Yoga Mat Carrier
Using a yoga mat carrier to transport your mat around can be a really great idea. Having been someone who once had the elastic straps on their yoga mat come apart while traveling home on the bus, I know how unruly an unrolled mat can be!
There are practitioners who think that mat bags can be unhygienic – they are concerned that if a mat is rolled up and put away in a non-breathable bag it will start to smell and cling on to the sweat and dirt on its surface. This assumes that a person using a mat bag just leaves the mat inside from one class to the next - I think this is a pretty cynical point of view and I don't believe it's true of most yogis. Everyone I know wipes their mat down after each class and allows it to dry – some might do this immediately at the end of class, before they pack their mat away, while others take their mat home to clean. As a Mom of two young children I don't often have the time to hang around after class waiting for my mat to dry!
A lot of my male friends prefer to use a mesh carrier. These are mat bags that come with a drawstring carry rope, but the interesting bit is the material. Being made from a fine mesh means that the bag is fully breathable, so the mat remains at the same temperature as the air around it - this prevents any build up of condensation when the mat is not in use. A mesh carrier also allows the mat to 'air' when it is not in use, so it won't become smelly.
A mat harness
A mat harness is a carrier that also allows your mat to breathe. Rather than a bag, a harness is a long strap that secures your yoga mat with buckles or Velcro and prevents it from unraveling.
Yoga mat carry straps
These come in a greater variety of designs and colors than the harnesses, some have a padded shoulder to make them more comfortable to carry. These also allow mats to breathe whilst they are stored away.
Cotton Mat Bags
Natural cotton is also fully breathable, the other advantage a cotton bag has over other types of mat carriers is that they prevent any dust and dirt from getting on to the mat while it is being stored. They can also come in variety of bright colors and patterns and if you buy a Fairtrade cotton bag then you will also be supporting third world farmers.
Yoga mat carriers come in huge a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and materials so whatever your personal preference there is bound to be something that suits your own personal style.