The Best Folding Squat Racks

Squat racks/power cages and half racks require a lot of space, in fact, most of the space of a home gym. If you have dedicated your entire garage or basement or a spare room for building your personal gym, their large footprint may not be an issue. But, if you do not have enough space, you may want to go with squat stands

The main issue with squat stands is their lack of versatility. Most of them are designed only for benching and squatting exercises. You can’t use them for pullups, cable exercises, band exercises, dips, etc. Moreover, no matter how expensive your squat stands are, they will wobble and may even trip over. If you want a reliable, stable, long-term setup, you should go with folding squat racks instead. 

In this article, we will be briefing you more about folding squat racks, their benefits, and their risk of use. We will also be sharing our top picks that will help save your time and effort. 

Let’s get started!

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In a hurry? Here are our top picks!

Name Our Rating Price
Rogue Monster Lite Series Foldable Wall-Mount Squat Rack 4.8 Check Pricing
REP PR-4100 Folding Squat Rack 4.6 Check Pricing
Titan X-3 Series Folding Power Rack 4.3 Check Pricing
ETHOS Folding Wall Rack 4.0 Check Pricing
Fringesport Retractable Squat Rack 4 Check Pricing

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

Buying Guide

What is a folding squat rack? 

As obvious from its name, it is a full-size rack that can be folded when not in use. 

Now, here’s the catch. Unlike power cages/squat racks that have a base, the folding ones have nothing that occupies the floor space. Instead, they occupy wall space. You need to mount them on a wall and fold/unfold them when needed. See the below image. 

Folding squat racks are designed to be flushed against the wall when not in use. Most of them come out just 5”-7” from the wall in the folded state. That’s why they are highly recommended for garage gyms that are also used for parking the vehicle. 

Why buy a folding squat rack?

Well, the major reason why anyone would want to buy it is the lack of space in the garage. 

You can build a home gym in a spare room or second floor of your home, in your basement, in a garden shed, in a shipping container, or even outdoors in your backyard. But, garages are still the most popular spots. 

Now, your partner may not be cool with the idea of parking your vehicle in the driveway forever. Plus, you will have to consider the weather conditions before dedicating the entire garage to a squat rack and a few other things. That's where wall-mounted foldable squat racks come in. When you are done with your workouts, you can simply fold the rack back and park your vehicle inside. 

Most folding squat racks use a very user-friendly folding mechanism. You can fold/unfold them within a minute without taking out any nuts or bolts. Good quality products can last for a lifetime even if you fold/unfold them multiple times every day. Once bolted correctly to the wall and locked in their position, these products do not wobble, so they are as reliable as full-size anchored squat racks.

What we like the most about wall-mount squat racks is that they are highly versatile. They come with a pull-up bar so you can do a wide variety of pullup and chinup exercises, kipping moves, etc. You can add dip bars, cable pulley systems, gymnastic rings, resistance band pegs, and many other accessories that can help you perform a wide range of workouts. 

All we want to say here is that despite having a foldable frame, it is a highly versatile piece of home gym equipment.  

Is a folding squat rack better than a standard squat rack? 

It depends on what you expect from it and how you want to use it. 

A standard squat rack needs to be bolted down to the floor or weightlifting platform for optimum safety. You can add as many accessories as you want and you can adjust your bench in whatever direction or angle you want to. If you miss a rep, the spotter arms or safety catches will hold the barbell, keeping you safe. All the vibration and shock will pass through the weightlifting platform or the floor, although we do not recommend training directly on the floor. 

In case of wall-mounted foldable squat racks, it is the wall that has to handle all the pressure. Can you imagine how much shock and vibration will pass through the wall if you accidentally drop the loaded barbell on the spotter arms? 

Modern homes are stronger than the ones that were built three decades ago. They are designed to handle a lot of abuse. Still, if you are training with heavy weights, you will have to be very careful while using a folding squat rack. You will have to make sure not to drop the barbell on the spotters or safety catches, as it may damage the wall in the long run. 

Things to consider while buying a folding rack

You will need a really strong wall

Sounds obvious but we thought we should mention it here, just in case you missed it.  

The wall is going to hold the weight of the rack, which could be anything between 120-150lbs or more. Plus, you will be adding a barbell to the rack, which is typically 45lbs. And then, you will be adding weights to the barbell. If you are a total beginner, the total weight of all these could be 200-250lbs. But, within a few months, you will start lifting a decent amount of weight, so you need a wall that can handle at least 500 to 700 lbs of weight. Most walls can handle this weight but do not assume anything. If you have any doubt, seek expert advice.  

