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After researching and using nearly 30 trap bars, we’ve determined that there is still much to be desired in a trap bar we’d recommend for most people. Despite this, currently, for 2024, our Top Pick for the best trap/hex bar is the Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar. 

It offers the best value among the trap bars currently on the market, though there’s still much room for improvement. This said, many would be just fine choosing one of our more budget-friendly recommendations.

After narrowing down our picks for the best Olympic barbells, we decided it was time to take a look at some specialty barbells and find which were best for home gyms. This not only includes the dozens of trap bars we tested, but also safety squat bars and powerlifting barbells. Even though we love a good old-fashioned barbell, sometimes you need something a little different to get the job done. 

Our team also includes certified personal trainers and weightlifting coaches who can tell you the proper way to use these bars for strength and muscle gains. Consider us your one-stop shop for all things fitness. 

To create this list, we looked at factors such as:

  • Construction and durability: How solid is the steel and bar under heavy loads?
  • Finish: Is there any protection against rusting, corrosion, or scratching?
  • Knurling and grip: How does the bar feel in your hands? While in use?
  • Design: Are there any design features that make loading weight easier or add functionality?
  • Versatility: Is the trap bar designed for multiple exercises, or is its use limited?

Best Trap Bars for Home Gyms

Best Trap Bar Overall: Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar 2.0

Good for: Anyone looking for a great trap bar at a reasonable price

Best Overall

Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar 2.0

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Closed design
  • High weight capacity
  • No whip
  • Updated, precision sleeve construction

Made in USA Made in USA

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Reasonable price for a specialty bar, at $325
  • Powder-coated
  • Aggressive knurling
  • Rackable
  • Consistent knurling throughout the handles

Cons

  • Knurling may be too sharp for some
  • Lack of knurl marks makes balancing the bar tricky 
  • Powder-coated sleeves chip easily 

Bottom Line

The Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar 2.0 is an excellent choice for home gym owners who want a rackable hex bar that is built to last.

There are a few reasons we picked the Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar as our best overall trap bar, and the first is that it’s made by a company with some of the best customer service 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 with other trap bars on this list, and with various other companies that make them.

But again, breaking it shouldn’t be an issue. The TB-1 Trap Bar is built to handle any weight you can throw at it and there is no, I repeat, no whip on this bar. Rogue doesn’t give a specific weight capacity, but it has to be well over 1,000 pounds thanks to the thick frame and robotic welds.

trap bar

The entire bar is powder-coated, which is less than ideal when it comes to the sleeves since the metal from weight plates will cause the finish to chip easily. And the knurling on the handles is sharp! Seriously, it’s one of the sharpest knurls we’ve used on any bar, including the Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bar. In fact, in our opinion, it’s sharper than it needs to be, and to prevent calluses from tearing like crazy during farmers’ walks, we used some sandpaper to shave it down.

Oh, did we mention it’s rackable? This allows it to be used for overhead presses and squats, and for it to be easily stored when not in use.

Price$325
Weight60 lbs
Weight capacityNot disclosed
Bar length89”
Grip diameter1.34”
Loadable sleeve length16”
FinishSignature black powder coat

Best Open Trap Bar: REP Fitness Open Trap Bar

Good for: Home gym owners looking for a versatile trap bar

Best Open Trap Bar

REP Fitness Open Trap Bar

GGR Score: 3.8 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Removable handles turns this trap bar into a cambered-design bar that can be used for squats, lunges, and presses
  • Costs around $400 (good price for a trap bar)
  • 6 inches of knurling on the frame
  • Chrome-plated sleeves
  • 1,350-lb weight capacity

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Removable handles increase its versatility
  • Rackable
  • Durable chrome coating on sleeves
  • Costs around $400

Cons

  • Not the most stable trap bar
  • Handles are wider apart than other trap bars
  • Knurling leans on the passive side

Bottom Line

The REP Fitness Open Trap Bar is a great value specialty bar filled with features that separates it from the competition.

