Hands up if you’ve felt the frustration from trying to do just a little bit of yoga stretches on a decent surface in your hotel room, only to feel very disgusted, knowing that the carpet is actually really gross, or the floor is never really clean, and your hands have to touch those surfaces in Downward Dog, simply because there’s no other option. Other than that, you’re aware that putting a hotel towel on the floor as your ‘yoga mat’ doesn’t feel like a very thoughtful thing to do.
Also, packing in a rolled yoga mat in your suitcase is not really a good idea, because the rolled mat requires such an odd vertical space. Holding it as cabin baggage also gives you anxiety, wondering whether the airline agent will stop you, or if you’ll ever be able to retrieve it from the overhead compartment once it slips into the depth, or if others will judge you for trying to tell the world that you do yoga. So much anxiety, all from just needing your yoga mat with you on your trip!
I guess I’m still very far from being the detached yogi, hehe.
But all I ask for, is just a mat that I can do a little bit of yoga on when I’m travelling.
To solve this problem, I looked around for foldable travel yoga mat options that are quality ones, instead of what looks like a flimsy, flat rubber mat. These are the two I’ve bought and tried.
Foldable Travel Yoga Mat Review #1:
Where to buy: Direct order online via Amazon, or its company – Khataland
Price: USD$39, excluding shipping (I bought the mat from Amazon at USD$32.49, but after shipping via VPost to Singapore, the price went up to between to S$80-S$100.)
Weight: 2.7 pounds (1.22kg)
Thickness: 1/6″ (4.2mm)
Why this Khataland YoFoMat is worth having
You can always have a clean side to use.
This travel yoga mat is foldable like origami. Compared to yoga mats that are rolled up which guarantees that your mat is NEVER clean, the YoFoMat lets you retain a fixed side for use, so you can ensure that side is always clean which you can lie on. I like to keep the ‘mountain side’ up, which is the logo at the top corner of the mat.
At 1/6″ thick, this travel yoga mat provides excellent cushioning!
It can be used on hard floor surfaces.
You can use it on hard floorings. So far, I’ve only tried it on solid, concrete floor, without carpeting. I used this mat when I went Santorini in winter (read my Santorini low-season guide!).
| Also read: How it was to travel solo in Santorini |
Why this YoFoMat is not perfect yet
- Takes up a significant amount of space in the luggage
- Initially, the mat can feel a little oily for the hands, due to a kind of lubricant applied over the mat
- The folding is origami style. You fold the long part in half, then zip-zag them in until they stack together to be like a cube. For me, I kept the ‘dirty side’ folded as the interior, while the clean side faces the exterior. The mat comes with a mesh ‘briefcase-like’ bag, which is good for air circulation, but I prefer the mat to be contained in a none-mesh bag so that the mat maintains zero contact with my clothes in luggage.
- (Hard to purchase – only available on Khataland’s website or Amazon. When I was seeking this mat, it wasn’t available on popular shopping sites used by Singaporeans such as Lazada or Qoo10, or incredibly expensive (like S$200+).)
When to bring this travel yoga mat for travel
- If you’re going to stay at lodgings without carpeted flooring
- If you can afford the space in your suitcase
- For longer yoga practices during your trips
- To use for yoga retreats if you prefer using your own well-cushioned mat
Foldable Travel Yoga Mat Review #2:
YOGO Ultralight Travel Yoga Mat
Price: USD$61.50 (Check if there’s discount for subscribing to its mailing list, or look out for holiday promotions), before shipping.
Where to buy: Amazon, or YOGO website
Weight: 2.4 pounds (1.o9kg)
Thickness: 0.08″ (2mm)
Material: Natural, forested tree rubber, cotton, and recyclable plastic
Why this Yofo travel yoga mat is worth having
You can always have a clean side to use.
Similar to the Khataland travel yoga mat, this thin mat is also designed to have a clean side. To keep it, fold the longer side into half, then keep folding the length in half in one direction until you can strap the mat together.
It rolls up small and can be kept easily inside your bag.
As long as you’re not just bringing a tiny cabin bag, this mat takes up a small amount of space in your luggage.
It can be used on different floor surfaces, or over other mats.
The YOGO mat is flexible enough to be used on hard floorings, or even uneven surfaces like the grass or the beach. So far, I’ve tried it on concrete floor, when I went Bangkok for some alone time. This mat is flexible enough to be placed on top of another yoga mat too, if you prefer that at studios.
The grip is amazing.
The mat has a lot of friction – your fingers will not slip.
Cleaning is easy.
You can hang it over your shower curtain rod and spray water using the showerhead or hose. This mat is designed to be hung and dried. For me, I simply used a damp cloth to clean it.
Why this YOGO Mat is not perfect yet
- It’s really thin. It feels like there’s no padding at all, causing my knees to feel strained if I didn’t place them on the mat without towels to cushion.
- Although the grip is good, the surface is rough. You can’t smoothly slide your feet to go from half-split to full-split – go gentle and slow or risk your skin being scraped.
- It doesn’t come with a bag. A cloth bag would be excellent so that I can keep it in my suitcase without having the mat come in contact with my clothes 😉
- (Difficulty in purchasing. The website had mentioned that a sports boutique in Tokyo carries their mats. I went searching in Ebisu but the address led me to an office. In the end, I ordered via Amazon. It was then sent to my brother who was in New York, and he brought it back for me.)
When to bring YOGO mat for travel
- For hotel room stays and lodgings with carpeted flooring.
- On outdoor trips, with sand and grass. The sand and grass will provide the additional cushion.
- If you only intend to have short yoga practices during your travels.
- For attending yoga classes overseas, if you don’t wish to rent yoga mats or if you prefer placing your own over another mat. Yoga retreats are fine too, as long as you note the thinness of this mat!
YoFo or YOGO: which foldable travel mats are better?
Both travel yoga mats come with their pros and cons, depending on your needs. Personally, if luggage space is not an issue, I would prefer to practise on the Khataland Yogo mat due to the extra cushioning! In terms of convenience and overall design as a travel mat, YOGO is the better candidate.
How about you? Do you use any travel yoga mat and love it?
This is not a paid review. All opinions, as always, are my own.
Information credits: Khataland • YoGo • The Grommet
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