Hyperice Vyper 2.0 review: Next-level foam roller with powerful vibration

Tools for rehab, prehab, and recovery are worth a splurge if you'll actually use them.
By Becky Wade Firth  on 
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woman in plank position balancing on Vyper roller
Loosen up! Credit: Hyperrice
Hyperice Vyper 2.0
The Bottom Line
With a vibrating core, the Vyper 2.0 by Hyperice is a part of a new generation of foam rollers that are more expensive, but overall more effective, than the models that preceded them.
Buying Options
Mashable Score 4.75
Cool Factor 4.5
Learning Curve 5
Performance 5
Bang for the Buck 4.5
The Good
  • Grippy
  • Good size
  • Effective vibration with three speed options
The Bad
  • Heavy
  • Not great battery life
  • Pricey

Mashable Choice
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No matter how well-received it is at the start, the majority of fitness equipment eventually flames out hard. Shake weights, toning shoes, and vibration belts, to name just a few, were all considered must-have items at one point that are now more commonly used for comedy sketches and throwback costumes.

Foam rollers have not suffered that same fate. I came across one for the first time in the locker room of the university I ran at, thanks to an athletic trainer who showed me a thick cylinder that felt like hard styrofoam, and instructed me to roll back and forth over it to loosen up my super-tight IT bands. Nearly 15 years after that introduction, I still keep a few rollers in my recovery tool arsenal, which I’ve used on sore muscles ranging from my calves and hamstrings to shoulders and glutes. Back then, there were a small handful of brands to choose from, most of which offered one or two models (soft and firm, if anything). Since then, the tools have gained so much traction in the fitness world the market is approaching saturation. Today, you can get travel-sized ones and body-length ones; smooth ones, grooved ones, and pokey ones; soft ones, medium ones, and hard ones; and even ones that collapse for transport.

Perhaps the most innovative of the bunch are foam rollers that vibrate. I upgraded mine to a vibrating one a few years ago, and was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked and used it beyond a normal foam roller. When presented with the opportunity to test the next generation of that model—the Vyper 2.0 by Hyperice—I was immediately on board. After a couple weeks of testing, here are my takeaways on how well it works, how it compares to other foam rollers, and whether it’s worth the $149 price tag:

It’s nice and firm

On the soft-to-firm spectrum, the Vyper 2.0 is definitely on the firmer end, thanks to the high-density polypropylene foam it’s made out of. Some might find it too firm, but I personally like it; years of foam rolling have calloused my muscles so that anything too soft now feels ineffective. If you’ve never foam rolled before, the firmness might feel a bit harsh at first. You’ll get used to it pretty quickly though, and long-term, a harder roller will not only serve you better but it should ultimately last longer, too.

But it’s heavy

The Vyper 2.0’s firmness and vibration capabilities come with a tradeoff, and that’s its weight. At 3 pounds, it’s significantly heavier than most other foam rollers of its size. It’s not a big deal if you’re primarily using it at home, as I do. But if you want a unit that you can also travel with, this one might be more burdensome than it’s worth—although it is TSA approved for carry-on. For the best of both worlds, my recommendation is to get one of each: a vibrating roller that will cost more but also get used more, plus a light and cheap option as your dedicated on-the-road roller (such as this 0.35-pound, 12-inch-long one for $8.99).

The size is right

The Vyper 2.0 measures 19.3 x 5.8 inches, which is a nice size, in my opinion. You don’t need a ton of space to use it and it’s a breeze to move from room to room, based on where you want to roll out. While I do think there’s a time and a place for those super-long foam rollers—I have a lightweight 36-inch one that I use for loosening up my back—I find a smaller one much more handy. It can easily tackle each quad, hamstring, calf, and glute (the four body parts I use it on most), and for what it’s worth, I use my short roller about twice as often as my long one.

Its grippy texture works on any surface

Upon first inspection, it may seem like the Vyper 2.0 will be too rough, texture-wise, to be comfortable. It has a bunch of shallow striations and a coarse surface, unlike many foam rollers (and basically all of the earliest models) that are smooth to the touch. Using it, however, you’ll see that the rough surface is not only not a nuisance; it’s functional. It allows you to use the Vyper 2.0 on any surface—from carpet to gym mat to hardwood—without worrying about it sliding around. Untextured alternatives cannot claim the same.

It offers three vibration speeds

For a “high-tech” foam roller, I appreciate the simplicity of the Vyper 2.0. To get it going, all you have to do is switch it into the on position on one end, and then use the single button on the opposite end to toggle between three vibration speeds: low, medium, and high. Increasing the speed results in a more intense vibration and will probably be something you start playing with once you’ve acclimated to the lowest setting. You also may find, as I have, that some body parts respond well to higher vibration—quads and glutes, for example—while others—like calves—get all they need from lower speeds.

The battery is rechargeable

It’s a good thing the Vyper 2.0 comes with a rechargeable battery, because with just a two-hour life, you’d otherwise burn through a ton of batteries. How quickly you use up the charge depends, of course, on how frequently you use the roller and how long each session lasts. When I’m on my A foam rolling game, meaning that I use it most days for 10 minutes or so, I charge it up about every other week. During less diligent stretches, it can last a few weeks or longer. And all of that can change based on my husband’s usage, which usually requires an overnight charge about once a week when he also uses it regularly.

Go for it?

While $149 is not an insignificant amount to spend on a foam roller, which you could get for a fraction of the same price (without the vibration element), my take is that the Vyper 2.0 by Hyperice is a good investment for effective at-home body care. It’s firm and grippy, with a nice size, a rechargeable battery, and—the deal-maker—a three-speed vibrating core that puts this roller on a rung above those without. Its weight doesn’t make it the easiest to travel with, but that’s a problem easily solved with a cheaper and lighter backup roller.

As a professional athlete, I’m of the opinion that the rehab, prehab, and recovery tools that are worth splurging on are those that A) work well, and B) you’re actually inclined to use. The Vyper 2.0 hits both of those for me, which is why I’d recommend it to fellow athletes of all types and levels.

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