We review products independently and our recommendations are genuine. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
Drum racks are an excellent alternative to having multiple hardware stands positioned around your drum kit.
While they save space around the kit, they also add enormous stability to your setup. You also have much greater flexibility for positioning toms and cymbals on a drum rack than you do with stands alone.
Drum racks also make it easier to have a large kit setup with multiple drums and cymbals. Most drum racks are modular, meaning you can add components to them over time to give you more setup options.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at three of the best drum racks for the money. I’ve compared performance, durability, stability, and cost to give you my top recommendations.
- In a Rush Round-Up
- How I Tested and Selected the Best Drum Racks
- Drum Racks Reviews
- Drum Rack Buying Guide
- Benefits of Using a Drum Rack
- What Features to Look for in a Drum Rack
- Things to Consider When Buying a Drum Rack
- Drum Rack FAQs
In a Rush Round-Up
How I Tested and Selected the Best Drum Racks
Throughout my playing career, I’ve played in quite a few bands that have opened for big acts, and I’ve been able to play with several different drum racks through those experiences due to the drummers having large kits with multiple components.
I’ve also tested out quite a few different drum racks in music stores, as I was very excited to get my own at a stage.
I tested each of these drum racks to see how solid they felt with all the kit components set up. I also aimed to find various racks at different prices so that I could recommend options for a range of budgets.
Sturdiness was at the forefront of my evaluation, as a dependable drum rack ensures your kit remains stable and secure during performances..
Setup flexibility is another key consideration, as drum racks should offer easy adjustments to accommodate various drum and cymbal arrangements. I focus on the rack’s ease of assembly, as a quick and straightforward setup is essential for gigging drummers.
Drum Racks Reviews
The winner of the best drum rack is this legendary Pearl Icon DR503C 3-Sided Drum Rack. Pearl’s Icon system is the world’s first and best height-adjustable drum rack system that provides infinite and independent adjustment to any drum set.
It is an incredibly stable and well-built drum rack that is ideal for large drum sets that require quick and easy, repeatable setups for rehearsals and tours.
I find this rack to be extremely durable and functional, and it utilizes 100% slip-proof square tubing to ensure every component will remain fixed during a performance.
The Pearl Icon drum rack is the best drum rack to provide a streamlined, professional and dependable drum set up night after night on tour. It is used by some of the greatest drummers in the world because it looks great, and it will never let you down.
It is the most sturdy drum rack out of every option I tried, and it offers enormous levels of adjustment.
If you are looking to upgrade your drum hardware, this is the best drum rack on the market, hands down.
- Legendary quality and performance
- Indestructible build quality
- Ideal for touring drummers
- Heavy and difficult to transport
In second place for the best drum rack on the market is this sturdy and reliable Gibraltar GCS-450C 4-Post Curved Drum Rack that offers both the ultimate freedom of drum positioning and rock-solid dependability for all sizes of drum sets.
This drum rack is built to be rock-solid and reliable for all manners of shows, for anything from club gigs to stadium tours.
This four-post drum rack includes all the clamps and attachments to minimize the amount of hardware you take on the road and to allow you to replicate your setup for each show. The four mini T-legs supporting the rack are sturdy and secure.
Out of all the options, I found this rack to offer the most value compared to how much it costs. It’s a large rack that easily allowed me to fit an entire kit around it, but it’s not as pricey as the popular picks from Pearl and DW.
It’s perfect for large drum sets and allows you to have full control of exactly where you want each drum set component to be, to allow you to play at your best.
- Excellent value professional drum rack
- Rock-solid and dependable
- Save settings to replicate a set up
- Not as much flexibility as the Pearl ICON rack
The Gibraltar GRS-850DBL is a sleek and highly adjustable curved rack system that is perfect for double-bass drum setups.
This Gibraltar rack is offered at a really great price; and included you receive 2 x 40″ curved front horizontal racks and 3 x 36″ straight vertical stands, as well as 14 memory locks and 8 clamps for expansion.
It’s incredibly sturdy and without a doubt the best-value double bass drum rack on the market.
The biggest thing I noticed about it was that it can accommodate particularly large drum set configurations and it was incredibly adjustable.
If you own a large double bass drum set, then this is definitely the best drum rack on the market for you.
The wrap-around curved design of the front racks offered superior positioning of my drums and cymbals within a double-bass setup and enabled a very comfortable playing position.
You can also set up a TON of items due to the design, and rack mount virtually all of your setup with only two horizontal bars, which is very impressive.
It’s also surprisingly lightweight, at only 35.16 pounds for the entire system, which makes it perfect for setting up at live gigs.
The only thing to consider is the rounded cylindrical rack bars require extra tightening of the clamps to ensure that heavy drums don’t slip or move about while being mounted.
