The squat is the king of strength training exercises. There are plenty of squat variations, both weighted and unweighted, but if you want to get the most out of this godly movement when training at home (or anywhere else), then you must be doing it beneath a barbell.
Doing barbell squats safely and effectively at home requires a rack of some kind. A great option is a squat rack or stand. However, because they’re relatively specialized pieces of equipment, they often have a hefty price tag. But fret not: You can get cheap squat racks and stands that are still good quality. In fact, you can get a rack that will do its job well and last you for years for under $500.
Which is where we come in.
In this article, we’re going to point you towards the 7 best budget squat racks and stands. After we cover those in detail, we’ll go deeper into what makes a good inexpensive squat rack / stand, how to choose one, and more. The idea is to have you armed with all the knowledge and information you could need to make a great purchase and put yourself one step closer to doing barbell squats and other powerlifting exercises safely, effectively, and without blowing your budget wide open.
Best Budget Squat Rack At a Glance
Best Budget Squat Rack Overall
Built by one of the best manufacturers in the game, this squat rack brings the uncompromising quality of US-made equipment. Rogue has found a perfect balance of features and performance that maximizes the return on your investment. The Echo series squat stand is a great buy that comes with a lifetime warranty.
Best Value Budget Squat Rack
Rep Fitness is another reputable brand that takes pride in delivering robust strength equipment to those with limited budgets. The SR-4000 is a great example of what you can score in terms of features and build quality. This rack is large, affordable and fitted with important safety features and non-standard accessories.
Cheapest Budget Squat Rack
If you’re looking for the absolute cheapest rack you can get away with, CAP Barbell’s incorrectly named Power Rack is the way to go. It’s a solid choice for those who are just starting out and don’t want to commit to a more robust (and expensive) piece of equipment.
The Best Budget Squat Racks
|Rogue Echo Squat Stand 2.0||
|Rep SR-4000 Squat Rack||
|Cap Barbell Power Rack Exercise Stand||
|Fringe Sport Garage Series Squat Rack||
|HulkFit Multi-Function Adjustable Squat Stand||
|Titan Fitness X-3 Short Squat Stand||
|Fringe Sport Indy Squat Rack||
|Rogue Echo Squat Stand 2.0|
|Rep SR-4000 Squat Rack|
|Cap Barbell Power Rack Exercise Stand|
|Fringe Sport Garage Series Squat Rack|
|HulkFit Multi-Function Adjustable Squat Stand|
|Titan Fitness X-3 Short Squat Stand|
|Fringe Sport Indy Squat Rack|
Rogue is a brand that needs no special introduction if you’re into strength training. They’re currently one of, if not the, best manufacturers of home and commercial fitness equipment.
Rogue’s Echo Squat Stand 2.0 represents their take on a budget build. The rack offers the core of what this company is all about at a lower price. In other words, you’re getting a squat rack that’s built in the United States, right in their Ohio factory, and ships out with a lifetime warranty. That puts it ahead of the competition right off the bat. Rogue don’t put their name on anything but top-tier equipment, which is why they have such a strong reputation.
The rack itself is fairly minimalistic in nature. What you’re looking at here is a classic matte black squat rack made of 11-gauge high-quality steel. The Echo 2.0 is 70 inches tall, 48 inches wide and 48.5 inches long. It comes with two of their UHMW-lined J cups which have proven to be among the best currently available.
With 2″ hole spacing, you have plenty of maneuvering space when it comes to finding that perfect lifting height.
As far as performance goes, this squat stand is remarkably stable, and comes with a 1000 lbs weight capacity straight out of the box. At this price, Rogue’s Echo Squat Stand is by far the best quality budget squat rack. The only downside is the lack of included accessories, which are available as aftermarket parts. This, however, is standard practice for Rogue equipment.
- Built tough in Ohio, United States.
