While you probably have a favorite gym at home, chances are good that at some point, you will find yourself away from that gym and in need of a substitute.
If you prefer to have your own travel equipment instead of relying on hotel gyms, then a portable bench is an essential part of your traveling weight kit.
In this review, we will compare three best-selling travel workout benches:
What’s the Value in Having a Portable Bench?
Here, we will look at some of the reasons you may want to consider getting a weight bench, as well as cover some of the things you may want to keep in mind while shopping for one:
What are Some of the Benefits of Having a Portable Bench?
One of the more obvious benefits of having a travel weight bench is the fact that, if you travel frequently, it can be helpful to have a bench that you can take with you.
However, even if you do not travel regularly, a travel bench has some benefits for your home gym.
One of these benefits is storage.
Generally, portable workout benches can fold up and be stored in small spaces, so if space comes at a premium, you can minimize the space the bench takes up when you are not using it.
Additionally, if you find yourself having to move the bench often during your workout, a portable bench can be much easier to move in general.
And lastly, because they often fold up, many travel benches have flat, incline, and decline capabilities, making them ideal for those who are looking for an affordable adjustable weight bench setup.
What Should You Look for When Selecting a Portable Workout Bench?
Often the criteria for choosing a standard weight bench are similar to the criteria you might use to select a portable bench. You will need to consider what types of exercises you want to use it for, as well as add in any extra criteria.
For instance, if you don’t do incline or decline exercises, there are plain, flat benches available.
Your criteria will likely be unique to you, but the list below may be able to get you started in terms of thinking about what you need out of a portable bench:
- Set a budget. This can help you narrow the field early.
- Decide whether you want the bench for bodyweight work or weight training, as some benches have much higher weight limits than others.
- Decide whether the bench needs to fold up or not.
- Decide whether you need a bench that is flat, incline, decline, or any combination of the three.
Once you have listed out your criteria, you will have an easier time evaluating potential travel weight benches.
One criterion that needs a bit more discussion, however, is the weight limit.
Many listings do not list the weight limit of a bench, so you may need to do some digging.
However, because many of these benches are smaller, many also are rated for a lower weight capacity than standard benches.
Similarly, since many are on the smaller side, it is important to pay attention to dimensions, especially if you are tall.
Considering these things along with your existing criteria can help you select the right bench for you with minimal hassle.
The 3 Best Portable Weight Benches
While there are many portable benches available, we have chosen three benches below to evaluate.
These are fairly short reviews designed to give you a general idea of each product, not to provide exhaustive information about each one.
PowerBlock Travel Bench
This minimalist bench is designed for someone who just needs a small, portable, flat bench for chest presses, flat dumbbell flyes, and other exercises that don’t call for an incline or decline.
Though its functionality is somewhat limited, this option works especially well as a travel bench. Its legs can be folded, and it even has a shoulder strap for easy transport when walking.
Though the manufacturer does not necessarily recommend this, users can make this bench a decline by collapsing legs on one side.
However, since there is no foothold, this position may be somewhat unstable.
This bench has generous padding, especially considering the fact that it is a travel bench, and it is covered in a high-quality vinyl that can be very easily cleaned. The vinyl covering also is black, making it especially difficult to stain.
In short, this bench is ideal for those who need something extremely portable but who do not need to do incline or decline work.
Body-Solid Powerline Bench
While this bench is slightly more expensive than the PowerBlock bench, it has huge increases in functionality that likely will make the price hike worth it to most.
This bench folds for easy storage and also has transport wheels so it can be moved easily. This makes it a good choice for those looking for a movable bench for home gym use.
This bench mimics much of the functionality of traditional gym benches, as it can be adjusted into seven different positions and has incline, flat, and decline positions.
It also has small but functional footholds for safety when doing decline work.
This bench also is covered with high-quality black vinyl for easy cleaning.
Because of its high degree of functionality, this bench is ideal for those who want to do incline, flat, and decline work, but who don’t mind something a little less convenient to carry around than the PowerBlock bench.
Escape Fitness Deck
This model diverts somewhat from the traditional weight bench model, and it is ideal for those who emphasize bodyweight and plyometric work.
While it can function as a weight bench, it also breaks apart into a workout step and a box for plyometric jumps.
It also folds up for easy storage and portability.
This bench has incline and flat functions, so if you intend to do a lot of decline work, this may not be the best portable bench for you.
Part of the appeal of this setup is its eye-catching black and green coloring.
If you are someone who wants a portable bench that also offers opportunities for cardio and plyometric work, this may be a better choice for you.
There is no single portable bench that suits every person, but if you have evaluated your preferences and why you need the bench, you will most likely be able to make a selection that will suit your needs.
Of these three, the Body-Solid Powerline bench is the winner because of its focus on weightlifting and its versatility- it is the only bench of the three that can adapt to flat, incline, and decline work.
This bench is ideal for the traveling lifter who wants to mimic real gym conditions, or for the home gym owner with limited space.
However, if you value portability over versatility, the Powerblock travel bench may be the best choice, and if you want a bench with built-in cardio tools, then the Escape Fitness deck may be the best choice.