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Even as an Olympic weightlifter using primarily free weights and barbells, I still use weight machines for isolation training and accessory work. One piece of equipment I always find myself using is the lat pulldown machine. As one of the best cable machines to train the latissimus dorsi, lat pulldown machines are a great element to add to any strength training focused on the back. 

The great news is that lat pulldown machines are not only for commercial gyms either. There are a variety available that can make a nice addition to your home gym, varying by size, versatility, and price. 

Here, we’ve compiled a list of the best lat pulldown machines on the market right now. These picks can help you determine what will work best for your specific needs for your own home gym.

(Weight) Stacks of Research and Testing

We know a thing or two about lat pulldown machines; not only do we routinely test the equipment we talk about, but our testers and researchers consist of certified personal trainers, coaches, CrossFit L-1 Trainers, and competitive athletes, who have used this equipment extensively in the gym.

In order to build our list of the best lat pulldown machines, we made sure to test each of the machines on this list extensively, noting aspects such as the quality of the build, price point, and overall value to the consumer. The list has some of the best options available, so you can make an informed decision on your purchase.

The Best Lat Pulldown Machines

Best Overall Lat Pulldown Machine: Titan Fitness Plate Loadable Lat Tower V2

Good for: Those looking for great value in a standalone lat pulldown machine

Best Overall

Titan Plate Loadable Lat Tower V2

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

The Plate Loadable Lat Tower by Titan Fitness® answers this question. Add some hefty weight to this machine, and strengthen your back with plate-loaded lat pull-downs.

The Titan Fitness Plate Loadable Lat Tower V2 takes our spot for best overall lat pulldown machine because of the value it brings to the table. Lat pulldown machines can be expensive, especially with a weight stack, so Titan Fitness offers this plate-loaded lat tower at a fraction of the cost of selectorized lat pulldown machines.

One great aspect of this lat pulldown is that the tower also has a low pulley station for low rows,  adding to the machine’s versatility. The two-inch-diameter weight horns are long enough to support any Olympic weight plates, even thicker bumper plates. With this, the Titan Plate-Loaded Lat Tower has a max capacity of 400 pounds at a 1:1 weight ratio, which means the resistance will equal the weight you have loaded.

Coop using the Titan Plate Loaded Lat Pulldown

This lat pulldown has a large footprint in order to maintain stability during use; however, be ready for it to take up some real estate. It has a nearly 6-feet-by-4-feet footprint, and you’ll also need some space to get to the back of the machine to load weights. This isn’t a dealbreaker, but it may just simply be too large for some garage gyms.

In his testing of the Titan lat tower, GGR founder Coop noted that the piece is budget-friendly, meaning the construction will not be the highest quality. In particular, the welds on the steel frame were subpar, and the nylon bushing pulleys won’t be the smoothest feel as you pull on the bar. Additionally, the lat bar and low row bar provided are not the best quality. 

It’s not the most heavy-duty lat pulldown, but for its low price, it will get the job done for the vast majority of users. You can learn more of our thoughts on this piece of equipment in our Titan Plate Loaded Lat Pulldown review.

Price$579
Footprint57” L x 47” W x 85” H
Weight capacity400 lbs
Weight ratio1:1
Product weight120 lbs
Warranty1 year

Best Heavy Weight Lat Pulldown Machine: REP Fitness Plate-Loaded Lat Pulldown and Low Row (4000/5000 Series)

Good for: Lifters needing a solid plate-loaded pulldown attachment ready for heavy weights

Best Heavy Weight Lat Pulldown

REP Fitness Plate-Loaded Lat Pulldown and Low Row (4000/5000 series)

GGR Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Attaches to PR-4000, PR-5000, Omni, or Apollo half racks
  • Features a 1:1 ratio
  • Compatible with iron or bumper plates
  • Cables are galvanized steel 
  • Adds 3" to the height of your rack
  • Offered in two height options: 80" or 93"

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Space efficient
  • Adds versatility to training
  • Decent load capacity
  • Smooth
  • Comes with lat bar, straight bar, and foot plate

Cons

  • Durability of guide rod and plate carrier is not the best
  • Will need to buy a rear base stabilizer

Bottom Line

The REP Fitness Plate Loaded Lat Pulldown and Low Row pulley system is an affordable way to expand your home gym by adding a lot of variability to your half rack.

