Top 11 Best Yoga Backpacks To Fit All Your Essential Gear
There’s got to be a better solution for carrying your yoga mat…
We lug around so much stuff when we go to the gym or studio, why can’t we just strap our mat onto our backs to make things easier?
It's not just our mats that’s a problem. We need an extra pair of clothes, a book to read, a few crystals, some smudge, and even a yoga strap.
Lets make things easy on yourself by finding the best yoga backpack for your needs.
Let’s start off with the top one on the list...
I really like how the mat fits into this bag…
It secured at the bottom because it’s slid down into the outside flap. It’s also secured about the middle of the mat with another adjustable strap so you are sure it won’t move.
This is really nice because when you need you mat all you have to do is un-buckle the strap and you’re good to go! It’s nice not to have zippers or multiple straps to mess with when grabbing your mat.
Lots Of Room
Because the mat isn’t inside of the bag, you’ve got plenty of space to carry whatever you need.
Here’s a short list of all the things you could fit inside your backpack and still have room for a small lunch!
There’s space for:
- A couple books
- Your laptop
- A change of clothes
- 2 water bottles
- A yoga strap
- Your wallet
- And more!
This bag would be ideal for those doing a yoga teacher training or take a yoga class 2 to 3 times a week at school.
- Aurorae Multi Purpose Backpack
- Imarana Yoga Mat Bag
- Gaiam Full-Zip Bag
- Open Road Goods Yoga Bag
- Heathyoga Yoga Mat Bag
- Masaya Yoga Mat Backpack
- Kindfolk Patterned Canvas Backpack
- LISH Vinyasa Yoga Mat Backpack
- Aurorae Yoga Mat Carrier Bag
- MegaLoveMart Crossbody Sling
- Shaddock Sports Yoga Bag
This is perfect for those who want to spend a few hours out and take a yoga class.
The bag itself has room enough for your yoga mat and that’s about it. There are two extra pockets on the outside which is nice to carry your personal belongings in.
If you get thirsty, you’ve got 2 extra mesh pockets on the outside for water and perhaps some electrolytes to enjoy after your class.
This is a good backpack for those who don’t want to show the world their yoga mat while walking around. It’s simple and modest.
When buying a bag you need to be sure and check how wide your yoga mat is.
About 80% to 90% of mats out there are only 24”. If that’s the case for your mat then you’re in luck because this bag will fit your mat with ease.
If you have a mat that’s 26” inches however, you may want to look for a different bag. This backpack won’t be able to fit that size.
Here’s a good bag for a minimalist…
The bag itself is only 25” long so keep that in mind when considering if your specific mat will fit or not. It zips up pretty tight and offers two smaller pockets on the outside.
One of the pockets is just big enough to slide your phone into. This is ideal for those who need to plug in headphones. That pocket is at the top of the bag so the distance from your phone to your face isn’t that far. This means you won’t have to worry about your headphone cord pulling.
Pocket vs. Sheath
Some bags like this one say there’s a “Cargo” pocket on the outside. Well.. that’s not exactly true. This pocket is sewn flat which means it’s really more of a sheath.
This bag is really only designed to fit your wallet, cell phone, and yoga mat. It’s a good minimalist bag for someone who doesn't care much for aesthetics.
This is a good choice for wider mats…
If you have a mat that’s 26” wide then this would be a good option for you. Furthermore, the outside pocket is actually more of a cargo style so you can fit plenty of stuff into it.
The outside pocket has a side zipper which makes for easy access. This means you don’t need to take off the entire bag just to grab something real quick from the back pocket.
You won’t be able to fit a mat that’s much bigger than 26”, but its pretty rare to have a mat larger than that width.
It’s a natural option…
For those who enjoy having organic and natural options this is the perfect choice. It’s made from GOTS 100% cotton canvas and fair trade certified. Pair this with your mat made from jute and you’ll have the perfect eco friendly combo!
How thick your mat will also depend on what sort of bag you get. Some bags are very unforgiving when it comes to sizes. This sling style backpack offers really good space. Mats up to 8mm could fit into this bag.
On the flip side, if you wanted to carry a smaller mat, you could put your mat inside with a couple of water bottles.
This is one of the best well-rounded bags on this list…
Sometime you want a minimalist approach, where as other times you want options. The best thing about this bag in my opinion is the inside pocket that can fit a yoga towel. Those who do hot yoga will really enjoy this bag.
Why Hot Yoga?
Oftentimes in hot yoga you need to carry a lot of stuff with you. Because you sweat so much you’ll need a towel, a change of clothes, and even another smaller towel to wipe your face too.
This bag has plenty of space for all of the above. The only downside is that the bag is kinda big. For those who need something simple this might not be a good choice.
Let’s take a look at a few bags where you strap the mat to the bottom of the backpack.
