man doing push-ups on top of a kettlebell

Top 5 Best Kettlebells for Calisthenics in 2020 [Buyer Guide]

Updated Today

If you are really into calisthenics you will see why adding a kettlebell could really help you improve your workouts. 

To be honest, picking a good bell isn’t such an easy task.

That’s why we’ve created this buying guide on how to buy the best kettlebell for calisthenics. 

Below you will find out the top 5 list followed by great tips and features you should look for if you want to get something of great quality. 

No time to read?

Don’t worry, I get you. My personal pick is the Yes4All Vinyl Coated Kettlebell because it’s affordable, made from solid steel and has everything you need for calisthenics.

Click Here if you want to check the latest price on Amazon <<

That being said let’s hop into our top 5 list and find out more.

Top 5 Best Kettlebells for Calisthenics

In order to save you time and headaches, we have already prepared a list of top 5 products you can buy today. 

All 5 options reviewed below are affordable, made of nice quality materials and have excellent feedback and features. 

Here is a preview of my Top 5 Favourite Kettlebells for Calisthenics:

  1. Yes4All Vinyl Coated Kettlebell – Best Overall
  2. Yes4All Solid Cast Iron Kettlebell – Best for Outdoors
  3. Cap Barbell Enamel Coated Cast Iron Kettlebell – Best for Beginners
  4. REP FITNESS Kettlebell – Heaviest Weight
  5. Stamina X Adjustable Kettlebell (36 lbs) – Best Adjustable Kettlebell

You won’t make a mistake if you go for one or the other because they are all worth it. 

1. Yes4All Vinyl Coated Kettlebell – Best Overall

Click the image to see the latest pricing on Amazon

The first option offered by Yes4All is a bell that does really offer anything you might possibly need for a great calisthenics workout.

It has 10 pretty good weight options starting from 5 lbs going up to 50 lbs. This range makes it a great choice for both men and women. 

What I like is that the whole thing is made from cast iron and uses a special vinyl finish for extra floor protection and noise reduction. 

Another little bonus vinyl brings is the fact that it also plays the role of an extra layer that helps you protect the iron from rust and looks great at the same time.

I want to mention that this is one of the few products that has thought about those things and that’s why we’ve chosen it to be the winner. 

The quality of the handles is also good. There are no sharp edges or seam. Every handle is wide so it can be used by both hands in many cases, thick enough in order to get a decent forearm workout and have great texture so they don’t become slippery when not needed.

One of the crucial features you need is a flat and wide bottom and this model has one. 

This is going to help with a lot of calisthenic floor exercises and make the whole thing stable and easy to store when not in use. 

Finally, let’s finish this review with a few good things – you are also getting a 1-year warranty, 30-day free returns and proper customer service that can help you anytime.

I believe Yes4All has made a great product you should definitely check out.

Quick Summary:

This bell’s quality is backed up by hundreds of happy customers over the world. It has a good price and has an extra vinyl coating for floor and noise protection.

Even with some of the issues that come with this product, I would still recommend it to anyone looking for something good. 

Pros
  • Made with solid materials
  • Additional vinyl coating for protection
  • A wide and thick handle
  • Great price and overall quality
  • 1-year warranty and free returns
Cons
  • Not so great packaging for some people
  • Vinyl may crack in time

2. Yes4All Solid Cast Iron Kettlebell – Best for Outdoors

Click the image to see the latest pricing on Amazon

The second bell is another product offered by the same company with a few differences. The first one is the number of different weight options you are provided with. 

With this product, you are offered twice the amount meaning you can choose one of the 20 different weights starting from 5 and going up to 80 lbs. 

The other main difference is the fact that this bell doesn’t have any vinyl protection layer which could be a good or a bad thing depending on what you are looking for. 

Same as the previous model, this one is made from cast iron and uses a great rough finish in order to prevent corrosion or slipping.

That results in one solid construction without any welds or weak spots so you don’t have to worry about durability. 

As you can see from the pictures everything has proper finish so you shouldn’t meet any sharp edges around the handle. The handle is wide and thick so it can be held well using one or two hands. 

Because of the lack of vinyl the product is a little cheaper than the previous one and if you are looking for something simple and effective you won’t go wrong. The bottom is designed to be flat so you are able to do more exercises. 

This product comes with 30-day free returns and a 1-year warranty. 

From both options Yes4All provides us with, I would recommend you go for the vinyl-coated one because of the few things mentioned above but at the end of the day, this is your decision to make. 

Again both products are very well made and it won’t be a huge loss if you decide you like this one more.