Sometimes, you just want to pull some weight around. In our opinion, the best lat pulldown to really load up is the REP Fitness Plate-Loaded Pulldown and Low Row. This is a rack attachment that will fit REP Fitness’s 4000 and 5000 Series power racks: the PR-4000 power rack, the PR-5000, the Omni, and Apollo racks. If you are not sure if this attachment would fit your squat rack, it’d be best to ask a representative from REP Fitness before making your purchase.

Coop using REP Fitness Cambered Swiss Bar to do lat pulldowns

This plate-loaded lat pulldown can manage some weight. It’s rated for a maximum capacity of 550 pounds, but the weight horns can actually load up to 600 pounds of iron plates. Additionally, the lat pulldown and low row mount attach on the center of the rack’s back, with a rear base stabilizer. This space-saving design doesn’t add much of a footprint to your rack, and still leaves plenty of room inside the rack for squats and other movements.

This is a lower-priced option for lat pulldowns at $449, but it does require a compatible power rack. If you do not have a compatible squat cage, or a power rack at all, this may not be the best option, or you may have to purchase a new rack with the rack attachment, adding to the price substantially. However, if you are needing something that can handle some weight, this is it.

RELATED: Best Power Racks with Lat Pulldowns

Price$449
Footprint22.9” L x 21.9” W x 80/93” H (attaches to power rack)
Weight capacity550 lbs
Weight ratio1:1
Product weightNot disclosed
WarrantyLimited lifetime on attachment and frames, 1 year on pulleys and cables

Most Versatile Lat Pulldown: Beyond Power Voltra 1

Good for: Those wanting a compact cable machine for a variety of exercises

Most Versatile

Beyond Power Voltra I

GGR Score: 4.17 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Portable cable trainer
  • Up to 200 pounds of resistance
  • Easy to attach and detach
  • Data tracking

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Portable
  • Up to 200 pounds of resistance
  • Can be brought through airport security
  • Real-time data tracking

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Only has a one-year warranty

Bottom Line

The Beyond Power Voltra I packs all the benefits of a cable machine into a portable design, though it comes with a high price tag.

Most lat pulldown machines will have a place for pulldowns, and a low row attachment maybe. If you’re lucky, maybe the pulley has adjustable heights for some more functional exercises. However, if it’s a versatile machine you want, you should consider the Beyond Power Voltra 1. This compact and lightweight cable machine attaches to your rack at just about any point, allowing for a variety of exercises: lat pulldowns, rows, flies, and other rotational exercises.

One thing that really helps add variety to your workouts is that the Voltra I has up to 200 pounds of consistent resistance that can be independently adjusted for the concentric and eccentric portions of an exercise. If you want to do a heavy negative after a rep, add 50 pounds and control the cable’s descent back to the start.

The machine makes weight adjustments quickly, leading GGR founder Coop Mitchell to rate the performance a 5 out of 5. “The machine is so quick to make adjustments between the concentric and eccentric parts, too. A lot of these smart trainers aren’t this quick,” he adds.

Man using the Beyond Power Voltra I for lat pulldowns

This machine is also built to last, with a durable magnesium alloy shell protecting the delicate electronics inside—like a powerful direct-drive motor, which powers the resistance of the Voltra. The biggest drawback of the Voltra is the price, starting at $2,099. It only starts there, as you’ll also have to purchase a separate rack mount to use the cable machine properly. Options range from $60 to $250. Coop’s favorite mount was the adaptive rack mount, priced at $160.

Another issue is the short warranty on the Voltra. While Beyond Power is actively working to create options for extended warranties, currently the Voltra I comes with only a 12-month warranty, which is pretty short for such an expensive item. Still, if you’re looking for added versatility with a small footprint to add to your gym, the Voltra I is an awesome choice.

