In my years as a certified personal trainer, I’ve realized that a good power rack can render visits to a commercial gym unnecessary. Ideally, a rack should be in a cage-like setup that would allow you to use it for bench presses as well as a squat rack.
However, the design of a lot of power racks is either too limited or they aren’t sturdy and safe enough.
So, we took a few months to track down the popular items we didn’t already have and test them all to see which ones might work best in a home gym configuration.
Let’s dive in.
Best Power & Squat Racks
- Best Overall Power Rack: Rogue RML-690
- Cheapest Power Rack for Home Gym: Sunny Health & Fitness
- Best Versatile Power Rack: Fitness Reality X-Class
- Best Power Rack for Heavy Lifters: Body Power Deluxe
- Easiest-to-Assemble Power Rack: Fitness Reality 810XLT
- Best Foldable Home Gym Power Rack: PRx Fold-In ONE
- Best Power Rack for Small Spaces: CAP Barbell FM-8000F
- Best Power Rack for Multiple Users: Rogue RML-690
- Best Power Rack for Beginners: HulkFit
- Best Cable Power Rack: Fitness Reality X-Class
Our Top Power Racks (December 2023)
1 - Rogue RML-690 Power Rack (Best Overall)
When it comes to full-size power racks, you simply can’t beat the quality and price of Rogue products.
This specific RML-690 version uses the same type of steel as commercial gyms use, but you pay a much smaller price.
The one thing that stood out during our testing is that it has very solid safety features. We fully loaded it for testing and didn’t bolt it to the floor. And it didn’t show any signs of becoming unstable. The Rogue SML 2 Monster Lite Squat Stand is also worth a look.
- Key Features: 1,500 lbs capacity, 8 plate storage pins, 2 pull-up bars
- Great safety bar features for squats and bench presses
- Available in different heights to suit your home gym
- Doesn’t have to be bolted to the floor as it won’t wobble
- Allows for more than one person to use it at a time
- It can take a bit of effort to fully assemble
2 - Fitness Reality X-Class Olympic Power Cage (Best Versatile)
Next on our list is the Fitness Reality X-Class rack, an olympic-size power cage, which can give you maximum flexibility.
The lat pulldown attachment has a cable system that looks to be heavy-duty, and you may also switch it to a low rower position.
The multi-grip pull-up bars should give you some added flexibility in your exercise routine as well.
According to one of the studies found on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website, the main differences between different pull-up grips exist between concentric and eccentric phases of each pull-up variation .
Everyone we sent to the gym to test this cage was able to make all the necessary height adjustments to comfortably and safely perform their workouts.
- Key Features: 1,500 lbs capacity, 24 levels, pull-up bar, lat pulldown attachment
- Commercial-size cage with lat pulldown cable system
- 11 gauge steel safety bars should take quite a hit
- Multi-grip pull-up bar may provide more flexibility
- Plenty of adjustment options
- Smaller gyms may not easily accommodate its larger footprint
- Just make sure that you measure out your floor space to make sure that it will comfortably fit in your gym.
3 - Merax Athletics Fitness Power Rack Olympic Squat Cage
The Merax is one of the squat racks that might provide great flexibility due to the lat pull cable system that is included.
It has 19 height settings with hole spacing that seems to be giving athletes plenty of flexibility.
And because it includes two weight storage pins on each side, it should be a great option if you have a large selection of plates.
The consensus in our test group was that this is a great squat cage with a minimal footprint.
However, some of the more experienced trainers noted the J hooks are advisable to reduce barbell movement when racking due to the bar supports being slightly angled.
- Key Features: 500 lbs capacity, 19 levels, pull-up bar, lat pulldown
- Seems to be easy to adjust the J hooks for inside and outside the cage use
- May be configured for rowing movements
- Lat pulldown attachment is included for more exercise options
- The pull-up bars are a little bit limited in grip flexibility
- It has a pull-up bar, but not the multi-grip kind for more targeted strength training.
4 - PRx Fold-In ONE Rack (Best Foldable)
Technically, this would be classified as a great half rack, but the design might be a good choice for anyone that has limited space.
