If you have not yet considered a shooting mat as a worthwhile acquisition, we intend to change your mind!
Let’s start with some of the key reasons you should always use a shooting mat. This is regardless of whether you are on the range or out in the wild.
We will then get into our in-depth reviews, where we analyze and test what the top 7 shooting mats currently available have to offer.
- 1 So, Why Should You Own & Use The Best Shooting Mat?
- 2 Which Is The Best Shooting Mat For You? Here Are Seven That Will Not Disappoint!
- 3 Top 7 Best Shooting Mat To Buy In 2023 Reviews
- 3.1 1 NcSTAR VISM Roll Up Shooting Mat
- 3.2 2 VooDoo Tactical Roll Up Shooter’s Mat
- 3.3 3 Boyt Harness Bob Allen Tactical Shooting Mat, Tan, Left/Right
- 3.4 4 MidwayUSA Pro Series Competition Shooting Mat Olive Drab
- 3.5 5 MidwayUSA Competition Shooting Mat
- 3.6 6 Eberlestock Shooting Mat, Padded
- 3.7 7 Voodoo Tactical Advanced Shooter’s Mat
- 4 Best Shooting Mat Buyers Guide
- 5 The Best Shooting Mat – Our Opinion!
So, Why Should You Own & Use The Best Shooting Mat?
Buying a well-made and well-designed, a shooting mat is certainly not just for show. There will be many situations where this practical piece of kit will really prove its worth and some.
- Padding: For those who venture into any terrain, a well-padded shooting mat will ensure the experience is much more comfortable. Placement over rocks, debris, or hard ground will certainly reduce discomfort.
- Durability: Choosing a shooting mat made from a durable material will mean that it can withstand long-term wear and tear. There will definitely be situations where you need to drag it across different terrain or through cover.
- Additional weapon protection: Your weapons are very likely your pride and joy (and quite right too!). This means you will want to take very good care of them. The use of a shooting mat, while you are moving your weapon around, will go some way to protecting it from dirt, scratches and other external damage.
- Non-slip surface or not?: If you are a dawn or dusk hunter, a little dew or moisture can turn a mat slippery. This can affect your accuracy and shooting position. Choosing the best non-slip shooting mat will take care of that problem.
- A nice to have feature for some: As you will see below, some best tactical shooting mat features include useful pouches. While these may not be essential, they really can be a ‘nice to have’ addition. They will allow you to store and easily access such things as data books, ammo, and other gear.
Which Is The Best Shooting Mat For You? Here Are Seven That Will Not Disappoint!
We’ve packed, unpacked, rolled around on, and dragged these mats through various range situations and different terrain.
A selection of the seven best all-purpose shooting mat designs for your consideration. We hope they will give you the heads up (and body down!) on which one is right for you.
Top 7 Best Shooting Mat To Buy In 2023 Reviews
1 NcSTAR VISM Roll Up Shooting Mat
Are you a hiking hunter who loves those extended hunting trips? If so, the NcStar VISM could well be the best roll-up shooting mat for you. But why’s that?
Ease of carrying equipment in such situations is essential. You will have enough to lug around as it is!
While this mat is not as compact as some of the others we will review, its roll-up design offers a built-in handle as well as a shoulder strap. This allows you to carry it just like a duffle bag. There are also two hook and loop straps which can be used to secure the mat into a roll.
As you would expect with a best low-end priced shooting mat, the VISM is fairly basic. Having said this, it does give 0.3” of padding around the elbow and knee areas. Although it must be said that there is no extra cushioning against rocks or bumpy terrain.
A definite plus is the tough, durable PVC material which is water and chemical resistant. This makes it anti-slick and will help hold your placement when in that patient, all-important shooting position.
Another plus point in terms of durability is the re-enforced cross-stitching placed in critical areas.
In terms of dimensions, when open it is 35 inches wide x 69 inches long. When closed, 19.5 inches wide x 8.5 inches high and weighs 3.95 lbs. It also comes in 6 different colors so you will not be short on choice in this respect.
