Table of Contents
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The Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar is our pick for the best trap bar for most people. There are a wide variety of trap bars currently available with just about every feature you could imagine, however, with more features comes a higher price. On the other end are lower-priced trap bars that are certainly worth looking at (in fact, in many cases we'd suggest going with one of our budget picks), but lack some of the refinements and durability features of the TB-1.
Although the TB-1 isn't the best piece of equipment Rogue makes, it does get the job done at a great price. Featuring an aggressive knurl, thick and rigid square tubing, long enough sleeves to load it up with iron or bumpers, a lifetime warranty, and a decent price are what make the Rogue TB-1 our top pick.
In addition to the inherent properties of the bar, it's also rackable. Some people don't think it matters if a trap bar is rackable, but those in a home gym know the importance of having equipment that is versatile. Thanks to its rackability (is that a word?) the TB-1 can be used for presses or rack deadlifts in addition to the movements available outside of the rack.
Despite the Rogue TB-1 being our top pick, it could honestly be improved in many ways and we expect Rogue to either update it, or it to be unseated by a competitor rather soon.
The Upgrade Pick was an easy choice in the latest specialty bar from Kabuki Strength, the Kabuki Strength Trap Bar. Chris Duffin, the creator of the Duffalo Bar and New Gen Power Bar has been on an absolute tear lately. The Trap Bar from his company Kabuki Strength is their latest release, and quite possibly their best yet. Check out the Kabuki Strength Duffalo Bar review and Kabuki Strength New Generation Power Bar Review here.
The number of useful features that are packed into this bar makes you question why it hadn't been thought of sooner. Combining the open-end design that is by far the best way to make a trap bar along with interchangeable handles that feature the same knurling as their top-of-the-line power bar, this is the last trap bar you'd ever have to buy. We chose the Kabuki Trap Bar as our Upgrade Pick due to its significantly higher price tag, but also a wealth of features. If you have the money to spend and want the best, this is our recommendation.
See our full Kabuki Strength Trap Bar review here.
The Eleiko Oppen Deadlift Bar is an open-end trap bar that is the most costly on our list (and quite possibly anywhere,) but also one of the best. What separates the Öppen Deadlift Bar from the competition is not just in its features, but its attention to detail. Eleiko introduced the first trap bar with a built-in jack, but in addition to that, the bar is rackable, has chrome, machined sleeves, and the best handles we've ever felt on a specialty bar.
As you might expect, the Eleiko is pricey. We absolutely love its features and use it more than any other trap bar, but for the price, it's unfortunately out of the range for most people. If you have the money to spend, want a rackable trap bar, and like the refinement of Eleiko, you can't beat the Öppen Deadlift Bar.
See our full Eleiko Öppen Deadlift Bar review here.
If you’re on a budget, or you just don’t feel like spending an enormous amount of money on a trap bar (we don’t blame you) then we would suggest the Titan Fitness Hex Trap Bar as our budget pick.
The Titan Fitness Hex Trap Bar is very similar to the older brother of our Top Pick, the Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar. We’ve used and abused the TB-2 for years now and still recommend it to many. The Titan Hex Trap Bar is a good bar, but as with most Titan Fitness products, it doesn't come without its quirks. For instance, it's listed as rackable, but many users have reported it's not and the bottom handles are not knurled even though the top ones are. Despite this, for the price, this is an awesome trap bar and one we foresee many adding to their garage gym.
If you're on a budget but still want a trap bar that can compete with much more expensive competitors, this is your best bet. Be sure to check out our step-by-step guide to Building a Budget Home Gym from Titan Fitness.
If you can't afford our Budget Pick, then we suggest the CAP Mega Olympic Hex Bar. This bar isn't flashy, lacks many features, and has a pretty passive knurl, but despite this, it's still good enough for most people. Thanks to its rigid design and ability to hold 1,000+ LB, the CAP Mega Hex Bar is our Ultra Budget Pick.
Many, including some of the strongest in the world, such as Stan Efferding have been seen using the Cap Mega Hex Bar and if it's good enough for them, it likely is for you. Although there are a lot of things we'd like to see improved on the bar, the price isn't one of them.
In a poll on our Garage Gym FaceBook Group, we asked, "What trap bar would you recommend for most people?" A majority of them chose this bar, the CAP Olympic Hex Bar. By far the cheapest bar on our list, but considering it's a specialty bar, for most, that's what they want.
Although we wouldn't agree with everyone who chose the CAP Hex Bar as the best trap bar for most people, we do agree that most could easily get away with owning one of the bars and never consider having to upgrade over the life of their garage gym. The knurling is pretty passive and the sleeve length is short, but during use, most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
If you want a trap bar and just want the cheapest one we recommend, this one's it. And, you'd likely surprise yourself with just how good it is for the price.
On a budget? Be sure to also check our ultimate $1,000 budget home gym guide here.
