5 Best Yoga Travel Mats to Stay Zen on the Road

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If you love yoga but often find yourself on the road, then you have probably wondered which would be the best yoga mat to take with you.

With so many different travel mats to choose from it can be hard to find one that matches your exact needs.

Since I will be travelling asia in early 2016 I was looking into a yoga mat I could take with me and which wouldn't take up too much space in my backpack. But even if you just travel to your office each day, a small, ideally foldable yoga mat can be pretty useful.

Below I have listed the best options for you to consider.

Why you need a specific travel mat​

Many practicing yogis have yoga as part of a daily routine. That is easy when you are at home and can rely on the comforts and convenience of your life, but gets much harder when traveling, whether for pleasure or for work.

Many people have tried replacing a yoga mat with a towel on the floor of a hotel room, but few people have been as satisfied with the results. So many companies now make yoga mats specifically for travel.​

The main difference between a regular yoga mat and a travel mat is its portability. When you are packing for a week long business trip or a yoga-based retreat, you do not want to have to choose between fitting enough clothes and essentials in your suitcase or your yoga mat.

So unlike traditional yoga mats they are built to be folded or rolled into smaller packages that can be slid into a suitcase or backpack and taken almost anywhere. Many will also include straps or a carrying case to make them easier to transport.​

woman doing yoga on mountain

What to Look For​

The type of travel you are thinking about doing is going to have an influence on the best travel yoga mat for you. Some people might be wanting a travel mat that is easy to slip into a bag, take to work, and have on hand for break time at the yoga studio.

Other people are going to be living out their yogi fantasy with a yoga retreat on the beach. The best traveling mats are going to have elements that work in multiple ways, because if you want to simplify your life, it may be a good idea to not have a dozen yoga mats.​

The size of the mat is a key factor. If it is too short, a taller yogi will slide right off the end. If a mat is too thin, it might not provide enough padding on its own and if it is too thick then it becomes heavier and much harder to travel with.

Weight, obviously, is a major consideration. It is not hard to find a travel mat that weighs three pounds or less.​

Stickiness is also a factor. Some travel mats are not meant for intense or hot yoga sessions. Frequently they are less sticky and have less grip than a standard workout mat and that can make it hard to do all the poses and activities you may be used to doing in the studio.

So before you buy a travel yoga mat it is a good idea to consider how intensely you are going to be working out, and if you will be upset at not doing a full session while traveling.​

Environmental Considerations​

Many companies will incorporate environmental concerns into their yoga mats, just as they do regular mats.

We have taken a look at that factor as well when reviewing these for the best yoga travel mat and have made note of the materials used, how environmentally friendly they are, and if the company takes any other steps to help the environment.

Benefits of Continuing Yoga While Traveling​

When you are traveling for pleasure or for work, it triggers a change in your daily routine which often makes it hard for practitioners to continue their yoga rituals. Some tips, found here, will help you stay grounded while traveling.

The right travel mat will help you stay Zen because it is a visual reminder of the yoga routine and the space around the mat can stay energetically clear to reduce your stress and remind you of home.​

The same daily benefits that you receive from yoga practice at home will continue on the road for as long as you maintain that routine. It can alleviate insomnia, which often worsens when traveling due to jet lag or stress, reduce blood pressure, and soothe back and neck pains.

All of those benefits can be crucial when you are sleeping in a strange hotel. If you are one of the people who find that they never sleep as well when they are not in their own bed, continuing or beginning yoga practice might be a good solution when far from home.​

Top contenders for the best yoga mat for travel.​

These five yoga mats are all top contenders for the best yoga mat for travel.

