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 available choices down to the following free standing pull-up bars, which are all available to purchase in the UK. Read on to find out more about how each pull-up bar stacks against its competitors, or click on the summary links below to jump straight to that specific pull-up bar:
- 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.
Rather than share an image of the Pull Up Mate, I'm going to share their own YouTube product demonstration as I think it does a great job of giving the user an idea of the bars look & feel, and what you can do with it. Check it out below:
The Pull Up Mate is designed to solve two key problems that a user may have with other free standing pull-up bars, specifically the 'Power Cage' type bars listed further down the page. It is designed to be easily dismantled and can be used for a greater range of exercises than its competitors.
Because of its design, the Pull Up Mate can be packed away within a matter of minutes. It also comes with a Pull Up Mate branded storage bag so that you can simply store the bar away neatly, or even use it to carry the bar comfortably when transporting it elsewhere. This is great for those who prefer to workout outside in such a weather dependent country as the UK!
Its mobility does mean that it can feel less stable than the Power Cage options, but that should only affect more dynamic bodyweight movements. Don't be mistaken, the product is certainly robust, but when I talk about stability I mean a slight movement when using it which can make some exercises, like muscle ups, feel a little bit harder to beginner users. This is of course 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.
Calisthenics 101 Top Pick
Of the bars reviewed in this post, the Pull Up Mate is my recommended pick.
For those of you who are impatient or like to skim read articles, you can instantly check the price of the Pull Up Mate on Amazon UK here, and read a quick summary of the bar below:
- The high quality and affordable price makes it great value
- It's versatile and allows the user to perform a wider range of exercises on it than other bars
- It's compact and easy to dismantle
- It's 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.