· By Winnie Cheung
Best Portable Workout Equipment - To Use Anytime, Anywhere
Best Portable Workout Equipment
I don’t know about you, but I am a creature of habit. I like having things I can count on throughout the day that set me up for success. One of those habits is getting a workout in. There is something cathartic about getting your heart pumping and the endorphins flowing.
The thing is when we travel or have a busy schedule it can be incredibly challenging to keep up with a workout routine. Worry not, I am here to help. These situations don’t have to interrupt your gains because we have some of the best portable workout equipment so you never have to skip a workout.
Portable Exercise Equipment: Benefits and Usability
There are many benefits to using portable exercise equipment:
- Convenient. Easy to take with you, anything on the list can easily fit in a backpack or carry-on and they are lightweight.
- Affordable. These pieces of equipment won’t break the bank.
- Flexible. With many of the items on the list, you can perform a variety of exercises.
We don’t need a full-blown setup to get a good workout in. Sometimes less is more. As the name suggests, portable exercise equipment is small and able to be easily carried or moved. So, whether it’s a trip to another country or wanting to get a workout in the park near the office on a lunch hour these are the best portable workout equipment.
Our Best Portable Workout Equipment Picks
- Best for Strength and Cardio → Tank 15 by Fluid X
- Best for Yogis→ Carry Onwards Travel Yoga Mat by lululemon
- Best for Full Body→ TRX All-in-One Suspension Trainer
- Best Resistance Bands→ Fit Simplify Resistance Loop Exercise Bands Workout Set
- Best Ankle Weights→ Bala Bangles
- Best Compact Gym→ OYO Personal Gym
- Best for Running → Trainer AD1 by Lane Eight
- Best for Cardio → WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope
- Best for Core → A AZURELIFE Exercise Core Sliders
- Best Recovery Tool → Textured Massage Ball by Triggerpoint
Best for Strength and Cardio → Tank 15 by Fluid X
The Tank 15 is a water-filled weight or aqua bag that you fill up, pump up, and have a seriously fun workout with. When filling it up you can choose the weight you want thanks to the weight indicators on the bag.
Make sure to leave some air, so you can feel the water movement. This engages your stabilizing muscles and gives your core a great workout. Since the water moves every repetition feels different than the one before.
- This equipment works great for strength (think lunges and upright rows) as well as cardio (like ice skaters and woodchoppers)
- Fluid X comes with a YouTube channel that has plenty of workouts for you to follow
- The water weight or live weight adds a challenge that keeps you on your toes
- You can choose a weight from 1kg to 15 kg
- If you want a higher weight they also have the Tank 20 or if you prefer kettle movements they have the Boba 13.
- You need to have access to a water tap or hose to fill it up
Best for Yogis→ Carry Onwards Travel Yoga Mat by lululemon
This packable yoga mat can fit easily into your backpack or carry-on for you to do your flows and stretches anywhere. This yoga mat makes the list of the best portable exercise equipment for its convenient foldable feature. Where most yoga mats need to be rolled, this one folds.
- Made with sustainably sourced rubber material
- Solid grip thanks to microfiber side
- Weighs less than 1 kg
- Machine washable
- Very compact
- The soft side is hard to grip
- 2 mm thickness doesn’t have much padding for certain workouts
Best for Full Body→ TRX All-in-One Suspension Trainer
This suspension trainer is world-renowned for delivering a solid workout without the need for weights or dumbbells. It is a piece of equipment that caters to all fitness levels and you can adjust how difficult an exercise is with a simple adjustment of your body position. For all of this, the TRX is one of the best portable workout equipment.
- Can be set up anywhere (home, gym, hotel room, or outside)
- Weighs less than 1 kg
- Access to coach-led workouts is only available on a 30-day trial, later you need to pay for full access
- There is a bit of a learning curve to adjusting the straps and getting comfortable
- More expensive than other options on the list
Best Resistance Bands→ Fit Simplify Resistance Loop Exercise Bands Workout Set
Resistance bands are one of the best portable exercise equipment on the market because you can get a great workout anywhere. You can target the different body parts with different levels of resistance. They are very portable and take up very little space when you’re on the go.
- Versatile as it can be used for strength, yoga, pilates, etc.
- Five bands with increasing resistance
- Very compact and lightweight
- Not as convenient for upper-body exercises
- After use, buyers report snapping the bands
Best Ankle Weights→ Bala Bangles
Bala makes the list of our best portable gym equipment thanks to their beautiful design and great quality. Ankle or wrist weights are a great way to add an extra challenge to pilates, yoga, and boxing moves.