Price$2,099
Footprint12.71” L x 5.49” W x 3.94” H
Weight resistanceFrom 5 to 200 lbs
Weight ratio1:1
Product weight12.8 lbs
Warranty1 year

Best 2-in-1 Lat Pulldown Machine: Bells of Steel Lat Pulldown Low Row Machine

Good for: Anyone needing a stack lat pulldown and low row machine at a good value

Best 2-in-1 Lat Pulldown

Bells of Steel Lat Pulldown Low Row Machine

GGR Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • 310-lb stack with a 1:1 pull ratio
  • 2-in-1 lat pulldown and low row 
  • Standalone unit
  • Included lat bar with purchase
  • Ships free and comes unassembled
  • Rack attachment compatible

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Fits their power rack attachments
  • Pin-loaded weight system
  • Stable
  • Durable
  • Decent warranty

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Expensive
  • Needs to be assembled

Bottom Line

Compatible with some power rack attachments, the Bells of Steel Lat Pulldown Low Row machine offers home gym owners a lot of versatility in one machine.

The Bells of Steel Lat Pulldown Low Row Machine has some minor design changes to a typical lat pulldown to make it a more versatile 2-in-1 machine. For starters, the pulley arm at the top is longer, to allow for a more vertical lat pulldown. Also, an additional pulley underneath the seat pad allows for more variety on the low pulley, including bicep curls and upright rows. Most of the exercises will still attack the upper body and back muscles, but it’s good to get some variety in.

At close to $2,000, it’s an investment, but it is also a good value for a lat pulldown with a weight stack, as many can nearly double that price. This lat tower comes with a 310-pound weight stack, with a 1:1 weight ratio, meaning whatever weight you load will feel like that weight. 

It also comes with a loadable weight pin, which can add up to 20 extra pounds of weight. It will also allow for smaller adjustments if you want something between the 10-pound increments of the weight stack.

The Lat Pulldown Low Row Machine also has holes along the machine’s upright, allowing for the addition of power rack attachments, like a dip bar, a leg roller, and a landmine. This makes this machine pretty versatile, able to do more than just your typical lat pulldown exercises. 

This is a big and heavy piece of equipment, so you will need to know where you are placing this machine in your home gym before assembling. Being nearly 70 inches long and 41 inches wide, it will take up quite a lot of floor space. However, with its versatility, the Bells of Steel Lat Pulldown Low Row might still be a suitable investment for you.

Price$1,969
Footprint69.9” L x 41.3” W x 86.7” H
Weight stack310 lbs
Weight ratio1:1
Product weight528 lbs
WarrantyLimited lifetime

Best Budget Lat Pulldown Machine: GDLF Lat Pulldown

Good for: Anyone wanting an inexpensive lat pulldown for lightweight exercises

Best Budget Lat Pulldown

GDLF Lat Pulldown Machine

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Both high and low pulley systems
  • Rollers can be adjusted to 4 heights
  • Seat has 4 height adjustments
  • Fits 1" or 2" plates
  • 500-lb load capacity
  • Powder coated steel frame 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Smooth
  • Affordable
  • Enables a great range of exercises
  • Height adjustments
  • Compatible with standard weight plates

Cons

  • Reported to make squeaky sounds
  • Cables may fray

Bottom Line

The GDLF Lat Pulldown Machine is an affordable choice for those looking to equip their home gym with both a lat pull-down and low row machine.

Even lower-priced lat pulldowns can be an investment. The GDLF Lat Pulldown is a great budget-friendly option for beginners interested in these machines, but not entirely sure if they want to make that investment quite yet. It can be a great starter when looking for the best budget home gym equipment.

At under $200, the GDLF Lat Pulldown is one of the least expensive options out on the market. Constructed out of alloy steel, it performed at a good value in our testing. The lat pulldown is rated to have a weight capacity of 500 pounds, but several reviews stated otherwise, that the machine was good for about half of that. 

Coop offered a quick fix on that: “I would recommend people exchange the carabiners on the GDLF if they plan to lift moderately heavy weight.” For most people, the weight will probably not be pushed enough to be a major issue.

