Manduka is the king of yoga mats with legendary premium mats. If you want to take that performance with you on the go, consider the Manduka travel yoga mat called the eko SuperLite. The all-natural rubber Manduka eKO SuperLite Travel Yoga Mat is very portable but has some great features that make it better than many other more expensive yoga mats. Read on for our review of this great Manduka travel yoga mat.
Review of the Manduka eKO SuperLite Travel Yoga Mat
If you are thinking about buying the Manduka eKO SuperLite Travel Yoga Mat, portability is probably one of the main reasons. As you can see in the picture, yes, this mat is ultra-portable. It can be folded down to fit into a backpack, briefcase, or even purse! However, there’s more to this mat than just being easy to fold.
Material and construction
This Manduka travel mat has the eKO designation, which means it is eco-friendly. The mat is all-natural rubber from renewable tree sources using non-toxic foaming agents and color dyes. If you have latex allergies, this mat should be safe. Manduka also takes special care during the manufacturing process to reduce and eliminate industrial waste.
At 1.5mm, the mat is quite thin. Thinner mats will of course be less durable than thicker mats made from the same material. However, the eKO SuperLite is probably the most durable mat for its size and material. A tightly-woven scrim reduces stretches and tears from hard use.
The mat has a top surface with a closed-cell construction to prevent the absorption of dirt or sweat. This also keeps bacteria from lodging in the mat and growing on it. The close-cell construction also makes the mat easy to clean. For best results, it’s recommended that you clean it once a week with warm water and a sponge. If you prefer, you always have the option of using commercially-available wipes and cleaners.
Texture and grip
When it comes to finding the perfect yoga mat, texture is probably one of the most important considerations. In case you’re unaware, a smooth mat gives you more of a gliding experience. A sticky mat gives you more traction. This mat has a “sea-grass” texture, which is said to give you just the right amount of traction necessary.
Everyone agrees that this mat is extremely “grippy” with excellent traction, even up to mild sweating conditions. Of course, under intense hot yoga or other wet conditions, the mat will start to become slippery,. However, even other more expensive premium yoga mats will also have problems with hot yoga. In the case of intense sweat, you can use a yoga towel on top, or consider the specially-designed Clever Yoga LiquidBalance, but at the cost of portability. For regular use, the eKO SuperLite’s grip is excellent.
The Manduka eKO SuperLite Travel Yoga Mat comes in a variety of colors with names like acai, fortitude, new moon, and opal. One thing to note is that some people find that the colors are extremely vibrant, much more so than what they appear on the Amazon pictures. If you don’t like bright colors, you might want to stick with the duller blues and grays.
Size and weight
The Manduka travel mat has dimensions of 68″ x 24″, which is pretty standard for a yoga mat. The magic happens when you fold it. When folded down, the eKO SuperLite can be as small as a standard A4 sheet of paper! The mat weights about 2 pounds, which is light and easy to carry.
The thickness of 1.5mm is good enough for experienced yogis who just need a grippy surface, or for beginners performing basic moves without intense pressure on the knees or elbows. If you want the most portable mat, you will have to sacrifice thickness. There’s no way to get around it. Most people find the thickness suitable.
If you are using the mat on an uneven surface like a carpet or if you slide your limbs along the mat, the mat might shift around a bit. The solution is to use harder surfaces or to move your body straight up and down. Just be aware that a thin and light mat will of course be easier to push around.
This mat does have a noticeable odor, as apparently all Manduka mats do. But there’s a very easy solution to eliminating the smell. Just let the mat air out for a few days and it should be good to go. Many yoga mats have an initial smell. Don’t let this stop you from making your purchase.
Making a featherweight, high-performance travel yoga mat is not easy. You will have to make some compromises on thickness and mat stability. However, the Manduka eKO SuperLite Travel Yoga Mat easily surpasses the performance of many other “regular” mats. If you want a portable yoga travel mat that you can literally fold and carry in your purse, consider this Manduka travel yoga mat. In conclusion, at this size and weight, it really has no other competitors for same quality.
- Extreme portability
- Excellent surface grip
- Very durable
- Environmentally-friendly construction
- Thinner than premium mats
- Some natural rubber smell