Normatec 3 in-depth review and comparison [video]

Normatec has updated its popular compression boots with the newly released Normatec 3. The Normatec 3 features a refreshed design, reduced weight, increased battery life, and professional level customization. Best of all, the price has been lowered as well.

Normatec 3 video review

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A quick overview of the Normatec 3

At first glance, Normatec 3 doesn’t add anything extremely innovative or new, compared with the previous model. But the improvements are more significant than I had assumed. For starters, there are new levels of customization that were previously only available on the much more expensive pro models. That, plus other subtle changes, add up to make this a significant upgrade.

Normatec 3 specs

Control unit weight3.2 lbs
Control unit dimensions4 x 4.5 x 8.5 in
Attachments availableLeg (2), Hip (1), Arms (2)
BatteryUp to 3 hrs
Compression levels7 levels
Available technologyZoneBoost
ConnectivityBluetooth to the Hyperice app

Design

The most obvious change with the Normatec 3 is in the design of the control unit. The pants remain exactly the same, just with a refreshed Hyperice logo. The connection ports are mostly unchanged, only now they have a less plasticy look and feel. But the control unit, that’s where you really see the big changes.

The big digital screen on the old model has been replaced with a much simpler, and in my opinion, nicer display. 

On the unit, you can select which attachments are being used. I have only the leg attachments, but there are hip and arm attachments available. Like before, you can adjust the pressure level from one to seven, with an option to select a ZoneBoost, which extends the duration of compression on a certain area.

Toward the bottom of the control unit, you can select the duration. This is now done with a single button and increases the time in 15 minute increments.

Overall, the console feels and looks much more professional, and I think it is a nice improvement over the previous model.

Normatec 3 Control Unit

Battery

The battery life for the Normatec 3 has been improved by 50%. Previously, a full charge would last around two hours, whereas now they claim it will last up to three hours.

From my testing, I think the battery life is actually going to be well over three hours for most people. This is a really solid improvement, especially for those who take their Normatec to be used at events.

And like the earlier model, the Normatec 3 will also work while plugged in. Meaning, you don’t need to wait for the battery to charge in order to use it. Five lights at the top of the control unit let you know the current battery status.

Customization

Normatec 3 can connect and be controlled via bluetooth on the free Hyperice App, just as the previous model did. There you can select a variety of pre-built plans which will automatically start and adjust the compression system for you.

But new to the Normatec 3 are the custom controls. This was previously available on the more expensive pro version but is now included here. After using them, I think this is where the biggest improvement has been made. 

With the custom controls, you have the ability to fully customize how long the Normatec spends on each area, as well as dial in the exact pressure on that area. Initially I thought “ok, cool, but probably unnecessary for most use, I’ll probably just stick to the normal mode.” But after using it for a while, this has become my favorite thing. Read on for two examples why.

Varying pressure

Normally Normatec provides the most pressure at zone one, near your feet, and slowly dials that pressure back as it goes higher up your leg. This makes sense because your legs are a lot bigger higher up and need a lot less pressure to get good compression.

For me, since I have pretty big calves, I’ve always had to choose a medium level which felt good on my calves, but I would feel a ton of pressure when it got higher up toward may hips. Or, I would choose a high level which would feel great on my hips but was a bit much on my calves.

Now I have the ability to control the pressure more precisely and am able to dial everything in when the session starts.

Skipping zones

My wife, who is a lot shorter than me, finds the Normatec leggings to be way too long. Normatec does offer a a shorter leg attachment size, but they are currently unavailable. But, I imagine most couples, even if differently sized, would still choose to share attachments.

For my wife, when the compression would get to the upper portion of the leggings, it wasn’t very useful to her. The customization now lets you turn off complete sections. So she just turns off the highest portion and increases the time a bit on the other portions. This also allows her to not zip the pants up all the way, which is a hassle for her.

Final thoughts

As mentioned, I’m a big fan of the new customization options, but I’m left wishing I had the ability to save different customizations – or even better, a few pre-built customizations could be saved and selected with the control unit, without even having to go into the app. Still, the customizations overall are my favorite upgrade to the Normatec 3.

While the upgrades are nice, if you’re a casual user who already has a Normatec 2.0, I’m not sure it’s really worth the upgrade. If you work with your Normatec professionally, or use your Normatec enough you really want those customization options, then the value could be there.

But if you don’t already have a Normatec, just know, this upgrade has made what I already felt was one of the most valuable recovery tools even better.

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