I tried NordicTrack’s Select-a-Weight dumbbells — 5 things that surprised me

 NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells in the storage tray on a wooden floor.
NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells in the storage tray on a wooden floor.

As an apartment dweller of 15-plus years, I've considered purchasing a set of adjustable dumbbells many times. Not big on recurring monthly fees, I refuse to sign up for a gym membership to gain access to a full weight set. However, I also don't have nearly enough space for one in my home.

For the past five years, I've been getting by with a single set of 15-pound dumbbells, but they're rather restrictive. Fortunately, I got the chance to try out NordicTrack's Select-a-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells for a few weeks, and I'm hooked.

Here are the five things that surprised me most about NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Dumbbells, from versatility to build quality to price.

They seem well constructed

NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells in a person's hand
NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells in a person's hand

Given the recall on a similar set of NordicTrack adjustable weights, I was pleased to discover that the Select-a-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells seem quite durable, with a primarily steel construction.

That said, portions of the design, like the tab on the weight adjuster pins, are built from hardened plastic. The storage tray is also made of high-impact plastic, but you'll definitely want to avoid dropping the weights — I imagine it wouldn't take a drop from much height to crack or shatter the plastic.

The weights are slightly bottom-heavy to avoid rolling around, which is a nice touch. However, they are completely round. So, if you work out in say, a garage with a slanted floor, one may take off on you.

The handle on the NordicTrack adjustable weights has a grippy knurling pattern to avoid slips, which I quite appreciate as someone who often gets sweaty hands while working out.

You can choose from 15 different weight loads

NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells selections
NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells selections

With weights ranging from 10 pounds per dumbbell up to 55 pounds apiece, the NordicTrack Select-a-Weights are perfect for both myself and my partner, who finds my standard 15-pound dumbbells a tad too heavy.

Users can adjust the Select-A-Weights in 2.5-pound and 5-pound increments, with 15 total weights to choose from. They include 10, 12.5, 15, 20, 22.5, 25, 30, 32.5, 35, 40, 42.5, 45, 50, 52.5, and 55 pounds.

The outer selection pins adjust the weights in 10-pound increments, with five selectable positions — the load increases as you move the pins outward. The inner weight selection pins slide up and down with three positions. In the upper position, five pounds are added to the load, in the lower, 2.5 pounds are added — the middle position adds no additional weight.

NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells: was $349 now $314 @ Amazon
The NordicTrack Select-a-Weight kit comes with two sets of adjustable weights. Choose from 10 pounds to 55 pounds per weight, with adjustment increments between 2.5 and 5 pounds. The set comes with a hardened plastic tray for storage and doesn't take up too much space.View Deal

They don't take up too much space

NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells stored under a collapsible desk
NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells stored under a collapsible desk

The footprint of the two Select-a-Weights trays next to one another on my floor is roughly 19 inches by 17 inches, taking up a little less than 2 square feet of my 700-square-foot apartment. They're also about 7 inches high, which is sadly a tad too tall to fit under my couch, but they do fit nicely under my bed.

They're also not too shabby to look at, which is why I've left them out in my living room for the time being.

The weight selection mechanism is a tad fiddly

NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells adjustment mechanism
NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells adjustment mechanism

My only real pain point in testing out NordicTrack’s 55-pound Select-a-Weight dumbbells is the adjuster pins. They can be a tad temperamental to slide in and out of position, occasionally getting caught.

This issue plagues both the inner and outer weight adjusters. However, this is by no means a deal-breaker in my mind: I'd rather have a temperamental-to-move locking pin that works than an easy-to-operate one that doesn't.

Also, I may just need to break in the mechanisms a bit more to ensure a smoother operation.

The price seems right

NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells in storage trays
NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells in storage trays

Depending on sales, the NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells will set you back between $300 and $350. That's a pretty steep price for the casual workout enthusiast to stomach, myself included. But after a few weeks with the set, I'm convinced it's money well spent.

My boring 15-pound dumbbells set me back about $25. Sure, I could get three or four more sets to add some versatility to my equipment, and still be well under half the cost of the Select-a-Weights. But four pairs of dumbbells would surely take up more space, and be more of an eyesore than this all-in-one set.

The real question is, are you paying extra for the name with the NordicTrack dumbbells? Not so much, it turns out: They're priced similarly to many of other adjustable 'bells out there. For example, other popular ~55-pound options, like the Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbells and Bowflex SelectTech 552i Dumbbells, cost roughly the same.

There are some budget-friendly alternatives, like this Buxano adjustable set,  but these don't offer anywhere near the versatility of the NordicTrack Select-a-Weights.

NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Dumbbells: Fnal thoughts

Ultimately, my experience with the NordicTrack Select-a-Weights has turned me into an adjustable dumbbell believer. Of course, the 55-pound upper limit is going to be a deal-breaker for some folks. Likewise, not everyone needs 15 levels of weight adjustments, in which case, a more budget-friendly set may be your best bet.

By the way, the NordicTrack Select-a-Weights come with a 30-day free trial of the brand's iFit on-demand workout app subscription. However, the warranty period on the weights is a measly three months, which is worth keeping in mind.

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