I’ve seen several types of massagers. Some come in handheld gun-like form, while others wrap around your leg or knee. But have you tried one that can lift, twist, and knead your body, like the new Hydragun StretchPad?
Automated full-body massage mats are everywhere. However, unlike earlier models using vibration and heating technology to soothe stiff muscles, the Hydragun StretchPad has multiple air chambers to simulate the hands of a massage therapist.
With this innovative air compression system, you can skip making an appointment or paying premium fees for your whole-body TLC.
Let’s zoom in on the other excellent features of this yet another ingenious Hydragun product and see if it’s a good buy.
Overview of the Hydragun StretchPad
If you enjoy regular massage sessions after your workout or a long day at work, investing in a Hydragun StretchPad is 100% worth it.
Aside from making daily massages convenient and more accessible, this full-body massage mat has adjustable modes for individualised therapies.
Just lay the mat on any flat surface, plug it in, and lie down, positioning your neck and back area close to the air chambers.
Use the remote control to set the full-body or targeted program, choose a session length, and select the intensity.
Then, let the precision-controlled air chambers work their magic. You can even turn on the infrared heating feature for the ultimate massage experience.
After you massage, fold it like a sleeping bag, zip it up, and store it in the closet or under the bed.
The compact mat has a built-in handle, so it’s easy to pull out or carry anywhere.
The ultra-smooth vegan leather feels good to the touch and on the skin. And all it takes is a quick wipe with a damp cloth to get it clean and ready for your next session.
I haven’t tried anything like the Hydragun StretchPad before, so I’m excited to see and test it firsthand. Here’s how our testing team’s experience went.
A Closer Look at the Features of the Hydragun StretchPad
Beneficial for Multiple Users
The unique feature of the Hydragun StretchPad is its set of air pockets or chambers.
Compared with similar mats that use percussion or vibration technology, this one inflates and decompresses to stretch your body.
As a result, you’ll get milder massages that suit most people. The effect is gentler than close contact, high-impact massage guns.
The mat itself can cater to users of most sizes. Specifically, it can support body weights up to 110 kg (242 lbs).
People up to 188 cm (6’2”) tall with up to 55 cm shoulder width and 110 cm hip circumference should feel comfy on top of the StretchPad.
And while this Hydragun massage mat is best for relieving chronic muscle stiffness, backaches, and mobility issues, people with more sedentary lifestyles will find it helpful, too.
It’s an excellent device for getting that relaxing stretch and massage after sitting or standing at work for hours.
People who experience stress and sleep problems can also benefit from the Hydragun StretchPad.
Hydragun explained that massages activate the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). It’s an automated function in our body that ward off stress and induce a relaxation response.
I did a little research and found that a previous study from the University of Konstanz in 2020 supports this effect, noting that 10 minutes of massage is enough to stimulate PNS.
The research participants also confirmed they felt more relaxed and less stressed after the tests.
Just a heads up, though. While most people can enjoy massages using the StretchPad, it may not suit others with certain health conditions.
These are in the product manual, but we strongly suggest consulting your physician.
Personalised Massage Sessions
Do you enjoy getting a different type of massage every session? Or do you want to focus the massage on a particular body part?
Both should be easy with the Hydragun StretchPad as it has 22 precision-controlled air chambers and variable massage options.
Specifically, you can choose from its seven pre-set massage programs: four full-body and three targeted routines.
And these options are represented in symbols on the user-friendly remote control. At the top are the four full-body massage protocols, including stretch, twist, lift, and deep.
Here’s how each mode felt like:
- Stretch works like a warm-up massage that gently stretches the muscles from neck to hip.
- Twist targets the upper and lower spine, which is excellent for backaches or cramps. This program is our favourite as it also presses the butt and almost feels like a human massage. It’s even more relaxing with the heat function warming the lower back area.
- Lift involves alternating lifting and pulsing motion to work the back and spine. This mode gives the lower body a good stretch, which we find very relaxing.
- Deep features more potent twists or pulses and longer holds for a thorough massage. We tried this mode with varying intensity levels. But based on our trial, there was no significant difference between levels 1 and 3.
Next to these buttons are the three targeted protocols: neck and shoulders, lower back, and hips and thighs.
Here’s how each mode felt like:
- Neck and shoulders mode is like getting a thumb massage on the neck. Using your phone during this session can be dizzying as the airbags turn your neck left and right pretty quickly. So, avoid this if possible. The upper back and shoulders also get a good massage, which is excellent for tense muscles in this area. We suggest limiting this mode to intensity level 2 unless you prefer intense massages.
