About the BalanceFrom Tri-Fold Exercise Mat
A departure from the usual roll-up yoga mat, this BalanceFrom mat folds. Its 2-inch thickness makes a more comfortable cushion for not just yoga and Pilates, but also for aerobics martial arts, and many other hard-floor activities.
This mat measures 6 feet long by 2 feet wide by 2 inches thick , fully extended. Folded for transport, the dimensions shrink to 2' X 2' X 6". It weighs in at 3 pounds.
Not all pain at the gym is good
When I walked into my first class carrying this mat, it literally started three separate conversations in one session. Women started telling me how their wrists, tailbones, and more had been hurting each class, but that they were just sucking it up because “that’s what you do” in group fitness. They didn't want to ask for special modifications with many moves, or attract attention to their inabilities. So, they were suffering and hurting on thin traditional yoga mats, despite many having serious and permanent injuries, recovering from childbirth, or working through the aches and pains of just getting older. They were excited at the prospect of a better solution.
What we like about the BalanceFrom mat
It’s still easy to transport
What made this mat a game-changer for me was its portability. I store it under a couch for app-based workouts, completely out of sight. It also folds up with one hand and can be transported using the two handles, making it inconspicuous to throw over your shoulder as the other yogis do with their rolled-up mats. When I was originally searching for a more cushy mat, I worried I wouldn’t actually be able to take it easily into class, as many are clunky, heavy, and don’t fold up very small. This one checks all the portability boxes.
It has the necessary grip
I was impressed that the outer fabric feels firm, like a yoga mat on hardwood should, allowing me to really grip the floor with my toes during one-footed poses and movements. However, it gives much more cushion between my body and the floor, which is especially great for hurting knees, spines, and wrists. It eliminates the need to stack traditional yoga mats as well, essentially killing two birds with one stone. One of the women in my class had been using two layers of lightly cushioned yoga mats below her traditional yoga mat, and purchased this option immediately after she saw me using it. This mat also doesn’t slide around during exercise like others I’ve tried in the past.
What we don’t like
We need more color options
One thing I’d like to change is the color selection. The cheapest $23 option is a very bright pink, which reminds me of something I would have loved at age 13. The purple mat I purchased starts at $27, but has similar vibes. BalanceFrom also makes black and blue, but I wish they featured the artistic designs and muted, pastel tones of other traditional yoga mats. I’d love a calming hue for spiritual exercise classes.
Some reviewers wish it featured Velcro
As one reviewer points out, this product doesn’t have any Velcro, so it can’t be linked together with additional mats securely, and it doesn’t come with a way to secure it closed when folded. I haven’t experienced it coming apart during transport even without the Velcro, however, because by holding two handles you are able to keep the accordion-style panels securely together.
Should you buy it?
Absolutely. It makes yoga far more doable in the long run.
If you are someone who is dreading your next fitness class, specifically if you love floor-based fitness exercises (think leg lifts, planks, and modified push-ups), the BalanceFrom Tri-Fold exercise mat is for you. If you aren’t looking to transport a mat, but will leave it in one place, you can consider a larger option, such as the RitFit Folding Exercise Mat, instead. If you are looking for a rolling padded yoga mat with a bit less cushioning than my recommendation, BalanceFrom also makes the GoCloud All-Purpose 1-inch yoga mat, just one inch thinner than the one above.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Alexandra Frost is a Cincinnati-based freelance journalist and content marketing writer, focusing on health and wellness, parenting, real estate, business, education, and lifestyle.
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