- Features a lifetime warranty
- The 11-gauge steel construction makes it both stable and durable
- Has a 1000 lbs. weight capacity right out of the box
The Not So Good
- Spotter arms, which are a must for beginners, must be bought separately
The REP Fitness SR-4000 is, in our view, the best bang-for-your-buck option, and is perfect for those who are willing to stretch their budget a little (but not too much).
The number of features offered with this rack is impressive, to say the least. If you’re looking to buy once and cry once, but you’re on a budget, this is the rack for you. REP Fitness maintains high levels of quality which any gym or private user out there will attest to.
The SR-4000 is a combo rack that offers a safe and stable environment for performing all of the core Powerlifting exercises, plus a bunch of extras. This is because there are a heap of non-standard components included with this rack.
There’s a pull-up bar, which not only allows you to perform pull-ups, chin-ups, and other bodyweight exercises, but also adds to the structural stability of the rack. There’s also spotter arms, so that you can lift heavy at home, solo, without too much concern for your safety if you fail on a lift. Moreover, there’s a set of dip handles that can be adjusted to the right width and height to make dips as comfortable and effective as possible.
An equivalent set up from Rogue is going to cost you well over $1000. Forget less than $500; the SR-4000 is less than $400. It’s exceptional value.
That said, there are some downsides. This rack isn’t exactly small. It stands a towering 110″ high, while the base measures 72″ x 48″. In short, this thing takes up quite a bit of room, so it’s not really suitable for small home / garage gyms. If the height is all that’s concerning you though, there is the SR-4050, which is identical to the SR-4000, except it’s only 94″ tall.
The entire thing is made out of quality 11-gauge steel and features 2-inch hole spacing all around. Another cool addition on this model is the weight horns in the rear that provide a place to store your weight plates or bumpers, which will help increase the stability of the rack.
If you’re willing to sacrifice some manufacturing quality for a huge range of accessories that essentially create a fully decked out squat rack, then this baby is the one for you. It’s hands-down the best budget squat rack in terms of value for money. That fact that you can usually get it for under $500 is exceptional.
- Probably the best bang-for-your-buck squat rack on the market
- Great build quality with 11-gauge steel construction all around
- A plethora of features such as spotter arms, pull-up and dip bars, and weight horns
The Not So Good
- This is a large rack that might take up too much space for some home / garage gyms
Our next pick is a bit different compared to the previous two. CAP’s barbell power rack exercise stand represents a very affordable way for beginners to get started at home. This is a simple squat rack in every way that’s relevant. You’re looking at a compact package made from 11 and 12-gauge steel tubing that would never be described as over-engineered. Instead, everything is streamlined to offer the best functionality at the most affordable price possible.
The outcome of such a design is that you’re effectively looking at a rack that has several limitations. It has a weight capacity rated for 500 lbs, but we wouldn’t be confident in testing those limits. In short, don’t buy this rack if you’re looking to break records with your lifts.
In terms of features, there isn’t much to be mentioned besides the J cups, which are bare metal, and the pull-up bar.
However, none of this should be taken as a drawback for one simple reason – this rack costs a fraction of what other models on the market costs. As such, it’s a reasonable option if you want to add barbell squats and other Powerlifting movements to your exercise routine, but you’re not planning to lift heavy.
That said, you could comfortably hit 300 lb. lifts on this rack, which is actually going well beyond what most people can or would ever manage. Going beyond that, however, and you’ll want to look at something more heavy-duty.
This bad boy measures 85″ in height while the base is 46″ x 50″. All of the hardware is decent but there’s still some instability. CAP’s misnamed squat rack is a great option for beginners.
- One of the cheapest squat racks on the market
- Decent build quality for what it is that will easily support up to 300 lbs. of weight
- A simple setup that can be assembled in no time
The Not So Good
- Lacks any features other than J-cups
- Rated for 500 lbs. but doesn’t inspire too much confidence past 300 lbs.
Next up we have a minimalist yet highly functional model from Fringe Sport who are another prominent brand in the home fitness equipment industry. Their Garage Series squat rack is meant for those who want to work out at home without too much hassle. The rack itself is a great deal at its regular price (~$250 – $300).
