These lightweight, foldable mats are perfect for packing.

By Richelle Szypulski
June 21, 2019
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A yoga flow is one of my very favorite ways to unwind, both on the road and at home. And I've found that a few sun salutations and hip- and heart-opening poses work wonders for my post-plane body and mind.

What I don't love is trying to get my flow on without enough grip or support; hence, my hunt for the perfect travel yoga mat. I set out to find a packable mat that's light and thin enough to be worth bringing, but supportive and sticky enough to keep my hands and feet from slipping and the mat glued to the ground or floor.

Related: You Can Do Yoga Next to Dolphins at This Hotel in Las Vegas

While testing mats, I learned that packability 100 percent does come at the cost of a few knee bruises here and there from a lot less padding than I'm used to with my regular Lululemon 5mm mat, but it's pretty easy to fold up a towel or jacket and place it beneath your pointy joints to compensate when necessary.

Below, the best travel yoga mats to pack, whether you’re planning on taking your practice to an Instagram-ready, seaside promontory, a local park, or just the sliver of open space between the bed and the media console in your hotel room. 

Manduka eKO Superlite Travel Yoga Mat

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This T+L editor–favorite mat is only 1.5mm thick — that's thinner than a quarter — so you can easily fold it up and tuck it into your luggage. It’s made entirely from natural tree rubber, so what it lacks in cushion it makes up for in grip, even once your sun B sequence gets you working up a sweat. There’s also a thicker, 4mm version (amazon.com, from $55) available if you like to feel a little more mat density between your Parivrtta Anjaneyasana and the ground.

To buy: amazon.com, from $44

Jade Voyager Yoga Mat

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Another 1.5mm pick, Jade's fold-friendly Voyager mat weighs only 1.5 pounds. It's got lots of grip thanks to its natural tree rubber construction and Jade also plants a tree for every mat that’s sold. For the same travel-ready benefits with a little more give on your joints, you might want to opt for the brand's 3mm-thick Travel Yoga Mat (amazon.com, $65), which is still only about 3 pounds total.

To buy: amazon.com, $40

Sugarmat Travel Yoga Mat Set

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Natural tree rubber makes the underside of this 2.4-pound, foldable mat super grippy and the synthetic suede top is soft and also comes in really stunning marbled and botanical pattern options. I use this one at home sometimes, too, when I’ve got errands to run after class or if I’m meeting a friend for food and don’t want to be lugging a full-sized mat around. It’s also machine-washable.

To buy: amazon.com, from $59

Clever Yoga Travel Yoga Mat

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One of the thinner picks on the list, this 1mm mat feels more like a mat towel when used on its own. I’d recommend it for standing poses, but anyone who likes to have extra padding to cushion the knees likely won’t love how this mat feels after a few rounds of cat-cow. The sweatier you get, the more grip the mat has, so it does make a great option for heated flows. And on that note, this is another one you can toss into the washer and dryer.

To buy: amazon.com, from $33

Om the Go 2-in-1 Neck Pillow and Travel Mat

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I love a good multipurpose travel product. While I don’t think the Om the Go 2-in-1 pillow particularly excels at being a mat, I couldn’t help but give it a shout out, especially if you’re only planning to use it as a towel atop a rented mat or a softer surface like grass, sand, or your hotel room carpet. Though I will say while we're mentioning sand that I’ve also found this mat makes for a great beach towel substitute.

To buy: amazon.com, $60

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