The REP Fitness Open Trar Bar might be one of the most feature-filled specialty bars we’ve ever tested. Aside from the open-ended design, which allows lifters to easily step in and out of it, this bar also comes with its own built-in deadlift jack to make sliding weight plates on and off the sleeves a breeze. The sleeves are also chrome-plated, so they’ll stand up to countless loading and unloadings and still look good for many years.

The handles feature knurling that leans on the passive side, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on how you’re training, and comes with a high- and low-grip to give you versatility on how you grip them. We will say the handles are spaced 27 inches apart, which is about two inches longer than most trap bars. This might pose a problem to people with shorter wingspans.

One great thing about the handles is that they’re removable. This turns the REP Fitness Open Trap Bar into a cambered-design bar that can easily be used for presses, lunges, and squats. Oh, and speaking of squats the frame has six inches of knurling to give you extra grip should you decide to do back squats with it.

At $400 this is easily the best-value open trap bar, though it doesn’t feel quite as rigid as the Eleiko Öppen Deadlift Bar or the Kabuki Strength Open Trap Bar. It does, however, come with an impressive 1,350-pound weight capacity.

Read more in this REP Open Trap Bar review.

Price$379
Weight58.4 lbs
Weight capacity1,350 lbs
Bar length84.3”
Grip diameter28 mm
Loadable sleeve length16.5”
FinishTextured matte black powder coat, hard chrome sleeves

Best Rackable Hex Bar: Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar / Hex Bar

Good for: People who want a rackable hex trap bar

Best Rackable Hex Bar

Bells of Steel Olympic Open Trap Bar / Hex Bar

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Has rotating sleeves
  • Open-end frame
  • Built-in deadlift jack
  • Costs under $200
  • 700-pound weight capacity

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Rotating sleeves
  • 700-pound weight capacity should be enough for most users
  • Built-in deadlift jack
  • Open-ended frame
  • Free shipping
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Knurling is inconsistent
  • Bends at higher weights
  • Poor packaging

Bottom Line

For less than $200, the Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar/Hex Bar is a great product with a unique design that sets it apart from the competition in its price range.

There is something to be said for a hex bar you can rack: Makes for an easier liftoff, and makes for easier loading. While we still love the Titan Rackable Hex Bar, the Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar/Hex Bar gets our nod here because it is feature-packed.

First, we love that it’s rackable, but it also has a built-in deadlift jack. Typically, you’ll only find this on super high-end products, but this bar is priced under $400. A deadlift jack makes loading just about as easy as possible. Another loading benefit: The long sleeves. There is a 17.1-inch loadable sleeve on either side of the hex bar, which can accommodate around 700 pounds, depending on how thick your plates are.

This open-ended hex bar boasts rotating sleeves. The brand touts aggressive knurling on the handles, though our testers and some reviewers said they thought it was medium at best.

In terms of durability, this Bells of Steel bar has a 100K PSI tensile strength and comes with a black oxide-coated shaft and white zinc-coated sleeves for corrosion resistance.

Another huge plus is the price. At under $350, this is one of the most affordable trap bars that has all the features of more expensive options.

Price$299
Weight47 lbs
Weight capacity700 lbs
Bar length59”
Grip diameter25 mm
Loadable sleeve length9.7”
FinishBlack oxide shaft, white zinc sleeves

Best Trap Bar for Deadlifts: Titan Open Trap Bar

Good for: Anyone who’s focusing on pulling movements such as deadlifts and rows

Best Trap Bar for Deadlifts

Titan Open Trap Bar

GGR Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Trap bar with an open-ended frame
  • Designed for deadlifts, carries, lunges, and shrugs
  • Built-in bar jack for easy loading and unloading

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Compatible with most standard power racks
  • Sleeves compatible with Olympic-sized weight plates
  • Easy loading and unloading weights
  • Medium knurling handlebars

Cons

  • 65-lb design might be too heavy for beginners
  • Long footprint could be cumbersome

Bottom Line

The Titan Fitness open trap bar offers a heavy-duty design for anyone looking to add versatility to deadlifts, lunges, shrugs, and farmer’s carry exercises. The open-ended design allows you to easily walk in and out of the bar. Plus, you can utilize the built-in bar jack for quick, easy, and safe loading of weight plates.

