Rapid Reboot Review vs Normatec Pulse 2.0 Compression Recovery Boots

Rapid Reboot vs Normatec Pulse 2.0
Recovery Compression System Shootout
Rapid Reboot's recovery system vs Normatec's Pulse 2.0 recovery compression boots - it has been a question I have frequently received and today I will answer it.


The Skinny


I first noticed the Rapid Reboot recovery system shortly after writing my original Normatec vs Air Relax review and I quickly became familiar with them as they attended all the Ironman Triathlon expos around North America. At their current price of $995 they fall into an awkward category of being more expensive than other brands that I prefer, including Air Relax ($407+) and Speed Hound ($650), but less expensive than Normatec ($1295).

They are a particularly tough sell against SpeedHound because they are $350 more expensive but are made by the exact same manufacturer. SpeedHound actually has a couple of nice features that I prefer too. In short, those features include a quieter unit, cables that come out the top of the legs instead of the bottom, and the unit is smaller.

However, Rapid Reboot still makes a good unit that is $300 cheaper than Normatec. They also have a hip short that I much prefer over Normatec's hip system. Here are some more specifics on each system in comparison to one another.


Rapid Reboot ($995)

Normatec Pulse 2.0 (bottom) vs
Rapid Reboot (top)
- Larger footprint - Of all the units I have reviewed Rapid Reboot is the largest unit by volume and it is considerably larger than Normatec. The unit weights 5lbs 8oz and 9lbs 8oz with large legs.

- Best in class user-interface. Rapid Reboot has in my opinion the best and easiest to use user-interface panel. Speed Hound uses the same panel layout however the buttons are actually larger which I prefer. Regardless I really like the pressure graph compared to Normatec as it helps new users visualize it better. More pressure is not necessarily better. However I have heard at least a few people who prefer to see the actual time tick down which only the Normatec features. Regardless, you can always end your treatment session at anytime even if not complete.

- 3 easy select time cycles of 10, 20, and 30 minutes. You can of course do more than one cycle. Normatec adjusts in 5 min increments from 5 minutes to 2 hours.

- 10 easy select pressure levels ranging from 20-200mmHg. Normatec goes to 100mmHg over 7 levels. Again, I really like the visual of the increasing pressure here for new users.

- 2 easy select modes including: Flush (A) and Massage (B) while Normatec has their single proprietary Pulse mode.

- 4 programmable zones with the ability to shut off zones. For instance if you had just a lower calf issue you could run just zone 1 and zone 2. You only get this feature in Normatec's Pulse Pro model which is insanely expensive at $2500.

- Features hidden hoses sewn in the legs with dark fabric. Their Gen 2 legs have a very similar "diamond" pattern/texture to Normatec, while the Gen 1 legs have a smooth finish. However, the hoses come out the bottom of the legs on Rapid Reboot. This leaves the cords very long and I find myself getting tangled in them. I much prefer Normatec's top hoses over Rapid Reboot in terms of ease of use.

- Volume: I found that my Rapid Reboot unit was the loudest of all the units I have reviewed. I am not sure if it is just my particular unit, but once I get above 80mmHg the loudness really kicks up. It is fine at 80 and below, but above that it is louder than Normatec.

- Comes in 5 sizes (versus Normatec's 3) and each set of boots has two separate zippers so that one set of legs can accommodate different width legs. Those sizes include:
Leg Sizing Comparison
  • XS (5' and under)
  • S (5' 1" - 5' 3")
  • M (5' 3" - 5' 10")
  • L (5' 10 - 6' 3")
  • XL (6' 3" and above)

- Sizing Note Hack - because you can turn off zones on Rapid Reboot, you can actually use a longer set of boots with a shorter person by deactivating the top zone. You can do this as well on Normatec's more expensive Pulse Pro model ($2500). You can always buy a second set of legs too instead of an entire second unit. Legs are $295.

- Carrying case is included so no need to buy an optional $150 carrying case like Normatec.

- 2-year warranty. 30-day return policy with Amazon. Rapid Reboot boots don't use YKK zippers. Normatec does use YKK. YKK is the gold standard in durability.

- Optional attachments for hips and arms. Rapid Reboot has a superior hip system than Normatec.

