roll r1 travel size percussion massager with different attachment heads
(Photo/Mary Murphy)

ROLL Recovery R1 Review: Tiny But Mighty Percussion Massager Packs a Punch

Looking for a sleek, lightweight, packable recovery tool? If simple wave tools and rollers don’t do the trick, know there’s a budget-friendly, battery-powered option out there — the ROLL Recovery R1.

Tested and inspired by elite athletes, ROLL Recovery says its R1 Percussion Massage Device uses the force of percussive therapy to improve performance and accelerate recovery. ROLL also designed this R1 model to work for pre-workout or post-workout relief.

But there are plenty of percussion massagers out there, so why this one? Well, it’s exceptionally compact but still offers plenty of features beyond the basics. And its price is amazing.

In short: Compared to others on market, the R1 is tiny. Like, it fits in the palm of my hand. But thankfully, it still packs a punch. The R1 comes with four different attachment heads, has four different speeds, and has up to 7 hours of battery life — all at an accessible price of $129.

ROLL Recovery R1 Review

roll recovery percussion massager in champagne gold against a black background
(Photo/Mary Murphy)

From the home gym to the yoga studio to long travel days, we’ve already found a variety of uses for this mini massager.

ROLL R1 Percussion Massager Specs

  • Settings: On/off, 4 speed settings
  • Intensity: 1,800-3,200 rpm
  • Power: 40-50 W
  • Includes: Spike head, dual spike head, soft ball head, and flat head attachments
  • Dimensions: 5.6″ x 3.6″ x 1.85″
  • R1 weight: 1 lb. 3.8 oz
  • Total weight (with travel bag and attachments): 1 lb. 6 oz.
  • Price: $129

R1 Pre- and Post- Recovery

roll r1

The No. 1 thing the ROLL R1 has going for it is its portability (i.e., travel size). I had no problem sticking this in a small bag to bring to the gym or yoga studio. Yet the unit still feels powerful and capable in hand — it’s comfortable to hold, and I can’t tell a difference in the speed settings compared to what you’d get in a full-size massager.

It’s nothing too complicated or beefy (note: heavy!). And compared to what’s on market now, it’s one of the most lightweight and affordable units we’ve found. (Paying $200-600 for a massager? No thank you.)

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I know some of you are thinking, “My body’s old and beat up by years of running, biking, etc. I need deep-tissue work. A ‘mini’ unit doesn’t sound like it will cut it.”

Fear not, friends: The ROLL R1’s speeds go up to 3,200 rpm — that’s more than our current most packable percussion pick, the Theragun Mini ($199). The ROLL R1 also weighs less and costs less, proving it can hang with all the other percussion massagers just the same.

Percussion on the Go

using the roll r1 travel size percussion massager in champagne gold
(Photo/Mary Murphy)

This past week, I used the R1 once before and after a double-digit-mile hike, and a few times post-workout (lifting, treadmill running) at home.

It’s worth noting that I didn’t already own or use a percussion massager. Lying down on my floor and stretching is about the only “recovery” routine I had. Though now I definitely see the benefits.

My favorite heads were the soft ball and flat head. But if the power level (max is 3,200 rpm) still isn’t enough for some sore muscles, we recommend trying the spike attachments for more targeted work.

I’ve only had this unit for a week, but so far, I’ve found it charges to full battery quickly (under 2 hours). I’ve charged it twice now, and the blinking lights to indicate speed setting, battery level, and charging are helpful.

That being said, I did once notice a series of flashing lights (three every 5 seconds, which in the manual indicates the battery is charging) when I didn’t have it plugged in to charge. The LED light on the unit should flash in different increments to indicate battery level: below 60%, below 30%, and below 10% with a red flash.

Another awesome feature of the R1 is that ROLL Recovery built in a 15-minute self-timing shutoff to preserve battery life.

I also really loved the included travel bag, which is both convenient and protective.

Conclusion

The ROLL Recovery R1 was released just this week. It comes in four colors, including the Champagne Gold we tested and a deep red reminiscent of Dorothy’s ruby slippers. For what the R1 offers, how it performed, and the price — it’s pretty great. We plan to keep testing, but so far, we love what we see.

Mary Murphy
By

Mary Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee.

She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.