The Best Travel Yoga Mats for Your 2017 Adventures

Stephen picks the best travel yoga mats available today

best travel yoga mats

Students are always asking me for advice on the best travel yoga mats.

In truth, to keep my carry-on luggage small enough, I currently don’t carry a travel yoga mat. This means that I’ve had the chance to try out a range of different yoga travel mats (and everyday yoga mats) as I move from studio to studio teaching Adventure Yoga.

This year I’ve practiced on yoga mats from all of the major mat makers and plenty of minor ones too. For this post, I’ve selected six of the best travel yoga mats based on:

  • Environmental impact
  • Portability and durability
  • Mat stickiness and comfort

This guide will help you decide what to look for in a travel yoga mat and figure out which travel yoga mat is best for you. Though prices are shown in US dollars, these mats are available around the world.

Here are my picks of…

The best travel yoga mats 2017

This guide will help you decide what to look for in a travel yoga mat and figure out which travel yoga mat is best for you. Click through to discover my picks for the best travel yoga mats. | Yoga | Travel | Yoga Mats

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Skip forward to find out which travel yoga mat I want in my carry-on suitcase.

Manduka’s Best Travel Yoga Mats

Manduka eKO SuperLiteicon, 0.9 kg, 1.5 mm, $42
Manduka eKO Liteicon, 2 kg, 4mm, $68-72

travel yoga mats

Manduka eKO SuperLite travel yoga mat.

Manduka offers two options for travel yoga. First is the eKO SuperLite, a super lightweight travel yoga mat. Then comes the eKO Lite, which is a little heavier, but adds more comfort.

Here’s how they rate:

Environmental impact. Manduka have been very open and communicative with me every time I’ve contacted them about their mats. Manduka CEO Sky Meltzer even phoned me once to discuss my concerns over the environmental impact of their yoga mats.

Since I first wrote about yoga mats a few years ago, Manduka has made improvements in their production line as a result of inquiries by customers like me. They now have zero-waste production for many of their mats, including the eKO Lite.

Both the Lite and the eKO SuperLite are made from biodegradable natural tree rubber and no toxic chemicals are used in the manufacturing process.

Portability and durability. The eKO SuperLite is totally foldable and will fit snugly into your suitcase or backpack. The eKO Lite is a bit thicker and heavier, so provides more padding but is less portable. Manduka mats are famously durable, but don’t expect a lifetime guarantee for their travel mats like you get with their PRO yoga mats.

Mat stickiness and comfort. I do love practicing on the eKO SuperLite travel yoga mat. Yes, it’s very thin and light but it provides really good grip on the floor and for your hands and feet. There is no padding to speak of which means that you’ll feel very connected to the floor. On the other hand, if your knees or spine need extra padding, you won’t get it from this mat (or any travel yoga mat).

Bonus tip: I had two students using the eKO SuperLite recently in Hamburg and both of them turned their mat over to use the bottom as the top. They said they find the mats slides around on the floor if it’s the “right way” up. Good tip!

US & Canada: More about the Manduka eKO SuperLite travel yoga mat in the US & Canadaicon
EU: More about the Manduka eKO SuperLite travel yoga mat in Europeicon

Related: Here are my favourite Facebook yoga pages for you to follow

JadeYoga’s Best Travel Yoga Mats

JadeYoga Voyager, 0.7 kg, 1.5 mm, $40
JadeYoga Travel Mat, 1.4 kg, 3 mm, $60

travel yoga mats

The JadeYoga Voyager travel yoga mat folds easily.

Environmental impact. JadeYoga invented environmentally friendly yoga mats, so they have a lot of experience in the industry. Jade mats are made sustainably with natural rubber and they do not contain PVC, EVA, heavy metals, or synthetic rubber. Their mats are made in the US and Jade also plants a tree for every mat sold, so that’s a pretty cool bonus.

Portability and durability. My very first mat was a Jade mat and though I loved it, it started to stretch and slide pretty quickly – within a year it was completely worn out. Judging from online reviews, Jade has improved the durability of their mats since then and people are able to use them for several years without much sign of wear.

The Voyager folds up to about the size of a yoga block, so it’s super easy to pack in a suitcase. At 0.7 kg, it is the lightest travel yoga mat on our list. The company recommends the Voyager only for travel use only because its portability reduces the durability. If you want something a little more durable, but still portable, the Jade Travel Mat might be a better option.

Mat stickiness and comfort. I have tried the Voyageur and I really like it. It feels similar to the Manduka eKO SuperLite but the Jade Voyager weighs a couple of hundred grams less. Again, like all yoga travel mats, you won’t get any padding out of the Jade Voyager.

More about the JadeYoga Voyager yoga mat

lululemon athletica’s Best Travel Yoga Mats

lululemon Reversible (Un)Mat, 0.9 kg, 1.6 mm, $48

travel yoga mats

The lululemon (Un)Mat is light and portable.

