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6 Best Short Power Racks [Buying Guide]

It’s not easy to find the best short power rack. Most power racks are over 90” tall and it’s pretty hard to find a good quality rack shorter than this. 

So I have personally spent over 40 hours researching over 120 squat racks on the market. I’ve spoken to dozens of friends and home gym owners, including asking the opinions of the Strong Home Gym team of certified personal trainers (one who owns his own gym).

The REP PR-1050 gets my top pick for short power racks. It simply is the best quality short rack for the price, with great customer service and a lifetime warranty. 

However, the REP PR-4000 is my “upgrade pick”. It has an 80” and a 93” height option. It’s what I would recommend to most people after all of this research. It really is the highest quality power rack you can purchase for this kind of price. It’s more than enough for 99.9% of home gym owners and you can pay a lot more for this kind of quality. 

I ran all of the power racks against a criteria of 10 crucial buying points including:

  • Gauge steel 
  • Hole spacing
  • Safety/ spotter arms/ straps/ pins
  • Pull up bars
  • Warranty
  • Price

6 best short power racks

Here are the top picks…

NameBest forHeightSteel tubingPriceRating
REP PR-1050 Overall722×2″ 14 gauge$7
Titan T-2 SeriesRunner up712×2″ 12 gauge$$6
CAP Barbell 6-FootBudget722×2″ 12-14 gauge$6
PRx ProfileFolding72 (80 when folded)2×3″ 11 gauge$$$7
REP PR-4000Upgrade803×3″ 11 gauge$$$$9
Rogue SML-1 Squat StandAlternative723×3″ 11 gauge$$$8

There is an option here for any budget and any ability. 

I’ll explain more about how I assessed the power racks later. I’ll also share what you need to look for when buying a power rack for a room with a low ceiling. 

But first, let’s dig into why these racks make the list…

1. Best short power rack overall: REP PR-1050

REP PR-1050 Short Home Gym Power Rack

The REP PR-1050 gets my number one pick for a short power rack because of the price, the lifetime warranty and the two pull up bars. 

The Titan T-2 was a very close second and in some ways it’s a better rack. The PR 1050 uses 14 gauge steel compared to T-2’s 12 gauge steel. 

Whilst 12 gauge steel is 2/64” thicker than 14 gauge steel here’s my honest opinion about it…

There’s really not a great deal of difference! 

You can certainly tell the difference between an 11 gauge steel rack. But a 12 gauge steel vs 14 gauge steel rack has minimal impact. Manufacturers claim they can both hold over 700 lbs of weight. However, I wouldn’t want to be lifting more than 400lbs inside one of these racks if I was working out alone.  

Therefore, as the PR-1050 is around $75 cheaper than the T-2 it gets my top spot. It also comes with a lifetime warranty unlike Titan’s power rack. The 1.25” and 2” diameter pull up bars provide a variation of grips to use for pull ups which is another added feature many short racks do not have. 

I must also say… the REP Fitness customer service is superb and I’ve yet to hear anyone have a bad word to say about them. 

Pros:

  • Overall value for the price- the best price for a short power rack of this quality. 
  • Lifetime warranty- offers peace of mind and shows the great service at REP Fitness.
  • Takes 700lbs of weight- more than enough for most people. 
  • 2 different pull up bars- the different thickness is grips helps to vary your pull up workouts. 
  • Built in weight horns- the rack is very sturdy when weighed down with additional weight plates. 

Cons:

  • 14 gauge steel- not as thick or strong as 12 or 11 gauge steel. 
  • No westside hole spacing- setting the spotter arms to the perfect height for a bench press is not as easy.
  • No holes to bolt it to the ground- this rack cannot be bolted to the ground if you want extra peace of mind that it won’t fall. 

2. Runner up- best short power rack: Titan T-2

It can (and has) been argued that the Titan T-2 is the best short power rack available. 

It’s rare to find a power rack under 80” in height and many big companies (like Rogue) simply do not make them. 

However, Titan has made a great rack if you have particularly low ceilings. It uses 12 gauge steel, which I just mentioned is thicker (and therefore stronger in theory) than the PR-1050.

Even though it’s more expensive than the PR-1050 it’s still a very affordable power rack. 

If you want to make this even more sturdy you can purchase the additional 10” extension kit too. This will give the rack 6 uprights instead of the standard 4. 

