Normatec vs Air Relax Review - Recovery Compression Boots Comparison

Air Relax vs Normatec
Discount coupon codes for Air Relax & Normatec can be found at the bottom of this comparison review!

Simply put, Normatec and Air Relax recovery compression boots are awesome. As a professional triathlete, I have every recovery tool that exists and each tool has a purpose, however, I have come to rely heavily on my compression boots for general recovery. They are just too easy to use and I actually look forward to winding down my day, in bed, in boots, as they massage my legs, and I relax and watch an episode of Suits.

While professional athletes use recovery boots to recover faster and feel fresher, they are also great for non-athletes, after all, Air Relax and Normatec got their birth from the medical market specifically for lymphedema patients with intermittent pneumatic compression pumps, as they were called, and featured sequential compression technology. I won't go into great details here, but you can benefit from compression boots whether you are suffering from edema and pitting in the legs, have arthritis and need to get the blood flowing in the morning, are a long-haul driver looking for something more powerful than compression socks, have diabetic ulcers, MS, or just want a relaxing massage after a long day's work.

Compression boots squeeze blood &
lymph from the legs helping it back to the
heart, lungs & kidneys. The end result is you
recover faster and feel fresher!
While I am sold on recovery compression boots, the question is which set to get? Personally, I discovered Air Relax when I was looking for more affordable Normatec alternatives. While the Normatec Pulse ($1500) is an awesome device, it is more than many want to pay and Air Relax ($400) makes a competitive product at a much lower price point. While I was a very early adopter of Air Relax in 2016, they are now the choice of many professional athletes and champions in cross-fit, basketball, cycling, triathlon, running and many other sports.

There are many other recovery boot systems available including Rapid Reboot, Recovery Pump, Elevated Legs, Podium Legs, Doctor Life LX7, and Normatech *wink* - but I am only focusing on Air Relax vs Normatec today.

Air Relax (~$370 with coupon)

- FDA approved Class II medical device designed originally 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. They have 3 different modes of squeezing.

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

- Manufactured in Korea.

- Time increment works off a 15-minute cycle which you can restart as many times as you would like.

- Features hidden hoses sewn in the legs with dark fabric that won't show dirt.

- System and pair of size 2 boots weighs 7lb 14oz.

- 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") 
  • Size 4 (6' 2"+) 
- Optional attachments for hips and arms.

- Optional travel carrying case. $75 dollars for a well-padded, soft-shell design, with unique storage for other recovery tools.  I did a short review of the case with pictures and video here.

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


- Sept 2018 discount coupon code: D1EV9TG

Note: Air Relax pricing is based on a boot size. Larger boots are a few dollars more than smaller boots to help cover the razor-thin margins on Air Relax.


Normatec Pulse ($1395 after $100 off coupon code)
 


- Has a battery with a stated battery life of 2 hours. In my testing of the 2018 Pulse system was able to achieve almost 3 hours at level 5 pressure. The 2015-2017 Pulse system had problems with the battery. Get the 2018 Pulse if you have a choice.

Normatec Pulse System
- Comes in three sizes:
  • Short (under 5' 3")
  • Regular (5'4" to 6'3")
  • Tall (over 6' 4")  
- Assembled in the USA with parts from China.

- Pressure can go up to 100mmHg with 7 pressure levels and 1 mode of squeezing, sequential compression, with Normatec's Pulse technology and a zone boost option.

- Time increment is controllable in 5-minute increments from 5 minutes to 2 hours.

- Features hidden hoses sewn in the legs with dark fabric that won't show dirt.

- Optional attachments for hips and arms.

- Optional travel case. $150 with hard-shell design

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

Final thoughts

Many endurance athletes have become familiar with Normatec, Air Relax, and Rapid Reboot thru Ironman, marathon expos and the Cross-fit games. While Normatec was the de facto standard for a long time, I continue to see more and more athletes jump on the Air Relax bandwagon. Normatec makes a great product, with the biggest complaint being the price. If it fits in your budget you will be very satisfied with Normatec.

Air Relax makes an extremely compelling product at a viable price point that allows more people to discover the benefits of recovery compression technology. It is $1,000 less than Normatec and that is a huge difference for many people. I have received countless messages from ecstatic customers who rave about Air Relax as an alternative to Normatec and the money they saved.

Personally, I continue to believe the only poor choice is not to own boots at all and I continue to recommend both products based on the specific needs of each user.


Discussed Product Links:

Air Relax.com $370 w/ coupon code D1EV9TG (Valid thru Sept 30th, 2018)
Air Relax on Amazon - Only Size 2 is available on Amazon ($410)
Air Relax on eBay ($410)
- Air Relax Carrying Case Quick Review
Amazon Basics Zero Gravity Chairs - $39.99 perfect chairs for relaxing at outdoor events or on the patio
- Lite Fuse 300 watt Step Down Converter - Air Relax approved step-down converter for international customers purchasing the 220 version and looking to use it in the USA.




Normatec.com - $1395 with $100 RecoverFaster17 coupon code
Amazon Basics Zero Gravity Chairs - $39.99
Normatec on Amazon - only sold by 3rd parties at a higher price point
Normatec on eBay - Used and New (Various prices generally $700-$1200)


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 BlueSeventy.com with Coupon Code:  b70ThomasGerlach18
Save 25% at BlueSeventy.com 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 Coupon Code - $20 Discount

Save $20+ on Air Relax recovery compression boots & accessories with coupon code D1EV9TG. Coupon code provides a 5% discount or ~$20 off on a complete system.

- Sept 2018 discount coupon code: D1EV9TG

Please note that Air Relax prices their systems based on the size of the boot. Longer boots are more expensive than shorter boots.

Note, this discount code does not work with Air Relax on Amazon. The coupon code is only valid at AirRelax.com.




Base Salt Coupon Code - 15% OFF Discount Promo

Use Coupon Code Base15 at checkout 
Use Base discount coupon code Base15 to save 15% on Base Salt, Amino, Hydro, Bars or any other Base Performance product at BasePerformance.com.

Base products are also available via Amazon Prime

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 an 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. I use 2 bottles for 70.3s. My Ironman nutrition strategy is a little more complicated and depends on a variety of factors.