Lululemon The Reversible Mat Review
Cons: Heavy, strong odor, easily scratched
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Lululemon's The Reversible Mat is made of polyurethane, rubber, and latex. There is also an "antimicrobial additive" to help "prevent the growth of mold, bacteria, and fungi" on the mat. It is 71" long, 26" wide, and 5mm thick.
Traction Dry and Wet
Do you like to practice in a humid rainforest? How about a heated studio? You're in luck because this mat offers excellent traction when both wet and dry. Even though it comes complete with a smooth upper finish, that would have most of us slipping around at the first sign of sweat, it still sticks. And it sticks well. In fact, the traction on this mat increased when wet, and we had no trouble maintaining Downward Facing Dog even after we dumped a cup of water on top of it. It features a thin polyurethane layer that sits on top of the rubber construction, which "wicks away sweat, and absorbs moisture." In our experience, this is both a good and a bad thing. When practicing in a heated room, having your sweat disappear is an advantage and can prevent you from slipping; the downside is that now all of your sweat is in and on the mat. Apparently, there is an antimicrobial additive in this mat to prevent bacteria from taking up residence and thriving; we didn't notice if this mat was any less smelly than others sweat/bacteria wise. Our experience earns it additional performance points when it comes to wet or sweaty conditions.
Comfort and Stability
If you're practicing for hours on end and/or prefer a mat that boasts comfort, this one nails it. The 5mm thickness cushions all protruding bones but without feeling squishy underfoot, which is helpful for standing poses that require you to balance on one leg. The mat itself is so heavy and dense that it stays where you put it, and no amount of jumping through to sitting moved it. It is available in a 3mm thickness, but we like the support and comfort offered by the thickest version.
This mat is so solid and well-made that it seems ready to last forever, but we were disappointed with noticeable damage after minimal use. It turns out the smooth surface on top is easily scratched. After only one class where we practiced jumping through our hands to sitting (scratching our toes against the mat in the process), we noticed long and permanent scratches on the surface. We've seen a lot of these mats around the yoga studios, and they have a decent lifespan with regular use; however, they do end up looking pretty beat up. The lighter color options are pretty to look at, but they hold in dirt and sweat stains and don't look so great after only a few uses. If you're more into practicality than looks, this mat is for.
At 5 lbs 7 oz, this mat was on the heavier side. If you always drive to your studio, then carrying this mat from your car is not that big of a deal, but if you take public transportation or walk/bike to class, you'd be better off with a lighter option.
Ease of Care
This mat is pretty easy to care for day to day — wipe the smooth surface down with a spray of water or mat cleaner, and the lint or animal hairs easily come off. It does absorb water (and therefore your sweat and oil) readily, which means you'll need to deep clean it frequently. When deep cleaning (scrubbing in a bath or shower), this mat absorbs a lot of water and requires a day or two to dry afterward. Also, because it is made of rubber, it should not be left outside in the sun to dry, as that degrades the material. This mat/towel combo can be thrown in the washing machine after every class and is quick to dry afterward.
While not the most expensive mat in this review, this mat is significantly more expensive than ultra-thin options that you'll find at big retailers. Is it worth it? Most definitely. Investing in a quality mat like this one will only help your practice.
The Mat is a great all-around package. You won't be disappointed if you pick one up. It offers comfort and excellent traction in all sorts of weather and temperatures.
This mat is also available in a 3mm version, a 1.5mm travel mat, and an extra-wide and long (29 x 84) 5mm mat.
— Cam McKenzie Ring