Although they offer the same functionality as most adjustable dumbbells, this Ativafit set's middling build quality mean that at their typical retail price, you might be better off looking elsewhere.
Two-handed switching is simpler than more expensive models
Poor build quality for the price
Small, uncomfortable grip
Why you can trust TechRadar
Interlocking adjustable dumbbells are a must if you’re looking to save some space in your home gym whilst also maximizing the efficiency of your workout. Changing weights with adjustable dumbbells in-between sets is much quicker than with old-fashioned plate and collar systems, giving you more time to focus ahead of your next grueling routine.
However, the adjustable dumbbell market is a crowded one, and Ativafit’s adjustable dumbbells struggle to distinguish themselves in any meaningful way. They’re a solid piece of equipment, but suffer from an uninspiring aesthetic. Most importantly, they don’t perform any of their functions in a manner that feels particularly remarkable.
Look around and you’ll find other models with comparable features for less. For the money you’ll be spending on Ativafit’s adjustable dumbbells, you might be wiser to invest in dumbbells with smarter features such as single-hand switching mechanisms.
Price and availability
You can buy Ativafit’s adjustable dumbbells on Amazon right now for $179.99 (about £140 / AU$240) but that’s the price per dumbbell. Buying a pair means an outlay of around $360 / £280 / AU$480, which is the same as rival models that offer better features, build quality and materials.
Ativafit offers a range of models to suit users of all needs. Naturally, the more plates that feature with the dumbbell, the more you’ll find yourself paying. The set we reviewed was the 55lb model which sported a lifting range that started at 5lb and topped out at 55lb, which is the standard range for most adjustable dumbbells.
However, if you find yourself needing a different scale of weight, Ativafit offers its dumbbells in a range that runs from 27.5lb through to 71.5lb. It’s one of the widest weight ranges we’ve seen for adjustable dumbbells and means that if you’re lifting at the lighter end, you won’t be paying for weight that you don’t need.
Ativafit’s adjustable dumbbell plates use the same matte black plastic design that you’ll find on almost every type of adjustable dumbbell. However, with only a rather dull gray plastic frame to offset the monochrome design, there isn’t much to get excited about in the visual stakes, at least.
The rather uninspiring design principles extend to the dumbbells’ handles too; where competing models might possess a flashy touch of chrome as well as thick rubber to enable a surer grip, the thin rubber and plastic construction of Ativafit's handles means that on a tactile level, there isn’t much to enjoy.
That might not make a great difference to your performance, but the grips are your constant connection to the weights and as such, a noticeable element of your experience with them. Also, if you’re planning to do a lot of work that sees you putting pressure onto the grips, such as renegade rows or dumbbell pushups, the lack of cushioning means you won’t find them as comfortable as other models.
The plate addition system feels secure, although you won’t get the same tautness as more expensive models such as Bowflex’s SelecTech 522s. In terms of size, the dumbbells measure up at 42.5 x 19.5 x 20.5in. Whilst this is a comparable size to other models in the adjustable dumbbell market, it can feel bulky and the nature of the weights’ construction means that they’ll remain this size, no matter how little weight you have added.
Setup and features
The weight-changing mechanism is simple to use and very reliable. While it requires two hands, one hand has to simply depress a safety switch, whilst your other hand uses a dial to select your desired weight. The process is quick and easy, simpler in fact that the Bowflex models which weigh in at a significantly-higher price.
However, one area where the Ativafit dumbbells can’t match their pricier rivals is the process of replacing the weights back into the cradles. To work smoothly, this process requires every unloaded plate to be in exactly the perfect position within the cradle, to allow you to easily slot the dumbbell and any loaded plates seamlessly into the gaps in-between. With the Ativafit dumbbells, this routine can feel a little hit-and-miss as you maneuver the dumbbell around for a moment, waiting for it to find the perfect space to slide back onto the cradle.
It’s only a mild point of contention and the Ativafit dumbbells aren’t the only set we’ve reviewed that have slight issues with removing or replacing the dumbbell back into its cradle. However, when you add it to the list of other features that fail to make Ativafit’s offering stand out, it merits a mention
Buy it if
You’re looking for a simple two-handed weight-selection mechanism
The Ativafit adjustable dumbbells do offer a simple process of selecting weights, even when compared to more expensive models. However, this advantage is unfortunately offset by the issues you’ll sometimes face when sliding the dumbbells back into the cradles.
You want to lift at the lower end of the dumbbell weight range
Ativafit offers an impressive range of adjustable dumbbells, and while the 5lb - 55lb one we reviewed has too many standout competitors to make it one to recommend, at the lower end of the weight range, you might find yourself able to make a saving when compared to comparable models.
Don't buy it if
You enjoy premium quality feel and looks
The Ativafit adjustable dumbbells don’t look or feel as high quality as other models – even ones that retail for a similar price. That won’t be a concern for everybody, but if you prize build quality, you might be better off looking elsewhere.
You’re planning to load weight onto those grips
While standard dumbbell workouts will be fine, if you’re looking to do lots of decline pushups or renegade rows using your dumbbells, you might not find the grips as comfortable as you’d like.
Dan Cooper is an experienced fitness writer who firmly believes in the power of running. The hardest race he has completed so far was Tough Guy, the world’s oldest and most demanding OCR event. There he learned that you may be able to outpace opponents, but outrunning hypothermia? That's a different race entirely.
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