If you’re looking for a bar simply to pull on and you want the most rigid open trap bar at an affordable price, the Titan Open Trap Bar is the best choice for your home gym. I trained with this bar for a month before writing our Titan Open Trap Bar review, and it’s one of the strongest trap bars I’ve used, and as a plus, it comes with a Goldilocks level of knurling—the cross-hatch pattern on the handles. This is a bar that’s designed for pulling.

Beginners be warned: This is a bar designed to be used in heavy situations, and that’s true even before you load weight plates onto the bar. A standard trap/hex bar is around 55 pounds, but this one is 65. The heavier starting weight also means it might not be the best choice for pressing movements. I personally prefer a lighter starting weight to avoid overloading my shoulder, but you might prefer or need a heavier starting weight.

Another huge plus is the built-in deadlift jack, which allows you to stand the bar up so you can easily load plates on and off the bar. Titan, however, puts the plates about 16 inches off the ground, whereas most trap bars only leave three inches of space between the plates and the floor. This means you’ll have to exert more strength to get it up. It’s almost like doing a second deadlift after you already performed one.

Check out our Titan Open Trap Bar review for more information.

Price$349
Weight65 lbs
Weight capacity1,500 lbs
Bar length88.5”
Grip diameter32 and 38 mm
Loadable sleeve length16”
FinishPowder-coated frame, hard chrome sleeves

Best Budget Trap Bar: Titan Fitness Olympic Hex Weight Bar

Good for: People who just want a trap bar that can handle heavy weight, but isn’t expensive

Best Budget Trap Bar

Titan Olympic Hex Weight Bar

GGR Score: 4.4 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Unique dual handle design for targeting and isolating desired muscle groups
  • Fits standard 2" Olympic plates
  • Knurled handles for improved grip
  • Easy "Flip" design– simply turn the bar over to switch grips

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Medium knurl that provides grip, but won’t shred your hands
  • Affordable at just over $125 (with free shipping)
  • Durable, and should last a while in your garage gym

Cons

  • Very short sleeves
  • 500 lb. weight capacity is light, but I’ve seen these handle much more
  • Hard chrome can end up chipping over time

Bottom Line

We like this trap bar because it gets the job done at a low price without looking or feeling like it was built for cheap.

If you’re simply looking for a trap bar you can use for deadlifts and to work your lower body, our most budget-friendly recommendation is the Titan Fitness Olympic Hex Weight Bar. Seriously, don’t go cheaper than this bar. 

At around $150, it has everything you need in a trap bar and has a lower starting weight than other options (this also makes it a good choice for beginners who are just getting used to the feeling of a trap bar). 

The knurling is actually quite good for a budget trap bar, and should provide some good grip without ripping your hands to shreds if you decide to go for high reps. 

Titan Olympic Hex Trap Weight Bar

Other than that, there’s not much we can say about this hex bar. It comes with chrome plating, which chips much quicker than other finishes like bright zinc or black oxide. The sleeves are also less than 10 inches long, which means you can’t load many weight plates on the bar before running out of space. 

The listed weight capacity is 500 pounds, but honestly, we’d be surprised if you can even get close to that much on the sleeves. 

If you’re looking for a budget pick that’s a little more durable, go for the Cap Combo Hex Bar on Amazon. It’s a little more expensive than Titan’s, but it has 13-inch sleeves and better finishes. There’s also the Sunny Health & Fitness Olympic Hex Barbell Trap Bar, which costs around $100 on Amazon, but we haven’t tried that one out for ourselves just yet.

