If you’re going on a yoga retreat or just plan to keep your practice up while on vacation, buying a travel mat that’s easy to pack—yet still able to support you through every asana—isn’t a bad idea. But unlike the mat you unfurl on the reg, the one you take with you on a trip typically needs to meet different criteria, according to the pros.
“Under three pounds is always the mark I look at in a good travel mat,” says Chris Willey, founder of Yoloha Yoga. That’s lighter than most laptops, and ensures that it won’t overload your luggage—even if you’re a carry-on only kind of traveler.
Unlike the mat you unfurl on the reg, the one you take with you on a trip typically needs to meet different criteria.
Look for a thinner mat that can “be folded to fit into travel bags,” suggest Joanne Sessler, VP of product at Manduka. It’ll take up less space in your suitcase than if you rolled it. Plus, you can always add extra cushion by using a towel or opting to practice on the grass, sand, or carpet of your hotel room.
And while going for a dark colored mat that hides dirt might seem like a safe investment, according to Willey, choosing a light-hued one is actually the better choice—especially if your itinerary includes backbending beneath the sun. “If you’re traveling to a tropical location then your mat, [if it’s dark], turns into a 200-degree surface that you’re trying to stand on,” he warns. Take note of your destination’s climate before purchasing your mat and check out the six options below that pass these pros’ tests.
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If you’re about to travel, here are 4 yoga poses for better sleep (bye jet lag!) and 5 more asanas that’ll help boost your immune system.
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