A power rack is essential equipment if you want to lift weight at home. It’s impossible to do such compound exercises like squats or bench press safely without it.
The problem is that a gym-quality squat cage is close to a thousand dollars, for instance, the machines from Rogue Fitness.
What can you do if you are on a budget?
Well, I have good news for you because there are a few good cheap power racks on the market that are perfect for home weight training.
You are maybe skeptic now if an inexpensive rack is worth to buy. And, if they are so good, why an earth everybody would not buy just these instead of the expensive ones.
The typical reasons why they’re cheap:
- The first is the used materials. I mean the steel gauge. The thicker it is, the higher the capacity and durability of the rack. Cheap stands typically have a lighter and thinner 11 gauge steel and with that less maximum weight limit which is around 500-700 lb. However, unless you are a powerlifter, that end is enough for most of us.
- The other reason for the lower price is the lack of additional accessories. More expensive pieces come, for example, with a cable system, dip attachment, etc. These are useful extras, but if you want to do basic strength training, you can neglect them.
- Finally, stability. Premium squat racks are manufactured in such a way that they are rock solid without the need of any support such as drilling down and other safety features are included. Because cheaper racks are light, you may feel acceptable wobbling. Hence, you may have to drill it down or place weights on the base to improve stability. In most cases, manufacturers add storage pegs to the bottom.
To sum up, the difference between a cheap and expensive rack is like the difference between a standard and a luxury car. Both take to you where you want to go.
Moreover, inexpensive equipment is still much better than nothing if you want to lift weights at home, especially without the help of a spotter. It is much safer than using something “else” to substitute.
Best Budget Power Rack Reviews
1. Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power Cage – The Best Value Power Rack
My rating:| Price: $243.51
Fitness Reality 810XLT has an unbelievable price, around $250, but that does not mean it neglects quality! I don’t understand how it’s possible to manufacture such a quality rack at this super low price. However, hundreds of positive reviews are proof.
The rack is made of 14 gauge still supporting up to 800 lb. Far enough even for advanced lifters.
It also has a unique design. Firstly, the stabilizers are extended running behind and in front of the rare and front uprights. This way the rack is very stable even if you use heavy weights or when you do pull-ups. However, it may be a little disturbing when you want to get inside the cage.
Another feature that I love is the multi-grip pull-up bar. It’s very useful for bodyweight training to do pull up and chin up variations to focus on different muscle groups.
Fitness Reality 810XLT supports 19 adjustable height levels for the solid steel safety bars that are placed by 3 inches. Someone may find it inconvenient such rare hole spacings. Of course, the safety rods are compatible with the standard 7’ bars.
The rack has a 50 inch deep and 46-inch wide footprint, and the knurled pull-up bar is about 84 inches off the platform. So, a rather large rack that is suitable for tall guys as well. The workout space is excellent since there is a 44-inch width between the uprights and 24 inches between the posts.
Also, Fitness Reality is compatible with various attachments such as dip bars, weight pegs, landmine, j-cups, and lat pull attachment. Hence, you can turn it into a complete home gym system.
The only negativity I have to mention is that it does not come with J-hooks, but they are inexpensive.
- Excellent price/value
- Expandable with various attachments such as cable system
- High capacity – 800 lb
- 19 height adjustment holes
- Knurled monkey pull up bar
- Large walk-in space
- Great construction quality
- Must be careful when assembling
- No plate storage
To sum up, if you are on a budget, but you don’t want to neglect quality; this is the best power rack you can get for your money.
2. Rep Fitness Power Rack – High Weight Capacity
My rating:| Price: $324.99
The Rep PR-1000 is my personal favorite for its excellent price/value ratio. It costs more than $300 but provides an excellent workout experience.
Its weight capacity is 1000 lb on the bar hooks and 400 lb for the pull-up bars. The construction is made of 14 gauge steel. Hence, it’s suitable for more advanced weight lifters.
Sizes: 83″(height)x48″(width)x48″(depth). So it’s a rather big rack suitable for taller guys. Although, if you have a low ceiling, you may find it too tall.
