Ridgeline shooting mat-rolled

Ridgeline Shooting Mat

Ridgeline shooting mat-rolled

By Marcus O’Dean

A few years back, I spoke to the boys at Ridgeline about adding a new line, aka this shooting mat, to their broad range of gear and clothing and they listened, because this is the result. It’s been on the market for some time, but I feel it is one of their “unsung hero” type of products.

“Why is that?” you ask. Well Ridgeline gave me one of their first production models and I have used it continually ever since. I wanted a replacement for a Gnome Industries mat that was OK, but backed in black glossy vinyl and in Summer it was like a furnace to shoot off. This Ridgeline Shooting Mat, by contrast is comfortable, very wide and long enough for a big ol’ boy from Mississippi, who’s eaten too much gumbo for 20 years, to get down on the ground and shoot protected from rocks, sticks and crawlies.

Ridgeline Shooting Mat

The Ridgeline Shooting Mat unrolled. Note paler panels of grippy material for knees and elbows and zip pocket top-left.

I intented to use mine for fullbore shooting, prone service rifle and zeroing and group shooting in the bush and it has been a top-notch choice for all those uses. It evens out slightly uneven natural ground , cushions the shooter from concrete surfaces, like Hornsby Rifle Range’s firing points back to 800 yards, thereby allowing the shooter’s mind to concentrate on essentials of marksmanship.

With an outer of woven, water-resistant polyester in pale olive on top and dark grey matt finish underneath, it is of sewn through construction within which is a layer of centimetre-thick, non-absorbent foam; I’ve laid it on squishy mud and just taken it home to wash it off with detergent and a yard broom. At critical places on the upper are panels of textured rubbery surface material which provide more grip for the knees and elbows, essential to maintaining a well-integrated and consistent prone unsupported position. In addition, there is a nifty little zip pocket on the top-right extremity of the upper, allowing storage of a box of ammo, scorebook and pen or other little essentials you may take to the mound.

Rolled up, it is secured by two broad velcro straps and you can sling it across your back with the attached shoulder strap. In its rolled state it would be a fair neck pillow at a pinch.

I just leave it in my car boot and have enlisted it as a sleeping mat on a recent cold hunt with Steve Larrson and it allowed me to spread out on the tent floor without rolling off insulation from the cold (minus 5C) ground. The other night, I took the missus (and the dog) down to Coogee Beach’s Dunningham Reserve for fish and chips and a glass of wine ( I know, I’m an incurable romantic) and by the time I got back from getting the food, she was asleep in the sun on the Ridgeline Shooting Mat. When I prodded her, she commented how comfortable it was. I told her I’d buy her one to take to the beach, but she asked the old Diana Fisher “Inventors” question, “What colours does it come in?” “Err … *&%#ing green” I replied. Then her interest subsided somewhat.

Despite my suburban wife’s prejudice against commando mats on Coogee, I know that it’d make a great yoga mat – if only it came in peach or violet.

Never mind, I love mine and it’ll probably outlast me. Ask for the Ridgeline Shooting Mat at your local gunshop or check out the wide range of Ridgeline products at www.ridgelineclothing.com.au




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