TRX Gym in a Bag vs. LifeLine Jungle Gym Review

April 20, 2009 Product Reviews, TRX Portable Gym in a Bag 21 responses

 “What is the BEST Portable Gym available for the money?”


TRXHomeTrainingBundleVs.   LifelineJungleGym

That is one of the most common email questions I receive.  Here is my answer…

I own the 2 most popular suspension training gyms on the market…

1 TRX Suspension Trainer Gym in a Bag


2 Lifeline Jungle Gym


The following Video contains scenes from my “Lab” where I test equipment like this on a daily basis.

Here’s my opinion on how they stack up against each other…

Here’s who wins in a cage match between the TRX Gym in a Bag vs. Lifeline Jungle Gym…

  • Durability…TRX Gym in a Bag
  • Multiple Anchoring Capability (doors, bars, trees, anything you can “loop”)….TRX Gym in a Bag
  • Ease of Adjustability…TRX Gym in a Bag
  • Strength of Straps…TRX Gym in a Bag
  • Handle Comfort…TRX Gym in a Bag
  • Overall “Feeling” of Safety…TRX Gym in a Bag
  • Overall Ruggedness / Ability to Handle the “Beatdown”…TRX Gym in a Bag
  • Price…Jungle Gym

*Price is the ONLY comparison where the Lifeline Jungle Gym beats the TRX Suspension Trainer Gym in a Bag.

Which car is better in performance (and which would you rather drive)…a Chevette or a Audi R8?

  ChevyChevetteVs. AudiR8

When you decide on the Audi R8…
I recommend the TRX Gym in a Bag “Home Training Bundle”

Click Here to Buy the TRX Gym in a Bag


Click Here to Buy the TRX Gym in a Bag

Crank it!

P.S. Give me your opinion between the TRX and the Lifeline Jungle Gym in the COMMENTS section below.  Crank it!

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  • Jonny

    I mean, the price is even that big a difference, considering the Jungle Gym is a piece of &$(*@. I’d definitely take the TRX… in fact.. could you send me one ? :)

  • grant

    If you are looking for kick ass workout, true portability, versatility, TRX is the best investment for the money, no doubt!

  • Personal Trainer MAnchester

    Greta post, really useful.

    Been looking at the TRX system for a while since I saw it in a few YouTube videos.

    You have helped me make my mind up and put an order in for one, TRX gym in a bag it is!


    TOM Godwin
    Foresight Personal Training

  • Phil Scarito


    Tell me more about the products you have above. Thanks bro.

  • Una

    I guess I’m the odd man out but I love the Jungle Gym. I travel a lot and the TRX is too much for me and complicated to adjust…..Jungle Gym is way easier and functional!

  • Paul Alexander

    Hey Brad,

    you make some good points in the comparison. If you look at the graphic above your video you will see the jungle gym does have foot anchors, you have the 1st generation gym from 2001. All the newer ones have foot anchors. I agree the strap is thicker on the TRX, but the jungle gym is sturdy enough to handle any normal fitness loads (I believe it can handle 400 lbs +) . TRX does have more options for anchors.

    Stay fit,
    Paul Alexander, MS, CSCS, CNT

  • Joseph Brown

    I prefer the Jungle Gym II…it’s very versatile and it’s sturdy, I know I can do chinups and pullups and it will hold my weight. With the TRX system it seems OK until you start doing full-body exercises like dips and pullups and the like. I know the Jungle Gym can handle that…I am not so sure about the TRX system. And I’ve been looking at all the videos online showing TRX exercises…so far no one is doing chinups or dips with it.

    I also have the USA…that too is very versatile and can take one’s whole weight with no problem.

  • Rod

    Great post – thanks, you helped me make up my mind on an important piece of equipment.

  • Peter

    I have most every suspension device on the market. The TRX is more complicated to adjust than the jungle gym (mine is a jungle gym split). It weighs more. It has a single point of attachment (which makes things like dips very difficult). It does have padded handles but I wrapped my jungle gym split’s handles with racket tape.

    I’m not too impressed with the TRX. It’s well made but not as well thought out as you’d hope and it’s expensive.

    The USA: This is an interesting alternative. It’s not well made (just looking at the stitching you can see that), but it is a fun, slightly different variation.

    Vegas Pro Straps: Kind of overpriced for what they are. Well made. Handles are a touch too thick.

    EXF rings: Smart design, great feeling rings (love the new rubber grip), easy to adjust. Definitely the best of the crop.
    Cons: Rings aren’t good for exercises where you place you feet in a loop (not as comfortable).

    Rogue Rings: VERY well made. 2nd best after the EXF rings. Kind of heavy so not the kind of thing you travel with.

  • Monica


    Thanks for the great comparison. I would have to agree with you. Jungle Gym makes a decent product and if you’re strapped for cash well it’s a good option but TRX is far superior on all the points you listed especially safety. Great review and you really made us laugh (my boyfriend is a mechanic so we loved the car comparison).

  • Lynn Iwamoto

    Thank you for helping me see that TRX is the better choice. Your review was complete and it was awesome that you did it on video so that we can visualize the comparisons. I have been thinking about this a long time. Now to decide between the TRX and the Universal Strength Apparatus. I call it a good day if I can narrow down my choices from three to two. Thanks again.

  • Mike Clastor

    People compare USA to TRX, but it’s like gymnastic rings and a rope. They are too different. USA can be climbed and the resistance can be changed on the spot, and it’s cheaper. TRX on the other hand looks cooler and seem to be better designed. If you don’t want to climb and don’t need to change resistance and don’t mind paying double go with TRX. If you want to change resistance often and want to save go with USA.

