Jade Voyager Review
Cons: No padding, not durable
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Jade Voyager mat is an ultra-thin 1/16 of an inch yoga mat designed for travel. It weighs 1.5 pounds and is 24" wide and 68" long. This mat is made of rubber, and those with a latex allergy would do well to avoid it. It's currently available in four color choices: Midnight Blue, Purple, Olive Green, and Lavender.
If there is one thing that Jade knows how to do well, it's making their yoga mats sticky. The Harmony was one of our favorite mats when it came to this category, and the combination of sticky rubber and textured surface is hard to beat. The Voyager is like a thin slice of the Harmony, and as such, has a similarly great dry traction. We did notice, though, that when using this mat on a hardwood floor, it didn't feel quite as sticky as the Harmony, because there is no cushioning for your hands to sink into. The traction felt similar to the thicker Jade mat when used on a carpeted surface or on top of another mat.
This mat had excellent wet traction as well — even as our body heated up and our palms got sweaty, we were able to maintain good traction on this mat. This wouldn't be a good choice for taking to a hot yoga class though, as the rubber absorbs moisture and you can't just throw it in the washing machine like you can the mat/towel hybrids like our Top Pick for Hot Yoga, the Aurorae Synergy.
Comfort and Stability
We had to give this mat the lowest possible score for comfort and stability, as it has neither. There is zero cushioning from the 1.6mm / 1/16th of an inch thickness. Because it is so light, it also tends to move around a bit underneath you when used on a carpet, similar to how a towel would. The other travel mat that we tested, the Gaiam Foldable, is only slightly thicker at 2mm and doesn't feel much more comfortable either on its own.
We also had to give this mat a low score for durability. Though we didn't notice any major defects after about six yoga sessions on this mat, we do know how its big sister holds up, and considering how much thinner this one is, it's just not suitable for regular use. Jade even says that "it is not the best option for daily usage, as its portability impacts overall durability." They have probably heard from many angry customers over the years who want to know why this mat fell apart after only a few months of use.
If you only travel infrequently but need something with you when you do, then this mat could still last a long time. But, if you have any type of Vinyasa style practice where you are constantly rolling over your toes into Downward Facing Dog, this mat won't hold up. Below you'll see a photo of the thicker 4mm Jade Harmony Mat after about 60 classes. The texture that provides such great traction starts to wear away in the foot and hand spots. This type of wear on the thinner Voyager would probably result in a hole directly through it.
Also, while this mat is foldable, as soon as you fold it for any length of time, creases will form. In the Gaiam Foldable, these creases are integrated into the mat in permanent lines, and the mat is meant to be stored folded. In the Voyager, we see the potential for these creases to result in some cracking open of the mat's surface. Jade does recommend that you store the mat rolled up when not traveling.
For all that, this mat is not comfortable or durable, it certainly is portable! It's nice that you can either roll it or fold it, and it takes up little to no room in your suitcase or carry-on luggage. It weighs just a bit more than the Gaiam Foldable, but is still a great option for lightweight travelers.
Ease of Care
If you've used the Jade Harmony, then you know that it does tend to attract lint and animal hair, which can be challenging to remove due to the textured and sticky surface. The same holds true for this thinner option.
This mat is a substantial savings over the thicker Jade Harmony, but still more expensive than Gaiam Foldable.
There are some great things about the Jade Voyager, including its excellent traction and portability. But, it's not comfortable or stable enough to be used as a regular mat, and not very durable either. For infrequently travelers or those who prioritize traction above all other purchasing considerations, this mat is a still a great choice for your next voyage.
— Cam McKenzie Ring