One issue that may be major is the height of the lat pulldown. While having a smaller footprint than most standalone options, it is a short lat pulldown, at only 77 inches tall. This may prove difficult for taller people to get a full range of motion in their lat pulldown. If height is not an issue, though, this can be a great way to save some money on your lat pulldown.

Price$189
Footprint59” L x 26” W x 77” H
Weight capacity500 lbs
Weight ratioNot disclosed
Product weight68 lbs
WarrantyNot disclosed

Best Premium Lat Pulldown Machine: Rogue LP-2

Good for: People wanting a high-quality machine that can handle the money and footprint

Best Premium Lat Pulldown

Rogue LP-2

GGR Score: 4.4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Lat pull-down and low row machine
  • Constructed with 3x3" 11-gauge steel
  • Stand-alone unit delivered fully assembled
  • 300-lb weight stack in 10-lb increments
  • Stainless steel knurled lat bar 
  • Diamond-tread adjustable footplate 
  • Set of custom-built carabiners

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Built like a tank
  • Shipped fully assembled
  • Includes knurled lat bar
  • Can be customized with branding/logos
  • Fits multiple users
  • Durable

Cons

  • Big and heavy
  • Expensive

Bottom Line

If you are looking and able to spend top dollar on a high-quality lat pulldown/low row machine, the Rogue LP-2 is a solid choice.

If money is not an issue, we have got a lat pulldown machine for you—the Rogue LP-2. This is a solidly built, high-quality piece of fitness equipment. Built from 3-inch-by-3-inch 11-gauge steel construction, this machine is made in the U.S. at Rogue’s Reflex facility in Illinois, with parts laser-cut at their headquarters in Ohio. Coop says on the product, it is the “best example of what Rogue can do after purchasing Reflex. The specs and quality show how great it is.”

The Version 2.0 switched out nylon pulleys with aluminum pulleys, with one-quarter-inch cable that is constructed to military specifications of aircraft quality. The machine has a 300-pound weight stack that works at a 1:1 weight ratio. The lat pulldown bar included with the machine is stainless steel, with a good knurling as well. The machine’s frame has a black powder coat finish; it’s really a solid piece of equipment.

With that said, it is also beefy, at a weight of 775 pounds. Although stated as space-efficient, the Rogue LP-2 will take up some floor space, at 83 inches long and 42 inches wide. It does have holes along the uprights to allow for other attachments, so it has potential to save space in some aspects. Still, it requires a lot of space itself.

It also requires some money. At $3,500, the Rogue LP-2 is one of the priciest options on the market. However, this product has the high level of quality common from Rogue. If you have the money and the floor space, the Rogue LP-2 is a solid choice.

Price$3,500
Footprint83” L x 42” W x 108” H
Weight stack300 lbs
Weight ratio1:1
Product weight775 lbs
WarrantyLimited lifetime on frame, 5 years on pulleys and cables

Best Lat Pulldown for Functional Training: REP Ares Cable Attachment

Good for: Those wanting a versatile cable machine with lots of exercise options

Best for Functional Training

REP Fitness Ares Cable Attachment

GGR Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Can be built and customized
  • 4- and 6- post series options
  • Trolleys
  • 30 aluminum pulleys and cables
  • Two weight stacks with 260 pounds each
  • Lat pulldown bar
  • D handles
  • Footplate
  • Connector banana
  • Micro-adjustment plates of 2.5 pounds each

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Available for 4- or 6-post
  • Fits REP PR-4000 or REP PR-5000
  • 2 height and 4 depth options to customize to your rack
  • Dual weight stacks each at 260 lbs
  • Comes with four micro-adjustment plates
  • 180-degree swivel
  • 6 attachment points for handles and bars

Cons

  • Expensive, but a high-quality functional trainer option
  • Likely only works with REP racks

Bottom Line

The Ares Cable Attachment from REP Fitness is a high-quality functional trainer from a brand we know and trust.

REP Fitness made a pretty stellar item with their REP Ares Cable Attachment. With six different terminal points and dual weight stacks, this attachment turns your power rack into a lat pulldown machine, low row, and a functional trainer. The stacks set in the back of the power rack and the cables wrap over the top to the front, leaving your squat rack relatively free to function normally. This attachment doesn’t add much to the rack’s overall footprint.

