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Once you’ve got your brand spanking new yoga mat, you’ll want to get a sling to roll up the mat tightly and transport it to the studio and back. Yoga slings may also be referred to as yoga mat carriers or yoga mat straps (not to be confused with stretching straps).
Slings are great because they’re affordable, lightweight, and functional. You just fasten the attachments and toss the yoga mat over your shoulder.
How do you find the best yoga mat straps? What’s the difference between the major brands? Are some more durable than others? Read on as we describe yoga mat slings and present our picks for the top products on the market today!
Yoga Mat Carrying Strap Basics
Yoga mat slings or carriers can be made from various materials and can have buckles, Velcro straps, or other types of attachments. They can also range in length from 3 to 6 feet. Since they’re all different, look for one with good reviews that meets your needs.
In most cases, a basic sling will be suitable. But there are a couple of unique products that you might want to check out, such as Gaiam’s mini-bag sling with a pocket. Scroll down to see our recommended yoga mat slings from reputable brands like Gaiam, Manduka, and YogaAccessories.
Recommended Yoga Mat Slings
Here’s a unique product that’s not just a yoga mat sling but is also a stretching strap! The Tumaz 2-in-1 Mat Carrier comes in several two-toned color combinations, including light and dark versions of pink, green, and blue. It’s a visually appealing product, which is part of the reason it’s one of the best yoga mat carriers on Amazon.
The Tumaz is tightly woven and thicker than many other straps, making it more durable. That durability is what allows it to double as a stretching strap. It comes in 64-inch and 85-inch versions. Given its affordable, price, you can’t go wrong with a budget-friendly product that looks great and serves multiple purposes!
‘Journey On’ is a collection of Manduka products designed for the on-the-go individual. The Journey On Commuter Sling earns high marks for its soft feel, earth tone colors, all natural materials, and lack of Velcro or buckle snaps. It fits any mat, not just those made by Manduka.
The Manduka yoga carrying straps are made from cotton twill, so they’re more sturdy than some of the cheaper sling brands, and they don’t stretch out easily. In terms of color, this item comes in Heather Grey paired with your choice of Sage, Earthen, Bliss and Blush (in other words, teal, orange, grey, and pink.)
Note: If the Manduka sling is unavailable via Amazon, click here to visit the Manduka site, where you can see their entire selection of yoga mat slings.
I’ve been using the Gaiam mat sling for a couple of years now with my Aurorae Synergy mat-towel combo. The strap works great. It fits snug, it’s well-made, and it’s durable. This shoulder sling is quite different from the Manduka Journey On – this one is constructed from polyester, and it fastens with Velcro straps.
It’s also 37 inches long compared to Manduka’s 68 inches, but that’s plenty long enough to hang it from your arm as you travel. This sling works with any mat that can be rolled up to less than 5.5 inches in diameter. The only caution here is that when you buy this sling from Amazon, you receive a random color, any of the three shown in the photo.
Here’s a mat carrier that’s a little different from the others represented here. The Gaiam On-The-Go is basically a mini-bag with a shoulder sling. So it serves the same purpose as any other sling, even if its appearance isn’t the same.
The bonus with the On-The-Go is that it has a little pocket. You can store a wallet, id, keys, and other small valuables inside the pocket. That means you don’t have to worry about bringing a purse or backpack to the yoga studio. How convenient!
This mat carrier comes in three shades of black and gray, and it’s quite affordable. Leave it to Gaiam to innovate and create a cool new product!
The best thing about Bean’s yoga sling strap is the wide variety of colors. It comes in a rainbow stripe version, which is rare for slings, and it’s also available in plain shades of pink, purple, olive, black, sky blue, and others.
Bean Products is not as well-known as the other yoga brands listed, but user reviews are strong for this strap. It’s a no-frills product that does the job. The sling is made from either polyester or cotton (depending on which color you choose), and it connects with a buckle cinch instead of Velcro.
For a budget mat sling, consider YogaAccessories, which manufactures a unique embroidered sling strap (see on Amazon) that is quite affordable. The embroidered pattern adds a splash of style, and the functional strap secures any mat between 1/4 and 1/8 of an inch thick (4 to 6 mm.)
The YogaAccessories sling holds the yoga mat in place with easy-release plastic buckles. If you like the flashy black, purple and blue design, this would be the one for you.
How to Use a Yoga Mat Carrier
If you’re not sure how to use a sling, check out this simple video from Gaiam explaining how to slide the sling onto a rolled-up mat and how to adjust the tension.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Yoga Mat Straps
There’s not a ton of difference between yoga mat straps and mat carriers. They’re all pretty similar in terms of comfort. The main differences would be: appearance, type of clasp, price, and brand reputation.
Manduka and Gaiam, for instance, have been around for years and experienced yogis will tell you that we swear by all their products. So you can expect those straps to last quite a while. Other newer brands don’t have that established reputation, although they do have strong reviews, so take all of that into account.
The Manduka Journey On has strong metal buckles, while other companies go with plastic. That means you may pay a bit more, but the better quality is worth it. Some have plastic buckles that you press to release, while others require you to cinch it tight.
Ultimately, aside from the Manduka, we don’t believe there are huge differences between these products. So you may just want to pick the one that gives you the most joy from looking at it. That’s why Tumaz is a great option – no company comes close to providing as many different color options!