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Aurorae Synergy Review

Great for hot yoga or people who like to use a towel over their mat.
Aurorae Synergy
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $70 List | $59.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Great traction when wet, easy to care for when doing hot yoga
Cons:  Not as much cushion as a regular 5mm mat, somewhat slippery when dry
Manufacturer:   Aurorae
By Cam McKenzie Ring ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 28, 2016
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75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 13
  • Comfort & Stability - 20% 5
  • Portability - 20% 8
  • Durability - 20% 8
  • Traction Dry - 15% 7
  • Traction Wet - 15% 9
  • Ease of Care - 10% 9

The Skinny

If you practice Bikram or other hot yoga styles, you've probably experienced the following things: your mat stinks no matter how much you rinse it off in the shower or spray it with de-funkifiers; your towel is constantly bunching up on your mat during class and distracting you; your yoga bag looks like you're going on an expedition; and you're tired of lugging a mat, a towel, and another towel for afterwards to the studio day in and day out. If this applies to you, then prepare to be released from this endless cycle of schlepping and stinkiness with the Aurorae Synergy mat/towel combo. We didn't even realize how much we've wanted something like this until we tried it for the first time. This mat is sleek and compact, absorbs every drop of sweat you produce, and when you get home you simply throw it in the washing machine, and it comes out fresh as a daisy every time! The upper towel is not too slippery (for those that practice hot Vinyasa styles and need some traction), and the total 5mm thickness is perfect for practicing on a carpet or a wood floor. If you're not into hot yoga, you'll be better off with a more traditional mat like the Manduka eKO, our Editors' Choice winner. But for those heat junkies out there, this is the solution for your yoga-woes and our Top Pick for Hot Yoga.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Aurorae Synergy is a yoga mat/towel hybrid. It has a microfiber towel top surface that is bonded to a PER (Polymer Environmental Resin) bottom. The overall thickness is 5mm, and the mat is 72 inches long and 24 inches wide. It weighs 3 lbs 10 oz and comes in Amethyst, Emerald, Onyx and Lapis colors. It also comes with a two-year guarantee if purchased from Aurorae and not a third party reseller.

Performance Comparison


Our Top Pick for Hot Yoga will turn your practice upside down! No more fiddling with a towel during your practice because it's bunching up on you  and no more stinky mat and funky buildups. This mat is great for all styles of hot yoga.
Our Top Pick for Hot Yoga will turn your practice upside down! No more fiddling with a towel during your practice because it's bunching up on you, and no more stinky mat and funky buildups. This mat is great for all styles of hot yoga.

Traction Dry


The Aurorae Synergy didn't have the best marks of the bunch in the Dry Traction category. The chart below outlines how each mat scored in this metric, with the Synergy landing towards the bottom of the heap.


If you lay this mat out in a room temperature studio (70-75 degrees F) and try to do a Sun Salutation, you're not likely to be impressed with its dry traction. The microfiber towel upper does not have the same stickiness as some of the other impressive mats in this review, like the Manduka eKO and the Jade Harmony Professional. As a result, you might find your hands or feet slipping a bit in poses like Downward Facing Dog or Runner's Lunge. However, when you unroll this mat in a heated room, the added humidity instantly makes the towel stickier, and we had fairly good traction even before the sweat started flowing. If you only practice the Bikram-style of hot yoga, then the dry traction is not even really much of a concern, as there are few oppositional poses done on the mat that require much traction. But for other Vinyasa-styles where you do (what feels like) a million Sun Salutations, good dry and wet traction is important.

Pro Tip
If you plan on using this mat in a regular or gently heated room, try spraying the hand and feet areas with water prior to use. This will increase the traction and make some poses feel more secure.

There's no question that the dry traction on this mat does not compare to a regular sticky mat. You'll probably find your feet slipping in a lunge or your hands sliding in Downward Facing Dog. But as soon as the mat gets a little wet or is in a humid room  the traction increases dramatically.
There's no question that the dry traction on this mat does not compare to a regular sticky mat. You'll probably find your feet slipping in a lunge or your hands sliding in Downward Facing Dog. But as soon as the mat gets a little wet or is in a humid room, the traction increases dramatically.

