Supreme durability and ample cushioning make the Manduka Black Mat Pro a top pick of many expert reviewers and consumers. In fact, the Manduka Black Mat Pro receives more positive reviews than any other yoga mat. The mat is an ideal pick for those who need plenty of protection while performing tough moves. The one big drawback is its weight; at 7 pounds, it's uncommonly heavy for a yoga mat.
Ample cushioning. The Manduka Black Mat Pro is a reviewer favorite and the go-to mat for yogis and yoginis who are willing to spend a little more for a plush, durable mat. The mat is 1/4-inch thick, and users say this extra thickness makes for a very comfortable and stable surface. The extra cushioning comes with one major drawback: The mat weighs 7 pounds, which is heavy if you plan to carry your mat with you regularly. In fact, most reviewers say the hefty weight is the primary drawback of this mat, but most agree the other positive features outweigh the negative.
Recycle your old mat program. Several reviewers note that the Manduka Black Mat PRO is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which can pose environmental concerns. Manduka says 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 this Manduka mat is expensive, but because it lasts for so long, many say the price is worth it.
Moreover, the brand offers a lifetime guarantee and a "recycle your mat" program: With the purchase of a new Manduka Mat, the company ships old mats to an organization dedicated to upcycling them. If you're concerned about PVC in the Manduka, consider the Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat (*Est. $65). It's made from biodegradable natural rubber and also receives great reviews.
Takes a little time. Many new mats can be slippery, and the Manduka Black Mat Pro is no exception. Reviewers note that after breaking it in a bit, the mat becomes sticky enough to provide traction for the toughest of yoga moves. Some owners also report the mat can get slippery when wet; Bikram yoga devotees or heavy sweaters could benefit from the Yogitoes Skidless Premium Towel (*Est. $50). Despite these small issues, the Manduka Black Mat Pro is still praised for its plushness, which is particularly welcome while performing difficult moves that put a lot of pressure on the body.
The Manduka Black Mat Pro receives positive ratings from more than 460 reviewers on Amazon.com and is one of the most frequently reviewed yoga mats. Most owners are very pleased with the mat, saying it provides good cushioning without being too soft.
Review: Manduka BlackMatPro 71-Inch Yoga and Pilates Mat, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of June 2013
The editor of PopSugar: Fitness (formerly FitSugar) breaks down the complicated yoga mat market. Five yoga mats are discussed, including the Manduka Black Mat Pro. The editor appears to have personal experience with each mat and provides helpful insight into the pros and cons of each. This Manduka mat receives strong feedback from the editor for its durability and the protection it offers. She does, however, note that it can become slippery and a nonslip towel may be needed.
Review: Ease Yoga Mat Confusion With This Buyer's Guide, Jenny Sugar, Sept. 1, 2011
3. 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. The review is brief, but it provides helpful insight.
Review: Winter 2011 Editor's Choice Awards -- Yoga, Editors of Women's Adventure, Nov. 15, 2010
4. Om Shanti: A Yoga Blog
The editor of the Om Shanti yoga blog gives the Manduka Black Mat Pro a grade of A-plus, saying it's easily the best yoga mat he's ever used. While he says it is not entirely environmentally friendly, it is much more durable than many eco-friendly mats he has used.
Review: Yoga Product Review: Manduka 71" Black Mat, "Eugene", Sept. 14, 2006
5. 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 daily.
Review: Manduka ProLite and BlackMatPro Yoga Mats, Editors of the American Council on Exercise, Oct. 9, 2009
6. BC Living
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 say, "It doesn't even have a dent in it."
Review: What's In a Yoga Mat?, Insiya Rasiwala-Finn, Oct. 29, 2009
Dusty Overby doesn't rate the Manduka Black Mat Pro, but he says he's very impressed with the mat. He especially appreciates its denseness, and unlike some reviewers, 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, Not Dated
Sarah McConkie doesn't rate the Manduka Black Mat Pro, but she says she's impressed with its cushioning and support, especially for heavier yoga students. The author also provides helpful information about the proper way to care for the mat.
Review: Manduka Black Mat Pro Review, Sarah McConkie, Feb. 28, 2009
Women's lifestyle website DivineCaroline.com writer Cassandra Evanas selects her 10 favorite yoga mats in this article. The Manduka Black Pro yoga mat is selected as a top pick, but the writer provides little information about each mat, and it's unclear whether the author personally tested any of the choices.
Review: Ten Yoga Mats Perfect for Your Needs: Form Meets Function, Cassandra Evanas, Not dated
Ann Pizer, the yoga guide at About.com, reviews yoga mats on occasion. Pizer details pros and cons for each model and provides helpful insight into the strengths and weaknesses of each mat. Pizer praises the Manduka Black Mat Pro for its exceptional durability. She does note the ecological concerns and mentions that the weight may be a deterrent for those who often need to carry or walk with the mat.
Review: Manduka Black Mat Pro Review, Ann Pizer, Updated June 24, 2012