On the uprights, throughout the exercise area, the hole spacing is 2 inches. Therefore, you can tweak the height of the barbell slightly for your height. Also, every 5th hole is numbered. It’s easy to change padded the J-hooks, no jamming, and scratching.
Moreover, Rep power rack comes with optional adjustable dip bars and lat attachments that you can buy at an affordable price. If you get them, you have a home gym machine for total body exercise.
Because of extended dimensions, the used materials, and the rare plate holders, customers don’t encounter wobbling. Although, if you use the dip handles since they are on the sides, a little tipping is felt, so plates are necessary on the other side.
To sum up, this is a well-made, inexpensive power rack suitable for even advanced level weight training. Cap Fitness put together a great rack without a doubt which is backed up by hundreds of positive reviews.
- 1000 lb maximum support
- Optional upgrades (bench, lat pulldown)
- Very solid
- Gym workout experience
- Few shipping problems
Verdict: The Rep Fitness Power rack costs more, but it has a high weight capacity and almost a commercial-grade rack.
3. Body-Solid Powerline (PPR200X)
My rating:| Price: $330.00
The powerline PPR200x power rack is another popular budget equipment among garage gym owners, because of its low price (around $300), and reliability.
The maximum weight capacity is 600 lb, less than the previous, but still enough for an average level trainer. The frame is made of 12 gauge steel, so it isn’t heavy (about 133 lb.)
PPR200x measurements: 44 by 46 by 82 inches (L x W x H), more compact, but it has 24 inches wide walk-in design, so it’s convenient to move between the upright bars.
The rack comes with 18 bar holders with 3 inches apart where you can place the two saber style bars and the heat tempered lift offs. The distance between the bar supports is slightly far but acceptable.
This Body Solid power rack system can be expanded with various accessories. For example, DR100 dip and PLA200X lat attachment that you can purchase at an affordable price.
- 600 lb maximum limit
- Optional upgrades
- 18 adjustment holes
- Easy to assemble
- Small floor space is required
- A bit small working space inside
- No plate storage
Summary: It’s one of the best budget power racks available today that provides a good user experience.
4. Titan Fitness T-2 Squat Rack – For Short Ceiling
My rating:| Price: $299.95
If you want to get a sturdy rack for the basement with a low ceiling, Titan T-2 is the solution for you. While other, weight lifting equipment is about 80 inches in height, the total height of T-2 is just 71.5”. So, you have enough room when you do pull-ups. The bar is 68.5” off the floor.
The max capacity is 700 lb, which is an acceptable end. The entire machine is made of heavy-duty steel for durability.
The holes are 2 inches apart, and there are 20 adjustment levels you can choose from. The opening is 44 inches, so you have plenty of room to move.
- Good choice for celar and low ceiling
- Easy assembly
- Good stability
- Various optional attachments
- Safety bar with a handle
- Shipping issues
- Not suitable for tall people
Summary: The Titan Fitness power rack is a simple home gym equipment that is easy to assemble and costs around 300 bucks.
5. Merax Athletics Squat Cage with Lat Pulldown Attachment – The most versatile
My rating:| Price: $399.99
If you want to add cable exercises to your strength training routine besides the free weight lifting, this cage is an excellent choice for you. Even if this rack is versatile, it’s still affordable.
The capacity for weight lifting is excellent. 500 lbs for the bar catchers outside, 650 for the catches inside, 800 lb for the safety bars.
It also provides a functional workout space since the rack is 43” wide, 47.5” deep and 47.5” height. Although, because of the pulley system, you may not find that space as much.
The high and low pulley system is a useful addition to make your program more versatile. Low row bar and lat pull bar is included. The weight holder is made for 1-inch standard plates, but with an adapter, you can use Olympic plates as well.
There are 21 positions for the safety pins. The lowest hole is at 17.5,” and the highest is 68”. So, it is suitable for tall men.
