Rapid Reboot Review vs Normatec Pulse 2.0 Compression Recovery Boots

Rapid Reboot vs Normatec Pulse 2.0
Recovery Compression System Shootout
In this comparison review I will review the Rapid Reboot recovery compression boots system vs the Normatec Pulse 2.0 recovery compression boots system. Any current promo discount coupon codes can be found at the bottom of this review.

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 ($444+) and Speed Hound ($695), but less expensive than Normatec ($1195).

They are a particularly tough sell against Speed Hound because they are $300 more expensive but are made by the exact same manufacturer. Speed Hound 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 weighs 5lbs 8oz and complete with large legs it is 9lbs 8oz. This can be an important feature for people who travel with the unit.

- Best in class user-interface. Rapid Reboot has in my opinion the best and easiest to use user-interface panel and should look nearly identical to Speed Hound.  Regardless I really like the pressure graph compared to Normatec as it helps new users visualize it better. Note, 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 as I get into and out of the boots. 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 vastly superior hip system than Normatec. If I were targeting the hips, I wouldn't even consider getting into my Normatec hip system.

- 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 ($1195)

- 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. This is the biggest selling point feature for me in choosing Normatec over Rapid Reboot. It is hard to explain until you get into and out of the boots.

- 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 $1195, but if you are an Amazon Prime Visa Member you save 5% ($60) bringing the effective total down to $1135. 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.

It gets really hard to recommend to Rapid Reboot to anyone when Speed Hound has a very similar device (made by the same manufacturer) that is smaller, quieter, and has more user-friendly hoses that come out the top of the boots and are $300 cheaper. So if you are thinking about Rapid Reboot to save money then I really think you should be looking at Speed Hound instead. The only downside to  Speed Hound is they are NOT available on Amazon for one-click purchase and have to be purchased direct from Speed Hound.

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 - $1195 - Save $60 w/Amazon Prime visa card
Normatec Pulse 2.0 Leg System + Hips on Amazon - $1595 - Save $80 w/Amazon Prime visa card

- Speed Hound Compression Boots - Save $50 with discount coupon code: RecoverFaster24. 

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 Pulse 2.0 Detailed Review

20% Jaybird Discount Coupon Code for Wireless Bluetooth Run XT Headphones

Save $20% on Jaybird Run XT Bluetooth wireless headphones with coupon code: workplaylove
(Expires 12/31/2019) 

Rapid Reboot Coupon Code - 10% Off Recovery Compression Boot System

Save $10% on a Rapid Reboot recovery boot compression system with promo discount coupon code Recover10 (Expires 12/31/2019) .

Note, this discount code does not work with Rapid Reboot on Amazon but if you have an Amazon Prime Visa card you will save 5% automatically which is $50.

Also, have you considered Speed Hound recovery boots ($650)? Speed Hound is made by the same manufacturer that makes Rapid Reboot however Speed Hound is: quieter, smaller, has larger buttons, hoses that come out of the top instead of the bottom, and come with a "45-day love them guarantee". I did a full review comparing Speed Hound to Normatec here if you are interested.

Endurance athlete sleep formula - How much sleep do endurance athletes need?

Average Nightly Sleep Time for Americans 
Over the years I have engaged in many conversations regarding sleep and specifically how much sleep various professional athletes get. While the results have varied from person to person and what period of life they are in, I have found that most athletes who don't have time restrictions sleep quite a bit.

Every single professional athlete I have surveyed across running, cycling, swimming, basketball, volleyball, golf, football, cross-fit, triathlon, and baseball gets at least 8 hours of sleep on a regular basis. Many more get 9, 10, even 12 hours of sleep. Ironically one of the most interesting things about motivational speakers is they are always talking about how one is "sleeping their life away" but high-level athletes know you can't "out hustle" sleep and that it is an incredibly important part of the process.

Regardless, in my career as a professional triathlete I came up with my own Endurance Athlete Sleep Formula that was pretty spot on without using an alarm clock and to wake up naturally. This basic formula is as follows:

Endurance Athlete Sleep Formula:

8 hours of sleep + 30 mins of sleep for each hour of exercise.

Thus if you exercise 2 hours a day you get to sleep for 9 hours. Exercise 4 hours and you get 10 hours of sleep. Simple as that. Now all exercise isn't created equal and intensity matters just as much as duration but to keep it simple this is what I have allowed myself to sleep.

Normatec Pulse Pro vs Normatec Pulse - Recovery Compression Boots Comparison

Normatec Pulse Pro vs. Normatec Pulse
Normatec Pulse Pro vs Normatec Pulse - what is the difference? This is a question I have received many times and today I will discuss some of the differences between between the Normatec Pulse and the Normatec Pulse Pro.

Normatec makes a more expensive version of the Normatec Pulse recovery compression boot system and calls it the Normatec Pulse Pro.

This comparison review will highlight some of the features and benefits of the Normatec Pulse Pro over the standard Normatec Pulse and why some people may want to purchase a Normatech Pulse Pro over the standard Normatech Pulse system.

Executive Summary

I spent 88 device hours and came to the conclusion that the Normatec Pulse Pro is really designed to be used in rehabilitation facilities and won't benefit most athletes. It has some features that could be beneficial in very specific uses-cases, but the majority of regular Normatec users using recovery boots for general recovery would never even notice them.

