Equipment Review: Maybe Don’t Buy Perfect Fitness’ Ab Straps

Toward the tail end of 2016, I bought the Perfect Fitness Ab Straps for hanging leg raises. I liked the price point, and Perfect Fitness (you probably recognize them more for their as-seen-on-TV Perfect Push-Up equipment) seemed to have carved a respectable foothold in the equipment industry for niche products.

As far as pads strapped to carabiners go, my new straps initially impressed me. They seemed sturdy, the pads were comfortable and roomy, and the nylon straps appeared to be firmly fastened.

I don’t have a crazy affection for items that serve just one purpose, in general, when it comes to owning a garage gym. Typically, I prefer equipment that can be versatile and space-efficient. But because I’m 6-3 and have freakishly long arms, hanging leg raises can be cumbersome to execute on a 7-foot pull-up bar. Considering these straps can just hang on the bar in perpetuity, to the sides and out of the way, space wasn’t an issue. All that they needed to do was let me do HLRs!

R.I.P., Ab Straps.

Mostly, they did. And then, a few days ago, they, uh…didn’t.

Four straps (two on each) broke clean across, above the stitching on the pad, during an unweighted HLR set. That struck me as utterly bizarre, considering they’d only ever been used as intended, never gotten wet or otherwise exposed to harsh conditions, and only been under the weight of my 200ish-pound body, at max.

I emailed Perfect Fitness’ support department in search of a replacement, only to find that these straps only had a one-year warranty, which is ludicrous for any kind of gym equipment alleging “heavy-duty construction … and rip-resistant fabric.”

So, we turn back to the adage that you probably do get what you pay for, and while it’s appealing to think that $14 could set you up with a decent set of straps, in this case, I would recommend paying more for something that will provide a longer shelf life than two years. I’ll save the carabiners, at least.

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