Whether you’re bored with your current fitness routine or you’re looking for a portable gym away from home, Gorilla Bow Travel could be for you. It resembles an archery bow when fully assembled and comes with multiple resistance bands that target most muscles in your body. This intriguing home gym alternative hasn’t been around for as long as some of its competitors, but it’s generating plenty of buzz.
Although I prefer cardio over weights, I was intrigued when Gorilla Bow sent me the Travel for a hands-on review. From its aircraft-grade aluminum construction to the easy assembly, Travel clearly stands out in an increasingly crowded niche. There’s even a digital subscription platform with live and on-demand classes so you feel like you’re part of a large fitness community. But are these features enough to justify the cost? Our hands-on Gorilla Travel Bow review can help you decide.
What is Gorilla Bow Travel?
Gorilla Bow Travel is a portable resistance bands set that can be easily adjusted to target most muscle groups in your body. There are several individual pieces that you’ll need to assemble yourself, including one center and two clawed sections that click together to complete the bow. It’s surprisingly versatile once you understand the basic movements and weight bands, and can be more effective than even your favorite dumbbell workout.
You can make workouts easier or tougher with the four included color-coded stretch bands. Yellow is the lightest at 10 pounds, followed by 20 lbs. (red), 30 lbs.(green) and a 50-lb. blue band. That’s up to 110 lbs. of total resistance. You can use these weights separately or combine them for a bigger challenge. For example, similar to our favorite suspension trainers, you can pump out a quick strength circuit that targets your shoulders, arms, back and chest or spend leg, arm or core day focusing on a few specific exercises.
How Do You Use the Travel Bow?
It’s easy to attach the bands and swap them as desired. Just stretch the ends to secure them into the corresponding claw slots. This doesn’t take much effort and can be accomplished in under 10 seconds for minimal disruptions to your workout.
I should mention that even though changing the bands is easy, there’s a lot of tension when the bands are pulled tight. It’s possible to injure yourself or someone else if you lose your grip or the bands aren’t fully secured.
You can configure the bands in many ways to hit your workout goals. For example, you can stand on one or more bands for movements like bent-over rows and standing curls. You can also work your upper body with chest and tricep presses. One great feature of the Gorilla Bow is that it also naturally engages your core with each movement, even if you’re not intentionally targeting your abs. Talk about unexpected benefits!
If you feel like you’ve loaded on too much weight or you’re switching exercises, just slide the unwanted bands out of the way. The rubber bands are comfortable to grip with your hands but can feel harsh without adequate foot protection, so athletic shoes are highly recommended.
Want more weight? Check out optional bands including a heavy-duty 100-lb. band and a compact 90-lb. one that’s great for shorter range movements such as deadlifts and bench presses. This home workout gym can hold up to 350 lbs. of resistance in total.
If you’re groaning at the thought of assembling anything, don’t worry. My first attempt took less than a minute to snap the bow pieces into place and attach two resistance bands. The equipment comes apart just as easily, so you can quickly pack up and go.
Who’s Gorilla Bow Travel for?
Are you a fitness freak who doesn’t want to miss a workout, even when traveling? Or maybe you enjoy working out but don’t want to spend tons of money on a gym membership you’ll rarely use. Whether you have a small home gym or just want a dependable solution on days when you’d rather sweat it out at home, Gorilla Bow Travel could be right for you. True to its name, you can pack it up and bring it with you to avoid missing crucial training time.
I have a small home gym and this compact unit is perfect for my needs. It’s versatile enough so that I feel excited about having so many options at my fingertips, whether I’m in the mood for an arm, leg or full body workout. Changing weights is quick and simple, unlike some of the clunky weight plates on more traditional weight machines.
Which Exercises Can You Do with Gorilla Bow Travel?
As a Gorilla Bow beginner, I started with an introductory Tabata class, complete with basic movements such as leg lifts, bent rows and lunges. It didn’t take long to feel the burn in my arms and legs, and I was noticably sore the next day. I finished the workout but still needed more guidance so I chose the Gorilla Bow Basics video. It’s a great starter video with clear instructions about the different bands and the correct form for each exercise. Each video includes a series of exercises and built-in transition time so you can make adjustments between movements.
If you’ve used a Gorilla bow before or you’re more familiar with the basics, you can probably jump in and start working out. It felt more intuitive with every session, especially considering the weight options and huge selection of exercises.
Is a Subscription Membership Required?
A subscription isn’t required to use your Travel bow, but it could be a worthy investment for some athletes. The all-access membership includes access to a growing selection of live and on-demand classes as well as series such as Bullet Proof Body. If you don’t have time for a full workout or you want a refresher, head to the Exercise Library. You’ll find tons of instructor-led tutorials that demonstrate how to properly perform moves from Gorilla Bow push ups to kickstand deadlifts, mixed grip bent over rows and more.
Subscription platforms often make or break your workout. Gorilla’s video quality isn’t the highest, with occasional inconsistent audio levels and periodic connectivity glitches. Quality issues aside, however, the coaches are professional and motivational. Even with my introductory class, I felt like I was part of the Gorilla family. If you’re used to the camaraderie of an interactive platform such as the Peloton bike or interactive CLMBR, you’ll appreciate the close-knit feeling of this inclusive community.
Not ready to hit subscribe? Your purchase includes a 30-day trial membership to check out the classes before committing to a paid membership. There’s also a small selection of free videos on the Gorilla Bow YouTube channel. They cover the basics but you might quickly outgrow them, even as a beginner.
How Much Does a Membership Cost?
There are two membership options: a monthly subscription for $14.99 and an annual pass for $149.99 that includes two free months. A 30-day trial is included with each bow so that you can try the classes before making that financial commitment.
Is Gorilla Bow Travel worth it?
Considering everything you get for your money, we recommend the Gorilla Bow Travel for its strength and versatility. You can do a lot with it even without the optional all-access subscription membership, especially if you’re already familiar with the basic movements. As a member you get even more bang for your buck, including many live and on-demand videos.
As with every piece of home gym equipment I’ve tested, this one isn’t perfect. One of its biggest shortcomings is that the “travel” moniker is a bit misleading, especially since it targets frequent travelers. The Travel Bow breaks down into a few different sections for easier portability, but the individual pieces are still quite relatively large and heavy. Travel weighs 6 lbs. and measures 56″L when fully assembled, and the center piece alone spans 23″L, which is something to keep in mind if you need to shove it into your carry-on suitcase or travel backpack. A carrying case is included for the resistance bands but not the entire bow. If you need one, pick up the Gorilla travel case before your next trip.
If you like the sounds of Gorilla Bow but aren’t sold on the Travel, consider some of their other products. Here’s a quick comparison to help you decide which is right for you:
Original Gorilla Bow($199)
Gorilla Bow Lite ($134)
Gorilla Bow Travel($249)