Best Trap Bars (2024) – Open, Closed, & Budget Hex Bars

November 30, 2023

I've used many trap bars over my years of training and coaching professional athletes. I can tell you now the worst trap bars I've used only have one handle option.

They are a pain to store, and finding the center is difficult each time you set up to deadlift.

So, I've done the heavy lifting for you. Whether you're a serious lifter or just starting, I've curated the best trap bars to hit your home gym build.

Header
REP Fitness Open Trap Bar

Best Open Ended Trap Bar

Rogue Fitness TB-2 Trap Bar

Best Closed Trap Bar

Titan Olympic Hex Bar

Best Budget Trap Bar

Product

Design

Open

Closed

Closed

Weight Capacity

1350 lbs

Not stated

500 lbs

Knurling

Hybrid Knurling

Hybrid Knurling

Smooth Knurling

Coating

Powder Coating

Powder Coating

Chrome

Rackable

Yes

Yes

No

Warranty

Lifetime

Lifetime

1 Year

Price

  • List Element
  • List Element
  • List Element
Best Trap Bar
Overall Rating:
4.6/5 stars

Quality/durability

Weight Capacity

Versatility

Knurling

Price

REP Fitness has thought outside the box with their open-ended trap bar. The design is similar to the Eleiko Oppen Trap Bar but has one main difference: the lightly knurled center.

Only some open-ended trap bars can be used as cambered bars from the rack for squats and good mornings.

REP Fitness has added center knurling so it doesn't slip off your traps. Because of the round metal tubing, you can use it as a thick cambered bar, even for pressing.

Other open-ended trap bars, like the Kabuki Trap Bar HD, don't give you this option because they are rectangular.

Another unique feature are the handle options and grip width.

For most people, the standard 25" handle width is best. It's how most trap bars are designed. However, for more slender men and women, there's a narrow (23") option, and for larger individuals, there's a wide (27.3") option.

For ultimate versatility, get the rotating handles, which are standard width but provide 3 different handle diameters. A standard 28 mm handle and thicker 38 (1.5”) and 48 mm (1.89”) handles.

It means you can perform your heavier lifts with the 28 mm handle and then emphasize your grip with the thicker handles for deadlifts and carries.

However, the rotating handles only give you one height, whereas the other options provide low and high handle options.

These handles are also removable, so if you want more options, you can purchase handles separately and interchange them. Or keep them off when performing cambered bar squats or bench press.

It's rated to 1350 lbs weight capacity, so you have endless loading capability. It has the same sleeve length as the Rogue TB-2, allowing more room to load plates.

I love how they designed the deadlift jack with a plastic liner to protect your platform. It's priced moderately at $400, but rotating handles will bump it to $470. It's well worth it, in my opinion. You get the usual lifetime manufacturer defect warranty with REP Fitness.

It's an ideal choice for home gym owners who value versatility with their gym equipment.

Specifications

Header

Weight Capacity

1350 lbs

Knurling

Moderate

Special Features

Center Knurling

Handle Width

23" (Narrow); 25" (Standard); 27.3" (Wide); 24.6" (Rotating)

Handle Diameter

28 mm, 38 mm, 48 mm

Coating

Powder Coat w/ Chrome Sleeves

Removable Handles

Yes

Open or Closed

Open

Warranty

Lifetime

Pros

  • Center knurling for cambered bar squats so it doesn’t slip off your back.
  • Plastic liner on the deadlift jack so it doesn’t ruin your platform.
  • Multiple handle options and widths to suit all needs and exercises.

Cons

  • I have nothing bad to say about this trap bar.

Best Open Ended Trap Bar - REP Fitness Trap Bar

Best Closed Trap Bar

Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar

Best Closed Trap Bar
Overall Rating:
4/5 stars

Quality/durability

Weight Capacity

Versatility

Knurling

Price

The Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar is a standout hex bar designed and manufactured by Rogue Fitness, renowned for its high-quality, durable gym gear.

The Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar features a signature black powder coat finish to provide sleek aesthetics and provide a superior grip and resistance to wear and tear. It’s made from 1.5” square steel tubing that’s unbreakable.

It measures 89 inches wide, including the sleeves, and weighs 60 pounds. One distinct feature is the ultra-thick 34" diameter handles. If you're familiar with Fat Gripz, that's slightly smaller than their Fat Gripz One product.

