I Asked 13 Airlines How To Travel With A Yoga Mat


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I Asked 13 Airlines How To Travel With A Yoga Mat

Are you planning your next yoga holiday or planning to travel with your yoga mat but don’t know if you can bring it on the plane with you? The two options are to either bring your mat on the plane as carry-on luggage or check it in.

Most airlines will not allow you to have your yoga mat as hand luggage and will ask you to check it in. To be sure, roll up your mat and place it in your suitcase and check that in. In some cases, airlines will allow you to carry-on your yoga mat. To be sure, contact them before your next flight.

So it is worth checking the carry-on bag dimensions to be sure.

There are several things to consider and so for this article, I did a lot of research so as to make this as helpful as possible to all yogis wanting to travel with their yoga mat.

Here’s a quick preview of the best plane travel yoga mats and yoga mat bags:

Travel With A Yoga mat As Carry-On (Hand Luggage)

I have the Manduka pro mat which I have had for almost 10 years. I always add it to my checked-in luggage as I find it too heavy to carry around with me. There are however two downsides to adding it to checked-in luggage:

  1. It is quite heavy (3.4kg) and that means I have to pack less in my suitcase.
  2. It can take up a lot of space in the suitcase.

If you want to travel with your yoga mat as carry-on luggage, you will need to check with the airline you are traveling with.

Most airlines have a specific set of size restrictions for carry-ons. Sometimes there are exceptions for sporting equipment, so do be sure it is worth contacting your airline and asking them.

I did a little research and found the dimensions of the most popular yoga mats. The companies I checked were (in no particular order):

  • Manduka
  • Lululemon
  • Jade
  • Gaiam
  • Liforme

Below you will see a selection of yoga mats from these companies, along with the thickness of the mats, their weight, and the width, as the width of the mat is what will determine if we can indeed have it as carry-on luggage. The weight is also important for carry-on luggage as well as if we choose to check it in, due to the weight restrictions on all luggage.

Yoga matthicknessweightwidth
Manduka pro6mm3.4kg/7.5lb66cm/26″
Manduka prolite yoga mat 4.7mm1.8kg/3.9lb61cm/24″
Manduka pro travel yoga mat 2.5mm1.1kg/2.4lb60cm/24″
Lululemon The Reversible Mat 5mm2.38kg/5.24lb66cm/26″
Lululemon Namastay Mat5mm2.6kg/5.7lb66cm/26″
Lululemon The Reversible Mat 3mm1.76kg/3.87lb66cm/26″
Jade Harmony mat3/16″2.3kg/5lb61cm/24″
Jade Elite S3/16″2.3kg/5lb61cm/24″ 
Lifeform yoga mat 4.2mm2.5kg/5.5lb68cm/27″
Gaiam Performance dry-grip5mm4.25lb/9.4lb61cm/24″
Yoga mats and their specifications (thickness, weight and width).

Knowing the specific dimensions of the yoga mats, I then contacted a variety of airlines to see if they would allow me to carry a yoga mat as carry-on luggage with me.

Size of a yoga mat compared to size of carry on luggage on a plane

Can I Travel With A Yoga Mat As Carry-On Luggage?

In order to answer these questions, I did a little research. I contacted 11 different airlines from around the world in order to get an answer that could help out the most people.

What I did is I asked each and every airline the same question. Check it out below and then see their answers.

Delta

Delta doesn’t seem to allow you to bring your yoga mat as carry-on luggage. They allow a standard bag of 22 x 15 inches in the cabin. A rolled-up yoga mat is an average 26 x 6.5 inches, this means that you will have to check your yoga mat in when traveling with Delta.

American Airlines yoga mat

American Airlines allows you to bring your yoga mat as carry-on luggage. They allow a standard bag of 55 x 40 inches in the cabin and so as a rolled-up yoga mat is an average 26 x 6.5 inches, this means that on American Airlines you will have no problem traveling with your yoga mat as carry-on luggage.

British Airways

“The mat would need to be within the dimensions for hand baggage, 56x45x25cm”. You can read more about this here: https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/baggage-essentials/hand-baggage-allowances.

All yoga mats listed above are more than 56cm so for British Airways the yoga mat has to be checked in.

Emirates

“Carry-on dimensions should not exceed 55 by 38 by 20 cm. See more information here: https://www.emirates.com/english/help/faqs/what-is-my-allowance-for-cabin-baggage

All yoga mats listed above are more than 55cm so for Emirates the yoga mat has to be checked in.

Quantas

“Thanks for getting in touch. If this is not within the carry-on dimensions, we’d recommend checking in in: http://bit.ly/1Nfj9mz.”

Quantas allows up to 60cm (and 85cm for musical instruments). So in order to travel with a yoga mat on Quantas the yoga mat can be carry-on luggage.

