Prana ECO Yoga Mat
- The E.C.O. has fantastic traction for sweaty practices.
- It’s closed cell technology means your mat doesn’t absorb sweat and grow bacteria.
- The underside is extremely grippy so if you’re practicing on carpet, you don’t have to constantly reposition your mat.
We didn't like
- The mat does start to flake after consistent use, especially where your feet are doing a lot of movement.
- Its TP makeup means it holds onto creases and folds, so it isn’t really a mat you can fold up like a towel and stuff it into a suitcase.
- It has a pretty strong smell when it’s new, so it isn’t recommended if you have a really sensitive nose.
Overall, this mat is a really great buy for the quality it offers. When you’re comparing it to Manduka, Lululemon, or Jade, the $48 price tag is pretty decent!
“Ahimsa” means “do no harm”, and it’s an integral part of a yoga practice.
While it definitely means you shouldn’t do any harm to yourself, it also means you should avoid hurting the people and the world around you. It’s sometimes hard to remember our small choices add up and have a big impact on our planet.
As yogis, we’re typically pretty conscious about what we buy and the effect it has on the earth. If you think your choices of a yoga mat are limited to that of cheap PVC (which is definitely not that great for the planet), you’re so wrong!
The Prana E.C.O. yoga mat is one of the most earth-friendly yoga mats available on the market. Don’t worry if you’re currently feeling pretty doubtful about that statement.
Having a quality yoga mat is incredibly important to you, I know, so let’s run through some of the mat’s features in my Prana Eco yoga mat review before you whip out that credit card.
Before You Buy…
The Prana Eco mat has a slew of reviews from sweaty yogis who say this mat is excellent for those classes where you’re practically drowning in sweat.
It maintains its grip when you’re feeling like some kind of marine mammal, but it manages to stay slick enough that you aren’t dragging your feet across the mat and sticking between your up dog/down dog transitions.
It’s lightweight, too, so if you’re a traveler, this mat rolls up well. The price tag is low enough that you aren’t losing out on too much money if it isn’t love at first vinyasa, either.
What Makes the Prana ECO Mat Special?
The E.C.O. is one of the few mats on the market that is made consciously from start to finish. Your cheaper mat is made from PVC, but the E.C.O. is made with thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) in a manufacturing process free from toxins.
It’s also chloride- and latex-free, making it 100 percent recyclable. When your mat has met the end of its life, it isn’t going to sit in a landfill for 50 years, and that’s a choice you can feel good about.
Prana E.C.O’s Features
Besides comfort, durability is a pretty big factor in a yoga mat. Buying a new mat a couple times a year gets expensive quickly, so you want something that lasts for a couple of years at least. I’m pretty pleased overall with the E.C.O. in every aspect except its durability.
During the first few uses, I noticed that small flakes of the material was coming off and sticking to my feet and hands. It stopped eventually, but I wonder what it will be like when it’s really worn.
I looked up pictures of a Prana after a year or two of use and it seems like the flaking stopped but any creases and folds were pretty deep into the mat.
TPE is UV resistant, so it won’t fade or degrade if it gets left in the sun, but it does mean that creases and folds hang around. I don’t recommend folding this mat; stick to rolling it up loosely instead.
Now that you’ve got an idea about the durability of the E.C.O, on to the next biggest factor: comfort. When I talk about comfort, I typically think of thickness and stability.
I like thick mats with a fairly high degree of stability so I don’t collapse into my wrists during chaturanga. I think the overall thickness of this mat is fairly on point (it’s 5 mm thick).
I didn’t feel any discomfort in poses where my more prominent bones are digging into the mat.
I had a bit of a hard time balancing in one-legged poses because it lacked stability in its cushioning, so that was fairly frustrating. It’s also very light, and it did leap up with me when I was jumping to the front of my mat from down dog.
I’m a hardcore vinyasa junkie, so traction is huge on my list of priorities. I’m pretty picky about this because you go from dry to sweaty pretty quickly in a vinyasa flow class, and I need something with varying degrees of traction depending on how sweaty I am.
The E.C.O. has a slightly raised design on the surface to aid with traction when you’re in an opposing pose like down dog. There isn’t anything I find more annoying than getting into a delicious down dog and having my hands slip out of position.
Not only does this increase my chances of injury, I hate having to readjust. Even when my hands were dry, I had no issues keeping my original position with the E.C.O.
When my palms are sweaty is when things got a little...less sticky. However, I think most mats on the market have some degree of slipping when your hands are wet. It wasn’t too bad for me, but I don’t attend “hot” classes and stick to heated flow classes (about 85-90 degrees).
I’m not sure I’d recommend this mat for a hot class unless you go very seldom, and in that case, you could put a yoga towel on top of it and be fine, I think.
Many high-quality mats are a bit out of most yogis’ budgets, but the E.C.O. is very affordable, retailing for only $48. While the durability is still up in the air, I think this is a really sound price for a mat that’s grippy, cushy, and lightweight.
I’m pretty satisfied with my opinion, but I know having the opinions of others helps a bit in the decision-making process.
The Prana E.C.O. mat is a relatively inexpensive mat with a lot of great features. It's lightweight, comfortable, and has good traction.
I really cannot think of anything wrong with this mat. It is super lightweight and had adequate thickness and cushion to aid in any practice. The added bonus of being reversible is also nice for variation in anyone's personal workout space. Overall, I am exceptionally satisfied with my purchase.
Alternatives to the E.C.O
The E.C.O doesn’t seem like a good fit for you? No problem; here are some closely ranked alternatives.
It’s really hard to find a negative review for the Jade Harmony.
It’s still made with natural, eco-friendly materials if that’s important, and it stays sticky for heated classes.
Manduka’s illustrious reputation from their big daddy PRO mat spills over onto the PROlite, the more portable version of the PRO. While the PRO weighs a good 7 pounds, the PROlite is only 4 pounds.
Kulae Elite Hot Hybrid
I feel like I spend a lot of time saying mats aren’t very good for hot yoga, and it’s possible you’re here looking for the perfect mat for your hot classes. In that case, you might be really interested in the Kulae Elite mat.
This towel/mat combo is made to absorb your sweat and then go directly into the washing machine to avoid that funk your other mats get.
That’s the Prana ECO yoga mat review! Overall, this mat is a really great buy for the quality it offers. When you’re comparing it to Manduka, Lululemon, or Jade, the $48 price tag is pretty decent!
It’s got enough cushion for a yin or restorative class and enough grip to make your vinyasa flows as smooth as butter (without the slipping).
Do you have any of your own thoughts from using the E.C.O. mat in your own practice? I’d love to hear them!