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Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Pro
Multiple grips, clever design
The Multi-Gym Pro has three grip locations, fits a wide variety of doorways, and is unlikely to damage the woodwork thanks to its uniquely rectangular doorframe pads.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $35.
The Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Pro has multiple grip options—for narrow, neutral, and wide handholds—the last of which are cleverly integrated into the crossbar that rests on the doorframe, a feature not found on any other unit we tested. Even smarter, the rectangular doorframe supports make greater contact with the woodwork or wall than the competitors’ cylindrical bars and are therefore less likely to mar your home. The wide-grip handle position also erases any elbow room issues that could arise during a wide pull-up because the arms are in front of, rather than within, the doorframe, and they are also low-profile; others with grips this wide projected farther out from the unit, expanding the footprint dramatically. Like most of the field, save one, the Multi-Gym Pro is weight-rated up to 300 pounds, which should make heavier people feel more secure, despite a slight sag upon initial grip from the compression of the foam. It also has actually straightforward instructions (many others did not), with a couple of assembly options to better fit various moldings and doorways up to 33 inches wide, and is one of only three that offered any assembly variation to account for woodwork. One note: Those wide-grip handles are extra-wide—27 inches at narrowest, compared with about 20 for the rest—which may be too much for narrower-shouldered people.
Stamina Doorway Trainer Plus
A compact budget buy
With narrower grips and projecting U-shaped bars covered in foam, this is a great choice for folks who weigh less than 250 pounds—particularly those who want to spend less.
May be out of stock
*At the time of publishing, the price was $24.
With the second-most compact footprint and fully padded projecting handles that can be gripped at basically any spot, the Stamina Doorway Trainer Plus is just right for people under 250 pounds with narrow-to-average shoulders, and is my personal favorite, as a slim, average-height woman. The Stamina bar takes up significantly less space than the others when stored; only one bar, the Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Sport, has a smaller footprint. It also happens to be the least expensive of the units tested, with a street price lower than $30. The wide overhand grips are significantly narrower than most of the products tested, including the other three picks, but they’re appropriately placed for those with narrow-to-average shoulders (and on a par with the Multi-Gym Sport, which is the unit most comparable in footprint size and price).
With a weight rating of 250 pounds, it maxes out 50 pounds lower than all the other units tested. It also had a noticeable sag upon first hang, even with a 122-pound tester, so we wouldn’t push that.
Ultimate Body Press Elevated Doorway Pull-Up Bar
For larger frames (doors and people)
This super-size bar from Ultimate Body Press provides a heftier grip, a longer support bar, and the most clearance to suit wider doorways and bigger people alike.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $60.
The one we jokingly refer to as our “Texas” pick, the Ultimate Body Press Elevated Doorway Pull-Up Bar is large, but for several good reasons: The handlebars are the only ones among the models we tested to curve up and in front, providing a substantially greater vertical height from which to execute pull-ups. (From a 7-foot-high doorframe, a 5-foot-5-inch tester dangled from the grips, while a 6-foot-3-inch tester didn’t have to fully bend his knees to pick his feet up off the ground.) The bars themselves are also thicker than the others tested, measuring 1⅜ inch in diameter to the typical 1 inch, providing a thicker grip for larger hands, though not too large for smaller ones. When assembled with the included crossbar extenders, it fits doorways up to 36 inches wide (3 inches wider than most bars out there), yet without them it can install in doorways as narrow as 24 inches with adequate side clearance. Weight-rated up to 300 pounds, it felt rock-solid to my 218-pound tester with very little initial sag. All this size, however, takes up a lot of room to store when not in use, having by far the largest footprint of the test.
Gym1 Power Fitness Package
For swinging/kipping and accessories
With its unique side-anchoring clamps, the Gym1 kit enables you to do swinging pull-ups and mount accessories such as a punching bag and a kids swing set (sold separately).
*At the time of publishing, the price was $100.
Most doorframe cantilever bars are designed only for relatively stationary pull-ups and chin-ups. If you’re looking for a unit that offers a lot more options, including accessories for mounting punching bags, aerial yoga straps, and an indoor playground for kids, and the ability to do swinging, kipping pull-ups, we recommend the Power Fitness Package from Gym1 (formerly Gorilla Gym). It rests above the door like the other contenders but has the added security of adjustable vise clamps that attach on the sides of the doorframe to give the entire thing some serious stability. While all of the other products in this field warn against any swaying motion during use, the folks at Gym1 encourage people to swing around as much as they like. It also has the ASTM safety rating, which guarantees that the product meets rigorous safety demands for children’s play products and fitness equipment. Just be aware that without the pull-up extender installed, the base unit has a lot fewer pull-up grip options than the others. Also, with the clamps, the whole thing is a bit more involved to install and take down.
Source: The NY Times
Keyword: The Best Pull-Up Bars