10 Best Travel Yoga Mats (2019) • Foldable, Eco-Friendly, and Lightweight

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Whether you are a dedicated yoga practitioner or someone who just dabbles in yoga from time to time, you may already know what a struggle it is to travel with a yoga mat. Yoga mats are bulky and often need to be rolled in a thick tube shape, which can be impossible to fit into a suitcase. They also are deceptively heavy!

Let’s cut right to the chase. We wanted to test and try the best travel yoga mats out there to see which ones would make traveling a breeze! This guide to the best travel yoga mats will help you make a more informed purchasing choice.

No matter what specific weight, style, material, or grip you’re going for, our guide will walk you through all the options at a range of price points. If you’re heading off to a yoga teacher training in India, a retreat in Bali, or just a long weekend at grandma’s house, we got you covered on the best travel yoga mats out there! Namaste in bed? No chance, jet setters! Here are the best yoga mats for travel in no particular order!

Best Travel Yoga Mats
Practicing in Saint Lucia

The Best Travel Yoga Mats


1) prAna Nomad Travel Mat

yoga mat
  • Weight: 3lbs
  • Thickness: 3mm
  • Material: Thermoplastic elastomer
  • Pros: Dual-density, 2-sided textured surface, PVC-free, chloride-free, and latex-free, Recyclable closed-cell foam prevents germs from absorbing
  • Cons: Heavier and thicker than many other yoga mats on this list.

The prAna Nomad travel yoga mat has quite literally stolen my heart. While I might not be using the word ‘literally’ in a grammatically correct sense here, I’m absolutely and completely head over heels for my Nomad. 

While it’s not the lightest mat on the market, it is a mat with great grip. The prAna nomad has a two sided textured surface giving yogis excellent grip on hard surfaces. No matter if you want to do a vinyasa session or a yin yoga session, there is dual density to utilize for your dream yoga practice.

The prAna Nomad has also been doused with an antimicrobial additive, which prevents your mat from being susceptible to mildew. It’s also super easy to clean, with just warm soapy water all that’s needed.

My mat makes me feel like I have two mats in one! Since it’s easy to clean, foldable, eco friendly, and super grippy, this is a go-to mat for any world travels.

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2) Manduka eKO Superlite Yoga Travel Mat

Best Travel Yoga Mats
  • Weight: 2.2lbs
  • Thickness: 1.5mm
  • Material: Natural Rubber
  • Pros: Flexible, lightweight, excellent grip
  • Cons: Not thick enough for complete asana practice, not for long term travel, not durable

Clocking in at 2.2 pounds, the Manduka eKO Superlite Yoga Travel Mat is nearly as light as a travel yoga mat can get! It’s frequently rated the best travel yoga mat. It is 1.5mm thick, which isn’t quite enough padding for knees when practicing on concrete or tiled floors, but if you’re looking to do yoga on carpeted hotel or airport floors, you’re good to go! I ended up buying a very cheap yoga mat at my destination country (Thailand) to place underneath the Manduka eKO Superlite Yoga Travel Mat. I discarded the $5 yoga mat after my trip, but was so happy to have a little extra padding for my sensitive knees.

The grip is truly amazing on the eKO mat. Plus, you can fold it down into a small square without creasing or damaging the mat. You can practically fold it into any shape you desire, the eKO mat is truly that flexible! 

Lastly, it’s important to note that this mat is not made for long-term travel and for everyday yoga practice. I practiced ashtanga yoga on this mat for six months before the grip started wearing down, which created too much friction for my fingers and toes. That led to the skin getting irritated and actually peeling off my hands and feet! When placing a call to their customer service line, they told me that the mat was not created for daily use. 