2 VooDoo Tactical Roll Up Shooter’s Mat
We are certainly moving up a notch here. The Voodoo Tactical has been designed by a sniper to maximize effective use and give comfort.
We guess snipers know a thing or two about exactly what is required when it comes to shooting mat requirements. This thoroughly well thought out design is a point in case. Not only that, it is lightweight and as such must be reckoned as a really useful addition to your hunting or tactical equipment.
With 0.5 inches of padding, you will be certain of real comfort in all but the most demanding terrain. It gives the additional benefit of fold-out elbow wings. No dirty or bruised elbows with this very well-designed shooting mat.
You will have a sewn-in pocket with pen holder, an ammo pouch, bullet slots, and a removable tool pouch. These are all easily accessible as and when the need arises.
Transportation is a cinch. It has adjustable straps featuring quick release buckles. If you prefer to attach it to your pack, there are additional male and E buckles to allow you to do so.
In terms of dimensions; when opened, it is 48 inches wide x 69 inches long. It closes down to 20 inches wide x 8 inches high.
It also comes in different color choices and weighs in at 3.92 lbs.
3 Boyt Harness Bob Allen Tactical Shooting Mat, Tan, Left/Right
Comfort, easy carriage, and durability are yours with this quality shooting mat. It is also in the mid-price range, so cost-wise it will not break the bank.
Containing closed cell foam (CCF), you will have an added layer of protection between yourself and the ground, once this mat is laid out. The outer material is water-resistant and non-slip. This is a help with any recoil, or if your shooting position is on an incline/decline.
There is an external pocket for storage, and in terms of durability, you will find self-healing zippers and robust poly webbing.
Dimensions come in at 27 x 85 x 1 inches, and it weighs just 2.2 lbs. For ease of carriage, it includes a carry handle and strap.
Investing in this best, durable shooting mat will give protection against hard or cold ground. And once purchased you will not be going back for a replacement for many a year.
4 MidwayUSA Pro Series Competition Shooting Mat Olive Drab
This MidwayUSA pro series must be viewed as one of the best competition shooting mat accessories you can buy.
It is legal for small bore as well as high-power shooting competitions. A further plus is the secure corner grommets which will stake out this mat with the four included metal stakes. Once staked down securely, this mat will resist wind or muzzle blast movement.
Made from a non-skid material it will repel water and minimize any slippage. In terms of comfort, there is extra padding built into the elbow and knees sections. And webbing is sewn-in for bipod pre-loading use, and it has two accessory pockets plus pen storage sections.
You do not need to consider this mat as only appropriate for range use. It is perfectly at home under hunting or tactical conditions. Ease of transportation is thanks to a built-in handle and a shoulder strap.
Two color choices are yours. Dimensions are 35.5 inches wide, 73.5 inches long when opened, 8.5 inches wide and 35.5 inches long when closed. However, it must be said that it’s not the lightest shooting mat out there, as it weighs in at 6.2 lbs.
When you purchase this best shooting mat, you will be covered by the MidwayUSA’s lifetime warranty.
5 MidwayUSA Competition Shooting Mat
This is our second MidwayUSA competition mat, and it comes in a lower price range than the previous one.
And you will still find this mat legal for high power/CMP rifle matches as well as Smallbore competitions. While it does have a front flap, there is no Bipod Pre-Load web feature.
It has the same corner grommets for ‘tent peg’ securing and the mat underside is made from textured, non-skid material which is water-resistant — a real help in windy or muddy conditions.
The non-skid elbow and knee pad areas will aid steadiness in any conditions.
There are no accessory pockets to make use of.
It comes in only one color choice: Olive Drab, but in terms of transportation, you have the choice of using a carry handle or shoulder strap.
This mat is more than twice as light as the MidwayUSA PRO series previously reviewed, coming in at 3 lbs. Dimensions, when laid out, are 67 inches long, 26.75 inches wide, when packed its length is 6.5 inches and width 26.75 inches.