Quick Summary:

Yes4all is giving you another great product worth checking. It’s cheap, build to last and has all the really important features a good kettlebell should have.

It has its pros and cons compared to the previous model but it’s still one very good product.

Pros
  • Affordable and simple
  • Made with cast iron with no welds
  • A wide and thick handle
  • Flat bottom for stability and easy storage
  • Great amount of options to choose from
  • Good protective finish
Cons
  • Some people have problems with paint chipping off
  • In rare occasions item comes damaged

3. Cap Barbell Enamel Coated Cast Iron Kettlebell – Best for Beginners

Click the image to see the latest pricing on Amazon

Cap Barbell’s product is really worth it because of the good quality you are getting in return for the price you are paying. It’s one of the most affordable options on the market. 

What I find interesting is that even with this price Cap Barbell still offers one of the top kettlebells for calisthenics. You can choose the right resistance for you from one of the 10 options starting from 10 lbs going up to 80 lbs. 

That makes it a great choice for both beginners and more advanced athletes. 

The bell is made from 1-piece iron casting so you shouldn’t worry about durability. You won’t find any weld or sharp seam because everything is polished and well made.

The thing that makes this item stand out from the rest is the industrial enamel finish which was being used for the final finish. 

It looks very well and at the same time protects the iron from rust and oxidation.

It is well known that most bells don’t have accurate weight but users have confirmed that Cap Barbell delivers exactly as advertised so you know that is getting solid construction with great features. 

The bell handle is wide enough so it can be used by both hands and thick enough in order to help you build solid grip strength. 

Grip strength is essential when it comes to calisthenics so having a thick handle can be quite useful.

The design is made so you get a wide flat bottom helping you with storage and preventing rocking back and forward.

Quick Summary:

The third product is a great solution for anybody aiming to get great bodyweight workouts at home. For a very good price, you are getting a well-made quality product from a trustworthy brand. I believe it’s something worth checking.

Pros
  • One of the best prices for quality on the market
  • Solid construction made from iron casting
  • No weld or sharp seam
  • Great protective finish
  • Correct weight and great handle
Cons
  • The coating has some chipping problems
  • No stippling on the handle – can get slippery with sweaty palms

4. REP FITNESS Kettlebell – Heaviest Weight

Click the image to see the latest pricing on Amazon

If you are looking for something heavy with a nice competitive price you should see what Rep Fitness has to offer.

With their kettlebell, you have the choice to pick one of 18 different weight options starting from 2.2 lbs (1 kg) going up to the staggering 106 lbs (48 kg) which is one of the largest ranges I have seen.

Like any other product from our list, this one is still made using cast iron meaning you are getting lifetime durability.

The iron is covered by a layer of powder coating which protects the bell from rust and oxidation and at the same time giving you a better anti-slip holding surface. 

One of the things that differentiate Red Fitness from the other reviewed kettlebells is the thickness of the handle. 

The diameter is little thinner making it a great choice for people just getting into calisthenics. 

A thinner handle will also result in slower grip fatigue allowing you to do longer workouts. The width of the handle is going to be enough for most people and can even be used with both hands. 

As you can see from the pictures you won’t find any seam and sharp or rough edges because everything is well made.

What I find unique is the clever color scheme different weights use to help you separate them instantly from one another. I personally haven’t seen any other manufacturer offering such a thing. 

I believe this bell is a great option for calisthenics because of the wide and flat bottom it’s built with. 

The flatter the bottom the more stability you are going to get for exercises such as handstands, planche, static holds, etc. 

As an addition, Rep Fitness is providing you with a 90-day money-back guarantee and good customer service so you know you are taken care of no matter what.

Quick Summary:

Rep Fitness is offering one great kettlebell you won’t regret having. It’s iron cast, polished and protected from rust and oxidation.

With its thinner handle and additional colors Rep Fitness is standing out from the crowd. The price and quality are also good so if you are looking for a decent product you should check them out.

Pros
  • Comes in one of the biggest weight options
  • Iron cast without sharp edges
  • No seam
  • Different colors for weights
  • Flat bottom and wide but thinner handle
  • Money-back guarantee with good customer service
Cons
  • Not great for outside usage
  • Handle can be too small for huge hands

5. Stamina X Adjustable Kettlebell (36 lbs) – Best Adjustable Kettlebell

Click the image to see the latest pricing on Amazon

The fifth and final product we are going to review is quite unique compared to the majority of bells on the market because it’s adjustable. 

With the help of a simple pin, you have the option to adjust the weight between 6 different options. 

You can choose between 16,20,24,28,32 and 36 pounds.

