THE “Bulldog Parallettes – Large” review (10/10)

I’d had my eye on these for a few months before I bit the bullet and ordered a pair of the Bulldog Large Paralletes to review. Having mistakenly overlooked these as a training tool for YEARS I wanted to share my review with everyone.

So what made me want to give them a go? Ultimately after some research I realised what an awesome tool they are to to amp up my GPP (general physical preparedness) days!

Abs, triceps, obliques, deltoids – you name it, I have been working them with these the Bulldog large parallettes. Here’s my review:

THE “Bulldog Gear Parallettes - Large” review

At a glance…

  • Tall vs short parallettes is a personal decision – I like the tall for MORE uses, but the short versions are cool too
  • The overall design and quality of the Bulldog parallettes is excellent
  • A 38mm diameter handle is REALLY nice for spreading your weight across the hand for maximum comfort
  • At £65 I think they are a bargain for a premium branded, commercial spec piece of gym equipment

Bulldog Large Parallettes Review

So how did I land on the Bulldog parallettes out of all the choices available? Well, there are a few things that made me decide these were the best parallettes available in the UK:

Tall vs Short

One of the things I wanted to test out was using the parallettes for dips – both bodyweight and weighted. Taller bars are pretty much the ONLY option here as the short ones can only be used for comparatively contrived dip variations such as feet up, bench dips etc.

So that – for me – drove me to the tall bars for MOST of my uses.

Comparison: Packaging for the large & small parallettes side by side
Comparison: Packaging for the large & small parallettes side by side

[Obviously I run this website so one of the perks of this is that I need to purchase and review multiple products, so I also have a pair of the short Bulldog handles I’ve reviewing separately.]

Design is virtually perfect

If you’re a gymnast you MAY benefit from more traditional bar designs that have wooden handles.

For the rest of us a good quality pair of metal parallettes is absolutely fine. The Bulldog pair have a really wide base (60cm x 45cm) which makes them super-stable – ideal when doing weighted dips, for example.

Unboxing the large parallettes: Big box!
Unboxing the large parallettes: Big box!

For me I was VERY keen to get this nice, stable and wide base with good quality rubber feet to protect my floor. Most of the cheap alternatives are inferior in at least one of these areas.

Coming in at 80cm tall these are excellent for most calisthenics based training – planches, tucks, dips – these are all VERY achievable on these bars and the extra height over the short bars makes it a bit easier for a beginner (like I was!) to get to grips with the movements.

Portability & storage

At 80cm tall these CAN be difficult to store. Personally I have a few places I can keep them so it is LESS of an issue, but if you are space constrained then this is a SERIOUS consideration.

While the base is wide when set up at 60cm x 45cm, when storing you can simply overlap the pair or invert one so they take up a smaller footprint. 

Storing: Overlap them for the smallest footprint
Storing: Overlap them for the smallest footprint

They are too big to realistically store on a shelf – so it really needs a corner of a gym or a wall hook to get them properly out of the way.

Bare this in mind when ordering – I like mine enough to keep them in the gym set up and ready to go, but if you’re short of space then you may want to consider the short equivalents which can be chucked in a bag or thrown on a shelf when not in use.

Construction

The handle on these is awesome – 38mm diameter feels really natural in the hand. The additional girth (no sniggering please) over a typical barbell (around 28mm) spreads the load of our bodyweight over a slightly bigger area. This feels pretty comfortable – but is admittedly hard to describe.

The steel construction feels virtually flawless – admittedly parallettes are a fairly simple piece of kit but Bulldog have delivered a typically high quality product. The finish is the ubiquitous black powder coat which feels natural in the hand.

Thick metal plates were a pleasant surprise. Chunky bolts hold it all together
Thick metal plates were a pleasant surprise. Chunky bolts hold it all together

The feet on parallettes is a key area to keep an eye on – the base is nice and wide as noted which keeps the bars MEGA stable in use and the feet are made from 50mm x 50mm box section steel. A rubber finish on each of the four ends makes them non-slip and (luckily for me) usable inside on hard wood floors or similar. 

My marriage remains in tact – for now!

Build quality & branding

With the excellent feet as noted above these parallettes are pretty awesome. There are a few other bits to draw attention to that I like:

Commercial spec – Bulldog sell these for domestic AND commercial use. Commercial rated equipment is nearly ALWAYS a sign of a super robust product. 

Close up of the rubber protection on the feet of these parallettes
Close up of the rubber protection on the feet of these parallettes

When built for use in commercial gyms equipment is designed to be used all day every day – not just occasionally as per typical home gym usage profiles.

This makes these parallettes awesome!

The bars are specified to take a maximum weight of 125kg. This is cool as it means someone weighing 105kg (or 230lbs!) could dip on these bars WITH A FULLY LADEN 20KG WEIGHT VEST and STILL be within the weight limit.

For most of us we won’t be anywhere NEAR this – so there is a TON of headroom in the weight capacity for us to work up to.

Price

Parallettes are generally quite affordable – the Bulldog Gear large parallettes are no exceptions coming in at around £65 for the pair (at the time of writing.)

Click here to check them out on the Bulldog site.

This makes them competitive with almost ANY other pair out there, and certainly undercuts the equivalent product from Rogue here in the UK.

Click the picture to see the parallettes on the Bulldog Gear site
Click the picture to see the parallettes on the Bulldog Gear site

You can probably save a few pounds going for an unbranded, generic set from Alibaba or similar import company but for the sake of £10 (or whatever) I PERSONALLY would rather support the Bulldog company and buy a commercial spec piece of equipment.

Conclusion

To summarise this review of the Bulldog Gear large parallettesI love them! The 38mm diameter handle feels awesome in the hand and the extra height they offer over the short bars is – for me – REALLY helpful as I use them to dip (both bodyweight and with a weighted vest on.)

If you enjoy bodyweight training, like the idea of something you can move in to your back garden or simply want to try something new then the large parallettes by Bulldog are an awesome way to accomplish these things – and a relative bargain at only £65 for the pair.