I used a gel pad for years, but think the new thinlines are probably much better (and certainly lighter!)I have never tried one. I have made the switch to Supracor. A bit pricey, but I just love BOTH of mine. I have western and english. Most importantly my horses both seem to love them. Being a person who likes my horses "pretty" too, I went with the black covers and use another pad on top if I want. I use my english one with my 17" bates, and have length left over, so you should be fine. You can sometimes find them on eBay for less $.