- Available direct from Rapid Reboot on Amazon for $995, but if you are an Amazon Prime Member you save 5% ($50) which brings the total to $945. Amazon offers their outstanding return process giving you comfort, safety, and convenience on this big purchase.

Normatec Pulse 2.0 ($1295)


- Slim design that can be used and moved with one hand versus two hands for Rapid Reboot. Total system weight is 4lbs 10oz for the system with ac/adapter and hose, and 8lbs 10oz complete with the standard legs.

- Has a battery for use when power is not available. Only Normatec features a battery.

- Has Bluetooth connectivity - you can control the unit with Bluetooth connectivity and the downloaded iPhone/Android app. I don't use this feature at all and prefer to use the display to adjust the time and pressure levels. It also tracks your usage stats which I think could be beneficial for coached athletes. I have talked to people that use the Bluetooth and like it, but for me it isn't a huge selling point.

- Comes in three sizes:
Normatec Pulse 2.0 System includes:
Pulse Head Unit, 2 legs, hose, AC Adapter
  • Short (under 5' 3")
  • Regular / Standard (5'4" to 6'3")
  • Tall (over 6' 4")  

- 7 pressure levels with a max of 100mmHg. One zone can be boosted with the ZoneBoost feature to 110mmHg.

- 1 mode of squeezing that Normatec calls Pulse, hence the name.

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

- 5 zones with no ability to program them off or on.

- Features hidden hoses sewn in the legs with dark fabric that won't show dirt. Hoses come out the top of the legs which I prefer.

- Optional attachments for hips and arms.

- Optional travel case. $150 for a hard-shell case.

- 2-year warranty for the Pulse 2.0 and includes durable YKK zippers.

-  Available direct from Normatec via Amazon for $1295, but if you are an Amazon Prime Visa Member you save 5% ($65) bringing the effective total down to $1230. Amazon offers their outstanding return process giving you comfort, safety, and convenience on this big purchase.

Final thoughts


Compression boots are an absolute must for any serious athletes and are even becoming mainstream among non-athletes as well. Rapid Reboot is a more affordable alternative than Normatec. They have a nicer hip system and go to higher pressures with a better boot size selection than Normatec. However the system is much larger and louder than Normatec and doesn't feature a battery for on-the-go convenience. Most disappointing is the fact that the compression hoses exit out of the bottom of the boots which can make for harder entry and exit - think USB cable tangles.

Another way to look at it is that I loved Air Relax at $350 over Normatec when they were $1695. I love Speed Hound over Normatec now at $650 versus $1295, but I can't see any reason to recommend Rapid Reboot over Normatec when you might as well save $350 and get a better unit that has cords coming out the top, is smaller, quieter, goes to even higher pressures, and is even more user-friendly, and best off all has a "45-day love it guarantee" and that is Speed Hound.

No doubt Rapid Reboot will continue to sell boots at events as compression boots are SIMPLY amazing, but a well-informed and discerning customer is going to go for Speed Hound. The only disadvantage to Speed Hound is they are NOT available on Amazon.

Discussed Product Links:


-
Rapid Reboot Legs on Amazon - $995 - Save $50 w/Amazon Prime visa card.
Rapid Reboot Legs + Hips on Amazon - $1290 - Save $65 w/Amazon Prime visa card
- Rapid Reboots Legs + Hips + Arms on Amazon - $1495 - Save $75 w/Amazon Prime visa card

- Normatec Pulse 2.0 Leg System on Amazon - $1295 - Save $65 w/Amazon Prime visa card
Normatec Pulse 2.0 Leg System + Hips on Amazon - $1695 - Save $85 w/Amazon Prime visa card

- Speed Hound Compression Boots - Save $50 with discount coupon code: RecoverFaster19

Amazon Basics Zero Gravity Chairs - $39.99 perfect chairs for relaxing in your recovery compression boots either at outdoor events or on the patio

Normatec on eBay - Used and New (Various prices, generally $700-$1000)

Other Related reviews of mine


Speedhound vs Normatec Review
Air Relax vs Normatec Review
- Normatec Gen 1 Pulse vs Normatec Gen 2 Pulse Review

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