Best Budget Squat Racks for 2022

How can this article help you?

This article is here to save you time and help you quickly find the best budget squat rack for you.

There are a lot of bad options out there. Typically, we recommend trying to buy a rack from Rogue, Titan, or Rep Fitness over buying off of Amazon.

Why should you even listen to me?

I move a lot for work. Because of that I have setup more than 10 Home Gyms in the past decade.

Several years ago, right before the start of the Pandemic, I decided to put this site together to help people like you learn how to build an Affordable Home Gym.  I got a small team together and the rest is history!

There’s a lot of bad advice on the internet regarding fitness equipment. A lot of these articles are just fluff trying to get you to click on an affiliate link that takes you to Amazon.  We are different.

We are your friendly guide on your Home Gym Building Journey and care more about helping you make a good decision rather than just getting you to click a link.

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In a hurry? Here are our top picks!

Name Our Rating Price
Rep Fitness PR-1000 squat rack 4.8 Check Pricing
Rep Fitness PR-1050 squat rack 4.7 Check Pricing
Rep Fitness PR-1100 Power Rack 4.5 Check Pricing
Titan T-2 Series Power Rack 4.5 Check Pricing
Rogue Echo Series Racks 4.1 Check Pricing
HulkFit Full Power Cage 4.0 Check Pricing
TDS Mega 1000 lb Rated Squat Rack 4.0 Check Pricing
Fitness Reality 810XLT Power Rack 4.0 Check Pricing
Sunny Health and Fitness SF-XF9925 Power cage 4.0 Check Pricing
Fuel Pureformance 7 Ft. Full Cage 3.9 Check Pricing

Click here to skip the Buying Buide and go straight to Our Top Picks

Buying Guide

Before we move to our list, let’s quickly understand if you really need a squat rack because you wouldn’t want to clutter your home gym with something that you don’t really need. We will also explain more about the difference between a squat rack and a squat stand. This article also intends to help you understand the features that you must look for in a squat rack. 

Let's begin! 

Are squat racks an absolute necessity? 

Yes, they are. 

The primary purpose of squat stands/racks is to help you re-rack the loaded barbell safely when you are done with your reps. If you are barely squatting with any weight, you might not realize how difficult it is to get the loaded barbell off your body. You need a rack so you can put it back safely and easily. 

Moreover, most squat stands have safety spotters that can catch the barbell in case it slips out of your hands during your workout. Imagine what could happen if a barbell with 200lbs weight falls on your ribcage or your feet. Squat racks also help you lift a loaded barbell from a comfortable height instead of lifting it from the floor, which could be a lot of work for your muscles. 

So, unless you are in a mood to play with your safety, make sure you invest in a good quality squat rack or stand that suits your exercising needs. 

Use independent squat stands for small spaces 

Squat stands are best for small spaces or for portability
Squat stands are best for small spaces or for portability

If space is a concern, you can opt for independent squat stands. As obvious from their name, these types of squat stands are not connected. So, they do not require any dedicated space like the standard squat racks do. You can push them against the wall or store them inside a cabinet when not in use. We have recently reviewed the Rogue S-4 Squat Stand 2.0 and Titan T-3 Series Independent Squat Stand. They are the two best-selling independent squat stands for beginners and intermediates. 

If you like the idea of having a portable squat stand instead of the standard one, do check out this article on Rogue S-4 Squat Stand vs the Titan T3 Squat Stand. It will help you decide which one will be the best for you. 

Looking for a cheap squat rack? You can actually make one!

Well, we do not recommend this unless you are good with tools and know the basics of DIY. 

Making your own squat rack can be much cheaper than buying one but a professionally designed squat rack is obviously going to be much safer than what you will build. However, if you are a beginner, you can make your own squat rack by following the steps mentioned in this article. It will work only if you are lifting less than 100lbs. 

What makes a good squat stand/rack

All squat racks are made of steel. 

Wondering why some of them are ridiculously cheap whereas others can literally burn your pocket? 

That’s primarily because of the quality of steel used, overall stability of the stand, and a few other factors mentioned below.