The Titan Olympic Hex Weight Bar is essentially the same as our Cheapest Pick, the CAP OB-89HZ Olympic Combo Hex Bar, but often at a higher price. The main difference is the hex bar from Titan Fitness has chrome plating, other than that, they're identical. We suggest checking both sites before buying to determine which bar has the better price at the time because they're constantly fluctuating.
If you have points with Titan, this is a great option to use them on. It's a cheap bar with a ton of versatility available.
A trap bar is an extremely underrated piece of equipment. We’ve seen many people find the trap bar to be a beneficial addition to their garage gym, but it’s often one of the later specialty bars that’s purchased; this shouldn’t be the case.
In fact, in our opinion, the trap bar, due to its versatility, price, and ability to make you strong and fit should be near the top of anyone’s bar purchases outside of the best Olympic barbell.
You should buy and use a trap bar for many reasons, the least of which is the fact that they’re extremely easy to come by nowadays. In fact, out of all the specialty bars currently on the market, the trap bar is one of the most affordable and most available. Nearly every company making gym equipment offers some sort of trap bar, and many offer multiple versions. The large number of trap bars that have flooded the market has lead to lower prices and therefore more attainable for more people.
Read more of the 7 biggest trap bar benefits here.
It must be stated that a trap bar is different from a barbell. A thought that often goes through peoples minds when deciding to buy a specialty bar like the hex bar or not, is, “can’t I just deadlift using my barbell.” First, there’s nothing wrong with just deadlifting with your barbell; you can get plenty strong. Second, a trap bar is actually likely a better bar for deadlifts than the straight bar. Before you cry heresy, let’s detail the benefits of the trap bar.
Here are five benefits we see of using the trap bar:
Reason #1: The Trap Bar Deadlift is Easier to Teach and Learn than the Barbell Deadlift
That’s right, a trap bar is both easier to teach and learn than using the traditional barbell to deadlift with. Here’s the thing, for most people, the more complicated the exercise the worse it will actually be for them. It won’t be worse for them in the sense that it won’t work well, but most people should avoid complication in lifting so they avoid injury and receive most of the benefits from the exercise. It’s why Starting Strength preaches squatting, deadlifting, overhead pressing, benching, and if someone really wants to, power cleaning. Snatches and clean and jerks are fun movements, but that doesn’t mean they’re optimal for most trainees.
A trap bar deadlift can be taught to the most novice lifters and be beneficial. It’s a big reason the US Army has announced a new physical fitness test known as the Army Combat Fitness Test, or ACFT that includes the 3-rep max weight trap bar deadlift as a hallmark exercise. In fact, this is what the military had to say about the reason for using the Trap Bar:
“Trap (Hex) bars are significantly easier (lower injury risk) for untrained Soldiers to learn and execute lifts...To date, we've tested more than 500 untrained Soldiers with zero reported injuries.”
If you’re new to training or training someone else who is new to training, the trap bar is extremely beneficial.
Reason #2: High Athletic Transfer to Other Sports and Movements
There have been two studies that show peak velocity and power are higher, independent of the loading, with the trap bar deadlift than an Olympic barbell deadlift.
In the first study titled, “A biomechanical analysis of straight and hexagonal barbell deadlifts using submaximal loads” it was found that:
“The enhanced mechanical stimulus obtained with the hexagonal barbell suggests that in general, l the HBD (Hexagonal Bar Deadlift) is a more effective exercise than the SBD (Straight Bar Deadlift.)”
In the second study titled, “An Examination of Muscle Activation and Power Characteristics While Performing the Deadlift Exercise With Straight and Hexagonal Barbells” it was found that:
“These results suggest that the barbells led to different patterns of muscle activation and that the hexagonal barbell may be more effective at developing maximal force, power, and velocity.”
In other words, not only is it largely believed that the trap bar has a greater transfer to sports, it’s been proven in peer-reviewed studies. Although the straight bar deadlift is certainly a phenomenal exercise, just because it’s popular does not mean it’s the best.
Reason #3: Low Chances of Injury
Without a doubt, the trap bar deadlift has a lower chance of injury to its users than a conventional straight bar deadlift. Although the deadlift shouldn’t be foregone due to the chance of injury (not deadlifting, squatting, and working out, in general, is likely much more detrimental to your health,) the trap bar deadlift carries less risk of injury. To help reduce stress on the lower back and prevent any back hypertension, check out our list of the best weightlifting belts here.
There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that due to the grips being parallel, there’s no need to do a mixed grip. A mixed grip is where one palm is facing inward and the other outward while deadlifting, typically heavyweights. This is done to increase the holding strength of the user when the grip has given out.
A mixed grip, although allows heavier weight to be lifted, it does have a cost. Mixed grip causes a shift in weight to be slightly off-center which can, in theory, lead to muscle imbalances. Worse though, is that a mixed grip has been known to cause more instances of bicep tears in the supinated arm. When you see a bicep tear and roll up into the shoulder joint because of a mixed grip deadlift, it will make you never want to do it again.
