Best Portable and Travel Sized Workout Recovery Devices
If you’re an athlete who’s always on the go, finding ways to keep up with your workout recovery habits with the tools and devices you already have can sometimes be a challenge.
This article covers a full list of recovery devices small enough to pack with you at all times. From the limited space available in your luggage when you fly, to being able to pack your favorite recovery tools with you in your backpack, so you always have it through the day.
- Benefits of Recovery Tools and Self-Myofascial Release for Athletes
- The Best Portable Workout Recovery Devices
- Best Travel Sized and Collapsible Foam Rollers:
- Best Mini Massage Guns for Travel:
- Best Portable Vibration Rollers:
- Best Massage Balls:
- Best Travel Size Massage Sticks:
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Benefits of Recovery Tools and Self-Myofascial Release for Athletes
Self-myofascial release has a cascade of benefits that positively impact both your warm up before training and boosting your post-workout recovery.
Before a workout, self-myofascial release can improve circulation to the muscle groups you will use in training and enhance range of motion to maximize the effectiveness of the exercises you will be performing.
Used after training to boost recovery, it increases blood flow to improve oxygen and nutrient delivery, reduces the impact of delayed-onset muscle soreness, and helps restore the proper balance of muscle tension.
If you’re interested in learning more about how self-myofascial release works and the laundry list of benefits that it provides for athletic performance, check out our ultimate guide to self-myofascial release.
Disadvantage of Most Recovery and Self-Myofascial Release Tools
You could categorize most recovery tools like foam rollers and massage guns as “relatively portable.” You can toss your foam roller into the back of your car on your way to the gym, and your massage gun will fit in most gym bags (depending on what else is already stuffed in there.)
And for most cases, that’s just fine for most recovery tools. You’ve already worked them into your daily habits and likely get a ton of use out of them while you’re at home.
But when it comes to packing luggage before a flight or having recovery tools readily available in the bag you carry around all day, you’re going to struggle to make room for a full-sized massage gun, and you’re not likely to fit your foam roller into your backpack.
The Best Portable Workout Recovery Devices
If you travel for competitions or work has you hopping from city to city, it can be difficult to maintain all of the protocols you use to maximize your training. Hotel gyms usually lack options, and there’s not much room for equipment in your luggage.
Luckily, self-myofascial release doesn’t have to be a convenience left at home while you travel. There are all kinds of fantastic tools on the market that make for portable yet powerful options. From foam rollers to massage guns, this list has exactly what you need to keep up your self-myofascial release practice with tools that fit right in your gym bag.
In this list, we’ll cover the best portable options for five different categories of massage and myofascial release tools:
- Foam Rollers
- Massage Guns
- Vibration Rollers
- Massage Balls
- Massage Sticks
Best Travel Sized and Collapsible Foam Rollers:
Brazyn Morph Collapsible Foam Roller
The Brazyn Morph collapsible foam roller is an incredibly innovative tool that folds flat for convenient storage.
Foam rollers are notoriously bulky by design. Since they take up quite a bit of space, they’re usually the first thing left out when you’re packing your bags.
Brazyn Morph recognized this problem for the traveling athlete and created a lightweight, collapsible foam roller that pops up to full size with just a tug of two cords.
The Morph Bravo only weighs in at 1.5lbs and collapses down to less than 2in thick. When it expands, you have a full-sized 5.5in diameter foam roller. But its small form factor doesn’t compromise on strength and durability. In its expanded form, it can still support up to 350 pounds!
RED Strength Collapsible Roller
How you want your foam roller to collapse largely depends on what you plan to store and carry it around in.
Unlike the Brazyn Morph, which folds flat, the RED Strength Collapsible Foam Roller collapses down to a compact cylinder that’s about the same size and shape as a piece of Tupperware.
The RED Strength Collapsible Roller transforms a full 34cm foam roller into just a tiny 13cm package when it’s collapsed. And it won’t load up the weight of your pack either, weighing in at only 2lbs.
Its compact collapsible design makes it the perfect choice for that athlete who’s always on the go and looking for a portable and convenient option to roll out after a hard workout.
Best Mini Massage Guns for Travel:
Once an athlete gets a massage gun, they don’t want to go anywhere without it. Unfortunately, once you’ve put a full-sized massage gun into its carrying case, it can be nearly as big as a foot-long foam roller.
The Theragun Mini takes the quality of the Theragun lineup and shrinks it down into a travel-sized package that can fit right into your backpack.
With the Theragun Mini, you get a speed range of 1750-2400 percussions per minute, and a treatment amplitude of 12mm, all in a form factor of 6 in x 5.3 in that weighs less than one and a half pounds.
If you need a massage gun wherever life takes you, the Theragun Mini packs big performance into a small device.