It might also be one of the best power racks available for tall people as it comes with 28 level settings and is 90 inches tall.
That should make it flexible enough for bench presses and pull-ups.
Our tests indicate that you can also use it as a squatting rack, but you won’t have safety bars due to the design.
- Key Features: 1,000 lbs capacity, 28 height levels, pull-up bar
- Wall-mounted so that it may take up less space in a home gym
- 90-inch max height for more flexibility and suitable for tall people
- Can be folded up to save more space when not in use
- Assembly and attachment to the wall might be a bit tricky
- Securing it to a wall is a little bit tricky, and you’ll need a few DIY skills and tools to do this.
5 - CAP Barbell FM-8000F Deluxe Power Rack (Best for Small Spaces)
I won’t say who on our team insisted on adding this because of the cool color options. But I guess there are some style-conscious athletes who may want to get everything matching at home.
It’s a good half-rack design with welded anchors that you may want to use to bolt it to the ground.
We also like the wider J cups and spotter arms that our test group reported gave more of a sense of confidence in the rack’s safety.
- Key Features: 500 lbs capacity, 17 levels, pull-up bar
- Includes hooks on the feet to use for resistance bands
- Seems to be a solid squat rack that doesn’t take up too much space
- Available in different color options to match up with other equipment
- Limited positions for your pull-ups
- Just keep in mind that you’ll be a little bit limited in your grip position for pull-ups with the CAP Barbell.
6 - Body Power Deluxe (Best for Heavy Lifters)
The final one on our list of best power racks is another full-size cage that should be able to take quite a heavy load.
It seems to be a high-quality design with enough levels and decent hole spacing to make it suitable for the more serious weight lifters.
Our test group appreciated that It includes two dip bars and multi-grip pull-up bars for a wider range of upper body bodyweight exercises.
Many spent some extra time beyond our test workout to experiment for themselves.
- Key Features: 800 lbs capacity, 17 levels, pull-up bar
- Has six weight plate pins for easier access
- Includes solid floor mount anchors that are welded to the frame
- Dip bars included for more exercise options
- It’s quite a bulky design that might take up quite a bit of space
- The downside is that it might take up a lot of space, even for a cage design.
7 - Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power Cage (Easy to Assemble)
The first thing that stood out for us is that the Super Max Power Cage seems to have designed a heavy-duty steel frame structure.
It’s not the highest weight limit, but at 800 pounds, it should be more than enough for the majority of people.
We put the J cups and safety arms to the test and found that they were solid and should withstand a lot of pressure.
- Key Features: 800 lbs capacity, 19 height levels, pull-up bar
- Top of the frame is a multifunction pull-up bar
- Assembly instructions seem to be easy to follow
- Safety bars seem to be solid even when weights drop
- It might be a bit top-heavy without weights
- Just keep in mind that the frame of the Super Max Power Cage seems a bit top-heavy when there aren’t any weights loaded on.
8 - HulkFit 1000-Pound Capacity Adjustable Power Cage (Best for beginners)
This is one of the higher weight ranges we could find, and this might be needed for any powerlifters out there.
We noticed during our testing that it came with four J cups, which might save you some adjustment time in between sets.
There are dip bars included as well, and if you need the ultimate gym setup, then you could also order the lat pull-down cable system.
- Key Features: 1,000 lbs capacity, 17 levels, dip and pull-up bar
- Claims to use 11 gauge steel for a sturdy frame
- Rubber feet may reduce the risk of accidental slipping
- Optional attachments available for lat pulldown
- Some people have reported that the weight plate holders might be a bit too low
- The only thing we noted is that some people thought the plate pins might be a bit low for some larger weights that you might have.
9 - Sunny Health & Fitness Power Zone (Cheapest)
This is another affordable and simple design in a half rack. Based on our tests, it may be suitable for squats as well as bench presses, and there are some spotter arms included as well for added safety in your home gym.
The height of the pull-up bar was challenging for some taller individuals in our test group, but the rack has a decent 800-pound limit despite being such an affordable option, thanks to the solid steel uprights.