Similarly to REP’s model, the built in weight horns also help to anchor the rack down to make sure it’s secure and won’t wobble when using it. The Titan option also comes with holes to bolt the rack down unlike the PR-1050. 

There really isn’t much in it between this rack and my top pick.

Pros:

  • 12 gauge steel- thicker than the REP-1050.
  • Affordable price tag- pretty cheap compared to many other power racks.
  • 71” height- ideal for low ceilings.
  • Built-in weight horns & holes to bolt it down- it won’t wobble at all.
  • Optional 10” extension kit with weight plate storage- extra sturdy.

Cons:

  • 1-year warranty- Titan doesn’t offer lifetime warranties, unlike many other reputable brands.
  • No westside hole spacing- setting the spotter arms to the perfect height for a bench press is not as easy.  

3. Best budget short power rack: CAP Barbell

You should check out the CAP Barbell power rack if you’re looking for the cheapest short power rack option. 

It uses 12 and 14 gauge steel and claims to be able to hold over 500lbs of weight. As I already mentioned I really wouldn’t want to be lifting anywhere near 400lbs on a rack with steel thinner than 11 gauge. Especially if I was alone! But 300lbs would probably be my limit here. 

The rack comes with metal catches for the barbell instead of J hooks. This can actually damage your barbell as it’s metal on metal and some people have complained that paint has come off the safety arms onto their barbell. 

If you go this route it’s probably wise to buy some relatively cheap J-hooks like these, which have a plastic pad to avoid scratching your bar. It may seem like an additional cost now. But it could save you a few hundred dollars needing to replace your barbell that has lost some grip from the knurling wearing away on cheap J-hooks. 

You also need to be aware this rack has 4” hole spacing. Getting your spotter pins to a decent height to catch the weight when you bench press is very hard with this large spacing. 

Some people are creative and put plates under their weight bench to change the height. 

But this is not ideal as it makes the bench higher. You miss out on using your legs to start the drive of the bench press when a weight bench is too high. Check out our full weight bench buying guide and recommendations here to learn more about this. 

This is still an option if you’re on a really tight budget and you know you won’t be lifting any serious weight from home. 

Pros:

  • Convenient to purchase- available on Amazon, which suits a lot of people. 
  • Cheapest option- you won’t find a cheaper short rack than this. 
  • Strong enough for the average person- if you don’t intend on lifting over 300lbs then this rack does the job.

Cons:

  • 4” hole spacing- not ideal for setting spotter arms to the best height for a bench press. 
  • Poor quality J-hooks- these can scratch your Olympic barbell. 
  • 12-14 gauge steel- thinner than 11 gauge steel so it’s not as strong as other options on this list. 

4. Best short folding power rack: PRx Profile

The PRx Profile is by far the best space saving design on this list. 

You will need 80” height in the room for when the rack is folded away, but it’s only 4” deep from the wall. When it’s in use it’s only 72” tall with a 21” depth though. The down side here is this doesn’t come with a pull up bar attached. 

There are options you can purchase with a pull up bar. But these are 90” tall and need around 100” of height when folded away. 

It’s the best folding rack on the market thanks to the patented technology that makes it so easy to fold away and fold out. It uses 4 100lb gas shocks, which makes it easy to fold down and up- just like the trunk of your car!

Most other folding racks on the market use this awkward pin and hinge system that makes it a right pain to fold away. This means most people don’t do it and they may as well buy a normal squat rack! You can check out our best folding squat rack options with a buying guide here, if you’d like to compare these. 

It’s also the first rack on the list that uses 11 gauge steel. This is 1/8″ thick and it can cope with a lot of weight dropped on the spotter arms. 

If you have a low ceiling then chances are you may be short on space in your garage or wherever you plan on building your home gym. This rack folds to just 4” off the wall allowing you to park a car or use the space for something else when you’re not working out. 

Pros:

  • Space saving- it has a 21” depth and only takes up 4” of wall space when folded away. This allows you to use the space for something else when not in use.
  • 11 gauge steel- it’s very strong and you can’t buy many squat racks with thicker steel than this.
  • Patented folding design- allows you to fold the rack away and out in seconds. 
  • Lifetime warranty- peace of mind for any faulty issues. 

Cons:

  • Not a full power rack- some people prefer to work out in between the 4 steel uprights for safety when lifting alone. 
  • No westside hole spacing- setting the spotter arms to the perfect height for a bench press is not as easy.  
  • No pull-up bar- you can get a pull-up bar if your ceiling height is 100” or higher. 