In addition to no need for a mixed grip, a trap bar causes fewer hyperextensions because lockout feels more natural. Whenever you see people pushing their hips through and shoulders way back in order to achieve an over-the-top lockout on the deadlift, it’s actually not good for them. It can lead to an increased injury and is much more difficult to do with a trap bar because there’s no weight to balance against.
Reason #4: Different Handle Heights
Most trap bars come with two different handle heights. One that is in alignment with the sleeves and another that is higher up. Everybody’s body is shaped differently. People also have different length levers. The thought that a 7’ NBA basketball player should be deadlifting from the same height as a 5’2” stay at home mom is laughable. Different height handles help in this regard.
Not to mention, many strength coaches have recognized that deadlifting from a low height isn’t necessarily better for athletes. On the Tim Ferris Show, Ryan Flaherty, Senior Director of Performance at Nike had this to say about how he uses the trap bar for his athletes:
“I want you to be in somewhat of an athletic jump position. If you imagine looking in the mirror from the side and jumping, and you go to the depth of your jump, and that’s where you’d feel comfortable, look in the mirror and see where that is, and align the handles to that. That’s the athletic position and that’s where I want you to be. That’s where you’re going to recruit the most motor units.”
Reason #5: The Trap Bar is Great for Upper Body Strength
Although many people look at the trap bar as strictly for lower body, especially deadlifts, it’s also excellent for upper body movements.
Overhead presses, lying tricep presses, rows, landmine movements, and more can all be done with the trap bar. Many forget that a garage gym allows them to get extremely creative without the worry of others looking at them like they’re from another planet. Don’t think the trap bar is just for deadlifts, just like the best squat rack isn’t just for squatting. There are a ton of exercises that with a little ingenuity can be done.
Previous to this time in history, there were much fewer trap bar designs. However, with the influx of a variety of designs and companies making those designs, there are now many more things to be aware of when purchasing a trap bar.
We’ve tried to take the most obvious characteristics of what to look for in the bar and use these to guide our recommendations:
Similar to a barbell, the steel of the trap bar is the most important characteristic. Although it’s not as important in the large scheme of things as the tensile strength of the steel in a barbell due to their being more supporting structures in the trap bar, it still matters.
For instance, an Olympic bar often uses a thicker diameter steel than a trap bar. It also has whip and that whip matters to the properties of the bar. I say this because I think you should consider the steel used, but more than that, you should consider the weight limit of the bar as that will affect how rigid it is during use.
Most trap bars will be able to hold the weight you want to lift if the sleeves are long enough, but some bars begin to bow under the weight and are not only become more uncomfortable to use, but also not as safe.
The knurling of a trap bar definitely matters. For those unaware, the knurling is the cross-hatched portion of a bar that provides help for your grip. We say the knurling on a trap bar matters because too often companies will throw a cheese grater knurl or nothing at all on the trap bar (and just about all specialty bars) but the trap bar especially needs a quality knurl. If you expect someone to pull heavy weight without straps, then a good knurl plays a significant role in the completion of the lift.
Thankfully, with some of the higher-end trap bars, companies are realizing the knurling pattern used on the trap bar is worth spending time on. Some of our picks have knurling that is better than 95% of barbells on the market, while some of the more budget barbells still feature cheap knurling.
The next characteristic to be aware of is the bars overall design, and this relates specifically to something that is rather new to the industry. For years, the trap bar pretty much looked the exact same as it’s competition. There would be some minor tweaks, but overall, it retained the same basic shape. There are arguments around who created the original open-ended trap bar, although it appears to be Intek Strength with their Functional Trap Bar (a good bar by the way.) However, what matters most is that since it’s creation, the design has been copied and reworked many times over.
An open-ended design is simply a better design. With the top of the line open-ended trap bars, they retain all of the benefits of a traditional trap bar and then some. A trap bar that isn’t enclosed increases in versatility dramatically. Suddenly, many more movements are available with a bar that was relegated largely for deadlifts, AND this is perfect for the home gym owner.
The last characteristic of the trap bar to be aware of is its finish. This is an area that could be improved by many companies today in relation to all of their specialty bars, but currently, expect the trap bar to be powder-coated in some manner.
Be sure to check out the best gymnastics grips (for CrossFit) here.
In order to gather a comprehensive list of trap bars, we first began with research. This process is now much easier thanks to our Product Dashboard that features nearly every trap bar ever made (with more being added daily.) In addition to seeing what we had compiled in our database, we sought out manufacturer's websites, various retailers, and more. As always, we consulted the r/homegym on Reddit, Garage Gym Community Facebook Group, as well as other strength athletes. This included running a poll in the Garage Gym Community group to see what the general consensus was for those with experience.
