First impressions are important. When I received my new 2013 Mathews Chill the first thing I did after tying on a loop was to draw the bow. I was immediately impressed.
I was not alone. At the same moment I was testing my Chill, visitors from Bowsite were lending their feedback and it was nearly unanimous - Lots of accolades once they had an opportunity to shoot the Chill at their local dealers. This one comments repeated several times over echoed my experience; "this bow is a sheer pleasure to shoot. "
The bow is basically a dual cam Monster with a best in class draw cycle and an extremely forgiving frame. It utilizes Mathews new DYAD AVS Cam System producing an 80% let off, and has the same basic frame as the newer top end Mathews bows. It has a 7" brace height and is 30.5" axle to axle. Mass weight is very respectable at 3.9 lbs.
So let’s break it down starting with the obvious strength of this bow.
Draw Cycle - This is my number one attribute. Beforehand shock, mass weight, or grip/feel I judge a bow on how smooth the draw cycle feels to me. This bow is in a class by itself when it comes to draw cycle. That’s important to me, it makes shooting more fun, but more importantly, it allows me to draw cleanly when an animal is in my kill zone.
Hand Shock - virtually none. This bow was dead in my hands. Another huge design plus.
Grip - This bow comes standard with a Mathews Focus Grip. My first reaction was I didn’t care for it as much as I liked the Slimfit Walnut grip on the Creed, but my accuracy was superb with this bow and I learned to like it. If given the choice, I would probably stick with the Walnut grip but the Focus Grip was perfectly acceptable.
Speed - This is one of the faster bows I’ve shot from Mathews. I am not a speed freak. I’ll take a smooth draw and low hand shock on a forgiving bow any day over a screamer. But this bow had both, and that was the perfect combination for my long distance shots where speed is more important.
|Watch the Mathew Chill Review Video
Mass Weight - It’s heavier than the creed, and feels much heavier than the Heli-m. That’s OK as I like more mass weight in a bow that I shoot at distance. For close-range tree stand hunting, I will likely stick with my Creed this season but I don’t think I can leave the Chill behind all season. It was that good.
Forgiveness - I stated this during our Creed review and nothing has changed. I have imperfect form and do not shoot short brace height/screamer bows well at all. I don’t find them to be fun to shoot and I have no interest in hunting with them. When I looked at the specs of this bow the brace height looked fine, but the speed had me worried. It was faster than I normally do well with. But those concerns vanished after the first 10 shots. This was a very forgiving bow. In fact, I had to put some arrows through my Chrono just to prove it was as fast as advertised. With my heavy arrows I achieved 303 fps. Plenty fast, and forgiving enough for guys like me who are more hunters than shooters.
Setup and Tuning - if you recall my review of the Mathews Creed from last winter, it required zero tuning out of the box. I had perfect arrow flight immediately. I was not quite that lucky with this Chill - but it was close. It took me about 50 shots and an hour to achieve a consistently perfect arrow with my preference of big, 2 blade broadheads.
My testing setup: My Chill was set at 72lbs and a 27" draw length. The rest was a Mathews Downforce rest which shot wonderfully during my test. For arrows, I was shooting Carbon Express Maxima Red Arrows. For broadheads, I was using Muzzy 2-blade Phantom 90s. I used a Tru-Ball Stinger release and a G5 peep. While I had a Mathews Arrow Web 7-arrow quiver on during my entire review, I spent the last 25% of my shots with a fully loaded quiver. It made no difference in my accuracy.
Conclusion - After shooting the Creed I thought it would be hard to top, but I would give this bow a slight edge. The Chill combines an incredible draw cycle with a faster bow built on an extremely stable and forgiving platform. It is definitely my go-to bow for stalking and distance shooting and the slight mass weight increase and extra .5" A2A enhances forgiveness. While the Creed is a slightly better fit for me on those short range stand hunts, for all other hunts and the occasional 3-D with friends the Chill comes along. This bow is a winner.