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3) The Gaiam Foldable Travel Yoga Mat

Best Travel Yoga Mats
  • Weight: 1 lb
  • Thickness: 2mm
  • Material: PVC but free of DEHP, DBP, BBP, DINP, DIDP, and DNOP phthalates.
  • Pros: Super compact and lightweight, has a lot of different designs to choose from, sticky texture is good for no-slippage, lifetime guarantee, affordable
  • Cons: Sticky texture can be hard to get used to, must be kept out of the sun, vinyl odor 

The Gaiam Foldable Travel Yoga Mat was created with travel in mind. It was conceptualized to be a foldable mat, not a rollable mat. So this mat will be super happy in your suitcase or duffle bag! The mat folds into a 10 inch by 12-inch rectangle that is perfect for tossing in the tote bag and heading to the beach or the nearest airport!

It’s also hard to beat the price tag. Around $25 and with a lifetime guarantee makes it a pretty phenomenal find. The most common complaint you will hear about this mat is the lack of cushioning. Most people find it to be a perfect beach mat because of its sticky grip and lightweight functionality. Just make sure your mat ends up in the shade!

Also, given that it is made of PVC, you’ll likely notice a strong vinyl odor when you are first using the mat. Airing it out and letting it hang outside will help the smell fade faster. However, this mat cannot be stored or used for too long in the sun. The sunlight will damage the material and can render the mat brittle. 

The lifetime guarantee is awesome! But it doesn’t cover normal wear and tear, nor misuse of the yoga mat. It only covers manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship. 

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4) YOGO Ultralight Eco Travel Mat

Best Travel Yoga Mats
  • Weight: 2.2lbs
  • Thickness: 1.6mm
  • Material: Natural Tree Rubber 
  • Pros: Easy to clean, comes with carrying strap, folds into newspaper size, sticky/grippy texture, environmental mission, eco travel yoga mat
  • Cons: Expensive, less padding, too thin

The YOGO Ultralight Travel Yoga Mat comes with an attached carrying strap that keeps the yoga mat in a newspaper shape. Not many yoga mats out there come with a carrying strap that aides the mat in becoming even more portable, so this feature really makes YOGO stand out. Along with being foldable, lightweight, and eco-friendly with its natural tree rubber material, the YOGO Ultralight Travel Yoga Mat is a great find. It is more expensive than most other mats on the market, coming in at around $60. 

The YOGO Ultralight Travel Mat was also designed for a beyond easy cleaning experience. We all know how tricky it can be to get down on your hands and knees and spot clean mats with sensitive materials. This mat was made to be washed in the shower! The material doesn’t absorb water, so you just rinse it and hang it up to dry. There are even built-in loops on the mat for an extra easy hanging experience. Smart thinking, YOGO.

Known for being exceptionally sticky and grippy, the texture of this mat has been likened to kitchen drawer liners! You won’t be slipping around during your asana practice on this mat, no matter which hot and humid country you travel to! YOGO also plants a tree for every mat purchased, taking a page from Jade Yoga.

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5) Jade Yoga Travel Mat

Best Travel Yoga Mats
  • Weight: 3.5lbs
  • Thickness: 3.2mm
  • Material: Natural Tree Rubber
  • Pros: Thick, high-quality material, environmental mission, made in the USA
  • Cons: Expensive, heavy, hard to fold, hard to clean, cannot be exposed to the sun

Although Jade Yoga claim that you can fold their travel mat, it’s pretty difficult to do so. With a thickness of 3.2mm, it has terrific support for the knees, but the thickness makes anything other than rolling the mat a huge struggle. Also, traveling with a 3.5-pound mat is pretty heavy. If you’re throwing it in the back of your car for a road trip,  you’ll be one happy camper! But if you’re a solo backpacker with nothing but an Osprey on your back, then you might find the weight physically taxing.

It is a durable mat sourced from top quality natural materials. However, the Jade Yoga Travel Mat is a little high maintenance for most travelers. You can’t clean these mats with just a normal mat spray. They recommend using a mixture of water, white vinegar, and dishwashing soap. It’s also crucial that this mat is not exposed to the sun. Therefore, practicing yoga outdoors in the sun is a no-go, as is storing this mat in the back of your car where sunlight can filter through. 