The only complaint I have to mention is the bar catches at the front, which let the barbell rolling forward. However, for a few bucks, you can get J-hooks instead.
- 21 variable positions
- Lifetime warranty for home use
- 800 lb max limit for safety bars
- Very versatile, a wide variety of exercises
- Many rare plate storage pegs
- Pulley system with lat bar
- A limited room inside for big guys
Verdict: If you are searching for a more versatile cheap power rack with a pulley system, Merax is strength training equipment, you should check out. Check the best power rack with lat pulldown here.
6. TDS Power Rack – Perfect for Heavy Lifters
My rating:| Price: $279.95
The TDS power rack is a low priced unit with high capacity supporting 1000 lb made of 13 gauge steel tube. It’s a robust rack that is suitable for even powerlifters. Still, the price is unbelievably low.
The holes are placed 2 inches apart, and you can choose from 31 height adjustments. Each of the adjustment holes is numbered. Thanks to this feature, you can tweak the barbell for maximum comfort. Although the J-hooks are a little short.
For maximum security, the rare stabilizers are extended to the sides, and side ones go further the posts. There are no complaints about wobbling and tilting even if it used with heavy loads.
- 1000 lb capacity, suitable for powerlifting (bench presses, power rack squat, deadlifts)
- Heavy-duty and solid steel construction
- Easy assembly
- 2″ safety catch spacing
- Getting rusty with time
To conclude, TDS power rack is sturdy, made for tough workouts and serious lifters. It is the best Olympic weight rack on the list.
7. HulkFit Adjustable Squat Stand – The Best Cheap Half Rack for the money
My rating:| Price: $258.31
A common problem with half racks is that they have a lower weight limit, and they are more willing to tilt. However, this isn’t true at all for the HulFit squat stand. It’s very stable, the max load is high, safe to use, and even has double pull-up bars. Suitable even for powerlifting.
The capacity is 800 lb, so this rack suitable for even an advanced lifter. Such a high maximum is possible because of the extended H-base, the weight plate holders, the triangle lock system, and the heavy-duty steel frame.
The stand comes with J-hooks and spotter arms as well for versatility and safety. Other simple squat stands don’t come with spotter bars, and that way, they are far less safe than this. Thanks to the catchers, you can lift without the need for a spotter.
Also, the product comes with two knurled pull up bars for back workout, a thinner and a thicker, and with two dip bars. These features make this half rack perfect fitness equipment for bodyweight workout besides weight lifting.
I know the price is not the cheapest since it costs less than 300 bucks, but it is an item that will never let you down. There are more inexpensive squat racks, at about half price, but they tilt, wobble and have far less capacity.
- High max capacity – 800 lb
- Very stable
- Solid steel construction with advanced powder coating.
- Both J-hooks and spotter arms for maximum safety.
- Chin up bar and dip attachment for bodyweight exercises.
- Not the cheapest but still affordable
- Large footprint
To conclude: It is the best cheap squat rack for a home or garage gym. It’s just a half-rack, but stable and reliable.
8. Fuel Pureformance Deluxe Power Cage
My rating:| Price: $179.98
It’s a half-rack meaning it provides a limited number of exercises compared to a full cage. Because of its more compact size, it’s a better option for a smaller home gym or space. It has only footers for stability, two uprights with a single bar that connects them.
Virtually, you can do all the most essential weight lifting exercises with it. For example, bench press, squat, and deadlift, but the safety is much better in a full cage.
The squat rack has a 500 lbs weight limit which is not that much, but enough for most of the people for home. The bar at the top can be used as a pull-up bar, useful for bodyweight exercises. This rack is compatible with Olympic bars and weights. You can also buy a compatible weight bench separately. Finally, the cheap power rack has floor attachments to prevent tipping.
If you are on a really tight budget and lack of space, it is a good budget power rack to buy. Otherwise, you’d better choose one of the cages above with a higher price tag.
- Good for small space.
- Good value for the money.
- Four rare pegs for plates
- Suitable for moderate training.
