4 Differences Between AK Athletics and Imported eBay Gymnastic Mats

Posted on September 26, 2016 by Frances Katz

Curious about how AK Athletics gymnastic mats compare to the popular eBay listings for gymnastic mats? So were we. That’s why we ordered one and did a side-by-side comparison.

Here are the top 4 differences between our mats and the one we ordered on eBay:

  1. Chemical smell. When the mat from eBay arrived, there was a very obvious difference that wouldn’t be apparent in pictures--the mat ordered from eBay had a very distinct chemical smell. AK Athletics mats are made with no materials that are off-gassing and VOC (volatile organic compound) free.
  2. Mat cover quality. All AK Athletics gymnastics mats have double-stitched seams and high-quality, heavy 18 oz vinyl produced in the United States. This ensures our mats are durable and that the covers fit snuggly on the mats. In comparison, the eBay ordered mat had a very loosely fitted cover and some of the mat’s threads were already coming loose--before it’d even been used! We called the company to ask about the type and weight of the vinyl used for the cover. We were quickly told that “they would email once they contacted the manufacturer.” 2 months later, we’re still waiting to hear back.  
  3. Foam quality. Our gymnastics mats are made with 2’’ thick 100 ILD open cell high-density polyurethane foam, which is specifically recommended by the International Federation of Gymnastics. In contrast, the mat ordered on eBay was made with 2’’ thick high-density EPE foam. EPE foam is typically used for packaging of electronics and does not meet the International Federation of Gymnastics recommendations.
  4. Safety. The mat ordered from eBay included two handles. And while handles might seem like a convenient way to transport a folded mat, they are extremely unsafe. When the mat is in the unfolded position, the user can easily get tangled or caught in the handle straps. That’s why all AK Athletics gymnastics mats do not include handles.

Put simply, you get what you pay for. The AK Athletics gymnastic mat retails for $169.00 with free shipping. The eBay mat retails for $69.95. If you’re looking for a safe, durable and high-quality gymnastics mat, we recommend you do not invest in mats sold on eBay.