Shooter's Mat Buyer's Guide
Table of Contents
  1. Why do I need a shooter's mat ?
  2. What makes a good shooting mat ?
  3. Best shooting mats ranked
Why do I need a shooter's mat ?

If you are a serious long range shooter, a good shooting mat is a must.  Getting down in the dirt, mud, or rocks may sound like fun for real "he" men, but believe me, it's not.  Not only does that practice make your shooting session completely not enjoyable, but when there is a stick or rock poking you and it feels as if it is penetrating you liver, it can negatively affect your performance.

If you are shooting in the southeastern part of the US, you know that lying directly on the ground an result in bites from all kinds of little creatures like ants, scorpions, ticks, and even fleas.  None of this is pleasureable.

If competition is your game, or you have staked out a huge buck but must take the shot from the ground, the prone position is always preferred and a shooting mat allows you make an accurate shot with complete focus.

So is there a diference between shooter's mats offered on the market today?  Yes, let's discuss what makes a good shooter's mat first.

What makes a good shooter's mat ?

Padding

Although a mat with no padding is better than none at all, it only makes sense if you can to have one that has it strictly from a comfort point of view.  

 

Not any padding is good though.  You don't want the stiff stuff that wants to unroll your mat while carrying.  This stuff has a memory and also doesn't want to lay flat.  Good padding has no memory and is very flexible. 

 

Durable material 

 

Any mat that is used as intended is going to be subject to a lot of abuse.  The material covering the padding should be canvas like with good or double stitching.  Otherwise you will find yourself replacing it often and believe me, once you have shot from a good mat, you won't want to do without it again. 

 

Invest in a good one and you won't have to buy several cheap ones.

 

If you plan to use your mat for hunting, you also want a material that is not noisy, like nylon.  Again, a cotton or canvas type material is the way to go.

One more thing is to buy a mat with a non slip surface.  Believe it or not, this an make the difference in hitting or missing.

Storage pockets

Having mulitple places to store gear like ammo, rangefinder, dope book, a small pair of binoculars, and other small essentials is smart.  With substantial pockets that can be zipped or buttoned up, you can just stow your gear in them and roll the mat up to its carry position.  When you are ready to shoot again, all of your gear is handy.

Best shooting mats ranked

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