2017 PSE Evolve 35 In-Depth Review

Posted by Dalton Vaughn on

Hey everybody, it's Dalton Vaughn with Better Outdoors, and I've got the new 2017 PSE Evolve 35 for this review. Now this bow has been a really hot bow this year already. I wanted to wait and do the review after I had spent some time with these bows, however, and sold some, tuned some, shot one of my own or shot some of my own and give a good opinion.

So far guys, I've been really impressed with the bow. As a hunting bow, you're not going to be able to beat this one for a long axle hunting bow setup that's still got respectable speeds and huge letoff if you need it. 

This overall finish of these bows is just fantastic. They look really good, they're really sharp edges, they're machined out really well, the cams look good. I love the Evolve cam system text in 'em, that's really cool. 

It's got the PSE medallion on the back, it's got 'em on the riser. So this bow looks complete. In years past, I didn't feel like PSE higher-end bows looked...complete, if that makes any sense, compared to some of their other competitors. But this year I feel like with the Evolve 31 and 35, definitely raised the bar for PSE and these bows look complete, they look good. They really feel like they're high, high quality and high tech for that matter, which, by the cam system they have, is pretty high tech.

What is pretty wicked about this bow is they spent three years to develop the best high letoff bow that's still got respectable speeds and well, high letoff bows typically are very slow, but this one is definitely not slow, that's what's cool.

It has a four-track style binary system which that controls the cam lean through the help of this yoke that auto-corrects when you shoot. Cam lean's not that big a deal, however, as long as you start with zero cam lean you can tune from there no problem is what we pretty much learned.

This cam system it comes on the Carbon Air series, the 32 and the 34 as well as the Evolve 31 and of course the Evolve 35. This cam system has been extremely sweet to shoot. It's super nice to draw as you'll see later and gives really good speeds.

What makes this really exotic and moving forward with technology is the fact that the cables wind around this thing from their widest point which is closer to the limbs, and comes down to pull at the very center of the cam on both sides. So you're pulling truly from the center of the cam when you draw it back and when it's fired, the centrifugal force of wrapping these cables back around this cam distributes the load to the outside which stabilizes the limb, stabilizes the cam, so your string gets behind your arrow more squarely every time when you shoot. Which of course equates to easier tuning and a little bit more forgiveness in that system. So very, very nice. We've really been happy with the way they shoot for sure. 

It does have two cable stops instead of a limb stop oddly enough, but really good backwall on this bow, of course you'll see that later as well. It's got dead level knock travel which is a huge help on these bows. The hybrid cam bow, sometimes you have to pay with those to get your knock travel just right with that draw length, but with this binary-style system, pretty much dead level throughout any of the draw length settings you want to run.

What is another thing that I feel like is a step forward for PSE with this is you've got adjustable draw length in the cam as well as adjustable letoff in the cam. However, adjusting your letoff settings does adjust your draw length slightly. We'll have a write up on that soon enough. 

These have got such a huge range to adjust in weight and draw length and letoff and there's also in addition to doing this high letoff setup that's 80-85-90%, there's also an optional 65-70-75% letoff module that's available separately that really makes this bow speed up. 

So now, with all that said, let's move over to the features of the rest of this Evolve 35.

2017 PSE Evolve 35 Features

Now the Evolve doesn't just stop with a fancy riser and exotic cam system. Of course the riser is indeed one of the stiffest PSE hunting bow risers to come out so far. The riser actually planes right here and the way they've got this set up actually increases the integrity of the riser significantly. And this is out of 7000 series aluminum, so super stiff riser. I really like the fact that it does because of the binary cam sometimes you do have riser twist over that on years' past design which now most of that's been alleviated by other brands but this was their take on this as well, so very nice there. 

Now you have the carbon bar string stop with a backstop 4 stopper, so nothing real different from there, just like we seen on basically all the bows for 2017. You've got the wide track X Force limbs which the X Force limbs in general, this technology, it increases your dynamic brace height, I do recommend you guys to go look that up if you haven't over on PSE's YouTube page.

This wide limb system was seen on the target bows last year when they were released in August and so far been really happy with having the wide limbs. It spreads the load out more, it decreases hand shock, makes them quieter, so there is some benefits there and that's why pretty much all the companies are starting to head that way. 