In terms of overall thickness, it is just 0.25 inches with padded areas extending to 0.335 inches.
6 Eberlestock Shooting Mat, Padded
We are moving up a gear with this best large-spread shooting mat. When fully unfurled it covers an area of around 92 inches x 34 inches – Plenty of room for larger-bodied hunters!
It means that you can spread the mat from below the knees right up to an area in front of your rifle barrel. This has the added advantage of being an effective barrier for any dust raised due to muzzle blast.
A very handy feature is the weighted end on this mat. It means you simply hold that end and toss it out. Quick unfurl = Quickly ready for action. It can also be re-rolled quickly for ease of transportation.
Those looking for roll-up compactness can go for the un-padded A1SM. While anyone who values additional padding comfort while in the prone position should go for the A2SM.
With its PVC backing, you will be sure of a rugged, waterproof mat. All of this comes in at just 3lb of weight.
7 Voodoo Tactical Advanced Shooter’s Mat
Last but not least in our best shooting mat reviews, is a second offering from VooDoo Tactical. This one is their stylish VooDoo Tactical Advanced Shooter’s mat.
Excellent padded protection with the fold-out elbow wings and additional sidearms will ensure full shielding from ground obstructions. To add to its stability, it includes non-skid material around the elbow areas.
As with other well-designed shooting mats from the VooDoo range, there is storage. You have a sewn-in pocket for your data book that comes with a pen holder.
It also comes with MOLLES rows thus promoting ambidextrous use of your ammo pouches.
Built for speed of movement you will easily and rapidly roll-up this shooting mat to carry to your next hunting zone. Carriage and release are made easy thanks to adjustable straps that come with quick-release buckles. The E-buckles provided also allow pack attachments.
Measurement wise you can expect 72 inches x 48 inches when fully opened. When rolled and packed it closes down to just 10 inches x 20 inches. Better still, it weighs in at just 1 pound.
Hunting trips will certainly be enhanced with this really well designed shooting mat.
Best Shooting Mat Buyers Guide
The choice of available shooting mats is huge. So there really is no excuse for claiming you cannot find one to meet your needs!
If you are still unconvinced as to what the best all-round shooting mat has to offer, take time out to consider:
- The amount of time you are up then down on the ground.
- The periods you spend in a prone position.
- How often you use cover, such as leaning large boulders to rest on, while getting into that perfect shooting position.
Without a quality waterproof, durable shooting mat, you will suffer. You will have far less protection against such things as wet, cold, hard, and uneven surfaces.
Adverse conditions such as rain or snow means that without mat protection, you will be colder than you need to be, quite possibly covered in mud and even wetter than you need to be.
Choosing a best, fit-for-your activity shooting mat is certainly not a magic ‘fix all’ solution in these conditions, but boy does it help.
Reduce Those Knocks, Bruises, and Possible Weapon Damage
You should also consider the protection this accessory offers against knocks and bruises. It will reduce those annoying bumps received while sprawling out or wriggling to get in a comfortable shooting position.
A quality protective shooting mat can save your weapon from scratches or external damage. This must be seen as a huge plus for the relatively low financial outlay involved.
It goes without saying that range shooting, tactical exercises and hunting in the untamed wilderness are exhilarating, adrenaline-fuelled, and filled with memorable experiences. By shunning the addition of a very useful, durable, and best-priced shooting mat, you deny yourself extra protection and comfort. In essence, you are volunteering to undergo unnecessary hardship!
The Best Shooting Mat – Our Opinion!
We feel there are some very valid reasons why the addition of a shooting mat should be viewed as essential.
This is regardless of whether you are range/competition shooting, out in the wilds enjoying tactical maneuvers, or on an exhilarating hunting trip.
In terms of the best shooting mat for your purpose, this very much depends on your activity and needs. But, you will never go wrong with a mat from the MidwayUSA range, our choice would be the…
But, for best design, useful features, and its lightweight offering we have to recommend the…
Get comfy, get a shooting mat!