Get to grips with the best resistance bands with handles for locked-on strength gains at home…

In the world of resistance training, bands are enjoying a renaissance due to their low cost and portability. There’s virtually no end to the number of strength training exercises you can perform with resistance bands – all from the comfort of your own home. Whereas resistance bands were traditionally just that – bands or strips of material (usually rubber) that provide varied resistance – now resistance bands with handles are becoming increasingly popular.

With resistance bands with handles – often called ‘resistance tubes’ – you can perform most of the exercises you can with regular bands. But by being able to gain better leverage, you can exert greater force and get a more intense workout.

Below, you’ll find our pick of the best resistance bands with handles, all tried and tested by us to determine the quality of the bands, how versatile they are and the range of resistance on offer.

Why you can trust Men’s Fitness

We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best.
Find out more about how we test

Best resistance bands with handles 2023

Best for:

Guided workouts Gorilla Bow Travel
Chest workouts Gymproluxe Band Bar Set
Beginners TRX Bandit
Budget systems My Protein 11-Piece Band Set
Core strength TRX RIP Trainer

Gorilla Bow Travel

Best for guided workouts


Product shot of a disassembled Gorilla Bow TravelMen's Fitness Editor's Choice badge

Buy now

Resistance: Up to 350lb (158.8kg)
Colour: Black with coloured bands
Number of bands: 4, 9 or 11
Features: 3-piece bow; simultaneous band use; carry case

Versatility: 4/5
Band quality: 4/5
Resistance range: 5/5
OVERALL: 4.5/5

The Gorilla Bow Travel is a one-stop shop for improving full-body fitness. With three different sets available offering 4, 9 or 11 bands and up to 110lb (50kg), 330lb (149.7kg) or 350lb (158.8kg) of resistance respectively, you can get in a highly effective workout and start making significant strength and endurance gains.

You can load the bow with anything from one to four bands. Not only does that give you four resistance strengths when you use one band at a time, you can also use multiple bands simultaneously to layer resistance. So it’s an ideal system for quickly dropping the weight when you fatigue – perfect for drop sets.

The Gorilla Bow is one of the bulkiest and most commanding of all our fitness band systems at 55in (140cm) tall when assembled. It detaches into three elements, though, so we found it fits easily in a large bag or small suitcase.

Read our full Gorilla Bow Travel review

Gymproluxe Band Bar Set

Best for chest workouts

Product shot of the Gymproluxe bar band setMen's Fitness Endorsed badge

Buy now

Resistance: 26-80lb (11.8-36.3kg) / 35-105lb (15.9-47.6kg) / 52-153lb (23.6-69.4kg) / 66-198lb (29.9-89.8kg) / 88-264lb (39.9-119.8kg)
Material: Latex
Colour: Black with multicoloured bands
Number of bands: 5 sets of 3 available

Versatility: 4/5
Band quality: 5/5
Resistance range: 4/5
OVERALL: 4.5/5

The Gymproluxe Band Bar Set comes in five flavours, each giving you three resistance bands. The medium set cover a range from 35-105lb (15.9-47.6kg), and it’s also available one lighter and three heavier options covering a total range of 26-264lb (11.8-119.8kg). That’s an impressive range of resistances to choose from.

Load up the bands and you have three levels of resistance in one convenient, lightweight belt. You can release individual bands to drop the weight by increments of three. Presses, rows, curls and flyers are all easy to perform whether standing up or lying down, so we found we could smash out a decent workout pretty much anywhere.

It also incorporates a bar for some of the best chest training we’ve experienced from a band system.

Read our full Gymproluxe Band Bar Set review

TRX Bandit Resistance Band Kit

Best for beginners


Product shot of a TRX resistance bandMen's Fitness Endorsed badge

Buy now

Resistance: 5lb (2.3kg) to 60lb (27.2kg)
Colours: Black and yellow
Number of bands: 5
Features: 6-year guarantee; compatible with other TRX bands

Versatility: 4/5
Band quality: 4.5/5
Resistance range: 3.5/5

The TRX Bandit Resistance Band Kit is a simple but durable system that gives you a tension range between 5lb and 60lb (2.3kg and 27.3kg). Just slip one or two light or medium bands into each handle and away you go.

As you progress there’s also the option to insert heavier TRX bands, while can be bought separately for around £20. We like that it’s more versatile than larger, pricier options like the Gorilla Bow Travel as its handles can be oriented for a neutral grip for hammer curls or you can supinate for a bicep curl just by twisting your wrist.

While it won’t be for anyone looking to put on serious mass, we found the Bandit could still help us get a tough, muscle-building workout in higher rep ranges.