Durability 

The durability (and weight capacity) of a squat stand depends on the quality of steel used. 

Most of the cheap squat racks are made of 12 or 13 gauge steel whereas good-quality ones are made of 11 gauge steel. Professional-grade equipment are made of 7 gauge steel and that's why they are so expensive. 

Now, please note that the higher the steel gauge is, the less strong it will be. This means 7 gauge steel is stronger and more durable than 12 gauge. 

If you are a beginner or someone who does not intend to lift a lot of weight, you can go with 12/13 gauge steel. But, if you are already lifting a decent amount of weight and are making consistent progress at it, we would recommend that you buy a squat stand that is made of at least 11 gauge steel. You might have to pay more but it's worth buying equipment that won’t require a replacement any time soon. 

Weight capacity 

As mentioned above, stronger steel can bear more weight but the weight-bearing capacity of a squat rack also depends on the tensile strength of the steel. This is why squat racks have a different weight-bearing capacity even though they are made of the same quality of steel. 

The best budget squat racks should be able to hold at least 250lbs of weight but do not assume anything. Even though you have read the product description thoroughly, make sure you go through the product reviews where buyers have mentioned their first-hand experience about its weight-bearing capacity. 

Do not rely on manufacturer’s information. While writing the article on ‘Best Squat Stands For Your Home Gym’, we have found that the manufacturers mention higher numbers and misguide people. Find out how much weight buyers have used on it confidently and decide accordingly.  

Stability

Squat racks are supposed to provide you with uncompromised stability while you rack or rerack the barbell. If a squat stand wobbles or makes you feel less confident while putting the loaded barbell back, get rid of it immediately. It is useless and unsafe!

Good quality squat stands usually have H-shaped bases with rubber feet. They might have a slight wobble but not enough to make you doubt it. Some of them come with an option of floor anchoring i.e. you can bolt them down to your floor. Others have weight pegs for organizing your weight plates as well as for weighing it down. 

If you are not lifting a crazy amount of weight, you can go with any of the best budget squat racks listed in this article. But, if you are an intermediate or advanced level trainer, make sure you go with something that is meant for serious use. 

Westside hole spacing 

how westside hole spacing looks on squat racks
This is westside hole spacing

Cheap squat racks usually have 2” hole spacing whereas a few of the best budget squat racks such as the Titan T3 Series Squat Stand/Half Rack do come with 1” space between the holes, which is also known as Westside hole pattern. 

Read this article on ‘What is the Hole Spacing of a Squat Rack and What is Westside Hole Spacing?’ for more detailed information.

The spacing of the holes in your rack can make a lot of difference to your safety and comfort. If you are new to weight training it could be difficult to balance yourself and move down an extra 2-3 inches with weights on your shoulders or arms. Covering 1” gap will be easier.  

Squat stands with a westside hole pattern are expensive. So, if you have just started weight training or if you don’t have any intention of lifting more than 180-200lbs weight, you can go with the 2” hole spacing. 

Squat rack accessories

J-hooks 

example of basic Jcups
j hooks

These are the hooks that hold your barbell. Squat stands usually come with a pair of j-hooks, so you don’t have to buy them separately. But, you may have to replace them later when they get damaged. 

J-hooks are usually lined with high-quality plastic or rubber, which helps protect your barbell from getting scratched. Rubber lining also helps absorb the shock and reduce the noise during workouts

J-hooks can be upgraded.

Keep in mind that you can also usually upgrade the J-hooks on cheaper squat racks with better options. We recently upgraded the J-Hooks on our latest rack and we are actually writing an in-depth review on them.

Spotter arms 

They are necessary for bench exercises, especially if you are exercising at home without having a spotter standing next to you for handling emergency situations. They are lengthier than j-hooks and they are needed to catch the bar during benching, in case you fail a rep. 

Just like J-hooks, they are also lined with high-quality plastic. Cheap squat racks meant for beginners and casual trainers hardly come with spotter arms. You have to buy them separately.  

Power Rack vs Squat Rack?

A Power Rack and a Squat Rack are two different terms for the same thing!