The trap bars we picked to test in-house were all of the ones we thought had the potential to make the list. In reality, we’ve used in one form or another just about every trap bar that’s on the market, whether that be at other gyms, trade shows, or just ones we have on hand.
It must be understood that the bars in our ranking are based upon our criteria. We didn’t just pick the best trap bar regardless of the price. We wanted to find the best trap bar for most people and then have various spending categories to determine the rest of the hierarchy. It’s easy to find the absolute best, oftentimes you just look for the most expensive; choosing the best for most people while considering all of the factors involved, is much harder.
But, we think we’re up to the job.
So, after some discussion among those on the Garage Gym Reviews team, we were able to narrow down our specifications for what makes a good trap bar to the following list that is ordered in no particular order:
Overall Construction: This is an important spec to be aware of for any piece of equipment and covers a lot of bases. The construction should match the asking price, meaning if a trap bar is expensive, then it should have tighter tolerances, better welds, more precise knurling, etc than one that is less.
Knurling: The knurling of a trap bar does matter. In fact, the knurling on the trap bar should be just as important as what’s on a barbell considering it’s used for pulling. The type of knurling is a personal preference, however, the consistency of the knurl and its breakpoints are what makes a “good” knurl. This said, we prefer a more aggressive knurl for a trap bar due to it being used most often for heavy deadlifts.
Open End or Close End: An open-ended trap bar is better than one that’s close-ended. An open-ended trap bar can be used for all of the same exercises as a close-ended bar, but can also do much more.
Bar Jack: Many trap bars today are integrating a bar jack to make it easy to slide on and off weight plates. This is a very useful feature, more than a gimmick, and is considered in our selections.
Finish: Although powder coat is the standard coating for most trap bars today, it’s not necessarily the best. However, the sleeve finish is even more important as they’re much more likely to experience abuse than the rest of the bar.
Price: The price of a trap bar really matters. Considering it’s a specialty bar and you can get 80% of the way there with a barbell, the price weighs much. It’s fine if a trap bar costs more, however, its features should match the offer.
Warranty: Many companies are now offering lifetime warranties on their trap bars. This is great, however, most trap bars have no need for a warranty because they simply aren’t going to break.
During testing, we performed the deadlift, shrugs, jumps, lunges, tricep extensions, overhead press, cambered squats, and more with the various bars. We dropped them from hip height, shoulder height, and from overhead. We weighed them on our scale, tested various plates on the bar, and measured the sleeve diameter for uniformity. Lastly, we asked others what they thought, specifically, “if you had to recommend a trap bar to most garage gym owners, which one would you recommend?”
The Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar is our pick for the best trap bar for most people. Despite there being many different trap bar releases recently, the TB-1, in our opinion, provides the best features at a price point that is within reach for most of our readers. This said, we still feel like there are many things lacking in the TB-1 and foresee this bar either being replaced by Rogue, or overtaken by a newcomer sooner than later.
The TB-1 Trap Bar has been around for some time, in fact, it was one of the first specialty bars that Rogue released and although it’s been updated over time, the updates have been minor. We have the older brother of the TB-1 in our garage gym, the Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar that features all of the same construction and components, but also includes a second handle that allows for deadlifts from a different height. Initially, we were going to recommend the TB-2, but it’s quite a bit more expensive and the only difference is the second handle that can easily be replicated by deadlifting in a rack or on blocks with the TB-1.
There are a few reasons we’ve chosen the TB-1 as our top pick. The first is it’s made by a company with arguably the best customer service and warranty in the industry. Although we don’t foresee people breaking the TB-1 Trap Bar, it’s nice to know that if any issues come up, including during shipping, you can easily get help having them resolved. This is an issue we’ve seen come up with other trap bars on this list and is inherent in various company structures.
In addition to the customer service, another side note is the TB-1, as with just about any Rogue product, has great resale value. We foresee many companies, including Rogue, updating their trap bars and offering better options at all price levels, so we wouldn’t be surprised if you eventually want to sell the bar you currently have to upgrade. People will always have a desire to buy a Rogue product on the secondary market, and with the US Army adopting them (I’m pretty sure they’ve made a huge order from Rogue, see here, those are TB-1’s in the video.)
The TB-1 Trap Bar from Rogue, a part from what it receives inherently from being a Rogue product, is extremely well made. It’s built to handle any weight you can throw at it and will stay extremely rigid throughout. There is no, I repeat, no whip with any weight on this bar. Rogue doesn’t give a specific weight capacity for the bar, but it has to be well over 1,000 LB thanks to the thick frame and robotic welds.
The entire trap bar is powder coated. This is less than ideal, especially on the sleeves as we’ll mention on it’s shortcomings, but they’ve since improved their powder coating from the original bars and it doesn’t flake quite as easy. The powder coat is Rogue’s signature black matte textured powder coat that is seen throughout hundreds of items in their catalog. It works well for the frame of the bar, but is less than idea on the sleeves.