This is great for guys with larger hands or if grip training is high on your priority list, but it is not great for women with smaller hands or someone looking to maximize the load lifted when deadlifting.

The 1.91" diameter sleeves allow Olympic plates to load easily, making them compatible and versatile with your existing plates. However, your typical barbell collars may not fit, and you may need larger Rogue collars if you use them.

The sleeves are 400mm long, slightly longer than the Eleiko Oppen Trap Bar but the same as the REP Fitness Trap Bar, allowing you to load an extra plate.

Like most trap bars, you have high and low handles with Rogue’s traditional knurling. I’ve found Rogue’s knurling can be rough on their trap bars, so it’s worth bearing that in mind if you choose this option.

It's also rackable, but you'd only rack this for rack pulls as there is no open end to give you exercise versatility. Further, you'll scratch the powder coat off because the sleeves are powder-coated.

As always with Rogue Fitness, it comes with their lifetime warranty and is priced moderately at $395. Another option is to watch their Rogue Boneyard and see if you can pick one up even cheaper.

Specifications

Header

Weight Capacity

Not stated

Knurling

Rogue Hybrid Knurling

Special Features

N/A

Handle Width

25"

Handle Diameter

34 mm

Coating

Powder Coat including sleeves

Removable Handles

No

Open or Closed

Closed

Warranty

Lifetime

Pros

  • Sturdy closed design made for deadlifting heavy.
  • High and low handles with aggressive knurling for maximum grip.
  • Thick handle diameter to challenge your grip or provide more comfort to people with large hands.

Cons

  • It's not open-ended, so you lack exercise versatility.
  • Thick-diameter handles may not be suitable for women.
  • It’s rackable, but you’ll scratch the powder coat off the sleeves.

Best Closed Trap Bar - Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar

Best Budget Trap Bar

Titan Fitness Olympic Hex Bar

Best Budget Hex Bar
Overall Rating:
3/5 stars

Quality/durability

Weight Capacity

Versatility

Knurling

Price

With budget equipment, you're always compromising quality and versatility. For example, the Titan Fitness Olympic Hex Bar is only rated to 500 lb, limiting you if you're a stronger lifter.

Further, the knurling is much smoother than any trap bar on this list, which is less than ideal when training in hot environments. However, being 56” long makes it perfect for a small home gym.

The handle width is the standard 24.5 inches with a 28mm handle diameter. Another issue is the 9.75” loadable sleeve length, so you’ll need to use thin plates to get enough weight on the trap bar.

Further, the sleeve diameter is 48 mm, which is 2 mm smaller than the standard 50 mm for Olympic plates, so you get a lot of movement with the trap bar before the plates come off the floor.

However, for $160 and 1 year warranty, you won’t find much else in this price range.

Specifications

Header

Weight Capacity

500 lbs

Knurling

Smooth diamond

Special Features

N/A

Handle Width

24.5"

Handle Diameter

28 mm

Coating

Chrome

Removable Handles

No

Open or Closed

Closed

Warranty

1 Year

Pros

  • Smaller trap bar that will fit in a small home gym.
  • Budget price for price-conscious spenders.

Cons

  • Smooth knurling will cause grip issues at heavier loads or in hot weather.
  • Small loadable sleeve with too much room within the plate's center ring.

Best Budget Trap Bar - Titan Fitness Olympic Hex Bar

Best Premium Trap Bar

Eleiko Oppen Trap Bar

Best Hex Bar
Overall Rating:
4/5 stars

Quality/durability

Weight Capacity

Versatility

Knurling

Price

I've had the privilege to experience a variety of trap bars, but the Eleiko Oppen Trap Bar sits at the pinnacle in terms of quality. 

Its perfect blend of form and function transforms strength training into an almost artistic endeavor.

Eleiko is known for their unmatched craftsmanship and brings the same meticulous attention to detail to the Oppen Deadlift Bar that their IWF Weightlifting Barbells are famous for.

The Oppen Deadlift Bar's open-end design means any body type can fit inside and use this hex bar.

This design choice diverges from the traditional square design found in other models. Opting instead for thick round metal and powder-coated for durability and comfort.

In my experience, it feels more stable when lifting compared to the thinner metal design in the comparable Kabuki Trap Bar HD.

The knurling is the same as their training bars, which is moderately aggressive and 1.2mm deep.

