The 5 Best Travel Yoga Mats To Own For Your Next Yoga Retreat

When it comes to packing up for your next adventure, or even just a bike ride to your local yoga studio, the mat matters. A travel yoga mat has the potential to revolutionise your packing, but also directly impacts on the enjoyment and comfort of your yoga experience away from home.

Beyond things like weight, and how it fits in your bag, you also need to consider a sturdier, robust mat which can handle the challenges of travel: unpacking, repacking, transport and perhaps indulging in yoga in the great outdoors; all will take their toll. You need a mat up to the job.

Yoga Travel

Of course, yoga and mindful practice is all about the everyday moments. However, despite the best will in the world, for many of us that has its limitations. It’s on yoga retreats and during our travel experiences that we often find the most time to really dedicate to yoga and wellness.

We also want those travel yoga experiences to be memorable, restorative and rich in every element of self-care. Choosing a travel yoga mat to take with you based solely on it weighing very little could lead to compromising those very experiences that you want to elevate.

You might find yourself missing your home mat, getting frustrated because it slips on that beautiful beach hut decking, or compromising your ethics because the lightest weight mat you could find is plastic-central. It’s not going to do much for creating the optimal conditions for getting the most from your travel experience!

That’s why we decided it was time to showcase the top travel yoga mats. We’ve not only taken popularity into account, but we’ve carefully considered all of the factors which make for an ideal travel yoga mat. We’ve judged our list of the best travel mats for yoga based on:

  • Durability
  • Pack-ability and portability
  • Size
  • Weight
  • Comfort
  • Price
  • Ethics
  • Ease of cleaning

You need a folding yoga mat

Before we dive into detailed descriptions of these particular mats and why they’ve made our list, we first want to explain some things about travelling and yoga, and how your mat will fit into that, including the criteria above.

Your first consideration should be to choose a folding yoga mat. You’ll notice that all of the mats which have made our list can be folded. Folding really matters when it comes to travel.

Whilst it may be tempting to consider a rolled mat which will attach to the bottom of your backpack, your yoga practice won’t thank you. It’ll quickly and easily get dirty and bashed. So choose your mat based on the fact that it will fold, if you want it to.

Criteria to consider when choosing a travel yoga mat

Beyond its ability to be folded, you should also consider some other criteria and think about which are most important to you.

The two biggest things to consider are weight and pack-ability/portability. It’s also these two elements which make travel yoga mats different from non-travel mats. In short, they need to pack away in a jiffy, and be lighter for when you’re lugging your luggage.

Let’s consider the criteria and advantages of travel yoga mats in more detail:

  • Durability: Travel yoga mats need to be robust. You need them to handle being thrown about by baggage handlers as easily as they can handle the odd pebble on the grass you’ve chosen to practice on. It’s no good to you if you arrive at your destination with a torn mat.
  • Pack-ability: Whether you’re on a multi-destination backpacking trip, or simply combining a yoga retreat with a beach holiday, you need to be able to pack your mat easily. When you unpack it you want the creases to shake out in moments. Choose one which will actually leave room for packing some other items.
  • Size: Check sizes carefully. Many travel yoga mats manage to shave weight and make claims about packing up tiny precisely because they’ve also cut the size. That makes it highly frustrating if you lunge into an Anjaneyasana or a Warrior Pose and your feet leave the mat and slip.
  • Weight: Backpackers and travellers know that weight matters. It’s not just about excess luggage fees but also about you carrying stuff around. Bear in mind that many yoga retreats are out of the way and on vehicle free sites. There will be some degree of lugging bags.
  • Comfort: Travel yoga mats are typically thinner. This doesn’t mean you should compromise on comfort. It comes down to what the mat is made of. Consider if you’ll be able to use the mat over some extra padding like a towel, or if it’s thick enough by itself. Natural rubber is a good choice.
  • Price: We know you don’t want to waste cash and so it’s tempting to go for a rolling foam mat which is cheap as chips. The problem is that you’ll end up paying in other ways. They aren’t small and they don’t fold. They also get damaged easily and can end up needing to be replaced quickly. A little more investment at the beginning can save you in the long run.
  • Ethics: It’s no surprise that many people who practice yoga take their consumer ethics seriously. Choose a retailer, such as Yoga Studio Store where you can see clear details about what the mat is made of, its sustainability, and any particular facts which contribute to it being an ethical choice.
  • Easy-to-clean: Choose a mat which is easy to clean. Travel is a messy business, especially if you’re planning on enjoying yoga with incredible background vistas or in the great outdoors.

Top 5 travel yoga mats

You won’t go wrong if you choose one of the following travel yoga mats:

1.     Manduka eKO SuperLite Travel Yoga Mat

In pole position is the highly popular Manduka eKO SuperLite Travel Yoga Mat.

Affordable but superior, with outstanding grip, this natural biodegradable rubber mat is lightweight and designed for travelling yogis. The unique patterns and colours give you plenty of choice for a personal mat. Ultra-thin at just 1.5mm, it’s foldable and weighs a mere 1kg.

One of our customers gave this mat the following review: “I love the colour and the ethics of this mat. I bought it so that I can fold it up and put it in a bag – I ride a bike and go away frequently- it folds up very small. It is super light and grippy. Very happy with it!”

We recommend getting some Manduka Natural Rubber MatWash for easy cleaning, available in a handy travel size.

2.     The Jade Voyager

The Jade Voyager is a fabulously long 3mm travel mat making it perfect for those who are tall, manage the most open stretches in poses such as Svanasana, or who need a little extra comfort for floor-based poses.

Weighing 1.65kg, it’s still a lightweight mat and it folds up very easily to fit in your bag. It’s an eco-friendly choice, made from sustainably sourced natural rubber. There’s even the commitment to plant a new tree for every mat sold. It’s very easy to keep clean, just needing to be hand-washed in cold water.

3.     Yoga Studio The Grip 2mm Travel Yoga Mat

The Yoga Studio The Grip Travel Yoga Mat is an excellent choice due to the surface giving incredible grip whilst also absorbing moisture with ease. 

Made of durable eco-polyurethane, it’s a wipe clean mat and is ideal for hot yoga – it actually provides more grip the hotter you get! The underside is responsibly sourced rubber. Weighing just 1.5kg, it’s suitable for tall yogis at 183cm, and folds up neatly into your luggage.

4.     ecoYoga Travel Jute Yoga Mat

For a low cost option, you won’t find better than the ecoYoga Travel Jute Yoga Mat

Its ethics are fantastic, made of sustainably-sourced natural rubber and natural jute. It’s got a sticky non-slip texture and a firm feel. It looks lovely with the jute characteristics with the benefits of a rubber underside. It’s made of tough-stuff and is highly durable whilst feeling nice underfoot. As a UK-made mat, it’s also doing well in the low carbon footprint stakes.

5.     Yoga Design Lab Travel 1mm Yoga Mat

The thinnest travel yoga mat on our list, don’t think you’re compromising on comfort with the Yoga Design Lab Travel 1mm Yoga Mat.

You can pop a towel underneath, or use it happily over a studio mat. But its thin nature makes it incredible easy to fold and pack. It also has the added benefit that you can machine wash it. It’s an eco-friendly mat made with natural tree rubber.

When choosing a travel yoga mat, consider what matters most to you. Think about the yoga experiences you’ll be having, but also think about transport, price, ethics and even how to keep your mat clean. Browse our full range of travel yoga mats.

Enjoy your travels with yoga on board and you’ll be calm, reflective and get more from your travel experiences. Namaste!

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