  • Zen Active Non-Slip Yoga Mat - Extra Thick 1/4" (7mm), Environmentally Friendly... 
  • Ultralight Travel Yoga Mat by YOGO - Folding Mat With Integrated Straps and... 
  • Gaiam Foldable Yoga Mats 
  • Jade 68-Inch by 1/8-Inch Travel Yoga Mat (Olive Green) 
  • Natural Fitness Roam Folding Yoga Mat 
  • ZenActive Non-Slip Yoga Mat

    Zen Active Non-Slip Yoga Mat - Extra Thick 1/4" (7mm), Environmentally Friendly...
    • THICK MEMORY FOAM: We Created A Mat Thickness of 1/4".  At An 1/8" These Mats Seem Too Thin And Depending On The Person 1/2" Can Feel Too Thick.  A Mat Too Thick Can Create Balance Instability. With The Mat At 1/4" This Will Provide An Ideal Foam Thickness That Provides Comfort and Support Without Feeling Bulky Or Overly Dense, So Your Knees Stay Healthy And Injury Free.
    • TWO SIDED SURFACE: One Side Has A Non Slip Surface That Grips The Floor, And The Other Has Extra Cushion To Protect Your Joints, Increase Flexibility, Relieve Stress, and Improve Overall Fitness On The Most Comfortable Memory Foam Mat That You've Ever Used.

    Last update on 2018-04-21 at 16:35  - More InfoProduct prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product." / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    The ZenActive yoga mat is designed for both use at home and on the road. It is extra thick, which adds weight but also additional padding for yogis who need the additional support for joints while doing poses (or if you want to move your yoga routine outside).

    It does not fold as some travel mats do, but when rolled up it includes a carrying strap. It is not necessarily a mat you can take anywhere, but it is great for travel if you plan on visiting a studio during your trip.

  • Size: 72" x 24" x 7mm
  • Weight: Approximately 3 pounds
  • Materials: Rubber and latex free memory foam padding
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Green, Pink
  • Level: Best for beginner and intermediate yogis
  • Care: Wash with tea tree soap, or dish soap and water.
    • This yoga mat has a thicker (7mm), memory foam padding for extra knee support. The top is a pillow pattern so your legs and feet have an easier grip.
    • The non-slip surface underneath the mat is designed to keep it from sliding on the floor during yoga class.
    • Travel strap for easy carrying.
    • Has a lifetime warranty backed by ZenActive so it will be protected against any accidental damage during travel.
    • The surface side does get slippery, especially when it is being used and becomes slick with sweat.
    • Slight odor when first removed from package which can last several weeks. Needs to be cleaned upon purchase.
    • After some use, small pieces of the mat tend to fall off, leaving quarter sized holes.
    • OK for travel, but not designed for "off-road" yoga use.

    YOGO Mat Ultralight

    Ultralight Travel Yoga Mat by YOGO - Folding Mat With Integrated Straps and...
    • The best travel yoga mat ever made, packs to 12î and weighs just over 2 lbs
    • Folds small, secures, and fits in small bags

    Last update on 2018-04-21 at 16:35  - More InfoProduct prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product." / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    The YOGO ultralight travel mat is YOGO's minimalist option for easy portability. If your idea of a Zen vacation is somewhere off the beaten path, then this might be the mat for you.

    It is smaller and thinner than the typical yoga mat, but designed to accompany you almost anywhere with buckles and straps to keep it folded neatly when tucked inside a regular bag.

  • Size: 68" x 24" x 0.06". Folds down to 12" x 3" x 4.5"
  • Weight: 2.4 lbs.
  • Materials: Renewable Tree Rubber
  • Colors: Blue, Purple, Green
  • Level: Beginner through advanced
  • Care: Wash with water. Can be hung to dry using built-in travel straps.
    • Folds easily so it can be tucked into a backpack, suitcase, or duffel bag while traveling.
    • Completely renewable and biodegradable..
    • Comes with buckles and straps for easy folding and carrying, which then tuck away during use.
    • Very sticky grip on top and bottom (No sliding).
    • YOGO has pledged that for every mat sold they will plant one tree in Central America through their partner, Sustainable Harvest International.
    • Costlier than most competitors on the market.
    • Much thinner (1.5mm vs 4-7mm) than other travel mats, so if you are using it on a hard floor it may need to be doubled up with another mat. Fine for softer surfaces.

    Gaiam Banyan and Bo Foldable Yoga Mat

    Sale

    Last update on 2018-04-21 at 16:35  - More InfoProduct prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product." / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    This traveling mat has the same style and density as Gaiam's Earth Saver yoga mats. However, it is built for travelers and folds easily into a suitcase. It may be most suited for business and casual travelers who need a mat that is light enough to bring along on frequent trips.

