Checking out for the Ekrin Bantam review? You’ve landed in the right place!
We’ve tested this compact massage gun to see if it’s as good as it sounds. We put it through the paces in our tests and even took it on some hikes. Spoiler alert: it’s small, but it packs a punch!
Plus, we’ll compare it with the likes of the Theragun Mini, so you can get the full scoop on what it’s got to offer.
- The Bantam reaches up to 3200 rpm and has a stall force of up to 35 lbs for an uninterrupted massage experience.
- At only 1.1 lbs and about 6 inches tall, it’s lightweight and ergonomically designed, ideal for on-the-go use.
- It comes with multiple quality attachments (including air cushioned one) for versatile massage options.
- It is reasonably priced (and we have an extra discount coupon, read on) and comes with a lifetime warranty, a deal that its bigger competitors can’t match.
In This Article
- Meet Bantam, by Ekrin Athletics
- Ekrin Bantam Review
- Our Verdict and Who is it Best For
- Bantam vs. Theragun mini
- Bantam vs. Hypervolt Go
- If not Ekrin Bantam Then What? Best Alternative
- Review Conclusion
Meet Bantam, by Ekrin Athletics
The company was founded by two former student athletes in early 2019. Their main priority was to share with others about the importance of being healthy and fit.
They chose to direct their focus on aiding athletes’ muscle recuperation and prevention of injuries. Their way of doing this was to manufacture massage guns. We’re glad that’s all they do.
Based on our interactions, unlike many massage gun brands, Ekrin’s standout attribute by far has been their excellent customer service. We’ve always endorsed their products because of their LIFETIME WARRANTY on all their products.
Now, the Bantam is their latest addition, standing out in their product line. It’s like a mini version of the B37 models. While we expected a scaled-down device, we were pleasantly surprised by its impressive power.
Let’s go deeper and explore this wonderful mini massage gun, shall we?
Ekrin Bantam Review
Test Impressions and Specifications
Why we like it:
- Compact but powerful, up to 3200rpm
- Great size and ergonomics
- Excellent quality overall
- Lifetime warranty
Our overall rating:
Get 20% OFF with the MGA20 code.Apply Coupon
|Features||Ekrin Bantam Specifications|
|Stall Force||35 lbs|
|Stroke Length||10 mm|
|Battery Life||5-6 hours (1600 mAh, non-removable)|
|Noise||50 – 58 dB|
|Number of Attachments||4|
& Where to buy
|20% OFF with the MGA20 coupon |
Get it right here
Bantam Video Review
We sometimes love to judge our books by the cover. In our experience, Ekrin has consistently provided quality carrying cases for their top-notch massage guns.
We found that the Bantam comes with a handy and well-made two-zipper mini-bag. It’s a small nicely crafted case that we enjoyed having. Definitely if you’re the kind that likes looking slick as you walk into the gym, you’ll enjoy carrying the gun in it.
But let’s offload the bag, shall we.
Upon opening the case, we immediately noticed the Bantam standing out among the contents, which include four attachment heads, a USB-C cable (charger), and a couple of accessories that we’ll look at later.
The Bantam is a gorgeous little percussion massager with an impressive build. Ekrin chose to stay true to their usual quality here.
Just like its larger counterparts (B37/B37S), it’s the same great quality material. We’ll say high-end matte plastic and nicely colored. It feels sturdy, and obviously durable.
Also, we noticed the power button is at the bottom end of the handle. Felt a little out of place for us. We would’ve preferred it at the top end of the gun. But no harm done here though.
We appreciate that they stayed with the simplistic approach of just one button. Another simplified approach, we did notice there are no screens or LEDs, just the one to indicate when it’s on.
The power button works by long-pressing to turn the device on or off and quick-pressing to shift between the speed gears.
When we unboxed the Ekrin Bantam, we found it included a standard set of 4 attachments, each catering to different needs.
This attachment is useful for larger muscle groups. You can use it over any part of the body. The Bantam one is a silicone hollowed ball (squishy if you press it).
It’s not foam, which is great because foam tends to deteriorate quickly with time. We’re positive this one will last a little longer. As we just mentioned it’s hollow (and a bit soft). Ekrin probably intended it for softer spots or bony areas.
We used this one to target larger muscles. We like to call it the power head because it hits hard and you’ll do yourself a favor by not passing it over bony areas of your body.
The Bantam has the same quality as the ones on the larger guns – hard plastic. There’s a slight tweak though with Ekrin including a silicone top cover for it.
This one’s used around the spine or neck area. It’s much more suited for those places because of the two prongs that will go along either side of the spine. Otherwise you can also use it along the Achilles tendon as well.
We noticed that Ekrin stayed with the same quality as the larger guns; hard plastic material for this one.
