Summary: I bought this mat based on the myriad positive reviews here and from what I'd heard from fellow yogis. I have been practicing for about 8 years now (5 seriously, and became a yoga teacher in Fall 2011) and I thought it was time for an upgrade from my ancient Gaiam mat that had gotten me this far. When I received the black mat, I was surprised at how heavy and bulky it was. I know it says the weight in the specs, but I really didn't expect it to be this unwieldy.
Summary: This is a top-quality mat with super cushioning. I've done stretching on it and it protects my old joints from the pressure of the floor. It is quite grippy and holds to the floor (or a rug) very well. It is long and comfy. Although I washed this mat throughly when it first arrived and then gave it a few days to breathe, it still gave off a strong odor.
Summary: The longer mat seems to unroll endlessly and looks like a monster on the floor, but when I get stretched out on it I am not hanging over the end. The density and extra length make the mat a bit heavier than my other mats. I use a mat sack so just sling it over my shoulder anyway. Initially there was an odor, but just hung it out for a few days and that issue is gone. Great mat.
Summary: I am an avid yoga student. After months of the cushion mat I decided to try the Manduka Pro Mat under the advisement of my instructor. Incredible difference in my balance with this mat. I am thrilled I purchased.
Summary: My knees are thanking me for spending a little extra money on a quality THICK mat! When I roll it up to carry it around, it does require a bit of heavy lifting since it's pretty "weighty" but... Regardless, my body is thanking me, so it's definitely worth it! :O) Every yogi I talk to says that buying this mat was a great investment and that I'll never have to buy another one again. I hope so! That sounds amazing!
Summary: This mat is definately worth the extra money. I practiced yoga five days a week for 4 months, blowing out one cheaper mat and causing significant signs of wear on the second one. Once this mat is broken in, I found it to not only be quite sticky, but also to provide excellent cushioning for me knees. It is also larger than most other mats, so there is less need to read just your position on the mat as frequently to avoid contact with others in a crowded yoga class.
Summary: After shopping a new mat for one year I finally decided on Manduka's 85" BlackMatPro. However, like other high-end mats it has some controversy. Many people say it's slippery, a few people say it's sticky and most people say it gets a little stickier over time. One thing that is not controversial -- this mat is built to last.