The knurling on the Rogue Trap Bar is sharp! Seriously, it’s one of the sharpest knurls we’ve used on any bar, including the Rogue Deadlift Bar. In fact, in our opinion, it’s sharper than it needs to be and in order to prevent calluses tearing like crazy during farmers walks with the bar, we used some sandpaper to shave it down. Despite the knurling being sharp, it is consistent, uniform, and well done. Rogue uses top of the line HAAS machinery to make equipment as well as knurl barbells, which is one reason their bars are known for having some of the best knurling in the industry.
One big benefit of the TB-1 that some trap bars miss is that it’s rackable. Those who have never used a trap bar in a rack are missing out. First off, is the obvious benefit of using the rack for trap bars at different heights via spotter pins. Rack pulls are a great variant of the trap bar deadlift and it’s nice to have a bar that can accommodate the movement. Although this is a great feature, even more than that, we like to use the trap bar for overhead press. In fact, overhead press with the trap bar is one of our favorite upper-body movements and something we suggest everyone reading this who hasn’t tried it, give it a shot. The TB-1 allows for this type of work due to it being rackable.
The sleeves of the TB-1 are powder coated which is less than ideal, however, they have been updated with Schedule 80 Pipe (we’d prefer they be machined like some of our upgrade picks.) Thanks to the 1.91” diameter, the bar should be able to handle most standard Olympic Collars.
To summarize, although the TB-1 Trap Bar from Rogue could certainly be improved, it is one of the best value trap bars available and the reason we have rated it our top pick among the many other trap bars. We think many could get away with a lower priced trap bar and would love a trap bar that costs more (see our upgrade picks) but for something that performs well and doesn’t break the bank, this is currently the best option.
The biggest shortcoming of the Rogue TB-1 Trap bar compared with some of the newer trap bars that are coming out is the powder coated sleeves. It seems extremely silly to powder coat something that is going to have metal plates rubbed against it and cause the powder to flake off. This needs to be fixed, even raw metal sleeves would be better in our opinion.
The other issue with the bar is the knurl. It’s a good knurl in that it is uniform and consistent, but it’s much too aggressive. We greatly prefer too aggressive a knurl on a trap bar versus too passive, but the ideal knurl in our opinion would be what’s on the Rogue Ohio Power Bar. In addition to the knurl being too aggressive, there are no knurl marks in the center of the handle that allows you to line up even with the bar. This is a major oversight that makes it difficult to line up with the bar evenly.
Lastly, and this is nit-picky, but the logo on the TB-1 is a sticker. Rogue is a premium brand and people paying premium prices like to show off the brand and it helps with resale value, laser-cut that bad boy or paint it on. Stickers being used on high-end gym equipment always seem out of place.
The Kabuki Strength Trap Bar, in all reality, is our favorite trap bar currently available. We’d love to tell everyone to spend $500+ on a trap bar, but it’s out of the price range for most of our readers who are trying to spend money elsewhere, so that’s why we’ve chosen it as our Upgrade Pick.
To start with, an open-end design is simply better than one that’s closed. There’s not much arguing this, even the manufacturers who don’t yet have an open-ended trap bar would likely admit it’s better and are likely working on their own. The open-end configuration is the eventual fate of nearly all trap bars and will probably be discovered someplace in pretty much every equipment manufacturer's line-up that is as of now making and selling barbells.
The open-ended design of the Kabuki Strength Trap Bar increases the versatility of the bar, and therefore is better for those in a home gym with less space than a commercial setting. The more exercises you can perform with a piece of equipment, the better for the home gym owner. An open-ended trap bar like our Upgrade Picks can be used for lunges, presses, tricep work, box deadlifts, and more.
Specifically, the Kabuki Strength Trap Bar utilizes a bit of a unique frame geometry by employing square tubing that’s been bent at the corners to make a somewhat seAmless frame. Eleiko, with their latest Öppen Deadlift Bar uses large, round tubing that has been bent in a similar shape. Rogue’s TB-1 Trap Bar, our top pick, features a similar style of square tubing as the Kabuki Strength Trap Bar but instead of being bent, it’s chopped and welded together with extra braces for increased rigidity.
One of the coolest features of some of the latest open-ended trap bar designs is the ability to jack the bar up for loading plates. On each end of the Kabuki Trap Bar are angled “legs” that feature grooves for tread that allows the bar to be easily stood up. This feature will have you asking, “why didn’t I come up with that?” as you take a step back and admire the invention; it’s that simple and great of an idea.
The other feature of the Trap Bar by Kabuki Strength that separates it from pretty much every trap bar currently available and makes it our Upgrade Pick is the swappable grips. There are two positions for grips on the Trap Bar, one set of low handles that are ½” above alignment with the bar sleeves (more on this in a second) and one that is set a few inches higher. Both of these positions have the ability for any of the three grips Kabuki makes to be inserted. Currently, there is a 1” and 1.5” handle that is included with every trap bar purchase, and an optional 2” handle called the “Love Handle” that can be set to be fixed or rolling.