Squat Rack, Power Rack, Squat Cage, they are all the same thing. They are basically a metal cage, which allows you to safely lift heavy weights.

They have four upright steel posts. You can step inside and do your workouts. You can add a couple of accessories such as a pullup bar, lat pulldown machine, etc. to create a full home gym setup. 

Some also call the one on the left a half rack
Some also call the one on the left a half rack

What about Squat Stands and Half Racks?

Squat stands and half racks have two upright posts rather than 2. They don’t provide the safety of a true 4-post squat rack or power rack.

If you are seriously pressed for space or if you aren’t lifting enough weight, they can be a decent option.

Still confused? Read this article on ‘What is the difference between Squat Racks, Power Racks, Half Racks, and squat stands’.

Should I go with an ultra-cheap squat rack?

If that’s all you can afford right now then yes, it's better to go ultra cheap and have some kind of protection than none at all.

Or maybe you can wait a few months and get a decent entry-level rack that costs around $300. Here, we have listed some of the options that we recommend for beginners.

How Much Is A Used Power Rack With Weights Worth?

These days during the Pandemic, the prices of home gym equipment have increased steeply. Now that a lot of people are preferring to exercise from home, the demand for budget-friendly products has seen a sharp rise to an extent that the budget products are no more ‘budget’ ones. We can understand why anyone would want to buy a used squat stand or power rack. 

If you are really short of budget or if you are not sure about weight training, you may buy a used one. But, please do not buy a product from any random brand you have never heard of. A lot of cheap Chinese products have flooded the market to cater to the ever-increasing demand but most of them are poorly-built products. 

Should I build my own wooden squat rack?

No, just no! Wood will not hold up. Bad things can happen. Plus, it is not worth the effort. 

There are numerous tutorials on YouTube that teach you how to make your own squat rack. We have mentioned one above but we have also clearly stated that it is only meant for people who have decent carpentry skills. Plus, DIY squat racks are not safe for training with medium to heavy weights.

Our Picks

#1 - Rep Fitness PR-1000 squat rack

What we think

REP Fitness PR 1000 is a budget product for intermediate to advanced trainers and budding athletes. It has a 2” X 2” frame made of 14 gauge steel that can hold up to 700 lbs of weight. The gap between holes of the frame is 2”, which is better than the REP Fitness PR 1100 squat rack that has 3” hole spacing. Another interesting feature that we like about this squat rack is its dual pull up bar; one of them is the standard 1.25” bar and the other is a thick bar with 2” diameter. You get a pair of j-hooks and a pair of safety catches. 

The only major issue that we could figure out with the REP Fitness PR 1000 rack is the lack of floor anchoring option. 

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • 2” hole spacing
  • Has dual pull up bars i.e. a standard one and a thick one
  • Provides high value for money
  • Comes with a pair of pin and pipes safety and a pair of j-hooks

Cons

  • No option to bolt it to the floor
  • Assembly instructions could have been better

Summary

A versatile squat rack for rigorous training sessions

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 4.8 out of 5.0.

#2 - Rep Fitness PR-1050 squat rack

Rep Fitness PR 1050 short rack

What we think

If you are looking for a squat rack for basements and other low-ceiling areas, Rep Fitness PR 1050 squat rack is a good product to consider. It is just 6’ high and can be used for almost all types of exercise but you may have to compromise your form and posture for some specific upper body moves. You can weigh it down by organizing your weight plates in the weight horns at the rear end of the frame. 

Rep Fitness PR 1050 squat rack is made of 2” X 2” 14 gauge steel and has 2” spacing between the holes. It comes with a pair of j-hooks, a pair of safety bars, and a dual pull-up bar. You can add accessories of your choice to enhance its versatility. It has a weight-bearing capacity of 700lbs, which is more than what a recreational lifter like us would lift any time soon.

Pros

  • Excellent for compact spaces
  • Has weight horns for weighing the squat rack down
  • Provides high value for money

Cons

  • Assembly instructions could have been better

Summary

Buy only if you need a short squat rack. Otherwise, go with the Rep Fitness PR 1000 one.