Fringe is not quite at the level of Rogue and other brands in that range, but they offer a great build quality considering the relatively low cost.
This particular package is built like a tank. You’re looking at a rack made from black powder-coated, 2″ x 3″ 12-gauge steel tubing. One of the features of the Garage Series rack is its shorter profile. After all, a Garage Series rack should be able to fit comfortably in an average garage gym.
Adjustability has become the name of the game for squat and power racks, and ever since Rogue introduced the Westside hole spacing, most of their competitors have started adding it to their racks as well. Fringe’s Garage Series squat rack is one of their first to include the 1″ Westside hole spacing through the bench press range. As you probably know by now, this allows you to find the perfect spotter arm height that prevents a failed lift from crushing you while still giving you full range of motion.
Another great thing about this rack, and Fringe Sport’s strength equipment in general, is the fact that you can get a bunch of extra features for not a lot of extra money. While the Garage Series rack doesn’t include spotter arms, you can grab them and several other accessories at very reasonable prices (~$99 for spotter arms).
That said, it’s worth mentioning that this rack features a compact footprint, which makes it inherently less stable than racks like the Rep Fitness SR-4000. However, it comes with two built-in weight plate storage horns that will keep your garage gym uncluttered, and add that extra stability to the rack.
- A great bang-for-your-buck option for those working with limited space
- Has Westside hole spacing, which has become gold standard
- Built-in weight horns for plate storage and extra stability
The Not So Good
- It may be a bit too small for some taller / larger users
HulkFit’s adjustable power rack generally sits somewhere between the higher-end racks and the entry-level part of the affordable segment. What sets it apart are the aesthetics of all things. Many will agree that the market is chock full of all-black squat racks that all look the same and are generally boring. Well, HulkFit has decided to change that by applying a coat of bright yellow paint to the uprights.
Naturally, this isn’t the only redeeming feature of this rack. It’s actually a decent rack on build and features alone.
Speaking of features, there are plenty to be found. This rack comes with weight horns installed in the back for extra support, heavy-duty J-hooks, and spotter arms included. Then there are two pull-up bars that give the whole setup and your strength training some additional versatility. The J-Hooks that come with the rack are made of heavy-duty steel and feature a fairly snug fit. The only issue with them is the sub-par rubber coating that may not last too long, especially if you’re not particularly gentle when racking your bar.
Overall, the rack is decent in terms of what you get for the money. The only thing to keep in mind is the somewhat subpar build quality compared to the likes of Rogue and others.
The rack measures 81″ in height while the base measures 44″ x 46″. HulkFit’s squat rack is rated for 800 lbs. but we’re not sure if you should try and push it that far.
Overall, it’s a uniquely stylish option that has a range of accessories at a low- to mid-tier price. Definitely worth considering as a budget squat rack.
- A colorful rack that offers a breath of fresh air in the sea of black
- Comes loaded with features such as spotter arms, weight horns and spotter arms
- Overall very good value
The Not So Good
- The manufacturing has cut a few corners here and there
The Titan X-3 is a short squat rack. Don’t let that fool you, though. This thing is more than capable of supporting heavy squat lifts. Its short stature is arguably its best feature. This isn’t the lowest priced budget squat rack out there, but it’s definitely among the most compact heavy-duty racks in the budget segment.
As is the case with most of Titan’s equipment, this rack is very similar to one of Rogue Fitness’ premium offerings: The SML Series Squat Racks. The main difference is price (again, as is often the case with Titan). Titan’s rack’s lower price is achieved through cheaper construction (its made in China, whereas Rogue racks are US made). That said, Titan generally achieves acceptable levels of quality in their equipment, though you do run the risk of receiving parts that have been badly welded, or with misaligned holes.
As far as this rack goes, you’re getting the standard package. The uprights are 3″ x 3″, 11-gauge steel tubing and sport 2-inch hole spacing. Since the rack is designed to be used with a weight bench, the uprights have Westside spacing. The rack comes with a pair of UHMW lined J-Hooks and spotter arms. Much like Rogue’s SML squat racks, the shorter variation of the X-3 doesn’t have a pull-up bar, while the taller variations do.
