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9 Best Lat Pulldown Machines in 2024: Top Picks for Your Home Gym

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A lat pulldown machine is a versatile piece of gym equipment that most of us have used in a commercial gym. It’s great for building upper body strength, especially in the back, but you can also use it for triceps, biceps, shoulders, and more.

With dozens of movements in a compact footprint, a pulldown machine is an excellent addition to a home gym.

We’ve tested every type of lat pulldown, including plate-loaded, selectorized, and rack-mounted. We’ve used them on pulldowns, low rows, cable curls, triceps pushdowns, and more. Here are some of the things we considered when making our list (more below):

  • Pulley Quality: Are the pulleys made of aluminum or nylon/plastic? Is the cable travel smooth?
  • Weight Capacity: How much weight can the machine handle? Is it plate-loaded or selectorized?
  • Height: Is the machine tall enough for a full range of motion? Can the leg rollers adjust for different user heights?

In this article, I’ll share our top picks for the best lat pulldown machines for different price points, loading styles, ceiling heights, and more. Whether you’re an advanced lifter or just someone looking to stay fit at home, we’ve got you covered.

What’s the Best Lat Pulldown Machine?

We found the Bells of Steel Lat Pulldown Low Row Machine to have the best blend of performance, weight capacity, and value. We loved the larger 310 lb weight stack and fast adjustments. The aluminum pulleys are smooth, and we appreciate the better low pulley clearance for biceps curls and more. Other features include side holes for attachments, band pegs, and more.

Our Top Picks

Best Lat Pulldown Machine Overall: Bells of Steel Lat Pulldown Low Row Machine

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Best Plate-Loaded Lat Pulldown: Titan Fitness Plate-Loaded Lat Tower v2

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Best Squat Rack with Lat Pulldown: REP Ares

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Best Budget Lat Pulldown: XMark Lat Pulldown Machine

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Most Versatile Lat Pulldown: Prime Fitness Single Stack

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Best Premium Lat Pulldown: Rogue LP-2

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Best Lat Pulley System: Surplus Strength Universal Pulley System

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Best Ultra-Budget Lat Pulldown: GDLF Lat Pulldown Machine

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Best Budget Lat Pulley System: Spud Inc Super Econo Pulley

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Best Lat Pulldown Machine Overall: Bells of Steel Lat Pulldown low Row Machine

Best Overall
Bells of Steel Lat Pulldown Low Row Machine

The Bells of Steel Lat Pulldown Machine has a 310 lb weight stack, unique attachment compatibility, and a lifetime warranty.

Key Specs

  • Weight Capacity: 310+ lbs
  • Resistance: Selectorized
  • Weight Increments: 10 lbs
  • Weight Ratio: 1:1
  • Dimensions: 87″ H x 41″ W x 70″ D
  • Total Weight: 528 lbs
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime


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Summary

The Bells of Steel Lat Pulldown Low Row is our top pick overall. This machine has a large weight stack, unique features, and an affordable price tag in its class. It’s been my go-to lat pulldown in my personal gym since 2022.

The weight stack is the best feature of the Bells of Steel Lat Pulldown. I’m a big fan of selectorized systems because of their convenience and function. This machine has one of the biggest stacks in the class at 310 lbs. Most others top out at 300 lbs.

Back Attack! Bells of Steel Lat Pulldown Low Row Review

With 10 lb increments, you have 31 total weight options starting at 10 lbs. It also comes with a weight peg selector if you want to add extra plate weight to the front of the stack. And even more, it comes with band pegs on both sides for accommodating resistance. In total, the machine has a maximum weight capacity of 550 lbs.

The aluminum pulleys glide smoothly, and I appreciate the thicker ~1/4″ cable compared to thinner cables on other machines. It also offers a 1:1 ratio, meaning you will feel 100% of the selected weight.

With high and low pulleys, you have access to dozens of exercises. The lat pull leg holder has 7 height adjustments, while the low row foot attachment has 15 length adjustments. Given the ~87″ height, this machine is great for most user heights and ensures ample range of motion.

Bells of Steel Lat Pulldown Low Row Machine

A unique feature of this lat pulldown is that it includes side holes in the uprights and the bottom crossmember, allowing for attachments. Most notably, you can attach a landmine to the bottom or a dip attachment to the upright.

