With an eye-catching design, this budget buy is great for yoga newbies.
Slippy on carpet
By Faye M Smith
Looking for a new yoga mat? The Escape Fitness Yoga Mat – which is stylish and foamy – could be for you. How to be sure? We’ve put one through its paces from the moment it was unwrapped, so you can see if you think it’s worth the investment.
I tested a wide selection of the best yoga mats and considered comfort, grip, design and versatility.
Escape Fitness Yoga Mat specifications
Dimensions: 173cm x 61cm
Material: Compact foam
Who will the Escape Fitness Yoga Mat suit?
The Escape Fitness Yoga Mat will suit yoga beginners or those doing gentle stretching exercises at home.
What is the Escape Fitness Yoga Mat like to use?
The Escape Fitness Yoga Mat is a bargain buy and, as such, doesn’t quite tick all the boxes, although the things it does well mean it’s still definitely worth the investment. One of the things it really scores highly for is weight; at just 1.06kg, it’s a lightweight pick. Plus, it goes back into its rolled-up position well, making it easy to transport. That means it’s a great buy for both home and a yoga studio. It’s also slightly narrower than some of the other yoga mats on the market, which is noticeable. At 5ft 6in, the length was OK for me, but I would have liked a wider mat.
The mat feels quite tacky underfoot, so you definitely make a noise while using it. Plus, the sample I tested didn't lie completely flat on the floor – one end just wouldn’t stay down. Maybe if you only store it flat, it would stop happening after a while.
However, perhaps the biggest drawback for this budget buy is the smell. Made with artificial foam material, this really does have a noticeable aroma and, while this does lessen with every use, I could still smell it when I was lying down on the mat, which is quite distracting and can cause headaches for some people. A solution to this could be upgrading to the Escape Fitness Eco Yoga Mat. At around just a few pounds more, this is toxin-free, contains no nasties and is 100% recyclable.
The Escape Fitness Yoga Mat material and design
With a simple, but stylish design, the Escape Fitness Yoga Mat really scores highly when it comes to looks and makes this buy seem much more expensive than it actually is. The black mat has large white spots down the centre with a pink “Escape Your Limits” material tag sewn into one end. The design is unisex and very eye-catching – it looks a bit like a runway or road, and is ideal for lining up hands and feet in the correct position. The spots are so easy to see. They do have the potential to wear away, but I really rubbed them to try out the durability and they stayed on despite all tests I performed.
An extra element to this yoga mat is the two eyelets at one end, because it’s been designed to be used in a yoga studio with freestanding mat storage. The eyelets do leave an impression on the mat where they press against it in a rolled-up position, but this doesn’t matter. The hooks are great when you want to hang it up to dry once you’ve hand washed it.
The artificial material definitely lets this buy down, as the smell is noticeable, but the mat is well made and durable.
The grip of the Escape Fitness Yoga Mat
Although the Escape Fitness Yoga Mat is very smooth, I felt my hands and feet gripped well and didn’t move, especially due to the tacky nature of the material. The mat stayed in position well when on wooden floorboards and barely moved, even when I jumped around on it. On carpet, it definitely moved around more, but was still usable.
I poured a glass of water over the mat to test how well you can grip when wet and it was very slippery, meaning I wouldn't recommend it for HIIT or Hot Yoga, where you are likely to sweat excessively. It also took quite a bit of time to dry.
Thickness and comfort of the Escape Fitness Yoga Mat
The Escape Fitness Yoga Mat is only 4mm thick, which is pretty standard for yoga mats. It definitely wasn't too thick, which meant I could still connect to the floor, essential for standing poses. While it wasn’t the most comfortable of all the yoga mats tried and tested, it did help protect joints when used on a hard wooden floor. The mat has a memory-foam feel and you can really see where your body has been placed.
How does the Escape Fitness Yoga Mat rate online?
Reviews for the Escape Fitness Yoga Mat are mixed, with many users saying they found the dotted line a great way to help see where to place hands and feet. The most negative comments are about the narrowness of the mat and the artificial odour.
Is the Escape Fitness Yoga Mat worth buying?
If you’re a beginner and want to try gentle yoga at home, then this is definitely worth buying as it can help protect joints and aid body alignment. If you find you are sensitive to artificial smells, then you may need to look elsewhere. For not much extra, it may be worth upgrading to the eco-friendly Escape Fitness Eco Yoga Mat instead.
Faye M Smith is an award-winning journalist with over 15 years experience in the magazine industry. Her continued work in the area of natural health won her the coveted title of theHealth Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA) Journalist of the Year Award 2021.
Currently Acting Health Editor across several brands including woman&home, Woman and Woman’s Own, Faye specialises in writing about mental health, the menopause, and sex and relationships. In fact, having previously been the go-to sex columnist for Now magazine, there isn't much she won't discuss when it comes to women's health. This makes her the best person to review must-buy sex toys, describe how to have a mind-blowing orgasm or explain how to navigate sex in the shower without it ending in a medical emergency.
While not anti-gym, Faye’s fitness routine is more focussed on finding inner balance rather than burning excess calories. An advocate of mindfulness, she loves power breathing, yoga and plenty of walking in nearby woodlands rather than a sweaty HIIT class. Follow her @fayetuned
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