Normatec vs Air Relax Review - Recovery Compression Boots Comparison

Relaxing in Air Relax (top left)
Normatec (top right)
This is a simple review of the Air Relax vs Normatec recovery compression boot systems. Coupon codes for both are at the bottom.

As an aging professional triathlete, I no longer recover like I used to. However, recovery compression boots are amazing recovery tool that I use every day to speed up the recovery process and keep my legs feeling fresh regardless of my age!

Recovery compression boots are truly effective in helping my legs recover faster, but I also find them incredibly relaxing. I look forward to winding down at night and sitting in the boots as they massage away at my legs and I do work, watch TV, and read.

They are also great for jump-starting the body in the morning. I may be 36, but I have a lifetime of pounding on the body and it can be quite stiff and achy in the morning. Using the recovery boots is a great way to warm up the body and ease aches and pains. Using them after travel, both plane and car, has also been extremely effective. Just 20 minutes in the boots and the leg fluid build up, edema, and swelling is visibly reduced. I now travel everywhere with my boots!
Boots squeeze blood from legs helping it
back to the heart, lungs, and kidneys

This review focuses on two different recovery compression boots at two different price points. Air Relax ($370) vs Normatec Pulse ($1395). Both systems are AMAZING and you can't go wrong with either system! Both systems have add-on attachments like arm and hip sleeves.

There are many other recovery boot systems available that I won't cover including Recovery Pump, Unix, Rapid Reboot, Normatec MVP, Normatec Pulse Pro, Normatec Pro, Podium Legs and Doctor Life LX7. In my experience, these systems miss the mark based on price, quality, and features or have been discontinued.

Air Relax (~$370 with coupon)

- FDA approved Class II medical device designed to treat patients with edema / swelling of the legs. As a result they can go much higher in pressure. All the way to 230mmHg with 4 pressure levels

- Small, portable, compression unit, smaller than the older Normatec MVP system but bigger than the new Normatec Pulse.

- Newly updated from older orange boots with distinctive dark grey boots that are higher quality, don't show dirt, and have hidden air hoses that don't get in your way. System + pair of boots weighs 7lb 14oz for Size 2.

- Available in both 110V (USA) and 220 (EU Asia).

Sizing comparison
- Comes in three sizes.
  • Size 2 (5' 3" to 5'7") 
  • Size 3 (5'8" to 6'1") (introduced June 2017) 
  • Size 4 (6' 2"+) (introduced January 2017)
- Optional hips attachment and arms attachment.

- Optional travel carrying case. I did a quick review of the case with pictures and short video here.

Highly affordable from Air Relax USA. Use the following coupon code(s) to save an additional 5% ($20 or more): 

- March 2018 discount coupon code: VN8WQ81

Air Relax pricing is based on a boot size. Larger boots are a few dollars more than smaller boots. 

Normatec Pulse (~$1395 w/ $100 off coupon code)

- Has a battery. The battery is designed to remain plugged in and charging. When ready for use, move the Pulse system to a more convenient location and use on battery. While you can use it for traveling, be aware that the unit always stays on in the background and uses some battery. This decreases available battery life when traveling and not plugged in. Stated battery life is ~3 hours.

Normatec Pulse System
- Comes in three sizes:
  • Short for under 5' 3"
  • Regular 5'4" to 6'3"
  • Tall for people over 6' 4"  
- Pressure can go up to 100mmHg with 7 pressure levels.

- Can set the timer in 5-minute increments from 5 minutes to 2 hours.

- Optional hips, arms, and carrying case.

- Priced at $1395 when you use coupon code RecoverFaster17 to save $100 at Normatec's website.

Many endurance athletes have become familiar with Normatec recovery compression boots thru Ironman expo. Based on the feedback I have received, I know that many people want boots but can't justify Normatec. Air Relax is the perfect option for these people. The feedback I have received from people who have gone Air Relax has been extremely positive. Both systems are amazing and you can't wrong with either.


Air - $370 w/ coupon code VN8WQ81 (Valid March 2018) 
Air Relax on Amazon - Only Size 2 is available on Amazon ($410)
- Amazon Basics Zero Gravity Chairs
Air Relax on eBay ($410)
- Air Relax Carrying Case Quick Review - $1395 with $100 RecoverFaster17 coupon code
Amazon Basics Zero Gravity Chairs - $39.99
Normatec Amazon -  $1495 although not currently in stock as of Jan 1, 2018
Normatec on eBay - Used and New (Various prices generally $800-$1300)

Lastly if you are a triathlete or endurance athlete, I am setting up a FREE Q&A group on Facebook. Feel free to ask any question you might have about Air Relax or Normatec Compression Recovery Boots or anything else.

Blue Seventy Coupon Code - 25% Off Discount Sale - Expires Dec 31, 2018

Save 25% at with Coupon Code:  b70ThomasGerlach18
Save 25% at with coupon code b70ThomasGerlach18

The code is good on everything BlueSeventy carries including wetsuits, skinsuits, goggles, and core shorts.

No restrictions, you can save 25% on the top of the line Helix wetsuit along with their Fusion and Reaction lines. Coupon expires Dec 31, 2018.

For those not familiar with BlueSeventy. BlueSeventy has been making suits for over 10 years and previously had the partnership with Ironman for the M-Dot branded suits. There are a lot of other suits out there from Roka, TYR, Xterra, Aquasphere, Nineteen, and Orca. The most important consideration in my experience is a suit that fits properly. A suit that doesn't fit properly will be uncomfortable or let in too much water. In either case you will be slower. Buy a suit that fits first, features should come second.

Air Relax Discount Code Coupon Code

Air Relax discount coupon code - save 5% (~$20) on Air Relax recovery compression boots and all accessories with Air Relax discount coupon code:

- March 2018 discount coupon code: VN8WQ81

Discount coupon codes are good for $20 or more off an Air Relax system. Please note that Air Relax prices their systems based on the size of the boot. Larger boots are more expensive then smaller boots.

These discount codes do not work with Air Relax on Amazon. They only work at  I wrote a short product review of Normatec Compression Boots vs Air Relax Compression boots here. There are many reader questions which I provide answers to in the comments section.

Base Salt Coupon Code Promotion Rocket Fuel Aminio Hyrdo

Use Coupon Code Base15 at checkout 
For anyone interested in saving a few dollars on their Base Salt, Amino, Hydro or any other Base Performance product, please use Base Coupon code Base15 at

Base products are also available via Amazon Prime and available at

As for my own personal usage, well I have been using Base "Rocket Fuel" since September 2015. It started with my victory at Ironman Wisconsin and has led to Ironman finishes of 8:20 and Ironman 70.3 finish of 3:55. For me, I use 3-4 scoops of Hydro, a scoop of Amino, and depending on how hot it is, I will use 3-5 scoops of salt per bottle. 2 bottles for 70.3s.