It’s not competition bar aggressive, so you won’t shred your hands with consistent use. The handles are 28mm in diameter, like their Weightlifting bars, making handling heavy deadlifts easier.

The Eleiko Oppen Deadlift Bar has long Olympic sleeves so you can load to your heart's content, swappable dual handles for low and high-handle deadlifting, and a built-in deadlift jack for easy loading.

The deadlift jack won't scratch your platform, as it has rubber ends.

I'm a massive fan of the new trend in open-end trap bar designs. It can feel slightly awkward when first using it, but you adapt quickly.

The biggest advantage is the versatility of exercises. You can perform lunges and Bulgarian split squats without kicking the front of the trap bar.

It’s also rackable, so if you want to rack pull or do a crazy trap bar overhead press exercise, you can. The Eleiko Oppen Bar is perfect for home gyms as it’s 77” wide, which is smaller than many other trap bars on this list.

Further, it’s rated to 500 kg (1102 lbs) in weight capacity, so you have no problem loading this (unless you’re Eddie Hall or Thor in their prime).

It has a 5-year warranty and is priced in the premium trap bar range of $850. It's the same price as the Kabuki Trap Bar HD, which is the comparable option. However, I prefer the Eleiko version because of the thicker design.

Specifications

Header

Weight Capacity

1102 lbs

Knurling

Eleiko 1.2 mm Balanced Knurling

Special Features

Built In Rubber Deadlift Jack

Handle Width

24.61"

Handle Diameter

28 mm

Coating

Chrome

Removable Handles

No

Open or Closed

Open

Warranty

5 Years

Pros

  • Open-ended design for more exercise versatility without bumping your leg into the bar.
  • High and low handles for varying range of motion when deadlifting.
  • The thick metal design feels stable and robust when lifting.
  • Built-in deadlift jack for easy loading.

Cons

  • Premium price for a premium design.
  • There is only a 5-year warranty, but based on Eleiko's track record, it'll last a lifetime.

Best Premium Trap Bar - Eleiko Oppen Trap Bar

Best Rackable Hex Bar

Titan Fitness Open Trap Bar

Best Rackable Trap Bar
Overall Rating:
4/5 stars

Quality/durability

Weight Capacity

Versatility

Knurling

Price

The characteristics of a rackable trap bar are to be open-ended, so you have exercise versatility and long chrome sleeves that aren't powder-coated. The coating gets scratched off when being used on the rack.

Titan Fitness nailed these with 16" loadable chrome sleeves and the open-end design. This bar has you covered whether you're doing deadlifts, shrugs, farmer's walks, rack pulls, or overhead presses.

However, the distance between grips is only 23", one inch narrower than most trap bars. Since the handles can't be removed like with the REP Fitness trap bar, you may have problems performing exercises like the bench press.

It has two grip diameters (32mm and 38mm), much thicker than a typical 28-29mm barbell. The medium diamond texture knurling provides a secure grip without being too harsh on the hands.

The Titan Open-Ended Trap Bar has a 1,500 lb weight capacity, making it built like a tank. The powder-coated black frame finish looks sleek and adds to its durability, while the hard chrome sleeve finish gives it a professional, high-quality feel.

It's slightly heavier than other trap bars at 65 lbs but only by 5 lbs. One downside to Titan Fitness gear is the 1-year warranty. However, at $350, you're getting a high-quality, rackable trap bar at a great price.

Specifications

Header

Weight Capacity

1500 lbs

Knurling

Medium diamond

Special Features

Built In Deadlift Jack

Handle Width

23"

Handle Diameter

32 & 38 mm

Coating

Powder Coat w/ chrome sleeves

Removable Handles

No

Open or Closed

Open

Warranty

1 Year

Pros

  • It's rackable with chrome sleeves, so there's no coating to scratch off.
  • 1500 lb weight capacity makes it one of this list's strongest trap bars.

Cons

  • Thicker handles may reduce the load lifted for people with smaller hands.
  • Handles aren't removable, so they may impede your elbows when performing traditional exercises like bench press.