Price$159
Weight44 lbs
Weight capacity500 lbs
Bar length56”
Grip diameter28 mm
Loadable sleeve length9.75”
FinishChrome

Best Luxury Trap Bar: Eleiko Öppen Deadlift Bar

Good for: Anyone who wants a high-end open-ended trap bar that can be used for deadlifts and squats

Luxury Pick

Eleiko Öppen Deadlift Bar

GGR Score: 4.4 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Open design for versatility
  • Exceptional knurling
  • Great attention to detail
  • Eleiko steel

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Some of the best knurling on a trap bar 
  • Open-end design increases its versatility 
  • Rackable, and can be used with most squat racks

Cons

  • Most expensive trap bar, at around $800
  • Welds aren’t the best, especially for Eleiko 
  • Could use some knurling on the center of the bar

Bottom Line

If you want a high-end trap bar, the Eleiko Bar is fantastic thanks to its exceptional knurling, open-end design, and the fact that it is rackable.

The Eleiko Oppen Deadlift Bar is one of the most expensive trap bars, but 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.

As its name suggests, the Öppen Deadlift Bar utilizes an open-end design. Instead of square tubing for the center like most trap bars, Eleiko utilizes thick round tubing that is then powder-coated. This is more comfortable than the tubing found on the Kabuki Strength Trap Bar or other open-ended trap bars, which is why it’s our pick for this category. 

We would’ve liked to see some knurling in the middle so there’s a little more grip on the back, but that’s us being a little nitpicky. 

Eleiko has unmatched attention to detail, and this can be seen on the Öppen Deadlift Bar’s handles.

Eleiko Öppen Deadlift Bar

Rather than using a cheap pipe and having some second-rate knurling used (even the best trap bars do this) the Öppen Deadlift Bar utilizes what feels and looks like the same steel and knurling as their world-renowned IWF Weightlifting Barbell

We have to say, the welds on this bar aren’t exactly what we’d call Eleiko-quality. They’re better than most other companies, just not what we’ve come to expect from the Swedes. 

See our full Eleiko Öppen Deadlift Bar review here.

Price$970
Weight25 kg (55 lbs)
Weight capacity500 kg (1,102 lbs)
Bar length77.13”
Grip diameter28 mm
Loadable sleeve length320 mm (12.6”)
FinishBlack matte powder coat frame, chromed sleeves

Best Trap Bar for Farmers’ Carries: Fringe Sport Hex Trap Bar

Good for: Those who want a trap bar they can hold onto for long periods of time

Best For Carries

Fringe Sport Hex Trap Bar

GGR Score: 4.8 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Knurling on both handles
  • Affordable
  • 600-pound weight capacity

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Knurling on both sets of handles
  • Budget-friendly
  • Free shipping to contiguous US

Cons

  • Only has a 600-pound weight capacity
  • Shorter loadable sleeve length than other trap bars

Bottom Line

An affordable and well-knurled trap bar perfect for people who are looking to shrug those heavy weights like they're nothing.

What makes the Fringe Sport Hex Trap Bar great for farmers’ carries, shrugs, and other movements that require holding onto the hex bar for long periods of time is the fact that it has knurling on both sets of handles. Knurling is the crosshatch pattern you see on some barbells and specialty bars, and the type you find on this trap bar is Goldilocks medium—sharp enough that you’re not afraid of it slipping out of your hands, but not so aggressive that it hurts (and trust me, there’s some knurling out there that can break your skin).

We love dual handles on trap bars because it allows more people to get a comfortable grip on it, and switching it up can also help target different muscle groups and aid in stability training. Plus, this hex bar is under $300 with free shipping to the lower 48 states.

The 600-pound weight capacity is one the lower end of what we like to see on trap bars, but that’s still more than enough weight for most home gym owners. 

