Top 5 Best Travel Yoga Mats [ Updated September 2023]

Written by:

Brandon

Last updated:

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 make my packing list (here’s Anne’s packing list for the ladies). We’ve been traveling nearly full-time for the last 4.5+ years and counting. Without a travel yoga mat, we might have gone insane ๐Ÿ˜‰

What I was looking for in a travel yoga mat?

  • Lightweight and packable
  • Durable
  • Sticky enough
  • Foldable (new requirement for me as it saves space)

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.

Best Travel Yoga Mats

Pin me quickly! Then keep reading ๐Ÿ™‚

Alright, let’s start with an overview of the travel yoga mat market…

The Yoga Mat Comparison

Weight (lbs)Price (USD)Thickness (inches) and LengthSticky?Durability?Padding/CushionFoldable?More Info
Manduka eKO SuperLite2lbs$391/16", 68"5/54/5MinimalYesSee Latest Price
Jade Travel3.5lbs$451/8", 68" or 72"4/55/5Above AverageNoSee Latest Price
Jade Voyager1.5lbs$391/16", 68"5/54/5AverageYesSee Latest Price
Gaiam Travel Mat1.6lbs$231/10", 68"2/52/5MinimalNoSee Latest Price
YOGO Ultralight2.6lbs$691/16", 68"5/54/5AverageYesSee Latest Price

 

Alright lets move on to the individual reviews…

Manduka makes great yoga mats, and the eKO SuperLite is no exception. Weighs 2 lbs, only 1/16” (about 1.5mm) thick, which is a very thin yoga mat. It’s very thin and only 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.

Manduka – eKO SuperLite Travel mat 68″

2018 update: We love the Manduka travel mat and have used it for several years (and it still works great), but we’ve since retired it. Read on to see what Anne and I are using today.

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manduka eKO SuperLite Yoga Mat Anise 71"

See latest price

Potential downside:

  • 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

Gaiam Reversible Travel Yoga Matir?t=theyoganomads 20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00VV54NVK

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. It can be rolled or folded. Not very durable. We wanted to include this mat because it was the cheapest option ๐Ÿ™‚

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Gaiam Yoga Mat Premium Print Reversible Extra Thick Non Slip Exercise & Fitness Mat for All Types of...

See latest price

Potential downside:

  • Too Slippery. Expect to slide around when practicing
  • Lacks durability. Hot yoga and regular use will wear it down fast

Jade Travel Yoga Matir?t=theyoganomads 20&l=as2&o=1&a=B001AOK00K

Jade makes excellent yoga mats. Their travel mat scores really high in comfort, durability, and grip… however, it’s on the heavy side (3.5lbs). Roughly double the weight of the others. This is one of the most expensive mats reviewed ($68) 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.

Don’t want to bash the Jade yoga travel mat, but it’s a little too big to lug around to your favorite yoga destination. However, it looks like Jade listened to the feedback of the community because they released a more travel-friendly line of mats called the Jade Voyager (which is wonderful).

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JadeYoga Travel Yoga Mat - Packable, Lightweight, & Portable Yoga Mat - Non-Slip Natural Rubber Mat...

See latest price

Potential downside:

  • Too heavy! 3.5lbs is too heavy for a “travel mat.”
  • Collects dust. Some say the open-cell design collects dust too easily

2023 Addition: Mikkoa Travel Yoga Mat

Looking for something thin and foldable that feels clothlike on top but grippy on the bottom? Check out Mikkoa’s travel mat. It comes in many eye-popping colors and designs, and since it’s made of natural materials, it’s washable. You can fold it down to the size of a hardcover book and easily fit it in your bag.

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MIKKOA Travel Yoga Mat 1.5mm | Foldable Yoga Mat | Lightweight Yoga Mat | Use for Travel,...

