Best Yoga Mat Bags

Updated September 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

11 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
157 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best yoga mat bags

Last Updated September 2019

No matter where you are in your yoga practice, carrying your yoga mat to and from class shouldn’t be a balancing act. Rolled up yoga mats unfurl easily and are bulky to carry, especially when you have other yoga gear to tote. The last thing you want to do is arrive to a vinyasa or power yoga class with your arms already tired!

Yoga mat bags solve these and other issues in a number of ways. Minimalist strap-style carriers keep a rolled up mat contained in a sling over your shoulder. Duffel-style yoga mat bags hold your clothes and personal items as well as your mat. Some sling-style bags hold the mat vertically over your shoulder and protect it from the elements, while other styles attach the mat to the outside of the bag, either horizontally or on the side.

There are a plethora of great yoga mat bags on the market, and we’re here to guide you to one that checks all your boxes. For in-depth information on the various styles and features of yoga mat bags, including a peek at our favorites, just keep reading.

If you’re more of a Pilates person than a yogi, no worries: you can use a yoga mat bag or strap carrier for your Pilates mat.

Yoga mat bag styles

If you’re looking for a minimalist and low-priced way to transport your yoga mat, consider a sling strap. Similar in appearance to a yoga strap, this strap has simple metal buckles that harness a rolled up-mat at both ends and sling over the shoulder. A sling strap with padding on the shoulder is particularly comfortable, but be aware that this design won’t protect your mat from the elements, nor is it technically a bag that can hold anything. On the upside, a sling strap can accommodate thicker mats.

A classic sling is an enclosed, cylindrical bag roughly the size and shape of a rolled-up yoga mat. These are often made from canvas, a durable natural fabric. There is a zippered or drawstring opening at one end of the bag for your mat to slide in. Often, this style has cargo pockets on the outside for personal items, like keys or a wallet. An adjustable shoulder strap slings over one shoulder (generally in a vertical orientation), allowing you to go hands-free on your merry way.

If you want to carry more than just your mat and small personal items to yoga, we recommend a duffel or tote-style yoga mat bag. These have either one over-the-shoulder handle or two handles. This style carries a rolled-up yoga mat horizontally rather than vertically like sling styles do. The interior has room for a water bottle, clothes, and even yoga blocks. There may also be an exterior pocket for smaller items.

A backpack yoga mat bag rides on your back like a regular backpack but has a space for a rolled-up mat in a side pocket, which is often secured in place by straps. These backpack-style bags are the most balanced and ergonomic way to transport your mat and yoga gear, and we recommend this style if you bike to class.

There are other inventive yoga bag styles on the market, like ones that attach the mat to the bottom exterior of a gym bag. There are also hybrids of a cloth grocery bag deep enough for a yoga mat and slings that carry mats horizontally.

EXPERT TIP

A standard yoga mat is 26 inches wide and six inches in diameter when rolled up. Check the dimensions of your mat before buying a yoga bag, as a wider and thicker mat will not fit in most standard-size bags.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Most yoga studios charge money for using their in-studio mats. Bringing your own mat to class will save you money and also reduce your risk of contracting a bacterial or fungal infection from an unhygienic studio mat.


Staff  | BestReviews

Yoga mat bag features

Pockets

Pockets are a desirable feature that can be internal or external, depending on the size of the yoga mat bag. Pockets eliminate the need to carry a separate purse for your personal items and help you keep your belongings organized. An open water bottle pocket, usually situated on the bag’s exterior for easy access, is also a nice feature of some yoga mat bags.

Size

If your mat has a width of greater than 26 inches, chances are it won’t fit most standard yoga mat bags. For instance, a rolled-up yoga mat that is 28 inches wide will need a longer bag. Yoga mats that are thicker than average (three-eighths of an inch to one-half of an inch) also require larger bags.

Waterproofing

Arriving to class with a mat wet from rain or snow is not only a nuisance, it can make the yoga floor dangerously slippery. Protect yourself and your mat on your walk or ride to class with an enclosed bag made from water-repellent materials, such as treated canvas or polyester.