Price$249
Weight45 lbs
Weight capacity600 lbs
Bar length56”
Grip diameter25 mm
Loadable sleeve length12”
FinishChrome

Best Upgrade Trap Bar: Kabuki Strength Trap Bar

Good for: Anyone who’s looking for a premium trap bar with all the best features

Best Upgrade Trap Bar

Kabuki Strength Trap Bar

GGR Score: 4.8 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.9 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Built-in bar jack
  • Open-ended design
  • Multiple grip options
  • 16.5-inch loadable sleeve length

Made in USA Made in USA

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Open-end design makes it much more versatile
  • Angled legs make it easy to load the bar
  • Swappable grips

Cons

  • Expensive, at around $700
  • Feet can easily scratch floors 
  • It’s rackable, but won’t work with j-cups

Bottom Line

If you have the money, this is the best trap bar you can get. It is pricey at around $700, but it lives up to the hype with angled legs, swappable grips, and more.

The Kabuki Strength Trap Bar is, to be completely honest, our favorite trap bar, but we struggle to recommend a nearly $700 trap bar for most home gym owners. But it’s still a great choice for those who have the money for it.

To start with, an open-end design is simply better than one that’s closed because it increases the versatility of the bar, making it a better choice for those in home gyms, especially those looking for compact exercise equipment. How is it more versatile? For one, you can use it for squats, lunges, presses, tricep work, box deadlifts, and more. 

The Kabuki Strength Trap Bar utilizes a bit of a unique frame geometry by employing square tubing that’s bent at the corners to make a somewhat seamless frame. 

Kabuki Strength Trap Bar

It also has some of the coolest features we’ve seen on a trap bar, including the ability to jack the bar up on its feet to load and unload plates. The other feature that separates it from pretty much every trap bar is the swappable grips. There are two positions for the grips, one set that is a half-inch above the bar sleeves, and one that is just a few inches higher. 

Both of these positions have the ability for any three grips to be inserted: a 1-inch, 1.5-inch, and a fat 2-inch grip called the “Love Handle.”

The 16.5 inches of loadable sleeve length allows you to add as many bumper plates as you’d like. 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.

See our full Kabuki Strength Trap Bar review here.

Price$749
Weight30 kg (66 lbs)
Weight capacityNot disclosed
Bar length88.5”
Grip diameter29 mm
Loadable sleeve length17”
FinishGloss powder coat shaft, clear zinc sleeve

The Benefits of a Trap Bar

Benefits of a Trap Bar

A trap bar is an extremely underrated piece of equipment with many benefits. Many individuals find the trap bar to be a useful addition to their garage gym, but it’s often one of the later specialty bars that’s acquired; this shouldn’t be the case.

In fact, in our opinion, the trap bar’s versatility, price, and ability to make you strong and fit should be near the top of anyone’s bar purchases outside of the 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 on the market, the trap bar is one of the most affordable and widely available. Nearly every company making gym equipment offers some sort of trap bar, and many offer multiple versions.

trap bar benefits

It must be stated that a trap bar is different from a barbell. A thought that often goes through people’s 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 a 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:

The Trap Bar Deadlift is Easier to Teach and Learn than the Barbell Deadlift

deadlifting bar

That’s right, a trap bar is 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 complications 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 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.

High Athletic Transfer to Other Sports and Movements

best trap bar

There have been two studies that show peak velocity and power are higher, independent of the loading, with the trap bar deadlift than with 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, it doesn’t mean it’s the best.

Low Chances of Injury

trap bar injuries

Without a doubt, the trap bar deadlift has a lower chance of injury to its users than a conventional straight bar deadlift.

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 heavy weights. This is done to increase the holding strength of the user when the grip has given out.

A mixed grip allows heavier weight to be lifted, but at a cost. Mixed grip causes a shift in weight to be slightly off-center which can, in theory, lead to muscle imbalances. Even worse, 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.