This Masaya bag is really nice because of all the space. There’s plenty of pockets and it holds everything you need including your yoga mat.
The straps on the bottom are nice too. They cinch your mat down nice and snug so it doesn't’ bounce around around and hit you in the back side when you’re walking
If you want to keep your things separated this setup comes with two bonus mesh laundry bags. These are especially nice for holding your shoes or wet towels and clothes so it doesn't mess up your white pants or shirt in your bag.
Here's a bag with a bit more flair…
It’s nice to have a patterned look to a backpack. Most bags tend to be a single plain color. I understand a backpack’s main purpose is to carry things, but that doesn’t mean you can't have a fun design as well.
The Bag Itself
The shoulder straps are comfortable on this medium sized bag. It's got enough space to fit a yoga block, towel, strap, laptop and a small lunch. This also doubles as a good hiking or beach bag.
This bag is ideal for the techy yoga-goer…
The LISH bag has a good padded section for your laptop. This is something that most other yoga bags won’t have. If you are a yoga teacher and use your laptop to make sequences or just for doing research now and then, you’ll love this bag.
How The Yoga Mat Sits
Depending on how tall you are, you may not want to get this bag. For those who are shorter than 5 foot the yoga mat hangs pretty low and has a tendency to hit you in the back.
Taller people will be used to the mat resting on or above their butt. That is the preferred placement, but if you are shorter and it’s bouncing off the back of your thighs as you walk then that could be a problem.
Here’s a unique design that’s starting to get pretty popular.
If you were to strap a yoga mat to the side of a normal backpack then it would feel lop-sided while carrying it. When you have a cross-body design however, things balance out quite nicely.
This bag has plenty of space to cary whatever you need. An added bonus is the front pocket on the cross-body strap. It allows you to slide your cell phone in and out with ease. This means you won’t need to take off your entire bag just to look at your phone.
Not For Everyone
This funky design isn’t really ideal for everyone If you just want a simple bag then another option on this list may be better. If you want something fun and unique then this is a good bag to get.
Here’s a fun bag if you’re right-handed.
This bag has enough space to cary two 4” yoga blocks, books, straps and much more. If you haul a lot of stuff to the studio and back then this will work well for most of your needs. Furthermore, this comes in a few different color options so you can pick one that suits your style.
Oddly enough, this bag seems to be made with only 90% of the population in mind.
Straps Won’t Switch
This bag hangs over your right shoulder only. I know that may sound strange because you COULD wear it over your left if you wanted to, right?
Well you most certainly could, but the whole feel of the bag is just off. The mat hangs at a strange angle and the entire bag just feels strangely uncomfortable.
If you are right handed this bag works well, but forget about it if you want to wear this on your other shoulder.
This isn’t the best product out there, but it’s ideal for a small sub-set of people.
If you have a light yoga mat - one that weighs only 2 or 3 lbs and you don’t plan on carrying a whole lot of gear most days then you’ll be happy with this bag.
If you have a big rubber mat then forget it. This bag isn’t really designed for that weight. This is a good bag, as long as you don’t overload it.
Good For The Gym
If you only need to carry stuff from your car into the gym where you put it in your bag in your locker then you’ll like this option. It’s easy and lightweight. It’s not meant to be ultra-durable.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you tie a yoga mat into a backpack?
If you don’t already have a backpack that is specifically designed for yoga then you might be able to simply slide it into your normal backpack. I’ve seen plenty of people just open up the shoulder straps longer and slide the mat in between the bag and their back.
What should I pack in my yoga bag?
If it’s your first time going to yoga, just bring some comfortable shorts, some water, and a sports bra. If you tell the teacher that it’s your first time most studios will be extra helpful to make sure you have everything you need for a successful and enjoyable first class.
What should a beginner wear for yoga?
This depends on what type of yoga you are doing… If you are doing room temperature yoga then you’ll need less gear. You can usually just wear some type of basic work out pants and a t-shirt.
If you are doing hot yoga for the first time you’ll need to consider bringing more. Running shorts and a sports bra with a tank top is normally good for your first time. Keep in mind that a change of clothes and plenty of water is also a good idea.
What does every yoga person need?
If you are looking for gift ideas then most people who do yoga really enjoy having a nice water bottle. Forget trying to buy a yoga mat for someone who likes yoga. That’s far too individualized to know exactly what they may want.
I would also recommend some type of basic essential oils like lavender or peppermint. That is of course, if they like essential oils.
Depending on your needs there’s bound to be a good yoga backpack out there for you. If you classify yourself as an average guy that enjoys being a minimalist then you’ll like the Gaiam bag listed here.
For those who want something unique and fun I’d go with the Aurorae Carrier Bag because it’s got lots of easy to access pockets.
Do you have a certain backpack or sling you enjoy? Let me know in the comments!