The Black Mat Pro
Made by: Manduka
Price: $100.00 plus shipping
Let me start by saying that this review is based on a "long term" study. I purchased my first black mat in 2004 when I started my yoga instructor certification program. Since I divide my time between two cities in different states I purchased a second black mat in 2007 for convenience purposes.
The stats: The black mat pro comes in 2 sizes ; 7.0 lbs; 71" long; 26" wide; 1/4" thick (6 mm) and9.0 lbs; 85" long; 26" wide; 1/4" thick (6 mm). This mat is 100% latex free and according to Manduka is "certified safe for human contact by OEKO-TEX, an environmental certification agency in Europe for the textile industry. " The black mat pro has a lifetime guarantee making it eco-friendly.
My experience with this mat has been great from the start. If you step on a"regular" mat then move your foot you can see an imprint of your foot. This is not the case with a Manduka black mat. The best way I can describe the high density padding of this mat is by saying that it is similar to what a piece of padded plywood might feel like, plenty of stability and more than enough cushioning. It is also "slip resistant yet non-sticky", and after a decade of regular use has minimal wear. In fact this mat actually improves with wear. I can honestly say that my practice would not be the same without it.
Over the years I've had several students in my classes ask about my mat and after just standing on it they have purchased a Manduka black mat as well with no regrets. In my humble opinion if you practice yoga on a regular basis this mat is the best investment that you can make. $100.00 plus shipping to have the best mat in the world with a lifetime guarantee is an excellent value.
I give the Manduka Black Mat Pro a rating of 5 stars out of 5.