A trap bar also causes fewer hyperextensions because the lockout feels more natural. Whenever you see people pushing their hips through and shoulders way back 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.

Different Handle Heights

trap bar handle heights

Most trap bars come with two different handle heights. One is in alignment with the sleeves, and the other is higher up. Everybody’s body is shaped differently, which means they have different length levers. The thought that a 7-foot NBA basketball player should be deadlifting from the same height as a 5-foot, 2-inch 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, Nike’s senior performance director, 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.”

The Trap Bar is Great for Upper Body Strength

trap bar for upper body strength

Although many people look at the trap bar as strictly for the 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 squat racks aren’t just for squatting. There are a ton of exercises that, with a little ingenuity, can be done with them.

Trap Bar Characteristics

trap bar characteristics

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:

Steel

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 a barbell’s tensile strength, due to there being more supporting structures in the trap bar, it still matters.

For instance, an Olympic bar often uses thicker diameter steel than a trap bar. It also has a 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 not only become more uncomfortable to use but also become not as safe.

Knurling

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 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 percent of barbells on the market, while some of the more budget barbells still feature cheap knurling.

trap bar knurl

Overall Design

The next characteristic to be aware of is the bar’s 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 its 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, though it appears to be Intek Strength with their Functional Trap Bar (a good bar by the way.) However, what matters most is that since its 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 to deadlifts, and this is perfect for the home gym owner.

Finish

You also need to be aware of a trap bar’s 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.

Sleeve

Some trap bars have longer sleeves than others, which simply means you’ll be able to load more weight onto the bar.

Weight

As with any bar, you’ll want to look for a trap bar with a starting weight that works for you. You’ll also want to look at its weight capacity, or how much weight the bar can handle.

RELATED: Best gymnastics grips for CrossFit

How We Picked and Tested the Trap Bars

best trap bars

In order to gather a comprehensive list of trap bars, we first began with research.

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 on our list are based on 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.

hex trap bar knurl

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 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?”

Best Trap Bars FAQs

What is the best trap bar for a home gym?

There’s still a lot to enjoy in a trap bar that we’d recommend to most people. Regardless, the Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar is our current Top Pick for the best trap/hex bar in 2024. It is presently the most cost-effective trap bar available, but there is still room for development. Many others, on the other hand, would be perfectly satisfied with one of our more cost-effective recommendations.

Is a trap bar worth it?

Yes. By completing numerous workouts with the trap bar, you may target many muscles. It can work hamstrings, glutes, quads, forearms, shoulders, and other muscles. Trap bars may also reduce strain on the spine, which is beneficial for those who have back difficulties when doing certain activities.

Why is it called a trap bar?

The trap bar, also known as the hex bar, is a one-of-a-kind barbell intended for doing deadlifts in a certain position. The trap bar has a significant impact on movement. The trap bar was intended for shoulder shrugs and was designed to strengthen the trapezius muscles, after which it was called.

How to use a trap bar?

The trap bar’s purpose is to decrease lower back stress by substituting it for a traditional deadlift. This is ideal if you only want to exercise for strength and wouldn’t want to do the traditional power lifts such as deadlifts, squats, etc. During every movement with the trap bar, keep the core tight, the chest open, and the shoulder blades pushed down and back. You may completely extend your lats while maintaining an appropriate bar position in the neutral grip position.

The Competition

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 it 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.

MB PowerCenter DeadSled: We have yet to use this model.

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 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 than EliteFTS, especially when shipping is considered.

Further reading

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After researching and using nearly 30 trap bars, we’ve determined that there is still much to be desired in a trap bar we’d recommend for most people. Despite this, currently, for 2024, our Top Pick for the best trap/hex bar is the Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar. It offers the best value among the trap bars currently on the market, though there’s still much room for improvement. This said, many would be just fine choosing one of our more budget-friendly recommendations.  » Read more about: The 8 Best Trap Bars for 2024  » Read more

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