I find amazing the fact that with only 1 kettlebell you can train as if you have a set of 6. With this product from Stamina X, you are going to save a lot of money and space. 

I believe this is a great option for people who want to train at home but don’t have a lot of space to store everything. 

The price is higher than a single bell but keep in mind that you are paying for 6 different weights. What I like is the fact that Stamina X sells this product with a square base pad you can use to protect your floor or other equipment from damage. 

I haven’t seen any other brand offering such pads. I know that you are probably thinking that it’s going to really difficult to adjust different weights but actually, it isn’t.

You only have to pull the pin and place it in the hole, rotate and you are ready to train. 

The grip is wide enough so it can be used by both hands, thick and made out of cast iron for extra durability. 

The weights inside are made out of steel so you won’t have any issues in the near future. 

Another great thing about this model is how flat is the bottom part. If you compare the amount of flat surface to similar models you will see how much big of a difference there is.

The flat bottom also helps with storage on top of the pad. 

With your purchase, you also get a 90-day warranty you can use if needed.

Quick Summary:

Even if this is not the best option for most people I believe it’s the perfect kettlebell for some of you depending on your needs and free space.

It’s a great choice for people going after a compact home gym for calisthenics. The uniqueness and clever design make it one interesting item you should check out.

Pros
  • Saves you space and money
  • Fast and easy adjustability
  • Cast iron smooth and wide handle
  • Great for small space
  • You are getting 6 different bells in one
  • Square base and a protection pad for the floor
Cons
  • Because of the 6 weights, it’s quite big
  • Can smell in the beginning

Features you should you look for when buying the best kettlebell for calisthenics

In this chapter, I’m going to share with you all the really important features you should check for every product you are interested in. 

Even if all the 5 reviewed products above do have them it’s always a good thing to be informed before you make the buying decision.

I highly recommend you not to skip this part because it could really help you. 

That being said let’s dive into the good stuff.

Weight and size

In today’s market, you can find a huge variety of different kettlebell sizes and weights.

Depending on what are you trying to do you may need a smaller or bigger weight. 

If for example, you are going to use the bells for handstand and similar exercises then I would recommend you go for a heavier option.

With the extra weight, you are getting better balance and sturdiness. Size also plays an important role because a larger bell is going to have a wider base which means more stability to work with.

That being said you are probably thinking this:

“Ok, so how much weight do I need for my training?”

There isn’t a clear answer I can give you because we are all different from one another and what is heavy for somebody may be extremely light for somebody else and vise versa. That’s why I highly recommend you to do the following thing if you have the opportunity:

Find out somebody or somewhere near where you live who has kettlebells and try and lift it so you can feel the resistance.

Your goal should be to find a weight you feel comfortable with and you can control.

I’m very aware that almost nobody is going to do this so that’s why I have added a second way you can use to find out the weight. I’m going, to be honest, and tell you that it’s far worse than the first one but it is better than nothing.

The rough guideline you can follow is to pick a weight somewhere between 15 lbs (8 kg) and 25 lbs (12 kg) for women and 25 lbs (12 kg) and 35 lbs (16 kg) for men. 

Please have in mind that this is just a guideline and you have to go for a weight you feel comfortable training with. 

So at this point, you should have a decent weight in mind. When it comes to kettlebells the weight is directly correlated to size or is it?

Let’s check out the 2 different types of bells and see which one is going to be the best for your needs. I’m talking about the cast iron and prograde (competition).

Cast Iron Kettlebells

They are the most commonly used in the industry. As you will see for yourself almost every model you meet is going to be made from cast iron. 

All bells made from pure iron are extremely durable and if taken care the right way can last over a lifetime but they have a flaw. 

The overall size of the bell grows with the weight you are using. For example, an 8-pound bell will be a lot smaller than a 50 pound one.

 If you don’t really care about these size differences then cast iron bells could be a great option for you. 

Prograde / Competition Kettlebells

They are the exact opposite compared to the cast iron ones.

The main difference is that they are specifically designed so no matter the amount of weight you are using the size will always is going to be the same. 

The same thing applies to most adjustable kettlebells. I believe that is a big plus for a few things.

Firstly, the exact size is great because you can use 2 different weighted kettlebells to do exercises such as handstand, plank, etc. without needing to own a pair of the same weight. 

That way you actually do save money because you can have a lot of different weight bells and use them together for a lot of exercises.

Their weight range goes between 17 lbs (8 kg) up to 88 lbs (40 kg) so it’s going to be enough for most people. 

Finally, I want to also mention that this is the type of weight used for competitions which follow very strict standards.

What is the material they are made from?

