Lightweight travel yoga mats come in handy when you have to practice yoga on the move. They become a necessity that you can’t forego since doing your exercises on the hard cold floor is a source of the pain you don’t want to experience.
As a discipline that helps you reconnect with your body and restore your inner calm, deviating from regular yoga sessions isn’t something you would like to do, especially at a time like this when we are battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
We all need to maintain the energy and zeal to pull through. But you can’t achieve that through yoga if you do not have the best travel yoga mat for your routine exercise on the move. So, let’s get down to it and see what the best options are in store for you.
What to Consider Before Buying a Travel Yoga Mat
As with any other product you buy for one-off or repeated use, you must consider some factors before you fish out some cash to pay for a travel yoga mat. Consider the following when buying a travel yoga mat.
Weight and Portability
For your time spent on the move away from your home, a lightweight travel yoga mat will be your best bet. They are easy to carry around and won’t be a massive addition to your already weighty luggage.
Travel yoga mats vary in weight from just a few grams to as much as over two kilograms, which might be a lot on the weight side if you are constantly on the move. However, heavier mats are ideal because they are usually thicker or larger than their lighter counterparts.
The grip of a travel yoga mat has to do with two main aspects: the more important one being its grip on the surface on which you place it.
The mat should have a reasonably rough underside to ensure enough friction between it and the surface to prevent it from sliding, especially when you are doing fast-paced yoga such as hot yoga or Bikram.
You also want a travel yoga mat that maintains a good grip between you and your body, especially in delicate poses with the hands, spine, head, or knees in direct contact with the mat.
You should ensure that the travel yoga mat you choose adequately cushions your body against its pressure and the unyielding surface you are exercising. An overly thin yoga mat leaves your body exhausted and in pain where you had contact with the surface.
The thickness of a travel yoga mat varies from 1 to 10 millimetres (mm), depending on the material and brand. However, 4mm is the most common thickness. The downside of a thicker mat is that they are heavier and may pose problems with portability.
Material and Ease of Cleaning
The common materials for making travel yoga mats are foam and rubber if you’re looking for an eco-friendly material. Some are made of polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Each brand indicates how you should clean your mat, and the ones that are easy to clean using water and ordinary soap are the best option when you have to practice yoga on the move.
The Best Travel Yoga Mats
Let’s cut down to the chase and see which travel yoga mats are the best for you for your yoga practice on the go. We have selected the mats based on the above factors and recommend them for your various yoga needs depending on your personal preference.
Available in 16 different colours, the Manduka EKO superlight mat is a good bet if you are on the market for a yoga mat made of non-slip rubber. The mat folds without damage, making it suitable for travelling as you can carry it easily in your purse, travel bag, or suitcase.
The mat uses natural tree rubber with no PVC, harmful dyes, or toxic plasticisers. It is thus safe for both you and the environment. It also has a closed-cell design that ensures it doesn’t absorb bacteria and dust. The design also makes cleaning easy.
You can choose any of the 16 colours like black, cosmic sky marbled, deep forest marbled, Dresden blue, purple, thunder stripe, limelight marbled, charcoal, and green ash stripe.
Grab the EKO superlight mat now and enjoy its lightweight, foldability, and durability for use all year round.
Weighing only one pound, this 2mm-thick Gaiam yoga mat comes in handy for its ease of carrying when travelling. It folds easily without damage into a compact size easy to carry in your backpack or travel bag.
If stickiness or grip is your other primary concern, the mat has a sticky texture that ensures you are perfectly stable during both fast-paced and gentle yoga sessions.
You can choose any color between blue sundial, cranberry point, icy paisley, and midnight Marrakesh.
The mat is made of polyvinyl chloride and is easy to clean with mild detergent and cold water. However, you might have to keep it away from the sun to prevent fading.
For a travel yoga mat that is easy to clean when on the move, the Jade Voyager mat comes in handy. It’s easy to wash by hand using mild soap and cold water. The mat is made of natural rubber, weighs only 1.5 pounds, and has a thickness of 1.6 millimetres.
As a yoga enthusiast, the Jade Voyager mat offers you a choice of four colours between olive green, midnight blue, purple, and fire engine red.
While it may not be the best option because of its thinness, it is a good one for travellers with limited carrying space. Sustainability enthusiasts will find this Jade yoga mat a good buy because for each mat bought, the company plants a tree for sustainability.
The Yogi Bare Paws yoga mat is one of its kind. It’s made from recyclable and biodegradable rubber with natural plant-based dyes. However, you might want to keep off this mat if you are allergic to latex as it has traces of the material.
