Infinity Hoops


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I am admittedly a fan of the weighted hula hoop trend — though I'm not a fan of the $75+ price tag on the official Infinity Hoop version. The good news is that I had no serious issues with the cheaper version of a weighted hoop that I recently tried (now $10 on Amazon, down from $12), which didn't fall apart as many TikTok influencers threatened, but there was a problem — my kid was also using the hoop, which meant lost links (she is admittedly smaller than I am) and my ongoing hunt for the entire hoop. It had usually been stuffed into a corner of her closet (sans links), which meant more time hunting and less working out.

So, when a publicist asked me if I wanted to try the Gaiam weighted hoop, I was game. While it wasn't the branded Infinity Hoop, it seemed to have some upgrades over my cheaper version. But were they worth the $30 price (though it has gone as low as $24 on Amazon)?

What's Different About the Gaiam Weighted Hoop?

A glance at the two different hoops (my cheap version and the Gaiam one) made it clear the Gaiam version had more in common with the luxury-priced Infinity Hoop. Lining the waistline were moveable buttons that theoretically massage the waistline. My experience? I didn't notice any difference. Maybe I wasn't paying close attention, but the hoop is supposed to fit snuggly around your midsection, so there's not a lot of wiggle (or massage) room. But the massage buttons looked cool, I guess.

I also noticed that the Gaiam hoop had black tabs to make locking and unlocking the hoop around the waist easier. This seemed like a plus, since attacking the hoop can be tricky, especially with the weight threatening to slip off the hoop and plop onto the ground whenever it came off your waist. 

Lock on Gaiam Infinity HoopPhoto credit: Cheapism

Was the Gaiam Weighted Hoop Better?

Um, not really. While the lock was smoother with the tabs, it still required getting the hoop together in the first place, which wasn't easier with another step required. So, this wasn't exactly a win.

What Was Better?

There was one improvement with the Gaiam hoop over the cheap version, and it was the only one I was looking for — less noise. The Gaiam hoop was still loud so I had to crank up my television if I wanted to hear dialogue, but not as much as I did with the less expensive hoop. So, it's still not silent (it's a weight spinning around on a track either way), but it was a noticeable improvement. If you have roommates or noise-sensitive neighbors, it could make a difference. Does it mean you can hoop away with a sleeping baby nearby? Don't be crazy. It's less noisy, not cilent.

Is the Gaiam Weighted Hoop Worth It?

Given that I wasn't unhappy with my cheap hoop, I'm not sure I would spend money on the Gaiam weighted hoop, but it's a reasonable investment for anyone who wants to try out this exercise trend (and still costs far less than the branded Infinity Hoop). If you're worried about noise, this version doesn't completely solve the problem, but it's noticeably improved. 

And yes, I'm keeping it, even though that means two hoops in the house. There will be no more losing links, and I'll be able to watch bad TV without reading the captions or blowing out my eardrums. My kid gets the cheap one. She likes the color better, so it's a fair trade, right?

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