  • wally s

    I just received my jungle gym 2 split — which is a split version of jungle gym, and here is my response to your evaluation (GTW — my bodyweight is 225)

    Durability…looking at Jungle gym — straps are 1 1/2″ — that is plenty durable. 1″ straps might feel light, but hold 3,000 pounds — don’t know why you need more — but this 1 1/2″ would hold 4,200 lb plus “feel” is less flimsy. I had made some of my own, and know the difference in feel. but feel =/= reality — this one has both.

    Multiple Anchoring Capability (doors, bars, trees, anything you can “loop”)….with this split version I would disagree.

    Ease of Adjustability…for one setting maybe TRX — but because you can split the Jungle gym 2 split — you don’t have the problem of rubbing against your arms (which I had in the knock off that followed the basic design of TRX I made — and I see in the vids of people using)

    Strength of Straps…see above — may have been true in the economy version of jungle gym, but not the jungles gym 2 split

    Handle Comfort…TRX Gym in a Bag…this one I would have to agree. the jungle gym is simply a pvc pipe. not sure why they didn’t use some of the comfort foam they have on other products. But, you can always tape or add foam (bicycle handlebar stuff would work). IF you really want to.

    Overall “Feeling” of Safety…again, see durability

    Overall Ruggedness / Ability to Handle the “Beatdown”…again, see durability

    And in the split version, the foot straps have been added in.
    Price…Jungle Gym — without a doubt with 4 models ranging from $50 – $80 beats $190 – $220 for the same.

  • Jerry

    I got the LifelineUSA Jungle Gym XT it is the top of the line and only $100.00 does all and more than any other suspension trainer on the market.

  • Steve

    Hey Brad

    Have you thought of revisiting this? The new Jungle Gym XT does look like a whole new game.
    I do know what a busy guy you are though.


  • Nate Turner

    I have tried the TRX and the Jungle Gym XT. The JGXT has pulled ahead significantly with this iteration. The TRX led the way in this category, but the versatility of set-up I found with the JGXT leaves the TRX seeming a bit limited at this point.

    The XT allows significantly more exercises to be done than the TRX, and allows virtually unlimited variation within a given exercise because one can adjust the width of the strap anchors.

    It can even be used for some exercises with two clients at once. For a number of the regular exercises I program into client sessions (Open-Ups, 1-Arm Rows, Bulgarian Split Squats), it’s like I bought two suspension trainers for the price of one.

    Can’t wait to see what TRX does to rejoin the battle. For now, I’m a Jungle Gym XT loyalist.

  • Ron

    Brad, thanks I appreciate the review. It’s a great help in making my decision. Now I need to find a wall anchor system.

    What is the bar you are using in your video?


  • Craig

    I’m surprised not to read any references to the pulley system “war machine” or “Crosscore 180″ which throws some serious competition for both in terms of versatility and build quality.

  • Lee

    I have or tried all of the suspension trainers on the market and my favorite is the USA Pro. It’s well-made, durable, has padded handles and can be securely attached in a variety of ways. It’s hands-down the most versatile trainer out of the bunch. It’s also reasonably priced.

    With that said, if you are insistent on a TRX, go with the USA Protege instead. It’s quality knock-off that’s much, much cheaper and quicker to set-up and adjust.

    Hope this helps…

  • James

    I have been using suspension trainers for about the past 18 months.

    First, I made a trainer using 3/8″ poly rope. 25 feet of rope, two short sections of 1″ PVC for handles, and knowledge of how to tie bowline and prussik knots, and I had a trainer cost ~$10 to make. It was/is functionally equivalent to TRX. However, it takes marginally more time to adjust and didn’t come with a workout guide.

    After about 12 months of my home-made trainer, I bought the TRX Force (first generation, on sale). It is fantastic, quick to adjust, and the workout guide is excellent. Of course, there are tons of other exercises you can devise yourself or learn on youtube.

    For the record, it is possible (not for me yet) to do a muscle-up on the TRX. There’s a video on youtube showing such a move.

    The Jungle Gym XT looks intersting. I like the cradles are easier to get into, not that the TRX foot straps are difficult. This is probably why Jungle GymXT advertises them as “no-look” instead of easier. Both are easy to get into.

    What I don’t like about the Jungle Gym XT:

    1- the straps are separated. Today I tried to use some rings and it was horrible for my elbow. I’ve never had elbow problems using TRX, but today with the rings, I was unable to continue due to elbow pain. I imagine the split design of the rings would create similar elbow stresses as the split design of the Jungle Gym XT (though I’ve never actually tried a Jungle Gym XT).

    2- The TRX is easy to hang virtually anywhere. I’ve hung my TRX or home-made version off of poles, trees, tree branches, play ground equipment, beams, and pull-up bars. I take it with me when I bring my children to the park and workout there. It’s very easy to find a place to hang.

    3- Depending on the exercise, the TRX straps can rub against my forearms. However, while they may cause redness, they have never caused injury. I do dips (suspending my entire body weight), push-ups, flys, etc, and have never had my arms get injured, only red.

    4- While doing pulling exercises, such as suspended back rows, where your grip give out before your back… you can wrap the TRX foot cradle around your wrist and then grab the handle. This effectively transfers most of the pulling force to the wrist taking it off the grip. While I wouldn’t do this all the time, it allows me to continue my pulling movement when I don’t have the grip strength to continue – very similar to lifting straps.

    5- The TRX handles, with the collapsible straps, pack smaller than Jungle Gym XT handles. The TRX comes with a storage sack, whereas Jungle Gym XT does not.

    My 2 cents…

  • Linda

    Can you hang the Jungle Gym XT onto poles just as you can with the TRX?

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