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The Best Fitness Gear You Can Pack in Your Carry-on

Jan. 05, 2019
5 min read
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When you're away from home, it can be easy to throw your fitness routine aside. It's tempting to just take the time off and forgo working out and eating right.

The problem, especially for frequent travelers, is that this begins to add up over time. Before you know it, you may have completely abandoned your healthy habits in favor of unhealthy ones.

The are many obstacles to staying fit while traveling. Hotel gyms are great, but they're not always an option. Bodyweight workouts are extremely effective, but there are times when you just need some variety. Packing the right fitness gear when you travel can make all the difference. These seven products will keep your fitness goals on track.

Black Mountain Resistance Band Set

Resistance bands don't get enough attention from the fitness community, and they're often dismissed as inferior to barbells or equipment only beginners use. But the reality is that they can be a traveler's best friend for staying fit. They take up almost no room in your luggage and weigh next to nothing, making them the perfect workout tool to pack in your carry-on. The Black Mountain Resistance Band Set is the top-selling resistance band set on Amazon and supports many workout routines, including P90X. It includes bands with interchangeable handles, a door anchor, an ankle strap and five bands with a range of resistance levels.

(Image via Amazon)
(Image via Amazon)

The EmPack

The EmPack is the first and only backpack designed for use as a weight training tool. It's incredibly practical for travelers — it's a backpack after all, so it does double duty as a fitness tool and a way to carry your belongings. Four bladders that can each hold 15 pounds of water or 21 pounds of sand allow you to easily add weight, and it's made from military-grade materials, so you know it's durable. Use it as a barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell or to add weight to your favorite bodyweight exercises. Buy: theempack.com, from $150

Monkii Bars 2

Incorporating fitness gear into travel workouts can be tricky, but Monkii Bars 2 are the perfect tool that can go just about anywhere and still give you a killer workout. They're strong but light (nine ounces), and the setup is easy. Monkii Bars pack up easily into your carry-on and are meant to be hung from a door, ceiling beam, tree branch or other secure spot. The workouts you get using Monkii Bars are highly effective. You can also download the Monkii app on your phone for curated videos, including hotel workouts, park workouts and a so-called "workout in the wild." Buy: monkii.com, $200

(Photo via YouTube)

BeMaxx Fitness Speed Rope

Jumping rope is a great way to burn a ton of calories quickly and is perfect for travelers. You'll drive your heart rate up, boost your metabolism and burn off fat with a tiny piece of equipment that takes up almost no space in your carry-on. The BeMaxx Fitness Speed Rope is a quality speed rope with 90-degree ball bearings that allow for quick turning, while anti-slip handles allow for a comfortable, firm grip. Adjustable wire cables are premium quality and easily replaceable. This rope also comes with a free workout guide to get you jumping rope like a pro. Buy: be-maxx.com, €10 ($12)

Kettle Gryp

While the other products on this list are meant for use without a gym, this one is included specifically for travelers who do have access to a gym, and love kettlebells. Because let's face it, not too many hotel gyms have them. But if you travel with the Kettle Gryp, you'll be able to turn any dumbbell into a kettlebell. The Kettle Gryp is a dumbbell adapter designed to fit onto dumbbells and turn them into kettlebells. It's small, lightweight (less than one pound) and easily fits in a carry-on.

(Image via Amazon)

(Image via Amazon)

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Morph Collapsible Foam Roller

Rolling your muscles with a foam roller is a great way to flush toxins and relieve trigger points. This will not only improve your overall performance, but also speed up recovery. Unfortunately, most foam rollers aren't exactly travel-friendly. The Morph Collapsible Foam Roller by Brazyn, however, is perfect for travelers. It collapses, making it portable and easy to pack in your carry-on. And despite weighing under two pounds, it's durable enough to withstand some heavy rolling. Buy: Brazynlife.com, $68

TRX Tactical

Invented by a Navy SEAL on deployment, TRX suspension training straps are great for travel workouts. TRX produces a few variations of their popular straps, but the TRX Tactical is the best choice for travelers, especially members of the military and those who love the outdoors. That's because the Tactical set is the most rugged suspension trainer from TRX, able to withstand the punishment that comes with heavy travel and outdoor exposure. It’s lightweight, easy to set up and comes with a suspension anchor and door anchor.

(Image via VS Athletics)
(Image via VS Athletics)
Featured image by (Photo via Shutterstock)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023