Best Rackable Hex Bar - Titan Fitness Open Trap Bar

Best Trap Bar for Farmers Walk

Kabuki Trap Bar HD

Best Trap Bar For Farmers Walk
Overall Rating:
4.2/5 stars

Quality/durability

Weight Capacity

Versatility

Knurling

Price

Farmers walks are a staple in my strength routine, and the Kabuki Trap Bar HD stands out as an exceptional tool for this exercise. The open-ended design is paramount for farmers carries with a trap bar.

It's constructed from thick, reinforced square steel tubing with a 1500 lb weight capacity, making it heavy-duty for heavy carries. I also love this trap bar for farmers walks because of the handle diameter option.

It’s a standard 29mm handle like a Powerlifting barbell for heavy carries but also includes a 1.5” thick handle for emphasizing your grip during lighter carries.

Further, you can add 2” “love handles” that can replace one of the handles if you want a true thick handle.

You can also choose between a narrow (23”), standard (25”), and wide (27”) handle width depending on your size.

The standard is best for most people (including myself at 5’8” tall and 185 lbs) while the narrow and wide versions are great for smaller or larger lifters.

As with all Kabuki gear, it comes with a lifetime warranty. However, this bar comes at a premium price of $850, similar to our premium option, the Eleiko Oppen Trap Bar.

Specifications

Header

Weight Capacity

1500 lbs

Knurling

Medium diamond

Special Features

Built In Deadlift Jack

Handle Width

23", 25", or 27"

Handle Diameter

29 mm (can add 1", 1.5", and 2" handles)

Coating

Semi-Gloss Powdercoat

Removable Handles

No

Open or Closed

Open

Warranty

Lifetime

Pros

  • Varying handle diameters to emphasize grip or load when farmers walking.
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • Grip width options for any body type.

Cons

  • Square steel tubing removes the ability to squat and bench press.
  • Premium price.

Best Trap Bar for Farmers Walk - Kabuki Trap Bar HD

Best Trap Bar For Deadlifts

Fringe Sport Heavy-Duty Trap Bar

Best Trap Bar For Deadlifts
Overall Rating:
3.8/5 stars

Quality/durability

Weight Capacity

Versatility

Knurling

Price

The Fringe Sport Heavy Duty Trap Bar stands out for pure deadlifting. Its sturdy construction has a weight capacity of 900 lbs and weighs 45 lbs, so that you can do quick and easy bar math like a regular barbell.

The low and high handles mean you can vary your range of motion, and both handles are well-knurled. The knurling is a little smoother compared to Rogue, REP, Eleiko, and Kabuki, but it gets the job done with chalk.

I love the Fringe Heavy Duty Trap Bar's stability when lifting, so I enjoy this bar for deadlifting.

The sleeves are 16 inches long, similar to the other brands on this list, so you can use thicker bumper plates if that is what's available.

The frame is powder-coated to prevent rust. There's a lifetime warranty for all Fringe Sport equipment, and it is moderately priced at just over $500.

Specifications

Header

Weight Capacity

990 lbs

Knurling

Medium diamond

Special Features

Built In Deadlift Jack

Handle Width

24"

Handle Diameter

25 mm

Coating

Powder Coat w/ Chrome Sleeves

Removable Handles

No

Open or Closed

Closed

Warranty

Lifetime

Pros

  • Solid frame with sturdy handles perfect for deadlifting.

Cons

  • Closed trap bar, so you don’t have the versatility of an open-ended trap bar.
  • You can get cheaper trap bars of similar or better quality.

Best Trap Bar For Deadlifts - Fringe Sport Heavy-Duty Trap Bar

Benefits Of Using A Trap Bar

Reduced Lower Back Activation

Conventional deadlifts can screw with lifters and athletes with bad lower backs. There's a reason very few professional sporting athletes will conventional deadlift and opt for the trap bar instead.

Because the hands are at your side, the load is centered, whereas a barbell increases the sheer force on the lower back by being in front of the body.

We see this in the research comparing the two exercises where trap bar deadlifts place less stress on the lower back and increase the stress on the quads than conventional deadlifts [1].

You can also reduce the range of motion, bringing me to the next benefit.

Different Handle Heights

One of the key features of a trap bar is the different handle heights. Trap bars typically feature two handle heights, one set in line with the sleeves and another slightly elevated.

It means you can deadlift with the higher handles to reduce the range of motion.

This is especially helpful if you are a taller lifter or suffer from back pain. Regardless, lifting from the high handles always feels better, and it’s worth elevating your feet to get a standard range of motion you’d get from a barbell deadlift.

