I’ve got a half-dozen sleds in my gym – a couple of big ol’ prowlers, a classic weighted, and a drag sled (left, right and front in the picture, respectively).
I’ve been preaching about the benefits of a weight sled for 15 years now….
Then this KneesOverToes guy comes along, the internet does its thing, and sleds are all the rage.
Suddenly, I feel like a bandwagon.
I don’t really care…
As long as my clients reap the benefits and as long I can help readers like you.
Who am I to talk sleds?
My name is Steve Hoyles; I’m a personal trainer and a gym owner.
I’ve been working with sleds for longer than I care to remember…over two decades now.
In that time, I’ve bought sleds for my gym and used them with my clients.
I’ve also advised people on making smart choices for their home gyms.
Today, I hope to do that for you.
What you’ll see and how we got there
To choose the best, we compared 30+ sleds of all shapes and sizes in various categories – from steel thickness to strap padding.
We looked at it all…
Then, we chose 5 sleds that cover every need and budget.
The goal is simple – take a messy market and make it make sense.
Rogue Dog Sled 1.2
XEBEX XT3 Plus
- 5 best weight sleds
- Buyer’s guide to weight-training sleds
- Methodology – how we assess and rate weight sleds
- Other weight/speed sleds – close-but-no-cigar
- Best weight sled – resume and key takeaways
5 best weight sleds
|Best in category
|Rogue Dog Sled 1.2
|Versatile attachment options, premium build
|great value for money
|XEBEX XT3 Plus
|Convenient and quiet
|REP Push-Pull Sled
|High weight capacity
|Mir Speed Sled
|Cheap speed sled
1 – Best weight sled for home gyms overall – Rogue Dog Sled 1.2
Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a versatile top-tier sled that doesn’t cost a fortune.
- Versatile – 7 configurations with optional attachments.
- Heavy-duty build – 11 gauge, 2×3” frame.
- Premium finishes and laser-cut holes.
- Works on grass, concrete, turf, hard floors, mats etc.
- Each attachment sold separately, even the plastic skis.
- Geometry not ideal for sprint workouts.
Rogue Dog Sled 1.2 takes the title of best weight sled back to Ohio because it’s the most well-rounded.
In other words – it does it all, and does it well.
And it looks badass.
Compared to other sleds from Rogue
The Dog 1.2 sled has one key advantage compared to Echo, Fat Boy, E Sled, and Alpaca (sleds from the Rogue lineup) – the holes on the side rails.
The rails allow you to add a bunch of attachments. These attachments are frankly, fantastic. You might wonder how much variety you can build into a sled.
The answer, it turns out, is a lot!
Having seen this sled I’m honestly genuinely impressed by the creativity of the guys at Rogue.
And it’s not often I can say that.
With 20+ years looking at fitness gear, there’s an element of ‘seen it all before’, but these attachments have made me sit up and take note!
It’s an all-rounder.
The flip side of the versatility coin is the cost of the attachments – each is sold separately, which jacks up the cost.
However, the base unit is cheaper than I’d expect, which I rarely say about Rogue.
Compared to sleds from lesser brands
There are sleds out there that “draw inspiration” from Rogue. That’s just how things work in the industry.
A case in point is the Titan PRO.
PRO is pretty much the same sled as Rogue’s 1.2, only not as well-crafted.
It only makes sense to buy something “like Rogue” instead of the real thing when it’s considerably cheaper.
That used to be the case with Titan Pro, but it’s not anymore.
Rogue Dog 1.2 eliminates much of the confusion surrounding the choice of a weight sled because it does it all.
It’s a versatile, beastly thing made to last a lifetime.
|Dimensions (LxW, inches)
|40 x 25
|Maximum weight capacity (lbs)
|Classic weight sled
2 – Best pull sled – Fringe Model-A
Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a top-tier pull sled.
- Great value (price vs. quality).
- High capacity.
- For outdoor or indoor use.
- Pull-only sled.
Choosing the best pull sled is probably the hardest.
Basically, it’s a piece of steel bent in a way that allows you to pull it until you vomit.
In all seriousness…
The differences between the good and the best are subtle.
But they exist…
The second version of the Model-A from Fringe has a slight edge over the competition in a few aspects.
- The sizing is just right – not as narrow as the E-sled and not as wide as the Fat Boy from Rogue.
- You can get it with plastic skis for outdoor use.
