Can You Bring A Yoga Mat On A Plane?

lady carrying a yoga mat

Yoga has become an incredibly popular workout and way of relaxing. If you’re traveling by air and want to do yoga on the go then you’ll need the right equipment.

But this leads many people to ask can you take a yoga mat on a plane?

A lot of airlines won’t allow passengers to take a yoga mat into the cabin so you won’t be able to take it as part of your carry-on luggage. However, it’s possible to check your yoga mat and still take it with you on your journey. 

Taking A Yoga Mat As Hand Luggage

If you were to ask a TSA agent about taking a yoga mat on a plane as carry on then you probably wouldn’t be met with much conflict.

Yoga mat as hand luggage
Take a yoga mat as hand luggage

That’s because, according to TSA guidelines, you are permitted to take a yoga mat in your hand luggage.

But it’s worth keeping in mind that individual airlines are allowed to enforce their own rules and more often than not, you’ll be asked to check your yoga mat if you want to take it with you.

The reason for this is that most yoga mats fall outside the standard carry-on luggage size and are considered too big to be transported in the cabin.

In most instances, you will be asked to check your yoga mat. But if you’re flying internationally, this isn’t much of an issue as the checked baggage allowance is usually pretty generous. 

If you’re flying on a budget airline or short haul then the chances are that you won’t have a suitcase to check and paying the extra fees just to check a yoga mat might be a bit extreme.

In this case, I’d suggest using a foldable travel yoga mat. 

Taking A Yoga Mat As Checked Luggage

If you want to take your yoga mat with you on vacation, a business trip, or visiting family by air then you’ll more than likely need to check it.

Yoga mat airlines packing
Yoga mat airlines rules

Short of rolling or folding your mat to fit into your carry on, this is your only option.

When taking your yoga mat as checked luggage, you will first need to ensure that you have a bag large enough to contain it.

The best way to approach packing it is to find a suitcase for all of your checked luggage and lay the mat diagonally across the bottom of the bag, packing your other items around and on top of it.

If your bag is big enough, you may even be able to lay the mat vertically, freeing up more space for other items. 

While yoga mats aren’t typically heavy, they will add some extra weight to your checked luggage.

It is worth keeping in mind that all airlines have a weight limit on your checked baggage and if you exceed this, then you’ll find yourself having to pay an additional fee. 

How To Take A Yoga Mat On A Plane

Some people have a very close attachment to their yoga mat. I’ve been practicing yoga for years and once I found the right mat, I didn’t want to let it out of my sight.

However, for this very reason, I wouldn’t take it on a plane as checked luggage because of the risk of losing it. 

Yoga mat check luggage allowed
Check your yoga mat and take it with you on your journey

But there is a solution; a travel yoga mat! I purchased a foldable yoga mat that comes in a handy carry bag.

It folds down to just a couple of centimeters in thickness and the bag is only around 12 inches so it fits perfectly inside my backpack. This way, I know I can take my yoga mat as hand luggage and not have to worry. 

The yoga mats that roll up are usually much larger than the permitted 22 inch width allowed by most airlines for carry on.

While you could attempt to fold it up and stash it in your carry on bag, this will likely take up a lot of unnecessary room. What’s more, it’ll squish your mat into an awkward shape and leave it creased at the other end of your trip. 

I know that a lot of people complain that travel yoga mats aren’t as comfortable due to how thin they are. But this can be helped by adding some padding.

Plus, if you’re only using them for a few sessions, it’s often something you can just grin and bear.

Final Thoughts

If you’re a yoga fanatic then taking your yoga mat with you when you travel is a must. This allows you to keep up with your practice but you have to consider whether you can take your yoga mat on a plane. 

Unless you’re using a foldable travel yoga mat, traditional rolled up mats will likely be too big to take as carry on. Most airlines have restrictions on the permitted size of carry on and most yoga mats fall outside this. 

It is possible to check your yoga mat along with your other luggage. Just be sure to pack it properly and make sure that its presence doesn’t cause the weight of your bag to go over the limit.

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