Top 4 Travel Yoga Mats For Yogis on the Go

we review the best portable yoga mats for travel

 

Yoga lovers who travel a lot need to be picky about the yoga mat they choose to take with them. Many brands have recently come out with smaller, thinner, lighter versions of their regular yoga mats to satisfy this demand. In this article, I am reviewing my four favourite yoga travel mats.

For each of the four travel mats, I looked at four characteristics: 1) Weight, 2) Thickness, 3) Grip and 4) Durability. All four are made from natural tree rubber since they are, in my opinion, vastly superior to plastic mats for many reasons, including:

  • how much support they provide,
  • their durability and grip,
  • not to mention the positive impact on the environment.

Let's move on to the reviews...

Manduka eKO Superlite TravelMat 68”

eKO Superlite portable yoga matThis yoga travel mat is extremely light (2 pounds) and thin (1/16” or 1.5mm), making it a travelling yogi’s dream. You can actually fold it up to fit in your purse or carry-on bag. You will not slip and slide on this surface as it is surprisingly sticky. We love that its closed-cell design does not absorb bacteria and that it’s made from non-Amazon eco-friendly biodegradable tree rubber, which, of course, means that you are not using plastic, or having to smell plastic. It’s also extremely durable, making it a fantastic yoga mat that suits most of a travelling yogi’s needs.

The biggest sacrifice when purchasing a mat this thin is that it provides little to no padding. Kneeling poses are particularly hard on the knees, and because it’s so thin, it can bunch up under your feet when moving between standing poses. If this doesn't concern you then the eKO Superlite is a great choice.

Pros

  • Extremely light and thin
  • Fits into a small purse or carry-on bag
  • Excellent grip
  • Made from natural tree rubber
  • Does not absorb bacteria
  • Durable

Cons

  • Little to no padding
  • Can bunch up under feet

See pricing and availability for the Manduka eKO SuperLite Insight on Amazon

Manduka eKO Lite Mat 68” 3mm

yoga mats for travel - manduka eKO LiteThe next travel mat in Manduka’s eKO line is the eKO Lite, which is 4 pounds, 1/8” thick (3mm) and designed to provide the perfect combination of cushion, grip and lightness. It won’t fold up and fit in your purse, but it’s still fairly easy to travel with. The latest version of Manduka’s eKO Lite mat has a rippled-water top surface, giving it a nice stickiness, while maintaining its durability, hygienic barrier and natural rubber materials. This mat is strong and will suit the needs of most avid yogis.

It’s hard to beat this mat’s combination of grip, cushion and lightness. However, avid travellers, particularly backpackers, may find its four pounds to be too much. I don’t find it to be too heavy myself, but I did find this mat to be a bit heavier compared to the Superlite. If you are looking for a mat to carry over a short distance, like a yoga class, then this is a perfectly fine choice.

Pros

  • Better padding for knees
  • Still fairly light
  • Excellent grip
  • Durable
  • Does not absorb bacteria
  • Made from natural tree rubber

Cons

  • May be too heavy for travel over long distances

See pricing and availability for the Manduka eKO Lite on Amazon

Jade Travel Yoga Mat

best travel yoga mats - jade travel matLovers of Jade yoga mats say that they are the perfect all-purpose mat, providing the best stickiness, weight and price point, all in an eco mat made from natural tree rubber. Their lightest model, the Jade Travel Yoga Mat, is 1/8 inch thick and weighs 3 and 3.8 pounds for the 68” and 74” mats, respectively. They also plant a tree with every one purchased. Can’t beat that!

Like the Manduka eKO Lite Mat, this one may be too heavy for some avid travellers. The Jade Travel has an open-cell design, which can collect dirt and sweat quite easily – a common complaint if you check out the mat’s reviews online. Also, some yogis who prefer vinyasa-style classes may find that Jade mats are a little too sticky, since they may not allow your feet to slide easily while moving from chaturanga to upward-facing dog.

Pros

  • Better padding for knees
  • Still fairly light
  • Excellent grip
  • Durable
  • Option for a longer mat
  • Made from natural tree rubber
  • A tree is planted for every one sold

Cons

  • May be too heavy for avid travellers
  • May be too sticky for vinyasa-style classes
  • May collect dust and sweat

See pricing and availability for the Jade Travel on Amazon

Gaiam Sol Thin-Grip Yoga Mat 1mm

Gaiam so thin-grip yoga matGaiam offers the thinnest, lightest option of them all, its Sol Thin-Grip Yoga Mat. It is ultra-light (2 lb), can be packed away tightly and is made from 100% natural rubber. This mat is sweat-resistant, durable and remains sticky through the sweatiest classes.

There is almost no padding for the knees with this mat, and because it's so thin and light, it can bunch up under the feet when transitioning between standing poses, much like the SuperLite.

Pros

  • Ultra-light and can be easily packed away
  • Durable and sticky
  • Made of rubber
  • Gaiam also has rubber mats that are 2mm and 3mm thick

Cons

  • No padding
  • Can bunch up under feet

See pricing and availability for the Gaiam Sol Thin-Grip on Amazon

Summary

Once you switch to a natural rubber mat, you will never go back. They feel better, smell better, grip better, last longer and have less impact on the planet. For that reason, we have only featured mats that are either made entirely with natural rubber or at least have some in the mat.

All of these portable yoga mats are high quality and are designed to satisfy the needs of most yoga fanatics, so you will likely be happy with any one of them. If you are an avid traveler, prefer a light mat that is very easy to pack away and you don’t mind losing the cushion, then either the eKO Superlite or Gaiam Thin-Grip are the best yoga travel mats for you. If you don’t mind a little more weight (1 or 2 pounds more) and would appreciate the cushion, the Manduka eKO Lite or Jade Travel Yoga Mat would be your best choice.

If you are looking for a yoga mat that is suitable for your home you should take a look at this article where we review the best yoga mats on the market today. It includes lots of helpful tips about why you would or why you wouldn't purchase a particular yoga mat. 

Good luck!

Note: the links in this article are Amazon affiliate links. If you end up purchasing something, DoYogaWithMe receives a small percentage of the sale.

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