6 Best Yoga Backpacks To Keep Your Hands Free

Laura Finch
written by
part of Blog
created on September 15, 2019
updated on October 17, 2019

Who doesn’t love a good yoga backpack? It offers more space for your yoga gear compared to a typical yoga mat carrier, it is comfortable to commute with, it’s great for biking, and most importantly – it lets you stay hands-free.

If yoga tote bags and mat slings are not your cups of tea, check out these awesome men’s and women’s backpacks that will securely hold your yoga mat while you’re cycling, backpacking or simply running errands around the city.

Top 6 Yoga Mat Backpacks For City And Travel

Kindfolk Yoga Mat Backpack

Kindfolk Yoga Mat Backpack
  • HELP END SLAVERY WORLDWIDE - Kindfolk donates $1 for every unit sold to help end slavery and sex trafficking worldwide. Kindfolk is partnered with A21, a nonprofit who aims to reach, rescue and restore victims of slavery and to prevent this tragedy for future generations. When you shop with Kindfolk, you help to change the world.
  • PLENTY OF STORAGE - This bag is 18" tall and 14" wide. There is one main storage compartment with a laptop sleeve and additional interior pockets for your other various accessories.
  • VEGAN & ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY - Kindfolk's bags use man-made leather, meaning it is animal-friendly and super stylish


  • vegan & eco-friendly
  • roomy enough for a laptop & yoga props
  • additional pockets for accessories
  • adjustable straps for a yoga mat
  • multi-purpose
  • comes in cute and bright patterns
  • machine-washable


  • no compartment for water bottle
  • hard to navigate through crowds

This stylish yoga backpack from Kindfolk has all the chances to become your new personal favorite whether you’re taking it to a yoga class, going for a walk, or preparing for a day trip.

Horizontal yoga mat straps hold yoga mats of any size, and a roomy compartment fits a laptop and essential yoga props: blocks, a yoga blanket, and a yoga belt.

You can easily use this Kindfolk backpack as a travel yoga bag that will fit the carry-on luggage measurements. Or take it on a biking trip – the horizontal mat holder perfectly balances the weight of your yoga mat across both shoulders.

Kindfolk also donates a dollar from every sold item to charity, helping end slavery and sex trafficking. How cool is that?


Masaya Yoga Mat Backpack

On Sale −9%
Masaya Yoga Mat Backpack
  • ALL THE STORAGE SPACE YOU NEED | CARRY YOUR YOGA MAT 2 WAYS - Adjustable bottom straps and top loading drawstring feature holds your yoga mat safely. Includes 4 zipper pockets to store keys, cash, ID, cards and phone. Extra 2 side pockets to hold water bottles and spray bottles. Main pocket can hold clothes, mat towels, shoes, yoga blocks and more. Secret laptop sleeve inside main bag's compartment. Reinforced drawstring to safely secure anything from falling out.
  • 2 BONUS SHOE BAGS INCLUDED - Comes bundled with 2 extra mesh bags to carry your shoes, wet and dry clothes to keep your items separated. Mesh bags can be used to hook outside backpack via carabiner to air dry your clothes after practice. Yoga Mat not included.
  • WATERPROOF, LIGHTWEIGHT, DURABLE AND MULTIPURPOSE- Weighs less than 2lbs and made from strong 900D polyester filmed waterproof material that is perfect for gym, work, school, travel and hiking outdoors. Easy to clean.


  • fits everything you need (and more)
  • foldable top flap to adjust capacity
  • secure pockets for valuables
  • extra side pockets for a water bottle
  • free set of mesh bags for dirty clothes/shoes
  • adjustable bottom strap for a yoga mat
  • waterproof & easy to clean
  • multi-purpose
  • 1-year warranty


  • comes in one color only

Masaya yoga bag is one of the best yoga backpacks I’ve encountered. It literally has it all for a comfortable commute to a yoga studio, even if you’re biking.

It fits tons of stuff: fresh clothes, a hot yoga towel, a set of yoga blocks, and even a laptop. There are extra 4 zippered pockets for small things and valuables such as wallet, keys, ID card, etc. And that’s not the end! There are also two side pockets for a water flask and a yoga mat spray.

You can easily attach a yoga mat of any size to the bottom of the backpack. If carrying your yoga mat horizontally feels a bit awkward, place the mat vertically inside of the bag. Don’t worry, it will fit, and a drawstring closure will secure it in place.

Here’s a shoutout to hot yoga fans and gym-goers who like to break a sweat. The backpack comes with 2 mesh bags where you can stash dirty clothes to air them out on the way home.


