Lululemon's The Reversible Mat was one of our testers' favorite mats. It's impressively sticky, both when dry and wet, easy to wipe clean, and comfortable and stable to practice on. Unfortunately, it is also heavy and bulky and has a strong odor that is not quick to dissipate. This mat also scratches easily and absorbs oils from your hands and feet. If you tend to sweat a lot in class or practice a heated Vinyasa style, then this mat is a great choice. Overall though, we preferred the Manduka eKO mat, which has the same sticking power but in a less smelly package.
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. The current color choices are Black, Purple, Grape, Green, and Chalk.
Traction Dry and Wet
This mat had some of the best traction of any of the mats that we tested for this review. This was surprising to us since the upper is smooth. Other smooth mats, like the Prana Revolution, were harder to stick to, particularly when wet. The traction on this mat actually increased when wet and we had no trouble maintaining Downward Facing Dog even after we dumped a cup of water on top of it. This mat has a thin polyurethane layer on top of the rubber, which is supposed to "wick away sweat and absorb moisture." 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 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; even after months of use the rubber smell was still strong and overpowering.
Comfort and Stability
This mat received high marks for comfort. The 5mm thickness cushions all protruding bones but without feeling squishy underfoot. This 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. This mat is available in a 3mm thickness, but we liked the support and comfort provided by the thicker version.
These mats are so solid and well-made they seem ready to last forever, but we actually did notice some damage to the mat with only a little 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 (and scratching our toes against the mat in the process), we noticed long and permanent scratches in 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. We'd go with the black option for this mat. If you're looking for a mat that will last for years, then the Manduka PRO is a better choice.
At 5 lbs 7 oz, this mat was on the heavier side. Though only about a pound heavier than the Jade Harmony, the difference was noticeable and had us favoring the Jade mat over this one. 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. The Prana E.C.O. and Hugger Mugger Earth Elements weigh a scant 2 lbs 1 oz and are almost as high performing as this one.
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. This mat 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 afterwards. Also, because it is made of rubber it should not be left outside in the sun to dry, as that degrades the material. If you practice yoga in a heated room and are looking for something easy to clean, check out our Top Pick for Hot Yoga, the Aurorae Synergy. This mat/towel combo can be thrown in the washing machine after every class, and is quick to dry afterwards.
This mat is best for Vinyasa style classes that require good traction, as well as gentle or restorative classes thanks to its comfort. It's also a good option for hot yoga, with or without an additional towel.
While not the most expensive mat in this review at $68, this mat is significantly more expensive than the thin $20 ones 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.
Lululemon's The Reversible Mat was neck and neck with our Editors' Choice winner, the Manduka eKO, during this review. Ultimately, the eKO won out as it has slightly better dry traction, is more durable, and is much less stinky. This is still a great mat, though, and you won't be disappointed if you pick one up.
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