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Are you looking for the best yoga mat to meet your travel needs? Look no more, here’s a definitive guide of top picks for all budgets. Having a good travel mat is often the difference between practicing or not when you’re away, yet choosing one product from the avalanche of options is overwhelming. It’s hard to know which is the right mat for your needs, travel habits, and style of practice. But fear not, we’ve scoured the web for you, comparing hundreds of products, user reviews, and manufactures’ notes to come up with the definitive top 5 mats for you wanderlustin’ yogis.
We know there’s nothing worse than having your sunny morning practice ruined because your feet keep slipping out from under you. Well, perhaps there is actually- if you then have to lug a bulky, sweaty mat around for the rest of your day. So, we’ve done the research for you and here’s what we found!
A quick aside: if you’re short on time and just want a brief summary of the best picks by feature, you can skip to the end and see our ‘best for’ breakdown. If you’re not quite as familiar with the different features or which aspects to prioritise in deciding on the right mat for you, keep reading. Here are some important considerations:
- Lightweight: a travel mat should be light if you’re going to carry it round
- Foldable design: saves space when packing
- Grip: you don’t want to be faceplanting in the downward dog!
- Durable: you want a mat that’s going to last and stay looking fresh and tidy
- Packing economy: if you practice Bikram or hot yoga, perhaps you want a mat with an integrated towel to save on luggage space.
So, without further ado, here are our top five picks based on tonnes of research and thousands of fellow yogis’ opinions.
Whatever way you turn it, this mat comes out on top. It ticks practically all the boxes we mentioned above as well as being moderately priced- that’s why it’s our winner.
- Weight: 2.1lb
- Thickness: 1.5mm
- Design: Origami folding mechanism folds down to newspaper size
- Grip: Incredibly sticky grip
- Composition: Made of naturally durable tree rubber
This mat is made of a slim natural non-Amazonian rubber which packs super small whilst still being supportive for the knees. Travel mats are often thinner than ones used for regular practice, but this one strikes the perfect balance between density and size. The unique origami folding mechanism means this mat is also the most hygienic option as the part which touches the floor never folds onto the practice side, so you can relax and inhale deeply in the child’s pose! We also love how portable this mat is. It comes with built-in straps and a handle, making it super easy to carry around and keep clean. Washing it down in the shower couldn’t be easier; you just hook it up by the strap and voilà!
In terms of texture, this mat is similar to Manduka’s eKO Superlite, but for us the Yogo pips it to the top position thanks to its incredible grip; it doesn’t slide around, and it doesn’t bunch up either! Users generally find this mat works well on most surfaces, so all you have to worry about is finding your ideal spot. If all of that wasn’t enough, the company plants a food-bearing tree in Africa for every mat it sells, so your green conscious can be totally at ease if you go for this option! Once the mat comes to the end of its useable life, you can even cut the straps and handle off and recycle them! Despite not being the cheapest option, we totally think it’s worth the markup for the quality of this mat.
Manduka products are generally great, and their eKO Superlite doesn’t disappoint. It’s a solid mid-range option which will certainly stand the test of time.
- Weight: 2.2lb
- Thickness: 1.5mm
- Design: Foldable design
- Grip: Grips well on hard floors but slightly slippery on carpets
- Composition: Durable natural tree rubber, 99% latex free
We love all things Manduka and can always trust them to create high-quality, eco-friendly products. This is a longstanding brand with a great reputation and it’s clear why. If you’re looking for a durable mat that won’t rip or tear, look no further. The tightly woven scrim resists even the most energetic of practices and the closed-cell surface means sweat and dirt won’t permeate into the mat, making it another great option for those with hygiene concerns (though it is worth noting that the folding mechanism isn’t as intelligent as the Yogo mat as the floor side touches the upper side when folded.)
Our main qualm with this mat is that its rippled surface texture is supposed to provide better traction, however, it’s actually a bit too sticky and often bunches up when transitioning from basic positions such as warrior 2. Hot yoga lovers will also struggle with this mat as it does get a bit slippery when wet. For you guys, we would recommend the Mikkoa option listed next. One last thing to be aware of with this mat is that it has a pretty potent smell, especially when new. If you’re sensitive to smells and don’t want to be put off your holiday savasanas, perhaps go for a different one! Either way, on balance we think this is a very sturdy and reasonably priced product which most yogis will be delighted with!
By far the most beautiful of all the prints we saw, Mikkoa mats are truly mesmerising. They also match up pretty well in terms of specs.
- Weight: 2lb
- Thickness: 1.5mm
- Design: Folding
- Grip: Good grip
- Composition: Vegan suede microfibre top and natural rubber bottom
This Aussie-based brand has totally nailed the design aspect. Our absolute favourites were the marbled prints (Galaxy Aurora, Midnight Ocean, Mystic Marble) which feel refreshingly different compared to the other models we saw from competitors. The unique feature of this mat is that it has dual surfaces, making it perfect for hot yoga lovers and light packers alike! The vegan suede top is made of moisture-wicking microfibre so it’s perfect for soaking up sweat, meaning you don’t have to worry about losing precious luggage space to a yoga towel.