Aurorae Yoga Multi-Purpose Backpack

On Sale −24%
Aurorae Yoga Multi Purpose Backpack
  • Mats Not Included sold separately.
  • Specialized top loading, center mat lock system securely hols most yoga mats 8 lbs and under, Optional second elastic strap on inside mat locker for increased stability, Durable Heavy-Duty Fabric
  • Bag dimensions of 21.2" x 12.6" x 5.1" and volume capacity of 23L conveniently fits your belongings from day-to-day use to a long weekend away


  • vertical mat holder compartment
  • roomy for yoga essentials and a laptop
  • secure pockets for valuables
  • extra side pockets for a water bottle
  • multi-purpose
  • machine-washable
  • 2-year warranty


  • might be too small for traveling or day trips

If you’re tired of hitting things and people with your horizontally-attached yoga mat, then you’ll like this Aurorae Yoga Multi-Purpose Backpack.

Instead of a bottom yoga mat holder that most yoga backpacks have, this yoga mat carrier features a vertical storage pocket with two adjustable straps to secure your yoga mat in place.

Besides, thanks to the center placement of the mat, the weight of the backpack is evenly distributed. That’s a big plus if you’re frequently biking to a yoga studio, especially with an oversized Manduka yoga mat.

The main compartment is pretty roomy and can store your yoga essentials such as a block, a yoga strap, a blanket, and a water bottle. There’s also a padded laptop compartment for the days you need to jump right to work or study after the yoga class.


FE Active – 30L Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack

On Sale −33%
FE Active - 30L Eco Friendly Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack
  • ECO FRIENDLY: Environmentally safe PVC - tested and certified.
  • CONSTRUCTION: Carefully constructed dry bag made of thick marine grade 5mm eco friendly PVC Tarpaulin with high frequency welded stitching made to withstand the most rugged outdoor activities. It is extremely light at just under 2lbs. This 30L dry bag backpack also includes padded shoulder straps with mesh lining for better air flow as well as a built-in padded support for your back for greater comfortability.
  • USES: Can be used for a variety of water activities including, but not limited to: paddle boarding, boating, climbing, rafting, kayaking, surfing, fishing, camping etc. Can also be used on a daily basis to protect your valuables against harsh weather conditions.


  • corded exterior for holding a yoga mat
  • fits yoga props & essentials for an adventurous day trip
  • side mesh for water bottle
  • extremely lightweight
  • waterproof & easy to clean
  • will probably last a lifetime


  • looks too “adventurous” for daily city use

If you’re an adventure seeker and often take your yoga practice outside, you might want to check out this awesome waterproof backpack from FE Active.

Originally, it’s a dry bag, so it’s meant for extreme water activities such as kayaking, rafting, paddle boarding and the like. But it’s excellent construction makes it a handy backpack for just any kind of outdoor activities that require a yoga mat and a waterproof design.

FE Active backpack is super lightweight at just under 2lbs. It also has padded shoulders and back for maximum comfort in case you decide to carry your yoga gear on a spontaneous hike.


Osprey Packs Farpoint 40 Men’s Travel Backpack

Osprey Packs Farpoint 40 Men's Travel Backpack
  • Large panel zip access to main compartment
  • Stowaway backpanel, harness and hipbelt with zippered rear flap for protection
  • Laptop and tablet sleeve secure in lockable compartment


  • roomy for daily essentials, laptop, and yoga basics
  • comfortable built for traveling
  • carry-on compliant
  • padded shoulder and hip straps for extra comfort
  • lightweight
  • durable
  • lifetime warranty


  • no designated strap for a yoga mat

Looking for a travel yoga backpack that can fit your belongings, yoga gear, and complies to carry-on size requirements?

You can’t go wrong with Osprey -the company is well-known for its awesome high-quality gear.

It’s not designed for yoga per se, but it surely works for yogis who travel frequently. There’s a ton of space for your personal belongings and of course for your yoga gear essentials.

The downside is that there’s no specific strap or compartment for a yoga mat, so you’ll have to get a bit creative about attaching it. But apart from that, this Osprey backpack will last you for ages on your yoga travels and weekend yoga trips.


Deuter ACT Lite 45+10 SL Hiking Backpack

Deuter ACT Lite 45+10 SL Hiking Backpack
  • By Women, For Women - Women's backs are generally shorter than men's; Deuter's SL carry system is designed not only to accommodate this, but also account for other anatomical differences; SL packs bring together the latest physiological science and advanced ergonomics to deliver optimal comfort and performance through anatomically-sound construction
  • Maximum Ventilation - Deuter's innovative AirContact ventilation back system delivers a body-hugging fit paired with unmatched breathability; The large open pore structure of the AirContact pads performs a pump effect, whereby every movement prompts the exchange of air moving warmth and moisture away from the body; The result: 15% less perspiration than with other body-contour packs
  • Lighten Up - Crossed aluminium stays create an ultralight, flexible, yet stable internal frame that follows your body movements; The profiled X-frame transfers weight onto the hips; Slim and anatomically shaped hip wings ensure even, comfortable load distribution


  • adjustable capacity
  • adaptable to different frames
  • padded shoulder and hip straps for extra comfort
  • excellent construction for backpacking, hiking
  • can be carry-on compliant (when packed lightly)
  • easily fits a yoga mat in a side pocket
  • durable


  • top-loading construction – hard to access things at the bottom

Now, I can be a bit biased here, but I can’t recommend this Deuter travel backpack enough. It has been with me for eight years (I mean, EIGHT YEARS!) and has been my “home on shoulders” in more than 20 countries.

