Onnit Primal Kettlebells
User Review( votes)
Onnit Primal Kettlebells offer a very unique look, oversized handles, and a chip-resistant powder coat that does a decent job of holding chalk while providing a textured grip surface.
- Oversized handles help work on grip strength.
- Well-balanced design.
- A single piece of iron ensures a strong build.
- Does a decent job of holding chalk.
- Awesome design that really stands out in any garage gym.
- Glossy paint really makes the design stand out under bright lights.
- Chip-resistant paint chipped almost immediately.
- Chalk adds grip but needs to be re-applied more often than traditional kettlebell powder coats from other top manufacturers.
The Onnit Primal Kettlebells are a unique offering that adds a splash of fun to any garage gym. While the product features fun and unique designs, they are also a high-quality functional product that attempts to differentiate itself from other kettlebells on the market.
As the name suggests, Onnit Primal Kettlebells feature the faces of different primates. Onnit currently offers five different weights, each corresponding to a different primate.
Onnit Primal Kettlebell Options
- 18 Pounds: Howler Primal Bell
- 36 Pounds: Chimp Primal Bell
- 54 Pounds: Orangutan Primal Bell
- 72 Pounds: Gorilla Primal Bell
- 90 Pounds: Bigfoot Primal Bell
This primal bell collection ranges in price from $42.95 for the 18-pound Howler Primal bell to $214.95 for the Bigfoot Primal bell.
To put the price in context, An 8kg (18-pound) Rep Fitness Kettlebell is just $29, while a 40kg (88-pound) option will run you just $109.
For this review, I purchased the 54-pound Onnit Primate Kettlebell. The Orangutan is a beautifully crafted piece of gym equipment that arrived several days after placing my order.
Quality and Design
The chip-resistant powder coat on the bells is shinier than my standard bells from Rep Fitness, Rogue, and other providers; that glossy finish, however, does not translate to any grip issues thanks to the decently textured handle that works well without the need for chalk.
When I add chalk to the handle, my grip improves, although I wish the chalk would stay in place longer. Compared to my Rep Fitness Kettlebells, the chalk must be applied two to three times more often with Onnit’s product. This is a common issue with glossy powder coats and doesn’t come as a surprise.
While I like the idea of a chip-resistant powder coat, my kettlebell arrived with a small paint chip on the orangutan’s chin (pictured above) that was not caused by shipping, as the box was in surprisingly great condition upon arrival. I’ve found over the years that claims about chip-resistant claims from gym equipment manufacturers are overstated. Paint is paint and will chip, regardless of the coating used.
An Oversized Handle Configuration
Back to the handle, one of the main reasons I purchased this fitness equipment is the oversized handle configuration. As someone constantly struggling to improve their grip strength, I love that the Onnit Primal Kettlebells challenge me to hold on for dear life. I noticed the difference from other kettlebells when I put the Orangutan kettlebell in my hands.
While I enjoy the enlarged handles, a quick examination of the photo at the top of this page shows that Onnit’s grip area is skinnier than my traditional products. I have fairly large hands, and when double-gripping the kettlebell, I have to squeeze my pinky fingers into place. This isn’t a huge deal while using a 54-pound option, but it could pose grip issues for me at 72 or 90 pounds.
Performance and Versatility
The Onnit Primal Kettlebells feature a flat surface that is well-balanced thanks to a single piece of iron being used thanks to the casting process for these kettlebells. I prefer to use Onnit’s product for modified pushups and planks because the oversized handle feels more comfortable in my hand.
The surface is flat enough that the final video review at this page shows some pretty intense HIIT training conducted with the Onnit Howler bells used for various movements, including a bodyweight exercise in which the bells are “walked” along the floor. A strong kettlebell workout is great for toning and building muscle, and the team at Onnit doesn’t disappoint.
Speaking of balance, I was initially worried that the primate design would cause the kettlebell to be off-balanced. The weight is evenly distributed with a traditional kettlebell because of the round design and universally flat base. I was pleasantly surprised to recognize that the Onnit product is still balanced from left to right and back and forth. Swinging the bell is an even experience from lifting through full motion.
You can read user reviews and explore pricing on the official Onnit Primal Kettlebells product page.