While the Bells of Steel Lat Pulldown is more expensive than plate-loaded options, it’s affordable compared to other selectorized models. It also has a lifetime warranty, ships for free, and includes a stainless steel lat bar. I recommend it to anyone looking for a high-quality weight stack lat machine.

Pros

  • High 310 lb weight stack with 10 lb increments
  • Solid adjustability for pulldowns and low rows
  • Great range of motion for most user heights
  • Unique holes for attachment options
  • Includes lat bar, band pegs, and weight pin
  • Strong value

Cons

  • More expensive than plate-loaded
  • Assembly instructions could be better

Full review: Bells of Steel Lat Pulldown Review


Best Plate-Loaded Lat Pulldown Machine: Titan Fitness Plate-Loaded Lat Tower v2

Best Plate-Loaded
Titan Plate Loaded Lat Tower

The Titan Plate-Loaded Lat Tower is a budget-friendly machine with a high capacity and great value. It has solid specs for the price and ships for free.

Key Specs

  • Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Resistance: Plate-Loaded
  • Weight Increments: Varies
  • Weight Ratio: 1:1
  • Dimensions: 85″ H x 47″ W x 57″ D
  • Total Weight: 120 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 Year


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Summary

The Titan Plate-loaded Lat Tower is one of the most popular and well-reviewed lat machines you’ll find. It has nice specs, a great weight capacity, and is an excellent choice for home gym owners looking for a basic lat pulldown/low row.

The most compelling thing about the Titan Plate-Loaded Lat Tower is its value. The price-to-specs ratio is strong. Starting with the weight capacity, this machine has dual 13″ plate sleeves and can hold up to 400 lbs of resistance with a 1:1 ratio.

As a plate-loaded machine, you can use plates you already own, saving you a lot of money compared to a selectorized unit. With 2″ diameter sleeves, it will fit Olympic weight plates, including iron and bumper plates.

Titan Fitness Plate Loaded Lat Tower

One of the downsides to a plate-loaded system is the larger footprint. It’s wider by about 6″, and despite it not being as long, you can have to account for half of the plates extending off the back. The extra footprint is mostly for stability since it’s lighter than selectorized units.

This machine has leg rollers with 4 height adjustments, but the low row feet are fixed, which is common for plate-loaded machines. While this makes it less versatile than some, you can still perform the same types of exercises on it.

Unlike the more expensive Titan Selectorized Lat Tower with aluminum pulleys, the plate-loaded version has nylon bushing pulleys. Although not quite as smooth, it’s still a fluid machine, and I’ve found it better than other budget options.

The machine comes with a basic lat pulldown bar and low row bar, and it ships for free. In my experience, this is the best freestanding plate-loaded lat machine for the money.

Pros

  • Excellent value
  • Long plate sleeves with 400 lb capacity
  • Includes a lat bar and low row attachment
  • Light weight and easy assembly
  • Free shipping

Cons

  • Larger footprint than some
  • Nylon pulleys aren’t as smooth as higher-end options

Best Rack-Mounted Lat Pulldown Machine: REP Ares

Best Rack-Mounted Lat Pulldown
REP Ares

The REP Ares is a rack-attached lat pulldown, low row, and functional trainer all in one. It has dual stacks up to 310 lbs each, ships for free, and offers loads of versatility.

Key Specs

  • Weight Capacity: 260 or 310 lbs
  • Resistance: Selectorized
  • Weight Increments: 10 lbs
  • Weight Ratio: 1:1
  • Dimensions: Varies on Rack Size
  • Total Weight: 965 lbs+
  • Warranty: Lifetime


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Summary

The REP Ares is an impressive piece of home gym equipment because of its versatility and size. In addition to serving as a lat pulldown and low row, it’s also a full-blown functional trainer – all in the confines of your squat rack.

The biggest benefit of the Ares is the functionality. This machine can do it all, from lat pulls and low rows to pec flies and Pallof presses. I’ve owned the Ares since it was released in 2022, and it’s easily one of the most versatile pieces you can buy for a home gym.