  • Size: 24" x 68" x .079". Folds to 10" x 12"
  • Weight: N/A
  • Materials: Ultra-lightweight synthetic rubber
  • Colors: Gray
  • Level: Beginning to intermediate. Best to have a towel during more intense workout sessions because the rubber surface will become slippery when wet.
  • Care: Gaiam's Yoga mat wash or warm water with a mild detergent.
    • Closed cell construction prevents the accumulation of moisture and reduces the bacteria on the surface of the mat.
    • Lack of moisture also means this mat will not trap or retain odors for long periods of time.
    • Folds neatly and fits in the side or main pockets of a standard suitcase.
    • Works well for floor use in hotel rooms or on the go.
    • Can become brittle if exposed to the sun for long periods of time.
    • Might be slippery during intense or hot yoga sessions.
    • Not a high-stick mat which can be a problem for certain poses and types of yoga.

    Jade Travel Yoga Mat

    Jade 68-Inch by 1/8-Inch Travel Yoga Mat (Olive Green)
    • Nature?s Best Yoga Mat
    • Great Grip - open cell natural rubber provides optimum grip

    Last update on 2018-04-21 at 16:35  - More InfoProduct prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product." / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    This thin yoga mat will roll up easily so it can travel wherever you go. Many yogis prefer it outdoors because the thinness has a corresponding loss of support, but if you are looking for a traveling mat with enough stickiness for advanced poses, this would be a solid choice.

  • Size: 24" x 68" x 1/8" or 24" x 74" x 1/8" for taller yogis
  • Weight: Approximately 3 lbs
  • Materials: Natural Rubber
  • Colors: Black, Midnight Blue, Olive Green, Purple, Teal
  • Level: Beginner up to advanced
  • Care: Wash with cold water and soap or a mild detergent.
    • Excellent slip resistance and traction.
    • Can be washed easily with cold water and soap.
    • Comes in standard or extra-long lengths.
    • 1/8" thick, and easily rolls up to be taken almost anywhere.
    • Jade Travel will plant a tree for each mat they sell through their partnership with Trees for the Future.
    • This mat is not super durable. It tends to break down or lose small pieces after multiple use.
    • Super-sticky material attracts a lot of dirt, debris, and dust.
    • Should not be exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time.
    • Price is comparable to the YOGO, $59-$69.

    Natural Fitness Roam Folding Yoga Mat

    Last update on 2018-04-21 at 16:35  - More InfoProduct prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product." / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    The Natural Fitness Roam will be a good traveling yoga mat if you need something for the hotel room, or to bring back and forth from the office, to the studio, to home. It folds on top of itself to keep one side always clean and comes with its own carrying case.

  • Size: 13' x 12.5' x 2.5". Folds to 12" x 12"
  • Weight: 2.3 lbs.
  • Materials: Rubber
  • Colors: Red
  • Levels: All
  • Care: Wash with water and a mild detergent.
    • Easily folds to a size that will fit in most carry-on or luggage bags.
    • Thicker than many travel mats, so it works well for those who need the additional support.
    • Includes a carrying case for extra portability.
    • Soft rubber material tends to break off and is easily scratched during poses.
    • May require extra padding or towels during hot yoga practice.
    • Not well-designed or durable enough for daily practices.
    • Tends to stretch out during an extended pose and can be difficult to hold a position for long.

    Conclusion

    After reviewing all these options, we would recommend the YOGO mat ultralight as the best travel yoga mat .

    It is one of the lightest products reviewed here, making it very easy to carry around and its series of straps and buckles make it simple to latch onto other bags while toting it around town.

    Unlike other options reviewed here, its tree rubber material will hold up against continual use and not leave unsightly chunks of residue behind.

    Also, its environmental impact is the smallest. It is biodegradable, recyclable, and like Janus, YOGO will plant a tree for each mat sold.

    Finally, its surface is designed to be sticky enough to help its user hold a wide variety of poses, making it a good fit for many different levels and styles of yoga practice.​

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