Best Adjustable Kettlebell 2020
Kettlebells make a versatile addition to the home gym. They can get the heart pumping and blood flowing as part of a cardio workout and they can build and tone muscle as part of a strength training program. Owning a full set can take up too much room in the typical home gym space. However, the best adjustable kettlebell set offers the same benefits without taking up as much floor space.
Most include weight plates which you can add as required. Some sets can hold as much as 40 lbs and adjust incrementally to match your requirements. There are a lot of makes and models out there vying for your attention, so how do you know which is the best adjustable kettlebell for your home gym?
How Does An Adjustable Kettlebell Work?
Different adjustable kettlebells use different weight swapping techniques. Most, however, are simply kettlebell handles on which you can add different weights. Some systems use traditional dumbbell style weights, while others use weight plates that slot into place. The weights should lock into place, because exercises like kettlebell swings have the potential for unsecured weights to come loose.
Adjustable kettle weights aren’t for everybody. If you prefer the standard sets, you can check out our guide of the best kettlebells.
The Benefits Of An Adjustable Kettlebell
Put simply, the greatest benefit of kettlebells is that you can use them to train all four primary components of fitness:
They offer a total body workout and ballistic exercises using these flexible pieces of apparatus train ballistic power. This activates and builds the core muscles. They also require concentrated breathing.
Adjustable models not only give users all these benefits, but they are more convenient. Full sets can include between 3 and 8 full kettlebells, handles and all. This will take up a lot of room, even if they include a rack or stand. An adjustable set has one handle and a series of weights that will stack when not in use. They take up a fraction of the space of a standard set.
Below, we’ve listed the best adjustable kettlebell sets available. When judging each model, we considered the factors below while taking user and buyer reviews into account.
Weight Range And Maximum Weight
The maximum weight is the total weight that the kettlebell can take. Most adjustable sets have a maximum weight of 55lbs, which will be enough for most home users. If you’re serious about strength training, you may want something that will hold more than this.
Kettlebells can also be used for endurance training and cardio. In these cases, you will want smaller weights. As you progress and become stronger, you will want to increase the weight. This is where weight range and the increment of the weights is important. The minimum weight usually starts at around 15lbs and you will find increments from 2.5lbs to 5lbs. Although you might consider a greater range of increments to be better, too many is unnecessary. 6 weight options should prove ample.
A lot of kettlebell exercises require the use of two hands. You should spread your hands evenly on the handle to ensure that you are lifting evenly. Kettlebell handles can be quite narrow and if you have large hands, it will be a challenge to fit both hands on the handle. In this case, ensure that you look for adjustable kettlebells with wide handles.
The handle of the kettlebell is what makes this equipment unique and such a flexible addition to your home gym. You’ll be gripping this handle while lifting, holding, and even swinging the weight, so it needs to have a firm and comfortable grip. Metal isn’t comfortable to hold for any length of time, which is why some sets have powder coated handles. These offer a good grip without the pain that can come from holding solid metal.
Adjustable sets have additional room for extra weight, which means that even with minimal weights on, they will be more cumbersome than fixed kettlebells. If size is a big issue, and you can’t fit a fixed set in your gym, choose one of the more compact adjustable kettlebell sets.
Weight Switching System
Most adjustable kettlebells use weight plates that are similar in design to dumbbell weights. Different weights are combined to give the total weight you require. Some sets use a central pole and weight discs, others use plates that users insert into weight slots. Some use unique designs whereby the handle sits over the full weight set, you turn a dial, and the handle essentially picks up the amount of weight you need.
If the method used is safe and fully secures the weight plates, the technique used doesn’t make any difference to the effectiveness of the weights so the choice comes down to personal preference.
Best Adjustable Kettlebell Reviews
1 – Kettle Gryp
A lot of people are incorporating dumbbells into their workout routine. They are more flexible and can easily train a larger group of muscles. They offer ballistic or cardio training, which makes them incredibly versatile.
However, if you already have a set of good quality dumbbells and don’t want to invest in another set of weights or don’t have the room, then the Kettle Gryp offers an alternative to buying a full set.
The Kettle Gryp is effectively an Orange kettlebell handle. Place your chosen dumbbell weight inside the cradle and then close and lock the handle. Manufacturers have rated the Gryp up to 55lbs in weight. It will work with any dumbbell with a 1.5” diameter or less, which is most standard weight sets. Its design combines a high quality and durable urethane foam for the weight cradle combined with ABS plastic for the handle.