REP Ares PR-5000

The Ares is a selectorized unit and comes with your choice of dual 260 lb or 310 lb weight stacks in 10 lb increments. It offers a 2:1 ratio, meaning you’ll feel 50% of the selected weight. However, when performing lat pulldowns and low rows, you’re using both stacks. In other words, it may be a 2:1 ratio, but you’re still getting an equivalent load to other lat pulldown machines with 1:1 ratios on a single weight stack.

One downside to the Ares is that you need to own a REP PR-4000 or PR-5000 power rack. It’s probably not worth it if you own another rack unless you plan to sell and upgrade. Otherwise, it’s the ultimate rack-attached lat pulldown. REP also sells a highly regarded and much more affordable plate-loaded version, which I owned and used for 2 years before upgrading to the Ares.

REP Ares Lat Pulldown

This machine has over 30 aluminum pulleys and 180-degree swivels on the front pulleys. It’s an ultra-smooth system across the weight range. It ships for free and comes with 2.5 lb micro-adjustment weights, a pair of D-handles, a knurled chrome lat bar, a low row bar, a low row foot attachment, and a dual stack connector.

The REP Ares is an investment. I don’t recommend it for budget shoppers, but if you want the most versatility in the smallest footprint, this is the best choice for home gym owners.

Pros

  • Excellent versatility
  • Dual weight stacks up to 310 lbs each
  • Aluminum pulleys and smooth feel
  • Includes numerous attachments
  • Free shipping

Cons

  • Only fits REP PR-4000 and PR-5000 power racks
  • There are less expensive options
  • Longer assembly process

Further reading: Best Functional Trainers


Best Budget Lat Pulldown Machine: XMARK Lat Pulldown Machine

Best Budget
XMark Lat Pulldown Low Row

The XMark Lat Pulldown Low Row Machine is a great budget choice for home gym owners. It has nice specs, unique adjustability, ships for free, and comes with a solid warranty.

Key Specs

  • Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Resistance: Plate-loaded
  • Weight Increments: Varies
  • Weight Ratio:1:1
  • Dimensions: 84″ H x 48″ W x 57″ D
  • Total Weight: 155 lbs
  • Warranty: Lifetime on Frame / 1 Year on Components


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Summary

The XMark Lat Pulldown Low Row is a solid budget plate-loaded option. It’s priced similarly to the Titan Lat Tower above but is slightly shorter, making it better for lower ceilings.

Built with 2×3 11-gauge steel, the XMark pulldown is a quality machine with a 400 lb weight capacity. It offers a 1:1 ratio and 14″ plate sleeves for loading. Although it has the same capacity as the Titan unit, the narrower base may not be as stable under heavy loads. If you want to go heavy, I recommend the Titan Tower.

One of my favorite features of this machine is the flip-up lat seat and flip-down low row attachment. Unlike others that are fixed, this design allows for better positioning when using the low pulley for exercises like cable curls. I also like the thicker leg padding and multiple height adjustments.

Xmark Lat Pulldown Machine

At 84″ tall, this unit is short enough for 7′ ceilings and still tall enough for a full range of motion for most people. If you’re over 6′ tall, you may need to adjust the chain for a full stretch. However, if you’re well over that, I recommend going with a taller unit if you have the ceiling clearance.

The included chrome lat bar and low row bar are nicer quality than most at this price point. XMark also offers a better warranty than others, with a lifetime guarantee on the frame and 1 year on the pulleys/cables.

This is an impressive home gym lat pulldown machine for the price. I recommend it for budget shoppers and those looking for a shorter unit.

Pros

  • Strong value
  • 14″ loadable plate sleeves
  • Lower height is better for shorter ceilings
  • Flip-down seat and low row attachment improves positioning
  • Includes chrome lat bar and low row bar
  • Free shipping & a strong warranty

Cons

  • Narrower rear base may not be as stable under heavy loads
  • Tall lifters may not get a full stretch

Most Versatile Lat Pulldown Machine: Prime Fitness Single Stack

Best Versatility
Prime Fitness Single Stack

The Prime Fitness Single Stack is a high-quality and ultra-versatile machine. It has a fixed high pulley for pulldowns and a functional column for low rows and more.

Key Specs

  • Weight Capacity: 350+ lbs
  • Resistance: Selectorized
  • Weight Increments: 20 lbs
  • Weight Ratio: 1:1 or 2:1 on High Pulley / 2:1 or 4:1 on Column
  • Dimensions: 92″ H x 63″ W x 62″ D
  • Total Weight: 628 lbs
  • Warranty: Lifetime


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Summary

The Prime Fitness Single Stack is one of my all-time favorite pieces of home gym equipment. Think of it as half of a functional trainer but with a dedicated lat pulldown and low row.