Plus it has made backpacking with a yoga mat as easy as it can be.

I warn you right away, this is not a city yoga backpack. If Osprey Farpoint gives away the fact you’re going on a trip, but can still look pretty okay when running errands around the city, Deuter ACT Lite won’t. It’s designed for hiking and backpacking and looks pretty bulky even when empty.

Deuter ACT Lite has two external mesh pockets and adjustable straps, so attaching your yoga mat to the backpack is a breeze. There’s also plenty of space inside: a separate compartment for a sleeping bag (that I often used for carrying yoga gear such as blocks and a strap) and a big compartment for a laptop and personal belongings.

What’s fantastic about this backpack is that the capacity is adjustable. You can pack light, all the way up to the back frame and the bag will still pass as a piece of carry-on luggage (even on lowcost airlines).

If you’re packing for a long-term journey, you can use additional 10L on the top of the bag. I’m not a light packer, but I used Deuter ACT Lite on my 7-month backpacking trip around Asia, and it was more than enough.

Looking for something smaller and lighter for the day-to-day commute? Check out these top yoga mat bags and carriers for men and women.

The 8 Best Yoga Mat Bags and Carriers for Men and Women

How To Choose A Quality Backpack For Yoga

There aren’t many rucksacks made particularly for yoga, but there are a lot of high-quality and versatile backpacks with a yoga mat strap or a yoga mat holder.

How to find a backpack that will be perfect for you?

Well, first and foremost, you need to figure out how you’re planning to use your yoga backpack.

Here are five questions that I’d ask myself before choosing a backpack for daily yoga commute and yoga trips:

How thick and large is my yoga mat?

If you have a standard-sized yoga mat (which is about 68 inches long and 24 inches wide), you can skip this question right away.

The thing is that some backpacks have a special compartment or a holder for a yoga mat that is designed for a prop of particular size and thickness. For example, this Aurorae Yoga Mat Bag doesn’t really fit yoga mats as thick as ¼ inches, according to users.

You probably don’t want to invest in a yoga backpack just to find out later that you can’t securely pack your yoga mat in.

Do you carry a laptop on a day-to-day basis? How big is it?

A perfect yoga backpack will fit your yoga essentials and your necessary belongings. If a laptop is something you carry around at all times, you probably want to fit it into your new yoga bag.

Here’s the thing.

Most of the commuter backpacks now have a designated compartment for a laptop, secure and padded. But not all of them fit laptops with big screens. If your notebook is bigger than15 inches, carefully read the product description to check if you can fit your digital device inside.

What’s your preferred way of commuting to a yoga studio? Bike? Public transport?

All backpacks are awesome because you can take them on a bike with you (unless it’s a huge hiking backpack).

There’s one catch, though – your yoga mat.

You will probably prefer to feel a bit more balanced when cycling, especially if you’re carrying a bulky yoga mat (such as this one from Manduka).

So getting a backpack where you strap your yoga mat vertically to one side is probably not a good idea. I suggest choosing between a yoga bag where you can attach your mat horizontally (usually on the bottom) or place a yoga mat vertically in the center of the backpack. This will balance the weight across your both shoulders.

Now if you’re generally commuting by public transport, it can get a bit tricky. Carrying a yoga mat horizontally is undoubtedly comfortable, but it can turn you into a jerk who trips over everyone and everything that stands in the way. I’m not even mentioning the fact that if you have an extra-long mat, it is super annoying to get into a doorway with your backpack on.

There’s nothing you can do about it except turning a blind eye and enjoying the comfort of your new yoga backpack.

Also, don’t forget about the factor of weather-resistance. If you’re cycling most of the time, make sure to choose a waterproof backpack that’ll keep your laptop and clothes dry and safe.

Are you a hot yoga fan or a fitness junkie?

If you enjoy sweating buckets during your yoga or any other fitness activity, get a rucksack with mesh pockets or a separate compartment for your soiled workout clothes. You don’t want it to stink the rest of your stuff.

Are you looking for a travel backpack where you can attach a yoga mat?

Most city commuter backpacks with yoga mat holders can be used for a day or a weekend trip. However, if you’re packing for a yoga retreat or planning a long-term backpacking adventure, check out professional rucksacks for hiking and traveling.

These backpacks will be bigger and not very suitable for day-to-day life. As a trade-off, they will be super comfortable for carrying the weight on your shoulders and spacy enough to fit all your travel yoga equipment and daily essentials.

Besides, most of them will last you a lifetime.

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