Gaiam Neoprene Hand Weight vs Cap Barbell Neoprene Dumbbells

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If you’re looking for neoprene dumbbells, then there are no better sets than Gaiam Neoprene Hand Weight and Cap Barbell Neoprene Dumbbells. Both of these sets look similar, but we’re going to look deeply to see which hand weights are the best.

We’re going to compare Gaiam Neoprene Hand Weight vs Cap Barbell Neoprene Dumbbells based on the neoprene coating, weight range, colors, shape, grip, and whether they come single or as a pair.

Be sure to stick around till the end. We’re going to answer some of your biggest questions about neoprene dumbbells.

Gaiam NeopreneCap Barbell Neoprene

Neoprene Coating

What’s the difference between a regular dumbbell and neoprene dumbbells? It isn’t the weight or functionality. The main difference is the neoprene coating itself, so we need to take special care when looking at this.

Which has the better neoprene coating: Gaiam Neoprene Hand Weight or Cap Barbell Neoprene Dumbbells?

Starting off with Cap Barbell Neoprene Coated Dumbbell Weights, these dumbbells are constructed from a ASTM A48 iron core that’s been coated in 3mm of neoprene for enhanced comfort and floor safety (more on this later). It feels like a good coating that really protects the inner core. It’s unlikely that the neoprene will rip or tear from use.

Gaiam Neoprene Dumbbells are cast-iron inside and coated with a similar neoprene material. The material feels a little thinner, but only slightly. This should also last for a long time without ripping or tearing.

Both are fairly equal. We think that Cap Barbell is a little better since it feels sturdier and thicker, but not by a significant margin.

Weight Range

This is important for anyone looking to lose weight by lifting or build muscle. Using a weight that’s too small isn’t going to give you enough resistance to improve your fitness, so you want dumbbells that match your strength.

Some people look down on neoprene weights because they don’t offer high resistances like 20lbs, 30lbs, or 40lbs, but maybe you don’t need a dumbbell that heavy. If you do, then consider reading Best Adjustable Dumbbells: NordicTrack vs Bowflex. Maybe you want something light to help with stamina, or maybe you’re just starting out and you don’t need a huge weight.

What we’re really trying to say is that there’s no reason to look down on neoprene hand weights. Every dumbbell, barbell, or other fitness equipment has its place.

With that said, what is the weight range for these dumbbells?

Cap Barbell Neoprene Dumbbells

  • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 12lbs

Gaiam Neoprene Hand Weight

  • 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 15lbs

According to our research, there are some more popular weights than others. We found that neoprene 8 lb weights and neoprene 2 lb weights are more commonly searched for. You can get a neoprene 8 pound dumbbell from both brands, but only Cap Barbell has the 2lb variant.

It’s difficult to choose a winner because both excel at something different. We like how spread out the weight range is with Cap Barbell. You can easily find the exact weight you need for your strength level. However, we also like that there are Gaiam 15 lb dumbbells.

These Gaiam 15 lb dumbbells are good for those who are a little stronger and need something heavy to help with their workout routine.

We’re going to call this a tie. Cap Barbell has a better weight spread, but Gaiam offers the heaviest weight. Both offer the popular neoprene 8 lb dumbbell size.


Yes, this part is entirely subjective and no, color doesn’t inherently help with fitness. However, neoprene weights are known for coming in unique colors and we know that some of you care about aesthetics. It’d feel wrong not to cover this.

If you’re only looking for pure fitness, then you can skip this section, but we suggest you keep reading.

So, what colors do these come in? Let’s compare Cap Barbell vs Gaiam and find out.

Cap Barbell

  • Blue
  • Grey
  • Orange
  • Pink
  • Purple
  • Red


  • Purple
  • Orange
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Red

While there isn’t a significant difference between the number of colors, the shades are different between them. Look at these two red neoprene dumbbells:

Gaiam NeopreneCap Barbell Neoprene

Gaiam’s color looks a little softer and more natural while Cap Barbell is a little flatter and more severe. Once again, this is quite subjective and you might see them a different way.

Personally, we like the Gaiam colors a little better, but Cap Barbell is great, too.


You might think that shape is just as subjective as the color section above, but you would be wrong. A dumbbell’s shape is very important. If the dumbbell were completely circular, then the dumbbell would be liable to roll across the ground (and possibly under your feet).