In addition to the lat pulldown and low row in the back, the cables wrap around to the front uprights of the rack, where the aluminum cable pulleys are adjustable along the rack’s uprights. This makes for the rack doubling as a functional trainer. You can use these for chest flyes, raises, and more for a full-body workout. While the width of the rack makes this feel a bit narrow for a functional trainer, it still provides a lot of versatility to this machine.

Man doing lat pulldowns on REP Ares

The Ares is designed to be compatible with the PR-4000 and PR-5000 power racks. Make sure when purchasing the Ares Cable Attachment, that you enter your power rack’s exact specifications so the Ares will fit. If you don’t have a power rack at all, the REP Ares Builder can guide you through purchasing a rack and cable attachment together. If you have a different power rack, I would talk to a REP fitness representative to see if your rack is compatible.

See more of our thoughts on this versatile piece of home gym equipment in our REP Ares Cable Attachment review.

PriceStarting at $2,799
FootprintVaries on power rack dimensions
Weight stackDual 260 lb stacks (option to upgrade to 310 lbs)
Weight ratio2:1
Product weight965 lbs
WarrantyLimited lifetime on frame, 1 year on cables and pulleys

Best Ultra Budget Lat Pulldown Machine: Spud Inc Econo Tricep and Lat Pulley

Good for: Anyone wanting a lat pulldown with a minimal footprint and for a minimal price

Ultra Budget Lat Pulldown

Spud Inc Econo Tricep and Lat Pulley

GGR Score: 4.43 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

Spud Inc.’s light and portable Econo Pulley sets create an instant, customizable lat pulldown machine within your existing rack or rig—with a total load capacity of up to 550LB.

Made in USA Made in USA

Compared to other lat pulldowns available, the Spud Inc Econo Tricep and Lat Pulley is one of the lowest-priced options available. At only $109, the Lat Pulley has American-made high-quality components in a simple design. Basically, it’s a one-quarter-inch cable with a pulley that can be hooked from a rig or pull-up bar and weight loaded on an 18-inch strap pin.

RELATED: Lat Pulldown Vs Pull-Up

In its simplicity, it is still made with quality in mind. Coop used this piece of home gym equipment for years, with no issues. He went heavy with it also, as it has a weight capacity of 550 pounds. That’s pretty impressive for a machine attachment that only weighs four pounds.

There is a low pulley attachment, which is an additional pulley that allows for seated rows as well, adding to the versatility of this ultra-budget item. The Low Pulley can’t be used on its own though; it has to be used in conjunction with the Lat Pulley.

The cable is only one length, which can be a nuisance depending on what equipment you have to hang the pulley from. If your rig is too short, it may be a challenge to get a full range of motion in your lat pulldown. A couple reviews also talk about the cables wearing down prematurely. Regardless, this pulley system provides very good quality at a great value.

Price$109
FootprintNot disclosed
Weight capacity550 lbs
Weight ratio1:1
Product weight4 lbs
WarrantyNot disclosed

Best Rack Attachment for Lat Pulldowns: Surplus Strength UPS High Universal Pulley System

Good for: Those with a power rack who want a minimal rack attachment for cable exercises

Best Rack Attachment

Surplus Strength Pulley

GGR Score: 4.18 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Plate-loaded, rack-mounted pulley system 
  • Built with 11-gauge steel 
  • Comes with: 
    • Universal Pulley System (UPS) high and low 
    • 1” or ⅝” pins and bolts
    • 2  ¼”   cables cut to length 
    • Surplus Strength loading pin
    • 3 carabiners

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Fits a wide variety of racks
  • Only adds 2” to rack height
  • Cables custom-cut to your rack’s crossmember height
  • Very positive customer reviews
  • Made in USA
  • 30-day returns for non-custom orders
  • Lifetime warranty on welds

Cons

  • High price point for plate-loaded pulley system
  • Shipping lead time will vary as products are made to order
  • Foot blades on low system are small

Bottom Line

The Surplus Strength UPS is a high quality and expensive pulley system that only adds 2 inches in height to the top of your rack.

