In my quest to review the best home gym exercise equipment, I’ve been researching compact workout machines for those that have limited exercise room space. This Bowflex Stowable Bench Review will show you some of the benefits to folding weight benches.
A foldable workout bench is not only ideal for small exercise rooms, but they are also surprisingly sturdy and inexpensive. Towards the end of this review, I will list some other fold up workout bench options other than the Bowflex weight bench.
Bowflex is a US based company specializing in home fitness training equipment since 1986. Since the original Bowflex strength machine, this company has expanded its product line to other fitness equipment including weight benches and dumbbells.
Bowflex’s stowable, adjustable weight bench was developed with stability and quality in mind. They use thick padding and strong coverings as well as heavy duty frame construction.
Bowflex 5.1S Stowable Bench Specifications
|Dimensions:||61.3″ x 28.1″ x 49.5″ Inches|
|Positions:||6 including decline|
Bowflex Stowable Bench Review
For starters, Bowflex customers give this fold-up bench 4.5 stars out of 5 on their website. This is why we are going to see what all the hype is about.
Like most of the adjustable workout benches in its category, the standard features are that they are collapsible to save space, have several bench adjustments, they include an ankle holder, a high weight bench capacity, and thick seat and back cushions.
This is one of the most important items to look at in an “adjustable” bench. Just because the Bowflex bench is stowable, doesn’t mean that it cuts down on this strong point.
The backrest can be moved up and down smoothly along the rail, stopping with your preferred position by pushing in the pin. This back support can be set in 6 different adjustment heights.
These include high and low incline, upright 90° angle, flat, slight decline, and low decline. Having one or more decline levels is a strong point that is not available in most adjustable weight lifting benches.
As for the actual bottom seat adjustments, the Bowflex 5.1 Bench has two positions. There is a flat starting position, or it can be locked into the incline position. The seat incline is a nice touch since it will help to hold you more securely during dumbbell incline presses. Otherwise, the angle when doing an incline dumbbell press will cause the user to slide out of the seat.
The 600lb weight capacity of the Bowflex folding bench isn’t really impressive considering the other folding workout benches at its price point. However, this amount of weight is still average and close to the capacity of many other foldable benches.
Keep in mind that this 600lbs includes both your weight and the amount that you are lifting. Either way, this bench supports more weight than 99% of the population will every lift.
As far as stability, you can’t get any better than the Bowflex weight bench. The legs are engineered nicely with a wider stance to make it more sturdy during heavy weight lifting.
Being made of high quality commercial grade steel and extremely sturdy can come with the disadvantage of being one of the heaviest benches in its class.
This Bowflex 5 bench is around 70lbs, but still lighter than the commercial weight benches that you will see at the gym.
Fortunately, the Bowflex bench comes with wheels, so just fold and wheel it away into a corner of the room.
With this type of construction, there isn’t any movement or wobbling during exercise in any of its 6 positions. On top of this, they have added adjustable height stabilizing feet to minimize movement on any surface.
The reason the Bowflex is considered stowable is that it can be folded down and positioned for storage. When in the upright position, the Bowflex Stowable Bench takes up approximately 1/2 of the space that it does laying down.
Because of how sturdy the Bowflex 5.1 bench is, it isn’t as compact as some others. However, it can still easily be wheeled into the closet or stored when not in use.
Bowflex has the best folding workout bench warranty, the strongest that I’ve seen in its category. The frame carries a 15 year warranty and there is a 1 year warranty on parts.
|Bowflex Benefits||Potential Negatives|
|+ 6 seat and bench adjustments||– Assembly required|
|+ Heavy duty commercial steel||– Price is above average|
|+ Store upright at half the space of bench||– 70lb bench – too heavy for some|
|+ Wheels and adjustable stabilizing feet|
|+ 600lb weight capacity|
|+ 15 year frame warranty|
Best Foldable Workout Bench Options
Here are some alternatives to the Bowflex workout bench. These were chosen because they are also sturdy, come with many bench adjustments levels, and receive good consumer ratings. Because they don’t have the “Bowflex” name, they are also less expensive.
Zimtown Folding Weight Bench
|Dimensions:||57.09 x 13.78 x 17.32 Inches|
|Positions:||6 backrest and 3 seat|
This quality folding weight bench was recently marked down from $549.00 which could potentially make it the best bargain in this review. It has the largest weight limit at 660lbs with a durable frame and a thick coated finish.
The weight bench back has 6 adjustments and the seat adjusts into 3 positions. The Zimtown bench comes with thick padding and this unit is easily foldable into a compact size for storage. Comes with a 1 year warranty.
FLYBIRD Adjustable Weight Bench
|Dimensions:||49.20 x 15.70 x 44.50 Inches|
|Positions:||7 backrest and 3 seat|
For the least expensive weight bench in this review, the FlyBird still supports the high weight capacity of 620lbs. It’s made of commercial grade steel and the padding is covered in leather.
Of course, this is also a space saving weight bench that easily folds for storage. The backrest adjusts to 7 positions and 3 different seat positions. It comes with a 4.6 customer rating and there is no assembly required. 1 year frame warranty/30 day warranty on padding.
The Stowable Bench Conclusion
If you are interested in quality in a compact weight bench for your home gym, the Bowflex Stowable Bench is the one. It comes with the longest frame warranty and is made out of commercial grade steel.
It has 6 back and seat adjustments, thick padding, a 600lb weight capacity, and wheels for easy storage.
The Bowflex doesn’t have the highest weight limit max in its category, but it is the most sturdy with its thick legs and adjustable stabilizing feet.
If you aren’t interested in the Bowflex model, the other options that are listed also have a heavy duty frame, several bench adjustments, and are completely foldable.
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Bowflex Stowable Bench$329.00
- 6 seat and bench options
- Heavy duty commercial steel
- 15 year frame warranty
- Wheels and adjustable stabilizing feet
- 600lb weight capacity
- Assembly required
- Above average pricing
- 70lb bench - too heavy for some