Environmental impact. During my research, I found lululemon the least forthcoming about their environmental practices. While all the other companies answered all of my questions, I never got a reply from lululemon about their yoga mats. Their website also has less information about their environmental impact than the other yoga mat makers.

Lululemon uses polyurethane and latex in their mats and they don’t give much more information than that – which of course makes us wonder what they’re not saying.

Portability and durability. The (Un)Mat is light and easily rollable. It will also fold but isn’t necessarily designed to do so, so you’ll get creases if you carry it this way. The mat seems almost indestructible, so you won’t need to replace it for years. However, it also means the mat will stick around in landfill long after we’re gone.

Mat stickiness and comfort. Before we left LA, I was regularly practicing on the (Un)Mat. This is basically the top layer of their regular mat, so it’s got the same sweat-absorbing features, is incredibly sticky (especially when wet) and has anti-bacterial properties.

Jane’s note: I also practiced on the (Un)Mat for a few years and though I loved the thin and lightweight design (less padding meant I couldn’t be sloppy with my alignment) I found that after a while it lost its stickiness. The lululemon mats seem to be designed for hot yoga or really sweaty people – if you don’t sweat much you might find yourself slipping around like I did.

More about the lululemon Reversible Un(Mat) travel yoga mat

Liforme’s Best Travel Yoga Mats

Liforme Travel Mat, 1.6 kg, 2.0 mm, $115

travel yoga mats

Liforme’s Travel Mat is unique and very environmentally friendly.

Environmental impact. Before launching their yoga mat onto the world, Liforme did years of research into environmental best practices, putting together close partnerships with local manufacturers and creating one of the best, most environmentally conscious, and technologically advanced yoga mats on the market.

Liforme manufactures in a no-waste process, which I love. Plus, their raw materials are environmentally sourced and there is no PVC in sight. Their mats are made of natural rubber and eco-polyurethane that is biodegradable in normal landfills.

So if you want to start a new tradition — maybe host a ceremonial full-moon mat burial in your local park? — you’re good to go with this mat! But I jest.

Biodegradability is a serious issue as Liforme founder James Armitage explained to me:

“The main thing is the biodegradability of the mat and the issues with certain other mats. For me, this is the single biggest ‘ethical con’ out there. Those very heavy duty PVC materials, apart from being potentially harmful, take far too long to degrade when they end up (as they inevitably will) in landfills. Those materials can take thousands of years to degrade (and they’re not doing any good for the soil/earth during the process).”

Portability and durability. Liforme’s Travel Mat is about the same size and weight as the Jade Travel Mat and the Manduka eKO Lite – so it’s not quite as light and packable as I’d like. But if you’re not a full-time travelling yoga teacher like me, Liforme’s Travel Mat is great for commuting and less frequent travel.

In terms of durability, here’s what Armitage has to say:

“We are proud of how durable the material is, even though they are clearly not meant to last a lifetime. That should be a selling point, not the other way round. [Once discarded,] all the materials we use in our Liforme mat will degrade within a few years in normal soil conditions.”

Mat stickiness and comfort. I really love the texture of Liforme’s mats, which provides stability and comfort without being overly sticky like some mats. The etched laser markings that offer alignment guidance are a brilliant feature and I can imagine that they might transform your practice.

More about the Liforme Travel Mat

And the winner for best travel yoga mat 2017 is…

JadeYoga Voyager Mat

If I was going to buy a light-weight mat today it would be the JadeYoga Voyager mat. It is all-natural, the lightest of the mats I have reviewed, and folds easily — perfect for my carry-on luggage. One of my teachers, who travels with the JadeYoga Voyager, recently told me that the best thing about it is that “it just works”.

It’s sticky, not stretchy, and offers a little padding. All the other features are just icing.

travel yoga mats

I’d love to have JadeYoga’s Voyager yoga mat in my carry-on suitcase.

Right now, the Jade Voyager is the best yoga travel mat available. That being said, if Liforme released a super-light version of their travel yoga mat this year, I would be very tempted to test it out!

Grab the JadeYoga Voyager yoga mat for your travels

Many of the links in this post are affiliate links. That means that if you buy a yoga mat after following one of these links, we’ll make a tiny commission. There’s no extra charge to you so it’s a free and easy way you can say “thanks” for the info here. Your support means so much to us — without it we wouldn’t be able to deliver the best advice and tips about mindful travel anymore!–S&J

On our travels, we get the chance to try all of the best travel yoga mats available. Here's our guide so you can choose the best travel yoga mat for your needs.

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What do you think is the best yoga mat for travel? Which mats have you tried? Have any recommendations that we missed here or any comments on the yoga mats we recommend? Add your comments below!

  Happy yoga adventures, Stephen

22 comments

  1. Comment by Jenna

    Jenna Reply July 16, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    I don’t travel with a yoga mat because I try to pack as light as possible, but these are some great options if I decide to bring one at some point! As I was reading through, the JadeYoga mat stuck out to me most as well. Looks like it would fit into a carryon well and I love that they have so much focus on being environmentally friendly!