5. Best short power rack upgrade pick: REP PR-4000

REP PR-4000 Power Rack

The REP PR-4000 is the rack I would recommend for most people. 

The great thing is that there is an 80” option. It’s taller than some of the other racks on this list so far, but it’s also far shorter than the standard 90”+ power racks on the market. 

Scoring 9 out of 10, this rack simply ticks all the boxes (apart from the pricing)! 

It has:

  • 3×3” 11 gauge steel
  • Westside hole spacing
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Pull up bar 
  • Plate storage options
  • A range of safeties

There are a ton of customisations you can make to the rack and add ons you can buy over time. You can even decide what color you want the rack to be. 

And best of all, the price is not ludicrous like some other power racks out there. It’s the most expensive option on this list but it’s the best value power rack you can buy for all of the qualities it has. 

If you have a ceiling that is over 90” (7.5 feet) then this is a rack you need to put on your radar. 

Pros:

  • 3×3” 11 gauge steel- the thickest and strongest rack on this list. 
  • Westside hole spacing- ideal for placing your spotter arms to the perfect height when doing a bench press. 
  • Lifetime warranty- peace of mind and proof of great customer support. 
  • Variety of add ons and colors- personalise your home gym to your taste. 

Cons:

  • Must be bolted down- some people prefer not to bolt their rack down/ can’t on certain floor types. 
  • 80” height- taller than some other options on this list. 

6. Best short squat stand- alternative pick: Rogue SML-1

Rogue SML-1 Squat Stand

The Rogue SML-1 is my alternative pick. 

I know this is a list of the best short “power racks”. But this is a squat stand option you shouldn’t overlook. 

Similarly to the PR-4000 it ticks all of the main boxes. 

Sure it doesn’t have a pull up bar or plate storage but it does come at a very decent price point. It’s only a bit more expensive than the Titan T-2. But once you add spotter arms (which is a must in my opinion) it does come in a couple of hundred dollars over it. 

However, at only 70” tall it could easily fit in any low ceiling room you have. Simply buy a well priced pull up bar like this and you basically have the same thing that a power rack does. 

This is a beast of a squat stand if you’d like the quality of the PR-4000 for a bit cheaper, then this may be ideal for you. 

Pros:

  • 3×3” 11 gauge steel- the thickest and strongest type of squat rack you can buy for an affordable price. 
  • 72” height- ideal for low ceiling rooms. 
  • Westside hole spacing- set the spotter arms to the perfect height when bench pressing. 
  • Made in the USA- high quality steel and stay patriotic. 

Cons:

  • Not a power rack- you won’t be able to squat between the 4 uprights for additional safety. 
  • No pull-up bar- you’d need to buy a pull-up bar separately. 

How to choose a short power rack

These are the 4 main areas you’ll need to consider before purchasing any power rack… 

  1. How much space you have
  2. Safety & quality of the rack
  3. Practicality & type- what do you need it to do?
  4. Budget

I expanded these areas into 10 criteria that I assessed each power rack against… 

Power rack buyers guide & our criteria

127 squat racks have been run through this criteria to find the best ones…

Power rack dimensions

  1. Is it under 80” tall?
  • Most power racks are 90” or taller
  • If it is under 80” tall it scores a point.

Short power rack quality & safety

  1. 11 gauge steel or better
    • The lower the gauge the thicker and stronger it is.
    • 11 gauge steel is about ⅛” thick and very strong.
    • 11 gauge steel or better is more than enough for 99.9% of gym users.
  2. 1000 lbs+ weight capacity
    • Not all products share their “weight capacity”. Many companies overstate how much weight it can take so 1,000 lbs or more is a good sign.
    • Typically 11 gauge steel can take up to 1,000 lbs of weight on it.
    • If the rack weighs less than 100 lbs it’s a sign that weaker steel may be used.
  3. Can spotter arms/ bars/ straps be used?
    • Safety/ spotter arms are one of our essential recommendations if you are working out alone.
    • Some racks do not come with spotter arms or straps.
    • Some folding racks do not recommend using spotter arms. 
  4. Lifetime warranty
    • A lifetime warranty is a good sign that the company takes their racks seriously. Good brands are starting to include this for all squat racks. 
    • Only lifetime warranties score a point in our tests.
Steel Gauge Thickness in inches

