Having recently created my ultimate yoga mat comparison chart, I was feeling pretty certain that I had covered the basic options available and found the best mat for my practice. But then I started hearing some buzz about Lululemon's new mat, simply called The Mat (or Le Tapis, if you parlez français). Well, you can't really call your comparison chart "ultimate" without taking a look at the new kid on the block, right? Still, I wasn't expecting anything revelatory. I even promised my daughter she could have the pretty pink mat when I was done testing it.
However, much to my surprise, I kind of love this mat. It is very different from any other mat I've tried, due to the satiny finish on the polyurethane side (The Mat is reversible and the other side is rubber). It provides great traction, yet is softer than other premium yoga mats. Some people have complained about the smell, but I found it very tolerable compared to other rubber mats. Since The Mat is quite new, I can't vouch for it's longevity yet, though the folks at Lulu assure me it should last 3 to 4 years. I'll have some data on that soon, since The Mat has become my new favorite go-to choice. Yes, I totally backed out of giving it to my daughter. She is happy enough with the pretty purple mat that was relegated to the bottom of the heap by the arrival of The Mat.