7 Best Travel Yoga Mats for your journeys in 2020
Planning to spend your summer in a remote yoga retreat? Or perhaps you’re simply looking to stay active and aware during your travels?
Whatever the reason, chances are that you’ll need a portable and functional yoga mat to accompany you through this journey. Unlike regular mats, travel yoga mats are specifically designed to alleviate the process of traveling and commuting from point A to point B.
We’ve combed through the interwebs to find the most lightweight, durable and practical travel yoga mats that money can buy. So, if you’re looking to perfect your flow as you venture out into the world, you should definitely check out these 7 best yoga mats for travel.
The 7 Best Travel Yoga Mats
You can confidently choose between these 7 lightweight, compact & foldable yoga mats. Many of these companies have tree-planting initiatives for every travel yoga mat you buy too!
1. YOGO Ultralight Travel Yoga Mat
The perfect traveling companion.
The Yogo Ultralight Travel Mat is the perfect blend between minimalism and functionality. This mat is so tiny that you won’t even know it’s there!
When it comes to travel-friendly designs, this travel yoga mat has it all figured out. Designed to fold into a small rectangular shape, the mat is held in place by durable clip straps. The straps can also be used to air-dry your mat after washing it, and the hygienic folding design ensures that your mat is protected from all the grime and dirt while you’re on the move.
Want to know a secret? You can simply take the mat with you in the shower and rinse it from all the piled-up dust and sweat. That’s it!
The natural tree rubber is super sticky, which will help you hold your grip even during the most challenging Asanas. The mat is made from plant-based vegan materials, meaning they contain no PVC, EPA, TPE or any other artificial compounds. And for every purchased mat, YOGO will plant a food-bearing tree and provide agriculture training for a disadvantaged family.
Like so many other tree rubber mats, this one also has a strong odor. It also takes a bit of time for the material to break-in, meaning you should probably use a towel at first to avoid any nasty slips and falls.
- Plant-based vegan materials
- Buy a mat - plant a tree!
- Easy to clean
- Minimalistic design
- Strong odor
- A bit slippery for some users
2. Liforme Travel Yoga Mat
Designed for the yogi on the go.
Liforme is well-known for its fine assortment of high-quality, biodegradable yoga mats. The Liforme Travel Yoga Mat is a reinvented version of their original yoga mat - only much thinner and significantly lighter.
Note: Despite being the more compact version, some users still did find it to be a bit hard to fold/ heavy otherwise it would easily be out #1 option. Pricey but the grip & quality are fantastic.
Featuring a strong natural rubber base, reinforced with a cushioned felt portion, this travel yoga mat offers stability and softness for all your acrobatic endeavors. The GripForMe material is a specialized type of fabric that ensures a stable and secure grip even when you're dripping with sweat. All the materials are 100% natural and biodegradable and contain no toxic materials. Keep in mind that the mat does have a slight odor to it, but it tends to air out after a couple of uses and regular maintenance.
What we particularly like about this mat is its AlignForMe system, which uses intelligent markers to navigate you through your Asana practice. This makes it perfect for those at the beginning of their yoga journey who need a little push in the right direction.
- Super grippy
- Align system
- Quite light
- Nice cushioning
- Has a slight odor
- Some users found it a bit big which makes it hard to fold
- A bit expensive
3. Manduka eKO Superlite Yoga Travel Mat
A yoga mat for a sustainable practice.
Made by yogis, for yogis, the Manduka eKO Superlite Yoga Travel Mat is made using renewable materials and stupendous attention to detail.
A wide assortment of designs and colors can help you hone into your inner yogi and experience the true wonder of this ancient practice. Embrace the moon salutation on Manduka’s midnight stripe yoga mat, release your inner warrior with the thunder stripe design or experience every nature’s color with one of their green, maroon or fuschia mats.
The mats are made from natural tree rubber and offer a superior catch grip. Although eco-friendly, the tree rubber does have a certain smell to it, which takes more than a few days to air out. The dense cushioning measuring 1.5mm of thickness allows for a stable and balanced yoga experience, however, some users did mention that they’d prefer a slightly softer surface. Weighing a mere 2lbs, these travel mats are entirely lightweight and easy to carry, making them perfect for traveling.
- Multiple colors & designs
- Extra grippy
- Easy to clean
- Prone to scuff marks
4. TOPLUS Travel Yoga Mat
The ideal harmony of body, mind, and spirit.
Compact, lightweight, and sustainable, the Toplus is a packable yoga mat that makes for an ideal alternative to traditional mats.
Featuring a soft suede fabric, this travel yoga mats offer excellent skid-resistance and moisture absorption, even during the sweatiest of workouts. Reinforced with a natural rubber bottom, it provides you with optimal traction and grip, regardless of the surface you're practicing on.