It's got the speed limb pockets which do have the wedge lock in 'em, now however guys this is not a LAS pocket, this wedge lock is simply a Teflon pushing in here that pushes these limbs apart so it keeps 'em square from front to back which does help some on noise, vibration, small things like that, but really nice little feature.

What else is nice about this limb pocket is it pivots so when you turn the bow up or down in weight this limb bolt stays flush against this limb pocket, which of course helps with noise, vibration, that sort of thing and keeping the limbs square with the pocket which also helps out on accuracy even if it's just minimal, but I do like that. And it is a 10-turn pocket which allows you to have a huge weight range right at 15 lbs. Very cool. 

It's got the Shock Mod limb dampeners, and it's also got the riser dumbbells and you can get different colors for pretty much all of this. We offer the color kits on our website. They do help with vibration, I do like these shock rods, they look good and they do make a difference. 

The riser dumbbells are a little bit different and a little similar to some of the other companies' setups, but it does serve a purpose and helps out.

It's got a threaded hold on the rear of the riser here, through here, and down through here, so you have three different ways to attach a side bar, back bar, V-bar setup, depending on if you're hunting or shooting 3D or target or indoor or any of that. You also have a hole up here to mount with too, if you needed something up there. So it gives you a few options. 

It's also got the new Supra, Beast-style grip, in my opinion and I really like this grip. It's probably one of the most comfortable grips that I've shot so far and to be on a hunting bow, even better. You can definitely make the crossover from your Supra, Beast, xPression, any of those bows, with this bow to hunt with because it does feel very similar (though those bows are a touch wider than this grip is). But I do like the way this is set up and they are going that way with pretty much all the lineup now: the Brute Force Lite, Infinity, and Bow Madness, Epix are all very similar to this.

Now it also has the new Roller Glide system. Rather than having a cable slide like years past, the new Roller Glide rolls across the flex slide or TRS, these bows do come either way, but your later productions are coming with the TRS, but it doesn't shatter, it doesn't wear the cables as bad, and you can get them on any bow so that can be arranged for too.

Now this TRS system, it's of course called a Torque Reduction System, and I feel like it's a little bit better designed that the flex slide, though the flex slide does tune a little bit better with these bows, oddly enough. So just whatever way you want to go on that, not a big deal breaker there. 

I have learned of course these bows do shoot the best with the least amount of cam lean you can get, so the flex slide and the TRS of course both adjust in and out so that does give you some options without having to tear the bow apart like with some other bows you have to and this one is no different, sometimes that's a necessity. But again, not a major issue there, we're used to that already.

But very happy with the whole setup, the technology they've got going is really ahead of the game I feel like and they're really going in a good direction. 

So now, however, we'll move on to the specs on the Evolve 35.

2017 PSE Evolve 35 Specs

The specs on the Evolve 35 are just about as impressive as the way it shoots. It's a 6.5" brace height with a 35" axle-to-axle. And this bow has got a range from 332-340 IBO and most of the ones we're seeing are right at 340 with some coming in at 337-338. So these bows are different on the number and we'll find out later what this one out of the box is gonna do for us. 

Like I said earlier, we've got an 80-85-90% letoff adjustment range right in the cam, as is the draw length. The draw length range is 26-31.5. These bows do run a touch long but we'll get to that later. 

Bare bow weight on this bow is 4.65 lbs so it's not too bad. It's right around just about everybody's flagship bow now believe it or not, they're going heavier. As far as draw weight ranges, you can get a 35-50 lb model, and that's just in target colors, but you can get in all colors 46-60 lb and a 51.5-70 lb. Very good adjustment range for weight. 

Now the draw weight on this one right out of the box was 58.5 lb and on your letoff settings on 80% letoff we're at 29 1/4 draw and we're holding 9 lb which is around 83% letoff. 85% settings, 29 1/2 draw, 7.5 lb of holding weight, so we're at about 87% letoff. And on the full 90% letoff setting we're at 29 5/8", we're holding 5.97 lb with 89% letoff. So got a ton of letoff here, a ton of valley, this bow is super easy to shoot for that reason.

Now out of the box our axle-to-axle length was 34 15/16" and our brace height was 6 5/8" and most of these bows are around that but if they shoot good, those small numbers really don't mean just a whole, whole lot. 