The handles are knurled in what appears to me to be the same knurling pattern as the Upgrade Pick on our Best Powerlifting Barbell guide, the Kabuki Strength New Gen Power Bar. In other words, the knurling on the Kabuki Trap Bar is the same as one of the best power bars in the world. Compared to the knurling on our Top Pick, the Rogue TB-1, the Kabuki Trap Bar blows it out of the water. It’s as if the TB-1’s knurling was an afterthought, while on Kabuki’s it was something they spent a lot of time and energy on.
As previously mentioned, the Kabuki Trap Bar shifts the low handles a ½” above alignment with the barbell sleeves. This is unconventional, but done for a pretty ingenious reason that could only have been thought of by a 1,000+ LB deadlifting engineer, namely Chris Duffin. The handles being just a bit higher than parallel makes it easier to balance the bar. Although it wasn’t overtly noticeable if not told of the feature prior, I didn’t experience as many issues balancing the bar as I have with cheaper trap bars in the past.
The last area of focus on the Trap Bar that we like is the machined sleeves. By now, machined sleeves should be the standard on every bar claiming to be “one of the best.” With machined Olympic sleeves, there's no need to buy spare axle collars or for the weight to constantly be jarring against the sleeve due to too much space between the sleeve and plate hub. The 16.5” loadable area of the sleeve allows for you to add as much iron as you’d like or even to get heavy with the best bumper plates. On the end of the sleeve is a simple and classy etched metal end cap that is in line with Kabuki’s other bars. It’s a beautiful thing.
We used the Kabuki Trap Bar for everything from heavy deadlifts and camber squats to lunges and overhead presses (done with a unique method, more on that later.) Our verdict on the Kabuki Strength Trap Bar is that it’s the best trap bar for people who don’t mind spending extra money. Although we’d love to recommend it to everyone, it’s pricey for a single bar. That said, for those with the cash, you won’t regret it.
The Eleiko Oppen Deadlift Bar is one of the most expensive trap bars, and likely specialty bars on the market. It’s also one of the most enjoyable to use and has us questioning where the line is between strength equipment and fine art. Although we wish it was a bit cheaper so more people could experience just how good of a bar it is, we’re glad Eleiko didn’t cut any corners and made a bar worthy of their historic name.
Here’s what we like about Eleiko in general, and we told their Marketing Director this when he asked what we thought about the bar. Eleiko has a high level of execution through simple products. We, as much as likely you reading this love a piece of equipment with a lot of bells and whistles. Adjustments, attachments, customizable options are all things we love, but here’s the issue, the more changes, and features added to a product, the more likely it is for there to be issues. Think about it, as good as a Leatherman Multi-Tool is, if you just need something cut, a fixed blade is vastly superior. Eleiko recognizes this. Here was Jochem (Eleiko’s Head of Marketing) reply to me, “We try to be the best in the existing categories and deliver outstanding lifetime value through smart engineering.” The Eleiko Öppen Deadlift Bar is a perfect example of this mission.
What separates the Öppen Deadlift Bar from the competition and the reason it’s one of our Upgrade Picks is not just because of its features, but it’s attention to detail. Without a doubt, and this may come as a surprise to some, my favorite feature of the Öppen Deadlift Bar from Eleiko is the bar handles. Rather than using a cheap pipe and having some second-rate knurling used (even the best trap bars on the market do this, for instance, our top pick, the Rogue TB-1) the Eleiko Öppen Deadlift Bar utilizes what feels and looks like the same steel and knurling as their world-renowned IWF Weightlifting Barbell. In fact, because we have an Eleiko Training WL Bar on hand, we were able to compare and they are pretty much exact.
In addition to the excellent handles, the Öppen Deadlift Bar utilizes an open-end design. This is a similar design as our other Upgrade Pick, the Kabuki Strength Trap Bar, although Eleiko released their shortly before Kabuki. This is the design of the future and we foresee pretty much all new trap bars that are released to feature something similar. Eleiko, instead of using square tubing, utilizes thick round tubing that is then powder-coated to match that of the rest of their new equipment. We’ve said this in other reviews, but Eleiko’s equipment is as much of an art as it is a science. Just as with the Kabuki Trap Bar, the Eleiko Öppen Deadlift Bar opens up a world of possibilities for movements including Camber Bar Squats that work surprisingly well (oh, and did we mention it’s rackable.)
One of the most remarkable features that Eleiko first introduced to the market was the ability to stand the bar up on its end so plates can be easily slid on. This is much more than a gimmick and is an extremely useful feature. In fact, we wish it was on every bar we have after using it. Eleiko’s jack stand features two rubber bumpers that unlike Kabuki’s is less likely to marr up your platform or whatever surface you’re training on. They also grip well so it goes up very easily.