If you’ve looked into Cap Barbell dumbbells before, like with our Cap Barbell 150 lb Eco Dumbbell Set with Rack Review, then you know that this brand is all about hexagon dumbbells. The heads are designed so that they won’t roll at all. They are one of the best in terms of safety.

How does Gaiam stack up? The shape is good, but not quite as effective as Cap Barbell’s. These dumbbells have flat edges on the top and bottom, but the sides are rounded. The dumbbells are safe, but they have a higher chance of rolling than Cap Barbell neoprene weights.

We have to give the win to Cap Barbell, but Gaiam’s weights are good as well.


Neoprene has a soft, comfortable grip that’s also very secure. Unlike metal, which needs to have texture etched into the material for a safe grip, neoprene feels safe in your hand and won’t easily slip out.

We covered before in the neoprene coating section that Cap Barbell’s neoprene feels a little thicker and sturdier, but honestly when it comes to Gaiam vs Cap Barbell, both feel secure in your hand. In that case, we have to call this a draw.

But, there’s one other thing we need to talk about: handle diameter.

Normally a heavier dumbbell has a larger handle. You may not feel this too much with metal dumbbells, but the size increase tends to be more dramatic with neoprene. Out of the two, Cap Barbell tends to have somewhat thicker handles.

Now this can be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it.

A thicker dumbbell handle is harder to hold, so it might be a problem if you have smaller hands. However, it also activates more muscles in your forearm, which can be seen as a benefit since you’re working more muscles without doing more exercise.

If you want a smaller handle, then Gaiam might be better. If you’d prefer a somewhat thicker handle, then consider Cap Barbell.

Single or Pair

When you get a dumbbell, you probably expect to get a pair of them, right? You have two hands, so obviously you want two dumbbells. However, you should be aware that Neoprene hand weights often come solo, so be aware of this when making your purchase.

Gaiam almost always comes solo. If it doesn’t say otherwise, then expect to get only one hand weight. Be sure to adjust your purchase quantity if you want a pair.

Cap Barbell is usually a little more transparent. You can often find this as either a pair or single. Just read the product description to see.

There’s really no judgment here. Sometimes you need one weight, sometimes you need two. Just be sure to read this before making your order.

Which Dumbbell is Best?

Gaiam Neoprene Hand Weight vs Cap Barbell Neoprene Dumbbells: heavier max weight, more natural colors, thinner handles, often come as single

Cap Barbell Neoprene Dumbbells vs Gaiam Neoprene Hand Weight: better weight spread, more severe colors, thicker handles, choose between pair or single

Gaiam NeopreneCap Barbell Neoprene

Final Thoughts

It’s difficult to pick one specific winner here. Both of them are similar, but they do have a few differences that can help you choose the right one. Gaiam Neoprene Dumbbells have a higher maximum weight with their Gaiam 15 lb dumbbell, the colors are softer and more natural, the handles are a little thinner, and it’s easier to buy one dumbbell.

Cap Barbell Neoprene Hand Weights have a better weight spread, the colors are darker and more severe, the handles are thicker and activate more muscles, and it’s easier to choose either a single dumbbell or a pair.

So, which one is right for you? Be sure to let us know.

Neoprene Dumbbell FAQ

What is Neoprene?

Neoprene is a type of synthetic rubber made from chloroprene. This material is known for excellent chemical stability along with flexibility through a wide temperature spectrum. It’s also highly durable, the material has a natural grip to it, and it functions well for dumbbells.

Why Neoprene Dumbbells?

It’s easy to hate on neoprene dumbbells since they don’t offer higher weights usually, but they actually have a lot of benefits you won’t find with metal dumbbells. So, why neoprene dumbbells?

Neoprene resists sweat and oil. Also, unlike metal dumbbells that can rust, neoprene never will (the inner iron core might if the neoprene tears, just be careful of that). Another big benefit is that neoprene is forgiving to your floors. Metal dumbbells can easily scratch your floor, but neoprene won’t have this issue.

Is Neoprene Waterproof?

Many want to know if they can call neoprene waterproof. The short answer is: mostly. The longer answer is that it depends. Neoprene, in the broadest sense, comes in open-cell and closed-cell formations. Closed-cell formations have little to no air between the molecules, so water can’t squeeze in. This type of neoprene is more expensive and usually for wetsuits.

Neoprene dumbbells is usually open-cell (it’s the more affordable of the two), but this material still resists water when compared to metal. So it’s waterproof to a degree and it shouldn’t absorb enough water or sweat to damage it.

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