Gaiam Travel Yoga Mat

Yoga:  The Greater TraditionIf you’ve ever tried dragging your yoga mat along your travel adventures, you’ve probably experienced how cumbersome and awkward they can be. They take up a lot of space and because of the shape and size, they simply don’t easily pack into a suitcase nor are they easily carried onto planes, even if they are stored in a mat bag. 

Luckily, there are yoga mats created specifically for traveling yogis and yoginis, like the Gaiam Travel Yoga Mat.
They are packable and (surprisingly) washable – a feature we particularly like as germy and smelly yoga mats simply aren’t en vogue. We took this particular mat and packed, unpacked, used (repeatedly), washed and rewashed and put to the test to see how it would hold up.

Here’s the scoop.

This mat is washable…as in you can put it into the washing machine to get it clean. That whole concept is simply amazing to me as cleaning yoga mats really isn’t my favorite thing to do. Being able to toss it into the washer seemed so easy and well, easy!

The mat has a sticky underside and a softer cloth-like cotton topside. The underside doesn’t slide which is a big plus and the top side is nice but does tend to attract dirt, lint and dust. But, hey, it’s washable! And, it did hold up nicely in the washer. I washed mine with bath towels and hung it to dry (as specified in the care and use directions on the packaging). It didn’t fall apart or fray or come out any other way than clean.

Since this is a travel mat, the biggest plus is that it is super packable. I folded this mat into about a 6 inch square just to see how small it would go. It easily folds into the perfect size for a suitcase or carryall. It will even fit into a big purse with plenty of room left for other necessities when needed…I did this on the fly one day and it worked out perfectly. The only downside, I can find is the thickness or lack thereof. Since it’s a travel mat, it’s not cushy or thick. It’s great on a carpeted floor but not so fabulous on wood or tile. You lose some of the luxury of a thicker mat, however, you gain the luxury of a portable easy to pack mat.

All in all, I liked this mat, a lot…especially in hot yoga. I missed the thickness of a regular mat but liked that I didn’t need a mat towel. The cloth-like cotton topside took the place of my regular mat towel. It works fabulously in a hotel room and it works as a nice barrier between you and the ground if you feel inspired to practice while waiting on the subway or in a city park on a nice day. It would be easy to throw in a carryall or tote bag for plane, bus or train travel.

Anyone else use a travel mat? If so what are your experiences?

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