The rack is rated for 1000 lbs. out of the factory. Even if that estimate is on the generous side, you’ll still have a lot of room to grow into your lifts. Another redeeming feature that’s worth mentioning is the overall compact size of this setup. You’re looking at a rack measuring 48″ x 49″ at its base, and 72″ in height for the short rack; 94″ for the tall rack.
- Good build quality that inspires confidence even with heavier weights
- Utilizes 3×3 11-gauge uprights which are connected to the base using proper hardware
- The compact size means better functionality in tight spaces
The Not So Good
- As with all Titan equipment, the construction quality is generally lower (but usually completely fine)
Last but not the least we have a set of Indy stands aimed at those who are looking for a truly minimalist solution. Fringe Sport’s Garage Series indy stands brings that legendary simplicity in a package that maximizes the value of the investment you’re set to make.
Indy stands differ from an average rack in a number of ways. Instead of being a single unified piece of equipment, Indy stands feature two independent support structures that you can freely move. Some of the most obvious benefits that Indy stands have over racks are their portability and the fact that you can store them away after use.
However, the downside is that Indy stands are limited in the features they offer. This set from Fringe is atypical in the sense that you are getting great build quality paired with spotter arms that can be adjusted by height. When fully extended, the uprights are 71.5 inches tall, which is plenty enough for an average person. Speaking of the uprights, they’re made from good quality steel. In terms of how much weight you can rest on these, the stands themselves were tested for 400 lbs. while the spotter arms are rated for 300 lbs. max.
One of the most attractive things about Indy stands is their price, which is why no list of budget squat racks is complete without recommending some Indies. The only potential downside is the reduced stability that comes from each stand being independent (as the name would suggest). However, that is literally the price you pay, and simply necessitates more care and control when re-racking your bar.
- A simple, affordable set of stands that offers great features
- Lightweight and portable design makes them perfect for tight spaces
- Features spotter arms rated for 300 lbs. of weight
The Not So Good
- Indy stands require more care during use
- A limited number of available features due to their design
Should You Get an Inexpensive Squat Rack?
This will entirely depend on how heavy you’re planning on lifting. Budget racks are great for completing Powerlifting exercises like squats, bench presses, and overhead presses (OHP) at weights that are well within your limits.
If you’re a seasoned powerlifter trying to continually increase, and subsequently test, your 1 rep max (the maximum amount of weight you can lift with a single repetition), then you’ll probably want something more robust.
That said, a number of the racks listed will be fine for heavy-ish lifting. The Rogue Echo rack (with spotter arms as an additional purchase), Rep SR-4000, and the Titan X-3 can all be used for sub 400 lb lifts. If you’re anticipating that you’ll be exceeding that, then definitely go for a more robust squat rack.
Check out our article on the overall best squat racks and stands for some good heavy duty options.
In short, budget squat racks are a great option, suitable for most home exercisers, as long as you don’t push them beyond what they were built to withstand.
Choosing the Right Budget Squat Rack
If you take a quick look at our list, you’ll notice that not all of the racks are the same. As a matter of fact, this segment of the market is relatively diverse. Because of that, it’s imperative that you know what to look for in a rack so that you can find one that best fits your needs. Here are some of the factors to consider.
Build quality is the first thing you’ll want to check. This might sound like an obvious fact, but you absolutely have to be vigilant when it comes to build quality. There are a few things we specifically look for with steel gauge and weld quality being the primary ones.
Gauge of Steel Used
Racks, even the budget ones, are made of steel. The thing is that not all steel is the same. The thickness of steel is measured using standard gauge, with numbers ranging from 7 (thickest) to 22 (thinnest).
Different brands will use different gauges of steel for their racks. Seven gauge steel is obviously the strongest option, but it’s complete overkill for anything but the most intense commercial use. Most manufacturers use between 11 – 14 gauge steel tubing, which is more than enough for all but the heaviest lifters.
