When it comes to vertical jump testing, it doesn’t get much better than using a vertical jump mat.
I wrote an earlier article which discussed the various vertical jump measurement tools and today I’m doing a deep dive on the mats.
Compared to using a vertec, a vertical jump mat is far easier to use, way more portable, and just as accurate (see end of article for more info regarding accuracy).
While there are some pretty expensive options, there’s also extremely high quality products that are slightly more affordable than a vertec as well, making jump mats the most cost effective way of measuring a vertical jump.
Best Digital Jump Mat
Best Budget Jump Mat
- Tracks far more than just vertical jump on the mobile app
- Athlete management & free cloud storage included
- Battery operated, super portable
- Far more affordable than alternatives
- Ideal for teams
- Most affordable vertical jump mat on the market
- Super easy to operate & great portability
- Solid accuracy
- Ideal for personal use
In this article I’m going to run you through what I believe are the three best vertical jump mats on the current market, how they differ, and I’ll help you decide which one is right for you.
The Skyhook Contact Mat is a brand new digital vertical jump mat which comes with a powerful mobile app that can track the performance of multiple athletes, making it a fantastic choice for sports teams and organizations.
Best Digital Vertical Jump Mat For Teams & Organizations
The Skyhook Contact Mat is the most affordable vertical jump mat that comes with integrated data management, meaning it’ll track the progress of multiple athletes over time.
It is a completely wireless system and connects to a super powerful mobile app that is extremely easy to use.
The Skyhook mat is able to track vertical jump height, reactive strength index (RSI), and can also be used to perform the Scandinavian rebound jump test (SRJT) as well as several others.
You can also easily set up team rosters in the mobile app which runs on both iOS and Android devices.
What I like most about this jump mat is that you get free cloud storage included and there’s no software license fees to make things more difficult.
For that reason, I definitely prefer it over the EZEJump mat (which we’ll discuss shortly).
It’s also way more affordable than any other digital vertical jump mat, making it a really solid investment.
This is a great option for sports teams looking to track the progress of multiple athletes over time.
- Tracks a lot more than just vertical jump height.
- Battery operated (so no annoying wires) and super portable with built in carry handle.
- Free cloud storage included and no license fees to worry about.
- Significantly more affordable compared to alternatives.
- There really isn’t much I don’t like about the Skyhook Contact Mat!
If you’re looking for a super portable, extremely simple device to quickly and accurately test your standing vertical jump, the Just Jump vertical jump mat is your best option.
Best Budget Vertical Jump Mat
If you’re just looking for a quick and easy way to track your own vertical jump, it’s really hard to go past the Just Jump mat for three reasons: it’s extremely simple to operate, it’s remarkably accurate, and it’s significantly more affordable than other options on the market.
How It Works
You simply stand on the mat, press the on button on the hand held controller, and then jump!
Once you land, the controller will display your vertical jump height in inches as well as hang time.
The Just Jump System, just like all vertical jump mats, is able to calculate vertical jump height by measuring the time taken between toe off and landing back on the mat (i.e. hang time).
There’s a good amount of literature on the accuracy of vertical jump mats as well as the Just Jump System specifically.
One such study found the Just Jump System would slightly overestimate vertical jump when compared to force plate testing, but the difference was very minor.1https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311064883_A_Correction_Equation_for_Jump_Height_Measured_Using_the_Just_Jump_System
A different study compared the Just Jump mat to the traditional method of vertical jump measurement (vertec) and found the results were extremely similar.2https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18076265/
The main thing is that the Just Jump mat is consistent, which means it’s a highly reliable way to track vertical jump development over time.
Features & Usage
The primary use case of the Just Jump mat is to measure standing vertical jump.
It also has a ‘4 jump mode’ which measures the ground contact time between 4 consecutive jumps to determine your reactive strength index (RSI). This is a measure of overall plyometric explosiveness (i.e. how ‘springy’ you are as an athlete).
It also has a ’60 jump mode’ which determines how well your body deals with fatigue by measuring jump height decrease from the first 15 jumps to the final 15 jumps. It’ll then display a fatigue factor rating which is a useful metric for athletes to track over time.
Why Buy The Just Jump Mat
The JJM is an analogue system which sets up in less than 3 seconds and immediately outputs the data so you can quickly record it and move on.
In terms of price, the Just Jump mat is significantly cheaper than any other vertical jump mat on the market and also cheaper than buying some vertecs!
Great, budget option for anyone who wants to track their own vertical jump progress and values portability. Not suitable for athletes who want to track running vertical jump.
- This is a slightly more affordable option, although the price did recently increase…
- Incredibly portable, great for traveling trainers.
- Accurate and consistent.
- This jump mat doesn’t store data, so it can make the testing process slower for large volumes of athletes.
- These devices sell out really quickly! Stocks are very limited at the moment.
If you’re looking for a more high tech vertical jump mat, the EZEJump from Swift Performance is one of the best ways for coaches to efficiently test and track the progress of multiple athletes.
Best Vertical Jump Mat For Elite Athletes
The thing that separates the EZEJump from the rest is the incredible app you get access to which displays all the data you could possibly need.
The amount of different tests you can design and track using this device are practically endless.
This vertical jump mat is less of a mat and more of a plate as it’s made out of solid stainless steel.
It’s 33% larger than the Just Jump System and is significantly less portable since it’s made of solid steel and won’t fold or roll up like the JJS.
You can however get a carry bag (as well as wireless charger) for an extra $140.
The system is cordless and connects via Bluetooth to either an iOS or Android device which is where the outputs are displayed.
The app itself is free and allows coaches to store and manage data pertaining to each individual athlete, making this a great option for sporting programs which take athletic development and performance seriously.