Hyperice Hypervolt GO
The Hyperice Hypervolt GO is the massage gun that’s designed to move with you, wherever you might go.
But its small form factor doesn’t sacrifice on specs compared to the flagship massage gun lineup from Hyperice. The GO weighs in at only 1.5lbs, has a battery life of 2.5 hours, three speeds of percussion, and at its longest length, measures at less than half a foot.
The most impressive feature of the Hypervolt GO is its whisper-quiet motor. You don’t have to worry about distracting your co-workers at the office or having to hit pause on your favorite podcast or TV show to get the muscle relief you need or to jumpstart your recovery after a workout.
Its compact design easily fits in your bag so that you can bring the full array of benefits from percussive therapy with you anytime, anywhere.
Best Portable Vibration Rollers:
Theragun Wave Duo
Vibration is a powerful tool for both warmup and recovery. Research in vibration therapy for athletes shows a wide range of benefits from improvements in neuromuscular function, muscle strength, and even positive hormonal responses.
Typically, you find vibration therapy included in standard foam rollers to enhance the benefits of self-myofascial release. For travel, this leaves you with the same problem you face when trying to pack a regular-sized foam roller into your limited luggage space.
The Theragun Wave Duo combines three powerful elements into one device. The function of a foam roller for myofascial release, the compact size of massage balls, and the enhanced benefit of vibration therapy.
For a vibration therapy device that you can fit into your gym bag, the Theragun Wave Duo (or Wave Solo if you want an even more portable design) is a fantastic tool with excellent benefits for the athlete on the go.
Hyperice Hypersphere Mini
For such a tiny vibration roller, the Hyperice Hypersphere Mini is packed with power.
The Hypersphere Mini is a compact vibrating massage ball that can fit in the palm of your hand. Its 3 x 3 x 3in size gives it ultimate portability while providing three different vibration speeds with its high-torque 40W motor.
If you’re worried about weight, the Hypersphere mini only weighs in at 1lb but still gives you enough battery for up to two hours of continuous use. And for athletes always boarding flights, it’s TSA approved to bring with you in your carry-on.
Best Massage Balls:
4KOR Fitness Ultimate Massage Ball Set
Massage balls are the ultimate combination of trigger point release and compact form factor. The 4KOR Fitness massage ball set comes with three different size options to give you the most versatility in deciding which tool is right for the job every time you travel.
The 4KOR Fitness massage ball set comes with a 4.75″, 3.2″, and 2.5″ massage ball. So if you’re traveling and have the space, you can grab the textured 4.75 in Fireball with added texture for deep tissue release.
Or, if you’re already packed to the brim and running low on room in your suitcase, you can grab the 2.5 in lacrosse ball and still get the job done.
Vertiball Mountable Muscle Massage Ball
The Vertiball Mountable Massage Ball is a unique design that solves a unique problem.
One of the significant problems with self-myofascial release or self-massage of any kind is the “self” part. There are places all over your body (especially your back) that are nearly impossible to reach by yourself with traditional tools.
The Vertiball’s design allows it to be mounted to any flat surface, opening up a whole new horizon of reaching those hard-to-reach muscle groups.
Vertiball’s mounting system gives you ultimate flexibility for creating pressure in those tricky spots with the tool. Instead of relying on gravity in the horizontal plane, you’re able to fix the massager on the vertical plane and use the force generated with your own body to adjust the pressure.
Best Travel Size Massage Sticks:
Brazyn Morph Portable Massage Stick
Brazyn Morph took the same concept of making a full-functioning yet compact foam roller and applied it to the design of a portable, travel-sized massage stick.
The Brazyn Morph Stick is a fully adjustable massage stick. But its compact 13-inch length doesn’t compromise functionality. In typical Brazyn Morph fashion, there’s more than meets the eye with this myofascial release tool.
You can configure the Morph Stick in a wide variety of configurations. The rings are adjustable, meaning you can use it as a traditional roller with no rings, slide two of them close together to target the narrow regions of the arms and legs – or position them wide to cover the larger areas of the quads and hamstrings.
Most importantly, the Brazyn Morph Stick is nearly half the length of a regular massage stick. So gone are the days of having half a massage stick poking out of the top of your backpack.
SKLZ Handheld Muscle Stick
Are you looking for a simple and affordable option for self-myofascial release?
If you’re not restricted by length, the SKLZ Handheld Muscle Stick gives you a lightweight, small diameter option for massaging tight and sore muscles wherever you go.
Its light weight lets you fit it into most gym bags or along the length of your suitcase, and its unique rod and bearing design sets it apart from most standard massage sticks to give you a smooth and consistent treatment.
And if you’re worried about going over the limit on your luggage weight, the SKLZ Handheld Massage Stick will only set you back 0.39lbs. Making a perfect option for taking it with you on any trip.