Best travel yoga mats and towels: Light, compact and eco-friendly

Crow at the Copacabana or cobra at Central Park – here's your holiday yoga shopping list
Top travel yoga mats

If you’re a yogi who struggles to pack light, you’ll know what it’s like to lug a mat on the underground, or try and squeeze a yoga towel into your hand luggage.

Finding kit worth investing in that won’t weigh you down can be tricky.

To make life easier (and lighter), we’ve hand picked the best yoga kit on the market for travelling, whether you’re planning on taking your practice to the local park or jetting off to the Bahamas.

How to pick a travel yoga mat

A yoga mat is the item you’ll probably end up carrying most, so why not invest in one that makes transporting it easier? With plenty of travel yoga mats on the market though, it can be hard to find one that compares to your trusty mat at home. Here’s what to look for when selecting a travel yoga mat:

Weight: Travel yoga mats are designed to be lightweight, but even the best mats will vary in weight. If you’re a smaller yogi, or going long-haul, be sure to check this.

Size: A lot of travel yoga mats will be thinner and shorter than a normal yoga mat. This shouldn’t be a problem, but if you’re a particularly tall yogi, it might be worth measuring your mat at home first.

Practicality: If you’re a dedicated yogi, you’ve probably already invested in a mat that is comfortable, doesn’t slip and isn’t too sticky, so starting again can be daunting. Most travel yoga mats will, naturally, be a lot thinner than your home mat, so it might be worth investing in a yoga towel too.

Ease of carrying: Another important thing to think about is how you’d prefer to carry your mat. Does your yoga bag have a strap to fix the mat onto, or would you prefer to be able to fold the mat into your bag? There are plenty of different options, but have a think about which would work best for you before investing.

The best for travelling to hot countries

Manduka eKO SuperLite Travel Mat

The best yoga kit for travelling

Manduka is famous for its yoga mats and it’s not hard to see why. The mats are designed by yogis and used in over 4,000 yoga studios worldwide, so definitely have the seal-pose of approval. Its eKO SuperLite Travel Mat is a great travel companion – weighing just 2lbs, it’s around 1.5mm thick, making it exceptionally light. At only 68 inches long, you’ll be able to fold it away in your bag with ease.

Made from non-Amazon harvested, natural tree rubber, the mat is sticky even when wet, so despite being thin, you won’t be slipping in downward dog. The closed-cell design means it won’t absorb bacteria, even if you don’t have time to wipe it down before folding it away. It’s also available in a range of colours to suit every style of yogi. The only downside? 1.5mm might be a little too thin for some yogis.

The best for limited space

YOGO Ultralight Travel Yoga Mat

The best yoga kit for travelling

When it comes to portability, the YOGO Ultralight Travel Yoga Mat ticks all the boxes. The attached straps let you fold and fasten the mat up small and pop it, or clip it to your bag with ease. Weighing in at just 2.1lbs, the mat is 1.5mm thick, making it super lightweight. And the origami-style folding means the bottom of the mat isn’t touching the top, making it more hygienic.

Although it’s super thin, it feels supportive and is sticky enough to keep your hands in place, whether you’re practising in a hot studio or on the beach. The attached straps make cleaning the mat easier, as you can hang out to dry on the washing line, or from the shower if you’re travelling. A great buy, the makers of this impressive little mat also plant a tree in Africa for every mat sold.

A good all-rounder

Lululemon The Reversible (Un) Mat

The best yoga kit for travelling

Not only does Lululemon make the most comfortable yoga pants on the planet, it designs mats and props too. This reversible mat is made to be portable and at just 1.5mm thick and weighing 2.32lbs, it’s as lightweight as the Manduka mat. Each side has a slightly different texture – the top is made of a natural rubber that gives you cushioning and grip in a class that isn’t too sweaty. The other side has more texture to improve your grip in warmer, sweatier classes without the need for a towel.

Made from polyurethane and natural rubber, the mat has an antimicrobial additive to help prevent mould and mildew growing on the mat. The mat can be folded and carried with a strap, or folded into a bag. Again, the only downside here is that it might be a little too thin to be comfortable for some yogis.

The best for eco-conscious yogis

Yogamatters Eco Travel Yoga Mat

Best yoga travel mats and towels for your summer escape

This Yogamatters mat has been designed with the environment in mind. Made from sustainably harvested natural tree rubber and free from toxic chemicals and dyes, you can unfold your mat with the knowledge you're looking after the earth.

The mat itself ticks pretty much all of the travel boxes - it's extremely lightweight, weighing just 750g and at just 1mm thick, it's easy to fold away into your backpack. The non-slip rubber surface is grippy enough to prevent slipping, but you might want to use a yoga towel if you're travelling anywhere too hot. Plus it's available in a number of great colours.

The only downsides here are, like other mats this thin, it might not be as comfortable on the joints as your usual mat and that the colours of the mat might fade over time due to the lack of chemical dyes. It's also worth noting the mat has a very plasticky smell when new, but this does fade.

