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Today let’s look at the Ekrin Bantam review. Now, we’ve reviewed Ekrin’s path-breaker massage gun in our Ekrin B37 review, and we absolutely loved that gun. We also then looked at the B37’s sequel, the B37S, that also lived up to the high standards set by its predecessor.
Today however, we’ll look at this mini-version of their gun. But doesn’t “mini” mean trade-offs and low performance (at least as far as the full-sized guns go)? Yes it does mean that, but they’re worth having if only to fill a unique kind of need.
Does the Ekrin Bantam mini-gun fill any special need? We think so. And we’ll be spending a better part of this review proving that. So follow along as we take a look at Ekrin’s own “Theragun Mini” if you will.
- 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 Alternatives
- Ekrin Bantam Review – Conclusion
Meet Bantam, by Ekrin Athletics
Ekrin Athletics have done well for themselves. After releasing the B37 model, which quickly gained traction, they’ve since gone on to establish themselves as giants of their own kind. They went on to release the B37S which also competed well in the market (an awesome massage gun, we had fun reviewing it).
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.
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.
The Bantam is their newest addition to their already illustrious line of products. It’s basically the miniaturized version of the two B37. We expect it’s a scaled-down massage gun but we’re excited and a bit surprised at just how powerful it is.
Let’s go deeper and explore this wonderful mini massage gun shall we?
Ekrin Bantam Review
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|
(20% OFF with MGA20 coupon)
We sometimes love to judge our books by the cover. And Ekrin has always had a reputation for quality carrying cases for their top quality massage guns.
The Bantam comes with a 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.
Inside the case, the Bantam sticks 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.
The Bantam mini-gun has four (ball, fork, flat, and bullet) attachments that look really nicely built (top quality). This impressed us because some mini-guns (like Hypervolt Go, or Theragun Mini) don’t give you the option of three, let alone four.
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.
This is used 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. Ekrin stayed with the same quality as the larger guns; hard plastic material for this one.
The bullet head is the pinpoint head. It’s 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).
The ergonomics are 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.
The Bantam has a stroke length of 10mm. 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). Most have between 6-9mm amplitude. There’s just a handful of massagers offering 10mm head travel, such as Ekrin Bantam itself, or the Minirex.
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 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 Bantam surprised us with its stall force. 35lbs. is more than enough to get a deep enough massage.
Even some full-sized massage guns do not hit 35lbs. To be fair though, it’s scaled down from the larger ones which stall at 56lbs. of pressure. We tried, just for practice to stall this gun and it took a fair bit of pressure.
There’s a bit of a downer here though. As impressive as 35lbs. of stall force is, it varies with the speed level. It’s progressive with 28lbs. at the lowest, followed by 32lbs. and then finally 35lbs. at the highest gear.
It would’ve been great if it was the same at all speed levels. We reviewed the Minirex and we loved the fact that it stalls with about the same force all through the speed levels. But nonetheless still very impressive.
Percussions and Speed Levels
The Bantam hits between 2000-3200rpm. This is actually standard for mini massage guns. Most don’t go over this limit.
It comes with 3 levels of speed that start with 2000, then 2600, and finally 3200. It doesn’t have speed indicators anywhere that we could use to tell the difference but you can easily tell the change in intensity. You can actually even hear from the sound it makes.
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 as strong as the Theragun Prime, for instance.
Stroke Length (mm)
Stroke Length: 10mm is a sweet spot for a mini massage gun. Only Theragun Mini has a bigger amplitude (but it stalls much easier)
So how much battery juice do you get with this device. Fairly enough, we’ll say. 1600 mAh is more than enough for a mini gun. There are devices with slightly more juiced batteries but you’ll have to deal with slightly more weight.
It’s a Samsung battery, so definitely Ekrin showing their class again by being transparent about the quality of the battery included.
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).
One charge will get you between 4-6 hours of use depending on the intensity of the massage and also the speed level used. 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.
There’s one LED at the bottom (to the right of the button) that will tell you the amount of juice you’re working with. It lights blue when it’s up to 80% full, purple when it’s 60-80%, red between 20-60%, and blinks red with less than 20% juice.
We like that it comes with a USB-C type charger. Some convenience here if you don’t like a dedicated charger. The cable is long enough (about 3 feet long).
