Best Cable Lat Pulldown Machines Review 2016

Adding a high pulley cable machine to your home gym will open up a whole new world of resistance exercise. Not only will you be able to blast your back with lat pulldowns, but tricep pushdowns, cable curls, upright rows and a whole host of other constant tension moves will be within your grasp. The quality on offer, however, is decidedly mixed. In this article we discover the top Lat Pulldown machines on the market.

Lat Pulldown Benefits

The lat pulldown machine is a multipurpose unit that will bring the benefits of cable exercise into your home gym. As well as the basic lat pulldown, you’ll be able to do such exercises as triceps pushdowns, cable curls, upright rowing and seated rowing. This allows you to stretch, contract and expand the muscles of your upper body in a way that you can’t get with free weights.

A major benefit of doing cable resistance exercises is that they provide you with constant resistance in both the positive (lifting) and the negative (lowering) portion of the exercise. That allows you to place a lot more tension on the muscle through the entire range of motion. Using cables also forces you to follow the proper line of motion when doing an exercise, so you can’t cheat your way through a rep.​

A Quick Overview of the Top 10

The best lat pulldown machine on the market today is the IronMan Triathlon X-Class light commercial, which has a heavy duty frame, takes both conventional and olympic plates and can be attached to a power cage. Our next favorite is the Valor Fitness CB-12, with its high tension nylon pulleys, solid construction and 250 pound plate capacity.

The best priced lat machine is the Family Lat/Row machine from New York Barbell, offering a low pulley cable, smooth movement and a durable frame.

To help you to make a wise buying decision, we’ve rated the Top 10 on the basis of price and durability. We’b then given each one an overall rating out of 5. In the following section we provide in depth reviews of each product.​

The Best Lat Pulldown Machines Up Close

IronMan Triathlon X-Class

IronMan Triathlon X-Class

The Ironman Triathlon X-Class light commercial olympic lat pulldown and low row cable attachment can be used as either a stand alone unit or as an attachment to an existing machine. It is constructed from heavy gauge two by two inch chrome steel. It has both a high and low cable, and comes with a lat pulldown bar attachment and a low row bar.

The storage posts are 7 inches in length and can be used with both standard and Olympic plates, thanks to the two inch Olympic adaptor sleeves which come with the machine. You also get a pair of one inch spring collar clips. Foot rests allow you to perform seated rowing in comfort. The max weight capacity on this unit is 360 pounds.

PROS

  • Can be used with both standard and olympic plates
  • 2 x 2 inch heavy gauge steel construction
  • Spring collar clips included

CONS

  • No foot plates

Valor Fitness CB12

Schwinn-270-Recumbent-Bike

The Valor Fitness CB-12 is a free weight machine that has a sturdy square tubing frame made of two inch by to inch, twelve gauge tubing. It has a low pulley, which comes with it’s own short bar handle. You are able to add 250 pounds of weight plates onto this machine and it even comes with plates storage pins. These also act as a counter balance when doing low cable exercises.

The seat on the CB-12 lateral pulldown machine is made of high density foam and is contoured for comfort. You can adjust the seat to four positions to provide just the right degree of extension. The high tension nylon pulleys are very durable and provide a smooth operation.

PROS

  • Solid square tube frame
  • 250 pound weight capacity
  • High tension nylon pulleys

CONS

  • Difficult to assemble

NYB Family Lat/Row Machine

NYB Family Lat/Row Machine

The Family Lat /Row Machine by New York Barbell has a sturdy two by two inch, 1/8 inch thick heavy gauge steel frame. It features both a high and low pulley, along with a flip down foot plate for doing seated rowing. The double stitched seat has deluxe padding for extra comfort. 8 inch foam rollers lock your knees in position while doing lat pulldowns.

The cable on this seated back pull down machine is nylon with a heavy duty coating. When teamed up with the quality bushings used, the result is a smooth, fluid cable movement on both high and low pulleys. The machine is easy to assemble and takes up very little space. This unit is exceptionally well priced, making it our best value cable pulldown bar machine.

PROS

  • Heavy gauge steel construction
  • Fluid cable motion
  • Well priced

CONS

  • Not counter balanced very well
Powerline PLM 180X

Powerline PLM 180X

The Powerline PLM 180X is a free weight lat pulldown machine. It also has a low pulley to allow you to do such exercises as seated rows and cable curls. The nylon bushings in the pulley system are patented to provide the smoothest operation. This means that there is no jerkiness with the risk of the cable coming off the pulley.

The PLM 180X lat machine has dual position 8 inch foam rollers to secure you in position as you perform the exercise. The wide grip curved bar allows you to get a great stretch on your lats. The design of the lat tower provides you with a greater range of motion than most machines offer, allowing you to work through a full contraction and extension.

PROS

  • Low pulley
  • Smooth nylon bushings
  • Extended range of motion

CONS

  • No counter balance when doing exercises like cable curls

Body Solid Pro

Body Solid Pro

The Body Solid Pro is a free weight cable machine with both high and low pulleys. It features no cable change technology, which allows you to go directly from high to low cable moves with no adjustment. The weight carriage travels fluidly thanks to high spec nylon bushings and cabling. The eight inch foam rollers that lock your legs in place are fully adjustable.