The Surplus Strength Pulley System is a great rack attachment with an incredibly small footprint. It’s a universal pulley system, meaning it will attach to any 2-inch-by-3-inch or 3-inch-by-3-inch squat rack. The UPS High is for lat pulldowns, but Surplus Strength also offers a UPS Low, with a built-in footplate for low rows. It boasts a load capacity of 300 pounds.

man doing lat pulldowns with the surplus strength pulley

The attachment is available with one-inch or five-eighths-inch holes, to properly suit your power rack. The UPS High does not require a lot of extra space, only needing two inches higher off the rack.

The Surplus Strength UPS High attaches to the top of your rack, and also has UHMW inserts to prevent damaging the rack. Built with 11-gauge steel and with thermoplastic pulleys, the UPS Pulley System is built well, with a smooth glide on the pulleys. In our testing, we also noted that the cables were a good length that kept them away from your face while using them. The cables can be plate-loaded, or you attach them to cable resistance, like the Rogue Rhino.

If you purchase the UPS High and Low together, it will cost nearly $700, which is a little pricey considering other rack attachments that offer both a lat pulldown and low row. However, just the UPS High is $395, which is still a lower price for a lat pulldown. If you are looking for something that won’t interfere with your home gym space too much, this is a great option.

Check out our Surplus Strength Pulley review to learn more about the universal pulley system.

RELATED: Best Squat Racks

Price$395
FootprintAttaches onto any 3” x 3” or 2” x 3” rack
Weight capacity300 lbs
Weight ratioNot disclosed
Product weightNot disclosed
WarrantyLifetime on welds, 5 years on pulleys

Best Compact Lat Pulldown Machine: Fitness Reality 710 Olympic Lat Pulldown/Low Row Attachment

Good for: Those wanting a compact lat pulldown attachment to add onto their compatible power cage 

Fitness Reality 710 Olympic Lat Pull-Down/Low Row Cable Attachment

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Cable attachment for power cage 
  • Compatible with standard and Olympic plates
  • Includes leg hold-down with 2 foam rollers

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Lat bar and low row bar included
  • Extended lower rear crossbar to allow more room for benches
  • 6.5” weight plate storage included

Cons

  • Limited reviews
  • Need adapter sleeve (not included) to use Olympic plates
  • Short 1-year warranty

Bottom Line

The Fitness Reality Lat Pull-Down and Low Row Attachment is an affordable option if it fits your power cage.

For anyone looking for a compact rack attachment that won’t break the bank, the Fitness Reality 710 Olympic Lat Pulldown/Low Row Attachment is an excellent choice. It’s a budget-friendly option to attach to a budget-friendly squat rack, and it mounts to the center of the rack without taking too much space in the back of the power rack.

This lat pulldown attachment is only compatible with the Fitness Reality 810XLT Power Cage and Progear 1600 Power Cage. The 810XLT and lat pulldown can be purchased together on Amazon for less than most stand-alone lat pulldowns, making this a versatile option if you are on a budget.

The attachment comes with two foam rollers that can be attached to the rack to keep your legs in place while performing lat pulldowns—just pull up a weight bench in front of it and you’re set.

The weight capacity of the pulldown is 270 pounds, which isn’t as much as other machines, but should be fine for most people. The name is also misleading; although called an “Olympic” lat pulldown, the weight horns are one-inch wide, which is the right diameter for standard plates. For two-inch Olympic plates, you’ll need an adapter, which is an additional purchase. Still, this pulldown can make for a compact addition to your power rack.

RELATED: Fitness Reality 810XLT Review

Price$259
Footprint46.5” L 35” W x 84.5” H
Weight capacity270 lbs
Weight ratioNot disclosed
Product weight54 lbs
Warranty1 year limited

Other Lat Pulldown Machines We Researched

We researched and tested many different lat pulldown machines, but not all made the list. Here are a couple of other options that we liked.