This bow of course pricewise is $999 bare bow, that's MAP and your target colors are going $1049.99. And your hunting colors, however, for the $999 is gonna be Mossy Oak Country Camo, as we've seen before, black, and SkullWorks 2. And in your target colors you've got imperial purple, like this one, you've got the platinum, and you've got the electric lime, so really cool colors and those are a matte finish rather than gloss.

Now we do offer this bow in our own Ready-to-Shoot package over on betteroutdoors.net if you're interested in a Ready-to-Shoot package rather than just a bare bow. 

So anyways guys, it's time for the fun part - now let's go shoot this Evolve 35 and see what we think about it.

So let's do it.

2017 PSE Evolve 35 Shooting Test

So now it's time for the shooting test and we've got this bow set at the 85% letoff setting which is a good medium, though we will check it at 80 and 90% as well. We're at 29 1/2" draw, measured out, 58.5 lb. 

So the first thing however, like always, we're going to go to the grip cause that's the first thing you're going to grab when you grab any bow. The grip on this bow like I said before it's really comfortable, it really reminds you of their target line but just a little more narrow, which is good. 

And it's got a really nice thumb pad right at the top, so your thumb rests in there real nice. It's not got any gap between there when you put your hand in the grip, so that helps a ton in my opinion. The other side of the shelf was built up just as well so that you don't have your hand riding up into the line of the broadhead very easily, like we've seen on some of the other models, you would get a little fletching contat with your hand sometimes but this one pretty well alleviates it. But the grip is definitely one of my favorites so far, especially for the hunting line. 

But now it's time for the draw cycle. Oh, that is super smooth. Super smooth. About halfway through the draw, you pretty much go from pulling weight to just about nothing pretty quick, and it goes off real easy into the stop, so I'm really liking that. 

At the shot you've got a touch of feedback, and I do mean just a touch. It's just a touch more than the Evolve 31, but this is a more rigid riser that's longer, and that's something you come to expect with a longer riser and a more rigid riser bow, and that's universal for all brands.

Let's give this thing another shot. Now as far as the draw cycle, gonna start out we've got weight there and it builds up, it builds up, and it's peaked, it's rolling over, it's rolling over to nothing. And it transitions nicely. That's something we've had issues with high letoff bows in the past is the transition on 'em.

When they transition harshly and your bow upsets, I don't like that because it takes away time that you have to aim because your bow is trying to settle back down. In a hunting situation, it creates more movement. Now this is a very small quip of mine, but I do like a bow that transitions nicely in that regard. 

Now let's check out the valley and letoff, which is going to be pretty unreal even at 85% for sure. Let's draw this back. Anchor off here and get comfortable. Now let's get lazy with it. Getting lazier, lazier, I've just about got nothing on this bow and it's still sitting here. Finally, it took just about every bit of feeling out of me is the only way to get this thing to go down. And when you do let it down, pretty much have to push it. A lot of these bows are definitely like that with that high letoff, and you do have to push 'em down.

Now, let's go ahead and draw that back, and while we're at it let's talk about the backwall. The backwall is really good on this bow, really solid. You can pull into just a touch and feel just a touch of give, but you have that locked-in feeling at full draw that I really like with my hunting bows. It really makes you feel comfortable, especially it's really cold, you'll be good to go with this setup. Really happy with that. 

Pulling into it, it feels really natural, it doesn't feel like it's pulling itself off target. That's something that I struggle with with limb stop bows. Luckily being a cable stop bow, that's not really the issue. 

Now, let's cover the balance at the end of the shot, and that of course is something that as you shoot you can change. Once you put your stabilizers on, of course that's going to change and by the time I put all my stuff on, they usually don't feel this way anyway. But let's give it a shot. 

Anchor off here. And the string angle too, something to note about that, very comfortable to get to my anchor point. Very nice, it's actually got about the same string angle as an xPression 3D, which is 36.5" axle-to-axle. 

Anchor off here. When you shoot the top cam wants to roll back toward you just slightly, but any stabilizer you put on there pretty much is going to counteract that, and any stabilizer is pretty much going to counteract any of the feedback on the shot I guess you would say that you're going to have. 

Now, however, it's time to adjust the letoff, we're going to do that in a real quick step, so let's do that in a sec and get back to it. 