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 4.7 out of 5.0.

#3 - Rep Fitness PR-1100 Power Rack

PR-1100 Home Gym Power Rack

What we think

With a 14 gauge 2″ X 2″ frame, the REP Fitness PR1100 is definitely not one of the sturdiest options available but it works for beginners and casual trainers who have no intentions of training hard. It features 3″ hole spacing which is a standard feature in most low-cost squat racks. The manufacturer claims that it can hold up to 1000lbs of weight but we don’t agree. You must not use it for more than 350lbs of weight.

The REP Fitness PR1100 squat rack wobbles and it comes with no weight pegs and no floor anchoring option, which is probably the only major drawback we found. Overall, it is a good buy for fitness enthusiasts like us.

Pros

  • Good build quality
  • Many accessories available
  • 1000 pound capacity
  • Solid safety bars
  • Fast Shipping
  • Multiple Color Options
  • Multi Grip Pull Up Bar
  • Affordable Price

Cons

  • Shipping is Expensive
  • Customer service can be hit or miss.=
  • J cups are a little basic
  • 3 inch hole spacing may not be ideal

Summary

Low-cost squat rack for beginners and casual trainers

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 4.5 out of 5.0.

#4 - Titan T-2 Series Power Rack

Titan T2 series power rack

What we think

Titan T-2 series power rack is available in two different heights; 70″ and 81″. The shorter one is a one-of-its kind product designed for low ceiling areas. But, the short height restricts the way you can use it for calisthenic exercises. Both the racks are designed to adhere to Titan’s quality commitments. They are made of 12 gauge steel and have a 2″X2″ frame.

Titan T-2 series squat cage is compatible with all products designed for 2″X2″ frames, whether you buy them from the same manufacturer or from others. It comes with a pair of j-hooks and a pair of pipe and pin safety bars to help you get started. You can bolt down this cage to the floor if needed.

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Comes with a floor anchoring option
  • Compatible with a wide range of accessories
  • Comes with j-cups and safety bars
  • Short rack is perfect for low ceiling basement spaces
  • Has a pretty decent weight-bearing capacity

Cons

  • Pullup bar doesn’t have knurl marks

Summary

One of the best power racks for beginners and casual trainers that you can buy $500.

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 4.5 out of 5.0.

#5 - Rogue Echo Series Racks

Rogue Echo series racks

What we think

Rogue Echo series squat racks are available in two varieties; RE 3 and RE 4. The RE 3 model has a more compact footprint and is suitable for small spaces. 

These racks are made of 2” X 2” 11 gauge steel frame that has to be bolted down to the floor/weightlifting platform for use. There is no other way to use them. The racks are 90” high, making them suitable for a wide range of calisthenic workouts as well. Their overall build is amazing and therefore, they are a great option for advanced trainers and athletes that need something basic to keep training from home. 

They are, however, very expensive compared to other competitive products. Plus, these racks have a non-standard hole size, so you won’t get compatible accessories so easily.  

Pros

  • Affordable option for budget-conscious athletes and home gym owners

Cons

  • Can be used only by bolted to the floor
  • Has non-standard hole size so you can’t buy accessories of your choice
  • Expensive than other competitive products

Summary

Buy only if you don’t really care about adding additional accessories

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 4.1 out of 5.0.

#6 - HulkFit Full Power Cage

What we think

Also sold under the brand name BalanceFrom, HulkFit squat cage is a decent quality equipment for people who have a limited budget. Weighing 165lbs, it is pretty heavy. The heavier weight helps make it much more stable than other inexpensive lightweight power racks. It is comes with a bunch of accessories such as a pair of safety bars, a pair of j-hooks, dip bars, pullup grips, etc. The only major issue that we could find is that the holes have 3″ gap between them, which could be too much for the benching exercises.