Design

Some yoga mat bags have special designs, fabric patterns, or even illustrations, such as a tree or a traditional lotus. Whether you’re going for a modern look, a yogic look, or a minimalist look, there are great options from which to choose.

DID YOU KNOW?

Yoga mat bags are made from durable cloth like canvas, polyester, or neoprene.

Yoga mat bag prices

A yoga mat strap is the cheapest yoga mat carrier. You can easily find one for $7 to $16. A classic sling yoga mat bag may cost from $12 to $25. Roomier bags that fit extra-thick mats may cost up to $29. Tote and duffel-style yoga mat bags start at $25 and go up to $40. The bags on the pricier end tend to have oversized features. Backpack-style yoga mat bags range from $30 to $50. You could also use a bag like this as a regular backpack.

Tips

  • Measure the diameter of your rolled-up yoga mat to make sure it will fit the interior of your chosen bag. A mat one-half inch thick is considered “extra-thick” and may not fit some styles, including the classic sling yoga mat bag.

  • Consider an all-in-one tote or duffel-style yoga mat bag if you’ve been feeling like a pack mule arriving to class with separate bags for your clothes, yoga gear, and personal items. When you only have one bag to bring to class, you’re less likely to leave items behind in your blissed-out post-yoga state.

  • If you’re a busy bee and tend to run errands on your way to or from yoga, consider a versatile yoga tote bag that can fit your rolled-up mat and your carton of almond milk.

  • If you have a micro-thin mat, you can fold it up into a compact square instead of rolling it. This will save space in a backpack-style or duffel-style yoga mat bag.

Other products we considered

If you’re looking for something simple that can carry any size of mat to and fro, consider the Manduka Journey ON Commuter Yoga Mat Strap. This sturdy strap is popular for carrying Manduka brand’s notoriously bulky and heavy mats but will work on any mat, thick or thin. With a sleek minimalist design, its padded shoulder strap won’t cut into your skin.

ELENTURE’s Full-Zip Exercise Yoga Mat Carry Bag is another popular sling-style bag. It’s packed with features we love in a yoga mat bag, like an exterior water bottle pocket, water-repellent fabric, and a side pocket for valuables. Plus, it offers a whopping 30 awesome colors and patterns to choose from, so you’ll be traveling to class in style.

A backpack-style yoga mat bag is better for a bicycle commute, whereas a sling-style bag is better for a crowded bus or train commute.

FAQ

Q. How do I clean my yoga mat bag?

A. Strap-style yoga mat slings are generally machine washable, but always check the care label before washing. If you have a canvas bag, you can throw it in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. Canvas will shrink if exposed to hot water or heat, so be sure to only wash it in cold water, and never put it in the dryer. After washing, reshape the bag and lay it flat to air dry.

For a bag made of polyester or nylon, read the manufacturer’s care label to see if it’s machine washable. If you’re not sure, opt for giving it a sponge bath with a mild detergent and damp sponge. Wipe the interior and exterior of the bag down with a teaspoon of detergent on the sponge. Then, rinse the sponge and go back over to remove any residue from the soap. Air dry the bag as you would a canvas bag.

Q. What’s the best yoga mat bag style for me if I have an extra-thick mat and want to carry yoga props to class?

A. In your case, we wouldn’t recommend the classic sling-style mat bag. For yogis with extra-thick mats, any bag that’s cylindrically shaped can cause a lot of frustration and endless re-rolling of the mat to get it slim enough to fit. Do away with that angst by investing in a duffel-style yoga mat bag. These tend to be the roomiest yoga mat bags and have space for yoga blocks or a blanket. They’re basically gym bags designed for yogis.

Q. I go to hot yoga. How can I keep my yoga mat bag hygienic?
A. To avoid bacteria buildup in your bag, wipe the interior down with disinfectant wipes after removing your sweaty mat. Consider getting a packet of wipes to store inside your bag. If you’re a frequent hot yoga practitioner, we recommend washing your bag once a week.

The team that worked on this review
  • Ana
    Ana
    Writer
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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