I recently purchased the Universal PowerPak Adjustable Dumbbells, and I thought I’d share my experiences in this review to help other people make the right choice when it comes to choosing the best adjustable dumbbells.
The PowerPak is a very solid dumbbell. It goes from 4 to 45 pounds in five-pound increments, working its way up through nine settings. The plates are solid, made from coated iron, with comfortable rubber handles. It sits nicely in its stand, which is included in the price. They’re roughly 14 inches long, 15 inches wide and seven inches tall—a bit bulky compared to regular dumbbells, but decently sized for an adjustable model.
I picked the PowerPak because I was looking for an inexpensive alternative to the big brands out there—the Bowflex SelectTech or the PowerBlocks. The PowerPak is slightly cheaper than either of the other models, and it comes with its own stand, which is a fantastic savings. You want a stand with adjustable dumbbells; it makes adjusting the weights quicker and easier, especially when your arms are burning from a long workout. A good dumbbell stand for some of these other models hits three figures, so you’re really saving a ton when you go with the PowerPak.
They’re also easy to adjust.
You turn a dial at one end—a very simple system. Other models require to futz with multiple dials, or to use a more complicated pin system, but the PowerPak is very straightforward to use. I never experienced the weights “catching” or otherwise being difficult to adjust; everything’s been smooth sailing so far.
It hasn’t been quiet sailing, though. You expect a little bit of rattling and banging with adjustable dumbbells; the different weight plates often will slide around a little bit and make some noise while you’re using them.
The PowerPak seems to be worse than most, however—the weights aren’t in danger of falling off, but they shift back and forth quite notably as you’re going through your exercises. The constant shifting and clacking gets obnoxious in a hurry; other models provide a less annoying experience. The plastic handles on mine have also cracked; again, not structurally damaging, but annoying.
They’re also very bulky.
Even when using one of the minimum weights, these guys are nearly 14 inches long from end-to-end. That’s fine if you’re just doing curls, but if you’re trying anything a bit more complicated, like one of the dumbbell exercises for back that I wrote about, you might find them hard to maneuver. This is probably only an issue if you’re relatively slight like I am, but it’s something to be aware of.
All in all, though, these are minor complaints. The Universal PowerPak is a nice, inexperience adjustable dumbbell for a home office. If you’re doing a workout routine which requires you to change weights quickly for different exercises, the PowerPak is easy to use and quick to adjust. They’re well-balanced, despite the unorthodox shape, and work for all the exercises I care to do with a dumbbell.
In short, a dumbbell needs to be sturdy and heavy, and these succeed at both of those things. If you have the extra money to spend, it’s likely worth it to splurge on one of the higher-end competitors; they seem to have more solid construction and less reliance on plastic parts.
By the way, here’s a video review of these dumbbells.
Hey! My name is Paul Sheldon. I live in Nashville, TN and I love all things related to sports. Naturally I love workking out and I do it every day. If you want to talk feel freee to hit me a message or if you happen to be in Nashville we can get a coffee, I know a great place. Peace!