The bullet head is the pinpoint head. We found it is best for “focus” massage sessions. Think ligaments, hidden muscle folds and the generally hard to reach muscles. The Bantam one is hard plastic as well. Looks sturdy.
Other notable things that we did find inside the case; the how-to-use instructions pamphlet which has very good information on the massage heads and also general massage-gun-use instructions.
We also loved the nice gesture from Ekrin to include a large branded sticker. As fans we love it!
Size, Weight and Ergonomics
The Bantam weighs at just 1.1lbs. Obviously expected since it’s a small gun, but it feels heavy enough not to be confused with a toy.
Ever heard of the just the right small size? That’s exactly how we would call this. It’s compact and highly portable. Definitely for those always on the go. It’s about 6-inches tall (probably the same height as most cellphones).
We found the ergonomics just great. Ekrin stayed true to their class with the same 15-degree tilt as the larger ones. The handle has a nice grip to it and feels very comfortable as you use it.
It would’ve been great to add a bit silicone-style rubber to the handle but this one will do just fine. The angled handle is perfect because it reduces the pressure on your wrists unlike the T-shaped normal massage guns.
We were expecting a scale-down in performance as well with this mini-gun. It’s a no-brainer you say. Sorry to disappoint you but the Bantam actually surprised us with its premium-type performance. Let’s have a look.
Stroke Length / Amplitude
Amplitude or stroke length is how far the massage head travels. It determines whether a massage gun can really hit deep into the muscles, even bigger muscles.
We did the measurements and discovered the Bantam has a stroke length of just shy of 10mm. And we think this is impressive. Why? Well, try scouring the market for mini massage guns with such high amplitude and we promise you won’t find many.
Only the giant Theragun has 12mm for its mini version (we all know how plentiful Theragun are). From our experience, most have between 6-8mm amplitude. There’s just a handful of massagers offering ~10mm head travel, such as Ekrin Bantam itself, or the Hypervolt Go 2.
So what do you get with 10mm? You get a deep enough massage to relax, get the blood moving well within the muscles, get to the sore muscle and smooth them out, and also get rid of lactic acid build-up after a workout.
To be fair though, 10mm is a bit on the lower end of things if you are looking for deep muscle penetration. Unless the motor is impressively strong.
Is it though with the Bantam?
Here’s where we answer the question about the motor. But first, what is stall force?
We’ve talked about getting a deeper penetrating massage. In order to do this, you’ll have to press the massage gun against the part of the body you’re trying to massage. Sometimes when the force applied is too great, the massage gun slows down considerably or even stops.
This force needed to stop the massage gun is what we call stall force (or sometimes ‘no-stall force’)
Now, a massage gun with a weak motor cannot withstand a lot of force and may therefore not be able to give a deep meaningful massage.
But in our testing, Bantam surprised us with its stall force. The 35lbs is more than enough to get a deep enough massage.
To give you a persective, even some full-sized massage guns do not hit 35lbs. We tried, just for practice to stall this gun and it took a fair bit of pressure.
While the Bantam’s stall force reaches an impressive 35lbs, it’s important to note that this force varies with the speed level – keep this in mind. So it progressively increases from 28lbs at the lowest speed, to 32lbs at a mid-level, and finally peaks at 35lbs at the highest setting.
Of course, this is typical and we are yet to see the massage gun able to stall with about the same force all through the speed levels.
But nonetheless, we think the Bantam’s power is very impressive.
Percussions and Speed Levels
We found it notable that the Ekrin Bantam’s percussion range mirrors that of their flagship model, the B37S. This means it delivers a striking speed between 2000-3200rpm.
In our expert opinion, this is a solid range and is actually standard for best mini massage guns. We’ve observed that most high-quality units refrain from exceeding this threshold, as doing so often corresponds with a decrease in stroke length, resulting in faster, but shallower vibrations.
The Bantam offers three speed levels, starting at 2000, progressing to 2600, and topping at 3200. During our hands-on testing, we found this progression suitable for the range, although a fourth speed option would have been a welcome addition for even greater flexibility.
One aspect we noted was the absence of visual speed indicators on the Bantam, which could help differentiate between speed settings. However, even without these, the change in intensity is palpable, and you can distinctly hear the shift in the device’s sound as it moves between levels.
Let’s see how the Bantam compares against the most popular competitors.
Stall Force (lbs.)
Stall Force: Bantam’s stall force is just amazing for a mini gun. It’s stronger than Theragun mini and in fact, it is as strong as the full-sized Theragun Prime.
Stroke Length (mm)
Stroke Length: 10mm is the sweet spot for a mini massage gun. Theragun Mini has a higher amplitude, but it stalls much easier.
Let’s talk about the battery life of the Ekrin Bantam, a crucial factor we scrutinized during our hands-on testing.
