The two inversion tables to be reviewed here, the Teeter EP-950 and Teeter EP-960, are produced by the what is probably the most popular brand name on the market, Teeter Hang Ups. This manufacturer of many high quality devices also covers each of them with a staggering 5 year warranty. This is unusual not only for inversion tables but also for most other appliances made in this day and age. Just like all the other Teeter Hang Ups devices these have a UL mark which establishes their safety and durability for all users up to 300 pounds.
As these two tables were developed from earlier models, they are often compared to their precursors, the Teeter EP-550 and EP-560. Besides other minor changes, the models reviewed below have an “EZ-Reach Ankle System” which replaces the simple pin-pull ankle locking system on their predecessors and both are equipped with “EZ-Stretch Traction Handles” that have been added to them as a standard.
So, what are the differences between the Teeter EP-950 and the Teeter EP-960? Let’s take a look.
Both of these Teeter inversion tables have the same backrests as their predecessors, the EP-550 and EP-560, respectively. Since nothing has been changed with the back rests of the EP-950 and EP-960, the main differences, advantages and the one small drawback between the two models remain the same.
The Teeter EP-950 model is a "FlexTech" Series Inversion Table, a name that refers to its backrest, which is of really interesting construction. Its top frame crossbar is at least to some degree movable, allowing the upper, flexible plastic section to follow the user allowing him or her to perform a larger range of twists for additional stretching.
The back rest of the EP-960, called the “Comfort Track” is not as flexible as the one described above. Instead it is fitted with inversion grips in the head area that can be used to extend the twist by pulling on it with one’s hand. Thanks to its special construction featuring parallel slots in the area of the lower back, the “Comfort Track” can be equipped with a lumbar bridge, which provides excellent stretching to the most vulnerable part of the spine. The lumbar bridge will, of course, need to be removed if the user wants to perform inverted core strengthening exercises. Also, foam nodes can be fitted into the bed’s little openings for the stimulation of back muscles. It should be noted that these can also be rather annoying when exercising.
Both of these back rests have a small, removable pillow that’s attached with a Velcro strip.
… and the Same Stand
Solid and very sturdy stands support both models. Four large stabilizers placed in each of the leg corners make these tables very stable, especially when compared to the small plastic caps used on some other inversion tables. The back U-Frame bottom bar of the Teeter EP-960 is curved upward; while it may be recommended as an aid for additional stretching, it seems like its more likely to be useful for getting out of the “lock out” position while in full inversion. This U-Frame solution is absent from the EP-950 for some unknown reason. Besides this, the side or “Assist Handles”, are much shorter on the Teeter EP-950 but they do have over molded plastic so they are quite comfortable to the touch.
What Characteristics Do These Two Teeter Models Have in Common?
The remaining features on both of these models are the same and are what make them, in my opinion, such exceptional tables. Let’s look at some of the features these Tweeter inversion tables share.
Ankle Locking System
The most important component of any inversion table is its ankle holder and in this respect, the Teeter solution is the most sophisticated one on the market. It has four foam padded cuffs that work in combination with a locking mechanism which ratchets up. This system allows the user to tightly, yet comfortably, secure his or her ankles. On top of this, the holder is fitted with another extremely useful feature that makes it possible to adjust the distance between the front cuffs and the user instep.The “Ankle Comfort Dial” refers to the fully rotatable platform footrest with a difference of one inch.
My only complaint with this is that, in my opinion, the ratchet locking lever is a little too short. While it’s true that it’s called the “EZ-Reach Ankle System” to emphasize the fact that it’s much more comfortable than a standard pull-pin release system, you do still need to bend over to operate it. I believe that a good solution to this problem would be to increase the length of the closure lever. This is something the company has already done with the more expensive Teeter EP-970 and Contour L5.
The entire ankle loading system is attached to a chrome height adjustment shaft with an engraved scale on its top. There is a spring loaded pin-pull on the bottom of the back rest, which secures the height adjustment. On the opposite side, there’s a plastic knob that can be used to tighten the shaft in the housing in order to keep it from rattling.
