If you’re looking to upgrade your home gym while saving space, this 4-in-1 kettlebell will tick all the right boxes for beginners but might fall slightly short for advanced lifters, writes Sam Rider.

Kitting out any home gym is an eternal compromise between space and variety (and inevitably cost). Becoming over-reliant on one pair of dumbbells or just one of the best kettlebells can plateau your progress, but few have the luxury to adorn their homes with multiple sets of free weights. That’s where adjustable weights, like the PowerBlock Pro Adjustable Kettlebell 18-35lb (8-16kg), can prove their worth. This 4-in-1 space-saver is an 18lb / 22lb / 26lb / 35lb (8kg / 10kg / 12kg /16kg) kettlebell in one neat and tidy powder-coated package. I took one for a spin to see how it stacks up against my trusted cast iron kettlebell.

Men’s Fitness verdict

PowerBlock’s entry-level kettlebell stacks up admirably next to a traditional, cast iron equivalent. But with a top range of 16kg it’s a touch light for more experienced exercisers.
  • Beginner-friendly weight range of 8-16kg
  • Speedy one-handed adjustment
  • Wide diameter handle
  • Cowbell shape less comfortable than rounded
  • Hard edges can dig into arm in racked position
  • Fraction light for more advanced exercisers

How we test the best adjustable kettlebells

Sam Rider is a former Men’s Fitness fitness editor and seasoned product tester. He used the PowerBlock Pro Adjustable Kettlebell for a series of vigorous home workouts, cycling through back-to-back swings, cleans, rows and snatches. He then compared the same workouts with his tried-and-tested 16kg cast iron kettlebell to see how it measured up, before providing an overall score accounting for build quality, performance and price. 

The PowerBlock Pro has stickers to identify your weights in lb and kg

PowerBlock Pro features

The PowerBlock Pro is four kettlebells in one. A steel selection pin, like the one used with resistance machines, allows you to increase and decrease the weight it holds onto, from a respectable 16kg down to an entry-level 8kg. 

As you reduce each weight selection, the kettlebell leaves behind a neat pile of its internal load, stacked like a pyramid. This makes switching weights mid workout quick and easy, with minimal risk of plates escaping across the floor. 

It’s a tidy design that minimises superfluous features, like the plastic tray required for the Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell. And the pin is less fiddly to use than the pinch-and-turn selection dial of the Primal Personal Series Adjustable Kettlebell. It also allows the kettlebell to retain its shape, whether at its lowest or highest setting. 

Oddly, however, it comes with two stickers in the box that you need to apply to each side of the bell to indicate which weight you are selecting. I’m not sure why this couldn’t be done in the factory before shipping.

PowerBlock Pro build quality

DIY finishing touches aside, the PowerBlock Pro feels well built, sturdy and durable. I can’t be sure of the exact material it’s made from (as this isn’t stipulated on the packaging or PowerBlock site) but there’s no plastic in sight and its cool metal, powder-coated, matte black finish looks the business. 

In terms of size, it’s similar in height and width to my 35lb / 16kg cast iron kettlebell (5.7 x 4.3 x 10in / 14.6 x 10.8 x 25.4cm). The main point of difference is its handle and overall shape. The handle is slightly wider, providing ample space for one- or two-handed swings, yet also narrow in diameter (1.3in / 32.8mm), making it easier to grip for long sets. 

As for the base, rather than rounded, it’s rectangular. Presumably this allows it to hold and release its internal weight stack. Yet, as a result, the PowerBlock Pro more closely resembles the shape of a cowbell than a traditional kettlebell, and leaves it with hard edges and corners that you’ll have to navigate when catching the bell against your body.

A similar size compared to a standard 16kg kettlebell

Kettlebell performance

To see how the PowerBlock Pro Adjustable Kettlebell stood up to a vigorous kettlebell home workout I decided to fling it around my living room for 30 minutes, then repeated the same session with my go-to 16kg cast iron kettlebell. 

Pleasingly, the adjustable weights held together impressively throughout, and its four-in-one design allowed me to swap weights between sets in a flash. The magnetised steel selection pin reassuringly locked everything in place. It even held firm when I attempted to shake it free to thoroughly test its safety credentials. 

The only clue that it’s not a solid metal kettlebell is the slight rattle when the weight stack clangs against the internal chamber mid swing. Even at its lightest 8kg setting it still provides enough balanced ballast that I felt I could get into a good functional fitness flow. 

The only downside, I discovered, are the hard edges of its rectangular body, which can feel a bit awkward when cupping the kettlebell for goblet squats. I also found they would dig into my upper arm and shoulder when flipping the bell into a racked position for cleans and presses. 

Single weight kettlebells are usually rounded to avoid this very issue. That said, in every other department, PowerBlock’s adjustable kit bears all the quality hallmarks of a solidly built cast iron kettlebell. It looks the part and it feels the part.

Should you buy the PowerBlock Pro?

At $169 direct from PowerBlock / £199 from Fitness Superstore the PowerBlock Pro sits at the lower end of the adjustable kettlebell price spectrum. It’s punchier than the excellent Primal Personal Series (around $185 / £150) but considerably cheaper than the overly complicated and, frankly, overpriced Bowflex SelectTech 840 (around $420 / £340). 

As well as its price, I’m a big fan of the magnetised selection pin. It makes cycling through weights when warming up or performing drop sets a breeze. At its lightest, 8kg is a handy option for one-arm exercises like overhead presses and Turkish get-ups. At its heaviest, 16kg is a solid choice for compound movements, like goblet squats and snatches.

More experienced functional fitness fans (i.e. Rx CrossFitters) might, however, feel the top-end weight is a tad limiting for something that will set you back almost £200. 

Given that you should be able to source one mid-weight (eg. 12kg or 16kg) and one heavy weight kettlebell (eg. 20kg or 24kg) for a similar price, you could argue there is better value to be had sticking with the non-adjustable options.

Yet if space is at a premium, this 4-in-1 kettlebell will tick all the right boxes for beginners looking to embrace the functional fitness revolution. And for those needing a bit more oomph behind their American swings, there’s always the PowerBlock Pro Adjustable Kettlebell 35-62lb. The 18-35lb’s bigger brother, it weighs in at a handsome 35 / 44 / 53 / 62lb (16 / 20 / 24 / 28kg) and is currently available via Amazon. It’ll just set you back a whopping £457 – or a more reasonable $299 direct from PowerBlock in the US.