With a capacity of 1600 mAh, the Bantam’s battery offers ample power for a mini massage gun. We’ve encountered devices with slightly more juiced batteries but these typically come with a weight penalty.
Ekrin showcases their commitment to quality and transparency by fitting the Bantam with a Samsung battery. Over the years, we’ve tested numerous massage guns that didn’t specify their battery type, and we’ve seen a significant decrease in performance – sometimes up to a 50% drop in efficiency within just three months.
We have used many massage guns that don’t specify this and have gone on to deteriorate pretty fast (sometimes up to 50% drop in efficiency after just 3 months).
In our experience, a single charge of the Bantam offers between 4-6 hours of usage, depending on the intensity and speed level of the massage.
For average use – say, 15 minutes of massage per day – you’ll only need to recharge the device once every week or even every ten days.
If you use it averagely, say 15 minutes of massage a day, then you’ll have to charge it once a week or sometimes even 10 days later.
We appreciated the LED indicator positioned at the bottom of the device, which provides real-time battery level updates. It glows blue when the battery is up to 80% full, purple for 60-80%, red for 20-60%, and flashes red when the battery dips below 20%.
Another feature we found convenient during our testing was the inclusion of a USB-C charger.
The three-foot-long cable provides flexibility, and the absence of a dedicated wall plug means you can easily charge the device using a standard phone charger or even a laptop.
During our testing, we paid close attention to its noise level – a key factor when evaluating the user experience.
The Bantam is advertised as generating a noise level around 50dB, and our experience confirmed this. It can reach slightly above 60dB at times, but overall, the device remains impressively quiet.
Even while using it during a relaxed evening TV session, we didn’t find the need to increase the volume of our television.
The noise level does increase with the speed, but this progression is to be expected. Importantly, the noise remains at a comfortable level, even at higher speeds.
One standout feature we noted during our hands-on use was the lack of rattling when the Bantam is pressed against the body – an issue we’ve encountered with many mini and even some standard-sized massage guns. It also doesn’t transfer the vibrations to the handle making it very comfortable to use.
Price, Warranty and Where to Buy?
The Bantam mini gun will normally cost you $149.99, but you can use the coupon MGA20 and get it at $119.99. That’s 20% off the normal price.
We recommend buying it from Ekrin’s website to give them a little support and appreciate their top quality customer support. You can also check out reviews from satisfied customers.
The Bantam comes with a lifetime warranty. This is great as it shows a company willing to stand behind their product.
Our Verdict and Who is it Best For
In our opinion this is a great compact massage gun if you’re always on the move and would like something that gives you stable performance.
In our testing, it proved to be strong enough to do the nitty gritties of percussive therapy such as get rid of lactic acid build-up, break-up scar tissue, and give you muscle activation before you hit the gym.
If you’re an office guy and would like something to use after a long day of work, then this device is perfect for you.
Granted, it’s not as powerful as the top-shelf B37s, but it’s way smaller, more portable and still strong enough to do a good job.
Taking Bantam for a Hike
Is Bantam a good travel companion? I decided to find out myself.
I took it with me for a two-day hiking trip. Great views, wild trails, pure nature – epic!
It was also quite an effort, especially for the legs and my back (20qt backpack).
I did about 30 miles, 8500 ft up in total, using Bantam on my legs every 6-8 miles and then at the end of each day.
Did it help? Yes, I noticed less soreness the next morning and felt less muscle fatigue overall.
The best thing, though? It’s how portable it is! I always pack as light as possible, and this little sucker is so light, and honestly perfectly sized!
Bantam vs. Theragun mini
|Feature||Ekrin Bantam||Theragun mini|
|Stall Force||35 lbs||<20 lbs|
|Stroke Length||10 mm||12 mm|
|Battery Life||~6 hours||2.5 hours|
|Noise||~50 dB||~50 dB|
|Weight||1.1 lbs||1.4 lbs|
|Discount||-20% with the MGA20 coupon||None|
|View in Store||View in Store|
Interested in Ekrin Bantam vs. Theragun mini comparison? Let’s look at some key differences and similarities between these two mini guns:
- Their designs are very different. Theragun mini looks very unique with a heart-shape design while the Bantam follows the B37s pattern of design.
- Theragun’s amplitude is slightly bigger at 12mm. Bantam is 10mm.
- Ekrin has superior stall force of 35lbs. compared to Thergun’s meager 20lbs.
- In Theragun mini percussions hit at the rate of between 1750-2400rpm. Bantam has slightly better at between 2000-3200rpm even though it has a much lower amplitude. We would say both companies took different approaches here.
- Theragun Mini has 3 speed levels and comes with 3 attachment head. Bantam has 3 speed levels, too, but comes with 4 attachments.
- Lifetime warranty for Bantam but only 1 year with Theragun.