- Very sturdy and durable design can accommodate for large double bass setups
- Offers excellent value for money as well as good compactness and portability
- Easy to put together and add elements on if you've got a large drum set
- Rounded bars require extra tightening of clamps to prevent slippage
The GCS500H is another excellent drum rack from Gibraltar. While this is one of the smaller racks available, it has thick bars that are extremely sturdy, giving you excellent stability once you set your drum kit up.
The rack has a 46” curved bar to place over your bass drum, allowing you to mount rack toms and cymbals. With just the one bar, you won’t be able to mount things to the sides, but that’s sometimes exactly what drummers are looking for.
The great thing about this GCS500H rack is that it comes equipped with two boom arms.
These allowed me to place cymbals from the get-go, whereas many other racks require you to buy these separately.
With the cymbal arms having boom designs, you have limitless ways of positioning your cymbals.
Something else that I really liked about this rack was that I could raise the legs up to 18”. This is fantastic for taller drummers that like to position their kits a bit higher than normal. You often find that racks don’t raise high enough for drummers like this.
This just wouldn’t be a great option if you’re looking for a complete rack that surrounds your drum set. While it’s solid, it doesn’t completely stop the need for a few standalone cymbal stands.
- Highly reliable performance quality
- The curved bar makes your setup feel very comfortable
- Included cymbal arms save you a bit of money
- 18” maximum leg height allows for various setup options
- Having only one horizontal bar is a bit limiting
The PDP Main Rack Package is an excellent option for drummers looking for the famous DW quality. While it’s not quite a DW rack, it shares most of the same design qualities.
The design here is that you get a main curved front bar, and then you get two curved bars on each side to round out your setup.
The side bars don’t have legs on the end, so they’re free-floating. I initially thought that stability would be an issue, but I was surprised at how stable the rack felt when placing drums and cymbals on the side bars.
Like the Gibraltar GCS500H, this rack comes with two boom cymbal arms. However, these ones mount to the top of each leg, meaning they’re not as maneuverable. You can place them on the front or side bars, but you’ll be sacrificing two attachment pieces by doing that.
With all that said, I love the performance quality you get from this rack. Again, it was a lot stabler than many drummers would think, and I’d say that it’s highly reliable.
It’s also easy to adjust the side bars, considering that they don’t have two sets of legs to worry about.
If you’re looking for a full rack system to mount your whole drum kit, this is a great option.
- Large enough for a full drum setup
- Heavy and very stable
- Comfortable setup options from the curved rack bars
- Relatively easy to take with to gigs
- The lack of side legs makes it not as stable as most of the other racks on this list
This Gibraltar GSVMS Stealth Vertical Mounting System is a low profile drum rack that is super easy to transport, assemble and break down. It is not a complete drum rack, but it’s a simple solution for smaller drum set-ups that takes up a small footprint and fits on any stage.
It’s super compact and easy to transport, unlike traditional racks that are far larger and heavier.
I have a drummer friend who owns this rack, and he always puts it in his hardware bag with the rest of his stands.
That’s just something that you can’t do with proper racks, so the portability aspect can’t be understated.
This stealth drum rack removes the cluttered appearance of bulky tripods and allows for even greater flexibility for drum set positioning.
This product is not large enough to mount all drum set components on, like a traditional drum rack, but it is large enough to mount rack toms, snare drum and cymbals from.
If you would like to mount lots of drums and cymbals you would require two of these drum rack systems. However, I think it would then just be better to get a proper rack.
- Lightweight and easy to transport
- Small footprint
- Good value mini drum rack
- Not suitable to mount a whole drum set
- Not a traditional drum rack system
Drum Rack Buying Guide
Drum racks are an essential piece of equipment for many drummers as they are very effective at supporting a drum set.
Drum racks offer many benefits over traditional drum hardware, including better stability and greater flexibility in terms of set-up and configuration.
The best drum racks are particularly useful for larger drum setups, where you can mount cymbals and drums in large quantities.
They save you from placing numerous cymbal stands around your drums, which is why you see so many metal drummers with dozens of drums using them.
A drum rack will be essential if you’re a rock or metal drummer wanting a large setup.
Any drummer can use a drum rack, especially if you want something to save space and make adding components to your setup a lot easier.
In the modern drumming world, drum racks aren’t as popular as they used to be. So, you don’t see drum brands creating new racks to push on the market.
However, most of the best drum racks available are timeless and will last decades of use thanks to their excellent design and build quality.
Benefits of Using a Drum Rack
Drum racks are essential for many drummers, and they can offer many benefits over traditional drum hardware. Here is a comprehensive list of the benefits of a drum rack:
- Improved Stability – Drum racks offer a much greater degree of stability than traditional drum hardware, which is essential for keeping your drums in place while you play. This stability also helps to reduce the risk of damage to your drums and hardware.
- Increased Flexibility – Drum racks allow you to configure your set-up in more ways, which can help with a particular setup. They also provide easier access to all your drums and cymbals, making playing drums feel more comfortable, particularly with larger drum sets.
