Traveling with a yoga mat has been my secret weapon on every trip for the past 15 years. It’s a must-have item that keeps me fit, flexible, and active even when I’m on the road. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to share my tips on the best travel yoga mats and why I never leave home without one. So, let’s get into it!
Why Travel with a Yoga Mat?
The answer is simple – to stay healthy and active while you travel! When you’re on a long backpacking trip or traveling for an extended period, it can be challenging to maintain a regular exercise routine. Finding gyms, pools, or fitness classes might not always be feasible. That’s where a yoga mat comes in handy.
Having a yoga mat with you means you can easily do home workouts, stretches, and strengthening exercises no matter where you are. Whether you’re camping, on a hostel rooftop, in a guesthouse room, or out in nature, your yoga mat provides a clean and comfortable space to exercise. It’s not just about physical health; a flexible and strong body also leads to a flexible and strong mind, which is vital for the challenges and adventures of travel life.
How to Carry a Yoga Mat When Traveling
Now that you’re convinced to travel with a yoga mat, let’s talk about how to carry it with you. If you’re backpacking, look for a backpack with straps on the outside designed for carrying walking poles or a tent. These straps allow you to roll up your yoga mat and attach it to the outside of your backpack, saving precious space inside.
However, keeping your yoga mat clean on the outside of your backpack can be a challenge. Consider investing in a yoga mat bag or case to protect it. Look for a lightweight bag that can tightly hold your rolled-up mat and easily fit within the straps on your backpack. Avoid bags with clips or fastenings that could get caught during transit.
If you’re traveling with a suitcase or small carry-on, opt for a thin and foldable travel yoga mat. Many travel mats come with their own carry bag or pouch, making it convenient to pack them away neatly.
Things to Look For in Travel Yoga Mats
When choosing a travel yoga mat, there are a few key factors to consider. Travel mats are designed to be lightweight and compact, so they’re usually thinner than regular yoga mats. They are often made of thin rubber, which is durable and easy to fold or roll up.
Consider the balance between weight and comfort. Thicker mats offer more padding, which can be beneficial if you suffer from knee issues or if you prefer floor exercises. However, thicker mats also weigh more, so choose according to your priorities.
Look for mats that are easy to clean, as they are likely to get dirtier during travel. A small spray bottle of white vinegar and water is a handy cleaning solution. Opt for mats that dry quickly, as you may not always have ample time or space to air them out.
Consider the material of the mat. Rubber mats provide better grip, while foam mats are usually lighter. If you’re environmentally conscious, choose a mat made from sustainably sourced rubber and free from synthetic dyes and toxins.
5 Best Travel Yoga Mats
Now that you know what to look for, here are my top 5 recommendations for travel yoga mats:
If you’re based in the UK and want to support local businesses, Yogamatters offers a fantastic range of travel yoga mats. Made from environmentally-friendly materials, including sustainably harvested natural rubber, these mats are recyclable, biodegradable, and toxin-free. They are ultra-light and thin, making them perfect for travel. With a variety of colors to choose from, they cost just £35.00.
For those seeking more padding and comfort, the Uong travel yoga mat is an excellent choice. At 6mm thick, it provides double padding protection for knees and is ideal for taller individuals. Made from high-grade TPE, it offers great non-slip properties and is easy to clean. The mat comes with a carry case and a 1-year warranty.
Gaiam offers a stunning range of travel yoga mats with over 15 beautiful designs. These reversible mats provide excellent non-slip protection and are 6mm thick for added comfort. They are free from harmful toxins and come in vibrant colors to brighten up your practice while on the road.
Pido travel yoga mats are beautifully patterned and incredibly lightweight. At just 1.6mm thick, they are perfect for travelers seeking a compact and lightweight option. The non-slip suede surface provides great grip, and the mat comes with a small pouch bag for easy transportation.
Manduka offers a wide range of travel yoga mats, with the eKO SuperLite being the lightest and most travel-friendly option. Made from non-Amazon harvested natural tree rubber, these mats are eco-friendly and provide excellent grip. They are biodegradable and easy to clean, making them a favorite among yogis on the go.
Taking Care When Traveling with a Yoga Mat
To prolong the life of your travel yoga mat, clean it regularly and air it out properly to avoid odors and stickiness. Unfold or unroll your mat as often as possible to prevent curling or wearing along fold lines. Keep it out of direct sunlight to prevent fading and drying out.
Traveling with a yoga mat is a game-changer, allowing you to maintain your fitness and flexibility wherever your adventures take you. Don’t forget to pack your mat and keep up with your practice even while on the road.
So, my fellow jet-setters, are you ready to roll out your yoga mat and embark on a journey of health and wellness? DHPL Travels is here to help you plan your next adventure. Visit their website for more travel inspiration and tips. Namaste!