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Become a Digital Nomad

13 Best Travel Yoga Mats for Backpackers and Digital Nomads

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travel yoga mat

One of the best ways digital nomads can relax, self-reflect, and take care of their bodies is with yoga. This ancient art can even increase your productivity! But how do you consistently practice yoga while on the move every few weeks or months? The answer is with a travel yoga mat. 

You’ve seen people walking around cities with colorful yoga mats rolled up and slung over their shoulders. You probably want to be one of those people, right? You see yourself practicing yoga daily, taking time out of the day to quiet your mind and take care of your body. Living a life on the go can make that difficult sometimes, though. 

One way to make it easier to implement this practice into your routine is to pack a travel yoga mat and bring it wherever you go. 

We’ve curated a list of the best travel yoga mats on the market to help you achieve your goals of staying fit, active, and healthy while traveling the world. 

What to Look for in a Travel Yoga Mat

Before diving into the different mats we’ve found, let’s go over what to look for in a yoga mat you plan to travel with. 

Consider the features below when you begin your search for the perfect travel mat. 

Portability

The number one feature you want in a yoga mat that you’ll take around the world with you is portability. Is it easy to pack? Is it easy to carry? Does it fold up and fit in your luggage?

You don’t want to get a mat that will be cumbersome and cause you to feel uncomfortable while traveling. Otherwise, you’ll end up leaving it in one of your destinations for someone else to use so you can travel without feeling burdened. 

Lightweight

Going along with the portability of your yoga mat, you’ll want to make sure it’s also lightweight. With the strict weight limits that airlines impose, you don’t have an ounce (or kilo) to spare! 

Make sure the yoga mat you have your eye on is lightweight compared to traditional mats. You don’t want it to weigh you down as you trek across the world working from your computer

Texture and Comfort

If you practice yoga consistently, then you know how important the texture of a good mat is. The right texture will keep you stable and from slipping if you start to feel the heat in your muscles. So, pay attention to the grip on both the floor and your skin when purchasing a new mat. 

Comfort is also key. You don’t want to feel the hard floor under your knees as you do child’s pose or on your back during happy baby. It should offer some sort of cushion between you and the surface where you’re practicing. 

Thickness

I may contradict myself here when talking about the thickness of a travel yoga mat. Ideally, you’ll want something that isn’t too thick so you can fold and carry it easily. However, you still want it to offer you some cushioning as you’re doing floor poses. 

Size

Of course, you’ll want a yoga mat where you can practice your favorite poses, especially those that expand your body like warrior pose. So, you’ll need a mat large enough for this. 

The average travel yoga mat is 24 inches by 68 inches, which is fairly similar to a traditional mat, just a bit shorter. 

Only you know how much space you have in your luggage while traveling, though. So make sure you find the dimensions that work for your situation. 

Durability

Picking up and moving to a different country or city every few weeks is going to surely cause wear and tear on your luggage and belongings. This means the yoga mat you choose as your travel companion must be durable. It must withstand traveling on buses, planes, and trains and being stuffed inside your luggage.

You’ll want to get the most out of your mat, which means it should be made with high-quality material that will withstand your travels. 

Best Travel Yoga Mat Picks for Digital Nomads

Alright, now that you know what features your travel yoga mat should have, it’s time to give you our list of the best ones on the market. 

Gaiam Foldable Travel Yoga Mat

Typical yoga mats roll up, but not the Gaiam Foldable Travel Yoga Mat folds into a perfect, flat rectangle perfect for your carry-on baggage. When folded, the mat measures 10 inches by 12 inches – you can’t beat that!

This Gaiam foldable yoga mat has a sticky texture to keep you stable and focused during your hardest poses. Plus, you can choose from a variety of unique and colorful designs to enlighten your yoga practice.

  • Size – 68 x 24 inches 
  • Thickness – 2 millimeters
  • Weight – 1 lb

Jade Yoga Voyager Mat

The Jade Yoga Voyager Mat is made with sustainable materials and has an amazing grip thanks to the natural rubber. This mat is perfect for travelers who want to pack their yoga mats in their luggage. It folds into about the size of a yoga block and can fit in a backpack. 

The simple, solid color design is also ideal for minimalist digital nomads who don’t want distractions while meditating and practicing yoga. 

  • Size – 68 x 24 inches
  • Thickness – 1.6 millimeters
  • Weight – 1.5 lbs

Manduka eKOlite Yoga Mat

If you take your yoga practice seriously and have some budget to spend on a high-quality, all-natural mat, then the Manduko eKOlite Yoga Mat is definitely one to consider. This mat is made from natural tree rubber and excludes harsh chemicals and substances, creating a safe and healthy space for your body. 

The surface of the mat is the true selling point, though. With ribbed texture, you can count on a strong grip as you practice your most difficult poses. It’s also easy to keep clean as the dense, closed-cell surface doesn’t absorb sweat. 

