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The 5 Best Travel Yoga Mats That are Lightweight and Compact - Happier Human

The 5 Best Travel Yoga Mats That are Lightweight and Compact

Want to turn your yoga practice into a more adventurous one? If so, take it on the road with the best travel yoga mat!

Many people are now into practicing yoga while traveling. It brings double happiness—you get to see the beauty of the world while enjoying calmness, peace, and relaxation. But if you have tried to take your regular yoga mat with you while traveling, you know it takes up too much space in your luggage and can't be folded properly.

Just like when you're doing your regular yoga practice at home, you need to be fully prepared with the right kind of materials in order to practice yoga while you are traveling. You need a travel yoga mat that you can take anywhere you go.

In this post, we have compiled the five best travel yoga mats for you. They are lightweight, compact, durable, and foldable—everything you need to take your yoga practice on the road.

But before we introduce the top products, we would first like to share with you the benefits of practicing yoga while you travel, and how it can make you a happier, healthier human.

Furthermore, we will discuss the things you need to check and consider before finally purchasing the travel yoga mat of your choice.

Don't have time to read the entire review?

If you're a busy person who doesn't have time to read this entire review, we've simplified everything. Here is a table to show you a quick rating of the best travel yoga mats.

Product
Best Choice For...
Our Rating

Best travel yoga mat overall for being portable, durable, foldable, and affordable

Best travel yoga mat for any fitness routine

Best travel yoga mat for traveling in hot places

Best travel yoga mat for its 2-in-1 purpose

Best travel yoga mat for resilience and grip

Benefits of Yoga While Traveling

Yoga alone can already make you happier and healthier. But how does doing it while traveling make it even more beneficial?

Provides relief from neck and back pain.

Traveling for extended hours can cause your whole body (especially your neck and back) to feel tired and painful. Practicing yoga will relax and strengthen your muscles to reduce the discomfort you feel while traveling. Learning to move in ways that help realign your posture while traveling will help release any tension and encourage more functional movement patterns. Even if you can just practice yoga for a few minutes each day while you're on the road, it can help you increase your awareness of your body, allowing you to notice where you’re holding tension and possibly have imbalances.

Heightens senses and awareness.

When coupled with meditation, yoga can elevate your sense of perception. It allows you to feel and appreciate the beauty of everything that’s around you. Imagine being on a backpacking trip or traveling abroad and being able to appreciate the beauty of the scenery around you even more than you normally would. Yoga is largely a sensory practice that will allow you to experience your travels with all five of your senses. If your mind can stay quiet and attentive during your yoga practice, then the impact of yoga will occur much faster.

Alleviates anxiety and stress levels.

Yoga is a powerful practice because it focuses on your mind, body, and soul. Regardless of what your anxiety looks like—whether it's temporary or constant—yoga can help you manage it. Stress is a natural experience that is attached to your fight-or-flight system. As stress-related adrenaline pours into your body, you tense up. However, practicing yoga initiates the release of more GABA hormones in your body, which is the hormone that induces calm and relaxation. In the same manner, yoga can also lower the production of cortisol (stress hormone) to manage your stress levels. Yoga can also enhance your mood and overall sense of well-being.

Gets rid of sleepless nights.

Travelers often experience jet lag, which can lead to insomnia. But when you practice yoga, you can improve the quality and quantity of your sleep. Doing certain yoga poses can impact your nervous system and balance your hormones, helping to normalize your sleep cycle. It has even been hypothesized that, on average, for every minute you practice yoga, you need one less minute of sleep.

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One of the most important thing you need in a travel mat is its durability. The overall quality of the mat is also important.

Boosts energy and immunity levels.

The Huffington Post reports that yoga helps combat the signs of over-fatigue by increasing your energy levels. Likewise, it can support your overall health by boosting your immune system.