This machine offers loads of versatility in a relatively small footprint. In addition to having a fixed high pulley for lat pulldowns, it has a functional cable column for performing low rows and any other cable-based movement. Curls, triceps pushdowns, Pallof presses, face pulls, etc., are all possible with this single stack.

Game Changer? Prime Fitness Single Stack Review

The selectorized version of the machine has a large 350 lb weight stack and 20 lb increments. I prefer smaller increments, but you can easily attach weight plates to the front of the stack with the pin for micro-adjustments.

The weight ratio is unique with this unit. On the selectorized version, you choose from a 2:1 or 4:1 ratio, which corresponds to the functional column. The high pulley will always be 1:1 or 2:1, depending on which version you buy.

Prime Fitness Single Stack

On the plate-loaded version, you can switch the ratios on the fly between 2:1 and 4:1 (and 1:1 to 2:1 on high pulley). This is a very unique feature that makes the unit even more versatile.

I’ve owned the Prime Single Stack since 2019. The v-shaped footprint makes it a great corner piece, but you can put it anywhere. The 92″ height allows for a full stretch, and you can attach things like the lat seat, low row feet, dip bars, etc., to the 4-way hole uprights. Unfortunately, the attachments cost extra.

This is a pricey unit that comes with a longer lead time, but if you’re after the most versatile lat pulldown machine, it’s hard to beat.

Pros

  • Superb versatility
  • Large weight capacity
  • Available as plate-loaded or selectorized
  • Smooth operation with premium components
  • Various weight ratio options
  • Fits well in a corner

Cons

  • Lat pulldown seat and low row feet attachment cost extra
  • More expensive and longer lead times

Best Premium Lat Pulldown Machine: Rogue LP-2 Lat Pulldown Low Row

Best Premium Lat Pulldown
Rogue LP-2 Lat Pulldown

The Rogue LP-2 is a premium lat pulldown machine with a big stack and heavy-duty 3x3 construction. It includes 4-way holes for attachments and flip-down low row feet.

Key Specs

  • Weight Capacity: 300+ lbs
  • Resistance: Selectorized
  • Weight Increments: 10 lbs
  • Weight Ratio: 1:1
  • Dimensions: 108″ H x 42″ W x 83″ D
  • Total Weight: 775 lbs
  • Warranty: 5 Years on Cable/Pulleys and Lifetime on Structural Components


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Summary

The LP-2 is a premium lat pulldown machine for those who want a high-quality standalone option and don’t mind paying for it.

In true Rogue fashion, the LP-2 is overbuilt in every sense of the word. At 755 lbs, this is one of the heaviest-duty machines on the market. It’s constructed with 3×3 11-gauge steel and has an impressive 300 lb weight stack in 10 lb increments.

The machine was updated from its original version to include aluminum pulleys for a smoother experience. It still offers a 1:1 ratio, which is great for those who want to go heavy. They also added metal shrouds around the weight stack to prevent the risk of pinching your fingers.

Rogue LP-2 Lat Pulldown Low Row Machine

And lastly, they added flip-down foot pegs instead of a traditional low row foot plate to save space. Unfortunately, the footprint is still one of the largest at 83″ deep and 108″ tall, making it better for larger gyms. On a positive note, a height of 108″ is more than enough for a full range of motion.

Another feature I like about the LP-2 is the 4-way holes throughout, allowing for various attachments like dip bars, plate storage, and more. I also appreciate that the leg holders have 8 height options for excellent adjustability.

Simply put, the LP-2 from Rogue is a tank. I recommend it for serious lifters wanting American-made and top-notch performance and durability.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty 3×3 construction
  • 300 lb weight stack with a 1:1 ratio
  • Includes a stainless steel lat bar
  • Flip-down low row feet
  • 4-way holes for attachment compatibility

Cons

  • One of the most expensive options
  • Large footprint isn’t great for small gyms

Best Lat Pulldown Pulley System: Surplus Strength Universal Pulley System

Best Lat Pulldown Pulley
Surplus Strength Universal Pulley System

The Universal Pulley System connects to 2x3 and 3x3 squat racks, allowing you to perform lat pulldowns, low rows, and more.