- Bantam has a far better battery that lasts up to 4-6 hours. Theragun’s only lasts up to 2.5 hours.
- You can get the Bantam at $119.99 with the MGA20 code provided. The Theragun mini will cost you significantly more
We all know the fame of Theragun in the percussive therapy industry. They offer premium products but with a premium price to bear with.
Ekrin on the other hand is less known, but has been slowly gaining popularity with top quality products.
You can get the Theragun if you like the brand but we recommend the Bantam because it floors the Theragun Mini in many aspects, such as in performance and warranty.
Bantam vs. Hypervolt Go
|Feature||Ekrin Bantam||Hypervolt Go2|
|Stall Force||35 lbs||<20 lbs|
|Stroke Length||10 mm||10 mm|
|Battery Life||~6 hours||3 hours|
|Noise||~50 dB||~50 dB|
|Weight||1.1 lbs||1.5 lbs|
|Discount||-20% with the MGA20 coupon||None|
|View in Store||View in Store|
How about Ekrin Bantam vs. Hypervolt Go 2? A few points on how these two guns compare:
- We found that they both offer similar ergonomic designs, with Hypervolt’s smaller model seemingly borrowing some design ideas from Ekrin.
- In our hands-on experience, we observed that the Bantam is significantly more compact than the Hypervolt Go.
- Through our testing, we discovered that they share similar amplitude, percussion and speeds, with noise levels that are comparable
- However, we noticed substantial differences in their stall force during our use, with Bantam’s 35lbs versus Go’s less than 15 lbs, and the Go’s weight of 1.5lbs. Also, the Go does not come with a carrying case.
- Bantam had 4 attachments vs. Hypervolt Go’s only 2.
- From our usage, we observed that the Bantam sports a superior battery and is equipped with a USB-C charger, while the Hypervolt Go 2 relies on a dedicated wall charger.
- Warranty: Hypervolt only give you a 1-year warranty. Ekrin offers a lifetime warranty.
- Price: Bantam only goes for $119.99 with the MGA20 coupon code.
You can choose to go with “big-name” Hypervolt if you want but the Bantam is the easier choice here. It beats the Hypervolt Go 2 (and Go 1) where it matters most. Think performance, attachments, and warranty.
If not Ekrin Bantam Then What? Best Alternative
If you’ve read our any other massage gun reviews we did then you know that we always aim to use our expertise to provide our readers with what we think are best alternatives to a reviewed massager.
In this case, however, we think that the only viable alternative to Bantam is…. Theragun mini. Yes, it is more expensive, and in our opinion the Bantam is a clear winner, but if we were forced to choose one good alternative, it would be mini.
After extensive testing and comparison through June 2023, we have yet to encounter another mini gun that matches the Bantam in size and performance.
To wrap up this Ekrin Bantam review, let’s just say that the Ekrin’s first mini gun didn’t disappoint at all. Just like the full-sized B37s they packed top quality into this massager as well.
In our testing, we found it to be perfectly balanced, boasting impressive ergonomics, and delivering strong massages—surprisingly so, considering its compact size.
It fairs way better compared to industry heavyweights in Theragun and Hypervolt’s mini versions, and we highly recommend it if you are looking for something to take with you on the go.
If you decide to get it, use the MGA20 coupon in Ekrin’s store to save yourself over 30 bucks.
With that we conclude our Ekrin Bantam massage gun review. Bye!
Our Ekrin Bantam Rating
Our comprehensive, hands-on experience with the Ekrin Bantam confirmed it as a standout mini massage gun – lightweight, powerful, and superior to well-known competitors like Theragun Mini and Hypervolt Go. With its affordable price and lifetime warranty, it represents exceptional value. It’s a fantastic choice for those on-the-go, and we highly recommend it.
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Post Update History
Here's a quick rundown of all the tweaks and edits we've made to this article to keep it accurate and up-to-date!
Current version last updated on:
Jun 6, 2023 A video review/overview of Ekrin Bantam has been added to the article. It provides a visual companion to the comprehensive written review above. (Author: Greg)
Jan 20, 2022 Refreshed and updated for 2023, including the new photos. (Author: Greg)
Oct 2, 2022 Updated with the comparison to the latest Theragun Mini G2, following our extensive testing. (Author: Luke)
Jul 2, 2022 Added new information following our long-term test, where we tested the device on several hikes. (Author: Luke)
May 30, 2022 Updated with the head-to-head comparison to the newly released Hypervolt Go 2 (Author: Luke)
Jan 10, 2022 Updated for 2022. More than doubled the amount of photos from our hands-on testing in the article. (Author: Greg)
Dec 9, 2022 Added comparisons to Theragun Mini, Hypervolt Go. (Author: Luke)
Oct 12, 2021 Fact-checked and reviewed by Dr. Gary Tanchak, D.C.
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