Before we continue I want you to know that this detail is very important and if you ignore our advice you are going to learn the hard way why that’s the case. 

It’s a good thing to know that all our products from the list are made using great materials so you wouldn’t have any issues regarding quality.

I want to tell you that there are 2 types of bells – 1-piece or 2-piece build.

My recommendation is the 1-piece because the fewer assembly parts something has the more durable it is going to be. 

With the 2-piece option, you have to assemble the handle to the body which is making the whole thing in a way more vulnerable. That doesn’t mean to completely ignore anything that doesn’t require assembly. There are still some good items to be found.

Despite the type of the 2 main materials used for the creation of kettlebells are iron and steel. 

If you are provided with the opportunity to choose amongst them go for the steel one because it’s the strongest option on the market.

Unfortunately, I haven’t found an affordable steel bell so all 5 reviewed items are made from cast iron which is the second-best choice after steel.

Be very careful before you go for an iron bell because some companies lie and instead of a complete cast they are welding the handle to the body.

Having those welds can be dangerous because the bottom part can snap causing damage.

So here’s a useful tip you can use in order to check out if a bell is welded or not.

Quick Tip:

Look closely in the product pictures and zoom in if you can in order to see if the handles are being welded to the bottom part.

Take close look at the connection and look for signs of welding. If you find any and the company is telling it’s single iron cast then simply go to another product.

The thickness of the handle

Depending on what you aim with you calisthenic workouts and if you are going to hold for a long period of time or not you have a choice to pick a model with thinner or thicker handles. 

Both have their pros and cons so let’s get into it.

The majority of companies don’t give exact numbers but the standard width is about 30-31 mm. If you are going to get a cast iron bell it’s a good thing to know that the heavier the weight, the thicker the handle is going to be. 

Because of that, the heaviest models can have up to 38mm handles which are not something you would enjoy especially if you have to hold a lot of weight for long.

That’s not very true for people aiming to improve grip strength and forearm size and endurance which is a vital part for every person who is serious about calisthenics. 

As you can see thick handle does have its perks.

Opposite to that thinner handles will increase your holding time before fatigue hits you.

It’s also a good choice for women or people with smaller hands. If you are going to do very long sets you might check the model with a thinner handle.

In our list, we have included bells with both thin and thick handles so you could have both options available.

Width of the handle

Quality products do have wide handles that are designed that can be used with both hands at the same time but that’s not the case for cheaper options. 

They often have very narrow handles making it uncomfortable for you to hold the weight only with one hand.

That’s why always check the product and go for a product that has enough holding space so you can do all your exercises comfortably. 

If you decide to go for a heavier option you are going to be pleased because kettlebells with bigger sizes tend to have wider handles. 

Quick Tip:

The more gripping space you have, the better. Aim for the product that offers you the biggest amount of holding surface.

Type of the bottom

If you are going to use the bells for basic bodyweight exercises such as static holds, handstands, etc then you want a model that has a wide and flat bottom.

Aim for the biggest flat surface possible in order to get the best stability for all sorts of exercises. The flat bottom also helps with storage making it quite an easy process to do. 

Be careful of some cheaper options because even if the bottom is flat that doesn’t mean it’s actually 100% flat.

Because of the poor quality and manufacturing processes, the bottom is sometimes not exactly flat leaving you with wobbly and dangerous experience. 

The last thing you want when doing a handstand is to crash and break something so that’s why I highly recommend you go for one of the 5 models reviewed above.

If you are curious about what possibilities are available with a flat bottom here’s a short video you can watch. It shows some of the most basic calisthenic exercises you can do.

Here’s the video:

What is the quality of the handle seam

After an iron kettlebell is a casted a handle seam is usually left behind.

This is extra sharp material is left after the process and needs to be removed but that’s not always the case. 

The truth is that many companies skip this important step leaving behind dangerously sharp edges that can cause injuries.

Unfortunately, this is a common practice you should aim to avoid.

A good way to test if there’s an unnecessary seam left on the handle is by going all over the handle with your hands feeling the edges. 

If they are rough and sharp then you are most likely going to have problems in the future.

In that case, you have 2 options:

Filed it down yourself until you have a smooth surface and then use it with a combination of good calisthenic gloves or return it back for a refund. 

I would go for the easier second option and use the money to order a new kettlebell with better quality.

If you are looking for great quality check out our top 5 list above.

How good is the handle finish?

One of the most common problems people complain about is slippery handles and that’s the main reason why I have included this feature into the article.

The finished surface is the next important thing you should check after you have found a bell with a decent handle width and thickness.

