If you practice yoga every day, going on vacation for work or pleasure doesn’t have to mean skipping a few days. And if you don’t know how to travel with a yoga mat, you may find yourself borrowing one from a hotel or going without, which is not a good idea. So, if you want to keep your yoga practice going while on vacation, learning how to travel with a yoga mat is a must-have skill.
How to carry your yoga mat on a plane might be a dreading thought for every yogi because honestly, how can you do it? A yoga mat is indeed essential because what if you want to do a few downward dogs after spending hours on a plane? And while your standard mat is likely a bit too heavy to make the cut of your “travel essential,” there’s still hope for you. Good thing that there are travel yoga mats in the market that are designed with portability in mind.
Let’s take a look into it!
Picking the Best Travel Yoga Mat
It’s crucial to know what to look for in a travel yoga mat before making your purchase. When deciding which ones fit the bill, there were a few factors to consider. So, here are some important features to consider when looking for a mat.
Above all else, you must ensure that your traveling yoga mat is suitable for travel. If it’s not, you will find yourself leaving it at home more frequently than you travel with it. The weight of your yoga travel mat determines how often you can actually pack it.
Packing actually requires some great skills, and with overweight luggage fees as high as they are, you must first determine the weight of each mat. Remember that when it comes to travel yoga mat, the lighter the better.
Aside from its weight, you’ll also want to make sure your mat is convenient to pack and transport. Traditional yoga mats are rollable, but they surely take up a lot of space in your suitcase or backpack. Ideally, you want a mat that can be folded into a compact size. Choosing a foldable mat will save you a lot of room and will fit easily into your suitcase or even your carry-on bag.
Travel yoga mats are designed to be thin and packable, but it doesn’t mean that their durability should be compromised.
You might want to make sure that the mat you’re going to purchase will last a long time. This is to avoid replacing it and buying new ones every few months or once a year. Investing in a more durable mat will save you money in the long run, which you can put towards future travels or discovering new yoga essentials.
Let’s face it: you’re not going to use a yoga mat that you’re not comfortable with. This could be due to the fact that it is too thin for you or the texture is unpleasant to touch. If you need extra support and cushioning for your joints, bones, or sensitive knees, folding your mat in half will work nicely. Alternatively, using a towel will do the trick. Fortunately, not every travel mat is ultra-thin, so you should be able to find one that suits your needs.
Is the yoga mat sticky or non-sticky? Does it have enough grip to keep you from sliding around when doing the Goddess position? Or is the non-grip texture so rough that it irritates you when you’re lying down and relaxing?
The texture is essential, especially if you’re doing hot yoga or practicing in a tropical location where it’s naturally hot or if you have sweaty palms and feet. You will want your yoga mat to be sticky enough that you don’t end up faceplanting when you’re doing the downward dog position. You’ll also want your mat to be soft enough that your skin won’t be irritated while you’re trying to find your zen in savasana.
Yoga requires self-awareness as well as awareness of your surroundings. As a result, it’s only natural to consider the longevity of your travel yoga mat. Look for companies that use sustainable materials in their products and have a strong commitment to social responsibility.
Best Yoga Travel Mat
Now that we’ve discussed what to look for when purchasing a travel yoga mat, it’s time for some recommendations. Here are the travel yoga mats, which we believe are the best products on the market if you want to stay flexible and strong while traveling.
Manduka eKO Superlite Travel Yoga Mat
One of the most popular mats among backpackers and travelers worldwide is the Manduka eKO Superlite Travel Yoga Mat. This ultra-thin mat folds flat, making it simple to transport in your backpack or luggage.
Because the surface texture provides solid traction even when wet, this mat is ideal for maintaining your balance when bending into those more challenging, moisture-inducing postures.
It is known to be eco-friendly and toxin-free, as it is made from natural rubber harvested from non-Amazon trees. They are biodegradable natural yoga mats, and Manduka is a company that has heeded customer feedback on the importance of sustainability in their mat manufacturing process.
Jade Voyager Yoga Mat
In constructing the mats and through a partnership with Trees for the Future, Jade Yoga pays special attention to sustainability. The mats are made entirely of natural rubber sourced from trees, with no added PVC or synthetic materials. The brand guarantees that for every one purchased, a new tree will be planted.
A non-slip, open-cell, which is a more absorbent surface, provides a secure grip, and the cushioning is much plusher than other travel mats. It’s a little heavier than others at about 3 pounds, but that’s a small price to pay for more support.
Gaiam Travel Mat
The Gaiam Foldable Yoga Mat is a super-slim model that folds up small enough to fit in a carry-on bag. It is, without a doubt, the most cost-effective travel folding mat out of many. The mat has a special sticky texture that improves traction and grip while you’re practicing, even if you’re sweating.
This thin mat is perfect for keeping in your backpack, but if you’re doing yoga outside, you may need to secure it with a few rocks if the wind picks up.
Yogo Ultralight Travel Yoga Mat
When not in use, Yogo’s Ultralight Travel Yoga Mat folds up into its attached clips, keeping it secure and roughly the size of a rolled newspaper. The straps can also be used to hang the mat to dry after washing it or to secure it to a bicycle if you want to take it with you.
It has a sticky top layer to help with grip, just like the other mats, and it’s made of eco-friendly materials (natural rubber and cotton). It gets points for its packability, despite being on the thinner side.
Clever Yoga Travel Mat
The Clever Yoga Travel Mat, on the other hand, is machine-washable, making it an excellent choice for travelers who may need to pack quickly after practice. This pick is highly recommended for hot-yoga fans because of the “microfiber moisture-activated grip top layer” and non-slip rubber base.
The mat is one millimeter thick and weighs approximately 2.5 pounds. A waterproof film prevents moisture and sweat from absorbing into the materials, making them odor-resistant. It folds easily to fit in a carry-on, backpack, or suitcase, just like most travel mats.
The Bottom Line
If you want to bring a regular or heavy-duty mat with you, we recommend not trying to squeeze it into your suitcase. They are usually quite heavy, for starters, and you don’t want to be concerned about weight restrictions when traveling. Second, they tend to take up a lot of room. You can always opt to purchase your own travel yoga mat for convenience. You’ll never go wrong with investing in a travel yoga mat.
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