One of the great benefits of this piece of equipment is that, even though you are using weights, your hand, and legs are free to move around.
- Beautiful design
- Options of 0.5 and 1 kg
- Made of high-quality resistance steel and covered in soft silicone
- The low level of resistance might not be enough for some
- Can slip during high-intensity cardio
Best Compact Gym→ OYO Personal Gym
This item on our best portable equipment list is the only one that can boast it has gone up to space. Since there is no gravity in space, weights don’t work there. The OYO Personal Gym is based on Spiraflex technology that uses resistance instead of weight.
- Up to 11 kg of resistance in each hand
- Only weights 1 kg
- Comes with YouTube Channel Workout Library
- There is a learning curve to controlling the OYO
- Doesn’t feel like cardio
- 11 kg of resistance might be too little for some
- Expensive compared to other options
Best for Running → Trainer AD1 by Lane Eight
OK- I know that running shoes don’t really fall in the equipment category, as they really are apparel, but hear me out. These running shoes go from the gym to a casual stroll, to a 5k run seamlessly. It’s a hassle to pack up different shoes to get your workout in, and that’s why these running shoes make our best portable exercise equipment list.
One of my favorite features of these shoes is the combination of recycled knit which is super breathable and the vegan leather tip in the inner top corner of the shoe. Often knit shoes develop a hole over time in that spot but our friends of Lane Eight were so clever at designing accordingly.
- Eco-friendly, made of sustainable materials
- Snug fit and responsive algae cushioning that keeps feet comfortable all-day
- Beautiful design and a huge variety of colors
- Can be slippery on rainy days
- Good for casual runs, but wouldn’t use it for serious running training
Best for Cardio → WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope
What weighs less than half a kilo and can bring your heart rate from 60 to 120 in less than 60 seconds? The WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope! Using a jumping rope has tons of benefits, and it’s a sure way to get the heart pumping and the body sweating.
- Lightweight yet durable
- Hits the cardio sweet spot while working shoulders and legs
- Need wire cutters to adjust the length
- Kinks easily when not stored properly
- Good as an accessory workout- not usually the main
Best for Core → A AZURELIFE Exercise Core Sliders
If you were thinking about how you can take your bodyweight workouts to the next level, the answer is core sliders. These two little plates are going to really fire up your core in every move, getting your muscles to scream for mercy. It really forces you to control your movement, improving your form and sweating all at the same time.
- Strengthen muscles while building endurance and stability
- Good for upper and lower body movements
- Doesn’t work well on rough surfaces
- Can leave scratch marks on hardwood floors
Best Recovery Tool → Textured Massage Ball by Triggerpoint
As much as working out is important, recovery is equally as important to keep up our performance and be kind to our bodies that do so much for us. That’s why MobiPoint makes it into our best portable equipment list. MobiPoint massage ball provides direct compression, relieving soreness, discomfort, and tightness.
- Good for massaging different body parts
- Useful to hit trigger points
- The nubs can feel quite harsh for some
- The small size means it covers a small area
How to Choose the Best Portable Exercise Equipment
When deciding which is the best portable exercise equipment for you. There are a few things that you can keep in mind:
- Fitness Goals. Depending on your focus whether it's yoga, strength, toning, or cardio, you can select which equipment is more suitable for you.
- Budget. Some options on the list are more expensive than others. Consider what amount of money you feel comfortable spending.
- Size. While all of the items on the list are very light, some occupy more space the others.
I like having variety and options in my life as it keeps things fresh and novel. Try out different options and you can see what works best for you. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you feel good when you workout because that ensures that you keep doing it.
For all the different pieces of equipment, make sure to learn and instruct yourself to keep the proper form. As always, safety comes first.
The Best Portable Exercise Equipment
All of the equipment on this list is light and portable. At the end of the day, what makes the best piece of equipment is the one that has a lot of versatility where you can hit upper and lower body, in addition to core. Being able to target different muscle groups for strength as well as cardio.
For this reason, we think Tank 15 by Fluid X is the best portable exercise equipment because it does exactly that. Plus, if you’re short on ideas of what to do with it just head to their YouTube channel where there are lots of quick workouts to get your endorphin dose of the day.
The goal here is to avoid skipping a workout even when we are traveling or busy because working out is great for grounding us and improving our mental health. Taking some time to do something for yourself and your body can go a long way to fill up your cup of self-love and allow you to show up better for the rest of things in your day.