The Eleiko Trap Bar is a beautiful piece of equipment, however, being Eleiko, it is rather expensive. It’s by far the most expensive trap bar on our list and likely the most expensive trap bar on the market. Is it one of the best we’ve ever used? By far, but, is it worth the cost? We’ll let you decide on that one.
If you’re on a budget, or you just don’t feel like spending an enormous amount of money on a trap bar (we don’t blame you) then we would suggest the Titan Fitness Hex Trap Bar as our Budget Pick.
The Titan Fitness Hex Trap Bar is very similar to the older brother of our Top Pick, the Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar. We’ve used and abused the TB-2 for years now and still recommend it to many. There are a couple of reasons why we’ve kept the Titan Hex Trap Bar from being our top pick (they were very close) and here’s why:
1. We’ve heard of quite a few issues of people not receiving what they ordered until only after a few months of back and forth.
2. The Hex Trap Bar has no warranty (this is more of a minor reason considering most won’t ever need one.)
3. The bottom handle, the one that will be used most often, has no knurling.
4. The bar is listed as rackable, but reviews do not seem to agree.
Despite these reasons, the Titan Hex Trap Bar is one of the best value trap bars on the market. It features nearly all of the same design elements (not surprisingly) as the Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar at a much lower price. So low in fact, it looks like the TB-2, but is priced less than the TB-1.
The Hex Trap Bar from Titan is fully powder coated in a matte black textured powder coat, including the sleeves, unfortunately, and has both higher and lower handles. The knurling on the higher handle has gotten great remarks from those that have used it and is actually somewhat aggressive, although not as aggressive as our Top Pick, the Rogue TB-1 (we’re happy about this.) One of the biggest complaints on the bar, however, is the lack of knurling on the lower handle.
Without a doubt, the handle that will be used most often is the lower handle, so why they decided to not knurl it is beyond our understanding (in all honesty, it was likely done on accident.) Here’s what one reviewer said in regards to the lower handle:
“My only gripe is that the lower handles are not knurled. Using chalk definitely helps mitigate that but as that powder coat wears down, not sure how that will hold up with heavy use. Of course, you can use straps but I prefer to train without them. Just seems like a weird design choice."
Similar comments as these fill the review section of Titan’s website.
One feature of the bar that’s stated, but is only somewhat accurate is the rackability of the bar. Many reviewers have claimed that although the bar fits on safety straps or safety bars, it does not fit in j-cups. Here’s what one reviewer had to say:
“It is technically rackable but is slightly over getting that on the "barbell like" surfaces. What I mean by this is that the collars are about 56" apart, meaning about 52" is where I personally would consider rackable. 52" is where you have the two outside portions of the hex coming together and equivalent to my standard barbel. I can rack it f I use it on the safeties but not if I want to use it on the j-hooks.”
If you’re looking for a fully compatible trap bar that is rackable in a majority of squat racks, this isn’t it. However, as with some other trap bars, it can be used on a variety safety straps or safety bars.
All in all, the Titan Hex Trap Bar is one of the best value trap bars available. Its features and build combined with its low price create a truly great value. It must be understood, however, that Titan has a reputation for things going missing in shipping or shipping the wrong item. Titan is also an importer of equipment, meaning the bar is not made in the USA, but most likely China. To some this matters, to others it does not.
If you want a lot of features in a trap bar at a low price, this is your best bet and our Budget Pick.
Specialty bars, and therefore trap bars, are used less than Olympic barbells in a majority of home gyms. For this reason, it makes complete sense that you’d want a more budget-friendly trap bar, and the Cap Mega Olympic Hex Bar is a bar that packs a lot of punch for it’s price.
The Cap Mega Olympic Hex Bar is essentially the big brother to our Cheapest Pick, the Cap Olympic Trap Bar. Featuring the same geometry, but with thicker diameter steel and therefore greater rigidity, the Cap Mega Olympic Hex Bar does a great job of combining functionality with affordability.
The Mega Hex Bar is made from solid steel that is then bent, welded and bright zinc plated. Bright zinc is a durable and corrosion resistant plating that is also affordable, but should prevent the bar from rusting quickly in an environment with constantly fluctuating temperatures and humidity levels.
The Mega Hex Bar is heavy at 75 LB that also allows it to have a high weight capacity of 1,000 LB. The knurling is as you’d expect for the price, pretty passive and uneven. The sleeves are also what you’d expect for the price–short. In addition to these shortcomings, it also has a closed end which is less than ideal, but is expected for the price.
Overall, the Cap Mega Hex Bar is decent, but when you consider the price, it’s pretty great. If you’re on a budget or just don’t want to spend a ton on a trap bar, but want a bit stronger bar than our Cheapest Pick, then this is what we suggest.
