You’ve made the decision to build yourself a gym.
You want the privacy, the lack of waiting and the ability to hand-pick your own kit. You want the convenience of training in your own place at a time that suits you. Sounds perfect… as long as you make the correct decisions around your equipment.
One of the most important items in the gym is the power rack (and it’s more affordable cousin, the squat rack). It’s fundamental for so many exercises that a bad choice can ruin your gym experience.
As a gym owner and a personal trainer I’ve bought dozens of power racks and squat racks, and I’ve used even more, so I’ve seen all the features and made all of the wrong choices!
Luckily for you, I share all of the knowledge I’ve gained from these wrong choices to help you choose the ideal choice for your home gym.
For those who want a quick overview, below is our comparison table:
In this article, I’m going to take you through a list of the best budget power racks and squat racks you can buy without blowing too much cash.
I’ve been a personal trainer for 16 years. I used to manage 15 gyms for a gym chain, spending millions every year on new kit. I also own my own gym, so I have to put my money where my mouth is. Over the years I’ve bought at least 50 power racks – some great, others terrible, but from each one I’ve learnt something.
Having made every mistake there is, I can pass on this experience to you and save you wasting your own cash on substandard equipment. If you invest properly, a power rack can last you literally decades, so consider your choices wisely.
We’re going to look at a range of power racks – ones that suit different budgets and requirements. As with most fitness equipment, your range of options and prices is wide, but the purpose of this article is to steer you towards racks that combine excellent quality at an affordable price.
To keep things clear I’m going to compare them like for like, so features, built quality, accessories, versatility and price will all be considered, alongside anything else that is relevant and important for you to know as a buyer.
If a rack does appear more expensive at first, let me justify its inclusion in the list before dismissing it as too costly…
As home fitness equipment goes, this is an absolute bargain. Made with 14 gauge steel, it’s a compact (but big enough) 84” x 48” x 47.5” deep.
The Rep PR-1100 has numbered uprights for easy j-cup placements and the j-cups are plastic lined, protecting your barbell from damage when re-racking the bar. Build quality is excellent for the price.
The rack will support 700lbs, which is more than enough for all but the strongest of guys, so is suitable for 99.9% of lifters out there.
The multi-grip pull up bar is a unique but excellent addition and it too is capable of supporting 400lbs.
Compared to the cheap junk on the market, this is a very wise investment. You really can’t fault this model at that price – it’s a class leader for the money.
In terms of accessories you can purchase a decent range, including landmine and dip bars, turning it from a rack into a multi-functional rig.
It’s an item that will grow you with, so you can buy this rack with one eye on your future requirements.
Best for… Those on the tightest budgets who want a rack that outperforms its price point. You won’t go wrong with this, it’s the best in class at the money.
The next rack to be reviewed is the Titan T-2 Power rack, which retails at a sniff under 350 bucks.
Although, slightly more expensive than Rep Fitness at our #1 option, it’s still a fantastic budget option.
While some power racks can go as high as $2,000 or more, getting a power rack for under $350 at this level of quality is a bargain.
As you’d expect from Titan, it’s a well-built bit kit, made from heavy-duty 2 x 2-inch 12-gauge square steel uprights, so is stronger than others in the price bracket.
The rack itself is secured by a bolt-together design, so you’ll have to make sure you get this right before you start loading up with serious weight.
The T-2 is capable of supporting 2,200 pounds, so strength isn’t a concern. The j-cups will take 850lbs alone, so again you’ve got no worries there.
You can purchase accessories that increase the functionality of the rig, which is pretty standard at this price point. The size is adjustable as well, so it caters for a variety of users.
The strength of the rack puts it above competition in our list–these reviews taken right from Titan’s website sums it up well.
There’s an integrated pull up which, although well made, is a single straight bar. Ideally, I’d want a multi-grip bar here, but honestly not a big deal.
Check out the video below for a great walkthrough of this power rack and a great visual of what it would look like in your home gym.
Best for… Strong guys who need a rack to support some serious weight. If you’re shifting elite numbers, you’ll need a rack to match.