This mat also folds up very neatly and can be easily tucked into a beach tote or hand luggage. It’s bang in the middle of the weight ranges of our top picks too; at just 2lbs you certainly won’t begrudge carrying it round until you find that perfect spot to practice. One unique feature of this mat is that it’s 10cm longer than standard measurements which makes it a great option for park or beach practices where you don’t want to get mucky feet! The downside is that it’s the priciest option on the list so probably only worth considering if you’re not on a budget. Having said that, they ship worldwide from Australia and even offer free international shipping in some cases, which is pretty cool!
This is far and away the best mat in this price bracket. If you’re looking for a basic, budget option and want a tidy folding design, this is the mat for you.
- Weight: 2lb
- Thickness: 2mm
- Design: Folds into a 10” by 12” square
- Grip: Good grip
- Composition: PVC (Free of DEHP, DBP, BBP, DINP, DIDP, and DNOP phthalates.)
Don’t expect all the same features or quality from this mat as some of the higher-priced ones. This is an excellent basic option but will probably leave advanced yogis quite dissatisfied. The mat is highly portable as it folds into a neat square, making it ideal for jetsetters, and at just 2lb it’s one of the most lightweight options on the market. It’s reversible as one side is made of microfibre towel and the other is a moderately sticky natural rubber. The grip isn’t great so it’s not suitable for hot yoga as it can get quite slippery.
This mat was created with travel in mind which means it’s designed to be both packed and stored folded, rather than rolled. This is important to note since the mat has perforations to make folding it away easier. This won’t necessarily affect your practice but should be borne in mind when making your choice. Despite being 0.5mm thicker than some of the other travel mats here, users generally feel the cushioning is its worst feature so it’s probably wise to have a cushion or towel handy if you go for this one. Similarly, the mat doesn’t fare well in strong sunlight and should be stored in a protective bag (it doesn’t come with one) to keep it in good condition. All in all, it’s a decent, lightweight mat but what we love most of all is its rock-bottom price and its lifelong guarantee!
A great option for travellers who need to guarantee some extra knee support and aren’t on a budget.
- Weight: 3.5lb
- Thickness: 3.2mm
- Design: Rolls up, too thick to fold
- Grip: very sticky, grippy
- Composition: natural tree rubber
Jade mats are often compared to the Manduka eKO Superlite thanks to their natural tree rubber composition and texture. The grip is great and, in this aspect, it’s a better pick than the Manduka because it doesn’t bunch up. The mat is sticky enough not to slide around on soft surfaces and the extra thickness is great for giving support in kneeling vinyasa positions. If you’re not into packing light or travel in a spacious van or truck, this could well be a great pick for you.
Its main advantage is the extra support you get from the thickness. It’s far and away the most robust underfoot, but this does come at a cost. The mat weighs a whooping 3.5lb which probably rules it out for backpackers or those wanting to get it in cabin baggage. Due to its thickness, it can only be rolled up which means it is bulky and unsuitable for those who might want to sling their mat in a tote and have it to hand all day. It’s also one of the higher end options on our list so those on a tighter budget may want to rule it out.
If knee support isn’t your priority but you dig Jade’s environmentally friendly materials, you might prefer their lightweight option, the Voyager. It keeps most of the great features of the Jade Travel Mat but they managed to slash the weight down by more than half (it weighs just 1.5lb!). However, for yogis with knee issues, we strongly recommend this mat as that extra cushion feels marvellous on the joints. You also don’t have to worry about wear and tear, the natural tree rubber composition is tough and resilient to most surfaces; the only thing you should avoid is sun exposure. Like Yogo, Jade is also an eco-friendly company and we love that they plant a tree for every mat sold, helping yogis maintain sustainable practice habits!
…and that’s a wrap!
So, that rounds off our list of top five yoga mats for travel. We hope you have a better idea of which mat will best fit your needs and that you can practice abroad with the same comfort as in your studio! To recap all the above, we’ve created a ‘best for’ breakdown by priority. As you can see, the Yogo Ultralight steals the show in most aspects and that’s why it’s our overall winner. This mat is definitely the best all-rounder, and its moderate price tag seems more than fair given its endless list of amazing features.
- Low budgets: Gaiam Foldable Travel mat
- Brand reliability: Manduka eKO Superlite
- Camper/van travel: Yogo Ultralight or Jade Travel mat
- Eco warriors: Yogo Ultralight
- Hot Yoga: Mikkoa
- Thickness & support: Jade Travel mat
- Light travellers: Yogo Ultralight
- Ease of maintenance: Yogo Ultralight
- Beautiful designs: Mikkoa