See latest price

2018 Addition: Jade Yoga Voyager Mat

Jade and Manduka are the most popular yoga mats in the world. Unsurprisingly, they both offer solid choices for traveling yoga mats. Comes in four colors, and we love the Olive Green color. This mat is now the lightest yoga mat for travel (1.5 lbs) and has the best value ($39). My favorite part about Jade mats is that they are extremely sticky from the beginning. Although I love Manduka mats, they take time to break in before they reach their full potential. We love to support Jade because they plant a tree for every yoga mat sold!

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JadeYoga Voyager Yoga Mat - Lightweight & Portable Rubber Yoga Mat - Non-Slip Exercise Mat for Women...

See latest price

After testing out the Jade Voyager, it’s safe to say it’s a contender for the best travel yoga mat 2018 award!

Potential downside:

  • Too thin? At 1/16″, it’s a pretty compact mat. More padding than the Manduka

How is the Jade Voyager different from the Jade Travel Mat? The short answer is the Jade Voyager weighs half as much (1.5 lbs as opposed to 3 lbs) and the new Voyager is a foldable yoga mat. Whereas the Jade Traveler mat must be rolled. Here’s a screenshot from Amazon comparing the differences:

Comparison between Jade Voyager and Jade Travel mat

YOGO Ultralight Travel Mat

YOGO is the newest mat company on the block but they’ve quickly won us over. The YOGO is our 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 (more than the Manduka). Bonus points for YOGO planting a tree every time one is purchased (just like Jade).

Yogo Ultralight Folding Yoga Mat With Attached Straps, for Travel and Adventure: Premium and...

See latest price

Potential downside:

  • Too thin? At 1/16″, it’s a pretty compact mat. More padding than the Manduka, though.

Honorable Mention: lululemon Un Mat

lululemon doesn’t only sell yoga apparel – they also dabble in accessories. They created 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 lightweight (2lbs). Comes with a different texture on each side, allowing you to choose your preferred grip. It can be rolled or folded. Made with polyurethane and natural rubber.

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The (Un) Mat Made With FSC™ Certified Rubber Marble

See Pricing here

Potential downside:

  • 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… do they work?

I’ve never tried them, nor do I have plans to. Some people swear by these two options…

What do The Yoga Nomads use?

We just started traveling with the YOGO Ultralight Travel Mat and are head over heels 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.

2018 update

We recently picked up the Voyager yoga mat by Jade and are loving it so far! We haven’t tested it extensively on the road yet, but it’s performing great so far. Folds or rolls, great colors, and very sticky ๐Ÿ™‚

2023 update

We just tested the Mikkoa travel yoga mat. While we haven’t yet had a chance to test it on the road, we like how thin and packable it is while still feeling robust. The cloth top surface and the grippy rubber bottom are a nice combo.

*Now that you have your travel yoga mat, it’s time to check out the best carry-on sized backpacks for travel.

Brandon’s personal bias… I LOVE Manduka (and use most of their gear)

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Brandon

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Top 5 Best Travel Yoga Mats
About Brandon

Former corporate sales rep turned nomadic entrepreneurial yogi. Street food ninja, avid outdoorsman, craft beer geek, and live music junkie. Co-founder of The Yoga Nomads.

25 thoughts on “Top 5 Best Travel Yoga Mats [ Updated September 2023]”

  1. The Gaiam travel mat you have listed here doesn’t represent Gaiam’s travel offerings! I think you would like checking out the Gaiam Sol Thin-Grip Mat, I don’t know why they don’t label it as a travel mat since that what it basically is, but it’s super thin and VERY grippy, folds/rolls down, weighs less than 2lbs and the purple one is very pretty. I’ve been using it for around a year now and its still going strong, I’m thinking about buying another mat in the Sol line for my home practice because the grippiness is perfect. This fits in my little backpack I wear all summer biking around and in my purse I take to work so I can go to class right after work. Hope you give it a try, I absolutely love it and the price is very good ($40 on their website but I checked amazon and they have it for $35)

    Here’s the link: http://www.gaiam.com/sol-yoga-mat-bhakti/05-59235.html?start=28&cgid=3010400

    Reply
    • Hey Gabby – whoa I’ve never seen this Gaiam mat. Just checked it out and the specs are excellent and it looks just like the Manduka eKO. Glad to hear it’s working well for you!