- Wobbles under heavy lifts if the rack isn’t anchored.
- Thin powder coat finish
Verdict: Not a commercial quality strength equipment, but for a moderate home workout, it will do.
What to look for when buying a budget power rack?
Maximum weight limit & steel gauge
Each rack comes with maximum load capacity, but I have to say that is somewhat misleading. Manufacturers tell the fitness equipment can stand up to 600 or 800 lb, but that means when the loaded bar rests on the catches or safety bars. However, what if you drop the barbell on the bar? Obviously, that is much a higher pressure on the gym equipment, which may lead to falling over, bending, or breakage.
So, when you choose the rack, calculate the dropping as well. For example, if the given rack is said to stand 500 lbs, I would use it with a maximum of 300 lb. So, you can always have safe workouts.
The maximum weight capacity mainly depends on the steel gauge of the construction. As I said, the thicker it is, the better. Although robustness depends on other factors like welding or design. If you cannot decide between two cheap squat racks, go with the one with a thicker steel gauge.
To get the best workout session, you need to pick the right size cage for you. That is particularly true for tall people. Even if all the racks are compatible with Olympic barbells, they have different dimensions. Will the product be high and wide enough for you to train inside comfortably? I’m a big guy, and when I used a compact squat cage, it was very inconvenient for me. So, if you are tall, you should get a rack with more extended dimensions.
Now let’s talk about the holes where you place the safety catches and bars. Typically, economic power cages have hole spacing 2-3 inches apart, so you have fewer options to find the optimal adjustment holes to your height. I think it is just a minor issue; after a few workouts, we can get used to it.
The power racks above are cheap because they come with limited accessories, just the most important ones like safety bars, weight plate stores, and J-hooks. If you have future plans with your home gym, it’s worth to buy a rack which is extendable with such attachments like lat pull down, low row, dip bars, etc. This way, you can increase versatility in the future.
As I mentioned before, affordable racks are lighter, and with that, they are more willing to tilt without any support. Weight plates load or drilling down is almost always required. Moreover, I strongly recommend putting a rubber mat under it as well. (In spite of the rubber feet.)
Now you know some necessary information about what you should check out when buying a fitness power rack.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where to buy a cheap power rack?
Above I linked to Amazon since they sell at good prices and give free shipping. However, it is worth look around on eBay, craigslist or bodybuilding forums for used racks.
How much should I pay for a cheap squat rack for a home gym?
Well, that depends on your fitness level, your budget, and the brands. If you are an average level or beginner weight lifter, then the racks above will do for you. 200-500 dollars will be enough. (If you don’t have weight sets yet, that is an extra investment.)
If you are a powerlifter, you should look for something more robust such as a Rogue power rack. Those cages are within the $500-1000 price range. However, those are gym-quality equipment made of 14 gauge steel tubing.
How to enhance the stability of a power rack?
The first step is to place the rack on a floor which is flat and smooth. If there is a minimum of rocking you can get rid of it by placing a thick rubber mat under it. That also helps to avoid slippery while working out. By placing plates on the bottom pegs, you can also increase security. For maximum balance safety anchoring the rack to the ground is the best technique. But, keep in mind, only drill the bottom stabilizers if the manufacturer allows since you will lose the warranty.
What other workout equipment do you need?
A barbell with weight plates and adjustable weight bench is the minimum since each of them is required for a complete strength training.
What’s the difference between a power rack and a squat stand?
A power rack looks like a cage with two pairs of uprights linked at the top and the bottom. Hence, it’s a more connected piece leading to better stability and a higher weight limit. The squat stand basically features two posts with a supporting basement, so less stable and good for pull ups. We also have to mention the wall mount type, that you can fold.
These are the top cheap power racks that I recommend you to check out within a low price range. Even if they are inexpensive, they are heavy-duty and have all the features that are required for safe home weight lifting. If you are interested in more professional models, check out my Rogue Fitness power cage comparison here, or the best power rack reviews for home use here.
Last update on 2020-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API