The more affordable price point of the Ativafit 55lb Adjustable Dumbbell Set makes it an attractive alternative to more expensive models, but can you save money and enjoy a quality product?
To answer this question, we got our hands on a pair and put them to the test, with their place in our roundup of the best adjustable dumbbells (opens in new tab) dependent on their performance in a series of varied exercise sessions (including this weights at home workout).
Weight range: 5.5-55lb or 2.5-25kg
Dimensions/size: 16.73” (L) x 7.68” (W) (42cm x 20 cm)
Warranty: 1 year
Price: $379.99USD or £325.99
After an exhausting collection of curls, squats, rows, presses and more, we were satisfied that these adjustable dumbbells are a versatile training tool capable of kicking our home workouts into high gear. Their ten weight options (from 5.5lb to 55lb) provide enough of a challenge for most exercisers, and the dial mechanism for changing the load is both easy to use and efficient.
We found they are a bit rough around the edges when it comes to performance, with the plates rattling slightly during use, the plastic handle looking a bit cheap for our liking and reracking them into the holding dock proving anything but smooth. However, we were still able to perform most exercises comfortably, with the plates held in place by a central handle and reassuring security lock.
So, if it’s premium performance you’re after, you’ll need to fork out on top-priced models like the Jaxjox DumbbellConnect (opens in new tab) or Bowflex SelectTech 552 (opens in new tab). However, if you want a pair of bank-friendly adjustable dumbbells with several weight options and solid all-round functionality, the Ativafit 55lb Adjustable Dumbbell Set is up to the task.
Price and release date
The Ativafit 55lb Adjustable Dumbbell Set retails at $379.99USD on the Ativafit website, or can be bought in the UK from Amazon with an RRP of £325.99. This is cheaper than other models we tested, such as the Bowflex SelectTech 552 and the Jaxjox DumbbellConnect, but more expensive than the sturdy Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells (opens in new tab).
Set up and ease of use
Getting started with this Ativafit set isn’t as simple as setting up other adjustable dumbbells, but it still won’t take more than 10 minutes.
The dumbbells arrive in separate boxes with 12 pieces in each; one 2.5kg handle, one holding dock and 10 plates. First, you have to load five plates into either side of the loading dock (with the indented side facing inwards and the pair of smaller plates placed furthest away from the center). Then, drop the handle into the middle of the plates and push down until it clicks into place.
While this two step set-up sounds simple, we found it less straightforward than other adjustable dumbbells because the plates don’t sit snugly within the holding dock. They wobble around, making the process of loading them into the dock and connecting the handle awkward and clunky.
The light gray handle and black metal plates give the Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbells a clean, sporty look that we quite liked. They have a small enough footprint (16.73” by 7.68”) to slip subtly into most home workout spaces and the dials are practically placed on the ends of the dumbbells so they are easy to reach and adjust.
The weight is displayed clearly on the dials so you know what you’re lifting at all times, and you have to hold down a security lock button on the handle to change the weight – a feature some people may appreciate as a reassuring safety measure.
The weights on the dial aren’t displayed in numerical order, so there were several times during time-sensitive supersets we found ourselves searching for the right number. And, unfortunately, this isn’t where our concerns ended when it came to the dumbbells’ design.
The lightweight plastic used to make the dock and handles felt cheap, and the overall finish felt somewhat rushed, with the lack of any additional innovative features to improve performance.
Unlike the Jaxjox DumbbellConnect and Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells, the plates aren’t designed to fit snugly together like pieces of a jigsaw. So, while they never felt they would fall off during sessions, they did wobble and rattle around when moved.
The movement of the plates also made them harder to load into the holding dock as they didn’t always align with those left in the tray, leaving us having to wiggle the dumbbells around a bit before they would fall into place.
Features and functionality
The Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbells offer 10 weight options from 5.5lb to 55lb (2.5kg to 25kg). These increase in increments of 5.5lb (2.5kg), providing beginner and intermediate lifters with plenty of scope for increasing the weight they lift as their strength increases.
Something worth noting for US users is that, unlike their rivals, they are only available with the display in kilograms, so gauging the weight at a glance could be a struggle.
There are easy-to-reach dials on either end of each dumbbell which can be twisted to select the right weight for you. But, if you turn one end then the other will also move, earning them extra brownie points from us as we didn't have to fiddle around with both sides between sets.
There is also a security lock button on the handle which has to be pressed when you are changing the weight. This may provide welcome reassurance to some users that their weights are securely in place, though we found it did slow down the weight-changing process as we had to use both hands – something that wasn’t the case with the Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells.
Where some adjustable dumbbells (namely, our winning Jaxjox DumbbellConnect pair) had us waxing lyrical about their intuitive nature and near-flawless performance, the Ativafit set left us satisfied without ever blowing us away.
We were able to perform most bodybuilding movements such as presses and rows comfortably, and the dials changed the weight effectively. This, combined with their healthy range of weight options and solid maximum load of 55lb, meant they should tick all the boxes of a top adjustable dumbbell able to help you perfect your home weight training.
Yet, having put them through several sessions of varying type, length and intensity, we identified a number of blemishes that kept them from reaching the level of their counterparts.
First and foremost among these was their clumsy feel. The plates shook and rattled slightly when we lifted the weights, and their bulky shape made them cumbersome to use. This was particularly true of their considerable length, with the ends of the dumbbells catching on our hips when performing alternating bicep curls.
The fact the plates jiggle and wobble on the central bar makes them tricky to re-rack into the holding dock. They tend to sit at a slight angle in the tray too, so we often had to wiggle the dumbbell around or try a few different angles before it would slide into place.
The lightly-textured rubber handles felt cheap and could slip during more intense or sweaty workouts, and we also found the intersection of the handles and plates was difficult to hold onto in the goblet position (for exercises like squats and lunges).
These factors can largely be overlooked when performing slower tempo bodybuilding-style lifts during dedicated strength training. But, we wouldn’t recommend these Ativafit dumbbells for faster paced activities like HIIT workouts or more functional lifts like snatches and clean and jerks.
Value for money
Retailing at $379USD or £325.99 for a pair, the Ativafit 55lb Adjustable Dumbbells are one of the most affordable options on the market to offer 10 weights up to 55lb. This may make them a good option for beginners looking to start out on their strength training journey, particularly those exercising at home.
But, more seasoned lifters will want to pay a bit extra for a premium product that can keep up with more advanced training methods such as supersets and dropsets - which rely on a smooth, quick transition when changing the weight.
The Ativafit 55lb Adjustable Dumbbell Set does what it sets out to do: provide free weights with ten optional loads from 5.5lb to 55lb in a single compact package. They’re among the cheapest adjustable dumbbells we tested too, offering a pair for under $380USD or £330. However, they lack the polished performance of their pricier rivals, with cheap plastic handles, rattling plates and an unwieldy long shape taking away from their overall score. They performed well during slower tempo bodybuilding movements, but we wouldn’t recommend these to anyone looking to add resistance to their home HIIT workouts.
If this isn't for you
The Ativafit 55lb Adjustable Dumbbell Set represents an affordable option for anyone looking to bolster their home gym arsenal. However, the higher-scoring Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells (opens in new tab) are available for a slightly lower price, and we found this option offered a more impressive all-round performance.
Or, if it’s the best of the best you’re after, the Jaxjox DumbbellConnect (opens in new tab) adjustable dumbbells left our tester with next-to-no criticisms. Their innovative digital weight-changing mechanism, sleek design, secure-feeling plates and comfortable size allowed us to exercise in style, earning them a 4.5/5 star rating.