This mat is a little longer compared to others and a bit heavier. However, it offers almost double the thickness, which is extremely beneficial to some digital nomads. 

  • Size – 71 x 24 inches
  • Thickness – 4 millimeters
  • Weight – 4.6 lbs

YOGO Ultralight Folding Yoga Mat

One of the best foldable yoga mats a digital nomad can travel with is the YOGO Ultralight Folding Yoga Mat. Made from all-natural, vegan materials, not only is this travel mat extremely practical, but eco-friendly too! 

This mat becomes so easy to travel with thanks to how compact it gets when you fold it and the innovative carrying case. You can fit it in your luggage, or latch it to a backpack with the strap it comes with. 

It’s also super convenient to clean. Simply rinse and wash it in the shower and hang it to dry using the patented straps. Also, due to folding, instead of rolling, the mat, the surface stays cleaner than regular yoga mats. 

Let’s not also forget that for each mat sold, YOGO will plant a fruit-bearing tree. How cool is that?! 

  • Size – 68 x 24 inches
  • Thickness – 1.5 millimeters
  • Weight – 2.2 lbs

Liforme Travel Yoga Mat

If you’re looking for a travel mat that will actually enhance your yoga practice then the Liforme Travel Yoga Mat is your dream come true. With their patented alignment system, you can improve your poses through the guided lines printed on this naturally-made yoga mat. 

Some say that this mat has the best grip in the world, creating stability and foundation for yogis everywhere. This is a huge benefit if you practice hot yoga! Plus, with the extra cushioning (but not so much that it’s bulky) you’ll still protect your knees, hands, and hips. 

  • Size – 72 x 26 inches
  • Thickness – 2.3 millimeters
  • Weight – 3.5 lbs

June and Juniper Travel Yoga Mat

These foldable yoga mats are stunningly beautiful with handpainted designs. The June and Juniper Travel Yoga Mat is reversible, lightweight, and as thick as a credit card. It can fold to be the size of a book or you can roll it up and carry it with the strap included. 

The microfiber and tree rubber material makes it perfect for hot yoga practice and keeping your balance thanks to the superior grip. To keep it clean, you can just throw the travel mat in the washing machine too! 

It’s important to note that this mat does not come with padding, but includes a separate padded piece for knees or elbows. 

  • Size – 70 x 24 inches
  • Thickness – 1.5 millimeters
  • Weight – 2.8 lbs

Hugger Mugger Tapas Travel Yoga Mat

The Hugger Mugger Tapas Travel Yoga Mat is a no-nonsense, minimalist travel mat for yogis who want to continue their practice no matter where they go. You can either roll the mat very tightly or fold it to fit in your backpack or carry-on bag. 

As one of the more economical choices for digital nomads looking to cut costs where they can, this mat is still extremely durable and truly a bang for your buck! 

Pro Tip: To get the best grip, it’s recommended to wash your mat before using it. 

  • Size – 68 x 24 inches
  • Thickness – 1.5 millimeters
  • Weight – 1.4 lbs

Manduka eKO Superlite Travel Yoga Mat

If you liked the first Manduka yoga travel mat we mentioned, then you’re going to love the Manduka eKO Superlite Travel Yoga Mat even better! 

Even lighter than the one we mentioned before, this foldable yoga mat is eco-friendly, supportive, and made from natural rubber. This mat was made to be transported to wherever your heart desires. There is absolutely no excuse why you can’t practice yoga while living as a digital nomad. 

  • Size – 68 x 24 inches
  • Thickness – 1.5 millimeters
  • Weight – 2 lbs

Primasol Folding Travel Yoga & Pilates Mat

The Primasol Folding Travel Yoga & Pilates Mat is uber-versatile and a must-have in every traveler and digital nomad’s luggage. Affordable and portable, this travel mat folds up so nicely that it can fit in a tote bag. 

Easy to clean and durable, you’ll want to make sure you bring this mat with you wherever you go. Whether you’re practicing yoga, doing an ab workout, or simply want a place to sit while at the beach, you’ll never go anywhere without it! 

You can choose from seven different colors to best match your personality too. 

  • Size – 68.1 x 24 inches
  • Thickness – 0.5 millimeters
  • Weight – 2 lbs

Lululemon (Un)mat

If you are a fan of Lululemon, then you already know you can expect their (Un)mat yoga travel mat is incredible. Made from high-quality, eco-friendly material, this reversible, unisex mat is lightweight and perfect for yoga lovers on the go. 

While it does require a bit more care, such as a wipe down and dry after each use, there is an antimicrobial additive to prevent mold from growing. Durable and comfortable to carry around, if you like to stay on-brand with your athleisure wear, you’ll want to look into this mat for sure. 