Even though modern mass-production techniques are incredible, it’s still a good thing to take a look at the welds on a rack. You’ll run into welds that look like a stack of dimes and those that look like a mess. The aesthetics aren’t all that important. What matters the most is whether or not the weld is structurally sound. If you stick to reputable brands, you won’t have issues in this regard.
Once you’ve determined that the rack is solid, it’s time to look at what kind of features it brings to the table.
These are the most important feature you can get on a squat rack, and are crucial if you want to lift safely alone (i.e., without someone there to spot you. This is especially true for bench presses. Pretty much every serious injury and death that has occurred when someone was Powerlifting has been during the bench press.
Pull-up bars are often found on squat racks and are a great feature to have if you want to diversify your workouts by adding in bodyweight exercises.
Frequently Asked Questions About Budget Squat Racks
With most of the crucial pieces of information already covered, let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions by people trying to narrow down the best budget squat racks for them. Some of these might come across as logical, but some will likely give you a better insight into this type of rigs.
What’s the difference between a power rack and a squat rack?
Power racks and squat racks have always been confused with one another. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably, which can be confusing because they’re not the same. Only, they are not. We’ll try to answer this question for you once and for all in a way that leaves nothing interpretation.
A power rack has four uprights, as opposed to the squat rack’s two uprights. These rigs look like cages with horizontal spotter bars that extend all the way from front to back. The ‘working area’ is limited to the space between the four uprights. The working area for a squat rack is all of the space in front of the equipment.
Although inherently more stable than squat racks, and therefore more suitable for any kind of serious lifting, power racks are generally more expensive and take up more room in your home / garage gym. If you have the money and space for a power rack, they are naturally the better option.
Squat racks are a simplified version of power racks. They feature two uprights that may or may not come with spotter arms. Squat stands are cheaper, easier to use in smaller spaces and generally a better way to go if both money and space is an issue. As you can tell, there’s a number of cheap squat racks out there that will get the job done just fine.
How much does a squat rack cost?
Squat racks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and therefore have a significant range of prices. Typically, you’ll pay between $100 – $1000.
It’s a maxim of fitness equipment, especially strength training equipment, that you get what you pay for. Cheap racks are cheap racks. They are usually built with lighter, weaker steel and have a lower weight capacity and fewer features or included accessories (e.g., pull-up bar, spotter arms, dip bars, weight horns, etc.). Expensive squat racks are expensive for a reason as they offer better support, higher weight capacity, and often more features.
Can you bench press with a squat rack?
Yes. You’ll obviously need a decent weight bench and, if you want to do them safely, a pair of spotter arms. These days, many racks have followed Rogue Fitness’ lead and developed their squat racks with Westside hole spacing on the uprights – 1″ spacing through the bench range, and 2″ on the rest. This ensures you can find the sweet spot for the height of the spotter arms that allows you to bail on a failed rep, but still have full range of motion.
What are the different types of squat racks?
There are generally two types of squat racks being used today. You’ll find the standard rack with two connected uprights with or without a pull-up bar, and Indy stands, which consist of two independent pieces. Both of these have their pros and cons.
- Much more stable than Indy stands
- Almost always comes with better features
- Offers better height adjustment
- More robust hardware and J-Hooks
- More expensive on average
- A compact solution that takes up very little space
- Can be stored after use
- Almost always cheaper than a standard rack
- Offers limited support and stability
- Limited room for height adjustments
- Not suitable for heavy lifting
Well, there you have it: The 7 best budget squat racks and stands (mostly under $500).
As it is the case with other forms of weightlifting equipment, finding budget solutions that actually work is hard, but certainly possible. We did our best to put together a list of racks that will get squatting beneath a bar without draining your bank account.
Are these suitable for serious heavy lifting? Some are and some aren’t. However, what all of these models will do is offer a safe squatting environment for beginners and budget users without access to a gym. All you’re left to do is choose the model that best fits your needs.