Best Portable Exercise Equipment for 2022
We use affiliate links, and receive a small commission on purchases made through these links. Find out more here.
Keeping fit while you’re on the road can be quite difficult. Not every hotel or Airbnb has a gym and even if yours does, truth be told, sometimes you’d just prefer to stay in your room for the evening.
In this roundup, we’re going to take a look at the best portable exercise equipment. With these items, you’ll be sure to stay in shape no matter where your travels take you.
Portable Exercise Equipment Overview
Before we take a look at the best portable exercise equipment for travel, let’s discuss the market segment as a whole. We’ll cover benefits and what to look for when you purchase portable workout gear.
Benefits of Portable Exercise Equipment
Stay Fit While Traveling
While there’s nothing wrong with taking a little break from the gym during vacation, extended lapses can be harmful. Even professional athletes start to lose muscle mass after only about three weeks away from their routine.
You can avoid that by bringing your gym with you!
Stick to Your Routine (Not Just Whatever Equipment Your Hotel or Airbnb Gym Has)
In all my years of traveling, I’ve never come across a hotel or short-term rental that offers exactly the type of equipment I use at home. That’s fair enough; for many people, exercise is nothing more than a side note while traveling.
For those of us who like to follow detailed exercise plans, though, it can be demotivating. This is particularly true if you can’t see what equipment your housing actually has beforehand.
Instead of hoping you’ll find what you need, why not just bring it yourself? As an added bonus, you won’t have to wait your turn for it either!
More Hygienic Than Public Equipment
Given the recent news cycle surrounding coronavirus, you’ve likely become a lot more conscious about sanitation. Unfortunately, public facilities like hotel gyms can harbor bacteria. This can be disastrous when combined with the ability of stress (which usually abounds while traveling) to suppress your immune system.
You have much greater control over cleaning your own equipment, which should help put your mind at ease.
Portable Equipment is Often Multi-Purpose
By virtue of being compact, portable exercise equipment also often has a lot more functionality than you’d find with traditionally-sized products. You’ll get a much more thorough workout for your money.
Great for More Than Just Travel
Not everyone has enough room in their basement for a full-size gym. If your workout area is also your bedroom and office, you’ll have a hard time fitting large, non-collapsible machines in it.
With portable exercise equipment, you won’t have that problem. Tucking it under your bed or into a closet is even easier than fitting it into your suitcase.
What to Look for in Good Portable Exercise Equipment for Travel
As with any other market segment, you’ll find both good and bad products in this one. Here’s what makes for portable equipment worth considering.
Good Exercise Functionality
First and foremost, you need to be able to get a good workout. That means equipment should be appropriately-sized with a design backed by science. You’ll find that negates a lot of gimmicky infomercial-type products that claim to help you lose 100 pounds without leaving your office chair.
This also eliminates products that are unnecessary. For example, there are many exercises you can do just as effectively without any equipment at all. The best portable equipment, however, makes your workout more efficient and beneficial.
Such equipment typically focuses on at least one of the following exercise groups identified as essential by experts:
Portable exercise equipment for travel tends to see a lot more wear and tear than usual. Your luggage gets tossed around, the equipment gets folded and unfolded dozens of times on any given trip, and much more.
As a result, these products need to be very durable. As often as possible, the items on this list are made from primarily metal that can withstand compression and crushing.
The rigorous use of any exercise equipment can cause strain. While full-sized products get around this by offering more padding and a larger footprint, manufacturers of portable units need to get more creative. You’ll see what I mean when we take a look at the best products.
Portable exercise gear should not be so cumbersome that you feel burnt out just carrying it from the elevator to your room. Rather, you should be able to carry it around in your luggage with relative ease.
Even the best products occasionally arrive with defects. This can be particularly annoying with portable exercise gear since a faulty unit leaves you with nothing more than a fancy door stop while on the road.
Good manufacturers have international warranties that will help you get a replacement promptly.
Best Portable Exercise Equipment for Travel
Here are five of the best portable exercise products currently on the market.
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to exercising on the go is finding a suitable surface. This Gaiam Yoga Mat can help.
Kettlebells are great for exercising several muscle groups, including your biceps, core, and legs. These weights are also very difficult to carry around, however, which is where the Kettle Gryp comes in handy.
This product from GoFitness ranks among the best portable resistance exercise equipment. Instead of relying on weights for strength-building, it uses a spring-based design.
Portable cardio exercise equipment can be hard to come by. This product is one of the few good options out there.
Unlike many of our other product roundups, the items mentioned here don’t compete directly with one another. As such, which product is best for you all depends on your fitness goals.
That said, the best all-around product would have to be the Wonder Core Smart Body Fitness machine. It’s a truly standalone unit offering both cardio and muscle toning capabilities.
To further explain why it’s the best option, let’s refer back to the points I mentioned in this article’s second section.
Firstly, we have functionality. Wonder Core’s product undoubtedly performs well here, allowing you to exercise your core, back, legs, biceps, triceps, and even get a full cardio workout in.
As far as durability goes, the Wonder Core has a rigid metal frame and thick foam padding that should last for years is quite ergonomic.
The product suffers a bit in the “lightweight” category due to its 16-pound heft. You’ll need to pack creatively but it can certainly be done.
Lastly, Wonder Core sells this product directly themselves, negating any fears you might have about the sort of third-party warranties that are common with Amazon products.