Pros

  • Although being an inexpensive home gym equipment, Hulkfit power cage has a good walk-in depth so you can exercise comfortably. Even taller people can do pull ups without bending their legs.
  • 1000 lbs weight capacity is difficult to find this price range.
  • Hulkfit squat rack comes with two pairs of j-hooks and not one.
  • The included accessories such as dip bars and pull-up bars are well-built and serve their purpose well.
  • The pull-up bars can be attached upside down, in case you have a low ceiling.
  • The cage, the dip bars, and the pull-up bars are all very sturdy and do not wobble.

Cons

  • The posts measure 2.5” X 2.5” whereas most other power cages come with 2” X 2” posts. This non-standard size restricts the number and type of accessories you can buy. Most j-hooks are meant for 2”X2” ones.
  • The floor anchoring option is missing.
  • The paint chips but most buyers don’t mind that because you can’t expect much from a power cage in this price range.
  • As mentioned above, Hulkfit should consider creating a detailed assembly guide instead of letting people struggle with a diagram.

Summary

Decent product for people on budget, especially beginners and casual trainers.

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 4.0 out of 5.0.

#7 - TDS Mega 1000 lb Rated Squat Rack

TDS power rack

What we think

Made of 11-gauge steel, TDS power rack is probably one of the few options that you can buy under $500.

Just in case you don’t know, the more the steel gauge is, the brittle it will be. Standard mid-priced squat racks are made of 12 gauge steel whereas  the low-cost ones have 14 gauge steel frame. 11 gauge durable steel is found in premium-quality power racks, making this TDS squat rack a highly stable, durable product meant for serious fitness trainers.

The holes are numbered and have a 2″ gap between them. Since the frame size is standard, you can add almost any accessory of your choice that is meant for 2″X2″ power racks.

Pros

  • TDS power cage is a genuinely priced home gym equipment
  • The built, the quality, and the stability is exceptionally good for the price it is available
  • The compact footprint makes it suitable for small spaces.
  • The numbering system of the holes helps you make easy and quick adjustments.
  • Many buyers have stated that TDS has a prompt and helpful customer service department

Cons

  • There is no way you can secure it to the floor. But, this isn’t a major problem as you can anyways weigh it down by adding weights to the pegs.
  • The height of the cage is just enough for tall people. If you are taller than 5’7” you will have to fold your legs while doing pullups. Well, the rack is meant to be compact enough for small homes, so the height issue should be ignored.
  • The paint job is pathetic. The paint from the j-hooks and the safety bars chip off easily and you will be left with lots of black shavings to clean up. If you hate that, you can replace the j-hooks with these top-rated replacement j-hooks for power cages.

Summary

Good product for serious fitness trainers who need a highly versatile product

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 4.0 out of 5.0.

#8 - Fitness Reality 810XLT Power Rack

Fitness Reality squat cage

What we think

The 810XLT power rack from Fitness Reality is designed for beginners and casual trainers although intermediate-level fitness trainers like us can still use it for some years until we are ready to upgrade it to something better.

The frame is made of 2″X2″ 14-gauge steel, which is why it shouldn’t be trusted with more than 350lbs weight. It has 3″ hole spacing, which can again be a cause of concern if you are too much into benchwork but, as we said above, casual trainers wouldn’t mind these issues considering its low cost.

One major issue that we would want you to know is that it can’t be bolted to the floor. You can weigh it down though but bolting is the only way you can ensure a rock-stable setup.

Pros

  • The rear stability bars help prevent wobbling issues. Not many power cages below $500 have them.
  • The walk-in depth is enough to perform a wide range of exercises without any interference.
  • The overhead chin-up/pull up bar can be set up at multiple positions to target specific muscle groups.
  • The weight capacity of this Fitness Reality 810XLT squat cage is its main selling feature. It is hard to find such strong power cages in the price range it is available. It is suitable for almost all types of weightlifters.
  • You can buy additional attachments such as lat pull down, bench, etc. as and when you are ready to invest and create a gym-grade workout station at home.

Cons

  • Although it has amazing stability, some buyers stated that they would prefer to anchor it to the floor. But, there is no way you can anchor it or weigh it down.
  • The safety bars and safety hooks serve their purpose well but j-hooks would have been better. Anyways, you can buy them separately when needed. Here are some of the best replacement j-hooks for power cages.
  • Fitness Reality needs to improve its customer support. Many buyers have stated that they received a delayed response on their requests. Some of them even had to contact the seller multiple times to get their issues resolved.