I do love the sustainable environmental mission of Jade Yoga, where they plant a tree for every yoga mat purchased. They also make all their mats in the USA, which is an added perk for those who are wary of other countries’ manufacturing standards and ethical practices. It is available in two sizes, 68-inch and 74-inch, which is great if you’re seeking out a specifically sized yoga mat! The plush cushioning and additional support to the joints given its thickness really is what makes this mat shine!

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6) Jade Yoga Voyager Mat

Best Travel Yoga Mats
  • Weight: 1.5lbs
  • Thickness: 1.6mm
  • Material: Natural Tree Rubber
  • Pros: Lightweight, foldable, grippy, relatively affordable, made in the USA, environmental mission
  • Cons: Not enough padding, expensive

The Jade Voyager has been compared time and time again with the Manduka eKO Superlite Yoga Travel Mat. They are made of the same material and have the same thickness. But Jade Yoga worked some magic and cut the weight down pretty significantly, shooting down from 3.5 pounds to the Voyager’s 1.5 pounds. 

Both the Jade Yoga Travel Mat and the Jade Yoga Voyager Mat have a high level of grip and stickiness, which makes transitioning through a Vinyasa flow a pleasant experience. We all know what it feels like to slip and slide on a mat! 

The most common complaint is going to be the thinness of the mat. While it’s wonderful to fold up your mat into about the size of a yoga block and chuck it in your backpack, it is painful to hold kneeling asanas for too long. If I don’t have an extra mat available to place under the Voyager, I usually will grab a hotel towel or even my thick scarf to place it under my knees during poses like ustrasana, camel pose.

It’s worth noting that the Jade Yoga Voyager Mat only comes in a 68-inch size, unlike the Jade Yoga Travel Mat, which comes in both a 68-inch and a 74-inch size. Of course, it also is made in the USA, and a tree gets planted for every Voyager mat purchased. 

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7) Yoga Design Lab Mat

Best Travel Yoga Mats
  • Weight: 1.8lbs
  • Thickness: 1mm
  • Material: Natural tree rubber and microfiber made from recycled bottles
  • Pros: Fun designs, mat and towel in one, lightweight, foldable, carrying strap included, machine washable, charitable action, beach-ready!
  • Cons: Expensive, no cushioning, needs to be washed frequently, not sticky or grippy

Yoga Design Lab has crafted a pretty amazing yoga mat. With its nearly unparalleled thickness of just one millimeter, you may be shocked at how comfortable this mat is. It’s a yoga mat and towel in one! Ideal for hot yoga practices, the Yoga Design Lab Mat is lightweight, foldable, and includes a handy carrying strap. 

You will probably fall in love with all the fun designs of the Yoga Design Lab Mats, just as I did. Apparently, they were all designed in Bali! It’s fun to practice yoga while looking down at such beautiful mandalas and geometric designs. Also, I’m impressed that their mats are made from a blend of natural tree rubber and microfibers made from recycled bottles. And their ink is all water-based. 

Did you ever think the day would come when you could put your yoga mat in the machine? Well, with the Yoga Design Lab Mat, your dreams just became a reality! They even promise that the designs won’t fade with washing. And you can take your mat into the sun and have no fear about sun damage!

One last positive note is that for every mat purchased, $1 will go to support boys’ and girls’ youth yoga programs. 

The downside to the Yoga Design Lab Mat is there is almost no cushioning whatsoever. Expect it to feel like practicing on a thin towel that doesn’t slip on hard surfaces. This mat is as thin as a credit card! It also needs to be washed frequently, because moisture, sweat, and dirt adhere to the mat easily. As it has a soft texture, you may find that this mat doesn’t have the grip or stick that you’re used to. 

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8) Liforme Travel Yoga Mat

Best Travel Yoga Mats
  • Weight: 4.63lbs 
  • Thickness: 1.8mm
  • Material: Natural Tree Rubber & PVC-Free form of Polyurethane
  • Pros: Alignment markers, high-quality mat, soft texture, planet-friendly
  • Cons: Most expensive mat, cannot fold, heavy

The Liforme Travel Yoga Mat is made with alignment in mind. It has a unique alignment marker system embedded on the mat itself, which helps with perfect hand and foot placement. It can be annoying sometimes when you’re not positive if your heels are aligning correctly in Warrior, right? This mat takes all doubt away!

