Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Review: Cap Barbell 20kg Kettlebell

Product Review:

Cap Barbell 20kg / 44 lb. Kettlebell

I recently purchased a 20kg Cap Kettlebell. I got mine from Christian's Fitness Factory. Although the shipping wasn't exactly low, it's always a big part of the cost of a kettlebell. Their shipping was prompt, too, and I've got no qualms about getting equipment from them again.

Now, onto the Kettlebell.

Let's go through the components one by one.

Overall Construction: The kettlebell is pretty solid overall.

Paint: The paint job is nice, but mine chipped almost immediately when it banged lightly into a hex dumbbell. Hmm. It's just paint, but still, it would have been nice if it stood up to a little more than a light impact. I can see re-painting this thing after a hard season of training, or after dropping it on a hard surface.

Handle: The handle of the kettlebell is very smooth and easy to grip. If you're doing anything that requires the KB to swing in your hands, this seems ideal. It lacks any knurling that'll tear up your hands. On the downside, it's somewhat easy to loose from your grip - this gave me a problem or two trying figure-eights and not catching the grip with all of my fingers. The smoothness just made it easy to drop. The handle is nice and thick, though, and it's wide enough without being overly wide. I'm not a big fan of "squared off" kettlebell handles, I like them more rounded, and this kettlebell's handle suits me just fine.

Rubber Base: Maybe the only really annoying thing about this kettlebell is the rubber base. It comes with a rubber "shoe" on the bottom, about 1 cm thick and plugged into a hollow in the base rather securely. I'm tempted to remove it, but it's not clear if that will ruin its feel and how it sits on the floor. I'm leery of dropping the bell outside because the base is just loose enough to trap dirt and grass but not loose enough to easily clean it out. It's probably intended for folks worried about setting their kettlebells down on a nice floor, but if you're tossing it around outside and occasionally ditching it, you don't benefit from that rubber base.

Cost: The Cap kettlebells are pretty cheap, especially compared to the Dragon Door and Perform Better models. You do get what you pay for, but this kettlebell is quite functional and it's not cheap junk by any stretch.

While I like the cap kettlebell, I'm not certain I'll get another. When I move up to a 24kg I'm probably going to go for a different brand. The rubber base is really annoying.

Quality: 4 out of 5. It's a solid and functional kettlebell, but with an easily chipped paintjob and a troublesome rubber base.


  1. Peter,
    Nice write up! Just wanted to let you know that you can take that base off with no adverse effect. In fact it will sit nicer then most other bells b/c it make the bottom more like a bowl or a cup bottom vs a flat bottom. When you decide you want to go up to a 24kg you might want to look at the Wright Bells. They are a bit more rough with a hammertone finish and no base. They are priced very close to the CAP as well. I am personally a huge fan of the CAP bells, but have heard from others exactly what you have said. The Wright bells address most of these "cons" if you will. Keep up the good work!

    Noah Alkinburgh
    Christian's Fitness Factory

  2. I like the rubber base. It softens the sound of a drop, and protects. Overall I like Cap and have purchased all of mine (15) from Christian's.

  3. @Noah: thanks for letting me know about the base. I'll check out the Wright bells when I'm ready to expand my kettlebell arsenal.

    @MuscleGeek: I can see the base being a positive for some folks. For me, it's just getting in the way. I'm probably going to try the Wright bells next time, but yeah, for sure I'll shop Christian's. I'm a thoroughly satisfied customer.

    Thanks to both of you for commenting.


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