Annual subscriptions to advanced tracking features and analytics can also be purchased for those who want to get the absolute most out of their EZEJump.
As far as data collection and reporting goes, the EZEJump does it all and will integrate via API with existing athlete management systems.
Who Is The EZEJump Ideal For?
The EZEJump is probably going to be a half decent option for professional sports organizations, college level strength and conditioning programs, and sports performance researchers.
Having said that, I’m not sure it’s much better than the Skyhook Contact Mat (as discussed above) and it’s significantly more expensive.
That said, it’s still significantly cheaper than a full blown force plate and has a lot more functionality than the Just Jump System for programs looking to track the jumping/movement ability of their athletes.
This is a great option for college or professional sports organizations who want the ability to track detailed information about their athletes. If you’re after data and analytics, this is a fantastic choice.
- The EZEJump is able to provide coaches comprehensive athlete management, data tracking, and analytics.
- Super versatile – you can do a lot more than just measure vertical jump with these devices!
- This device is almost 3x the price of the Just Jump mat.
- Since this mat is actually quite a large metal plate, it’s not as easy to move around as the JJM.
- Subscriptions/license fees to unlock full functionality.
Best Overall Vertical Jump Tester
The major issue with vetical jump mats is that they can only be used to test an athlete’s standing vertical jump…
But what if you want to test your maximum running vertical jump?
That’s where the TH1000 comes in as the absolute Rolls Royce of vertical jump testing…
Comparable in price, but superior in ease-of-use as well as versatility and construction quality, the Top Hopper is currently the single best device on the market when it comes to vertical jump testing.
If you foresee the need to track running vertical jump, forget about a jump mat and go for a device like this one.
For athletes and organizations looking to test standing vertical jump as well as running vertical jump, a vertical jump tester like the Top Hopper is a far superior choice to a jump mat.
- Allows you to test both standing and running vertical.
- Super quick and easy to adjust with perfect accuracy.
- Multiple mounting options.
- Incredible build quality.
- More affordable than most vertical jump mats!
- Measurement vanes currently increase in 1″ increments (new version coming out shortly will have 1/2″ increments, further improving accuracy).
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For individual use or for use with small numbers of athletes, I think the Just Jump Mat is easily the best option on this list.
It’s ultra affordable, super easy to use and portable, and does exactly what most people will need it to do.
For professional organizations working with a larger number of athletes who are interested in detailed tracking and analytics, I’d strongly recommend the Skyhook Contact Mat which provides access to a wider range of analytics and proper athlete management tools.
You should also strongly consider the Top Hopper TH1000, especially if you’re interested in testing running vertical jump. This thing is as good as it gets when it comes to vertical jump testing devices!
My Vertical Jump Mat Review Process
I always make it my mission to be as comprehensive as possible with these product reviews so I can be as helpful as possible to my readers.
Unfortunately, I’ve not yet been able to personally test any of these vertical jump mats, as getting products imported into the Kingdom of Thailand (where I’m currently based) can be a very slow and arduous process…
Having said that, I have had experience using vertical jump mats many moons ago, so I am familiar with how the products work.
I’ve also been given direct access to the manufacturers of the Skyhook Mat who have sent me several videos of it being used, so I could get a feel for how the device functions.
How Do I Know What I’m Talking About?
Having trained full time in an elite development program as a volleyballer for a number of years, I’ve tested my vertical well over 100 times in my life, so I have a lot of experience in this area, although mainly with vertecs and force plates.
Continually Updating With New Products & Information
As I gain more experience with these products, I’ll be updating this article so that you know exactly how my feelings towards each product evolve over time.
I’m also constantly on the hunt for new vertical jump mats that can offer value to the marketplace for inclusion in this article.
Feel free to read more about my product testing standards and review process.
Vertical Jump Mat Price Guide
Below I’ve tabulated the rough prices for the jump mats I’ve discussed in this article.
|Vertical Jump Mat||Rough Price|
|Skyhook Contact Map||$1,389|
|Top Hopper TH1000||$899|
|Just Jump Mat||$850-900|
|Vald SmartJump Mat||>$5,000|
Do note that prices will fluctuate so, while doing your research, it’s worth double checking the price by clicking on the links above.
How Do Vertical Jump Mats Work?
Vertical jump mats are able to calculate your vertical jump height by measuring the time spent in the air (hang time) between your jump and when you landed.
A mathematical formula involving the gravitational constant can be used to pretty accurately determine how high you jumped based on how long you spent in the air.
Vertical Jump Mat Vs Force Plate
Unlike the vertical jump mat, force plates measure not only hang time but also the force generated when jumping and the rate of force development.
Vertical jump mats are basically just glorified force activated stopwatches and don’t actually calculate anything to do with force output.
Is A Vertical Jump Mat Accurate?
How you land on the vertical jump mat is quite important.
Since your feet are virtually flat on the ground when you start the jump, you need to also land with your feet flat for the jump mat to make an accurate assessment.
If you’ve landed on the balls of your feet, you should probably retake the jump test and remember to land flat footed.
It’s also been proven that if you have an overhead goal/target when performing a vertical jump, you’re likely to jump higher.3https://www.researchgate.net/publication/7839008_Use_of_an_Overhead_Goal_Alters_Vertical_Jump_Performance_and_Biomechanics
Since there’s no overhead target when using a jump mat, you might expect slightly lower overall results when compared to something like a vertec.
Each method of assessing vertical jump performance has its own biases and imperfections, so it’s impossible to get a perfectly accurate measurement anyway.
Overall, the research indicates that vertical jump mats perform fairly well in terms of accuracy.
The main thing is that they’re very consistent, which means tracking progress over time is very reliable if you’re using a jump mat each time.