Best Travel Yoga Mat I’ve Found: Manduka eKO Superlite Review
Make no mistake about it. Travelers like to do yoga. From your backpacking hippie chick to your fitness-obsessed businessman flying to a new city each week, a travel yoga mat can come in handy.
I tried traveling around with a regular old yoga mat, but things just didn’t work. A regular yoga mat takes up too much space in a backpack or suitcase. You just can’t fold them properly.
So I started looking around for travel yoga mats. I tested a few out before I came across the Manduka eKO Superlite. I did my research and checked out some reviews.
Every person said the same thing – this is an amazing yoga mat, whether you travel or not!
Such a thin yoga mat! Great for the road.
Of course, I threw down a few bucks and bought my very own travel yoga mat – a purple Manduka eKO Superlite. After traveling with this bad boy for over a year, I’m incredibly pleased with the purchase. Here’s why:
Who is Manduka?
A leader in yoga mats and accessories, Manduka was founded in 1997 by Peter Sterios. Sterios was originally an architect, but quickly fell in love with yoga. He dropped his old professional and became a dedicated yogi.
Eventually, Peter Sterios stumbled upon a yoga mat that changed the way he did yoga. The mat was elegant, yet firm with fantastic grip. He found the mat to be so good that he wanted to share it with others.
Manduka was born. Peter named his company after Mandukasana or the frog pose. He quickly began sending out his exceptional yoga mats to some of the best teachers he had practiced with.
These yoga teachers shared his Manduka mats with their students, and the company quickly began to grow.
To this day, many have found that Manduka yoga mats are some of the best in the world – with nearly unmatchable quality, craftsmanship, and performance.
After testing out the Manduka eKO Superlite Travel Yoga Mat, I have to admit that I agree. Manduka makes a great product.
Why a Travel Yoga Mat?
Now, some may ask – why do we need a travel yoga mat? That’s a fair question. Why spend extra money on a mat when you’re on the road? Well, there are a few good reasons to.
First, it’s nearly impossible to find space for a full-size yoga mat in your backpack or luggage. There’s simply not enough space when you roll up one of these mats. It doesn’t work. Trust me, I’ve tried.
A travel yoga mat, like the Manduka eKO Superlite, allows you to fold up the mat to the size of a small laptop. Then you simply slide it into your bag and off you go. A good travel yoga mat will barely take up any space in your luggage, especially compared to a traditional one.
Using the eKO Superlite.
Next, a yogi should always travel with a mat. While many gyms around the world have mats for those practicing, it’s always good to throw down your yoga mat in the hotel room and enjoy a little yoga flow for 8-10 minutes before starting your day.
The Manduka eKO Superlite is also ideal for stretching before and after the gym. I even use the mat to foam roll on every now and then.
What I Love About the Manduka eKO Superlite
Nearly everything. I’m a huge fan of this travel yoga mat, but let’s take a look at the details and see if the Manduka eKO Superlite could be for you, too. Here’s what I love about the travel mat:
Lightweight, Small Size
This travel yoga mat is small. Coming in at only 2 pounds, the Manduka eKO Superlite isn’t going to weigh you down on the road. The mat is full-sized from a length and width standpoint with measurements of 68″ long and 24: wide.
But how is the Superlite so lightweight? The travel mat is only 1.5 mm thick. This yoga mat is super thin, which cuts out all the excessive weight and lowers the eKO Superlite to right at 2 pounds.
Easy to Pack
The eKO Superlite from Manduka won’t take up much space in your luggage, either. And it’s not just because the mat is so thin and light.
Most yoga mats roll up. You can’t really fold them, especially well. The Manduka eKO Superlite is designed differently. You can roll up this travel mat, but there’s another way to pack it.
The eKO Superlite folds up like a piece of paper. You can fold this travel yoga mat up like a book or small laptop computer. Then you just slide it into the area where your computer should be in your backpack. It’s that small.
In fact, a lot of times I fold up the eKO Superlite and then lay it on the bottom of my backpack and lay my folded clothes over it. The travel yoga mat barely takes up any space.
If you’re traveling light, the Manduka eKO Superlite is a dream come true!
I’ve taken this yoga mat to a half dozen countries and used it countless times. The eKO Superlite still looks as good as new. Why? Because this travel mat is incredibly durable due to the detailed construction from Manduka.
Made out of natural grip rubber with closed-cell structure, Manduka focused on designing a tightly woven scrim to increase the durability of the mat. And it worked!
Even with daily practice, this travel yoga mat will hold up for years to come.
Now, some think you have to sacrifice grip when purchasing a travel mat. Manduka made sure that’s simply not true. With natural grip rubber, the eKO Superlite is a sticky and grippy mat. You won’t slip and slide on this mat at all.
If grip is one of the main things you consider when buying a yoga mat, the Manduka eKO Superlite will not disappoint.
Actually Works Well
Sometimes with travel products, you have to make a few sacrifices. That’s just how it goes. If you shrink a product down to a third of its normal size, you’re probably going to lose some type of functionality.
That’s not the case with this travel yoga mat. The Manduka eKO Superlite is such a good mat that many people use it year around – even when they’re not on the road.
Overall, this is an impressive mat – whether you want to travel light or are just looking for the ideal yoga mat for your practice in one specific city.
Manduka is a yoga company that focuses on eco-friendly practices. As such, the eKO Superlite is made with non-Amazon harvested materials like natural tree rubber.
All Manduka materials are natural, biodegradable and eco-friendly.
Look at the focus. The intensity!
Manduka eKO Superlite Yoga Mat Review: Any Downsides?
No product is perfect, especially those designed for travelers. As such, here are a few things the eKO Superlite doesn’t do perfectly:
Not Super Soft
There are softer yoga mats out there. Why? Because most yoga mats are much thicker than the eKO Superlite. This is a minor trade-off when buying a travel mat compared to a regular one.
Personally, I only have minor issues with the thickness and softness when I’m on my knees. For these poses, I use one of these. When standing or sitting, I have no issues.
Priced around $40 USD, the Manduka eKO Superlite isn’t a cheap yoga mat. You can get cheap yoga mats for $10-15 USD online, but they will be big and bulky. As a traveler, these options just didn’t work for me.
Personally, I find the eKO Superlite was well worth the price, especially considering the mat will last 2-4 years due to the incredible durability.
My Recommendations For Travelers
It’s never been easier to travel with a yoga mat. Thes eKO Superlite mats are easy to pack and don’t take up much space. I’ve been traveling with mine for awhile and wouldn’t trade it.
Travel junkie turned blogger. Location independent. From the Midwest, but often based in Latin America. Big on beaches, rumba, and rum. Addicted to the gym. Committed to showing a different style of travel – one that involves actually interacting with locals and exploring different cultures.