Short power rack practicality

  1. Is it safe without anchoring?
    • Some people do not want to have to anchor their rack to the floor or wall.
    • If the rack has “flat feet” it’s normally safe to use without anchoring.
    • If the rack uses good steel and weighs more than 150 lbs it’s a good sign the rack is safe without anchoring it.
  2. 1″ or “Westside” hole spacing
    • Westside spacing uses 2” spaces between the holes on the rack and 1” spaces in the bench press area (the part that matters). 
    • If the rack has 1” spacing between holes it means you can be more precise with your safety arms.
    • When you bench press you don’t want to have your spotter arms too high (or you’ll hit them on every rep). If it’s too low they will be pointless and it will still be painful when you can’t lift that last rep!
  3. Pull up bar included
    • Having a pull up bar on your rack saves having to install one somewhere else.
  4. Does it have plate storage?
    • If your rack doesn’t come with plate storage you may need to consider buying storage racks.
    • Storing plates on your rack also helps to weigh the rack down which makes it less wobbly or likely to fall. 

Power rack cost

  1.  Good value
    • A squat rack under $400 with at least 11 gauge steel scores a point. 
    • A half, power or folding rack under $600 using at least 11 gauge steel scores a point.

How tall should your power rack be?

Most power racks are 90” or taller. 

This is mainly because it allows people over 6 foot tall to walk into them without bumping their head on the pull up bar. It also means when they perform pull ups they can let their legs hang without touching the floor on each rep. 

However if you have an unusually low ceiling, these power racks won’t be an option for you. 

Here are some things you need to do to work out how tall your power rack can be…

Measure your ceiling height

First step is to choose your space for your home gym and work out how tall your ceiling is. 

Most ceilings are now 9 foot high and many new buildings have taller 10 or 12 feet ceilings. However, there was a time when 8 foot ceilings were the norm. 

If you are living in an apartment with 8 foot high ceilings or you have a low ceiling garage, then you simply cannot buy a 90” power rack. Sure it may just about fit in, but there are other factors to think about…

Gym flooring may take up some space

If you are making a serious home gym, your flooring is a factor you must consider. Buying good rubber mats like these can save you from needing to replace damaged equipment, or even your floor (and yes, even concrete floors can crack under dropped weights)!

It’s a good idea to buy your rubber flooring and fit a platform if you are planning on doing so before purchasing your rack. 

That way you can measure how thick this is and account for this reduced space. It may not seem like much, but you would be surprised at the difference this can make!

Allow space for pull ups

Another thing you must do is allow about 1 foot for your head to go above the pull up bar. This is the main reason that if you have an 8 foot ceiling you won’t be able to use a 7.5 foot power rack easily. 

If you’re doing full range of motion pull ups, most people will need those 12 inches above the bar. 

Calculate your maximum rack height

Use this simple formula to work out what the height of your power rack can be…

Total vertical height – gym floor – 1 foot for pull ups – 2” contingency = max height of power rack

For example:

96” – 1” – 12” – 2”= 81”

If you have an 8 foot ceiling that means you will probably need to buy a power rack under 81”. Luckily for you that includes a contingency for any miss calculations and every single rack on this list has you covered!

If your ceiling is lower, then you need to adjust accordingly. 

Short power racks FAQs and tips

Short power racks: The bottom line

The first thing to do is to work out how high a power rack can be for the room you are planning to put it in. Use the formula above to work this out. 

Most people with low ceilings will find the PR-1050 ideal for them. This rack will be more than enough for you unless you plan on lifting more than 400lbs regularly by yourself. It is the cheapest option for a decent-quality short power rack. 

However, if you want westside hole spacing and 3×3” 11 gauge steel I’d recommend the PR-4000 80” rack. You’ll find it hard to find a rack of this quality for this price and with an option to buy it for 80” high.

Be sure to then check out my full best squat rack buying guide here. It will show you the best options of racks that currently exist and give you much more detail about how to choose a squat rack that suits you.

by Mike Beatty
Hi! I'm Mike Beatty. I'm a health and fitness enthusiast and PE teacher who wants to help as many people as possible live a healthy lifestyle, without depriving themselves. Since finishing my Sports Science degree I've continued to study & practice numerous types of exercise including weight training, CrossFit, Tabata and yoga.

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