You may need a big wall depending on the way your squat rack would fold 

Some folding squat racks fold to the center. Some of them have a design that lets you fold one part to the center and the other part to the outside. A few of them can be folded in any way you want to. So, when you decide upon a product, make sure you have a wall that is big (and clear) enough to accommodate the rack in its folded state. Do not hesitate to take measurements and compare them with the footprints of the rack to avoid future disappointments. 

We recommend folding squat racks only for garages 

Wall-mounted squat racks pass on a lot of vibration, so your family won’t feel comfortable when you will be training. They may even get disturbed and afraid. Moreover, the vibrations may damage the walls of the whole home/room. but, it is less risky to use it in a garage. 

You may have to buy stringers separately 

The folding wall racks can be attached to the wall directly. And, they come with all the necessary hardware that you may need for doing that. 

But, we recommend attaching a pair of stringers to the wall and then attaching the rack to the stringers. This will help you take some pressure off the wall. You can use either wood stringers or metal ones. You will have to buy them from your local hardware store, along with the necessary nuts, bolts, and other hardware, as most manufacturers do not sell stringers, even though they recommend them. 

Installing a wall-mounted folding squat rack can be tricky 

It's not as simple as attaching the four uprights to the base and then adding a pullup bar at the top. Folding squat racks need to be attached to the wall. There is no base to guide you. You will have to manually measure the wall, identify the right spots on it, right spots above the wall, and then you will have to attach the frame. This could take some time and even some redoings. 

Further, if your floor is not leveled, you will have to level it so the rack doesn’t get stuck while folding and unfolding. If you want to add stringers, you will have to cut them in the right shape and drill holes in them too.  

If you are not a DIY person, you may have to hire a professional to install it, which is OK because this will be a setup for a lifetime.  

Can you build a folding wall-mounted squat rack instead of buying one?

Yes, you can but do you actually want to? 

YouTube is flooded with videos where people have claimed that you can build a squat rack for less than $50. These videos are so convincing that anyone would get tempted to try DIYing instead of spending $300 to $500 on a decent folding squat rack/standard squat rack. 

These videos are not fake. You can actually build your own foldable squat rack but the process is more complicated than you can imagine. Unless you have excellent carpentry skills, you may not be able to complete your project. And, even if you do, DIY squat racks are not reliable at all. 

We have a whole article on why DIY squat racks are not worth the effort

We would advise you to buy a good quality readymade folding squat rack like the ones that we have listed below. 

Our Picks

#1 - Rogue Monster Lite Series Foldable Wall-Mount Squat Rack

Rogue Monster Lite Series Foldable Squat Rack

What we think

Rogue Monster Lite series foldable wall-mount squat racks are available in four varieties. One of them is a slim rack, which is meant exclusively for compact spaces. Another one is meant to be installed around doorways. The other two are standard wall-mounted foldable racks. All of them are made of 3” X 3” 11 gauge steel and can hold 1000lbs of weight. These racks are easy to fold and they are highly stable, which is why they are usually meant for people who lift heavy. We strongly recommend that you buy the optional set of stringers as it makes assembly much easier.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty foldable squat rack for advanced trainers
  • Available in four different forms with customization so you can choose the most suitable one
  • Comes with a quick-attach pullup bar,
  • Offers excellent stability

Cons

  • None as such

Summary

High-end squat rack meant for hardcore trainers.

Rating


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

#2 - REP PR-4100 Folding Squat Rack

REP PR-4100 Folding wall-mounted Squat Rack

What we think

REP Fitness PR-4100 squat rack is another top-rated, high-end squat rack meant for people who love to train hard, even if space is an issue in their homes or garages. It is made of 3” X 3” 11 gauge steel frame that can be bolted directly to a concrete wall or on a stringer that can then be attached to the same wall. This folding squat rack is rated for 1000lbs and features westside hole spacing, so you don’t have to make any compromises. 

The folding mechanism of the Rep PR-4100 folding squat rack is very similar to most other folding racks. It takes about a minute to fold/unfold it but the process is pretty simple. Assembly is a bit difficult though because the manufacturer doesn’t provide detailed instructions. Rep Fitness doesn’t sell stringers, so you will have to buy wooden or metal ones from your nearby hardware store (in case you want to use them at all). 

The Rep Fitness PR-4100 folding squat rack is available in two different depths’ 41” and 21”. The 41” rack requires about 24” free floor space, even in the folded state.

