Updated September 15th, 2018.
If you’re wondering which is the best travel yoga mat to take on your adventures, you’ve come to the right place! As a qualified yoga teacher and an avid traveller, I went through several travel yoga mats before finding the best one and now I’m here to share that information with you!
Choosing the Best Travel Yoga Mat – What to Look For?
As you set out to find the right travel yoga mat for your backpacking adventures, you’ll want to know what features set functional travel yoga mats apart. Here is what to look for during your search:
Portability: this may seem like a no-brainer but finding a portable yoga mat that is practical for travel may be more challenging than it seems. Realistically, all yoga mats are created to be portable, but that does not mean they will all be easy to carry on a backpacking trip. You want to look for a compact and thin travel mat that could fit in many places. You might store your mat in a yoga backpack, bike basket, or just carry it and leave your bag at base.
Folding: another angle to take is to go for a foldable yoga mat. These mats are slim and lightweight enough to be folded into a compact size which is easy to store and carry.
Easy to Clean: the purpose of travel yoga mats is to be able to bring them along for all your treks and explorations. That means your mat could get pretty grimy after a few uses in sand or dirt. Invest in a mat that can be cleaned in the shower with you and air dry in the sun in preparation for your next move.
Durability: remember that you will want your travel mat to be with you throughout your whole backpacking trip and beyond. Don’t sacrifice durability for backpacking convenience. You can have both in one mat! Look for mats made from natural rubber for durability that is comfortable and sustainable.
7 Best Travel Yoga Mats
1. Manduka eKO Superlight Travel Mat – From $35 USD – BEST OVERALL
The Manduka eKO Superlight Travel Mat is one of the most popular mats among backpackers around the world. This superslim mat folds down to fit into any yoga mat backpack or another type of bag for easy transport. The texture of the surface provides solid traction even with perspiration, and the mat is made of non-Amazon harvested natural tree rubber for sustainability.
The lightweight mat is made to be super durable so you can enjoy as many yoga classes as you can fit into your backpacking journey. You can choose between four natural tones for your yoga mat to match your backpack and personality. At the end of your days, rinse your mat, hang it to dry, and it will be ready for transport when you are.
2. Jade Travel Yoga Mat – From $59 USD – PREMIUM BUY
The Jade Travel Yoga Mat, although a little on the pricey side, is a super reliable and durable option to carry with you on your backpacking adventures. The mat is made from open cell natural rubber, which creates an especially good grip to help you hold poses for just a moment longer each time. The natural rubber also provides extra cushioning for comfortable practicing on the go.
This sticky mat will support you without allowing you to sink in when holding poses. Not only will you benefit by getting a great mat for your travels, but you will be planting a tree with your purchase as Jade Yoga partners with Trees for the Future.
3. Gaiam Foldable Yoga Mats – From $25 USD – CHEAPEST
The Gaiam Foldable Yoga Mat is a super slim model that folds down to be compact enough to pack in your carry-on bag. The mat is designed with a special ‘sticky’ texture which is meant to improve traction and grip while you’re practicing even when you find yourself sweating.
This thin mat is ideal for keeping handy while backpacking, but keep in mind that if you’re doing yoga outside, you may need to secure with a couple of rocks if the wind picks up. If optimal portability is what you’re after in your travel mat, then the Gaiam folding yoga mat may be the right option for you.
4. YOGO Ultralight Travel Yoga Mat – From $65 USD – LIGHTEST & MOST VERSATILE
The YOGO Ultralight Travel Yoga Mat is a model used and trusted by many experienced yogis for their travel needs. This mat comes in three rich colors to suit your personality and is made with a super convenient folding design which can be fit into small bags. The straps attached to the mat function in two helpful ways, as they provide a carrying system and make it easy to hang your mat to dry after it’s been cleaned.
The YOGO mat is made from renewable tree rubber which is high-performance and super sticky for ultimate grip and traction during your practice. If you decide to invest in a YOGO mat for your backpacking trips, a tree will be planted in exchange.
5. The Travel Yoga Mat by the Yoga Design Lab – From $49 USD – Prettiest Design!
The The Travel Yoga Mat by Yoga Design Lab is a lightweight option for travel that comes in a collection of various beautiful and calming prints to choose from to keep things aesthetically pleasing while you find your flow.
The eco-friendly mat is made of natural tree rubber and microfiber from recycled bottles, and the prints are water-based for ultimate sustainability. The mat rolls up to a super slim size and comes with a practical carry strap so you can leave your bag at base while walking to class. You can clean the mat by hand or by machine and just hang it to air dry after washing. Enjoy the cushion and stability that will prevent injury and enhance your practice while you backpack.
6. MB Zen Yoga Mat Thick Long Foldable – From £26 – Functional (UK Only)
The MB Zen Yoga Mat is a folding yoga mat that is made from thick high-tech memory foam for optimal comfort while remaining easy to store and carry. This mat has a two-sided design with the underside featuring a non-slip surface to increase safety and functionality during your yoga practice. When you invest in this MB Zen mat, you get a free carry bag which makes packing easier and keeps your mat in prime condition.
Using this MB Zen mat for your travels means that you will be protecting your alignment along with being environmentally friendly. The mat is free of latex and metals and SGS approved, and the carry bag is made from 100% cotton. MB Zen has partnered with One Tree Planted, so if you invest in this yoga mat, a tree will be planted in return!
7. The Liforme TRAVEL Yoga Mat
The Liforme TRAVEL Yoga Mat is an excellent option to bring along with you while backpacking. This mat is made thicker than some other travel mats, but is still very lightweight and easy to pack and carry. The mat comes with its own carry bag with a sling for your convenience. The mat is made with the AlignForMe alignment system to protect your body and the GripForMe material for a reliable non-slip grip. It also has an alignment marker system so you can check your alignment for the perfect downward dog!
The Liforme mat is eco-friendly and sustainable, as it is made from mainly naturally sourced rubber and is PVC-free. You will find it very easy to clean the mat and it will dry quickly when you hang it outside in the fresh air.
Slowing down at some point during the day for a yoga class while backpacking is an excellent way to keep yourself calm and refresh your perspective. Think about just what you need and choose the best travel yoga mat for your backpacking adventures.
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