- The design is basic but the finish is premium – the powder coat is impeccable, and the cuts/bends are precise.
- The weight pin is 1.875 inches longer compared to similar Rogue sleds.
That’s all there is to it.
It’s one of the best weight sleds for turf or grass and even works on concrete.
Model-A sled from Fringe is (a bit) better in a few aspects and costs the same (or less) as its main competitors.
|Dimensions (LxW, inches)
|23 x 10
|Maximum weight capacity (lbs)
|Pull-only, speed sled
3 – Best weight sled with wheels (and money-no-object pick) – Xebex XT3 Plus
Who it’s for: Anyone who puts convenience first.
- More resistance than any competitor.
- Versatile – multiple handle angles.
- Front and back attachment points.
- Folds and stores vertically.
- Great on all terrain (grass, concrete, turf hardwood etc)
- The capacity could/should be higher for the wheelbarrow.
- Magnetic resistance feels different than plates.
The wheeled category was always going to come down to choosing between two sleds – this Xebex and the Torque M1.
I knew that from the get-go.
Because these two strike the right balance between features and not selling your kidney to get them.
The sleds they are a-changin’
If I were writing this a year ago, the Torque M1 would probably win this category.
That’s because the Xebex was limited by the maximum resistance.
To be clear, I still think that level 8 will give plenty of resistance to most people. Still, it’s less than Torque M1, which is the main competitor.
Xebex addressed that…
Today, you can get the upgraded version of the XT3, creatively named XT3 Plus.
The Plus version yields more resistance than any 3-wheel sled I know.
Xebex XT3 Plus is the wheeled sled with the best balance between functionality, price, and convenience.
There are more expensive magnetic sleds, but they add little value for a lot more money.
|Assembled footprint (LxW, inches)
|48 x 22
|Folded footprint, for storage (LxWxH, inches)
|28 x 24
|Maximum weight capacity (lbs)
|385 for 3-wheel push and pull exercises, 225 for wheelbarrow
4 – Best prowler sled – REP Push-Pull
Who it’s for: Anyone focusing on strength and pushing/pulling the most weight possible.
- Can yield more resistance than any other sled type.
- Great value for money – much cheaper than Rogue Butcher.
- Burly build – 7 and 11-gauge steel.
- Big and heavy – requires dedicated space.
In terms of value for money, REP Fitness makes the best prowler.
There really is no reason to pay 50% more for something like the Rogue Butcher.
Unless you’re particular about brands, that is…
There are reasons to choose REP’s prowler over the lesser units like Titan – from the steel thickness, the powder coat, to the clean welds.
In other words – this prowler is a premium unit with a not-so-premium price tag.
REP’s prowler is a unicorn of sorts. It costs less than units of similar quality, and it’s built better than the competition in its price domain.
It allows you to stack the weight up and there’s a beauty in the simplicity. I’m of the belief here that if you don’t need to spend the extra money, don’t.
If you used it blindfolded, I can assure you that you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between it and a more expensive prowler.
|Dimensions (LxWxH, inches)
|40 x 38 x 42
|Maximum weight capacity
5 – Best budget speed sled – Mir Heavy-Duty
Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a cheap speed sled.
- Cheap but durable.
- Good harness with color options.
- Works well on any surface.
- Color choices.
- Basic build.
- Paint finish.
- Olympic weight plates fit loosely.
I’ve seen dozens of cheap speed sleds come and go over the years.
This Mir sled is standing the test of time and has no deal-breaking flaws.
In this price range, that’s all you can ask for.
On the other hand, one thing that stands out is the harness.
It’s well-padded and comfortable enough not to be a limiting factor on any pulls (and harness issues are common in this price range).
The main issues with the Mir sled are the weight peg/pin and the paint job.
The pin is weirdly sized – I measured it at just over an inch thick.
What that means for you…
Olympic plates don’t fit snugly, and standard 1-inch plates don’t fit at all.
If you have standard plates, Mir is a no-go. And that’s a big problem, because who has specialist plates just for their sled?!
If you have Olympic plates and the clanking bothers you, it’s solvable.
Anything that you can fix with a rag or a piece of sponge is not a deal-breaker, especially at this price.
The other “problem” is cosmetic. The finish is not powder coat; it’s paint, and it will chip. I’ve also got a slight concern about the durability of the box-section steel.
It’ll be absolutely fine for 99% of users, but for the 1% who are going hard and heavy, it might not last.