  2. Comment by Sabine

    Sabine Reply July 14, 2017 at 7:34 am

    I’m going to sound like an absolute beginner (well in fact I am), but I really thought there was only 1 type of yoga matt. You know, these ones that exist forever already and are not very comfortable. This post really made me realise what else is out there and is really very informative. I’m clued up again :)

    • Comment by Jane

      Jane July 14, 2017 at 11:39 pm

      Beginners are very welcome! There are hundreds of kinds of yoga mats (probably way too many really!) but they can each make a big difference to how you feel when you practice and how your body feels on the floor. The sticky mat really is a piece of technical equipment for our “sport”! Thanks for your comment :) J

  3. Comment by Paige W

    Paige W Reply July 13, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    I always say that I wish I could travel with my yoga mat, but never did any research to find one that you can travel with. I didn’t know that there mats you could fold up like that! I’m going to have to check it out before out big year-long trip we’re about to embark on!

    • Comment by Jane

      Jane July 13, 2017 at 10:24 pm

      I thought the same, Paige! After travelling this last year without one and then getting one a few weeks ago, I’ve discovered how much better and consistent my practice is with a yoga mat around. I really want to get one of the foldable ones now – but I will have to get rid of some other items in my carry-on first!

  4. Comment by Jolene Ejmont

    Jolene Ejmont Reply July 12, 2017 at 2:50 am

    I really love having my own yoga mat with me! For some reason I never thought of taking it with me on travels but it is such a great idea!

    • Comment by Jane

      Jane July 12, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      It’s hard to fit in a suitcase that’s for sure. We recently picked up a mat in a local town here in Vietnam and it feels so good to practice on a mat again!

      J

  5. Comment by Archana Singh

    Archana Singh Reply July 11, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    I am not much into Yoga but I am sure these mats could definitely push me. I liked how you chose the best ones keeping in mind the Environmental impact, portability and durability and mat stickiness and comfort

    • Comment by Jane

      Jane July 12, 2017 at 2:42 pm

      Thanks! Environmental impact is the most important factor to us, since so many mats are made of plastic and just end up in landfill after a year or so.

  6. Comment by Josh Skipworth

    Josh Skipworth Reply July 11, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    I assume these work just as well for homebodys? My wife does yoga but not typically when we travel. I shall have to investigate further!

    • Comment by Jane

      Jane July 12, 2017 at 2:41 pm

      For a home practice, I would suggest one of the thicker Lifeforme mats. They are my favourites right not, but just not as portable!

      J

  7. Comment by Kavey Favelle

    Kavey Favelle Reply July 7, 2017 at 6:44 am

    I think these would make really thoughtful gifts for friends who love yoga and travel. I’d never have thought about the environmental aspect so really helpful to understand that criterion.

    • Comment by Jane

      Jane July 10, 2017 at 11:52 pm

      You’re so right! To be honest, I’d love to get one of these as a gift this year :). -J.

  8. Comment by Kaila Yu

    Kaila Yu Reply July 2, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Thank you for this review! I definitely love the Jade Yoga mat and the foldable travel mats are definitely most ideal for travel. The only issue is that I have sensitive knees but adding a towel underneath always helps

    • Comment by Stephen

      Stephen July 2, 2017 at 7:36 pm

      Sensitive knees can make these thinner mats a bit troublesome, but fortunately there are towels as you say.

  9. Comment by maegan

    maegan Reply July 1, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    These are so much more versatile and compact than my current mat! Thank you!

    • Comment by Stephen

      Stephen July 2, 2017 at 7:28 pm

      You’re welcome! Let us know if you get a new mat and what you think of it!

    • Comment by Jane

      Jane July 4, 2017 at 10:53 pm

      Hey Maegan,

      The best mat is the one you can carry around easily – especially if you bike or walk to class! Or travel a lot :).

      Thanks for commenting.

      J

  10. Comment by Erin

    Erin Reply May 10, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    LuLu is notoriously evasive about their ethical and environmental practices. There was an expose on faux fur items on the news when I was in the USA last year and they featured in that. So this is not surprising to me, apart from the other companies you mentioned here, their ethos seems to be more in line with high street shops and less in line with environmentally conscious yogis than the others. I happen to love my Manduka ekoLite for portability and stickiness!

    • Comment by Jane

      Jane May 11, 2017 at 5:37 am

      I agree. I do not like lululemon’s vagueness on the topic. They’re Canadian and should know better! I’ve practiced on that Manduka and really liked it too. – Jane

    • Comment by Stephen

      Stephen May 11, 2017 at 5:47 am

      Glad you love your ekoLite! You’ve not had any problems with it being slippery on certain floors? Maybe it has to do with the ultra-thinness of the SuperLite, But, I guess if you ever do, just try flipping it over… #yogahack

    • Comment by Erin

      Erin May 11, 2017 at 5:50 am

      No, I haven’t had those problems before – great to know if it happens though! If I’m using it I’m either in a hotel (with carpet) or in a studio and covering up a mat of uncertain cleanliness.

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