Jetstar Australia

“Thanks for getting in touch. You can take the yoga mat as checked baggage but not carry on as it would not fit in the overhead lockers”

Easyjet yoga mat

EasyJet doesn’t allow you to bring your yoga mat as carry-on luggage. They allow a standard bag of 21 x 15 inches in the cabin and only if you have purchased an Upfront or Extra Legroom seat. A rolled-up yoga mat is an average 26 x 6.5 inches, this means that you will have to check your yoga mat in.

Ryanair

“Hi, we’d advise checking the yoga mat in as checked luggage in a suitcase/bag.”

Aer Lingus

“Hi, yes you can once it doesn’t exceed our cabin baggage allowance. Full details at http://aerling.us/1fm0Ygq.”

All yoga mats listed above are more than 55cm so for AerLingus the yoga mat has to be checked in.

Air Canada yoga mat carry on

Air Canada allows you to bring your yoga mat as carry-on luggage. They allow a standard bag of 55 x 40 inches in the cabin and so as a rolled-up yoga mat is an average 26 x 6.5 inches, this means that on Air Canada you will have no problem traveling with your yoga mat as carry-on luggage.

Virgin Australia

“For Domestic travel, you are allowed two pieces (small bag or briefcase) or one small bag (plus suit pack or garment bag) as carry-on luggage. When traveling domestically, baggage should also not exceed a total linear dimension (length + width + height) of 105cm. For further information regarding dimensions, please visit our website here: virg.co/8uTLD.”

So for Virgin Australia, the yoga mat can be carry-on luggage.

American airlines

“The mat would need to fit in your carry-on allotment. Here are the dimensions: http://bit.ly/AACARRYON

They do mention: “Soft-sided garment bags up to 51 inches / 130 cm (length + width + height) can also be taken as your carry-on item.” So they may allow the yoga mat to be carried on.

KLM

“Our hand baggage conditions state that the maximum dimensions of one piece of hand baggage are 55x35x25cm (21,5 x 13,5 x 10 inch). You can read more about this here: http://klmf.ly/1j0o6ow. Your accessory may be max. 40 x 30 x 15 cm. The final decision about whether to allow hand baggage is up to our personnel at the airport. It is possible you will be asked to check-in the baggage. If the baggage does not meet the required dimensions this will be against a fee.”

All yoga mats listed above are more than 55cm/21.5 inches so for KLM the yoga mat has to be checked in. However, they do mention their personnel has the final say.

Yoga Mat Bags

For the airlines that allow you to travel with a yoga mat as carry-on luggage, it is worth investing in a yoga mat bag.

Some have additional pockets and this can come in handy when traveling as you can place your travel documents there.

Some tips for finding a suitable yoga mat bag for travel:

  • Try to find a bag that is waterproof.
  • Make sure there are cushioned straps as this will be more comfortable for your shoulders.
  • See if you can get bags with ventilation as this will ensure your mat gets some air and is ventilated even when stored.

Travel yoga mats

Another popular option is to invest in a travel mat. These can be very thin and light and so they can be folded into a square and even fit into a laptop bag!

See below for some options:

Manduka eko® superlite travel yoga mat1.5mm/0.06″1kg/2.32lb61cm/24″
Lifeform travel mat 2mm1.6kg66cm/26″
Travel yoga mats and their dimensions (thickness, weight and width)

One advantage of getting a travel mat is that you can put it into your carry-on bag and thus avoid having to buy a yoga mat bag.

However, one thing I will point out is that travel mats are, for good reason, very thin. This means that if you are practicing on a hard floor, it may make your practice a bit uncomfortable. See if you can practice on a carpet, or on top of a towel, or for the Ashtangis here, perhaps use your cotton rug on top.

What Do I Recommend To Travel With a Yoga Mat?

Well instead of saying what I recommend I will say what I do when I travel.

When I travel with a yoga mat on international flights, I place my mat (Manduka pro mat) in a simple fabric yoga mat bag and place that in my luggage which is to be checked in. You are generally allowed more weight in checked-in luggage on international flights, so it makes sense to add your mat there.

When I travel on domestic flights (or within Europe), I use my travel mat (Manduka eko® Superlite) and fold it into a square and place it in my laptop backpack.

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Alexia Koletsou

Alexia Koletsou is a Level 1 Authorized Ashtanga Yoga Teacher with a Ph.D. in Science Communication. She received her blessing to teach Ashtanga Yoga in 2019, from the Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India, where she has had the honor of practicing with R. Sharath Jois multiple times over the years. She is the owner of her own Shala in Greece and now shares her knowledge on yogamyoldfriend.com and her YouTube channel Alexia K Yoga.

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