Traction Wet


This mat shines in the wet traction category, as shown in the chart below.


The temperature inside the hot room is blazing, and you've dripped a gallon of sweat onto your mat. Now you'll discover the real advantage of this mat/towel combo. The traction increases a lot, which is the opposite of most other sticky mats in this review, with the exception of the Lululemon The Reversible Mat. But unlike using a separate towel over a regular mat, you don't have to deal with the towel shifting around or bunching up underfoot. Also, the entire bottom of the Aurorae Synergy's towel is bonded to the mat, unlike the Kulae Elite Hot Hybrid, which is only attached around the edges. This also results in better traction, with no bunching of the towel under your hands.

If you don't practice in a heated room but still like the concept of a towel/mat hybrid because you sweat a lot regardless of the temps  then try squirting a little water under your usual hand and feet position  as this increases the traction a lot.
If you don't practice in a heated room but still like the concept of a towel/mat hybrid because you sweat a lot regardless of the temps, then try squirting a little water under your usual hand and feet position, as this increases the traction a lot.

Comfort and Stability


The overall thickness of this towel/mat is 5mm, which means that it will offer slightly less cushion than a full 5mm mat. We could feel the difference comfort-wise between this mat and the plusher Lululemon The Reversible Mat, particularly when practicing on a wood floor and doing poses on our bellies or knees. The Aurorae Synergy does offer more cushion than the Kulae Elite Hot Hybrid, which is only 4mm thick, so if you know you need some extra cushioning on your bones or joints, this mat is a better bet. It's also very stable, which is key to doing poses on one leg, like Dandayamana Janushirasana (Standing Head to Knee) or Tuladandasana (Balancing Stick), and not too squishy underfoot.


Pro Tip
If you have trouble keeping your balance during one-legged standing poses, try stepping to the side and doing them off your mat to see if that makes a difference. Even slim padding requires your feet to make micro adjustments and can throw your balance off.

Tuladandasana (Balancing Stick Pose) and other balancing poses can be difficult to accomplish on a squishy or too thick mat. This one provides just the right amount of stability for balancing poses  but is not as comfortable as a full-thickness sticky mat.
Tuladandasana (Balancing Stick Pose) and other balancing poses can be difficult to accomplish on a squishy or too thick mat. This one provides just the right amount of stability for balancing poses, but is not as comfortable as a full-thickness sticky mat.

Durability


If you're wondering how this mat could stand up to repeated washings without falling apart, you're not alone. Both this and the Kulae Elite Hot Hybrid raised some eyebrows when we first started using them. They have similar (if not identical) bottoms, so some of what applies to one mat will apply to the other). But after dozens of uses and washes we can report that they are both still in really good shape. For the Aurorae Synergy, we noticed some dirt and grease stains on the mat (which may have come from a washing machine), but a little stain remover resolved that issue. The one issue that wasn't resolved was that we folded it to fit it in a suitcase for travel, and the mat now has a permanent crease down the middle. The Kulae model did not get this, perhaps because the towel and bottom are not bonded throughout the mat.


While we experienced some fading of the colors on both brands, we didn't notice much wear, and we used these mats extensively. We even had one tester complete a 30-day challenge on the Kulae (30 classes in 30 days!) and noticed no cracking or flaking on the bottom, and then we used the Synergy for an entire year at least once a week (washing it each time) and it is still in great shape as well. Finally, the Synergy does come with a two-year warranty, which is unheard of in the yoga mat world, so you can rest assured that your product will be replaced if it does start to fall apart.

One day these stains just appeared on the Aurorae (were our feet that dirty?!)  but a little stain remover and they were gone. What will not go away is the crease down the middle from folding it to fit in a suitcase.
One day these stains just appeared on the Aurorae (were our feet that dirty?!), but a little stain remover and they were gone. What will not go away is the crease down the middle from folding it to fit in a suitcase.