The absolute cheapest bar we recommend is the CAP OB-89HZ Combo Hex Bar. In all reality, despite being the cheapest bar on our list, for most reading this, this is the perfect bar. Sure, it’s doesn’t have a great knurl, long sleeves, crazy high weight capacity (750 LB), or the option to work in a squat rack, it gets the job done at often times less than $100.
We recognize that most people simply need a bar that works. You may use the bar for pressing every once in a while, but really what you want a trap bar for are deadlifts and shrugs, and this bar excels in both of these areas.
Check out our guide to building a budget home gym on Amazon here.
We actually held a poll in our Garage Gym Community Facebook Group and this bar was the one chosen as the best value trap bar for most people and we generally agree. See the poll here:
We do think that home gym owners could benefit from the increased versatility of a bar that racks like our Top Pick, the Rogue TB-1, but even though that bar isn’t nearly as expensive as some of the other bars on our list, it’s still nearly 3x the price as the Cap Combo Hex Bar.
Due to the thinner steel, the bar weighs in at 52 LB unloaded. This leads to a lower weight capacity of 750 LB, more than most will ever even get close to needing, and also less rigidity. At heavier weights, the bar does bow somewhat, but not enough to be a huge problem. The bar, despite being a bit cheaper and not crazy strong, is still tough enough to handle some of the strongest in the world like Stan Efferding who uses the bar for farmers carries.
If you want a trap bar that will simply get the job done, still has some nice features like handles with multiple heights and don’t feel like spending a lot, then this is the bar we recommend. You will likely not even notice missing out on many of the other features that the other bars on our list offer.
The Titan Olympic Hex Weight Bar is essentially the same bar as our Cheapest Pick, the CAP OB-89HZ Combo Hex Bar. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if they were made in the same factory in China or Taiwan.
However, despite them being the same bar (for the most part,) they do often vary in price. A majority of times, the CAP Combo Hex Bar will be cheaper, but sometimes with the right discount code, the Titan Olympic Hex Bar can be had for cheaper (or you could use points you’ve accumulated.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about the Titan Hex Bar that hasn’t been said about its twin from CAP Barbell. However, one thing that is different about the bars is that the Titan comes in a hard chrome plating, while CAP’s is available in various finishes from bright zinc to black oxide. The Chrome looks best in the short-term, but can end up chipping over time.
The Titan Hex Weight Bar is a solid trap bar for those that don’t plan to use bumper plates as it has very short sleeves, or just want something that’s cheap and will get the job 95% of the way. For many, a cheap trap bar like this will eventually be upgraded when they find out how much they like the movements available with the bar, and the Titan can easily be resold for close to what you bought it for on Craigslist.
Want a cheap trap bar? The Titan Olympic Hex Weight Bar is a great option. Just don’t expect many frills.
Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar: The Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar is an awesome trap bar and one we often recommend. However, the only difference between it and our top pick, the Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar, is that is has a higher set of handles in addition to the ones on the TB-1. If you want our top pick with higher handles, this is a great option. But, if you plan to spend this amount, we’d suggest spending a bit more to get an open-ended bar or waiting for Rogue to release a new model.
Bells of Steel Trap Bar 2.0: This one almost took the budget pick, but it’s just a bit too expensive to compete with the features of our other pick. This is a good bar, read the full Bells of Steel Trap Bar 2.0 review here, but it hits an in-between spot-on features and price that left it off our list.
Sorinex Diamond Bar: The Sorinex Diamond Bar is a great trap bar, as is pretty much everything Sorinex makes. However, it's very similar to our Top Pick, the Rogue TB-1, but at a higher price point. We're big fans of the bar, but no more so than the TB-1.
Prime Fitness Trap Bar: Not available for sale yet.
MB PowerCenter DeadSled: We have yet to use this model.
FringeSport Heavy-Duty Trap Bar: This is a great trap bar, but doesn’t offer many better features than others that are available and is at a higher price point.
Edge Fitness Rickshaw: Although a good alternative to a trap bar, it’s technically not a trap bar and does work, but we prefer a trap bar to a Rickshaw type bar.
Power Lift Mastiff Deadlift/Trap Bar: Great trap bar, but very expensive at over $800. It’s also a bit of a process to purchase.
Rep Trap Bar: Basic, no frills trap bar that is the same as CAP’s at a higher cost.
Synergee Hex Bar: Decent trap bar, but not better than what CAP offers at a lower cost.
Titan Olympic Hex Weight Bar: Good price for a trap bar, but not less than CAP and it’s the same.
Titan Rickshaw: Same reason the Edge Fitness Rickshaw didn’t make the list.
Vulcan Pro High Hex Trap Bar: Good option, but a bit higher priced than other imported bars.
XMark XM-3686 Olympic Shrug Bar: Same as CAP, but this one costs more. No longer for sale.
EliteFTS Rackable Trap Bar: Good bar that is comparable to our top pick, however, it is more expensive from EliteFTS, especially when shipping is considered.
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