The mat is completely foldable weighs 2.5lbs and includes a carrying bag, so you can easily take it with you wherever you go. It's free from any artificial dyes and preservatives, making it a safe and conscious choice. One of the downsides of this mat is that it doesn’t offer too much cushioning, which can be quite inconvenient especially if you're practicing on a hard surface. But, in terms of travel yoga mats, you'll often have to make a choice between optimal thickness and overall weight.
- Soft suede fabric
- Amazing moisture-absorption
- Great traction
- Natural Materials
- Could use more cushioning
- A bit heavier than others on the list
- Carrying bag could be of better quality
5. Jade Travel Yoga Mat
Take your practice with you wherever you go.
With four different color options and two size varieties, the Jade Yoga Mat is an amazing choice for traveling yogis. Made with open cell natural rubber, this high-performance mat is completely sustainable and natural.
The best thing about this whole ordeal? By purchasing one of these mats, you’re giving back to nature! In collaboration with Trees for the Future, Jade has decided to plant one tree for every product sold. How awesome is that?
Admittedly, the mats do fall on the heavier side of things (2.9-3.3lbs), but they’re foldable and can easily fit in your tote, backpack or carry-on. At ⅛” of thickness, the mats are optimally cushioned, ensuring a safe and comfortable practice at all times.
Despite its many positives, the Jade yoga mat requires a fair deal of maintenance, which is something that users are not too fond of. According to the company’s care and maintenance instructions, the mats shouldn't be exposed to direct sunlight nor should they be machine-washed and dried. So, we guess those afternoon beach sessions are out of the question?
- No PVC or synthetic materials
- Foldable & easy to pack
- Optimally cushioned
- Buy a mat - plant a tree!
- A bit heavy
6. Gaiam Foldable Travel Yoga Mat
Around the world in 80 dandas.
If you’re traveling light, then this foldable yoga mat by Gaiam is the perfect option for you. Only 2mm thick, this compact square-shaped yoga mat is super subtle and seamless.
The mat is designed with a unique sticky texture that provides stability and balance, as well as a good connection to the ground. Unlike other products on our list, this mat is made from PVC, but is non-toxic and won’t cause any damage to your health. What makes these Gaiam mats special is the plethora of different designs available that’ll give you the inspiration and drive to conquer even the most challenging of postures.
According to some users, the paint tends to rub off after a while, especially when treated with certain abrasive cleaning agents. Keeping that in mind, make sure to follow the instructions that come with the mat and maintain it regularly. Also, it would be a good idea to wash the mat before you try it out for the first time, to get rid of the initial chemical odor.
- Durable PVC material
- Extremely lightweight & foldable
- Unique sticky texture
- Beautiful designs
- Strong chemical odor
- Paint rubs off after a while
- Not eco-friendly
7. YOGA DESIGN LAB Travel Yoga Mat
Giving new meaning to Hot Yoga.
Regardless of whether you’re in the business of practicing Bikram, Hatha or hot yoga, this Travel yoga Mat by Yoga Design Lab will ensure you have a safe and comfortable surface to tackle your practice.
If you're looking for a pop of color in your daily routine, then look no further than this eye-catching travel mat. Infused with various striking designs, mandala symbols, geometric patterns, and beautiful pastel hues, these yoga mats will simply compel you to do more. Like so many other mats on our list, this one is also made from natural tree rubber, reinforced with microfiber from recycled plastic bottles.
The mat is ultra-lightweight, but still, provides enough cushion to ensure a safe surface for your practice. When it comes to cleaning, you can simply toss it in the washing machine and be done with it - easy peasy lemon squeezy!
The mat is entirely foldable and comes with a convenient carrying strap. Because it tends to get a bit slippery at first, it’s recommended to spray some water on the top of the surface to prevent sliding. Of course, being a travel mat it is quite thin, so if you need some extra padding, it’s best to place it on a softer surface.
- Natural & recycled materials
- Beautiful designs & colors
- Includes carrying strap
- Slippery at first
- Not comfortable to use on really hard surfaces
How to Choose the Best Travel Yoga Mat?
Yoga is a spiritual journey, it creates a perfect harmony between the body, mind, and soul. This is why practicing yoga requires a stable, safe and serene environment. When you’re constantly on the move, your chakras may feel disrupted, which is why having something to ground you down is of vital importance.
That being said, it’s crucial to know how to properly choose a mat that will serve a safe haven during your travels. In light of this, we’ve compiled a short guide that’ll help you choose the best travel yoga mat for your specific needs.