- Greater customization options – With add-ons and accessories you can further customize your set-up. These include things like cymbal arms, tom mounts, and percussion holders. This extensive customization potential allows you to really tailor your kit to your specific needs and preferences.
- Easy setup at gigs – Drum racks make it easier to set up and break down your drums at gigs, as everything is organized and together. This can save a lot of time and hassle compared to traditional hardware setups. Most drum racks come with memory locks, allowing you to replicate your exact setup perfectly at each gig.
- Simple teardown – Drum racks are collapsible, and they contain fewer parts than conventional drum hardware, so you are less likely to lose any pieces while tearing down a drum rack between gigs and rehearsals.
- Reduced vibrations – Drum racks can potentially help improve the sound and resonance of your kit as a whole. This is due to the fact that a rack removes the need for several stands that have contact with the floor. A single drum rack prevents unwanted vibration and contact between the drums and their mounts, resulting in a cleaner tone and attack.
What Features to Look for in a Drum Rack
Number of Posts
The number of posts a drum rack has determines how many components you can mount to it. Drum racks with four posts typically have three sides, while drum racks with two posts have one.
With a 4-post drum rack, you can mount your whole kit onto it as it covers every side of your setup. 2-post racks can only be placed on one side of your kit, whether that be in front or on either side of you.
4-post drum racks are the most expensive, but they offer you the most versatility in your drum setup. 2-post racks are more affordable, and they’re great for smaller drum kit setups.
Some drum companies offer single-post side extensions, like the GCS150C from Gibraltar.
Before buying a drum rack, make sure to check how high you can raise it. Some drum racks are amazing adjustable when it comes to height, while others are quite limiting.
You should also check to see whether each side of a drum rack can have its height changed, separate from the other sides. This is important as a 3-sided rack will have a different height for your floor tom compared to the rack toms.
Some more affordable racks don’t have individual height adjustability unless you buy special pieces to allow them to have that function. The Gibraltar GCS-450C is a good example, as its rack arms need to clip together when you set it up, stopping them from having individual height adjustability.
All drum racks are heavier than cymbal stands. However, some are heavier than others. If you’re getting a drum rack to play gigs with, you should check the weight before buying it.
If it’s too heavy, it’s going to be frustrating to pack it down and set it up every time you perform on stage.
If you’re just getting a drum rack to set up in a studio or your practice room, I suggest getting a heavy one. It’ll be more durable and feel more solid to play on. I’d also suggest getting a heavy one if you have a large drum setup with multiple components.
One of the unfortunate things about drum racks is that most of them don’t come with everything you need for your drum kit setup. They provide a solid base, but you still need to buy rack clamps and cymbal adapters to connect to them.
When buying a drum rack, look to see what it includes so that you know what else to buy along with it.
All drum racks have slots to place cymbal stands above their posts. If you already have cymbal stands, you can take the top parts out and place them on those posts.
Depending on what kind of drum kit you have, you may need to buy specific mounting hardware for your rack toms.
High-end drum racks typically include more attachments, like heavy duty clamps, drum mounts, and cymbal arms, saving you a bit of money.
Things to Consider When Buying a Drum Rack
Benefits of a drum rack:
Drum racks give you more stability and flexibility in your setup, but they’re also quite big and heavy. You should decide whether a drum rack will benefit your personal setup instead of standalone hardware.
Think about transporting it:
Owning a drum rack is great until you realize you must transport it regularly to gigs and rehearsals.
Drum sets that utilize a drum rack are best set up in studios and rehearsal spaces where they can be left up for longer periods of time.
Consider the size of your drum set:
The size of your drum set will determine how large your drum rack should be. Note that larger drum racks with more components cost more. You may not need a drum rack if you have a very small drum setup.
Establish a budget:
Think about how much you’re willing to spend. Drum racks last decades, so it’ll be worth your while to invest in a high-quality one.
Drum Rack FAQs
Do Drum Racks Save Space?
It depends on the size of your drum kit before setting up the rack. If you have a small drum kit setup, a rack may give it a larger footprint.
When it comes to large drum kits with several toms and cymbals, drum racks are the best tools to save floor space. Since drum racks eliminate the need for cymbal stands, you don’t need to worry about cymbal stand legs getting in the way of anything.
Are Drum Racks Good for Gigging?
Drum racks are excellent for gigging as they allow you to easily get the same setup that you’re used to, thanks to memory locks on the rig. They’re also highly beneficial for large drum setups due to the amount of space that they save on a stage.
Touring drummers use them for big gigs, but they’re not the best option for smaller gigs around town where you need to load your drums into your car.
Do Drum Racks Work with All Drum Setups?
Drum racks work with most setups. The only setups that they don’t work with are ones that have a bass drum that is too tall for the drum rack you have. Certain racks won’t be able to accommodate a 24-inch or 26-inch bass drum.