I was lucky enough to work with Go Steady in September last year for a simple giveaway here at Pretty Darn Fit. In the process, I got to know the brand, the strong-willed woman who started it and of course, their flagship product—the All-Mat. I was given my own mat to try and after a few months of use, I decided to write this entry only because I think it deserves proper recognition. When I first learned about the story behind the brand, I felt a strong sense of familiarity and connection. It’s something I’ve personally experienced and something many others can relate to. Vanessa Gabriel was once employed at a multinational company and just like many young professionals today, she was hardworking, ambitious and possessed that go-getter attitude. As her long hours of working began to wear her out, she found yoga. And like me, her personal practice was what saved her and kept her sane. The 60 to 90-minute sessions recharged her just enough to keep going. Yoga was her only form of escape. Eventually, her body found it hard to keep up and she ended up in the hospital, sick from exhaustion and stress. There came the tipping point, the incident that led her to sell not just a yoga mat but the lifestyle that should go with it. I personally love supporting local businesses that have the best intentions and the most wonderful stories to share. I also happen to like rooting for underdogs, and Go Steady is one strong candidate in the sea of quality yoga mat brands. Love Manduka? Keep reading.
I’ve had my Manduka Pro in Surf (ocean blue) for about a year and a half now and when I got the Go Steady Mat in Energy (blue), I couldn’t believe how similar it looked to my Manduka mat. The texture of both the surface and the bottom barely had any difference. In an earlier article I released on the launch of the Cuca Yoga Mat, I compared all three heavy-duty mats I own. Check out a detailed comparison between the three brands here.
THE TEST DRIVE
Stepping on the mat feels a little different from the Manduka. It’s slightly thinner at 4mm making it feel more compact. The difference may be barely noticeable to many users but based on my experience, the Manduka Pro’s 2mm advantage gives the user extra cushioning and padding during practice, which is exactly what it was created for. Note, though, that the solid 4mm of the Go Steady is much thicker than any other regular yoga mat and that’s enough to give you excellent support for your practice. The pattern on the surfaces of both the Go Steady and the Manduka Pro are similar but once you take a closer look, you’ll find that the grooves on the Manduka are wider apart than the Go Steady. I’m pretty sure mat textures and patterns affect their grip but the difference between these two can be barely felt during practice. So, it looks like it, feels like it, but does it work like the Pro in the long run?
TIMING THE MAT TOWEL’S ENTRANCE
When I first started using my Manduka, the protective (but slippery) film got in the way of my practice. TIP: Just in case you’re struggling with your new mat, no matter what brand, try scrubbing it with a mat cleaner after every use. The film should eventually wear off and give you a better grip. I say the older a heavy-duty mat is, the better. Just be sure to use a good mat spray to get the stickiness back once it dries after cleaning. To compare the mats I use for practice, I test the grip by timing how long it will take before I need to use my mat towel. I’ve done the same thing for my Manduka Pro and Cuca mats and so far here are the results: My Manduka gives me about 25-30 minutes of towel-less Vinyasa Yoga practice while my Cuca gives me an amazing 40-50 minutes. That’s awesome because I sweat buckets whenever I practice Vinyasa. I practiced on the Go Steady again right before I wrote this and now that my mat has aged a few months and the protective film has worn off, I was surprised it also lasted me 27 minutes (to be precise) before I had to unroll my towel.
I really love how Go Steady seems to be the twin sister of the Manduka Pro. I mentioned in my Cuca Yoga Mat review that I’ve always seen thick and heavy mats to be good mats. The Go Steady is a good 5lbs of non-toxic PVC, the same material as the Manduka.
I feel the need to strongly emphasize the fact that it’s a Filipino Brand with quality at the same standard as the “Ferrari of Yoga Mats”: Manduka. The best thing about it is that the brand was established to provide excellence at an affordable price. Therefore, you get Manduka quality for less than half the price of a Manduka Pro. With all those taken into consideration, I’d say the All-Mat is worth “Go(ing) Steady” with.
Go Steady Mats and Straps are available at Aura Athletica outlets and other partner studios. Retail price as of this writing is Php1,900. Find out more about them at Facebook.com/GoSteadyPH or follow them on Instagram: @gosteadyph
Note: The review above is based on my experience on using the Go Steady All-Mat. This article was not paid for. 🙂