I got my fair trade yoga mat bag from The Peace Exchange for only $20! Loves loves loves!
When searching for a mat bag, I had four requirements:
- It must completely cover my bag. Before, I used a Gaiam yoga strap and bag harness duo. The design left most of my mat exposed. When I tossed my mat in the trunk of my CR-V, I’d pull it out later and find stuff stuck to my mat: dog fur, concrete dust, sand, or whatever else we had hauled on the previous weekend. Ew. I wanted the mat to be covered and protected.
- I want a pocket with a zipper. I’ve made my own mat sprays using water and On Guard essential oil, and water and lavender essential oil. I keep the mat sprays in 4 oz. spray bottles. (I only bring one bottle at a time.) I also keep a 10 oz. roller bottle of Frankincense and Bergamot essential oils for meditation and savasana. Lastly, there is my yoga strap. I want all of those things to come with me to class.
- I want to spend less than $50. Manduka has some high-quality, awesome mat bags. That frog stamp will set you back a pretty penny, though. I didn’t want to spend that much.
- I want something colorful and Fair Trade. The two kinda go hand-in-hand because so many cultures around the world value fun colors and patterns. I knew this would be the easiest requirement to fill.
After a quick search for “fair trade yoga mat bags,” I bypassed all of the bigger companies on results page one and found The Peace Exchange on page two. I instantly fell in love with the cause, the products, and the price! Their mat bags are freakin’ awesome.
My Manduka PROLite fits perfectly inside of the bag with a bit of wiggle room at the top. That’s ideal for when I want to add my Gorilla mini tripod to the bag for Instagram pictures and YouTube videos after my practice. The bag has a drawstring closure, which is convenient. The drawstrings feel like silk, though. I wish they were a bit thicker, but overall they’re not a problem.
The front of the bag has a spacious pocket that fits all of my stuff, even the 4 oz. bottle with the awkward spray handle. Bonus: I can also fit my car keys (with bulky remote start) and my massive iPhone 6 Plus. I don’t need to carry a purse for a quick practice in the park. And lawd knows most yoga pants don’t have pockets so I truly appreciate the pocket on this mat bag.
The pocket has a tiny zipper and a cloth flap that conceals the zipper when closed.
The body strap is broad and comfortable. It isn’t adjustable. For me, that’s not a problem (5’3″ about 115 lbs) but I imagine someone over 6′ tall with broad shoulders might have a problem getting it comfortably across the chest to wear it messenger bag-style.
I adore the batik, or wax print, fabric. Washable. Durable. Flexible like cotton but has a semi-smooth, grime-resistant finish. The pattern is insanely gorgeous. It’s playful, like my practice, but has deep, rich, regal colors that are empowering. I’m not sure what the significance is behind this particular pattern. (It’s said that patterns are made with symbolic meanings for the designer.) But this bag definitely feels like it was made for me.
When placing an order, you’re given the option to select color preferences. You can’t select the pattern because supplies vary. I requested purple and green. I received exactly that! My bag came with a cute handwritten note. Apparently, I received a new fabric print that the staff person felt was perfect for me. It was.
Now go buy one.