- Key Features: 805 lbs capacity, 18 levels, pull-up bar
- Includes hooks for attaching exercise bands
- Has quite a small footprint making it suitable for smaller home gyms
- Nicely positioned plate holders to keep things tidy
- Max height for the pull-up bar may not be high enough for tall people
- The only downside we found is that the height may not be ideal for tall people trying to do some pull-ups.
10 - Body Flex Sports Body Champ Power Rack System
Here’s another one of the space-saving half racks on the market that we liked. It also has the safety bars that would make this one of the safer squat racks that we found.
Our testing shows this is a straightforward, sturdy rack for home use. Users were able to easily adjust levels in between sets to keep the flow of the routine moving.
It is a lower weight range model, but for many folks, that will still be more than enough for normal training. And the welded frame anchors should make it more secure when doing pull-ups.
- Key Features: 300 lbs capacity, 12 levels, pull-up bar
- Sturdy enough for moderate-weight home use
- Easy to adjust to different levels in between sets
- The floor anchors allow you to bolt it to the ground for added safety
- A bit limited in the number of levels you can set
- We just found that it was a bit limited in the level adjustments for a half rack.
How We Tested Best Power Racks
We've developed a comprehensive approach to testing power racks, ensuring that each recommendation I make is based on rigorous, real-world use and a deep understanding of what makes a power rack truly stand out.
Here's how we tested the best power racks, incorporating the initial criteria and expanding upon them with additional key factors.
We assessed the build quality of each power rack by examining the gauge of steel used, the quality of welds, and the finish. We also conducted stress tests, including repeated racking of heavy weights and simulated long-term use.
We evaluated the weight capacity of each rack, not just based on the manufacturer's specifications but also through practical load testing. This involved incrementally increasing weight loads to observe the rack's performance under maximum stress.
We compared the cost of each power rack against its features and durability. This included looking for the best value for money, considering both budget-friendly options and higher-end models for serious lifters.
We tested the stability of each power rack by performing a variety of exercises, including dynamic movements that tend to shift the center of gravity. We noted any wobbling or movement and checked whether the rack could be securely anchored to the floor.
We looked at the range of exercises that could be performed with each rack, considering the availability of attachments and the ability to accommodate different workouts, from squats and bench presses to pull-ups and dips.
Ease of Assembly
We documented the assembly process for each rack, noting the clarity of instructions, the number of people required for assembly, and the overall ease or difficulty of putting the equipment together.
Safety is paramount, so we checked for the presence and quality of safety mechanisms such as spotter arms, J-hooks, and pin adjustments. We also assessed how easily and quickly a user could secure or adjust these features during workouts.
We gathered feedback from a diverse range of users, including both novice lifters and experienced athletes, to gauge overall satisfaction with the rack's performance, comfort during use, and any limitations they encountered.
Buyer’s Guide: What To Look For In Power Racks
1 - Measure Out The Dimensions
Very few people are fortunate enough to be able to take over large spaces for their home gym equipment.
And even if you have a double garage with one half designated as an exercise den, you’ll still need to make sure that all your equipment fits in safely.
Measuring out the space that your squat stand will take up is the first thing you should do.
This is even more important if you’re going for a full-size cage.
2 - Pay Attention To The Weight Limits
You’ll notice that the above recommendations included models that have a weight limit from 300 to 1,000 pounds.
One thing to keep in mind is to not buy something with a limit that is exactly at your current training and lifting limit.
If you’re serious about doing more regular workout routines done at home, then you need to pick one of the cages or squat racks that you can grow into as your fitness levels and strength increase.
3 - Check For Height Adjustments
There are two things to look out for.
First of all, check that the overall height range of the adjustment holes is high enough to support how tall you are.
Some taller athletes often get caught out with the maximum height and end up being restricted in their workout routines.
The second thing to check is the number of levels you can set and how many inches they are apart.
You would want to see at least 16 holes on the uprights to allow for a broader range of exercises .
4 - Look For Additional Accessories
Some people design their home gym with dozens of pieces of equipment. We just think that it might be a waste of money and space.
“Many research studies have shown that exercises that require you to “move your body through space,” show increased and stronger muscle fiber firing than those where your torso remains in place/stable. This is why squats are, in many cases, superior to leg presses, and pullups superior to pulldowns, as examples.”