Key Specs

  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Resistance: Plate-loaded
  • Weight Increments: Varies
  • Weight Ratio: 1:1
  • Dimensions: 3.5″ H x 11″ W x 27″ D
  • Total Weight: 19 lbs
  • Warranty: Lifetime on Frame / 5 Years on Components


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Summary

The Surplus Strength Universal Pulley System is a versatile, compact home gym solution for performing lat pulldowns, low rows, and more. It took the classic pulley design and improved it with more features and better performance.

The biggest difference between the Universal Pulley System is that it uses steel to better mimic the mechanics of a standalone lat pulldown machine. That starts with a tube steel frame that attaches to the top of your squat rack. It doesn’t add much height to your rack, and it will fit any 2×3 or 3×3 rack with 1″ or 5/8″ holes.

Is this the Best Rack-Mounted Pulley?

A huge benefit of this design is that it greatly reduces plate sway. Having two pulleys spaced ~2′ apart makes it much more stable than basic rack-attached pulley systems. It still offers a 1:1 ratio and has a 300+ lb plate capacity.

Another benefit of this system is that you can purchase a low row foot attachment that mounts to your bottom crossmember. This gives you access to any movement you would normally perform with a low pulley. In fact, I invented the Preacher Pad using the Universal Pulley System.

Surplus Strength Universal Pulley System Lat Pulldown Low Row

With 4.5″ thermoplastic pulleys and 1/4″ cables, it’s a smooth and durable setup. You can also upgrade to aluminum pulleys and add a loading pin and hitch pins. The system comes standard in textured black or red, but you can customize different colors using a RAL number at checkout.

The Surplus Strength Universal Pulley is more expensive than basic pulley systems. However, the performance is much better. It’s also American-made and comes with a lifetime warranty on the structure and 5 years on the pulleys.

Pros

  • Excellent Footprint
  • Much more stable than traditional pulley systems
  • 300+ lb weight capacity
  • Optional low row attachment for extra versatility
  • Multiple color options
  • Made in the USA with a great warranty

Cons

  • Expensive compared to basic systems
  • Fits most, but not all racks

Best Ultra-Budget Lat Pulldown Machine: GDLF Lat Pulldown Low Row

Best Ultra-Budget
GDLF LAT Pull Down Machine

The GDLF Lat Pulldown is a basic machine at a great price. It's best for budget shoppers and beginners.

Key Specs

  • Weight Capacity: 500 lbs
  • Resistance: Plate-Loaded
  • Weight Increments: Varies
  • Weight Ratio: 1:1
  • Dimensions: 77″ H x 26″ W x 59″ D
  • Total Weight: 58.4 lbs
  • Warranty: N/A


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Summary

The GDLF Lat Pulldown Machine is a basic, no-frills option for beginners or those looking to build a budget home gym. The biggest reason to buy this machine is the price. For under $200, you can have a lat pull/low row option for your home gym. And as long as you’re not expecting incredible performance, it’s a good buy.

One thing I like about the GDLF machine is that it has plate sleeves for both 1″ standard plates and 2″ Olympic plates. If you already own one or the other, this is a convenient feature that most others don’t offer.

The machine claims a weight rating of 500 lbs, but I don’t recommend going nearly that high. The plate sleeves are too short to accommodate that amount, and the steel isn’t as thick as machines with lower ratings (e.g., the Titan Plate-Loaded Lat Tower). I recommend heavier-duty options if you plan on lifting more than 250 lbs.

GDLF Lat Pulldown Machine

The leg holder has 4 height adjustments, and the low row footplate folds down for clearance. The plastic pulleys work fine, but again, don’t expect as smooth of an experience as higher-end models.

The footprint is excellent for small home gyms. At 26″ wide, it’s much narrower than others, but stability isn’t as good under heavy loads. The 77″ height is nice for low ceilings, but taller lifters are unlikely to achieve a full range of motion.

Given the price and lower weight capacity, I recommend this to budget shoppers and beginners who aren’t ready to invest in more expensive units. The GDLF Lat Pulldown gets the job done and adds variety to your home gym, but its performance isn’t as good.