So no other changes other than the letoff moved right in the cam which is super convenient. We're at 80%, so let's check out the draw cycle and the letoff at 80%. 

Even nicer, in my opinion. The back end of the draw is even easier to transition and it definitely doesn't feel like it changes. It just rolls right in it. With this,  you can really tell how much valley you've got, where the bigger letoffs, you've got so much letoff by the time you get to the valley you're pretty much holding weight hardly any. 

But on 80% you've got roughly 2 inches there to play with, so if you're aiming down on an animal, when you creep any, you've got plenty of control over it even still, it's going to take a lot to make it go down and even if it does you can catch it and get right back into it which is really cool. 

And the backwall, I wanted to mention that. Just the same, maybe a little bit better due to having a little bit higher holding weight. So the 80% I really like it, and I really like the lower letoff mod set just as much with these bows. They're super comfortable there, for more of a target-oriented rig, and a little faster. 

Now it's time to adjust to 90% let off. Now at 90% letoff, just by of course moving the draw stop on the cam, no other changes are necessary. We did gain a little bit of draw length by going to this. We're at 29 5/8 and to jump back a little bit on 80% we were at 29 1/4, so you're going to move your draw length slightly between those letoff settings. 

Now we're set at the 90% letoff, so let's draw it back and do the same thing. 

Still just as easy to draw and it transitions super nice even at 90%. The letoff of course is just unreal. You can literally take this bow on a vertical scale, pull it to the ground with your full hunting setup, it'll pretty well hold itself. 

This is pretty unreal. I don't think that anybody else with a real high-performance bow has ever offered 90% and well, this is 90% and it's pretty crazy. We're only holding around 6 lb right now, it's nuts.

Now your valley is really big, it's probably 2.5", but then again with this much letoff when you're gonna start letting down, you're gonna be pushing it, so you're gonna negate really having all that much, but once again, aiming down on an animal out of the tree, and get creeping with it, it's gonna take a lot. If you do creep, you can recover it without any problem even on 70 lb you can do this. So very very comfortable. 

The 90% letoff too, it opens up a lot of doors for some of our customers and some of you guys too I know that have got some shoulder issues and maybe can't hold that kind of weight back anymore, you know 10-12 lb of holding weight. This will keep you in the game a lot longer. 

Give it another shot at 90%. What I like about the 90% options on these bows is you can start out with 80 during the summer, shoot it all summer, and then turn it up to 90% to hunt with. And you can aim and hold on just about anything as long as you have to. 

Transition, I wanted to come back and note that and the backwall. Look right at it right there, and it doesn't, even if you pull it back fast, gonna pull it back quick for you guys. Still doesn't want to upset and move around. Still feels like you've got a hold of something even with this much letoff, so that's a really cool feature.

And the backwall, backwall's just as good on 90% as it was on 85%, so very impressive. Very impressive. 

So now, let's move on to our sound test and see what kind of sound levels the Evolve is going to show us.

2017 PSE Evolve 35 Sound Test

Now it's time for our sound test. We've got a decibel meter five feet away. We're going to shoot these three 450-grain arrows through this bow to give us a gauge on the sound levels of this Evolve 35. So let's make it happen!

With our sound test complete, let's move on to the chronograph. 

2017 PSE Evolve Chronograph

Now it's time for our speed test. We're going to shoot our 350, 400, and 450-grain arrows through the chrono. We've got this Evolve 35 set on 58.5 lb with a 29 1/2" draw. So let's run the 350-grain arrow through here first. 

Such a nice draw cycle, I just can't get over how sweet it really is to draw.

300 fps and that's in the 85% letoff setting. Pretty impressive.

Now for the 400-grain arrow. 282 fps with a 400-grain arrow. That is smoking. I really like those numbers to hunt with because y'all know I like to shoot around this kind of setup, really, with about a 410-420-grain arrow.

Now for our 450. 265 fps with a 450-grain arrow. 

Now, we're going to add a little bit more to this. We're going to go check this bow with a 350-grain arrow on both 80% and 90% letoff settings. So let's go adjust it and get back.

Now with our letoff adjusted to the 80% setting, it's actually shortened the draw length slightly. So let's see what kind of numbers we get on 80%. It transitions even better on 80%, very nice. 301 fps on 80% letoff.