Summary

We recommend Fitness Reality 810XLT Power Rack for beginners and casual trainers

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 4.0 out of 5.0.

#9 - Sunny Health and Fitness SF-XF9925 Power cage

What we think

If you are looking for a low-cost full cage, Sunny Health & Fitness SF-XF9925 power cage/strength rack/squat rack is an option that you must not ignore. 96% of buyers have rated it 4-stars and above, which makes it one of the top-rated home gym equipment. Since it is a budget-friendly product, it has some obvious flaws such as poor paint job, wobble issues, and low weight capacity. But, it still works for most of us who want to stay fit from the comfort of our home. 

One thing we should warn you about is that it has non-standard holes, so you will have to buy accessories from the same brand. This shouldn’t be a dealbreaker though.

Pros

  • One of the most affordable power cages for home gyms
  • Comes with a multigrip, reversible pull-up bar
  • Comes with a pair of spotter arms
  • Has resistance band pegs on the frame
  • Can be bolted to the floor

Cons

  • The hole size is slightly less than 1”, so you cannot buy accessories from other manufacturers
  • Poor customer services
  • The pull-up bar has an almost non-existent grip

Summary

One of the top-rated power cages for home gyms. Suitable for training with less than 400lbs

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 4.0 out of 5.0.

#10 - Fuel Pureformance 7 Ft. Full Cage

What we think

If you are looking for a power cage under $200, Fuel Pureformance is a good option for you. It is available in 72″ and 84″ height; the shorter ones is obviously meant for low ceiling areas and really compact home gyms.

Being one of the cheapest available option, the Fuel Pureformance power cage is not designed for rough use, making it suitable for beginners. Unlike most other squat racks that we have listed here and reviewed on our website, this product doesn’t come with a pair of j-hooks, which is a very basic thing that you would need for lifting. Instead, the manufacturer has included a pair of safety bars, which have become almost updated. But, honestly we don’t think this should be a dealbreaker because if you are a beginner you can work with safety bars or maybe why not spend a few dollars and buy a pair of j-hooks.

 

Pros

  • As mentioned, it is very inexpensive. We couldn't find any full cage that you can buy below $200 except this one. Others are half cages that limit the number and type of exercises you can do.
  • You can buy a 6ft or 7ft cage depending on your height. Both of them are the same, except their height.
  • Stability and adjustment options are not compromised despite it being so inexpensive.
  • You can use the floor attachments to secure it and avoid wobbling issues (which isn’t really a concern with this product).
  • It has a compact footprint for small spaces.

Cons

  • As mentioned above, Fuel Pureformance squat rack comes with safety catches and not j-hooks, which are more trustworthy.
  • The paint job is pathetic. The blue paint on the top bar, the sidebars, and the hooks come off easily and you will have to keep clearing the peelings frequently.
  • If you are willing to spend $50-$80 extra, you can buy Progear 1600 Ultra Strength power rack, which has a better weight-bearing capacity and additional features that this one is missing. Other full racks are expensive.

Summary

Good product for people on budget and those who have very limited space

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 3.9 out of 5.0.

Wrap Up

The best budget squat stands listed here are good to start with. With proper use and care, they could last for a good number of years until you are ready to upgrade to something better.

You can also accessorize these power cages to create a complete home gym setup. For example; you can add an SYL Fitness Cable Pulley System to work your muscles against gravity. You can buy the Fitness Reality 1000 Weight Bench for benchwork. You may buy a flat bench if that suits your needs. Here are some of the best flat benches for your home gym that we recommend.

What we want to say is that home gym equipment are available in a wide price range and each of them has a specific target audience. It is up to you to decide which one will serve your purpose the best. And, it is also up to you to keep adding products to your home gym so you don’t get bored.

Need recommendations and ideas? We are here to help you. Keep reading our website regularly to learn more about the products that you can buy to stay fit right from the comfort of your home.