- Lower back mode pushes your midsection upwards as if you’re doing glute bridges. The body arches high during this session, which may be slightly uncomfortable for some people. We recommend starting with intensity level 1 here, especially if you are a first-time user or do not get massages often. Also, we thought it would have been better if we could adjust the height of the lower back massage.
- Hips and thighs mode feels good as it wraps and presses the sides of the body. It’s like having a roller roll near the tailbone area, too. The session starts with one side of the hips getting a massage before the airbags move to work the other side. This mode also massages the lower back and the butt.
You can customise these programs further by selecting your preferred duration (10, 20, 30 minutes) and intensity (1, 2, 3). Or you may opt for the default setting of 20 minutes at Level 2.
If you love heated massages as we do, you can also have that with the StretchPad by pressing the steam button at the centre of the remote.
There is only one temperature setting (55C), though, and the infrared heat function only works at the back section of the massage mat.
Despite these minor limitations, heat therapy combined with massage is 100% more relaxing. We especially liked how this air compression massager can twist and stretch the neck and back areas.
The movements of the StretchPad are gentle and controlled, so we did not feel worried when the mat started working on these sensitive massage points.
Easy Setup, Storage, and Maintenance
Hydragun noted that the StretchPad is safe to use every day. And I like how its quick plug-and-play operation makes this possible.
All I have to do is unroll the mat, plug it in, lie down, and select my massage settings. I can set it up on the floor, sofa, mattress, carpet, or any flat surface near my power source.
Its power cable is also 2 m long, so positioning the StretchPad where you want your massage sessions to be shouldn’t be a problem. The massage mat came with an Australia standard Type I plug, too.
The initial assembly didn’t take long, considering I only had to plug in the power cable underneath the StretchPad.
After that, I left the power cable connected to the mat and rolled it for storage. That way, I only need to plug it into a wall socket the next time I use it.
Every Hydragun product I’ve tried before looked and felt high quality, and the StretchPad is no different. The premium vegan leather material of the mat is buttery smooth and not sticky at all.
Its stitching is flawless, too. And that means cleanup takes no time. After unplugging and cooling it down, I grabbed a clean damp cloth and used it for wiping.
I let the mat air dry a little before folding and zipping it into a compact roll. There’s even a side pocket for storing the remote control before rolling the mat.
When folded, the StretchPad is only 65 x 38 x 20 cm, so it can easily fit into your closet or the space under your bed.
Portable and Cost Efficient
One thing I appreciate about the Hydragun StretchPad is how convenient it is to have around. I can enjoy my massages at home, any time.
Compared with getting an appointment with a therapist, I think the whole assembly-storage process of the StretchPad is more practical, especially if you enjoy daily massages.
Yes, a $60 to $90 therapy session is far more affordable than the StretchPad.
However, that also means you only get less than two weeks’ worth of massage therapy for the price of one longer-lasting massage mat.
The price of a therapy session also varies, depending on where you’re having it. But you won’t have to worry about that when you can take a highly portable StretchPad anywhere.
Plus, it’s much better than a heavy massage chair that takes up space and costs thousands of dollars.
Pros and Cons
- Quick assembly and plug-and-play operation
- Simulates kneading, rolling, and pulsing massage action
- Has 22 precision-controlled air chambers
- With seven pre-set massage options for full-body and targeted massages
- Adjustable massage time and intensity for personalised sessions
- With an infrared heating function
- Portable and easy to clean
- More cost-efficient than massage chairs or appointments
- Supports up to 110 kg and 188 cm
- Works for most users who prefer gentle massages and stretching
- Not for people with certain health conditions
- Intensity levels do not have significant differences
Full-body massage mats offer tons of benefits to your health and everyday life. And it’s impressive how Hydragun took this innovation up a notch with the all-new StretchPad.
On top of the usual vibration and heat therapy, this Hydragun innovation can also roll, twist, and knead your tense muscles, simulating a therapist’s hands.
Thanks to its variable massage options, time, and intensities, your customised at-home massages are just a few buttons away. The quick assembly and user-friendly remote control make daily sessions stress-free, too.
Its use is not limited to athletes or excessively active people, either.
And compared with similar products, like a massage chair, the Hydragun StretchPad is significantly more portable and less expensive.
I’ve tested several other Hydragun wellness products, and I can confidently say that their construction and performance are top-notch and well worth the price. And that includes the StretchPad.
Best of all, Hydragun is known for its responsive 24/7 customer service, so visit them online for further assistance.
Plus, with Hydragun’s worry-free 30-day money-back guarantee, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give the StretchPad a go.