Pros

  • Amazing price under $200
  • Fits standard or Olympic plates
  • Compact size is nice for small gyms
  • Includes a lat bar and low bar bar
  • Free shipping

Cons

  • Not as smooth as others
  • Lower height reduces range of motion
  • Narrower frame isn’t as stable under heavy load

Best Budget Lat Pulldown Pulley System: Spud Inc Super Econo Pulley System

Best Budget Pulley System
Spud Inc Super Econo Pulley System

The Spud Inc. Super Econo Pulley System works on any rack and allows for lat pulldowns, low rows, and more. It's affordable and has a high weight capacity.

Key Specs

  • Weight Capacity: 550 lbs
  • Resistance: Plate-loaded
  • Weight Increments: Varies
  • Weight Ratio: 1:1
  • Dimensions: N/A
  • Total Weight: <5 lbs
  • Warranty: N/A


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Summary

If you’re looking for a basic lat pulldown for your rack, the Spud Inc Super Econo Pulley System is hard to beat. Its basic design is easy to operate and is more heavy-duty than other options.

The biggest benefit of this type of setup is that it takes up practically no space. You can put it up when you need it and store it in a drawer when you don’t. The pulley is attached to a nylon strap that you loop around your squat rack. Simply attach a loading pin (included) to the other of the cable, and you have a lat pulldown.

Spud Inc Econo Lat Pulley and Low Row

Spud also sells a low pulley that connects to the tricep and lat pulley to perform low rows and more.

The main downside to single pulley setups like this is that you’ll experience plate sway. This can be annoying, but there are ways to limit it by running the pin through a band and other hacks. On the plus side, it has a 1:1 ratio, and the Spud system is rated at 550 lbs.

While there are less expensive pulley systems out there, none of them have the reputation, quality, and weight capacity of the Spud system. I recommend it if you go this route, especially if you’re lifting heavy.

Pros

  • Most space-friendly option
  • Low pulley add-on for increased versatility
  • Excellent durability with high weight capacity
  • 1:1 ratio
  • Fits any squat rack

Cons

  • Single pulley systems generate more plate sway
  • More expensive than most pulley systems

Compare our Top Picks

Compare our selection of the best lat pulldown machines below based on key specs. Scroll right to see more.

Bells of Steel
Bells of Steel Lat Pulldown Table Image
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Titan Plate-Loaded
Titan Plate-Loaded Lat Pulldown Table Image
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REP Ares
REP Ares Table Image
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XMark Lat Pulldown
XMark Lat Pulldown Table Image
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Prime Single Stack
Prime Fitness Single Stack Table Image
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Rogue LP-2
Rogue LP-2 Table Image
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Surplus Strength UPS
Surplus Strength Universal Pulley Table Image
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GDLF Lat Pulldown
GDLF Lat Pulldown Table Image
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Spud inc Pulley
Spud Inc Super Econo Pulley Table Image
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AwardBest OverallBest Plate-LoadedBest Rack-MountedBest BudgetBest VersatilityBest PremiumBest Lat Pulley SystemBest Ultra-BudgetBest Budget Pulley
Weight528 lbs120 lbs965 lbs+155 lbs628 lbs775 lbs19 lbs58.4 lbs<5 lbs
Height86.7″85″94.2″ or 81.2″84″92″108″3.5″77″N/A
Max Width41.3″47″49″48″63″42″11″26″N/A
Depth69.9″57″22″ OR 36″ OR 47″56.7″62″83″27″59″N/A
Weight Capacity310 lbs400 lbs260 OR 310 lbs400 lbs350 lbs300 lbs300 lbs500 lbs550 lbs
Weight Ratio1:11:12:11:11:1/2:1 OR 2:1/4:11:11:12:11:1

Benefits of Lat Pulldown Machines

Benefits of Lat Pulldown Machines

They’re Great for Building Upper Body Strength and Mass

A lat pulldown machine primarily targets the back muscles, especially the latissimus dorsi. Since our backs are home to some of our biggest and strongest muscles, training them directly is a surefire way to improve strength and build mass.

However, lat pulldowns also engage the biceps, rhomboids, and trapezius muscles, helping create a well-proportioned upper body. Even better, lat machines allow you to target the triceps, biceps, and other upper-body muscles for all-around strength and mass gains.