It’s easy to ignore Rogue when looking for budget equipment because they’re generally associated with the higher end of the market. Whilst that is true, they do offer a range of more wallet-friendly options, with the RML-3W Wall Mounted Squat Rack being a case-in-point. At less than 500 dollars, this is a serious bit of kit that won’t break the bank.
As an American-made item, you know you’re buying quality. The rack is made from a couple of 3”x3” 11 gauge steel uprights, so it’s at the premium end of the market in terms of materials – it’s built to last.
They’re laser cut with Westside Barbell hole spacing for greater lifter precision. The uprights are just over 90 inches tall so accommodate the tallest lifters.
They come in 21.5 or 41.5 inch depth and are 49 inches wide, so pick a size depending on your requirements.
The optional stringer adds $50 to the price tag, but I’d urge you to go for it – more stability in a rack is never a bad thing.
The pull up bar is a basic single span model, but it’s passable. What helps to sell the Rogue RML-3W is the space-saving element.
If you’re short on room, this model shows you don’t have to sacrifice quality. It’s also adaptable and compatible with the Rogue accessories, so expands over time as your gym grows.
Rogue has earned a great reputation in the industry and when you see this rack, you’ll understand why.
Best for… Anyone short on space. Also anyone wanting to support an American business but can’t stretch to premium pricing.
If you like no-nonsense minimalism in your gym kit, look no further than the Fringe Sport squat rack with pull up bar.
It does exactly what it says on the tin – provides your gym set up with a cost-effective solution for lifting, without compromising on quality. Seriously, this is a great bit of kit for the price.
In terms of technical specifications, it’s punching above its price point. The uprights are 2”x3” and made from a heavy gauge steel. The hole spacings run further up and down the uprights, allowing for taller and shorter users to lift comfortably.
It also allows you to perform rack pulls from a lower hang point – an important and often overlooked feature of racks. Importantly the uprights have been shortened slightly to allow it into more rooms, but will still accommodate tall lifters.
The pull up bar is basic, but it’s a $290 rack that comes with free shipping – you’re not always going to get the best in versatility at the price point.
If I was going to pick a hole in the rack, it’s the strength – it’s load tested to 450lbs. Whilst that’s not a light weight as such, it’s significantly less than the competition at the price.
Best for… General lifters who want a simple, budget friendly option. It’s a good rack for the money.
Straight off the bat you may be thinking “949 isn’t budget!”, but hear me out. What this rack offers is absolute top quality construction and the ability to expand.
This is a modular rig that is built from 3×3 inch 11 gauge steel. This is not just sturdy, it’s rock solid. Sure, if you’re a beginner lifter this may be overkill, but if you’re shifting some serious weight around the place you need a rack that’s up to the task.
At 8’ high and with a 48” x 48” footprint it’s big enough to cope with any lifter, but small enough to not dominate most gym floor spaces. The modular design means that as and when you expand your gym set up you can simply bolt on to the existing rack.
Being picky there are a couple of points to raise. Despite the weight and build quality, this needs to be bolted down to the floor which makes home construction a little more challenging. That being said, when it’s bolted down, it’s essentially bomb-proof.
Another picky point I have here is the lack of grip versatility at the price. For the money, I’d expect more versatility with pull up grips.
Best for… Strong lifters with a fatter wallet and a plan to grow their gym. The modular nature of it means it can expand as your set up does.
To the untrained eye you may wonder what the differences are between power racks. Here’s a few points to consider before making your ultimate purchase decision…
Let’s be clear, a power rack is a simple construction. There’s not much in the way of design, so we’re looking at build quality and functionality. Make a decision based on what you need, not always what you want.
I’ve looked at 5 of the power racks that I consider to be good quality and a justifiable price. There’s a range of different brands and for each, I’ve picked out the relevant features for you to consider, with a quick explanation as to why they’ve made the list.
I’ve ranked them in order of what I consider to be the best value, with the first rack on the list being my pick for overall best choice.
That being said, consider all of them because the best overall may not be the best for your specific requirements. My article is a guide for you, but ultimately you have to make your own decision.
But, if I were you and I wanted a great quality budget power rack, I’d be buying the REP-PR 1100. I think for the price, it blows the competition away. It has the perfect combination of cost, build quality, versatility and functionality, plus it’s the cheapest of the racks reviewed here!