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MANMAT RACE PRO canicross belt

There is beauty in simplicity, and when combined with functionality, it will make you happy. In short, first impressions of the new belt RACE PRO from czech brand MANMAT. I was lucky enough to be able to add a bit to the mill and test the new seat, so the following text is an excerpt of personal knowledge and knowledge of other members of the MANMAT team from southern Bohemia. It therefore does not include the opinions and findings of other MANMAT testers.

canicrossový sedák RACE PRO
Finální verze sedáku RACE PRO

The first encounter with the RACE PRO version 1 seat prototype

When I received the very first version of the new seat intended for testing, it did not differ in any dizzying way from the constructions of the current seats of competing companies. We will hardly come up with a better cut than the one from Rockempire, and the only fundamental differences can be found in the materials used and the tweaks in the form of pockets. At first glance, it was clear that the brand was betting on what really characterized it. The seat was pleasantly light and simple. I have been training with this seat for half a year and have also completed a few races. In the following coronavirus and a few virtual races. After many kilometers, I wrote points with other testers that the company should work on so that the seat is really good and, most importantly, practical. The testers collected the stimuli to modify the first version for more than a year. If I had to describe this seat in a few words, it would be: light, simple, unobtrusive, functional.


Manmat sedák RACE PRO
Custom úpravy testovacích sedáků

The road to satisfaction was definitely not easy

Since the last waves of COVID made the work on improvements and flexibility in the implementation of our suggestions uncomfortable, I had an identical copy of the test seat made by Simča Pischekova and her company WOOBOJKY with minor modifications so that I could work on my own. The result has always been many other changes and stimuli. We have modified this copy twice more so that all the straps and buckles are exactly where they are supposed to be. In the overall evaluation for MANMAT, we agreed with other South Bohemians on many points in which to improve the seat.



Fits, doesn't writhe, I don't know about him

It is important to mention that the seat must be tightened really well. Loose panties, poorly adjusted side straps or a waist belt always mean a malfunctioning seat. So after quite thorough suction, I was pleasantly surprised that even with a relatively strong dog on a rugged track, the seat did not move. At first I had hip problems after a long run. It was the result of poorly adjusted side straps, which connect the lumbar part with the lower part, from which it transmits tension to the buttocks and hips. After resetting, the problems disappeared. Here it is important to mention that my rear straps are more tight than the side straps.


Negatives

You can't talk about objectivity without negatives, which is why I add a handful of shortcomings.

  • Construction is not new

  • I have not tested the possibility to tie a "Pocket" if you stuff the pocket with your phone and other things, there is a risk of discomfort in the form of "jumping" the pocket while running

  • Long runs, none of the seat testers tested at greater distances of 20 km and more, where other shortcomings could manifest themselves

  • So far only in one color

  • The design is MANMAT's own, but if you go primarily for the look, it will not enchant you

Positive

  • Lightweight and well adjustable

  • Padded lumbar strap

  • Sturdy workmanship, immortal

  • It's not rolling

  • MANMAT STYLE :-)

  • Affordable

  • 100% Czech


The opinion of a MANMAT team member may be biased

Although I became a member of the MANMAT team only a few months after the first tests, I realize that my evaluation may be biased. So I enclose an interview with Michal Poledník, an excellent runner and canicrosser, who has not yet shown us everything he can in canicross and I think we have something to look forward to for the coming seasons. The main thing is that he is impartial and at first he was very skeptical about the seat and did not want to change his tried-and-tested seat.

Michal Poledník MČR v canicrossu 2021
Michal Poledník - MČR v canicrossu 2021

Could you briefly describe the first feelings when you stretched him out and harnessed the dog?

So after the first training I was quite excited. Since it was just a technical track with sharp turns, I was curious how the seat would behave, but he didn't even move on me. He didn't even spin at the sides with sharp changes of direction. I run with the leash attached firmly to the knot to the seat loop, with a logical instantaneous thrust to the sides each time the direction changes, so we've checked the seat enough. I was really surprised at how tight he held me. However, this applies to perfect tightening and adjustment. Other trainings confirmed it to me.


What do you see as the main advantages of a belt?

Definitely the durability of its design. But it is comfortable and light. I really like the upper lumbar belt, which resembles a piece of dog harness and is very comfortable. I was also afraid that the straps in my groin would make me angry, I tend to have a problem with overtightening it, but it was also without problems there.

What makes it different from other brands?

I would say that we managed to combine quality design and material with maximum functionality and durability. If a person can adjust the seat correctly and feels good in it, he can have it for many years. I can't imagine anything wear or tear on it. But time will tell.

Is there anything wrong with you on that belt?

Personally, I won't use the snap carabiner snap ring. I tie the leash firmly directly to the strap, so the ring at the front flew unnecessarily. I solved it by attaching it to the side with the seat width adjustment strap, so it wouldn't push me there anymore.





How long did it take you to set it up correctly?

Just that moment. A couple of seats had already passed through my hands, so I already knew where to tighten it more and where less. I keep the upper waist belt quite low, then I have a more compact impression of the whole seat when running.


Is there anything else you would like to write about the seat?

If it was sold in color variants over time, or at least there was a limited edition in yellow or orange, I would definitely not be angry. I'm tired of coloring.

In conclusion

The MANMAT brand won me over years ago when I was looking for a suitable harness for my tow trucks. I am also impressed by the fact that it is 100% Czech and manufactured in the Czech Republic and their equipment simply works, moreover, the brand does not rely on aggressive, ubiquitous marketing, but on its functionality and tradition. I have never been able to identify with using or promoting things I do not agree with or trust, regardless of the benefits it would bring me. In order not to celebrate this brand, it is worth noting that canicross equipment is currently available from many different manufacturers, always in high quality. So it's up to us which manufacturer we choose.

Sources


website of manufacturer MANMAT





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