Comparing the UK's best free standing pull up bars
A free standing pull up bar is a great choice for anybody who isn't satisfied with pull-up stations or wall mounted pull-up bars.
Pull up stations can be clunky, and the "all-in-one" aspect can become annoying and simply get in the way when you're trying to work on new exercises.
Wall mounted and door frame pull up bars don't offer much versatility, and the user is often limited by the available space they have to work in.
This is where the versatility of a free standing pull up bar can be well worth the extra spend.
What are my options for a free standing pull up bar in the UK?
I've reviewed various products on Calisthenics 101, and whilst there's a confusing amount of choice for some products, such as Resistance Bands, the choice is much more limited for free standing pull up bars.
With that in mind I've narrowed the choices down to the following (more detail below):
- Pull Up Mate
- DTX Fitness Squat Rack Power Cage With Pull Up Bar
- MiraFit Power Cage
- Gravity Fitness Pull Up Rack
Let's look at each one in further detail...
Max user weight (for pull-ups): 110kg.
This option is much different to the Power Cages listed further down the page. Because of its design, the Pull Up Mate can be packed away easily and comes with its own storage bags, which is great for those with little space.
It's mobility does mean that it can feel less stable than the other options, but that should only affect harder, more dynamic bodyweight movements.
Don't be mistaken, the product is certainly robust. When I talk about stability I mean a slight movement when using it which can make some exercises, like muscle ups, a bit harder. This can also be exaggerated if you aren't performing them cleanly and are using a lot of momentum to get over the bar.
Another factor to consider with the Pull Up Mate is that it has a max weight capacity of 110kgs (approximately 17 stone). If you're heavier than this you'll want to opt for one of the other options.
To see more check out the video below. I think a video is worth a thousand words in this example:
I think the the Pull Up Mate will be the most popular choice for the average buyer, because it solves a lot of problems that the average person has, and is much more accessible than the alternative free standing pull-up bars.
- It's compact and easy to dismantle.
- It's well priced.
- It's versatile, and allows the user to perform a wide range of exercises on it.
- Its designed well and looks fantastic!
Max user weight (for pull-ups): 120kg.
The DTX Power Cage would be my recommendation for a power cage type free standing pull-up bar.
It's a quality bar, and best of all it's one of the cheapest on the market; likely because it does the job without being an all-in-one complex solution.
The DTX Power Cage is one of the only free standing pull-up bars I've found where you can bolt it down to the ground, which is important for strenuous or explosive exercises such as muscle ups where other bars could wobble. The feet are also designed in a way where if you're not feeling too comfortable or don't have the option to bolt the bar down, then you can alternatively buy some cheap sandbags to keep the bar weighed down and stable. Even with the added expense of some sandbags, it is still the cheapest bars on the market.
Max user weight (for pull-ups): Unstated.
The MiraFit Power Cage is much more suited to those looking to lift weights, but also want the use of a pull up bar.
At twice the price of the DTX Fitness rack, it's certainly one of the more expensive choices, but still remains good value considering what it offers.
A great thing about this choice is the squat rack bars are fully adjustable, which is great as this becomes very useful for exercises requiring a lower bar, such as triceps dips and Australian pull-ups for example.
The downside to this option is that it has no bolts (or bolt holes) to secure to the floor. The pull-up bar also has the same rough pattern that barbells use, which is great for weight lifting but can be annoyingly uncomfortable on your hands for calisthenics exercises.
Pull Up Mate vs Gravity Fitness Pull Up Rack
Well, well.... Looks like Gravity Fitness are now joining the competition alongside Pull Up Mate with their own similar product, the Gravity Fitness Pull Up Rack!
But how do they compare?
Max user weight (for pull-ups): 110kg.
Simply put, the Gravity Fitness Pull Up Rack isn't too different to the Pull Up Mate, yet it's slightly cheaper; smart marketing from Gravity Fitness there for an alternative to the Pull Up Mate.
They're both the same design/concept, however the Pull Up Mate has a slightly different base design to try and give it that narrow edge in terms of stability.
You could argue the Pull Up Mate has the slight edge here, but as I mentioned earlier, I'd recommend both bars are weighed down with a few sand bags to really stabilise them as best as possible to really get the bars as stable as they can be.
This is certainly less of a factor if you're only using the bar for basic pull-ups, dips and rows though, so don't let that put you off at all.
The only downside to the Gravity Fitness free standing pull up bars is that they don't seem to always have stock available. You will need to click the link below to check.