If you've been following my blog for a bit you may have noticed that I've been traveling a lot lately. Last night I took another flight (to Germany, woop!), so I thought a little travel mat guide would be appropriate. Last year, I reviewed the Manduka travel mat, but to be honest, it has absolutely zero thickness and a pretty poor grip compared to what's on the market.
Today I'm checking out the following three:
Jade Yoga Harmony mat: An eco-friendly , non-slip mat with firm cushion. It should be noted that this is not marketed as a travel mat, but recently in my travels I've met people who swear by the mat, so I figured I'd give it a try.
Prana Travel Mat: A super lightweight, easy to travel with mat that I took to Costa Rica with me.
Khataland YoFo Mat: A super lightweight mat that comes with a travel bag. It comes pre-folded and embossed lined where the folds go, so when it lays flat you see the lines (see below). I was curious to try this one, as I wasn't sure whether or not those lines would bother me. (They didn't.)
Gaiam Reversible Travel Yoga Mat/Towel: A reversible, extremely lightweight mat that would be really easy to travel with. It's got two different surfaces, and at one one pound, could be tossed in a carry on before a flight.
Jade yoga: This one has, hands down, the best grip. The open cell natural rubber basically makes your hands feel like they're glued on the mat. You're not going to slip or slide anywhere!
Prana: This travel mat is a pretty good grip thanks to the zig zag design. The material of the mat is pretty pliable though, so you may start to slip after your third or fourth deep breath in downward facing dog.
Khataland: The surface of this travel mat is like your run-of-the-mill mat - it's definitely a sticky mat and will give you a standard grip but if you're going to be sweating, the grip will be compromised.
Gaiam: This mat is reversible. One side is microfiber and the other side is a natural rubber. This one seems to be a good bet for a hot yoga class or those who sweat a lot because the friction between the sweaty hands and the mat will keep you in place. However, dry hands may not do as well.
Thickness & Weight
Jade Yoga: 4.8 pounds
Prana yoga: 2.5 pounds
Khataland: 2.5 pounds
Gaiam: 1 pound.
So...how feasible is it to travel with these bad boys? I rolled or folded the mats as tightly as I could to show you how I'd put them in my carry on (because #airportyoga). The Jade mat was the most difficult to handle, as it's the thickest and the heaviest. The Prana was a little awkward to fold but no big deal, and the Khataland was nice and neat because it comes pre-folded. The Gaiam mat folds up very nicely as well.
Jade Yoga: $62.95
Jade Yoga: This is my favorite mat of the three, but unless you're going on a road trip, I wouldn't waste precious luggage weight on this mat. It's better for a regular practice, in my opinion.
Prana: This travel mat is a little awkward to fold, especially compared to the Khataland mat, but it's nice and light and has a superior grip to the Khataland mat.
Khataland: This yoga mat is the easiest to travel with (it even comes with a little lightweight bag to carry it in), but when you unfold the mat you have the fold lines and that may bother some people.
Gaiam: This mat is marketed as a yoga towel and reversible travel yoga mat. It seems like it would be good for people who sweat a lot. Without the moisture on your hands, though, I feel like I would be slipping and sliding. One side if a microfiber material and the other side is a sticky material and you can use them interchangeably.
I'd go with the Prana mat. It's the cheapest, doesn't weigh much, and has a better grip than the Khataland and Gaiam.