The Bandflex... A Low Cost Alternative?
The Bandflex is developing a reputation for being one of the best value for money home gyms on the market. To a certain extent its popularity is down to two similar products, the Bowflex and the Weider Crossbow. All three are similar innovative designs with one crucial difference...
This is a third of the price of the most basic model Bowflex and offers more exercises and more total resistance. Compared with the lower priced Crossbow, it has slightly more resistance, the same number of exercise stations and is half the price!
Assuming this is the most feasible choice for the majority, what does it offer that a traditional home gym doesn't?
Firstly, an average, standard multi gym will set you back in the region of $500. Obviously shipping will also be more expensive too because you are paying to transport a lot of dead weight half across the country.
You can find home gyms for less than $300 and we have reviewed some. However, they fall way short of the Bandflex in terms of the number of exercises and total resistance.
To give you a comparison, a low cost conventional multi gym will provide about 100lb to 150lb of resistance compared with up to 260lb on this piece of equipment. The system of "Quick Snap" bungee cables replace the cast iron weight stack which is what bumps up the cost of conventional multi station equipment.
The second advantage the Bungee Cables provides is the range of movement they permit. Weight machines work in a fixed plane which basically means you fit around them rather than vice versa. Users of the Bandflex have compared the feel to free weights without the worry of obvious safety issues.
Perhaps the number one reason this piece of equipment and its competitors are so popular is the space they save and convenience they offer...
Free weights and conventional home gyms take up a lot of space. As a rough guide you need a permanent, dedicated area of about ten feet square (more for free weights). While this one measures about 7 x 2 feet, it folds up for easy storage. Unlike free weights you can move through exercises and resistances with a simple pin adjustment, although this is the case for any type of multi gym.
The Bowflex and Weider Crossbow of course, offer all the same benefits. In terms of features there seems to be little difference between the three gyms and you could argue that the Bandflex comes out top with the most resistance as standard.
The Bowflex and Crossbow have longer warranties as you'd expect but paying a $1000 or even $600 is simply not an option or justifiable for some people. In that respect the Bandflex at less than $200 offers an affordable alternative...