A free-standing pull-up bar has long been considered to be an essential part of your Calisthenics equipment. They allow you to perform a large variety of Calisthenics exercises and make good utility of your bodyweight. In a previous review of the 10 best free-standing pull-up bars, two notable bars scored high; the Pull-Up Mate and the Gravity Fitness Bar. Moreover, they are extremely popular products for beginner and advanced Calisthenics practitioners to acquire. Time for us to take a closer look at the two and determine the ultimate, best buy between the two. In this article, we’ll compare the Pull-Up Mate to the Gravity Fitness bar one to one. We’ll discuss their dimensions, construction, quality and of course, we’ll be doing Calisthenics to test their comfort and versatility. Hopefully, this will give you some value in making your own decision on where to spend good money for a quality product.
Outward Comparison Between the Two
Both Pull-Up Mate and Gravity Fitness are regarded as quality manufacturers and they fall in the same price-range. Naturally, we’ll see a lot of similarities in terms of design and choice of material. Indeed, both of the pull-up bars opt for a minimal design, focusing on getting key aspects right. They’re not what are called Power-Towers, offering only the conventional functionality of a Pull-Up Bar. That said, there are differences you may want to take into account; for instance, for height and color.
|Gravity Fitness||Pull-Up Mate|
|Weight||Ca. 42lbs||Ca. 42lbs|
All dimensions were in Metric, conversion mistakes on our part may occur
Both are very similarly sized and proportioned, with the Gravity Fitness taking up a little bit more ground space, while the Pull-Up Mate takes up a bit more height. We doubt it would make much of a difference in a home gym situation. If you’re particularly tall, say above 6ft 2”, the extra 3 inches the Pull-Up Mate has over the Gravity Fitness may work in your favor. We found it to be inconsequential, even for our taller testers.
The Gravity Fitness comes in a satin gloss black, which looks clean and professional. Above all it doesn’t stand out, rather it tries to blend into the typical home gym setting, even if that home gym is part of let’s say a bedroom. The Pull-Up Mate comes in a striking red and black scheme, with a matching bag to boot. It would definitely stand out more in a gym or from the general-purpose furniture of a room.
Both the Gravity Fitness and the Pull-Up Mate comes with a carry bag. Both bags appear to be made from heavy-duty nylon and will store your pull-up bar safely. They each follow the same color scheme as the pull-bars themselves. The only notable difference is that the Pull-Up Mate’s bag comes with a shoulder sling. That would make carrying the Pull-Up Mate a little easier to and from your exercise area.
Material & Construction
Both the Pull-Up Mate and the Gravity Fitness are made of durable, high gauge tubular steel. A solid, scratch-resistant coating is applied with an even finish. This makes them suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, although we always prefer to keep our Calisthenics equipment clean and dry.
The maximum weight capacity for the Pull-Up Mate is 265lbs, which is fair bit higher than the 243lbs for the Gravity Fitness. If you’re a normal practitioner under 200lbs, this difference shouldn’t pose a problem at all. However, if you’re considering adding a weighted vest, you may want to add that additional 40 to 60 pounds into your calculation.
Their very similar design extends to the setup itself. Both are easy to assembly and disassemble, taking anywhere between 2 to 5 minutes depending on if you’ve done it before or not. They use the same type of spring latch to secure the tubular steel parts together. Most of the work is done by gravity, as all of the load bearing joints are pointed downward, in other words into the direction of the receiving tube. After a short assembly, the pull-up bars are ready for use.
Here we must point out the first big difference between the Gravity Fitness and the Pull-Up Mate. The Gravity Fitness can be set-up essentially turned over length-wise and then doubles as a dip-bar. This gives you a lot more versatility right out the bag. The Pull-Up Mate can also achieve this, but would require the purchase of an expansion pack. These packs will of course come with a price. We’ll briefly cover the possibilities with these packs.
