Travel and adventure are among the most important items on my list of favorite things. But one of the inevitable results if you pursue those two things frequently, is sore, tight, and knotted muscles. Think about all the hours in uncomfortable airplane seats, hauling your baggage, couch surfing or sleeping in hotel beds, and working in as much adventure as you can on vacation time?

I know it isn’t just me. And I’ve usually relied on the availability of spas, so I can work in a great deep-tissue massage on occasion. But as this past year has emphasized: Not everything we’re accustomed to is available when we want it.

I can suck it up for a while, but having full range of motion without pain is a condition I enjoy. So, I finally got over myself about percussion massage guns and tried out the Triggerpoint Impact.

Looking back, I’m kind of mad at myself for thinking that an essential tool like this—one that increases blood flow, hydrates muscle tissue, improves range of motion, and relieves soreness and stiffness—is something “extra.” Sure, you can go get a massage when things get bad, but why let them get bad in the first place? Why not treat yourself well in the first place?

The Impact’s 4-speed brushless motor is relatively quiet (it’s not 100% silent, but it is muted compared to many competitors) and gives you options to control the intensity of your massage, from slow to fast. It has an angled handle and top-weighted design makes it easy to control pressure, as well as target hard-to-reach areas. The 2.4-pound massage gun is manageable to wield one handed, and isn’t so heavy that it would be ruled out as an essential travel tool.

Besides, after using one for a while, I’m not sure I want to go anywhere overnight without it.

The battery is rechargeable (charging cord included) for up to 2+ hours of continuous massage.  And even if you don’t want to pack the Impact in your overnight bag, think of all the pre- and post-workout use you can get out of it at home.

The Impact lists for $199.99 on the Triggerpoint site.

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