Read our full TRX Bandit Resistance Band Kit review

Check out our full roundup of the best resistance bands

Myprotein 11-Piece Band Set

Best system on a budget

Product shot of Myprotein 11-piece band setMen's Fitness Endorsed badge

Buy now

Resistance: 10lb (4.5kg), 20lb (9.1kg), 30lb (13.6kg), 40lb (18.1kg), 50lb (22.7kg)
Colour: Black
Number of bands: 5
Features: Leg straps; door anchor

Versatility: 4.5/5
Band quality: 4/5
Resistance range: 3.5/5

The Myprotein 11-Piece Band Set is big on bands and value, shipping with five tube bands, two handles, two leg straps and a door anchor, as well as a breathable net bag. We think you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better set of bands with plenty of room for beginners to develop.

The five different coloured bands range from 10lb (4.5kg) to 50lb (22.7kg) in resistance. Each end has a carabiner (clamp), which can latch onto either a handle, a leg strap or the door anchor. With the leg strap around our ankle, we found it’s useful for abductor, adductor and glute exercises, and with the handles on both sides we had shoulder and chest presses covered.

The MyProtein 11-Piece Band Set maxes out at 50lb (22.7kg) so doesn’t offer as high resistance as much of the competition. But if you’re looking constant tension and high rep range conditioning, its five bands work a treat – and can be doubled up for extra resistance.

Read our full Myprotein 11-Piece Band Set review

TRX RIP Trainer

Best for core strength


Product shot of TRX RIP TrainerMen's Fitness Endorsed badge

Buy now

Resistance: 20lb (9kg) – 15lb (7kg); 25lb (11kg), 38lb (17kg) and 50lb (23kg) are optional extras
Colours: Black and yellow
Features: Door anchor / carabiner / 6-year guarantee

Versatility: 4/5
Band quality: 5/5
Resistance range: 3/5

This core annihilator in disguise turns traditional moves into asymmetric exercises. In doing so it focuses the resistance on one side of your body, forcing you to compensate and develop muscles you’d usually work with pilates or other core-focused training.

Like most TRX kit, the RIP Trainer is covered by a six-year warranty and comes with a 20lb (9kg) medium chord. You’re not stuck with that, though, and we tried the additional light (15lb / 7kg), heavy (25lb / 11kg), extra-heavy (38lb / 17kg) and XX-heavy (50lb / 23kg) cords, which are available separately at around $19 / £15 each.

The included door anchor and carabiner give you options to use it indoors and out. Just bear in mind the system requires a few clear square meters in all directions.

Read our full TRX RIP Trainer review

How we tested the best resistance bands with handles

Our expert tester Basil Kronfli is an experiences PT and understands what makes a good set of resistance bands. He tested each product through its entire resistance range (including any optional extra bands) and across a wide range of banded exercises.

Basil also used all available accessories such as door anchors, leg straps or carabiners for an extended period. He tested and marked each resistance band for its versatility, for the quality of the bands and the handles and for its overall weight range.

Benefits of resistance bands with handles

The best resistance bands with handles are ideal for more intense sessions where you want a firmer grip on the band and require a large range of motion. They tend to have a greater resistance than simple bands.

Handles also allow you to anchor one end of the band for a greater range of resistance band exercises. Some even come with interchangeable ends, so you can swap from a handle to a door anchor, or maybe a leg strap to increase your exercise options.

Disadvantages of resistance bands with handles

Resistance bands with handles typically have narrower bands or tubes than regular resistance bands. So if they rub against your skin they tend to exert greater pressure, and can cause red marks and discomfort.

Although they’re less likely to snap than regular bands, they can do so with greater force. So always check for small tears before you start your workout.

What makes a good resistance band?

Most regular rubber bands offer an affordable way to start resistance training. However, as these are open-ended, it can be difficult to maintain a good grip on the ends for certain exercises. Another common option is a looped band, which can help with the aforementioned grip issue. However, due to the looping of the material, the length of these bands can be limiting in terms of the range of resistance exercises you can perform.

If you want to upgrade from traditional looped or open-ended bands, resistance bands with handles offer enhanced versatility, durability and grip. When shopping around, we recommend looking for options with various interchangeable levels of resistance (bonus points for colour coding), so you can gradually build up the intensity as your strength develops. It’s also important to check on the material of the handles to ensure they will be grippy enough.

Some resistance bands also feature handy add-ons, like leg straps and door straps, opening up a whole world of additional strength-building exercises. Before you get shopping, consider the types of exercises and workouts you’re looking to perform, alongside your budget, to narrow down the options and find the perfect set for you.

Related content: