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Manticore vs. Hydra 101: Key Differences and Similarities

Manticore vs. Hydra

The Hydra and Manticore are the power racks to end all power racks—the cream of the crop, the big kahunas, the dynamic duo, the how-the-heck-do-I-choose racks of your dreams. Hydra and Manticore are sister racks with some core similarities. However, there are a few key differences that set them apart. Here's what you need to know about the Manticore vs. Hydra, so you can decide which one is right for you.

The heart and soul of the Manticore and Hydra are the same. Both boast many of the same features that contribute to durability and versatility. Here's a closer look at the features these two bomb-proof power racks share.

Both the Manticore and Hydra are attachment-abundant, providing plenty of opportunity to replicate gym movements with space-efficient home gym gear. Both the Hydra and Manticore Power Racks are built from thick, durable 11-gauge steel, compared to many racks that use thinner 13-gauge steel. For context, 11-gauge steel is approximately 3mm thick, while 13-gauge steel is approximately 2.28mm thick.

This burly build gives both racks a 1,000lb weight capacity. If you're sick of us talking about the Hydra's TRUE 3" x 3" tubing, too bad; the Manticore also boasts these beauties. Recall that many off-brand rack manufacturers round their tubing specs up to 3″ x 3″ (76.2mm x 76.2mm) when they're only 75mm (2.95″ x 2.95″). As a result, things don't fit right, attachments get wobbly, and your safety gets compromised. That's a big thumbs down from us. 👎

Both the Manticore and Hydra have a black powder coat finish that's perfect for humid basement and garage gyms. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? We've got three words for you: OPEN ECOSYSTEM BABYYYYY! 🤯 Both the Hydra and Manticore are compatible with other brands' racks and attachments as long as they use true 3″ x 3″ (76.2mm x 76.2mm) tubing.

The difference to watch for is hole size, but we'll get to that in a minute. We've crafted a few preset styles for the Hydra series and Manticore series to suit various gym set-ups, ranging from compact garage gyms that share space with a car to low-ceiling basement gyms to "It's time to move out, son; I'm knocking the walls down and building a spacious dream gym." Both the Hydra and Manticore are designed with customization in mind. You choose the height and depth that suits your space and style. Add the attachments you like and leave the rest behind. Preset configurations not quite cutting it? No sweat. Both the Hydra and Manticore are supermodular. You can upsize, downsize, or create your own Frankenrack. Sure, this might be the last rack you'll ever need, but you aren't stuck with the same configuration if your needs change over time. That's why we love these racks so much!

Both the Hydra and Manticore have a limited lifetime warranty. That means defects in material, functionality, and workmanship are covered unless they become unusable for reasons other than defects in materials or workmanship or the rack is gifted or sold to someone else. In other words, don't drive a car through your rack or give it to your nephew. Variety is the spice of life, and we're here to bring the HEAT! 🌶

While the core features of the Manticore and Hydra are the same, there are a few distinct differences that might lead you to choose one over the other. The most important difference to be aware of with the Manticore vs. the Hydra is the hole size. While both racks have true 3"x3" tubing, the Hydra has 5/8" holes, and the Manticore has 1" holes. This difference in hole size not only impacts the visuals of the racks but requires different hardware and attachments. The bolts that fit the 1" hole of the Manticore are a sight to behold. They're BIG. This size upgrade allows us to create beefier attachments for the Manticore, often with a higher weight capacity than their Hydra counterparts. If you have a larger-than-life personality and a physique to match, it's worth considering the Manticore for this reason.

Another key (get it) difference between the Manticore and Hydra is the keyhole design. Hydra has your run-of-the-mill 5/8" holes that do exactly as promised. The Manticore has 1" holes with 5/8" keyholes on the sides of the uprights. That means you can put your standard 1" attachments on all sides of the uprights or drop in 5/8" attachments on the inside or outside. Why does this feature matter? Well, it allows you to use Hydra attachments on the Manticore if you so desire. It also opens the door to a few competitor attachments designed for keyholes.

The Manticore also has holes on all sides of the rack, creating more versatility for attachment placement. Both the Manticore and Hydra have 2" hole spacing. However, the Hydra has 1" hole spacing in the bench zone. This allows for precision placement when your rack doubles as your bench press station. The Manticore's larger hole size makes 1" hole spacing in the bench zone a no-go. While it certainly doesn't limit you from being the boss bencher of your basement gym, you might not find that rack height sweet spot. There's been a lot of focus on hole size and placement, so let's pivot to the attachments for a hot minute.

The Manticore attachments are plastic-lined to help protect the rack from long-term wear and tear—this is a MUST for the bigger, beefier attachments that fit 1" holes. Both the Manticore and Hydra power racks are a solid investment: they're durable, versatile, and chock full of value. Yet, woe is us; a decision must be made. The Manticore is better if you have 1" attachments in mind, require a higher weight capacity, or want to capitalize on the 4-way hole system.

The Hydra is better if precision benching is non-negotiable, you don't want to pay extra for a beefier build, or you don't like the aesthetic of the 4-way holes (it seems silly, but it's a thing for some 🤷). And let's address the elephant mythical beast in the room, shall we? If you already have a Hydra Rack don’t let the Manticore FOMO ruin your day—the Hydra is still an excellent choice, and even considered better for some.

Now that you know the key differences between the Manticore and Hydra, you can use this newfound knowledge to determine which is best for your home gym. If all else fails, remember the three key principles of building your home gym: your budget, your space, and your long-term goals. Ready to channel your inner legendary beast? Start building your home gym today.