Manduka PRO Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Nice firm padding, long-lasting, good grip post break-in, great for inversions and balance asanas
Cons: Heavy, bulky, slippery at first, requires an extensive break-in period, expensive
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|Pros||Nice firm padding, long-lasting, good grip post break-in, great for inversions and balance asanas||Very thick, firm top layer for support, soft bottom layer for comfort, great dry and wet grip, eco-friendly, durable, antimicrobial surface, lays flat easily||Great traction when dry, no break-in period, perfect comfort-stability combo, good for hard and soft ground, textured for added grip, cleans easily||Grid for alignment, non-slip when dry, eco-friendly rubber, durable, easy to clean||Soft towel top layer, easy to fold for extra support, machine washable, good wet grip, environmentally friendly|
|Cons||Heavy, bulky, slippery at first, requires an extensive break-in period, expensive||Grip requires a break-in period, very expensive, a little slow to dry, heavy||A little heavy, creases easily, slippery when wet||Thin, expensive, a little heavy, wet traction is not great||Flimsy and structureless on soft ground, hard on sensitive knees/elbows, grip is not as good when dry, takes a while to dry, microfiber attracts hair and dust|
|Bottom Line||This beefy mat is comfortable and stable for all your balance needs, but requires a significant break-in period||This yoga mat is the perfect combination of rubber and cork conglomerate for incredible grip and a truly supported experience||A yoga mat that walks the comfort and support line perfectly, with great dry grip for less a sweaty practice||A yoga mat featuring a grid for alignment, perfect for a new or experienced yogi looking to improve their yoga||A yoga mat-micro fiber towel combination perfect for heavy sweaters who love hot yoga|
|Rating Categories||Manduka PRO||Yoloha Unity Cork||Manduka eKO||GuruGrid Eco-Friend...||Aurorae Synergy|
|Comfort and Support (35%)|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Manduka PRO||Yoloha Unity Cork||Manduka eKO||GuruGrid Eco-Friend...||Aurorae Synergy|
|Materials||PVC||Natural cork, recycled rubber||Natural rubber||Polyurethane, rubber||PER bottom and microfiber top|
|Measured Weight||7.8 lbs||6 lbs||5.9 lbs||4.5 lbs||3.6 lbs|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Manduka PRO mat is made of polyester and PVC (polyvinyl chloride), a plastic polymer. While there are more eco- friendly materials used to make biodegradable mats, like natural rubber, PER (polymer environmental resin) or TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer), Manduka considers this line of mats to be an environmentally conscious choice as the PVC is eco-certified as zero-waste, and they design their mats for durability. This mat weighs a whopping 7.8 pounds and measures 71 inches long by 26 inches wide and six millimeter thick. This mat stands out for its great comfort and stability.
Comfort and Support
The Manduka Pro is six millimeters of extra firm support, and it doesn't seem to soften with time and use. The thickness provides a good amount of cushion for your average yogi, but it's not so squishy that it lacks support.
A firm mat like this is great for handstands, tree pose, crow pose, and other Asanas that require a solid, flat base for balance. This mat is wonderful on hard floors, however those with particularly sensitive knees and elbows may want to bring a towel in the event that they need extra padding for comfort.
The extra firmness isn't only good for a high-balance yoga session, it also works wonders on softer ground. The thick, firm Manduka PRO provides great support on grass, sand, or carpet.
The Manduka PRO is also very heavy so that it won't move around on you when jumping from Downward Facing Dog to chair pose, and you can feel secure performing head and arm balances on it.
The Manduka PRO offers incredible dry grip and decent wet grip however, it can take a long time to break in.
After a few slippery sessions, we decided to speed up the process with the Manduka break-in routine. Simply unroll your mat and sprinkle it generously with sea salt. Then let it sit in the sun for 24 hours before removing the salt with a damp clean towel. The difference is night and day, but the process is a little cumbersome. Depending on where you live and what time of year it is, a long sunny day may be hard to procure. Also, not everyone has a place where they can leave their mat outside and unattended for 24 hours.
The mat is slightly textured, which gives it a leg up in the wet traction department, but its performance is just okay in the presence of moisture. The Manduka PRO is not particularly absorbent, so when sweat beads up on the mat and if there's enough, it will pool in the middle. The addition of a microfiber towel is a quick fix for pooling sweat and slippery-when-wet yoga mats. A less absorbent mat is much easier to wipe down and less likely to get stinky.
Manduka claims that the PRO is extremely durable, and we concur. One of our testers has been using this mat for almost three years with little sign of wear.
The closed-cell construction prevents moisture, sweat, and dirt from absorbing into the mat. It also makes cleaning easy as any impurities that need to be removed wipe easily off the surface. It is made from PVC that has been certified STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX. PVC is notoriously immune to tears, so this mat is bound to last a very long time
Ease of Use
The Manduka PRO is quite easy to care for. The closed-cell construction doesn't require the deep cleaning that rubber or microfiber mats need. Manduka offers a Mat Renew Spray that is pretty affordable. The smoother surface is super easy to wipe down, and since it doesn't absorb anything, you don't have to worry about dry time.
The manufacturer suggests you pay close attention to any areas of decolorization and to allow the cleaner to sit for 5 minutes before wiping it down as it the lighter colors are prone to discoloration. During our time on the. It's lovely that these mats come in a variety of bright and light colors, but we've realized there's a reason for the standard black or dark purple mats — it's harder to see the dirt.
The Manduka PRO weighs almost eight lbs, making it one of the heaviest in our test suite. While it rolls up fairly tightly, it is a noticeable brick in your yoga bag. However, if you're the kind of person who regularly drags two mats to class for extra cushion, then using just one of these mats instead might lighten your load a bit. It is a very versatile mat. It can be used inside, outside, on hard or soft ground, and for a number of different types of yoga, although there are better options for hot yoga.
Should You Buy the Manduka PRO?
The Manduka PRO is one of the most expensive mats in our review but well worth the money if you're looking for a long-lasting yoga mat. The closed-cell construction's lack of absorbency keeps the mat moisture, sweat, and dirt free. It does require some commitment to the break-in process but once broken in, the traction is very impressive. It performs alright in the presence of moisture, but if you plan to exclusively practice hot yoga, there are better options. So if you plan to practice mostly dry yoga and want something firm but comfortable and supportive that will last a very long time, the PRO is a great option.
What Other Yoga Mays Should You Consider?
If dry traction out of the box is your main concern, there is one option you can't pass up. The B Mat Everyday is so sticky that it can sometimes hinder your flow when dragging a foot or hand from one asana to the next. It even performs well with a little moisture present. Unfortunately, the Everyday Mat does show some signs of wear around where the hands and feet frequent. Maybe that level of grip sounds overwhelming, and you want stellar dry and wet traction without the unwanted tug. The Yoloha Unity Cork and Lululemon Reversible (Un). The Unity Cork requires some breaking in, and the Reversible (Un) must be flipped over depending on whether you plan to have a wet or dry session, which can be annoying.
— Cam McKenzie Ring, Hayley Thomas
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