- Pull-Up Mate 2.0: The newer Pull-Up Mate 2.0 provides two additional bars to provide extra stability. This is necessary since the 2.0 is meant for a taller height and increased weight capacity (330lbs as opposed to 265lbs). You can buy the 2.0 standalone for $269.- or as an upgrade package to a standard Pull-Up Mate for $134.-
- Monster Bar: The Monster Bar replaces the standard horizontal top bar and gives you more grip options. This increases the versatility for doing different kinds of pull-ups. The Monster Bar costs $135.-
- Dip Adaptor Attachment: these additional bars allow you to do dips with a narrower grip on the Pull-Up Mate and cost $54.-
- Height Extension Kit: these increase the height of the standard Pull-Up Mate. We recommend the Pull-Up Mate 2.0 over this its increased stability.
The most radical difference in shaping between the two bars lies as the bottom, the base. Whereas the Gravity Fitness rests flush with the floor, the Pull-Up Mate arcs up, giving it a couple of more inches in height and, of course gives you the option to use them as push-up bars. At the same time, they also present a potential liability for tripping and falling over.
Another small detail is the absence of spring clips on the base parts of the Pull-Up Mate, which can easily cause the base to come loose when moving the whole device around. Although not a problem while doing pull-ups, it is annoying having to reassemble those parts after moving the pull-up bar. Gravity Fitness solves this by simply adding spring latches to all of their joints.
We prefer the Gravity Fitness’ added stability with a flat base and opt to use quality Parallettes instead for our push-up needs.
Both are the same, in a practical sense, for the vertical bars. The Pull-Up Mate can be extended in height with an expansion pack, which can be useful for practitioners approaching or over 7 foot. If you’re looking for a taller pull-up bar, however, we recommend going for the Pull-Up Mate 2.0 which is designed with a taller stature in mind.
Both pull-up bars have a single horizontal, overhanging top-bar. Again, there is the option to expand your Pull-Up Mate, in this case with the Monster Bar. The Monster Bar would give you extended grip options.
Calisthenics Exercise Tests
We performed a range of Calisthenics exercises on both pull-up bars. Both are perfectly capable of the standard Pull-Up, which is what most practitioners will use them for. With a host of other, still quite basic, exercises the differences start to become apparent. Both offer some versatility aside from Pull-Ups and depending on your preferred set of additional exercises may influence your ultimate decision.
|Exercises||Pull-Up Mate||Gravity Fitness Bar|
✔️ – Yes
🔸 – Yes, but not recommended
❌ – Not possible (without additional attachments)
Price & Warranty
We’ve discussed some of the pricing of the Pull-Up Mate already with our brief overview of the many expansion packs available. The Pull-Up Mate and Gravity Fitness pull-up bars are very similarly priced.
- Pull-up mate (with bag): $188.23
- Pull-up mate (without bag): $153.27
- Gravity Fitness (bag included): $161.34
A point of contention is offered warranty. The Pull-Up Mate comes with a 1-year factory guarantee. The warranty on the Gravity Fitness is 3 years however. Together with the slightly more economical pricing, the Gravity Fitness is the better value for money option.
Pull-Up Mate vs Gravity Fitness Bar Review: Conclusions
Although both pull-up bars are very similar, the devil is in the details and in our opinion, it’s in these details where the unassuming Gravity Fitness bar starts outshining its competitor. The Gravity Fitness does everything the Pull-Up Mate can do while providing a bit more stability. If you put up your pull-up bar in one place and never move it again, you can’t go wrong with either pick. But if you do have to move it, the Gravity Fitness is way less tedious to control. We’re talking of course of those base legs which come off the Pull-Up Mate when moved around.
The Pull-Up Mate has a few minor advantages, like a slightly better carrying bag, a nice color scheme and three inches in height more. But all of these are simply to minor to justify paying so extra over the Gravity Fitness. If you never intend to move your pull-up bar, the Pull-Up Mate (without the bag) may be the choice for you. In our overall opinion, the winner of our Pull-Up Mate vs Gravity Fitness Bar review is the Gravity Fitness.