Portability


The Synergy is one of the most portable mats in our review. Check out how it ranked in the portability chart shown here.


The Synergy wasn't the lightest or smallest mat in the review, but remained the one of the most portable largely for what it replaces. At 3 lbs 10 oz, it is heavier than the Prana E.C.O. and Hugger Mugger Earth Elements (2 lbs 1 oz), but since it's replacing an extra towel we ended up with a lighter yoga bag overall. This mat is also a pound heavier than the Kulae Elite Hot Hybrid and rolls up slightly thicker, but we felt this extra pound was worth it considering the added cushioning that it provides.

Mat/towel hybrids help de-clutter your yoga bag. The Kulae (back  black) is slightly thinner and lighter than the Aurorae model (front  green)  making it even that much easier to tote around.
Mat/towel hybrids help de-clutter your yoga bag. The Kulae (back, black) is slightly thinner and lighter than the Aurorae model (front, green), making it even that much easier to tote around.

Ease of Care


It doesn't get much easier than this mat when it comes to Ease of Care. Simply load it into your washing machine (front loader is best, but a top loader will still work), and hang it to dry. Yes, you do need to wash it every time you do hot yoga on it, or less often if not practicing in a heated room. Compared to wrestling a traditional mat in a washtub or spraying it down with diluted tea tree oil and hoping that does the trick, at least you know your mat is getting a deep clean every time you put it in the washing machine without having to use any elbow grease on your part. This eliminates the buildup of funky odors and organisms, a bane of hot yoga enthusiasts, and is seriously hassle-free. Note that we mostly tested these mats during a Las Vegas summer, and so a few hours outside (in the shade of course) was enough to dry the mat, but depending on your season and climate it may take a full day for this mat to dry. We used it two days in a row on a trip up to the Pacific Northwest, and on the second day, the mat was still a little wet and squishy underfoot as it didn't dry out completely. For that reason, you'll probably want to invest in two of these mats if you have a daily heated practice.


Best Applications


If you don't practice yoga unless it's at least 100 degrees in the room with 40 percent humidity, then this is the mat for you, particularly if your studio has wood floors, as this mat offers slightly more cushion than the Kulae Elite Hot Hybrid. The way that the entire towel is bonded to the bottom mat makes this one better for hot Vinyasa styles as well.

While this mat was designed for hot yoga practitioners  it does make Rabbit Pose a little awkward. Either ditch the assisted grip in this pose  or use a hand towel instead.
While this mat was designed for hot yoga practitioners, it does make Rabbit Pose a little awkward. Either ditch the assisted grip in this pose, or use a hand towel instead.

Value


It's hard to accurately determine this mat's value because its price keeps changing! Since we've started this review, we've seen the list price fluctuate between $70 and $90, and the actual price between $50 and $60. If you can get this mat for the lower end of the price range then it is indeed a good deal, as you are getting two products for the price of one. Even at the higher end, this mat is not excessively expensive, but it's not going to last for years like the Manduka PRO does.

Two for one! This mat/towel combo is a good deal compared to purchasing each separately  though you may have to buy two if you practice a lot.
Two for one! This mat/towel combo is a good deal compared to purchasing each separately, though you may have to buy two if you practice a lot.

Conclusion


The Aurorae Synergy mat, like hot yoga in general, is not for everyone. If you practice a Vinyasa-style in a non-heated room, then our Editors' Choice winner, the Manduka eKO, or several other mats in this review, are all a better choice. But, if you've jumped on the hot yoga train and love to sweat while you practice, then this mat is a game changer. Not only is it easier to care for than a stinky traditional mat, but it's much nicer to practice on, as you'll never have to re-adjust your towel again. This is, hands down(ward dog), the best mat for hot yoga available today.


Cam McKenzie Ring