If you aim to use it at a regular base and most importantly for longer workouts then make sure you go for a model with a good non-slip finish that can provide you with enough friction. 

If you have very sweaty palms you definitely want a rough finish. 

Тhe four most often used handle finish options are powder coating (the most commonly used), enamel, bare steel, and vinyl.

Powder coating is the most frequent option because it fits well with calisthenic gloves or chalk.

Bare steel and enamel are also great options for gripping but I would stay away from models that use vinyl on the handle because it’s known to become quite slippery when it is wet.

Price and quality

Kettlebells go somewhere in the lower price range when it comes to home gym calisthenics equipment. 

The price per bell goes up with the weight so it’s very important for you not to pick an item that is too heavy. 

Quick Tip:

Go for the weight you believe it’s going to be a little overkill. Trust me you are going to thank me later because of the good results you get.

Your goal should be to use a weight you feel uncomfortable using but you can control.

That way you won’t have to overpay for a heavier weight you will have a hard time using. 

When searching for the best kettlebell for calisthenic please have in mind the fact that quality goes hand in hand with price

If you want to own and use a high-quality item for many years to come please be willing to spend a few extra bucks.

All products reviewed above have reasonable prices and great quality.

If you are interested in a model click the provided link to check out the price and read more details about it.

I know that for some of you the prices may seem a lot but that’s the cheapest good products we managed to find.

If that’s the case then I know that you would want to go for cheaper options and I highly recommend you not to do it.

If you need to take the time to save more money and buy a decent piece of equipment instead. 

Durability

I know what you are probably thinking:

“A good kettlebell is indestructible.”

To some extent that’s true but it really depends on a few things. 

If you seek a very durable product you need to pick a good product made from iron and steel (steel takes the first place).

Then you want to have some sort of a good protection layer from rust and oxidation. We are talking about powder coating or a good vinyl layer or ever both. 

You should avoid products containing plastic because it’s proven to be weak when it comes to this type of usage. 

So you have found a solid product with a good protective layer. I’m sorry to tell you this but that’s only the half job done. The other half is connected with you and the way you treat it.

As with any other equipment you need to take some sort of care if you want it to last decades. 

The most obvious thing you can do is try not to drop it from too high heights and keep it away from water and moisture. 

Quick Tip:

If you are going to use the kettlebell for outside calisthenic training I highly recommend you to go for a model with a good type of protective coating against water if you don’t want to scrape rust later on.

You can find that information usually on the product page.

Noise and damage reduction

I’m pretty aware that this isn’t the main concern for many people but I figured out it’s still important.

Raw iron and steel bells are not the best choices when you are trying to keep the noise levels down. That’s where vinyl and rubber layers become very useful. 

Not only they reduce the amount of noise you get from dropping the weight around but they also protect your floors and other equipment from unnecessary damage the iron can cause.

And as a bonus, you also get a more eye-pleasing finish so I don’t see anything bad if you decide to go for a model that has a vinyl protective layer on the bottom side.

Quick Tip:

If you decide to go for a more simple raw type of bell and decide you are going to use it in your home I highly recommend you to buy some sort of protective mat so if you accidentally drop it wouldn’t create a hole on your floor.

Final Thoughts (and the winner…)

Well, I believe you have everything you possibly need in order to make the right decision and buy a proper kettlebell for your calisthenic training regime.

I know this is not the shortest article on the web but I really tried to provide with the best and most accurate information possible so if you haven’t read the features chapter please go back and check it out. 

I know this is not the shortest article on the web but I really tried to provide with the best and most accurate information possible.

If you haven’t read the features chapter please go back and check it out. 

Do you have a winner? 

If your answer is still no, don’t worry!

I know that some models are quite similar to one another making it a very difficult choice to make. 

If that’s the case I would recommend you check out my personal winner which is the Yes4All Vinyl Coated Kettlebell.

I truly believe it’s worth the money because it has all the essential features, great price, and additional vinyl protective layer. Even if the layer cracks at some point you are still way better than not having any.

The overall build quality and dimensions are good and people are happy from using it. That’s why it’s worth checking out.

Click Here to check the latest price on Amazon

With this being said it’s time to finish this article. I’m really hoping it was somehow useful and helped you make the right decision. 

If you are a big fan of calisthenics and want to check additional equipment I would recommend you to see our Best Equipment category page. 

There you can find more great content about calisthenics. We are talking about creatine, protein, gymnastic rings, parallettes, power towers and even workout headphones that won’t fall out your ears while doing muscle-ups.

If you like it please share it with your friends and leave a quick comment below about your thoughts.

I would love to connect with you.

Thanks again and see you soon!

– Bozhidar

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