews has raised the veil on some compound marvels over the years; at first glance, 2024 seems no different. Enter the Lift 29.5 and Lift 33. Naturally, the numbers behind the name of the new aluminum-riser flagships indicate draw length. The Lift 29.5 is a sub-four-pound, 6-inch brace height shooter fitted with Mathews' all-new SwitchWeight-X Cam. The cam ensures a steady stacking draw cycle that ends with a rock-solid backwall and can propel carbon at a top speed of 348 fps.
In addition to the flamethrower-like SwitchWeight-X Cam, both the 29.5 and 33 showcase a new top-mounted axle system designed to minimize the working surface area of the limbs while cutting weight and boosting stability across the entire platform. Shot Sense blends with the bows' grip to track and record your shot analytics. The Lift 33 weighs 4.26 pounds, has a 6.5-inch brace height, and hits a top-end arrow speed of 343 fps. Both bows are offered in multiple draw weight options and camo and solid color schemes.
From Ninja Black to eye-catching solids and killer camo patterns, you can build your 2024 Elite Ethos however you want. The Ethos is a 4.5-pound, 33-inch axle-to-axle compound, which sports the 340-fps-producing SP Cam. With this cam and the V3 Mods, shooters can customize holding weight, draw length and backwall preference to achieve a customized shooting experience. Letoff is adjustable from 70 to 90 percent, and draw-length adjustments come in ¼-inch increments. Another top-tier feature is one that Elite calls S.E.T. Technology (Simplified Exact Tuning). The benefit is that the user can micro-adjust the limb pivot angle to change the position of the cams (the lean) and the lateral position (center shot) for optimized arrow flight, no matter what kind of point is on the end. The 6.75-inch brace height Ethos is also fitted with wider limbs and a dual-caged riser to create a stable shooting platform, and the Deta VRT ensures a church-mouse-quiet shot.
PSE Mach 30 DS
A member of PSE's Pro Hunting Line, the Made in the U.S.A. Mach 30 DS, at 30 inches axle-to-axle, is compact and maneuverable; however, according to PSE, it also provides ultimate balance at full draw. Branded by PSE as Full Draw Stability, the ultra-light 3.6-pound compound showcases an effective string angle comparable to longer axle-to-axle bows, allowing it to be maneuverable and stable at full draw. The 6-inch brace height Mach 30 DS hits a top speed of 338 fps and comes in peak draw weights of 50, 60, 70 and 80 pounds, adjustable down 10 pounds from the peak. For all your whitetail-hunting needs, PSE is confident this ultra-quiet, light and accurate rig will exceed your bowhunting expectations.
Prime RVX 32, 34, & 36
For the past few years, good things have come in threes at Prime. For 2024, this top-notch bow maker gives bowhunters its all-new RVX Series. Available in axle-to-axle lengths of 32, 34, and 36 inches, there's an RVX for every shooter. All come with the Core Cam System, heralded for its arrow-driving accuracy and draw-length specific mods. Combined with the Center Grip Riser, which puts more mass lower in the riser to improve aiming and stability throughout the shot cycle, the RVX Series can't be ignored. The Nano-Grip incorporates NASA-developed materials to thwart having a too-cold or too-hot bow grip, and Quick Tune Technology means you'll be punching perfect holes through paper in no time. The RVX 32 has a 6.25-inch brace height, propels carbon at 340 fps, and weighs 4.4 pounds. Sending arrows downrange at a top IBO arrow speed of 342 fps, the RVX 34 sports a 6.25-inch brace height and has a fighting weight of 4.5 pounds. Perfect for the whitetail woods or the competition stage, the RVX 36 weighs 4.6 pounds and hits a top IBO speed of 332 fps.
Bear Legend Series Whitetail Maxx
We have to pay homage to a bow with a name like this one has, and with loads of features and a price point that doesn't break the bank, this 31-inch axle-to-axle bow is ready to make your whitetail dreams come true. Capable of a top-end speed of 339 fps, the Whitetail Maxx is draw-length adjustable in 1/2-inch increments between 26 and 30 inches and comes in draw-weight options of 45-60 and 55-70 pounds. The EKO Cam System is cheered for being smooth and fast while offering an amazing 90 percent letoff. Available in five finish options, the Maxx also utilizes a new roller cable guard system that provides an ultra-pleasant draw cycle when paired with the EKO Cam System.
Xpedition XLite 29 and XLite 35
Two 2024 winners from Xpedition, rich with many of the same 2023 technologies that made the XLite 31 and XLite 33 so popular, Xpedition grows the XLite crowd. The XLite 29 and XLite 35 newcomers showcase Xpedition's proprietary alloy Magnite riser, which is 30 percent lighter than 6061 aluminum, and noted by Xpedition to be stronger than carbon. Both bows have cams designed precisely for them — the XLite 29 features the XB29, and the XLite 35 has the XB35. Both cam systems were built to ensure maximum speed without compromising the ultra-comfortable draw system Xpedition lovers found in the popular XB1 cam system. The XLite 29 & 35 come with 17- and 19-degree grip positions to ensure a custom fit.