  • Size – 71 x 26 inches
  • Thickness – 1.5 millimeters
  • Weight – 2.3 lbs

TOPLUS Foldable Travel Yoga Mat

What if you could fold your yoga mat to fit right into its own carrying case and never have to worry about a bulky item in your luggage again? Now you can with the revolutionary (and affordable) TOPLUS Foldable Travel Yoga Mat and its carrying case.

Made from natural tree rubber and suede, this yoga travel mat offers an anti-slip texture to keep you stable and comfort as you practice your poses. The material also allows it to absorb sweat quickly to keep you safe and clean. 

Choose from a variety of unique designs to fit your personality and lifestyle. It’s easy to take care of and one of the most portable travel yoga mats on the market. 

  • Size – 71 x 26 inches
  • Thickness – 1.5 millimeters
  • Weight – 2.5 lbs

Khataland YoFoMat

This extra-large yoga mat comes with a sleek carrying case and is one of the thicker mats available. The Khataland YoFoMat is perfect for those who want to exercise without sacrificing a ton of luggage space and weight. 

Folding to the size of a large book and equipped with an eco-conscious bag, you’re ready for whenever the inspiration hits to strike a yoga pose or two. This mat also makes it easy to align your body while practicing pilates or yoga with its guided touch-felt folding lines. 

  • Size – 72 x 24 inches
  • Thickness – 4 millimeters
  • Weight – 2 lbs

Yoga Design Lab Travel Mat

This innovative Yoga Design Lab Travel Mat also comes with a useful yoga towel. A layer of microfiber material covers a side of the natural rubber mat to absorb sweat while keeping you balanced with a firm grip. 

You can either fold or roll this specific travel mat. However, you can choose thicker mats, a 3.5 or 5.5-millimeter thick mat, depending on your comfort level and luggage space. 

Oh and we also want to note that the microfiber material is made from recycled water bottles – so it’s also a win for being eco-friendly!

  • Size – 70 x 24 inches
  • Thickness – 1.5 millimeters
  • Weight – 3.5 lbs

Can You Bring a Yoga Mat on a Plane?

One question we run into quite a few times is if you can bring your yoga mat on a plane. The answer is yes, especially if you’re traveling with one of the travel mats listed above. 

Since many of them fold to about the size of a large book, you can easily tuck it away in your carry-on bag or backpack. If you decide to travel with a rolled mat, you should consider using a carrying case and bringing it on the plane as a carry-on to store above your seat. 

As long as the dimensions of your yoga mat meet the airline’s policy, you can most definitely bring it on a plane. 

How to Care for Your Yoga Mat

After days or even weeks of searching for the perfect yoga mat to travel with, you’ll want to take care of it to get the most out of it. Constantly folding and rolling it to pack it away on planes, trains, and buses can wear your mat out much more than if you were simply attending classes in your hometown. 

There are special steps you need to take to maintain your mat and keep it in tip-top shape. 

Cleaning Your Mat

A good practice when taking care of travel yoga mats is to clean it after each use. This doesn’t mean washing it thoroughly every time you use it, but simply wiping it down when you’re finished. You can use moist wipes or a yoga mat spray to do this. 

When it’s time for a more thorough cleaning, you can either throw it in the washing machine or scrub it with soap and water. Be sure to read the care instructions for your specific mat to ensure you don’t damage the material. Hang it to dry. 

How often should you deep clean your yoga mat? A good rule of thumb is to do it once a month, especially if you’re an avid practicer. 

Storing Your Mat

My best piece of advice for getting longevity out of your yoga or exercise mat is to store it properly. Get a carrying case to avoid exposure to the sun, dirt, or extreme temperatures while traveling. This will also keep it from ripping or tearing in case it gets caught on something while you’re walking through a train station. 

Pay attention to how you fold or roll your mat, too. Certain mats come with instructions on how to properly fold them, so make sure to follow these instructions as well. 

Get More Digital Nomad and Travel Tips 

Living as a digital nomad means making and learning from your mistakes, but when you’re part of a community, you can avoid a lot of this. Asking questions and interacting with other digital nomads can help you with packing, destination ideas, tax questions, and more!

You’ll get all of that (plus a family of digital nomads) with Nomads Embassy’s exclusive online community. 

Join Our Digital Nomad Community Now

Brittany

When I'm not writing and teaching people how to achieve a location-independent lifestyle, you can find me globetrotting, experiencing new cultures, and working on my amateur photography skills.

Learn more about Brittany

✋Hello world, I’m Brittany!

When I'm not writing and teaching people how to achieve a location-independent lifestyle, you can find me globetrotting, experiencing new cultures, and working on my amateur photography skills.

Follow Brittany on

Learn More About Brittany

Disclosure

We at Nomads Embassy need different ways to make money so we can keep traveling the world to find the newest trends and products that will make your digital nomad life easier, so we promote our favorite products through affiliate links on our blog where we may earn commissions – at no cost to you. Read our full Privacy Policy here.

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