They’re Versatile

While it may be called a lat pulldown machine, they’re actually good for dozens of exercises. You can use them for low rows, biceps curls, triceps pushdowns, triceps extensions, face pulls, upright rows, and more.

Furthermore, you can vary your grip using different bar attachments to target certain muscles in your back. For instance, you can use a wide grip to build a v-shape or a narrow grip to build thickness in the middle back.

They’re Useful for All Ages and Fitness Levels

Because a lat pulldown machine is easy to use, safe, and accessible, they’re great for all ages and fitness levels. They offer a controlled environment where you can easily modify weight and range of motion.


Types of Lat Pulldown Machines

Types of Lat Pulldown Machines

Selectorized

A selectorized lat pulldown is the most efficient and easiest to use. These pulldown machines have an integrated weight stack, allowing you to quickly “select” the weight.

Most selectorized machines have max weight capacities of between 200-350 lbs, usually in 5 or 10-lb increments. Aside from saving time and energy, selectorized lat pulldown machines are great for performing drop sets.

The downside is they’re more expensive since the weights are included, and the build quality is typically better than plate-loaded. If you have the budget to support one, I highly recommend a selectorized lat pulldown for the convenience and versatility.

Plate-Loaded

A plate-loaded lat machine is a more common home gym option because it’s more affordable. You can expect to pay as little as 25% of a selectorized unit.

While great for the budget, a plate-loaded pulldown takes longer to set up and eats up more footprint since the plates extend off the back. However, their lighter build makes them easier to build and move around.

I recommend a plate-loaded lat pull to home gym owners looking for a basic machine at a lower price.

Standalone vs. Rack-Attached

In addition to picking a selectorized or plate-loaded pulldown, you can also pick from rack-attached or freestanding models.

The biggest benefit of buying a rack-attached lat machine is that it saves space. These can be in the form of a top-mounted pulley system or an integrated machine within your power rack. They’re an excellent home gym solution if you don’t have the room to dedicate to a standalone unit.

However, the benefit of having a freestanding pulldown is convenience. It’s generally easier to operate and doesn’t require moving things in your squat rack to use it. Furthermore, you may experience better range of motion, increased comfort, and have access to proper leg attachments with a standalone model.


How to Pick a Lat Pulldown Machine

How to Pick the Best Lat Pulldown Machine

Here are a few of the most important factors to consider when buying a lat pulldown machine:

Footprint

One of the biggest considerations when buying a lat pulldown machine is how much space it will take up. Most machines require between 5-7 feet of depth and 3.5-4 feet of width, or between 20-25 square feet. Plate-loaded machines typically require less depth and more width than selectorized units. Measure your space and check the specs to see which style suits your gym best.

Height

Height is an important factor for two reasons: ceiling clearance and range of motion. Most lat pulldown machines are under 8 feet tall, but some are higher. Measure your ceiling height to make sure the machine will fit, paying close attention to garage door rails, exposed beams, etc.

While shorter lat pulldowns may fit your space better, you may not get a full range of motion, especially if you’re tall. In other words, the weight stack may bottom out before your arms are fully extended. If you’re taller than 6 feet, I recommend at least an 85″ tall lat machine.

Construction

Lat pulldowns are constructed with tube steel, but the thickness and size vary by model and manufacturer. High-quality machines will have 11-gauge steel and larger weight capacities, while budget options typically have thinner steel and lower limits.

Most pulldowns are bolted together for easy assembly, but some are fully welded for maximum durability. I don’t recommend welded models for home gym owners unless you have a big budget and an accessible location.

Loading Style

Lat pulldown machines either have a weight stack or plate pegs. A weight stack (selectorized) machine is much more convenient and easier to use since a plate-loaded machine requires you to physically load your own plates. Ask yourself how important speed and convenience are to you and whether the extra expense is worth it.

Weight Capacity

Lat pulldown machines can vary in terms of weight capacity. Selectorized machines often range from ~200-300 lbs, but some can offer as much as 350 lbs. You can also add plates to the front of the weight stacks or use bands for additional resistance. Plate-loaded machines have weight capacities of 400+ lbs but are limited to the number of plates you own.