Size & Weight
First and foremost, you’ll want to choose a mat that’s easy to handle and carry with you. Most traditional yoga mats are quite bulky and unsuited for traveling yogis. In terms of weight, the lighter the mat, the better. Most travel mats are designed to weigh only a couple of pounds, so they won’t overwhelm you while you’re progressing from one point to another.
You’ll also want to ensure that your mat can be folded, rolled and packed easily. If it comes with a carrying strap or a handy carry bag, you’ve hit a jackpot! Nevertheless, even if you don’ have any helpful tools, make sure that your yoga mat can be conveniently packed inside your tote or backpack. Portability is key in this sense and you’ll want to have something that won’t put too much strain on your shoulders and back.
Depending on the type of yoga you practice, you’ll want to choose a mat that provides good traction and a nice grip. If you’re hung on more intense practices, you’ll be sweating and dripping by the time you roll out that mat. If that is the case, then it’s crucial to find a super sticky mat that won’t slip and slide beneath your hands and feet.
Tree rubber is a great option, as it’s naturally very sticky and offers a lot of traction. It’s also a good idea to search for mats that have moisture-absorbing qualities, so your mat doesn’t turn into a sweat pool.
However, if you find a great mat that’s a bit on the smoother side, then you may want to consider using a yoga towel on top of it for more support and stability.
If you’re constantly on the road, you probably know that you need to invest in durable equipment and apparel to ensure their longevity and lifespan. Yoga mats are no different. Think about where you’re traveling..are you going to do some beach yoga? Perhaps you’ll be doing some woodland yoga or going from one yoga retreat to another?
A mat made from durable, strong and robust materials can last you a lifetime, especially if you’re prone to changing your surroundings every so often. PVC materials are much more resistant in this sense, however, they’re not eco-friendly. Search for mats that are made from heavy-duty and long-lasting fabrics that aren’t prone to wear and tear. Jute, cotton and tree rubber offers a good balance between sustainability and durability and could serve you for the years to come.
Finally, you’ll want to pick a mat that’s easy to clean and maintain. After all, you’ll be spending all that time on the go and you don’t want to end up with a sweaty, wet yoga mat on your hands. Look for mats that don’t require heavy maintenance and special care.
The best way to go about this is to choose a travel yoga mat that can be cleaned with some water and soap. Try to keep a few clean cloths handy so you can always wipe the mat after use. Also, choose a mat that’s thin enough that can be airdried, so you don’t have to haul a hefty ad soggy piece of fabric with you.
Q: Can You Carry a Yoga Mat on a Plane?
A: Absolutely! Most yoga mats, travel mats especially meet the airline requirements. If your yoga mat comes with a carrying strap or bag, you can simply attach it to your backpack or small carry-on luggage for better portability.
The best thing about travel yoga mats is that they’re extremely lightweight and usually fold quite easily, so you can probably pack it inside your luggage and it won’t add any unnecessary weight to your bag.
Q: How do You Clean a Travel Yoga Mat?
A: Although some are machine-washable, most yogis avoid doing this as some cycles may disturb ad damage the texture and surface of the mat. However, if the instructions call for machine-washing, make sure to run the machine with cold water on a gentle cycle.
However, if you’re traveling with limited supplies, then a simple damp washcloth and some gentle soap should do the trick. Be sure to wipe the mat afterward with a dry cloth or leave it to air dry.
For more information, it’s best to carefully read the cleaning instructions that come with the mat, as some of them may require special care.
Q: Are all the options on the list Eco-Friendly?
A: Not all yoga mats are created equal and they’re often made using various different materials and fabrics that ensure better durability, stickiness, and texture.
Of course, many companies that specialize in yoga equipment and apparel have embraced sustainable and eco-friendly practices during their manufacturing process. We know that sustainability is an important aspect of yoga and travel, which is why we’ve tried to include a variety of different travel mats made from environmentally-friendly and recycled materials.
Most of the mats on our list are made from natural tree rubber that is completely natural and safe for both people and the environment. We’ve also made sure that none of the mats contain artificial materials or toxic compounds that may damage your health and wellbeing.
Q: What is the Difference Between a Yoga Mat and a Yoga Towel?
A: The most important thing to know about yoga towels is that they’re in no way a proper substitute for a yoga mat. Yoga towels are generally used on top of yoga mats to prevent slipping and sliding during intense practices.
The main difference between the two is that yoga towels don’t offer cushioning and traction, as well as mats, do. They’re also less firm, so it’s not advised to use them on their own. The great thing about yoga towels is that they can easily be rolled up and stored inside your yoga bag for easier transport. The towels are also machine-washable, so there’s no need to worry about high-maintenance or specific care instructions.
A yoga towel is not a necessary part of yoga practice, but it does offer certain advantages in terms of stability, balance, grip and even better hygiene.