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Product Review: The Elite Hot Hybrid Mat by Kulae

by Holly SkodisNovember 13, 2012

Kulae Elite Hot Hybrid MatI was hanging around the lobby at Black Dog Yoga as I normally do in the mornings after my class.  I have about 45 minutes to kill between my class and Briohny’s. I noticed that there were some new mats on sale that I hadn’t ever noticed before. In fact they were unlike like anything I had ever seen. I was intrigued.

The top of the mat was a cross between a towel and an industrial type carpet and the bottom was a sticky sort of plastic. It was The Elite Hot Hybrid Mat by Kulae. I was unfamiliar with the brand, but something told me,  I had to have this mat! I googled the product to see the reviews and justify my impulse purchase. Everything looked good, so within minutes it was all mine.

You might be wondering, why would I be going so nutso over this mat? Well, it’s the first the mat that I have ever had that meets my needs. If you are someone whose hands and feet get slippery when practicing yoga, you’ll know where I’m coming from. I’ve bought lots of mats in my years practicing and I usually have the same experience. I come home with a new fancy top of the line mat, wash it off to get rid of the protective coating and bring it to my next yoga class with hopes of not slipping. To my usual dismay, I slide all over the place during my practice.  Short of tying the mat to the rear bumper of my car, I can’t break it in. So I buy a new $60. towel to give my new mat a new look. Ouch!

I used my Elite Hot Hybrid all last week without a hitch. Imagine that. You buy a mat, you use the mat and you don’t slip. I couldn’t be happier. I washed it after 4 strong classes. Honestly, I didn’t need to, but I wanted to watch it go through the cleaning process before writing the review. I washed it on normal cycle, cold and let it hang dry overnight. It was ready to go in the morning.

The mat is super sturdy and I’ve decided to ditch the bag too. No muss, no fuss. I can enter and leave a class quickly when pinched for time. Just remember to roll your hand towel inside to avoid the embarrassment of using paper towels to wipe your sweat. Yep, did that twice. 🙂 My only concern about the product was a warning to avoid keeping it in hot cars and/or direct sunlight to avoid premature decomposition. I called Kulae and asked them about it. They were super helpful and said the warning was on there for extreme weather conditions. I’m keeping mine in the car unless it’s a scorcher.

If you are considering buying one, I’ve put together a list of all the pros and cons I could think of. The Elite Hot Hybrid retails for $88 which is a good deal for a mat with a towel built in.  I absolutely adore this mat and see myself using this brand for a long time.

 PROS

  • Light weight
  • No break-in time. It’s just you and your mat.
  • Great for hot and sweaty classes
  • It’s on the thinner side which is great for handstands and arm balances. Less dumping in your wrists due to over padding.
  • Dries quicky. It does not retain your sweat the next day
  • No need for a bag. You can pack up quickly after class
  • Environmentally friendly, made of ECO PER and Bamboo Microfiber. Free of the 6 most harmful phthalates.
  • Economical choice if you need a mat and a towel

CONS

  • Less padding. You may want to grab a blanket in class if you are sensitive to the hard floor for headstands or thigh stretches, etc.
  • It’s 24″ x 72″ which is 2 inches narrower than the Manduka Pro and Eco mats but otherwise seems to be a standard size
Holly Skodis
Holly Skodis
I was first introduced to yoga in 2003 at a mommy and me class. Since then, I have fallen in love with yoga and practice it daily. I believe we have the power within to live long, happy and healthy lives. I teach regularly scheduled classes and corporate yoga in the Los Angeles area. For more about me, click here to visit my blog, THE DIAMOND ELEPHANT or Click here to connect through Facebook. -Do Yoga, Eat Well, Be Kind
  • newyogi

    Hi Holly – Im thinking of purchasing the Kulae Elite Hot Hybrid mat. Do you still recommend it? Has it been durable over time?

  • Brent Smith

    I bought the Kulae mat after practicing Bikram yoga for 2 years on the ‘Breathe’ brand mats. I love the sturdiness and dimensions of the Kulae mat. The drawback I found with it however is the Kulae mat holds ALL of the sweat you are giving out; this is becuase it’s one side is a thick rubber / latex so your sweat cannot absorb through the mat and into the Bikram floor like a breathe mat would allow. So be ready when you lie down in your savasanas during the floor series of your Birkam class to feel like you are laying in a swamp. Not to mention the ‘sucking’ sound that my back made whenever I did the sit-up after each savasana. 🙂 So while it works for Bikram, it is not my first choice. For non / less heated yoga styles however this is my go-to mat every time.

    • yogamatt

      Oh interesting…yea I had a similar experience with the Lululemon mats. They absorb everything…

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