      Reply
      • How do you deal with the smell? It took me over a year to get rid of the manduka smell.. I actually switched back to Jade and left the manduka on my porch for a better part off a year before I used it again..

        Reply
  2. Hi Brandon, This is a really excellent and systematic review – except you left out the coolest and highest-quality mat, YOGO! The YOGO Mat is super high grip, uses snaps to become a compact bundle and is made of biodegradable natural rubber. Please check us out, we are new in 2014. We like to distinguish between eco-friendly mats that are made of natural materials, and mats that say they are eco-friendly because they don’t contain neurotoxins or “use eco-friendly process” (no mercury etc in manufacturing) but they are actually made of plastic.
    Thanks a lot! Best, Jessica

    Reply
  3. Hi Brandon,

    You may also like the YOGO Mat, a brand new product in 2014 from YOGO (http://yogo.net). The YOGO Mat not only secures to a folded bundle about the size of a 1L bottle, and is extremely grippy, but it’s also easily cleaned and can be hang-dried using the mat’s integrated straps. I definitely think it should make your list of 2015 travel mats!

    Thanks,
    Ryon

    Reply
  4. Namaste! Great article! I’ve been using the Manduka Superlite as my only mat for the last two years and really love it. Reading the specs on the Yogo mat on their website it seems basically the same as the Manduka in every way (thickness, dimensions and material) only a little heavier which I guess is attributable to the straps and buckles, and a lot more expensive. As you’ve used both mats, I wonder if you could give a but more feedback on how they compare?
    Also, I’ve never used a yoga towel – how well do they work with these thin mats and don’t they just bunch up?
    Thanks for all the great articles!
    Oh, a pack recommendation: Rei Trail 40. Superb! It’s now my favourite carry-on (in fact only) travel bag.

    Reply
    • Hey Pete,
      We love both the Superlite and the YOGO – can’t go wrong with either. In my experience, the YOGO is stickier, doesn’t stretch as much in warrior poses, and is more comfortable (especially on my knees). You’re right, the YOGO is definitely more expensive.

      I personally never buy yoga mats based on price. I would rather pick out a yoga mat that I will love instead of saving $20-40 on a product that can last 2-10 years.

      We rarely use towels with travel yoga mats because when we’re traveling we don’t pack a full sized yoga towel. When we’re stationary, we normally practice with a Manduka PROlite. If we attend a heated class, we usually use Manduka yoga towels. Big fans of the PROlite and the Manduka towel.

      The REI Trail 40 looks like a solid pack! Thanks for the recommendation. I mainly travel with my Tortuga V2 – however since I bought mine (3 years ago) there have been SO many great carry on sized backpacks released. A few favorites for me are: Tortuga, Minaal, Standard Luggage’s carry on, Osprey Farpoint 40L, and the Osprey Porter 46L.

      Reply
  5. Does folding the Manduka while traveling cause a lot of wear and tear? Does it hold up to folding and storing in a backpack multiples days a week?

    Reply
    • Good question Andrew. We’ve taken that Manduka on roughly 18months of backpacking where it was being used 3-5x per week. Constantly being folded, rolled, practiced on, etc. So far it’s showing almost no wear and tear. My only complaint is it’s so thin that I cannot do poses on my knees comfortably.

      Reply
  6. Hi and thank you for your article!
    I would love to have a travel mat just for practising outdoors on grass or sand – It would be too bad about my indoor mat …
    which one would you recommend for that?
    Currently Iโ€˜m hovering between jade voyager, manduka eco and yogo … which one would you say is more comfortable for outdoor use ?
    The yogo seems pretty cool, but arenโ€˜t the straps disturbing /annoying (during practise)?!

    Greetings from Austria!
    Andrea

    Reply

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