This is part 5 of our 5 part series enabling “Yoga Nomads” to teach and practice yoga while traveling!
Looking to take your yoga practice on the road?
Luckily, we’re not the only people who want to travel with a yoga mat so there are several decent options for the nomadic yogis among us.
Like usual, I spent way too much time evaluating which travel yoga mat would join us on our RTW trip.
What I was looking for in a travel yoga mat?
- Lightweight and packable
- Sticky enough
This guide was designed to make choosing the right yoga mat a breeze! (or at least give you a starting point)
At the end, I will share which mat we chose. However depending on your specific needs, all of these mats would work great.
Let’s start with…
The Yoga Mat Comparison
|Manduka eKO SuperLite||Jade Travel||Khataland YoFoMat||Gaiam Travel Mat||YOGO Ultralight|
|Weight (lbs)||2lbs||3.5lbs||2.7lbs or 3.5lbs||1.6lbs||2.6lbs|
|Thickness (inches)||1/16"||1/8"||1/6" or 1/4"||1/10"||1/16"|
|Length||68"||68" or 72"||68" or 72"||68"||68"|
Alright lets move on to the individual reviews…
Manduka makes great yoga mats and the eKO SuperLite is no exception. Weighs 2lbs, only 1/16” (about 1.5mm) thick and 68” long making it a great travel companion. The “orange peel” surface is extremely sticky even when it gets a little wet. Made from non-Amazon eco-friendly biodegradable tree rubber which won’t flake or fade. Closed cell design will not absorb bacteria This mat can be easily folded or rolled to fit into your bag. Many colors to choose from.
- Too sticky? Transitioning from Crescent Lunge to Warrior 2 can cause the mat to bunch up
- Too thin? Very minimal mat here(1/16″). Add a towel for extra support
- Smells like rubber – Not horrible and goes away with time
Khataland’s YoFoMat is a newcomer to the market and has been getting great reviews. The 68” version weighs 2.7lbs which makes it the 2nd heaviest mat reviewed, that being said it’s not THAT heavy. Can be folded or rolled, bonus: there are folding lines to make folding it easier. This is the thickest mat at 1/6” which means more padding, more comfort but also more bulk. Priced at $33 USD which is towards the cheaper end. This eco friendly mat also comes with a eco friendly case.
- Too heavy? As a stickler for lightweight travel, 2.7lbs is starting to get too heavy
- Too bulky? 1/6” thick is more than twice as thick as the Manduka and Lululemon
Additional reviews: Victoria Gigante from the Examiner
The lightest (1.6lbs) and the cheapest ($23) but also the least capable. One side is a microfiber towel surface, the other a somewhat sticky natural rubber surface. Not recommended to serious yoga students or fans of hot yoga. Can be rolled or folded. Not very durable.
- Too Slippery. Expect to slide around when practicing
- Lacks durability. Hot yoga and regular use will wear it down fast
Additional reviews: Trail and Travel Gear blog
Jade makes excellent yoga mats. Their travel mat scores really high in comfort, durability, and grip… however it is too heavy for my taste (3.5lbs). Roughly double the weight of the others. This is the 2nd most expensive mat reviewed ($45) and has a high quality feel to it. The mat cannot be folded, only rolled. Measuring at 1/8” thick it provides better support than the Lululemon or the Manduka. Eco friendly and comes in many colors.
- Too heavy! 3.5lbs is too heavy for a “travel mat”
- Collects dust. Some say the open cell design collects dust too easily
Additional reviews: Evolving Wellness
YOGO is the newcomer on the block but they’ve already created our new favorite yoga mat for travel! It’s by far the stickiest travel mat on the market. We love how it folds up nicely which makes traveling a breeze. Although it’s super thin, it still has great support. Bonus points for YOGO planting a tree every time one is purchased.
- Too Expensive? Most expensive mat reviewed here (but well worth it)
- Too thin? At 1/16″ it’s a pretty compact mat. Feels thicker than the Manduka
Honorable Mention: Lululemon Un Mat
Lululemon doesn’t only sell yoga apparel – they also dabble in accessories. They recently came out with the Un Mat to compete in the portable yoga mat market. The Un Mat is comparable in size to the Manduka… super thin (1/16”) and super light weight (2lbs). Comes with a different texture on each side allowing you to choose your preferred grip. Can be rolled or folded. Made with polyurethane and natural rubber.
- Not enough padding? 1/16″ may not be enough cushion (same as Manduka)
- Too Expensive? 2nd most expensive mat reviewed
Yoga socks, paws, and wraps… I’ve never tried them… do they work?
What do The Yoga Nomads use?
We just started traveling with the YOGO Ultralight Travel Mat and are head over heals with it! It’s by far the stickiest travel mat we reviewed and love the “origami” folding design. Although it’s super thin, it feels like it has more padding than the Manduka.
We used to travel with the Manduka eKO SuperLite which is an excellent travel mat! It traveled with us for 20+ months with almost daily use and it held up perfectly, it’s still super sticky, and as always it’s very packable! Disclaimer: there is one downside, it is very thin and kneeling for a long time does start to hurt.
Personal Bias… I LOVE Manduka (and use most of their gear)
- Manduka Prolite 71” for every day use. Check out our review of the Manduka Prolite
- Manduka eQua towel for everyday yoga and as my travel towel (top 5 hot yoga towels)
- Manduka Black Mat PRO 85” for home practice or when I want lots of mat (perfect for guys over 6ft)
- eKO SuperLite 68” – travel yoga mat
- Travel and Yoga resources by The Yoga Nomads
- Her Packing List – great guide for yoga on the road: bags, mats, towels, etc
- The Examiner‘s list of 5 yoga mats for travel
- The Yoga of Travel – list of yoga mats for travel
- Outdoor Gear Lab – guide to pick out a yoga mat (not travel related)