Looking for a travel yoga mat? You’ve come to the right place!
Backpacking can be tough on your body. So, slowing down for a spot of yoga is an excellent way to keep yourself calm and refresh your perspective. With one of these travel yoga mats, you are sure to find the perfect companion for all of your backpacking adventures!
Using recommendations from our epic Facebook community, coupled with our own experience (The South East Asia Backpacker team are keen yogis 🧘), we have put together the ultimate list of travel yoga mats.
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The Best Yoga Mats For Travellers
Best Travel Yoga Mats – Quick Answers!
Top Travel Yoga Mats Comparison Table
|Manduka eKO Superlite Travel Yoga Mat||$$||24 x 71″ (61 x 180 cm)||2.2 lbs (1 kg)||1.5 mm||Foldable|
|Jade Voyager Yoga Mat||$$||24 x 68″ (61 x 173 cm)||1.5 lbs (0.6 kg)||1.5 mm||Foldable|
|Gaiam Travel Mat||$||24 x 68″ (61 x 173 cm)||2 lbs (0.9 kg)||2mm||Foldable|
|YOGO Ultralight Travel Yoga Mat||$$$||24 x 68″ (61 x 173 cm)||2.1 lbs (0.9 kg)||1.5 mm||Foldable|
|Mikkoa Travel Yoga Mat||$$$||26 x 72″ (68cm x 183cm)||2 lbs (0.9 kg)||1.5 mm||Foldable|
|The Liforme TRAVEL Yoga Mat||$$$$||25 x 71″ (66 x 180 cm)||3.5 lbs (1.6 kg)||2mm||Roll up|
1. Manduka eKO Superlite Travel Yoga Mat – Most Popular Mat
- Price: $$
- Best feature: Slip resistance
- Feature to improve: Can scratch easily
The Manduka eKO Superlite is one of the most popular yoga mats among travellers around the world. It is super-slim and folds down easily, making it convenient to transport inside your backpack.
The texture of the surface provides solid traction even when wet, which means that it is great for your stability when you bend into those more challenging, sweat-inducing postures. The mat is made of non-Amazon harvested natural tree rubber for sustainability.
All Manduka mats are made without PVC and only use non-toxic chemicals to soften the rubber. This makes the eKO Superlite a very environmentally friendly option for yogis! It is super durable so you can enjoy as many yoga classes as you can fit into your backpacking journey.
You can choose between ten different styles so you can match your yoga mat to your backpack and personality! At the end of your day, rinse your mat, hang it to dry, and it will be ready to take on your next adventure!
Rave Review: ‘I’ve used the Manduka eKO Superlite for three years and I’m super happy. It’s only 1 kilo and you can fold it really small!’
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2. Jade Voyager Yoga Mat – Best Lightweight Mat
- Price: $$
- Best feature: Lightweight
- Feature to improve: Padding
The Jade Voyager is a super reliable and durable option to carry with you on your backpacking adventures. It is a foldable yoga mat that compresses down to around the size of a yoga block – super helpful for travellers who prefer to pack light!
Made from open-cell natural rubber, this creates an especially good grip to help you hold poses for a moment longer each time. The natural rubber does provide a level of cushioning, however, as this is a thinner mat it may not be suitable for those with sensitive joints practising on hard floors.
The sticky surface 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 Jade Yoga plants a tree for every mat sold. That is bound to give you a nice fuzzy feeling inside! The Jade Voyager is available in four colours: purple, olive, midnight blue and fire engine red.
Rave Review: ‘Very simple to roll, fold or carry and like all Jade mats, has great grip. It is not very cushioned but that is fine for me. I almost always practise outside on grass anyway. Would recommend!’
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3. Gaiam Travel Mat – Best Budget Mat
- Price: $
- Best feature: Price
- Feature to improve: Made from plastic (PVC)
The Gaiam Foldable Yoga Mat is a super slim model that folds down to be compact enough to pack in your carry-on bag. It is by far the most budget-friendly travel folding mat on our list, however, it is also the only one made with PVC.
It has a special sticky texture that improves traction and grip while you’re practising, even when you find yourself sweating. However, some users have reported issues with the long-term durability of the product.
This thin mat is ideal for backpacking, but keep in mind that if you’re doing yoga outside, you may need to secure it with a couple of rocks if the wind picks up.
If you’re looking for something cheap which will serve you well on shorter backpacking trips, the Gaiam Travel Mat is a good choice. However, it does contain PVC which makes it the least eco-friendly choice on our list.
Gaiam has no information regarding their sustainability practices on their website so you will want to avoid them if your priority is investing in a green travel yoga mat.
Rave Review: ‘This yoga mat is light to carry and thick enough to provide protection, whatever the floor surface. The best thing? The price!’
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4. YOGO Ultralight Travel Yoga Mat – Most Durable Mat
- Price: $$$
- Best feature: Built-in carry straps
- Feature to improve: Weight
The YOGO Ultralight Travel Yoga Mat is a model used and trusted by many experienced yogis for their travel needs.
This mat comes in six rich colours to suit your personality and boasts a great design that allows you to pack it down to the size of a newspaper. The attached straps function in two helpful ways, as they provide a carrying system and make it easy to hang the mat up to dry after it’s been cleaned.
The YOGO Ultralight is made from renewable tree rubber which is super sticky to provide the ultimate grip and traction during your practice. Yogis claim that it is also very durable over the long term. If you decide to invest in a YOGO mat for your backpacking trips, a food-producing tree will be planted in Africa.
Rave Review: ‘I was looking for a folding travel yoga mat and YOGO came to the rescue! I find it very sticky and it didn’t have a strong rubbery smell. I love it and I love how eco-friendly it is!’