Now it's try that 90% out. No on a 29 5/8" draw, we've increased slightly by going to 90%. Let's see how it shoots this 350-grain arrow. 302 fps, but that is indeed due to gaining a little more draw length.

Very impressive numbers with the Evolve 35. It's going to make a heck of a hunting bow with these kind of numbers, a heck of a 3D bow with those numbers as well. 

With all that said, it's time to move on to my final thoughts on the Evolve 35.

Final Thoughts

Hey guys, I've got to say, the Evolve 35 is one of the best shooting bows that I have ever picked up. The draw cycle's amazing, the backwall's just perfect. It's quiet, it's smoking fast, as we'll get to in a moment and it feels really good, the grip's really good on it. 

So overall, this is the package in my opinion. This and the Evolve 31 are just going to be tough to beat this year and regardless of what brands you already shoot or maybe you already shoot PSE, definitely give em a shot or give us a call and we can get one to you, that's not an issue. 

Before we go into more detail on how it acted, let's revisit our specs for a moment. We ended up measuring a 35" axel-to-axel after testing, so we only moved right from 15/16" so basically didn't even move. And we still have a 6 5/8" brace height. Now we checked all of our numbers after the shoot and with a 350-grain arrow on 85% letoff, which is going to equate to a 29 1/2" draw and we were at 58.5 lb. 

We ended up with 300 fps with a 350-grain arrow, 282 fps with a 400-grain arrow, and 265 fps with a 450-grain arrow. Those are numbers are hammered down!

Now what I did do is go back with my IBO calculator, took a few figures. With 90% letoff, we had 302 fps with a 350-grain arrow, that's a 29 5/8" draw, and that calculates out to a 339 IBO and this is straight out of the box guys, there's no tricks here. That's just nuts with 90% letoff.

Now on the 85% setting, of course we're at 300 fps, 29 1/2" draw, and that equates to a 338 IBO. Now what's really wild is on 80% letoff, 301 fps, 29 1/4" draw, 341 fps. So this bow is actually over IBO and that's not unheard of with these bows. We're seeing them of course between 337 and 341, depending on your letoff, things like that. Very impressed with the speed numbers above all. 

Now our sound numbers: our first shot was a 79.4, our second was a 72.8, and our third was a 77.9. So not too terribly loud out there either. Really a quiet bow and add a few Cat Whiskers or String Leeches, either one to this bow, and it's definitely quiet real quiet.

But all those numbers are fantastic, I'm really tickled. The ABB strings didn't hardly move and they do look good so I'm really happy with the string set that's on these bows to add to this overall package. Not trying to play favorites here, but guys honestly this is one of the very best bows I've ever shot in all categories. For a hunting bow I'm definitely going to be going Evolve 31 or 35. The verdict's still out as a 3D bow for me personally, but I know a lot of guys like Lewis Holmes that are tearing them up on the ASA circuit with these bows. Really nice.

And of course, a bow that is close to this speed/spec-wise in my opinion is going to be the Epix and the Vendetta, and I know a lot of you guys are going to cross-shop those. Where this bow really shines is having the letoff options, is having the better fit and finish and the impressive technology it features and the IBO speed is pretty much too. Very, very cool. Very impressed. And the colors all look sharp, so very nice bow.  

Now we do offer this bow of course as bare bow or Ready-to-Shoot with our own in-house, fully setup package that'll ship to your door ready to rock and roll, your draw length, your draw weight, tuned, the whole nine yards. 

And of course do not forget to follow us on social media to stay up with some really cool stuff that we have come out almost daily. You can find us on Facebook at Better Outdoors Archery & Bowhunting, find us on Instagram at Better Outdoors Archery, and of course subscribe to our channel on YouTube to stay up with full-length videos like these.

If you've got any additional questions, want to place an order, maybe you've got issues with your Evolve, need a helping hand, any of that stuff, give us a call at 870-475-3337 or send us an email at betteroutdoorsarchery@gmail.com. And of course you can visit our website at betteroutdoors.net and hit the contact us to send us a message direct.

But anyways guys, the Evolve 35, definitely needs to be on your list if it's not already.

I'm Dalton Vaughn for Better Outdoors, we appreciate y'all watching!


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