- Eric Broser, Strength & Fitness Trainer
By having attachments and accessories on your equipment, you could turn a rack into a solution for multiple workouts.
5 - Don’t Ignore Safety Features
The equipment you choose should be at least made with 11 gauge steel. But ideally, go for something higher, like 14 gauge.
This makes it a lot more sturdy, with less of a chance of shaking or wobble.
Safety bars should also feature high on your list.
These would allow you to train without needing a spotter in case you end up struggling to get the barbell back on the hooks.
“With a barbell bench press, if you fail, the weight could crush your chest, neck, or face. That’s why people often do this exercise with a spotter, a friend who can help you get the weight back up if your arms start to buckle.”
- Beth Skwarecki, Blogger at LifeHacker.com
You’ll often see these listed as spotter arms, and you would set them to a height a couple of inches above your chest for bench presses.
6 - Avoid The Lowest Price Options
Don’t just pick something that seems to fit your needs that is cheap, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
First of all, cheap often means that it’s been designed with limited capacity and safety features.
Secondly, you could outgrow it quickly, meaning that you’d hit a technical plateau in your exercises.
Definitely set a budget, but choose something in a price range that combines flexibility for your workouts and safety.
Do You Need to Bolt Down Your Power Rack?
Yes, you need to bolt down your power rack if you want to be on the safer side. If it’s a large cage-style rack, then it might be OK to be working out without securing it to the ground.
How Deep Should a Power Rack Be?
A cage-style power rack should be at least 50 inches deep. You would need that kind of space in order to move your body into a position for squats and deadlifts.
How Tall Should My Power Rack Be?
A power rack should be at least 84 inches tall. The reason for this is that most racks come with pull-up bars, and you need a certain amount of ground clearance for your legs.
Can You Deadlift in a Power Rack?
Yes, you can deadlift in a power rack. As long as it’s not a compact stand, you should have enough room to complete the move without bumping into the uprights.
What Are the Benefits of Folding Power Racks?
The benefits of folding power racks are that they are ideal for home gyms with limited space, as they can be easily collapsed against the wall after use, freeing up floor space for other activities. They are designed to offer the full functionality of traditional racks while being a convenient space-saving solution.
How Does ‘Pop-In’ Technology Enhance the Power Rack Experience?
'Pop-in' technology enhances the power rack experience by allowing for quick and secure adjustments to the power rack's setup, making it easier to change the height of safeties and j-hooks without tools. This feature is perfect for lifters who want to transition between exercises efficiently and safely.
Why Is Attachment Compatibility Important When Choosing a Power Rack?
Attachment compatibility is important when choosing a power rack because it determines the variety of exercises you can perform and allows for future upgrades as your training needs evolve. Knowing which attachments fit your power rack can help you tailor your workouts more precisely and expand your exercise repertoire.
What Is the Advantage of Color Customization for Power Racks?
The advantage of color customization for power racks is that it allows owners to match their power racks with their gym's color scheme or personal preference, which can be motivating and create a more personalized workout environment. For commercial gyms, it can also reinforce brand identity and contribute to a professional aesthetic.
What Does a Lifetime Structural Warranty Cover for Power Racks?
A lifetime structural warranty typically covers any defects in materials and workmanship, ensuring that your power rack will be repaired or replaced if any structural issues arise. This provides long-term security and confidence in the durability of your investment.
What Is the Best Rogue Power Rack for Home Gym?
The best Rogue power rack for a home gym is the Rogue RML-690 power rack, excelling in supporting heavy lifts, offering versatility through compatibility with numerous attachments, providing exceptional stability for athletes, and featuring excellent storage options.
Our Verdict on Best Power Racks
Our team overwhelmingly agreed that ROGUE RML-690 is the top choice for home gyms.
Its robust construction provides versatility for different kinds of exercises, and its durability ensures safety.
Our test indicate that many adjustment options support users of different sizes and abilities, making working out with family and friends easy.
With this power cage in your garage gym, you’ll be able to level up your workouts and reach your fitness goals significantly faster.
About The Author
You May Also Like