Yoga is one of the rare physical activities that improves your overall wellness (meaning both physically and mentally) without creating an imbalance. Yoga connects your mind, body, and surrounding environment, which helps you optimize your energy. Practicing yoga also improves blood circulation, which helps nourish your organs, tissues, and cells, ensuring you remain healthy. This is especially important while you travel because airplanes are known to circulate germs!

Increases physical strength and endurance.

Practicing yoga develops the stamina and power of your muscles. As you practice holding your poses, you can gain muscle strength using your own body weight. And, because you usually hold a yoga pose and repeat it throughout your workout, it adds another dimension to your strength. By holding your poses longer, increasing your number of repetitions, and trying out new poses, yoga will become more challenging and therefore more beneficial. If you are a traveler, you need the strength to last longer on the road.

Improves mental clarity and sharpness.

Mind and body awareness is the ultimate goal of yoga. For most people, our inner thoughts and feelings don't get the attention they need because life has never-ending distractions. However, spending time doing yoga is one of the best ways to center yourself and focus on the present. Traveling requires you to be mentally alert of your surroundings all the time.

Now that you know why you should practice yoga while traveling, let's look at some things you should keep in mind when shopping for the best yoga mat for your needs.

Considerations When Choosing the Best Travel Yoga Mat

The most important thing you need in a travel yoga mat is durability. Because this is a mat that will take a beating while going through airports and in and out of hotels, you need for it to be able to stand up to the elements. This means that strength and sustainability are both important in order for your yoga mat to be able to keep up with your travels. It would be best to find one that is made out of natural rubber—one that is sustainable, yet still comfortable.

The overall quality of the mat is also important, which will certainly factor into its durability. You don’t want to sacrifice the quality of your mat in order to meet some other important requirements, such as portability.

Since you are traveling, you probably want to choose a travel yoga mat that is thin, lightweight, and easy to fold. You probably also want to be able to easily pack it in your backpack or suitcase. However, it is important to remember that it still has to be made out of the finest materials to withstand travel.

While the price might be the first thing that you look at, it should be the last thing you consider. Your comfort should be prioritized over the expense of your travel yoga mat. That being said, there are many travel yoga mats out there that are comfy while also being affordable!

Now, let's look at the details of some of the best options on the market so you can decide which one best fits.

The 5 Best Travel Yoga Mats That Are Lightweight and Compact

1. Manduka eKO Superlite Yoga and Pilates Travel Mat

This is the best overall travel yoga mat for being portable, durable, foldable, and affordable. It is made out of natural rubber, making it an elegant yet firm yoga mat that offers superior grip. This thin mat is only two pounds, so it won't weigh you down on the road. It does not compromise on size, and offers full-sized measurements of 68" long and 24" wide. But because the mat is only 1.5 mm thick, it leaves out all of the extra weight.

This mat also won't take up much space in your luggage because, unlike most yoga mats that roll up, this one is designed differently, allowing users to fold it up like a piece of paper. This makes this the best travel yoga mat for backpacking. You can even fold it and stick it into the area where your computer usually goes in your bag.

Because this travel mat is made with incredibly detailed construction, it is extremely durable. Its natural-grip rubber has a closed-cell structure, allowing it to be used daily and still hold up for years. It is sticky and slip-free, which leads some users to practice yoga on this mat even when they are not travelling.

PROS
  • Great for people who are traveling light.
  • Very durable.
  • Materials are natural, eco-friendly, and biodegradable.
CONS
  • Because it is thin, it is not very soft.
  • A bit expensive.
  • Some users report a strong rubber smell.

This reversible, non-slip mat is the best travel option for any fitness routine. It provides users with a stable, sticky surface for yoga practice, whether you are using it at home or on the go. This mat offers the safety and comfort that users need to maintain proper alignment and poses.

The reversible design will suit any mood and help you maintain your motivation and focus. While these mats are thick and durable, they are still lightweight, allowing for easy travel. The extra-thick cushioning makes this the best yoga mat for bad knees or joints, as it supports you throughout any yoga or fitness routine. This mat measures 68" x 24" x 6mm thick.

