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.
- 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
For the purpose of this review, I purchased the 54-pound Onnit Primate Kettlebell. The Orangutan is a beautifully crafted piece of gym equipment that arrived just several days after I placed my order.
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 type of grip issues thanks to the decently textured handle that works well without the need for chalk.
When I do add chalk to the handle, my grip improves, although I wish it would stay in place for longer periods of time. Compared to my Rep Fitness Kettlebells, the chalk needs to be applied two to three times more often with Onnit’s product. This is actually 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 actually arrived with a small paint chip right 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 iron from gym equipment manufacturers are overstated. Paint is paint, and it will chip, regardless of the coating used.
Back to the handle, one of the main reasons I purchased this fitness equipment is the oversized handle configuration. As someone who is constantly struggling to improve their grip strength, I personally love that the Onnit Primal Kettlebells challenge me to hold on for dear life. The moment I put the Orangutan kettlebell in my hands I noticed the difference compared to my other bells.
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 actually 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.
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 would actually 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 the bottom of this page shows some pretty intense HIIT training being conducted with the Onnit Howler bells being 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 labs doesn’t disappoint.
Speaking of balance, I was initially worried that the primate design was going to cause the kettlebell to be off balanced. With a traditional kettlebell the weight is evenly distributed 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 find pricing for the Onnit Primal Kettlebells here.