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Traveling with a Yoga Mat: Travel Mats, Mat Towels & Mat Slings

manduka prolite yoga mat review

Long travel days, unfamiliar beds, and hours hoofing it around new places can do a number on your body and mind. Traveling with a yoga mat can give you the opportunity and space to work out and unwind, even in the tiniest hotel rooms.

If you have a favorite yoga mat, you can fold it to fit in your bag. However, regular yoga mats can be bulky and heavy, so you might want to consider getting a special yoga mat designed for traveling.

Travel Yoga Mats

travel yoga mats
Travel Yoga Mats

My favorite yoga mat for travel is the eKO SuperLite® Travel Mat by Manduka. It weighs about two pounds and folds up easily. It’s grippy on both sides, and it’s rugged enough to be stable even on plush carpet. Be aware that it’s made of rubber, so if you practice hot yoga, the sweat might cause it to deteriorate quickly.

>> Check out the eKO SuperLite on Amazon.

The Lululemon Un Mat is comparable to the Manduka eKO SuperLite®. An affordable option is the Gaiam Travel mat, which is reversible, with an absorbent side handy for sweaty vinyasa classes, and weighs only one pound. There is also the Jade Travel Mat, which is a bit heavier at 3.5 pounds, but it’s a good choice if you need more cushioning because it’s also a bit thicker than many travel mats.

>> Check out the Gaiam Travel Mat and the Jade Travel Mat on Amazon.

Manduka PROlite Yoga Mat

Andrea Anastasiou mentioned that the Manduka PROlite yoga mat is her one little thing she can’t travel without:

manduka prolite yoga mat review 2
Manduka PROlite Yoga Mat, by Andrea Anastasiou

The mat itself is one of the best on the market, if not the best. Yoga teachers are always recommending it, and I can see why – I wouldn’t want to use any other mat now. So yes, if my friends who travel a lot love yoga, I always recommend it. Practicing on this mat makes the world of a difference, as it’s got the perfect amount of padding for all those poses!

It does take a substantial amount of space in my backpack, so I now have a mat carrier that I take as a carry-on. I just pop it in the overhead compartment and try to remember to reclaim it when I’m rushing off the plane after we land!

>> Check out the Manduka PROlite yoga mat on Amazon.

Mat Towels

yoga towels
Yoga Towels

If I know I’m going to be doing a lot of yoga on a trip, I’ll pack both a yoga mat and a full length mat towel for extra comfort. If you’re short on space, you can just pack the yoga towel. It’s less bulky and lighter weight than a mat, and though it won’t have the cushioning of a yoga mat, it will still do the job of protecting you from dirty hotel floors. The Yogitoes Skidless towel has little grippy bumps on the bottom so it won’t slip around on the floor or on top of a regular yoga mat.

>> Check out Yogitoes on Amazon.

They are available in lots of fun colors, weigh only 1.25 pounds, and are also really durable. I’ve had one for several years that’s still like new! A plain microfiber towel like the Manduka eQua, which weighs only one pound, can double as a beach towel or picnic blanket. Just make sure to skip the fabric softener on your yoga towels or they will lose their magical non-slip super absorbent properties.

>> Check out the Manduka eQua on Amazon.

Traveling With a Yoga Mat

yoga mat sling
Yoga Mat Sling

I use a lightweight day pack and put my folded mat in it if I’m visiting a yoga studio on the road, but a mat sling like this one from Gaiam for toting your mat doesn’t take up much room if you prefer to roll it once you’re at your destination.

Many backpacks offer compression straps and elastic bands that can be used to attach a rolled yoga mat to the outside. If yoga is big on your list, buy a backpack with those features in mind.

See more of Flissy’s yoga travel information in her packing list for a yoga retreat.

Do you travel with a yoga mat? Share your favorite mats and ways to pack it in the comments below!

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traveling with a yoga mat
travel with yoga mat
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Written by Flissy

Flissy has been a life-long traveler, having been spoiled by parents who took her all over the US and abroad throughout her childhood and young adult years. An E-RYT 200 yoga instructor and professional tribal style belly dancer, she loves to travel to study belly dance and yoga, as well as for hiking and fun with her husband. She can be found blogging about yoga, dance, and travel at www.omchantress.com or on Twitter, @omchantress.

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Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Accommodation

Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Kaylin says

    Have you heard of yoga paws? They are strap on glove and sock type things made from similar material to a yoga mat so that you don’t have to pack a big mat in your bag. They won’t keep you from lying on a dirty floor, but they are super light and easy to pack! http://www.amazon.com/Yoga-Paws-Mini-Mats-Hands/dp/B002ANH67K (I haven’t used them but saw them recommended on another travel blog and they look pretty cool!)

  2. Brandon says

    Great guide Brooke! I travel with the Manduka eKO superlite and find that even with a light sweat it works great even without a towel which saves some room for packing.

    Been using the Manduka for 3 months and counting while traveling through Asia. It’s been working great, super light and sticky, but it is REALLY thin which means kneeling poses hurt my knees after a while. Overall, my favorite traveling yoga mat I reviewed.

  3. Jane M says

    Hi Brooke,

    Just checking out this post and wanted to say that these are great recs – I personally love the Jade Voyager mat. Also, there are lots of new options out there that are even smaller and more eco-friendly.

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