Titan Fitness Lat Tower: With a weight stack ranging from 10 to 300 pounds, the Titan Lat Tower is a solid 2-in-1 lat pulldown and low row machine. However, the tower is pricey at $1,999; it’s not the most expensive selectorized machine, but it’s not the cheapest either. If you like this machine, we’d recommend purchasing another lat bar, as the one Titan provides isn’t the best quality.

Coop setting up for a lat pull-down exercise on the Titan Fitness Lat Tower
Coop setting up for a lat pull-down exercise on the Titan Fitness Lat Tower

PRIME Fitness HLP Selectorized Single Stack: This is a cable machine that’s been in Coop’s personal home gym, and it’s one of his most used cable machines. With an adjustable low-to-high pulley along with a permanent high pulley for lat pulldowns, there’s plenty of versatility on the cable machine. Its biggest drawback is the price, which only gets more expensive adding a lat pulldown seat or other accessories.

XMark Lat Pulldown: Built with 11-gauge steel, the XMark Lat Pulldown machine is a decent plate-loaded machine, but at its price, there are better options at a similar price point that provide more value.

How We Picked and Tested the Best Lat Pulldown Machines

In order to make our list for the best lat pulldown machines, we researched dozens of options, noting build and quality, as well as the weight capacity of each machine. From there, we ordered several machines and tested them at Garage Gym Reviews HQ. 

We had our team test these machines thoroughly. Testers took the machines through several workouts, and tested all aspects of the machine. If it had a low row option, we did low rows; if it worked as a functional trainer, then we trained on it through a variety of exercises. 

Lastly, we looked at the price of each machine or attachment and determined how much value the equipment would bring to a home gym user. Because of the variety of options available, our list is pretty diverse, spanning across several different price points and footprints. All of this is to give you a look at the best options on the market, to help you find the lat pulldown machine that best fits your needs.

Benefits of Lat Pulldown Machines

Lat pulldowns can be a great tool for most any workout routine in a home gym. Here are just a few benefits:

Building Upper Body Strength

Lat pulldown machines are an excellent way to build strength in the upper body and back. Obviously, lat pulldowns are named after the main focus of the exercise: the lats. However, the pulling motion of a lat pulldown will also engage the trapezius muscles and biceps as well.

Furthermore, lat pulldown machines can provide more than just a lat workout. A tricep pushdown will attack the triceps, and a low row attachment will allow for more back muscles to be worked on. Depending on how versatile a lat pulldown machine is, you can treat it as a functional trainer and get a full-body workout.

Man doing flys on the REP Ares

Anytime we work muscles through resistance training, we force the muscles to adapt, allowing for stronger muscles. So, if used with progressive overload, a lat pulldown will ultimately lead to a stronger back and upper body.

Saving Money with Weight Plates

Using a lat pulldown machine in your home gym can be convenient if you’re using a plate-loaded lat pulldown. The weights in your own home gym can be used, meaning you do not need to purchase anything extra for loading your machine—just use the Olympic bumper plates you have.

Saving Time with a Weight Stack

There is still convenience with a lat pulldown with a weight stack, too. Weights can be changed quickly on a weight stack. Simply pull the pin out and back into the selected weight you require. With less time needed to change around weights, your workouts can go much faster, ultimately saving you time.

What to Look for in Lat Pulldown Machines

When looking into lat pulldown machines there are a lot of things to consider, such as the quality of construction, the price, and the footprint of the machine. There are a lot of options to suit many needs as well. Here are some things to consider.

Pulleys & Cables

When looking at pulleys for lat pulldown machines, there are generally two major types: nylon (plastic) and aluminum. There is a give and take to each of these pulleys. Nylon is going to be a cheaper option, and aluminum is better quality and will last longer. However, the aluminum pulleys can also wear the cables down a little faster than nylon pulleys. 

There is no real correct option for these—just something to keep in mind while researching your lat pulldown. Generally speaking, higher-quality lat pulldowns will use aluminum pulleys, so if something breaks on that machine, it more than likely will be the cable instead of the pulley.

Typically, thicker cables are stronger and more durable, and should be coated with vinyl to protect the cable.