The surface of the mat is smooth, similar to the prAna mat texture. It also provides excellent grip while having a soft surface. It is much heavier than most travel mats, coming in at a whopping 4.63 pounds! Given its weight and material, it’s impossible to fold this mat. Liforme does include a yoga mat bag with all purchases, so that at least adds to its portability. Liforme actually takes pride in the fact that their mats are longer and wider than other mats, coming in at 70.8″ long x 25.6″ wide.

Despite being hard to heft around, I do love that this mat is truly planet friendly! It is free of PVC and made with only non-toxic materials. What’s extra fabulous is that this mat is biodegradable! It will decompose within three to five years in a landfill.

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9) Hugger Mugger Tapas Travel Yoga Mat

Best Travel Yoga Mats
  • Weight: 1.4lbs
  • Thickness: 1.6mm 
  • Material: PER / Polymer Environmental Resin (Oil extracted from biodegradable plant secretions to produce a plastic-like material)
  • Pros: Foldable, lightweight, sticky surface, latex-free, easy to clean, durable, inexpensive
  • Cons: Not cushioned, thin, no guarantee policy

Hugger Mugger Tapas Travel Yoga Mat is a fantastically sticky and grippy mat. The fact that they achieved this surface without using any polyurethane, utilizing only environmental resin, is pretty fantastic! For those out there who have allergies to latex and need to avoid natural rubber mats, this Tapas Travel mat solves those allergy worries as it is 100% latex and rubber free.

I like to think of my Hugger Mugger Tapas Travel Yoga Mat as my adventure companion. I love how tightly it folds down and how durable the material is. I can practically practice yoga on a craggy mountainside without feeling like I might rip a hole in this mat! The material is truly amazing. It’s also easy to wash, necessitating only a warm water and dish soap solution. 

However, like other travel mats, it doesn’t have a lot of cushion, so it’s best to bring an extra mat or towel to place under the knees during asanas that require more support and cushioning. 

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10) June and Juniper Travel Yoga Mat

Best Travel Yoga Mats
  • Weight: 2.8lbs
  • Thickness: 1.5mm 
  • Material: Natural Tree Rubber and Microfibers
  • Pros: Foldable, reversible, comes with a carry strap and knee cushion, 100% satisfaction guaranteed, lightweight, machine washable
  • Cons: Expensive, thin, needs to be washed frequently

June and Juniper Travel Yoga Mats are renowned for being hand-painted and designed by artists. They have beautiful, unique designs that really add something extra to your yoga practice. Let’s up the zen factor, shall we?

My favorite feature about the June and Juniper Travel Yoga Mats are that they are two-sided; one natural rubber side that has great grip, and one microfiber side that is softer and feels more like a yoga towel. The microfiber is porous, highly absorbent, and has great moisture-wicking properties. So it functions more like a quick-drying towel rather than a regular towel that stays wet with sweat for hours. You can also machine wash your June and Juniper Travel Yoga Mat – another reason to love these mats.

For some extra fun and functionality, all mats also come with a strap for carrying your mat, which also doubles as a yoga strap! You don’t need to cart around an extra prop with you, and this strap works like a charm.

I’ve said it on repeat, but once again, this is another very thin and lightweight mat, so expect to need extra cushioning for kneeling asanas. However, June and Juniper go a step above and beyond and provide all buyers with a knee cushion.

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Best Travel Yoga Mats
Practicing in Bali

What to Consider When Buying a Travel Yoga Mat


Material and Texture

Choosing the material and texture of your mat is key to a successful yoga asana practice. The different materials create varying levels of grip. Given the climate you’re going to, you may need a mat that can keep you in place while sweating in the humidity. However, you may find that the extra grippy mats are annoying, as they can “lock” you in place, which can make transitions harder. 