We did notice it doesn’t come with a wall plug. Guess you’ll have to use your phone plug or charge it on your laptop when you have to.
It’s quiet enough. The noise level is advertised to be 50dB but it can go up to slightly over 60dB. Nonetheless it’s still very quiet. We didn’t have to turn the TV up when using it in the evening. The noise level progresses with the speed level; the higher the speed the louder it gets.
One noticeable positive here is that it doesn’t rattle when pressed against the body. Most mini guns and sometimes even normal-sized guns have this problem. 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 $159, but you can use the coupon MGA20 and get it at $127.99. 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
This is a great compact massage gun if you’re always on the move and would like something that gives you stable performance.
It’s 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.
It’s not as powerful as the B37s, but it’s way smaller, 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|
|Buy Now||Buy Now|
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.
- 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 but only one attachment head. Bantam has 3 speed levels but with 4 attachments.
- Theragun is slightly heavier at 1.5lbs compared to Bantam at 1.1lbs.
- 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.
- The Theragun mini will cost you $199 but you can get the Bantam at $127.99 with the MGA20 code provided.
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 all aspects, both in performance and in accessories.
Bantam vs. Hypervolt Go
|Feature||Ekrin Bantam||Hypervolt Go|
|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|
|Buy Now||Buy Now|
How about Ekrin Bantam vs. Hypervolt Go? A few points on how these two guns compare:
- They both have the same ergonomics with Hypervolts smaller model looking like they borrowed a leaf from Ekrin’s book.
- But Bantam is smaller than the Hypervolt Go. Much smaller in fact.
- They have similar amplitude, percussion and speeds, and about the same noise levels too.
- But they differ in stall force a lot (Bantam’s 35lbs. vs. Go’s less than 20 lbs.), weight (Go weighs 1.5lbs), carrying case (Go doesn’t have one),
- Bantam had 4 attachments vs. Hypervolt Go’s only 2.
- Bantam has a better battery and a USB-C charger while the Hypervolt Go has a dedicated wall charger.
- Warranty: Hypervolt only give you a 1-year warranty. Ekrin offers a lifetime warranty.
- Price: Bantam only goes for $127.99 with the MGA20 coupon code, while Hypervolt Go is much more expensive.
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 where it matters most. Think performance, price, and warranty.
If not Ekrin Bantam Then What? Best Alternatives
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, even though we really love the Ekrin’s new mini gun, we’ve came up with two rivals to Ekrin Bantam which are both worth highlighting.
Rexogun Mini (Minirex)
This is a nicely built gun that packs a fair amount of power. It’s slightly heavier than the Bantam (just 0.2lbs. heavier) but feels pretty well balanced as well.
It has a similar amplitude (10mm) as the Bantam and its brushless motor will stall with 22lbs. of pressure.
But while it is less than Bantam, it doesn’t feel like this. There’s something about the quality of the motor that makes this device feel much stronger than what its specs say. Also, it comes with 1 extra speed level.
It has a good quality built-in Samsung battery just like the Bantam Mini. You can use this link to get a $100 discount. It will then only cost you $179.
LifePro DynaFlex Mini
This is a uniquely designed massage gun but a good alternative if you’re looking around and are on a budget.
It has a rotating arm that enables you to reach the otherwise difficult to hit parts of the body. The only problem here is you can’t lock in on any position, which we complained a bit in our full Lifepro DynaFlex Mini review.
It has a 9mm amplitude, slightly less than the Bantam. However, it gives you 45lbs. of stall force. Very impressive if you are looking for mini-power.
It revs between 1800-2450rpm. Slightly different or even lower than the Bantam but we figure it’s just different approaches here by both companies.
It comes with 6 attachment heads, so more options there. It also has 3 speed levels.
It also has a lifetime guarantee just like Bantam. Awesome! If you use the coupon MGA10 you’ll get 10% off the regular price and buy it at only $71.
Ekrin Bantam Review – Conclusion
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.
It’s perfectly balanced with great ergonomics and overall a strong massage gun (surprisingly strong given its 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!
Ekrin Bantam Rating
Ekrin Bantam is lightweight, highly portable and powerful massage gun for its size. Being stronger, better equipped and much cheaper than the two industry darlings, Theragun Mini and Hypervolt Go, makes it a close-to-perfect mini massage gun for those on the move. Highly recommended buy!
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