Frame

The lat pulldown’s frame will vary, depending on the construction. Most heavy-duty lat pulldowns will be constructed with strong 11-gauge steel. A thinner steel used on the frame will lower the price, but will also limit the load capacity for the machine. For most people, a lighter frame shouldn’t be an issue, but if you want to use a lot of weight on a lat pulldown machine, you should consider one with a sturdier frame.

Plate-Loaded Machine Vs Weight Stack

Plate-loaded lat pulldown machines will save you a good bit of money when compared to ones with weight stacks. One reason is that the machine is lighter, not burdened with a 300-pound weight stack. It’s easy to move around if you need to, and all you need to properly load it are the weights you have at your home gym. So for most people, a plate-loaded machine will provide great value at a lower price point.

With that said, there are benefits to a weight stack, too. Most weight stack machines are heavier, which make them bulky, but also very stable and steady. Because of the higher price, the lat pulldowns with weight stacks are also typically a higher quality. Cables move a little smoother, and weights move easily along the steel guides.

Ultimately, it’s up to preference. Plate-loaded machines are lighter and cheaper, while selectorized weight machines are more expensive, but also more stable.

Freestanding Machine Vs Attachment

The footprint of a lat pulldown machine can be pretty large if it is freestanding. Most have a long length and width to help improve stability; however, you don’t always have the floor space in a home gym to dedicate entirely to a lat pulldown machine. For this reason, lat pulldowns often come as an attachment.

An attachment can save space by simply attaching to a power rack. Some will have a whole weight stack or weight horns mounted on the center of the back of a power rack, keeping the additional footprint to a minimum. Other attachments attach to the top of the rack with cables, further reducing the footprint. If you have a power rack, this can be a great option to save space in your garage gym.

FAQs on the Best Lat Pulldown Machines

What is the most effective lat pulldown?

There are a myriad of options and aspects to look at when finding the most effective lat pulldown. The real answer is that the most effective piece of gym equipment is the one you will use. Here are our picks for the best lat pulldown machines on the market:

Best Overall Lat Pulldown Machine: Titan Fitness Plate Loadable Lat Tower V2
-Best Heavy Weight Lat Pulldown Machine: REP Plate-Loaded Lat Pulldown and Low Row (4000/5000 Series)
Most Versatile Lat Pulldown Machine: Beyond Power Voltra I
-Best 2-in-1 Lat Pulldown: Bells of Steel Lat Pulldown Low Row Machine
-Best Budget Lat Pulldown: GDLF Lat Pulldown
-Best Premium Lat Pulldown: Rogue LP-2
-Best Lat Pulldown for Functional Training: REP Ares Cable Attachment
-Best Ultra Budget Lat Pulldown: Spud Inc Econo Tricep and Lat Pulley
-Best Rack Attachment for Lat Pulldowns: Surplus Strength Pulley Systems
-Best Compact Lat Pulldown: Fitness Reality 710 Olympic Lat Pulldown/Low Row Attachment

What are the benefits of a lat pulldown machine?

A lat pulldown machine is great for isolating the muscles in the upper back. If you’re looking for a great way to focus on strengthening your lats, a lat pulldown machine is a great piece of equipment for it. In addition, the lat pulldown can be used for other exercises as well, such as a tricep push-down, or a row (if your machine can adjust to a low row).

Furthermore, lat pulldown machines can be convenient in how easy weight can be changed on a weight stack: simply slide the pin into the weight you desire. Even plate-loaded machines are fairly easy to use, and you can use most any weight plates you already have in your home gym.

What is the difference between a lat pulldown and a pull-up?

While working out similar muscle groups, lat pulldowns differ a lot from pull-ups. The biggest difference is that pull-ups are a bodyweight movement, whereas a lat pulldown requires a machine. In a lat pulldown, a bar is pulled to the chest from overhead. In a pull-up, the athlete pulls their chin over a bar from a hanging position.

Both exercises work the upper body and back, primarily the lats and biceps. However, the pull-up will activate the core more, in order to maintain a solid position throughout the exercise.

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