Manduka Black Mat PRO Review

Manduka Black Mat PRO
Photo Courtesy of Manduka

Manduka premium yoga mats have an intensely loyal following and a reputation for performance and durability. But is the top-of-the-line Manduka PRO (once known as the Black Mat but now available in a number of colors) worth the price tag? At just over $100, that's a very reasonable question. Exactly what is it that makes this mat stand out from the crowd?

Could This Be Your Last Yoga Mat?

How long does it take you to wear out a yoga mat? If you have an active practice, you could easily trash an average mat in a year, if not sooner. The longest-wearing mat on the market has got to be the Manduka PRO. After years of use, many still look exactly the same as they did when brand new. Not only does this mat last an exceptionally long time, it comes with a lifetime guarantee. Manduka will replace your mat if it gives up the ghost due to normal wear and tear. So this could be the last mat you will ever have to buy.

Eco Concerns

The PRO is a PVC mat. Many people have valid concerns about mats made from PVC since the manufacturing process produces toxic emissions and the material is not biodegradable. Because it is designed to last a lifetime, you won't be filling up landfills with your discarded mats as long as you don't throw them away. Manduka professes to manufacture their mats in an ecologically responsible manner. 

What It's Like to Practice on

The Manduka PRO is made of dense foam, making it more comfortable to practice on than your typical PVC mat, but also substantially heavier. If you're used to a $20 mat, the PRO is going to seem really thick. However, it's not squishy. It's a solid, substantial piece of material. It will never scrunch up and can't really be folded, unlike thinner mats. The mat surface may be slippery at first, but eventually it will provide excellent traction. It can take up to a month of regular use to wear in your mat to an ideal practice surface. 

Is the Manduka PRO for You?

I don't recommend this mat to city folk who have to carry their mats around town because it weighs over 7 pounds. Carry this thing on your shoulder for a few blocks and you will feel it. Manduka does make a lighter-weight version, called the PROlite, that also comes with a lifetime guarantee. But if you are tired of running through mats that are essentially disposable, it may be time to step up to a Manduka PRO.

To see how the Manduka PRO stacked up against four other top yoga mats, check out the ultimate yoga mat comparison chart.


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