The main plus for the Yogi Bare Paws mat is its advanced non-slip grip that is enhanced by its perforated rubber surface, making it suitable for Bikram or hot yoga. In addition, the surface helps stop sweaty feet and hands from sliding and slipping.
Depending on your preference, you can choose from five colour options: ocean blue, red, black, green, and grey.
The mat is beginner-friendly. It has alignment yoga position guidelines to ensure you perfect your invigorating poses by placing your feet and hands in the marked boxes.
You will love the Dmygo travel yoga mat for its 10mm thickness that is way above the market average. This is the perfect mat for protecting you from injury and reducing the fatigue that comes with intense yoga exercises.
The lightweight mat comes with a carrying strap, so you can easily carry it around hanging from the shoulder or strapped to your backpack. It also comes with a handy yoga bag to ease portability and enhance protection from harsh weather elements.
The mat comes in three different colours for your choosing between violet, black, and black red.
The thickness, strap, and yoga bag make it a perfect choice for camping enthusiasts who want to maintain their yoga routine away from home or the gym.
The Cambivo large unisex yoga mat measures 183 x 81cm, larger than typical yoga mats. The extra width and length allow you to enjoy some liberty with your moves and poses with the confidence that you are well covered.
Despite its larger size and thickness of six millimeters, the mat weighs only 2.6 pounds. As such, it’s easy to carry around even on your person.
The two sides of the mat are non-slip, with the underside preventing sliding on the floor to enhance the grip. The upper side is softly textured to prevent your feet and hands from slipping during vigorous practice.
You have a choice of four colors between purple, dark green, blue, and black to match your colour tastes in various settings.
Enjoy your yoga sessions with the confidence of a two-year warranty!
Benefits of Investing in a High-quality Travel Yoga Mat
Now that you know the best travel yoga mats on the market, you might be wondering if it’s really necessary to invest in travel yoga mats. We say it is! And here’s why.
Maintaining Regular Yoga Routine
Life on the move usually means that you have to forgo a few routines that you so much love.
You don’t have to skip sessions on your set yoga routine if you have a good travel yoga mat. You want to maintain a good state of well-being, alertness, vigour, and inner calm without unnecessary breaks.
Safety and Convenience
While you can easily practise some gentle sessions, experts discourage practising yoga without a mat. The reason is that practising without a mat poses risks to your body as you may slip or suffer the unwelcome nature of the surface, such as extreme coldness or hardness.
A travel yoga mat makes it easy and convenient for you to practice your yoga routine anywhere away from home or the gym without compromising your stability and enjoyment.
How to Travel with a Yoga Mat
There are several ways to travel comfortably with a handy yoga mat. For short distances, especially where you have to walk, you can hang the mat on your shoulder using a strap so that the mat rests by your side. It’s the best option where there are no objects to walk through.
If you are out camping, you can carry the mat strapped to your backpack.
Many backpacks have straps on the backside that you can use to tie the mat firmly. However, since the mat lies across the back, this might not be the best option if you have to walk in between close standing objects like trees.
You can also carry your travel yoga mat in a suitcase. Many mats are safely foldable to sizes that can be carried in suitcases easily alongside your clothes and other on-the-move necessities.
For the above carrying methods, a yoga bag or case comes in handy for extra safety. The bag protects your mat from damage caused by other items you carry it together with or by prolonged exposure to the sun, which may cause it to fade or brittle.
How to Clean Your Travel Yoga Mat
Not all yoga mats are easy to clean. The easiest to clean is the closed-cell surface mats that keep away moisture, dust, dirt, and foul odours.
You can clean most yoga mats by simply wiping them with a damp cloth dipped in a mixture of cold water and mild detergent or soap.
While on the move, it is advisable to avoid cleaning foam mats too often because they soak more and take longer to dry. If you have to clean them regularly, ensure that the cloth is only damp and no water would come out if you were to squeeze it.
Rubber and PVC mats can be cleaned often since they do not soak up water like foam mats. However, you have to take care not to hang them in the sun to dry. Prolonged exposure makes them emit a dislikable odour, and they might fade or brittle.
For a travel yoga mat with a perforated rubber surface or pores into which sweat and dirt may have accumulated, you can clean it by wiping it with lemon juice diluted in warm water.
You don’t have to interrupt your usual yoga routine when travelling if you lay your hands on a high-quality travel yoga mat. Whether you are doing intense exercises or gentle poses, a sturdy yoga mat comes in handy for stability, convenience, and safety.
Always ensure you carry a travel yoga mat with you whenever you are on the move so that you can follow your usual yoga routine for inner calm, mental health, and general well-being.