Weight Ratio

An often overlooked factor of cable machines is the weight ratio. Most lat pulldown machines have a 1:1 ratio, meaning you will feel 100% of the weight. However, others may have a 2:1 ratio, which means you’ll feel 50% of the load. I recommend most people buy a 1:1 ratio lat pulldown since this machine is more about resistance than “functional strength.”

Pulley & Cable Quality

Pulleys and cables can vary in performance and durability. Most pulleys are made of aluminum, polyurethane, nylon, or other plastic compounds.

While aluminum pulleys are the most durable, they may produce slightly more friction, which can eventually cause cables to break down faster. However, high-quality pulldowns that use aluminum pulleys typically offer thicker cables with better vinyl coatings.

Cables and pulleys are two of the most important factors that determine how “smooth” a lat machine feels. In general, budget machines won’t feel as smooth as pricier models with commercial-grade components.

Attachments

Some machines include attachments, but quality can vary. The best lat pulldown bars are made of steel and include features like knurling and an ergonomic design. Check the specs to see what attachments are included. This commonly includes a pulldown bar, low row bar, chain, and carabiner set. I recommend replacing budget attachments with higher-quality ones for better performance, durability, and versatility.

Price

The price of a lat pulldown machine can range from under $200 to over $3,000, depending on a variety of factors. High-quality plate-loaded machines typically start around $500, while selectorized machines start at ~$2,000.


Honorable Mentions

  • REP Plate-Loaded Lat Pulldown & Low Row – The REP Plate-loaded lat pull/low row is an ideal budget rack-mounted solution for those who own a REP PR-4000 or PR-5000 power rack. It fits their 80″ or 93″ height options and has a 600 lb weight capacity. They also have a 1000-series pulldown with a 450 lb capacity for their PR-1000 and PR-1100 racks.
  • Fitness Reality Squat Rack w/ Lat Pulldown – The Fitness Reality Squat Rack is the most popular and budget-friendly lat pulldown bundle on the market. It has a 270 lb plate-loaded weight capacity and comes with a leg hold-down attachment. It didn’t make the main list because of the lower limit, but it’s a solid option for the money.
  • Body-Solid Pro Clubline Lat Pulldown – Body-Solid offers equipment across the price/quality spectrum. The Clubline Lat Pulldown is on their higher end and is a commercial-grade pulldown. It comes in two selectorized models of 210 and 310 lb capacities. The low row uses the pulldown seat, which is a nice feature for comfort. It didn’t make our main list because of the high price tag, but it’s a great standalone model.
  • SERTT Pulley System – The SERTT Pulley System is a basic lat pulldown/low row that you can attach to your squat rack. It’s similar to the Spud Inc. system, but it didn’t make our list because its quality isn’t as good, and it has a lower capacity. However, it’s much less expensive and is a suitable choice for those not lifting as heavy. It also comes with attachments, which is a nice feature.

FAQs About Lat Pulldown Machines

  • Should I Buy a Lat Pulldown Machine for My Home Gym?

    Depending on your training goals, a pulldown/low row machine can be a great addition to a home gym. While not a foundational piece of equipment, it’s an outstanding accessory piece with several benefits. It’s great for upper body strength, building mass, and improving posture, among other things.

  • What Exercises Can I Do Other Than Lat Pulldowns?

    Despite the name, you can use a lat pulldown machine for many exercises, making it a very versatile piece. You can perform low rows, triceps pushdowns, triceps extensions, cable curls, face pulls, upright rows, cable pull-throughs, and more.

  • What is the Maintenance Like on a Pulldown Machine?

    Most lat pulldowns require low maintenance, given their simple designs. Occasionally, check the cables for wear, lubricate the guide rods, and ensure all bolts and screws are tightened.

Adam Hensley
Adam Hensley
Adam is the founder of Garage Gym Lab and has over two decades of fitness/training experience. He serves as the chief content creator and runs our YouTube channel and social media accounts. When he's not testing equipment or sharing his love for home gym life, you'll find him with his wife and two kids in sunny South Carolina.
Adam Hensley
Adam Hensley
Adam is the founder of Garage Gym Lab and has over two decades of fitness/training experience. He serves as the chief content creator and runs our YouTube channel and social media accounts. When he's not testing equipment or sharing his love for home gym life, you'll find him with his wife and two kids in sunny South Carolina.

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