Pros

  • Sturdy, heavy-duty folding squat rack
  • Available in two different depths
  • Easy to fold/unfold
  • Has plastic foot caps to protect your floor
  • Can be accessorized with dip bars, spotter arms, etc.
  • As good as Rogue but cheaper

Cons

  • The rack with 41” depth requires a lot of floor space
  • Assembly instructions could have been better

Summary

Heavy-duty product meant for garages. Good option for people looking for Rogue alternatives.

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 4.6 out of 5.0.

#3 - Titan X-3 Series Folding Power Rack

Titan X-3 Series Folding wall-mounted Power Rack

What we think

Titan X 3 series products are made of 3” X 3” 11 gauge steel, which makes them strong enough to be used by athletes, military persons, and people who love to train hard. The X 3 series folding power rack is no exception. When folded it sticks out just 5”-8” from the wall, so it’s perfect for garages that are in use for parking the vehicles or for basements where space is already a luxury. You can customize its height and depth. You can also add accessories of your choice. 

The Titan X 3 series folding power rack is much more affordable than Rogue, Rep Fitness, and Fringesport folding squat racks. But, there is a catch here. The rack comes with very limited assembly instructions. Plus, the manufacturer doesn’t provide wall-mounting hardware, which is strange because this rack is supposed to be installed on a wall! You can get them from a local hardware store along with studs or metal plates that you can use to act like stringers.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty squat rack for heavy lifting
  • Easy to fold and unfold
  • Can be customized to suit your need
  • More affordable than other competitive products

Cons

  • Wall-mounting hardware not included
  • Assembly instructions are insufficient

Summary

Great rack but buy only if you have the patience and time to arrange for hardware and assembly.

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 4.3 out of 5.0.

#4 - ETHOS Folding Wall Rack

Ethos folding wall rack

What we think

Ethos folding wall rack is one of the most affordable products of its kind. It is made of high-quality 11 gauge steel and has a 3” X 3” frame that can hold up to 1000 lbs of weight. It comes with an adjustable pullup bar and a pair of j-hooks that are specifically meant to be used with this squat rack. 

Instead of holes, the uprights have pegs at the sides where you can attach the j-hooks. There are 9 pegs and the j-hooks have two cups. So, you get a total of 18 positions where you can attach the j-hooks for holding the barbell, which is equivalent to Westside hole spacing standard. However, the main issue here is that since the uprights don’t have any holes, you can’t add any accessories of your choice except the ones that Ethos manufactures especially for this rack. 

Assembling the Ethos Folding wall rack is not easy but doable. Expanding and collapsing when needed is pretty easy and takes just a minute.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy to fold and unfold when needed
  • Heavy-duty product made of 3”X3” 11 gauge steel
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Very limited accessories available

Summary

Heavy-duty product for benching and squats. Go for it only when you are comfortable with the lack of accessories.

Rating


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

#5 - Fringesport Retractable Squat Rack

Fringesport Retractable wall-mounted quat Rack

What we think

If you are looking for a very basic folding squat rack that can be folded inwards or outwards as per your convenience, the Fringesport retractable squat rack is for you. It is 91” high and 47” wide; which means the dimensions are pretty standard. The depth is 25” and you don’t get any option to customize it, unlike Rogue, Titan, and REP fitness folding racks that can be customized as per your needs. 

Talking about the build quality; it is decent enough for intermediate level trainers and may be used by advanced trainers too. But, its 2” X 3” 11 gauge frame may not be able to hold weights more than 400lbs. The folding mechanism is fairly simple and common. The only major issue that buyers had with the Fringesport retractable squat rack is the lack of detailed assembly instructions. Plus, it is more expensive than it should have been.

Pros

  • Strong, durable, well-built product suitable for intermediate to advanced trainers
  • Can be folded inwards and outwards
  • Has a decent 25” depth
  • Comes with 365 days return policy

Cons

  • Inadequate assembly instructions
  • Expensive for what it is

Summary

Fantastic product for intermediate level trainers but it is more expensive than what we had expected.

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 4 out of 5.0.

Wrap Up

Wrap up 

Unlike standard squat racks, there are not many folding squat racks available to choose from. Thankfully, whatever options you have are provided by good brands, so you can confidently buy them. Our above recommendations should help you find the one that best suits your budget and available space. 

That’s it for this article. Before you go, maybe you want to find out what’s the best peanut butter for bulking, shoulder press – dumbbell vs. machine, and can you burn a lot of calories stocking shelves