The additional Pulse Pro features are mostly software based features that I will discus in more detail below. Ironically most of the useful software based features are already in less expensive recovery compression boots by default. Systems like SpeedHound ($650), which I reviewed directly against Normatec here, have the ability to turn off specific zones & feature different modes just like the Pulse Pro but they go to much higher pressures (250mmHg). You are much better off getting a Normatec Pulse unless you need one of the specific features of the Normatec Pulse Pro.

Normatec Pulse Pro vs Normatec Pulse 

- Price - The Normatec Pulse Pro is $2495 while the standard Normatec Pulse is $1295.

- User Interface - The Normatec Pulse Pro features a touchscreen panel while the regular Normatec Pulse uses tactile buttons with a non-touch panel. I actually prefer the tactile buttons of the regular Pulse and find it to be quicker and much more precise than "hunting" and "pecking" on the Pulse Pro touchscreen. I did notice some lag at times on the touchscreen as well. It is a small difference but I really prefer buttons. However, I can see why Normatec put a touchscreen in the Pulse Pro. Simply put, the touchscreen is a necessary upgrade for the Pulse Pro as the additional features would be far too complex to setup using tactile buttons.

- Modes - The Normatec Pulse Pro features four distinct modes including: Recovery, RehabCustom and Sequential. The Normatec Pulse only includes the Recovery mode.

Mode selection screen. Sequential mode is chosen
 from a different setup menu of the system

- Customization - The Normatec Pulse Pro allows users to customize their treatment. This means users can change how long each zone inflates, how much pressure is in each zone and the pause time between one complete cycle ending and the next cycle starting.

- Zone Control - The Normatec Pulse Pro allows users to disable as many top zones as they would like. For example, you can't have say zones 1, 2, 4, 5 operating while skipping 3. But you could set it up to do zones (1 only) / (1, 2) / (1, 2, 3)  / (1, 2, 3, 4). This is really only useful if you are sharing a pair of longer boots with someone who is too short for them.

Setting the Pro system to only inflate
3 of the 5 zones.

- Precision Controls - The Normatec Pulse Pro has more precise control of pressure thru the use of 10 levels of compression as opposed to 7 for the standard Normatec Pulse. This allows further fine-tuning of the pressure, but both systems go to the same max pressure of 110mmHg with the Zone Boost feature. However, to change the pressure intensity on the Pulse Pro you have to walk down into the UI a screen and click a tiny button instead of having a tactile button right at your immediate finger tips on the display of the standard Pulse. For someone who moves from intensity 5, 6, 7 in a single session it is annoyance on the Pulse Pro.

The "Intensity" screen of the Pulse Pro

- LCD Brightness - The Pulse Pro has a dimmable display. As a sleep guru, I can't stand bright devices especially when I use them right before bed. The standard Pulse has one illumination level and it can be quite bright in a dark room. 

- The rest of the unit is identical. You get the same battery, the units are the same size, the hoses are the same, and attachments (hips, arms, legs) are the same. You get the same 2 year warranty too.

Using the different modes of the Normatec Pulse Pro

The Normatec Pulse Pro has four modes including: Recovery, Rehab, and Custom modes that all use Normatec's patent "Pulse" sequence. The fourth mode, Sequential is an entirely different sequence pattern.

Recovery Flush Mode - operates in an identical manner as the one and only mode on the standard Normatec Pulse model.

Rehab Mode - is designed to target various areas with customized programs for Foot/Ankle, Calf, Knee, Lower Quad, and Upper Quad. Each targeted area has its own specific time and pressures setting for each zone based on what Normatec believes to be the optimal treatment.

Rehab Mode

Custom Mode - allows users to specifically set the pressure level for each zone individually from 30mmHg to 100mmHg in 10mmHg increments. For instance, you could set the first zone of the system to have a higher pressure say 100mmHg and then work down as you get further and further up the leg, say 80mmHg for zone 2, 70mmHg zone 3, 60mmHg zone 4, and 50mmHg zone 5. You can also set the length of time the unit spends in each zone in 15 seconds increments from 15 seconds to 4 minutes.

You can customize each zone with the
"Custom" mode

Sequential Mode - This mode is unlike the other three modes in that it doesn't use Normatec's patented "Pulse" compression sequence. Instead it uses a recovery compression boot industry standard known as "Sequential". In this mode the zones inflate one at a time and none of the zones are released until the 5th zone is complete and then all zones release. This is slightly different than the proprietary "Pulse" mode.

Sequential Mode showing all five zones inflated
They will all be deflated in a second
and a new cycle will start


The Normatec Pulse Pro and Normatec Pulse system area great systems that anyone can benefit from. However, unless you have a specific need to customize your program the standard Normatec Pulse is a far more affordable system and easier to use.

If you are looking for some of the Pulse Pro features I would highly suggest taking a look at the $650 Speed Hound system. Many of the "Pro" features are already in the Speed Hound system. In addition, Speed Hound boots can go as high as 250mmHg max vs Normatec's 100mmHg. They also allow you to turn off zones as well to customize your rehab should you need it. They feature "Recovery Flush" and "Massage" Modes and have super slick UI that is easy to use. At $650 they are hard to beat. Here is a link to the review I did of Speed Hound vs Normatec.

Discussed Links

- Normatec Pulse 2.0 Leg System - $1295 on Amazon
Normatec Pulse 2.0 Leg System + Hips - $1695 on Amazon
Normatec on eBay - Used and New (Various prices, generally $700-$1200)

Amazon Basics Zero Gravity Chairs - $39.99 - perfect chairs for compression boots recovery if you are on the go or even at home on the patio.

Speed Hound vs Normatec Review
- Air Relax vs Normatec Review