All adjustments on the Body Solid lat pulldown machine are made by way of instant change pop pins. For seated rows, there is a foot plate and plate stabilizers. You also get bar holders for both high and low pulley bars. This multi functional cable pulldown machine has a small footprint, allowing you to put it in a corner of your gym or bedroom.

PROS

  • High and low pulley
  • Instant change pop pins
  • Foot plate for seated rowing

CONS

  • Too short for tall users

Deltech Lat Attachment

Deltech Lat Attachment

The Deltech Fitness lat pulldown machine attachment is an attachment that can be added to most weight benches, transforming it into a high pulley station. It’s made from heavy duty square steel tubing, and has an adjustable height to allow you to get the ideal range of motion. A one and three quarter inch mounting post makes this unit compatible with the majority of benches on the market.

The Deltech attachment comes with a high spec nylon cabling system, that features quality bushings and cable to provide a very smooth motion. It is very easy to set up the attachment, which is a great space saver when you are restricted for space. Triceps pushdowns can also be done very effectively on this machine.

PROS

  • Space saving
  • High spec nylon bushing
  • Cost effective option

CONS

  • No leg brace

Giant Econo

Giant Econo

The Giant Econo lateral pull down machine is a free weight loading unit that comes with weight slider floats and nylon bushings. This ensures that you get an impressively free range of motion, without any stickiness or jarring. The frame is solidly constructed of chrome tubing, providing the robustness and durability you need when you’re handling heavy weight. Seated rowing can be done to best effect with the diamond ribbed foot plate.

When you buy the Giant Econo plate loaded lat pulldown machine you get two bars - a wide lat pulldown and a short cable curl bar. Quick cable change technology and bar storage on the main frame add to the functionality of this unit. The leg brace on the Giant Econo lat machine has three height options to provide ideal range of motion.

PROS

  • Weight slider floats
  • Chrome tubing
  • Ribbed foot plate

CONS

  • Poor counter balancing

XMark Lat Pulldown

XMark Lat Pulldown

The XMark plate loaded lat pulldown exercise machine comes with both a high and low pulley. It has an impressive 400 pound weight stack capacity. It can be used with both conventional and olympic plates, thanks to the two 14 inch olympic plate adaptors which are included. The square steel mainframe is made from 11 gauge, two by three inch steel. A scratch resistant powder coated finish provides both durability and style.

The seat on this lat pulldown station is made of 3 inch dura craft cushioning. The vinyl covering the seat and rollers is tear resistant. The nylon coated cables are aircraft quality, being tested to 2,200 pounds. You also get a diamond foot plate for seated rowing, that can be flipped out of the way for other exercises.

PROS

  • 400 pound weight capacity
  • 14 inch olympic plate adaptors
  • Aircraft quality cabling

CONS

  • Tall people may not be able to get a full stretch

Akonza

Akonza

The Akonza pull down exercise machine is a free standing unit that is solidly constructed from heavy gauge steel tubing and has a maximum free weight load capacity of 395 pounds. It has both high and low pulley stations so you can do seated rowing and cable curls as well as pulldowns. The pulley system is smooth sealed and features high spec ball bearings. This provides a very smooth operation.

The Akonza lat pulldown machine comes with a high and low bar. The foam rollers that lock you in position, are completely adjustable and comfortable. Textured rubber hand grips on the pulldown bar provide a secure grip. The seat height is also adjustable allowing you to get just the right range of motion.

PROS

  • 395 pound weight capacity
  • high and low pulley
  • smooth pulley operation

CONS

  • No foot plate

Body Solid LVLA Leverage

Body Solid LVLA Leverage

The Body Solid LVLA leverage lat pulldown is a top of the range piece of gear for those who want commercial gym quality in their home gym. It features dual axis diverging arms to allow you to work each arm individually. The 360 degree articulating hand grips allow for ergonomically ideal lat activation. The frame is commercial quality, being made from heavy duty 11 gauge, two by three inch steel.

The upholstery on the LVLA is double stitched and tear resistant. Extra thick foam seating is provided, and seat and knee brace are gas adjusted for perfect positioning. An electrostatically applied powder coating gives a stylish, hard wearing finish. This machine is rated for light commercial use. It comes with a lifetime, no hassle warranty!

PROS

  • Dual axis diverging arms
  • 360 degree articulating hand grips
  • Heavy duty steel frame

CONS

  • Expensive

Now that you know where to get the best lat pulldown machine, it’s time to fix some common lat pulldown errors that may be robbing you of gains. This handy clip will help you get it right.

Conclusion

Our favorite cable lat pulldown machine is the Ironman Triathlon X-Class light commercial lat pulldown, with its heavy gauge steel frame, capacity for both conventional and Olympic plates and compact, sturdy design. We also loved the Valor Fitness CB-12, which provides high spec cabling and bushes for the smoothest operation and has a durable, rugged frame.

Our favorite budget pulldown machine is the Family Lat / Row machine from New York Barbell, which gives you a solid frame, high and low pulleys and a smooth cable motion for well under two hundred dollars!​

Summary
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Reviewed Item
Cable Lat Pulldown Machines
Overall
5
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