PROS
  • Has a textured, sticky, non-slip material for superior traction and grip.
  • Comes with a downloadable yoga workout.
  • Offers an extensive number of designs, which are all reversible.
CONS
  • Stains easily.
  • Cannot be folded up.
  • The initial smell is quite strong.

TOPLUS offers this travel mat that is designed to give maximum traction instead of cushioning, making it the best travel yoga mat for traveling in hot places. In fact, it is prepared with natural suede, so the more sweat that is absorbed into the mat, the more non-slip it becomes, making it suitable for hot yoga.

Because this mat is so thin, it is great for travel, as well as for those who want to have closer contact with the ground. It is made of eco-friendly, natural rubber that is supportive and non-slip on both sides. Some people use this mat on top of another mat if they want to have a yoga session with an adherent mat, but also want to add more cushioning.

The suede material is eco-friendly and non-toxic on both sides. It is ideal for soft yoga because it gives priority to comfort, so your ankles, joints, and knees are protected, even while you're in upside-down positions.

This mat is only 1/16 inches thick, allowing it to be folded and easily stored in your luggage or carry-on bag. It is lightweight and easy to carry, so you can take it anywhere.

This travel mat is free of heavy chemicals, metals, PVC, and other potentially hazardous synthetic materials. It offers an exceptional grip and an open-cell construction, so the strength remains optimal with a lot of use.

PROS
  • Thin and easy to fold.
  • This is a washable travel yoga mat.
  • Comes with a travel bag.
CONS
  • Does not offer cushioning.
  • Some find this mat to be slippery.
  • Difficult to get in and out of the travel bag.

This travel yoga mat is a great travel companion because it has a two-in-one purpose. It’s a yoga mat and towel in one, so you don't need to bring both to your yoga practice. The top layer is a microfiber material and the bottom is made from natural tree rubber. Because this mat was designed specifically with hot practice in mind, it becomes sticky once it is wet.

This mats is lightweight and compact, making it perfect for traveling. The straps that come with it are great to use and adjust if you are biking or hiking. The rubber bottom sticks well to the floor so this mat will not move as you are transitioning in and out of poses. It is also long enough for taller users to have enough space to use it.

Because this mat can also be used as a towel, it is perfect for hot yoga. However, it is a light mat, which means that it offers less padding. It is not as comfortable as a typical yoga mat that has more cushioning.

PROS
  • Machine washable.
  • Works as a towel and yoga mat at the same time.
  • Comes with a carrying strap.
CONS
  • May be slippery unless it is a bit wet.
  • Very thin.
  • A bit expensive.

This is the best travel mat for resilience and grip. It offers a little cushioning while staying light for traveling yogis. This mat is made from a dense, natural rubber, which makes up a little bit for its lack of thickness. It also comes in different colors, and is made out of sustainable materials, making it perfect for anyone's style.

It's offered in two sizes—a 68" and 74" length, both with a 24" width. It is built to fit well into a suitcase, and offers superior traction. Because it has a sticky surface, it is easy to hold onto in most conditions without being worried about slipping.

When it comes to the weight, this mat is only around three pounds, so it is pretty light to take with you on the go.

PROS
  • It is three mm thick, which gives solid support while staying lightweight.
  • Has an extra sticky surface, so it is easy to maintain your grip.
  • Comes in a variety of colors.
CONS
  • Too heavy for backpacking.
  • Because it does not fold up, it is not great for small bags.
  • Has a slight rubbery odor.

Conclusion

All these top products are the best travel yoga mats available on the market today. The positive reviews and high ratings of customers from different platforms can attest to that.

However, our winner for today is the Manduka eKO Superlite Yoga and Pilates Travel Mat for possessing all the desired qualities of a lightweight and compact travel yoga mat.

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