Powertec Power Rack review I picked-up a Powertec power rack the week after Christmas and, as promised, here are my initial impressions. Unfortunately, the high-low pulley add-on has not arrived yet, so I cannot yet say a lot about it. Comments on selected issues, pro and con: Tubing dimensions: about 2 3/8” square – most sites advertise it as 2.5” and it should accept 2.5” attachments. No, it is not the 3” some heavy-duty units have, but it is adequate. The more reasonably priced heavier units typically do not have a lat attachment (or have a poor one). Spotters: I definitely wanted saber spotters – they are nearly an industry standard and allow for attachments from other vendors. The units that use sliding cross beams, while faster, are limited in what attachments you can add. High-low pulley (“lat”) attachment: I briefly considered a stand alone lat unit so that I could look at some other power racks, plus a walk through rack would be nice. However, my space is limited and a lat attachment is simply more space effective than adding a stand-alone unit. The Powertec lat attachment looks well made and has a leg hold-down (missing on many other power rack systems). Pull-up bar: The pull-up bars are ergonomically correct, not just a straight bar. Powder coating: The powder coat is quite thin and one careless moment with a plate went right through it. The surface has just a slight roughness – maybe this is intentional, but it feels like when you are spray painting a surface and have not quite gotten full coverage. The thin coat is my one beef with the unit. Of course, any rack is going to get nicks and scratches, so who knows how important this will be in the long-run. Pegs: The lip on the bar catches is quite aggressive (about ¾” deep), so you have to press or lift the bar a bit to remove it. I plan to use them mounted high simply to store a bar and am ordering some real j-hooks for lifting. Dip bars: These looked funky to me at first, but now I consider them sheer genius. They are angled inward when mounted as directed on the sides, so the width varies from 27 inches at the rack to 18 inches (center to center) at the end of he bars. This range seems adequate for my uses, but if you want to go wider, you just need to switch them around and they will then angle outward to a maximum width of 36 inches. I do not find the angle so aggressive that it significantly affects dip technique. Width: The width is adequate for me at 45 inches inside dimension. Folks wanting to do sumo stance lifts in the rack might find it too narrow (same applies to most standard-sized power racks, though). Height: Like most home racks, it is just a bit too low for me (6’ tall) to perform a standing military press inside the rack without a slight squat or wide stance. Shorter folks may be able to pull it off. I am currently doing seated presses with dumbbells, so right now the issue is academic. If there were a need, I imagine I could get enough height by bolting 4x4s to the bottom. A couple of construction considerations: Difficulty: Putting the rack together was easy, though another set of hands is helpful with the very top pieces. All bolts, nuts, and washers are the same size, adding to the ease of construction. Make sure you have a 17mm (¾” worked, too) socket and wrench for construction. Numbering: The spotter holes are numbered on all four uprights. I decided that these might be distracting while lifting and opted to construct the unit with them on the outside. I now find this inconvenient and will eventually flip them around. Nuts and bolts: The construction diagrams show the nuts on the inside. As these protrude further than the bolt heads, I decided to run the bolts from the inside, placing the nuts out of my way on the outside. This probably doesn’t look as clean from outside, but is safer, IMHO. Final assessment: Though a thicker powder coat would be nice, this is a very good unit. After looking at the other available options, I still consider this the best balance of cost and functionality. Comparison to Powerline rack: The place I got my rack also had a Powerline on display, so I got to take a brief look at it. Smaller (2”) tubing means the unit just does not feel as solid. Also, just a straight pull-up bar and not as nice a pulley attachment. Still, it will work and any [safe] power rack is better than no power rack. Note that Bodybuilding.com has good prices (with shipping included) on both of these racks – the Powertec stuff is $50 cheaper than Powertec’s own site. Unfortunately, they tell me that they won’t have the Powertec rack back in stock until late January. Note, also, their no returns policy(!). I did find the Powerline for $10 less, and the Powertec system (with pulley attachment) for about $3 less on ebay, though.