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5. Mikkoa Travel Yoga Mat – Best Mat for Hot Yoga
- Price: $$$
- Best feature: Designs
- Feature to improve: Slippy when cold
The Mikkoa Travel Yoga Mat is a lightweight option for travel. It is by far the most aesthetically pleasing of all the options on our list – we love the Galaxy Aurora print! As well as this design, there are also other versions available in a variety of beautiful prints.
The surface of this mat is made from vegan suede which wicks sweat. This makes it a great option for hot yoga as it actually becomes more grippy with sweat. Although it can be a little slippy when you first get started, this isn’t a problem once the heat starts to build!
Mikkoa is a female-owned eco-friendly brand. Based in Australia, they plant a tree for every mat sold. They are aiming to help to restore the forests which suffered badly in the most recent bout of devastating bushfires.
This travel mat has a natural tree rubber base and is even machine washable, making cleaning it a breeze. Despite being 10cm longer than most mats, it still manages to fold down small and compact, making it ideal for travellers.
Rave Review: ‘Super happy with this mat. Nice feel, great design and best of all it doesn’t move!’
6. The Liforme TRAVEL Yoga Mat
- Price: $$$$
- Best feature: Alignment marker system
- Feature to improve: Price
The Liforme TRAVEL Yoga Mat is an excellent option to bring along with you while backpacking, though it is a rather expensive option!
This mat is thicker than many of its competitors and therefore a little heavier, however, it is still easy to pack and carry. It comes with its own carry bag with a sling for your convenience but it is not foldable.
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! Liforme products are eco-friendly and sustainable, and their travel mat is made from mainly naturally sourced rubber and is PVC-free.
The mat is biodegradable in 1-5 years in landfill conditions. You will find it very easy to clean and it will dry quickly when you hang it outside in the fresh air. The main downside of this product is the price. It is a costly investment that is only likely to be beneficial for the most dedicated yogis.
Rave Review: ‘I love this mat and the price is definitely worth it. I’ve used Liforme for many years as a student and now as a teacher. It is exceptional.’
Choosing the Best Travel Yoga Mat – What to Look For?
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 can fit in many places. If you can avoid carrying it separately or having to affix it to your backpack using a mess of carabiners, that will assist with quick and easy packing.
It may surprise you to know that not all travel yoga mats are foldable. However, by investing in a foldable yoga mat, you’ll find that your mat is much easier to pack. These mats are slim and lightweight enough to be folded into a compact size which should easily fit into most backpacks.
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 that it could get pretty grimy after a few uses in sand or dirt. Invest in a mat that can be cleaned in the shower or sprayed clean. Air dry in the sun in preparation for your next move.
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.
An essential part of yoga is awareness, both of yourself and your environment. Therefore, it is only right to take into account the sustainability of your travel yoga mat. Look for companies that use sustainable materials in their products and have a responsible ethos at their core.
Travel Yoga Mats FAQs
Do You Need a Folding Yoga Mat?
Chances are if you’ve made it onto this post you already suspect that you need a foldable travel yoga mat. A travel yoga mat will be more tailored to being on the move, meaning that it is likely to be lighter and easier to pack away than a regular yoga mat.
Whilst there is nothing stopping you from taking your normal mat on your backpacking adventures, investing in a folding yoga mat will save you backpack space and often money in baggage fees!
How do I clean my travel yoga mat?
It is important to keep your mat clean for hygiene reasons but also to keep it grippy. We recommend using a natural spray cleaner for this. Although these can be brought from yoga stockists, they are also easy to make yourself. An easy DIY cleaning solution consists of 50/50 cider vinegar and water with a few drops of your favourite smelling oil.
How do I store my travel yoga mat?
To prevent wear on your yoga mat, it is recommended that you store it rolled and not folded. This will also help with the creases that regularly occur with foldable yoga mats.
Can I use a yoga towel instead of a yoga mat?
Yoga towels have been designed for use on top of a mat, however, it is possible to use them without a mat too. A thicker towel will provide more cushioning and therefore provide a more comfortable experience. If you are looking for a mat that doubles up as a hybrid yoga mat and towel, opt for the Mikkoa Travel Yoga Mat.
What are the main advantages of a travel yoga mat?
1. Lighter – Every backpacker knows that there is nothing worse than back pain resulting from an overfilled backpack. Let’s face it, we’re all guilty of packing an outfit we don’t need and leaving it in a hostel dorm somewhere. Don’t let a heavy yoga mat be the latest thing to weigh you down.
2. Easier to pack – You have one backpack and time is precious. The quicker and easier your yoga mat is to pack, the happier you’ll be. That also goes for your roommates who are trying to sleep when you’re packing for that early bus!
3. Money saver – On the surface, this seems a bit of a weird claim. Drop $50USD on a yoga mat and save money, how does that work? Well, many rollable yoga mats, won’t fit into your backpack so they will have to be carried separately (annoying) or affixed to your pack. Now, it doesn’t always happen but if your airline wanted to be really pernickety, they could charge you to take on your mat as extra baggage. Factor in a few flights and you may as well have made the original investment!
What are the main disadvantages of a travel yoga mat?
1. Initial outlay – Many of the yoga mats on this list are an expense and will cost you. However, if you’re keen to make yoga a regular part of your backpacking routine, you’ll be glad of the investment.
2. Thickness – As travel yoga mats are designed to be lighter and foldable, there is a compromise on thickness. This can sometimes mean that if you have sensitive knees, you may experience a little discomfort. However, this is easily rectified with some portable padding (like your travel towel)!
3. Creases – If you have invested in a folding mat, it is only natural to expect that there will be creases. These can sometimes be a pain when you are practising on your mat. Once you have worn in your mat, these creases are unlikely to be a problem and should flatten over time. However, to avoid this issue, you could roll the mat instead of folding it.
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