Again, to be expected (and accepted) in this price range.
Mir sled is better than the price suggests, especially the harness. It’s a good way to save some money and get a decent-speed sled.
|Dimensions (LxW, inches)
|24 x 14
|Weight capacity (lbs)
|Speed-training pull sled
Buyer’s guide to weight-training sleds
Few people have the time to actually read through the whole thing before reaching for the credit card.
If you made it this far in the guide, kudos to you…you’re in the 5% of savvy, conservative buyers.
Let’s get you to the 1%.
10 primary factors to look for in a weight-training sled
1 – Types of workout sleds
It’s so easy to get lost in the sea of sled types and sub-types.
That’s why I’ll cut through the noise and make it simple.
“Simple” means easy to understand.
And understanding means spending your money wisely.
That ties into one of our core principles – finding value.
Here’s the gist
In a fitness context, the term ‘sled’ is appropriate for any device designed to push weights with.
The three main types are:
- Prowler sled
- Weighted sled
- Drag sled
The prowler is the big one on the left, the one on the right is a classic weight sled, and the one in front is a drag/pull sled.
#1 – The prowler sleds tend to be the biggest.
They usually have a mixture of horizontal and vertical poles to provide the user with different position options.
You can load a prowler up with a LOT of weight if you get a good one.
They’re better for the biggest, strongest athletes who need to drive a lot of weight.
#2 – A weighted sled tends to be more streamlined.
The basic ones offer only vertical poles as a grip option. They can be push-only or push-pull sleds.
They can’t cope with as much weight, so they’re better for smaller, lighter athletes. Bigger guys can use them too, and they’re great for speed work.
#3 – Drag/pull sleds are designed to be used with a rope for sprints or to be dragged by a lifter.
The pulling exercises are great for rehab, leg work, speed training, etc…but they can’t be pushed.
They can be used by anyone rehabbing their legs or working on sprint speed or pull strength and power.
Classic vs. magnetic-resistance sleds
The modern-day alternative to the classic weighted sled is the magnetic-resistance units like Xebex or Torque.
They cost much more but are crazy convenient.
These are the key benefits of magnetic resistance sleds:
- They’re quiet – which makes them great for outdoor use. You can drag and pull without becoming the neighborhood villain.
- They work on pretty much any surface.
- Crazy convenient – you pull a lever instead of loading weights.
- Easy to use and store – the best ones are designed for easy storage, typically on a wall.
- Tracking – (monitors and stuff), which is nice but not a must.
Bottom line – magnetic-resistance sleds seem bound to dominate home gyms…and soon. For that to happen though, they’ll have to find a way to make them much cheaper.
As a purist though, I like the honesty of loading up a sled and getting to work.
There’s also a precision element – you can add even tiny amounts of weight if you want to, rather than be governed by a lever and magnetic resistance.
2 – Weight capacity of workout sleds (resistance levels)
The capacity of the classic designs (resistance levels on the magnetic sleds) is probably the single most overhyped characteristic.
Here’s why I say that…
- For 8 out of 10 home gym owners, the classic weight sled will have plenty of capacity.
- If you’re a big guy and an advanced athlete, you might need a prowler.
- If you’re getting a sled for knee recovery or to work on speed specifically – you might need a pull sled (also known as a speed sled).
An elite athlete will get a good use out of two or all three types.
But TJ Watt probably doesn’t need my advice on sleds.
One thing to consider though, the sled is likely to cope with any amount of weight you can load it with, but the attachments might not.
What this means in practice is that the clips and carabiners you use to attach pulling ropes and harnesses MUST be good quality.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
If you buy a great sled and crappy connections, they’ll snap like a twig at heavier weights, so buy good quality attachments too.
3 – Size/footprint of a workout sled
If you’ll be using the sled inside and you’re working with limited space, size does matter:
In two ways specifically:
- The footprint – one that allows you to navigate through the racks and the benches comfortably.
- Storage…we’ll get to this in a hot minute.
This goes back to the conversation about sled types.
As you can see in the reference graph below, there are footprint guidelines that are reasonably accurate across the board:
- A prowler will typically have a footprint of 10+ square feet (some of them go up to 15).
- Your classic weight sled will have a footprint in the 4-7 square feet range.
- A drag or pull sled is small and light, with footprints as low as 1.5 square feet. The bigger ones, like Rogue Slice, go up to 5 sqft.