The mats above are mostly made from natural tree rubber, but there are some special mats that are made with microfibers, polymer environmental resin, and polyurethane. These materials all have different upsides and downsides, so choose the material and texture that will suit your needs and yoga practice best. 

Best Travel Yoga Mats
Practicing in Tanzania

Thickness

I felt a little bit like a woman on repeat, but when it comes to buying travel yoga mats, you have to be aware of the weight and thickness. Some of the mats I mentioned above have the thickness of a credit card! Can you imagine doing Cat/Cow pose for two minutes on a hardwood floor? Ouch! 

While other travel yoga mats are thicker, it usually restricts the foldability, which of course, drastically decreases the portability. If you can, give a 1.5mm mat a try and see how it feels to practice with it on different surfaces. For me, anything below 2mm is too thin for my delicate knees, so I’ve always had to snag an extra mat to place underneath it when I pop into studios while traveling. 

yoga in Langkawi
Practicing in Langkawi

Durability

Not all mats are created equal. Lucky for you, the list above is filled with the best travel yoga mats out there. However, you want to make sure that the mat is durable enough for the type of travel you have in mind. Some mats cannot be taken into the sun. Are you heading to the beaches of Thailand? That means beach yoga is a big no-no. Or are you planning a luxurious trip with a huge suitcase and planning on staying in glitzy hotels? Then go for the more lightweight mats so you can practice on the comfort of carpet! 

If you’re taking nothing but a backpack and doing some extreme adventuring, I find it’s best to pick a mat that has a guarantee policy. This protects you in case your mat breaks down in the humidity or rips on a rock on the cliffside. Who knows what will happen to a yogi-on-the-go!

yoga in costa rica
What a view in Costa Rica!

Accessories for Yoga Lovers


Backpacking-packing-list

Alala Leggings

Leggings are great on any women’s travel clothing list as they are lightweight and pack up super small.

Alala makes some of my favorite leggings ever! They have many fun and colorful designs as well as your standard colors. Their leggings are heavy duty and have lasted me through the years. The photo to the left is me in their awesome PINK collection.

Alala Leggings


backpacking checklist

Yogavated Bras and Leggings/Shorts

This should really go without saying, but any woman should be practicing yoga in a sports bra. Of course, it’s completely up to you, but you’ll want something that is light, nonconstricting, moisture wicking, and will hold your tatas in when you’re moving.

My favorite new sports bras are from Yogavated! They are so incredibly comfortable and supportive, perfect for days out.

Yogavated


Best Travel Yoga Mats

Yoga Travel Bag

A travel bag is essential for your yoga mat. When you’re traveling you are constantly moving in and out of airplanes, taxi cabs, and who knows whatever else. You don’t want all that dust and dirt on your yoga mat, so get a travel bag!

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Best Travel Yoga Mats

Yoga Mat Cleaner

A small bottle of mat cleaner will maintain the life of your yoga mat. However, you can achieve the same result with vinegar water.

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Best Travel Yoga Mats

Yoga Travel Towel

Towels are great for hot yoga, they absorb any sweat you’ll be producing and prevent you from slipping on it. I have a travel yoga towel, but a good travel towel will achieve the same thing.

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Best Travel Yoga Mats

Resistance Bands

Traveling with a pair of resistance bands are great for staying in shape on the road. They are small and pack up light and are great for stretching and arm and leg workouts.

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Best Travel Yoga Mats

Knee Pads

If you have sensitive knees investing in some knee pads could make your yoga days that much better!

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About the Author

Natasha

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Natasha is a five-foot blonde that believes she was made short so she could fit in air, train, car, and bus seats comfortably. She believes in watching every single movie nominated for an Oscar and loves all animals. Natasha has a passion for environmentally friendly and sustainable travel. Natasha recently made a move to Canada and resides near Banff National Park in Alberta and loves new adventures in the mountains. Natasha's favorite countries are Italy, Iceland, Greece, Japan, Mozambique, and South Africa.

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