The best for those looking for comfort

Jade Yoga Travel Mat

Best yoga travel mats and towels for your summer escape

Another brand that stands out from the rolls of yoga mats on the market is Jade Yoga. Its travel option is thicker and heavier than the Manduka, weighing 3.3lbs and 3mm thick, but this makes it much comfier. It’s also more expensive than a lot of the other travel yoga mats on the market, but if you’re heading to a retreat, or practising a lot, this will feel more like your mat at home.

Made sustainably with natural rubber tapped from rubber trees, Jade Yoga makes its products with the environment in mind, planting a tree for every mat sold. Although it can be folded, it’s pretty thick, so it’s easier to roll it up.

Available in a number of different bright colours, for every kind of yogi. If you’re worried about the extra weight, Jade Yoga have also made a thinner version of this travel mat, the Jade Voyager, that is lighter and more portable.

The best travel yoga towels

If you are practising on a thinner mat, a yoga towel can help make things more comfortable, as well as helping to keep things from getting too slippery as you sweat. When you’re on the move, a thin, light towel is essential, but unlike the travel towel you might find in a camping shop, a yoga towel will usually be grippy on one side to prevent it bunching up under your feet as you move into warrior three.

The best all-round towel

Yogitoes Yoga Towel

The best yoga kit for travelling

With great absorption thanks to the silicone nubs on the bottom, this Yogitoes towel does not slip, no matter how sweaty your hot yoga class might get. Available in a number of different prints, for every style of yogi, this mat is big enough to be comfortable when practising, but small enough to fit into your bag.

Hygienic and absorbent, the towel itself is made from eight recycled plastic water bottles. The towel can be put in the washing machine and used dry or slightly damp to prevent hands and feet slipping.

The best for hot yoga

Yoga Design Lab The Hot Yoga Towel

The best yoga kit for travelling

A company thought up when practising in Bali, the Yoga Design Lab has a range of eco-friendly, eye-catching yoga mats and towels. The Hot Yoga Towel is a good choice if you’re traveling somewhere warm, as it can be rolled up pretty small and chucked in your hand luggage.

The mat-size towel dries quickly, doesn’t slip and can be put in the washing machine. The bright colours are treated so they won’t fade in the wash, and it adds a nice layer of cushioning if you're traveling with a thinner mat.

The best travel yoga props and carriers

Yogamatters Yoga Mat Strap

The best yoga kit for travelling

A simple, affordable option when it comes to carrying your mat, this Yoga Mat Strap doubles up as a yoga belt for when you’re on the move. The adjustable loops mean this strap can fit any kind of yoga mat rolled up. A yoga strap can also be helpful during practice when it comes to support and alignment in certain postures, no matter what level of yogi you are.

In seated postures, a yoga strap can be especially beneficial when it comes to holding a deeper stretch. Made from cotton, this strap is available in a number of different colours to match your mat.

Yogamatters Pocket-Sized Cork Wedge

The best yoga kit for travelling

A miniature version of a traditional yoga block, if you regularly use one in your practice, this pocket-sized wedge is perfect for travelling. Made from cork, the lightweight block weighs less than 1lb.

Traditionally used in yoga classes to prevent hyperextension, yoga blocks can help beginners to find their way into poses when their flexibility isn’t quite there. This non-slip yoga block will not distort under bodyweight and has rounded edges for comfort.

Sweaty Betty All Sport Backpack

The best yoga kit for travelling

If you’re looking for a practical way to carry your yoga mat with you, this Sweaty Betty backpack has in-built straps for your mat to save you carrying a separate bag. The lightweight scuba-style fabric means you won’t be weighing yourself down and the adjustable straps protect your spine.

The bag itself has six pockets (two on the outside, three inside) to help organise the most disorganised yogi. It’s big enough to take away for a weekend retreat, but light enough to carry on your commute to your after-work yoga class. It's available in black and grey, but if this isn’t quite enough for your lifestyle, Sweaty Betty also do a larger tote bag that has the same handy straps to fix your yoga mat to.

The best travel yoga accessories

Manduka Mat Wash Travel Spray

Best travel yoga mats and towels: Light, compact and eco-friendly

When you've spent loads of money on your dream trip to some far-flung paradise across the globe, spending a bit of extra cash to make sure your mat stays fresh and clean for the whole trip is well worth the investment.

This mini mat wash from Manduka is small enough to stick in your hand luggage and means that you can keep your yoga mat clean and fragrant, regardless of how sweaty your sessions get. Just spray it a few times and leave it to soak for five minutes. Then, using a damp cloth, scrub the surface and leave to air dry.

It also comes in five fragrances and is made from both a biodegradable formula and organic essential oils. Make sure you check the individual bottle to see the type of mat it's designed for as the different options are best used with specific mat fabrics.

Nabaiji Small Microfibre Towel

Best travel yoga mats and towels: Light, compact and eco-friendly

If you're heading away for a yoga retreat then the chances are it's going to be somewhere warm. Instead of lugging around a full-size towel to wipe the sweat off, pick up one of these mini microfibre towels. Not only will it fit in any sized bag you might be carrying but it's made from an impressively soft material that dries within minutes.

A little fabric loop means you can fold it up and keep it secure while the range of color options means that you can match it with whatever style you're going for on your trip. Not bad considering it's the same price as a glass of wine.

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