What We’re Testing Now: This Massage Gun Hammers Backpacking Pain Away

Say goodbye to your massage therapist.

Photo: Hyperice

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with chronic back and neck pain. While it doesn’t completely prevent me from hiking and backpacking, carrying a heavy load doesn’t help with the constant inflammation. I’ve tried everything to manage the pain: stretching, physical therapy, dry needling, massages, chiropractic, foam rolling, Ibuprofen, laying on a lacrosse ball, and asking my husband for back rubs. Nothing has ever entirely relieved the tension. 

Then I met the Hyperice Hypervolt 2 Pro. I’ve been using this gun-shaped percussion tool almost daily on my knots since May. After carrying a backpack, I usually experience shooting pain in my shoulders and the sides of my neck. The five different head attachments and five speeds of high-torque percussion target all sorts of problem areas to mitigate the tension until my next trip. It pairs with the Hyperice app over bluetooth to provide warm-up and recovery routines designed by athletes. Even though I use it primarily on my back and neck, it’s also effective at releasing tightness and soreness in my calves, quads, arms, and glutes. The initial price is steep, but I think it’s worth every penny. I used to pay more than $50 for massage therapy sessions, and I went more than 8 times—about the same price as the Hypervolt. These days, I don’t need to go at all. 

At 2.6 pounds, the Hypervolt is not something I toss in my pack, but I look forward to using it once I return from the trail.

$399; Buy Now