The Manduka Black Mat Pro is a reviewer favorite, the go-to mat for yogis and yoginis who are willing to spend a little more for a plush, durable mat. This mat is 1/4 inch thick, and users say this extra thickness makes for a very comfortable and stable surface. It comes in two lengths -- 71 and 85 inches -- so even tall students will find enough room on this mat. Although the Black Mat Pro is made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Manduka claims that their PVC is manufactured using an emissions-free process. While it is not an environmentally friendly material, PVC is highly durable, and reviewers say the Black Mat Pro will last for years. Users acknowledge that the Manduka Black Mat Pro is expensive, but since the mat lasts for so long, many say the price is worth it. The mat weighs 7 pounds, which is heavy if you plan to carry your mat with you on a regular basis. Some reviewers also report that the mat can get slippery when wet, so Bikram yoga devotees or heavy sweaters could benefit from a good yoga towel like the Yogitoes Skidless Premium Towel (*Est. $50). If you're concerned about the PVC content in the Manduka Black Mat Pro, the Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat (*Est. $65) is made from biodegradable natural rubber and also gets good reviews.
The Manduka Black Mat Pro is featured in a number of online reviews. As with most yoga mats, user reviews and blogs provide the best information. Amazon.com has hundreds of individual reviews of the Manduka Black Mat Pro, so it is one of the best sources for user feedback on this yoga mat. We also found helpful details on blogs like Om Shanti, Gear.com and Granville Online. Women's Adventure magazine includes the mat in a group test. We also found shorter reviews at the American Council on Exercise, GearPatrol.com and Austin Fit Magazine.
The Manduka Black Mat Pro gets extremely positive ratings in over 200 reviews on Amazon.com. Most owners are very pleased with the mat, saying it provides good cushioning without being too soft. A few complain about the mat's weight, and others think it is too slippery.
Review: Manduka BlackMatPro 71-Inch Yoga and Pilates Mat, Contributors to Amazon.com
2. Women's Adventure magazine
Although it misses out on the Editor's Choice award -- that goes to the Prana Revolution Natural Sticky Mat -- the Manduka Black Mat Pro gets a high rating from Women's Adventure magazine. Testers appreciate the firm but comfortable support.
Review: Winter 2011 Editor's Choice Awards -- Yoga, Editors of Women's Adventure, Nov. 15, 2010
3. Om Shanti: A Yoga Blog
The editor of the Om Shanti yoga blog gives the Manduka Black Mat Pro a grade of A+, saying it's easily the best yoga mat he's ever used. While he acknowledges that it is not environmentally friendly, he says it is much more durable than the many eco-friendly mats he's used.
Review: Yoga Product Review: Manduka 71" Black Mat, "Eugene", Sept. 14, 2006
4. American Council on Exercise (ACE)
The American Council on Exercise reviews a variety of fitness gear in single-product reviews, including the Manduka Black Mat Pro. The yoga mat gets a 3-star rating (out of 5) largely because of its weight; editors say the mat is too heavy to carry around on a daily basis.
Review: Manduka ProLite and BlackMatPro Yoga Mats, Editors of the American Council on Exercise, Oct. 9, 2009
5. Granville Online
Insiya Rasiwala-Finn picks the Manduka Black Mat Pro as one of the best eco-friendly yoga mats, even though it contains PVC. She says it is a "sustainable alternative" because it lasts so long. Rasiwala-Finn has been using the Black Mat Pro for seven years and "it doesn't even have a dent in it."
Review: What's In a Yoga Mat?, Insiya Rasiwala-Finn, Oct. 29, 2009
Dusty Overby at GearPatrol.com doesn't rate the Manduka Black Mat Pro, but he's very impressed with the mat. He especially appreciates its denseness, and unlike some reviewers, he has no problems with slipping.
Review: Manduka Black Mat Pro, Dusty Overby, July 15, 2009
YogaConsumerReports.com hosts user reviews of yoga mats, and the site's editors provide top picks in several categories. Their choice for the best premium yoga mat is the Manduka Black Mat Pro. While they acknowledge that it is expensive, they say its durability is unmatched.
Review: Yoga Mat Reviews and Ratings, Editors of YogaConsumerReports.com
8. Austin Fit Magazine
Karen Little briefly describes the Manduka Black Mat Pro in this overview of Manduka yoga mats. Her commentary is based mainly on features, and no downsides are noted. "Known for its comfort, thickness and cushioning, it's also the first choice of yoga instructors," she says.
Review: Manduka Yoga Mats, Karen Little, March 2009
Sarah McConkie reviews the Manduka Black Mat Pro for Gear.com. Although she doesn't rate the mat, she's impressed with its cushioning and support, especially for heavier yoga students.
Review: Manduka Black Mat Pro Review, Sarah McConkie, Feb. 28, 2009