The maximum desired inversion angle can be set using the provided tether strap. It is marked with three colored bars which correspond to the different angle set-ups: 20, 40 or 60 degrees. It is extremely helpful if more than one person is using the table for easier tether length readjustment.
The two inversion tables can be locked out in full inversion. What this means in practice is that the tables can rotate past 90 degrees when the user’s weight locks them in place. In this position inverted squats, crunches and sit ups can be performed. Since the tether strap is too short to assist in full inversion it must be disconnected beforehand.
In order to make the backrest mounting safe and easy to use Teeter has provided “Self Locking Hooks” on both models which automatically lock over the pivot pins. Both hooks are easily released with a simple push of the finger. This allows the user to lift the backrest off the stand to adjust the pivot’s setting or dismantle the table.
Teeter Hang Ups have also introduced “Cam Locks” to make setting the pivots easier. This means users won’t need to use a screwdriver to release the pivot arms from the back rest frame.
While the two innovations described above might sound a bit too technical they really do make it much quicker, easier and safer to adjust the pivot arms. Many users neglect this adjustment but really shouldn’t, as it’s responsible for one of the important functions of the table. The inversion devices can rotate in a gentle or an aggressive way by bringing the back rest closer to, or further from, the axis of rotation. Beginners should avoid the more aggressive settings (On the other hand, locking the table in full inversion is impossible in such a position).
Assembly and Storage
The assembly process is simple and takes about an hour and a half. The instructions are easy to follow except for the fact that they also cover the assembly of a variety of other Teeter models which can get a little confusing at times. The table’s dimensions when it’s assembled are 48 by 61 by 27 inches (W x H x D) but it should be remembered that at the maximum height setting, the table will need a 7.5‘ clearance in full inversion.
When it comes to storage, a sore spot with all inversion tables, Teeter’s solution is fast and simple. Once the U-Frames are pushed together, the height adjusting shaft needs to be pushed all the way in and secured with a spring loaded pin next to the backrest; at this point it can be flipped all the way around until it rests on the front of the U-Frame crossbar. This way the ankle holder won’t stick out and the table can be left to stand on its own without needing to be propped up against anything.
Stretch Traction Handles
Raised Grips Frame Base
Both tables can be stored under a bed but the Teeter EP-960 will need a few inches more clearance because of its massive side handle bars. The folded dimensions of both units are pretty much the same, ie 28 by 66 by 16 inches.
Which Accessories Are Compatible?
The tables both come with “EZ Stretch Traction Handles” as a standard. As they’re attached to the table’s pivot arms, they can be used to gently change the center of gravity. This will work perfectly to create easy oscillation, provided the table is properly balanced.
The Vibration Cushion can be used with both machines but the Lumbar Bridge and Acupressure Nodes can only be adapted for use with the Comfort Track Bed (the EP-960 model).
Due to the EZ- Reach locking system present on both models, neither is compatible with the Teeter Gravity Boots.
The Teeter EP-950 and EP-960 are usually priced similarly, often falling below $400. What this means is that you are paying about $60-$70 extra for the “EZ-Reach Ankle System” and the “EZ-Stretch Traction Handles” when compared to their predecessors the EP-550 and the EP-560. When purchased separately the traction handles only cost about $40 more. There’s also a version of the EP-960 called the LTD which costs about $430 and comes with the Acupressure Nodes and Lumbar Bridge as extras. These cost between $40 and $50 when purchased separately.
The two Teeters are no doubt, top-notch machines with many excellent features that could see them easily described as the best on the market. Because they don't have any real competition in their market segment (other than themselves), the only question potential customers really need to ask would be "Which one of the two Teeters should I buy?" To make your decision easier, check out the comparison table to the right that we've set up for that very purpose. If you could live without the flexible backrest technology–the only feature that the EP-960 is missing–then there's no reason to deliberate any longer!