Below is the graph I promised:
4 – Compatible surfaces
All the best weight sleds we’re looking are today are multi-surface – from grass and carpet to concrete.
That doesn’t mean they’d be kind to your gym floors.
If you have no space for a dedicated astroturf strip for sled work, choose a model that comes with plastic skis. These are made to protect your gym floors.
Floors are for scuffing
In the long run, even plastic skis will leave some marks, and that’s OK.
For a home gym, scuffs and scrapes are what scars are for a warrior – badges of battle-tested honor.
5 – Storage and transport of weighted sleds – foldable/removable parts, upright and wall storage
The space problem is all about finding a balance between your needs, space, and storage options.
You can ignore the next points if you’re lucky enough to have a huge space. If space is at a premium though…
Have these two rules in mind:
- If you’re buying a big sled (like a prowler) for a small space, go with a unit that features detachable parts (at least the upright handles).
- If you’re paying the big bucks for a magnetic-resistance sled, choose one with wall storage.
Everything else is solvable – most classic weight and pull sleds are small enough to fit into a corner.
If you have the corner to spare, that is…
6 – Versatility of a weighted sled
At the fundamental level, all sled exercises come down to pushing or pulling.
The main difference between a sled push and pull is the involvement of the upper body (duh!).
On a sled push, you can also hit the chest, triceps, and shoulders.
Finally, on the backward pull, the hamstrings are one of your primary movers.
Depending on your technique, there might also be some biceps and shoulder involvement.
My advice – understand what’s happening to the point where you can forget it.
Here’s what I mean by that…
The sled is not the bench press. It has less room for mistakes and fewer ways to do it wrong.
You can bench press and completely “miss” the pecs.
You can’t push or pull a sled without engaging the quads, glutes, and calves.
It’s a natural movement.
And we’ve been doing it since our ancestors dragged the first antelope back to the cave.
This is the bottom line
Planning a sled workout is about matching your goals with the correct sled type and, just as importantly, the load.
Let me be specific:
- Training for power – pushes with higher weight (0.7-1.2 your body weight).
- Endurance – pushes with medium weight (0.2-0.5 times your body weight).
- Speed – low-weight pulls (0.1-0.3 times your weight).
Add-ons and accessories – high-low, push-pull
I could go deeper here and talk about the distances and reps, but that’s beyond the scope of this guide.
I can throw numbers around but…
The truth is, I can’t know your fitness level, goals, and how much space you have.
So, I won’t be planning your workout here…
I’ll say this – sled training is a good kind of addictive.
That means you’ll likely want more…more weight, more ways to push and pull.
And you can only add so much weight.
To scratch that itch, you’ll likely want new attachments.
To name a few:
- Wheelbarrow and lawn-mower kits – turns the sled into a wheelbarrow or a “lawn boy” when you want a more intense upper body workout.
- Horizontal bars and handles – a high bar or double handles allow you to mix up the pushes, and surprise the quads with new angles.
- Wrapping rails – allow for safe direction changes. Great for sport-specific agility work, not essential foremost home gyms.
Bottom line – unless your goals are clear-cut and fully met by one unit, go for a classic weight sled that you can upgrade….cause you’ll want to.
7 – Stability of workout sleds
Stability enters the conversation only in the context of magnetic resistance.
When the opposing force is not working downwards but pushes back (friction in the wheels), you’ll need weight to keep the sled down.
In other words, hybrid sleds with space for weights are the best.
That’s the case with our top magnetic pick, the Xebex XT3, and most Torque sleds.
8 – Price of weighted/resistance sleds
You can get a decent weight sled for as little as $75, which is the starting price range for the basic speed sleds.
You can also pay thousands for some of the Torque stuff, which is an overkill for most home gyms, if you ask me.
Prices of classic weighted and magnetic resistance sleds – how much is too much?
Among the classic designs, the best weighted sleds (in terms of value) are in the $200-400 range.
If you’re getting a magnetic-resistance unit, there are few reasons to spend more than 1K.
That’s my red line – 1K.
The features that enter the picture above that price range (like advanced adaptive resistance), don’t justify the jacked-up cost.
Below is a graph comparing the prices of the top-rated sleds.
9 – Warranty terms
The warranties of weight sleds tell you very little. That’s a nice way of saying they’re borderline useless.
I typically look at warranties and interpret them as an indication of quality.
That’s not happening here…
The warranties seem to be defined by some weird policies the brands have in place for other stuff, and they slapped the label to the sleds.