The plastic handle is more comfortable than a lot of traditional metal kettlebells and it weighs less than a pound so won’t add unnecessary weight to your routine. The whole unit comes with a lifetime warranty, which protects you should anything go wrong.
The unique design of the Kettle Gryp makes it ideal for buyers with limited space or budget. It is cheaper than other types of adjustable kettlebell, and a lot of buyers have reported using it to take away with them. Hotel gyms tend to have dumbbells, but far fewer have kettlebells. Pack the Kettle Gryp and you will always have access to a kettlebell set wherever there are dumbbells.
Some buyers have complained that the design prevents them from performing a lot of standard dumbbell exercises. Also, despite the manufacturer claims that it will work with most dumbbells, this hasn’t always proven to be the case. Check with your own weight set before buying, to ensure that it is compatible.
- Portable enough to be carried in a suitcase or overnight bag
- Does not contain the weights
- Restricts range of dumbbell exercises you can perform
- Some complaints over the cradle size
The Bowflex SelectTech adjustable weights include the kettlebell handle and enough weights to carry 40lbs. You can choose 8, 12, 20, 25, 35, and 40lbs weight setting by simply turning the dial on the handle. While some adjustable sets require the manual removal and addition of the plates and locking mechanisms, with the Bowflex you simply sit the device over the weights and choose your weight setting. It does the rest for you.
It replaces six kettlebells which means a huge space saving compared to a kettlebell set. The housing around the weights means that it is less obvious than other adjustable models, so it is portable. Bowflex could have improved portability by including a carry bag or container of some sort.
Some earlier buyer reviews have stated that the plastic locking mechanism wore down, which could cause the plates to slip. However, it appears that Bowflex has remedied this situation by implementing a metal catch, which is stronger and less prone to wearing. Other than this, buyer reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
- Good range of weight settings
- Easy weight addition and removal
- Wide enough handle for most two-handed grips
- No additional weights required
- Some complaints over earlier plastic locking mechanism, but now made using metal
- No carry bag to lug it around
The Strength Tools Plate Loaded Kettlebell is another universal kettlebell handle. There are two versions. The standard weighs just over 13lbs and the Olympic weighs 22lbs, but they both take standard dumbbell weight plates. Add the weights you want to the bar and then lock them in place with the secure locking nut.
This adjustable kettlebell is suitable for serious lifters because it will carry up to 300lbs total weight. The 35mm thick handle is suitable for single and two-handed use. It is heavier than the Kettle Gryp, which is a similar product, but it is much heavier duty and it has a much larger weight capacity. The only real downside is that it doesn’t come with any weight plates, which makes the price seem a little steep.
The Strength Tools Plate Loaded Kettlebell is ideally suited to those that are serious about their kettlebell routine. It has a mammoth weight capacity and works with standard 1” or Olympic 2” plates. It is a little pricier than devices like the Gryp, but it is also much higher quality and feels better when being used.
- 300lbs maximum weight capacity
- Works with 1” or 2” weight plates
- Very strong and robust
- A little pricey for what is basically just a handle
The Treadlife Fitness Threaded Kettlebell Handle is another universal handle. Like the Strength Tools Plate Loaded Kettlebell it uses existing weight plates. Unlike the Strength Tools, though, you will only find one version available, so it is only compatible with 1” plates. It is quite a lot cheaper than the Strength Tools Kettlebell, but the quality and strength of the handle isn’t as high, so you are getting what you pay for. It is still a good device, and it will hold several plates.
Although the manufacturer doesn’t list a maximum weight, some buyers have reported successfully using it to lift 70lbs or more. Again, not as good as the Strength Tools product, but still more than adequate for most buyers.
Buyers have criticised the handle’s design because it is too narrow for two-handed lifts. A small number of buyers have also said that the locking clamps that are supposed to keep the weights in place and prevent them knocking around when lifting and swinging the device do not keep the plates completely stationary. There is some movement, which can lead to a shift in weight balance and means that these can be noisy.
- A cheaper alternative to the pricey Strength Tools Handle
- Works with existing 1” weight plates
- Handle too narrow for double handed lifts
- Some complaints that the locking clamps don’t lock snugly
- Weight plates are not included in the set