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This has been a fascinating product to test, for the simple reason that NattyMat kindly provided me with two of their mats to review. Of course, hubby instantly claimed one of them, so we have a sort of his and hers review going on. Since the mats arrived yesterday, each of us has been swimming once on our own and we have also swam with the kids, so they have been well and truly put through their paces by us all.
Firstly let me tell you about the product. It is designed for standing on when you are getting changed at the gym or swimming pool to keep bacteria away from your feet. You unzip the mat and stand on the soft side of it, with the waterproof side against the floor. The soft side is bamboo, so using it after swimming means that your feet dry off by the time you’ve got changed without standing on your towel. It also soaks up any drips, but more about that later.
So, when you’ve got changed, you put your wet swimming costume / trunks / towel / swimming hat / goggles onto the middle of the waterproof part of the mat. Zip it up and you’ve got a waterproof bag to keep your wet kit away from your dry kit. Genius. So here are our respective thoughts on the mats.
“It’s all right, I can see the advantages of it at the swimming pool, but I’ve thought of a better use for it. When I stood on that I didn’t drip everywhere when I was drying off. That’s a physical problem you see, I’m so hairy I retain the moisture more [he is unnaturally hairy] so I’m going to use it for standing on when I get out of the shower so I don’t have to use a towel to dry the floor.”
As a consequence, we now have a NattyMat hanging in our bathroom for standing on when we get out of the shower. Which makes sense, we’ve never been keen on bath mats because they get a bit manky and unhygienic, but the NattyMat is much easier to wash. That said, hubby also took it swimming with him, he couldn’t quite resist.
I love it for after swimming. I love that my feet are dry by the time I’ve got changed and it doesn’t matter if the floor is a bit mingy because I’ve got somewhere clean to stand. I also love that I can put my wet costume and towel in it so that the rest of the stuff in my handbag doesn’t get soaked. I am a huge fan of bamboo for its absorbent properties, we have always used bamboo reusable nappies and no others come close in terms of how absorbent they are. I also love that NattyMat are ethical in terms of the environmental process of growing and harvesting bamboo. Many much larger companies could learn a lot from them.
“Can I stand on the mat, can I have it, can I stand on it? It’s soft, can it dry my feet, it’s blue, can I stand on it, can I stand on it, can I?”
“Mmmmm mmmmmmm eeeeeeeeeee mmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmm eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee mmmmmm.”
I ended up using the mat as a changing mat for Lia today as there were none in the changing rooms at the pool. She seemed quite happy on it although it’s obviously not padded as it’s not designed as a changing mat.
As a Mother, Podiatrist and keen barefooter, it’s important that my children are barefoot as often as practical and possible.
NattyMat is great to fit in your gym bag, swim bag or camping stuff. It takes up very little room and is a safe way to keep your feet free from nasties!
I have been using the NattyMat for my girls (Annie 7 & Kitty 4) swimming lessons. It lives in our swim bag and we use it to stand on whilst drying off-the water does not soak through from underneath and it’s a nice soft surface from the cold ground.
We then pop all our wet gear in the NattyMat afterwards, keeping it separate from the dry clothing in our bags.
I would highly recommend NattyMat, it’s been a great addition to our household.”
The kind chaps at Nattymat sent us a couple of their mats to try out as they knew that we are keen baby and toddler swimmers. It's always nice when you get sent something because of your interests!
I was a bit bemused about what it actually was when we were introduced to the product but having used one, I am a bit surprised that they aren't more common. There's nothing worse than trying to keep a giddy toddler upright on a wet changing room floor whilst you change yourself and this is a perfect solution.
A Nattymat has two sides - a waterproof side that you can put down on the changing room floor and a soft side that is made from a microfibre and bamboo blend. You can't feel the bamboo, it should be noted - it feels a bit like standing on a slightly padded flannel.
The advantage of having your own little mat with you is pretty obvious :
no standing on grubby, verruca-harbouring changing room floors
your child cannot fall over (and nor can you!)
it's much softer on your feet
Bamboo has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties but most importantly it is absorbent, that means that when you drip onto the mat, it doesn't get sodden through.
Now, I am not one to wax lyrical, but having spent many hours standing on horrible changing room floors, I can assure you that standing on my Nattymat was infinitely preferable.
But the best bit about the Nattymat is that once you are done, you simply drop your wet stuff onto the waterproof side of the mat and zip it up! Voila! A handbag sized parcel of all your wet stuff that won't get everything around it wet. Quite simply, it's a great idea.
Now it should be noted that the Nattymat wouldn't accommodate a beach towel, but a regular sized towel and trunks fit easily. It's easy to carry around afterwards and looks a bit cooler than transporting everything in your Tesco carrier bag. Once you get home, just empty the stuff out and hang up the Nattymat. It dries easily in a couple of hours with no wringing out and it is machine washable.
I have to admit that we got two and I would advise anyone to do the same if you have kids, rather than queuing for the Nattymat!
All-in-all, a great bit of kit that will last you years. 🙂 The product costs £9.99 and can also be used for lots of other things - a bit more padding ona stadium seat, sitting out on the park; sitting on damp garden furniture etc etc.
By oscar goodenough "oscar ozzie" (london) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Zip-up Foot Protection/Changing Room Mat - For Swimming and Gym. Bamboo fibre 70% / Viscose 30% (Misc.)
If you are like me, prone to fungal foot infection, this natty mat might be exactly the right thing for you. It is very soft, comfortable and durable. I even washed it in the washing machine and it came out as new. The zip adds up to its functionality. It is a clever design which makes it stand out from others mats or towels, as you can use it as a storage bag for wet items after a work-out at the gym or a swimming session. Overall, a surprisingly good-quality, stylish and functional product at a very good price.