Hands-on Gear Review

Hugger Mugger Earth Elements Review

Hugger Mugger Earth Elements Eco
Price:  $55 List | $40.93 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, good wet and dry traction, comfortable
Cons:  Mat sheds material a bit, creases and marks easily
Bottom line:  Good value for the money, though the same mat can be purchased for less from Prana.
Editors' Rating:   
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Materials:  TPE (Thermal Plastic Elastomer)
Weight (lbs):  2 lbs 1 oz
Length (in):  72
Manufacturer:   Hugger Mugger

Our Verdict

The Hugger Mugger Earth Elements mat is a great all-around mat. It has good wet and dry traction, and the closed-cell construction will prevent the mat from absorbing moisture and getting the dreaded yoga mat "funk." This mat is nearly identical to the Prana E.C.O.; it has the same two-color construction, the same pattern on one side, and even the same brown paper packaging, but Hugger Mugger has priced their version $7 higher than the Prana one. If you love this brand, or their current color choices, then by all means purchase this one, but you can get the same exact thing for less elsewhere.



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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Cam McKenzie Ring

Last Updated:
Friday
October 28, 2016

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The Hugger Mugger Earth Elements mat is made from lightweight TPE (thermoplastic elastomer). It's non-toxic, biodegradable and recyclable, according to Hugger Mugger. It is 72" long by 24" wide, and 5mm thick. It weighs 2 lbs 1 oz and comes in Violet, Sky, and Teal color options.

Performance Comparison


This mat has lots of cushion  but is not all that stable. It also doesn't always like to lie flat  which you can see on the left-hand side of this photo.
This mat has lots of cushion, but is not all that stable. It also doesn't always like to lie flat, which you can see on the left-hand side of this photo.

Traction Dry


This mat has great traction, and was only outdone by the Lululemon The Reversible Mat, Jade Harmony Professional, and our Editors' Choice winner, the Manduka eKO. The raised design and compressible material help your hands stay in one place on the mat when in poses like Downward Facing Dog. Note that we tried out both sides of this mat — there is a different textured design on each side — but they felt very similar and we couldn't decide which was supposed to be the top and which the bottom.

This mat is reversible  and they feel very similar in terms of their traction  so it's up to you which side you prefer to practice on.
This mat is reversible, and they feel very similar in terms of their traction, so it's up to you which side you prefer to practice on.

Traction Wet


Like most mats, traction decreased slightly on this one once our hands got sweaty. If you practice hot yoga, you'll want to use a towel on top of this mat, or consider a mat/towel hybrid like our Top Pick for Hot Yoga, the Aurorae Synergy.

Once we sprayed the mat with water  the traction decreased somewhat.
Once we sprayed the mat with water, the traction decreased somewhat.

Comfort & Stability


This mat sacrifices some stability in favor of comfort. It is nice and squishy, which is great when doing seated posed or poses on your knees, like Ustrasana (Camel Pose), but not so good for one-legged balancing poses. It is also so light that it might shift around on you during your practice. If you want something with both comfort and stability, then the Manduka eKO and Manduka PRO are the way to go.

This mat is soft enough to cushion your bones and joints in seated poses  but it is not very stable due to it being so light.
This mat is soft enough to cushion your bones and joints in seated poses, but it is not very stable due to it being so light.

Durability


We used the Prana version of this mat over several years, and it mostly holds up well. The main things to be concerned about are creasing and cracking. The TPE material holds creases in it, so if it gets folded in half or hung up over an irregular object, it will be permanently marked. Just be sure to store it carefully and not place a stack of heavy mats over it, and it should last a long time.

This mat creases easily (and they will not go away)  so be careful how you store it (upright lightly rolled without anything on top of it).
This mat creases easily (and they will not go away), so be careful how you store it (upright lightly rolled without anything on top of it).

Portability


This mat, along with the Prana E.C.O., are the lightest full-sized mats that we tested in this review. At 2 lbs 1 oz, you'll barely notice it in your gym bag; however, it doesn't always roll up very small, and once it is used a lot it doesn't like to stay rolled up either. If you need something lightweight for fitting in your suitcase when you travel, check out the Gaiam Foldable instead.

The Hugger Mugger mat is lightweight  but it doesn't roll up compactly and takes up as much space as a much heavier mat.
The Hugger Mugger mat is lightweight, but it doesn't roll up compactly and takes up as much space as a much heavier mat.

Ease of Care


The "closed-cell" construction is a bonus when it comes to Ease of Care. This mat doesn't absorb your sweat like a natural rubber mat does, which means that it doesn't need as much deep cleaning. But, this mat does seem to attract dirt, animal hair and lint, and it's challenging to remove those things. We tried in vain to remove some dirty footprints from the light blue side, and when we wiped down the mat after practicing in a home with pets their tiny hairs stuck to the mat and we had to pluck them off one by one.

Best Applications


If you like to try a variety of yoga classes, then this mat is a great choice. It works well for Vinyasa styles as well as Hot Yoga.

Value


At $55, this mat seems like a great deal, particularly when compared to the Manduka PRO ($108) or the Jade Harmony Professional ($80). However, our Best Buy winner, the Clever Yoga Better Grip is an even thicker TPE mat that retails for only $25.

Conclusion


The Earth Elements is a great mat for the price. It's comfortable and lightweight, with good wet and dry traction. It's not that stable, so if you practice a lot of standing poses, you'll want to consider our Editors' Choice winner, the Manduka eKO, or the Jade Harmony Professional.

Other Versions


This mat also comes in a 3mm version for $45.

Cam McKenzie Ring

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Most recent review: October 28, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
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