Fringe and Titan are a case in point
Fringe’s Model A and Titan Pro are both covered by ONLY a 1-year warranty.
What’s supposed to happen to the pile of steel after the year?
Nothing, of course….
A plastic part like skids might break, but that’s about it.
I’ll sum up my warranty recommendations into three points:
- Accept no less than a 10-year warranty if you’re paying big bucks for magnetic-resistance sleds.
- With all other things equal, a lifetime warranty on the frame is a plus.
- Shorter warranties are not deal-breakers – they’re remnants of outdated policies.
You might wonder how much use you’d get out of a sled, and my answer to that is simple.
If you’re training strength and conditioning (as opposed to bodybuilding), you’ll get a LOT of use out of them.
When I opened my gym I bought 2 sleds.
They were so popular that I now own 4 of different types.
They’re completely unlike any other item of equipment, in terms of usage and training effect. They’ll transform your power and athleticism.
They don’t cost much relative to other items, and the bang for your buck investment in a sled is so worth it.
Methodology – how we assess and rate weight sleds
Below is a short outline of our process of choosing the best weight sleds.
It’s not an exciting read, but it’s important for one reason – trust.
No to randomness, yes to tests and data
There are actual data and tests on the other end of this guide, and none of it is random.
In other words, we’re not just choosing sleds and listing them as “best.”
Here’s what we did:
- We created a weight-sled database. It includes every single sled on the market that (we believe) is a contender for one of the top spots.
We analyzed 30+ sleds in a range of quality and value aspects – from weight capacity and size to price and warranty.
That number doesn’t seem high, but it’s prefiltered and only includes the top units.
- We created a rating system (to use in-house).
We usually go for universal, stat-based ratings. That wasn’t possible here.
The ratings aren’t clear enough to use in the guide since we’re looking at very different sled types. But they are one of three key ingredients to crafting this list…the other two being first-hand experiences and consultations with industry experts.
- We consulted industry experts on the types of sleds to present.
The goal was to cover different needs without creating confusion.
- Based on steps 1-3, we created the first draft of the list.
- We went for another round of consults to make the final cut.
After this step, we had the 7 picks – enough to cover different needs and budgets in as few sleds as possible.
- In other words – the list is comprehensive but simple.
- Based on my experience and that of the industry experts we consulted, I created this guide that features mini-reviews of the top picks.
- We stay on top of the weighted-sled industry and update this guide regularly.
The sled market is dynamic, and there are new arrivals every month. Granted, most of the new stuff is generic junk.
This guide is a living thing and always reflects the current market.
Other weight/speed sleds – close-but-no-cigar
- Torque Tank M1 – similar to Xebex XT3 in value and features but costs a bit more.
- Rogue Echo Dog sled – very similar to our top pick. It’s a heavy one-piece made to find a home and stay in it. If you’re OK with not taking it apart, you can save a few dozen bucks by getting the Echo instead of the 1.2.
- Rogue Slice Sled – small and light… costs more than similar sleds from less-known brands.
- S-35E sled by Rogue – uniquely narrow yet robust enough for any surface. A budget Rogue sled for the minimalist.
- Rogue S-25 – the “Fat Boy” in the Rogue lineup is basic…much like the S-35. Choosing between the two will come down to long-and-narrow vs. short-and-wide.
- Torque Tank MX and Torque Tank M4 magnetic weight sleds – high-end sleds with price tags to match (MX is the most expensive sled I know). Both feature adaptive resistance (gets harder as you push harder). Both are awesome, but too expensive for most home gyms.
- Titan High-Low Push-Pull Sled – decent budget prowler that stood no real chance pitted against Rogue and REP.
- Rogue Butcher– similar to the REP push pull sled which is 33% cheaper.
Best weight sled – resume and key takeaways
This is the best the sled market has to offer:
- Rogue Dog 1.2 Sled is the top value for money. There are cheaper sleds that do similar things, but none match the Rogue build and craftsmanship.
- Magnetic resistance is as convenient as weight sleds get. Among them, the Xebex XT3 stands out as the top value because it does it all for less money.
- REP’s prowler is cheap with no real flaws to speak of.
If you want to take another look at all the top picks, click here to skip back to the top picks table.
Also, bookmark this page and drop by again – we’ve cooked up some of the coolest guides on all things home gym…and we’ll keep doing it.
As they say…come for the sled, stay for the other stuff…