Handles have changed with open-ended trap bars with more thickness and handle width options.

Versatile Exercise Selection

The trap bar outshines many other pieces of equipment regarding versatility if it is open-ended. It's suited for deadlifts and opens the door to exercises like squats, lunges, and presses.

Traditional closed trap bars don't allow locomotive or traditional strength exercises, limiting their use in your home gym.

Reduced Risk Of Injury

A significant concern within strength training is the potential for injury, particularly when executing complex compound lifts.

Reducing the stress on the lower back makes the trap bar deadlift a safer alternative to the conventional barbell deadlift.

Develop Strength And Power

Lastly, the trap bar is potent for developing strength and power. Trap bar deadlifts allow greater peak power and velocity when lifting the same load as the conventional deadlift, and you can lift more weight with the trap bar [2].

Further, you can perform loaded jumps while holding the trap bar, which is more joint-friendly than barbell squat jumps for most people.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Trap Bar

Open Or Closed Trap Bar

Open Or Closed

When choosing a trap bar, one of my first decisions is choosing an open or closed design. Open trap bars offer more versatility in terms of exercises, allowing for greater freedom of movement.

They often come with built-in bar jacks, facilitating easy loading and unloading of weight plates. On the other hand, closed trap bars are traditional but limit the range of possible movements.

Rackable vs. Non-Rackable

Rackability is a key feature, especially for open trap bars that double as a cambered bar.

Rackable bars can be placed on a squat rack for hassle-free weight changes and to perform traditional weight training exercises, while non-rackable bars are more space-efficient and often less expensive.

Weight Capacity

The Weight Capacity of a trap bar determines the maximum load it can handle and must surpass your lifting abilities to offer room for progression.

Look for bars with a substantial weight capacity, ideally above 500 lbs, to ensure longevity and adaptability as my strength improves.

Handle Options

There are more grip options today because of open-ended designs. Some trap bars feature adjustable grips or multiple handle heights, which enhance customization for different exercises and user preferences.

Some even have detachable grips like the REP Fitness Trap Bar, so you can choose which suits your training style.

You also have handle diameter options to challenge your grip with thick handles.

Weight

Weight is often synonymous with build quality. Lighter trap bars like the Titan Fitness Olympic Hex Bar are made of cheaper steel and less of it, making it weigh only 44 lbs. Like the others on this list, heavy-duty trap bars weigh 60+ lbs.

Material and Durability

A robust and reliable bar requires high-quality steel construction with solid welds or secure bolts and nuts. It's not just about the material—structural integrity and resistance to bending under heavy loads are significant factors.

Finish

A trap bar's finish can affect its grip and rust resistance. Most are either powder-coated or chrome-finished. In my experience, there’s no issue with either. What you want to look for is the sleeve coating.

It should be chrome, as powder-coated sleeves scratch off quickly with use when loading and unloading plates.

Knurling

Most trap bars have moderately aggressive knurling. Small chrome budget trap bars have smooth knurling, which is not conducive for heavy deadlifting.

Dimensions and Size Options

The dimensions and size of the trap bar are important when considering your body size and space.

Standard handle width fits most body types. Longer sleeves are preferable if you use bumper plates, whereas compact options fit smaller spaces.

Price

Price is a balance between cost and features and typically is a proxy for quality.

I'm willing to invest more for a trap bar with better build quality, features like a deadlift jack, and a higher weight capacity.

However, I'm always looking for value, so I'm not overpaying for brand names without corresponding benefits.

Warranty

Admittedly, when shelling out for a trap bar, I tend to scrutinize the warranty offered.

A substantial warranty period signals a company's confidence in their product, and it provides peace of mind knowing that your investment is protected against manufacturing defects or premature wear.

Frequently Asked Trap Bar Questions

Best Hex Bars

What Should I Consider When Buying A Trap Bar?

When purchasing a trap bar, consider the bar's design (open or closed), rackability, weight capacity, grip options, weight, material and durability, finish, knurling, dimensions, size, price, and warranty. These factors will influence the bar's functionality, adaptability, and longevity.

Does The Design Of A Trap Bar Matter?

Yes, the design of a trap bar matters. Open trap bars offer more versatility for different exercises, while closed trap bars provide a traditional experience. Your choice depends on your training needs and preferences.

What Does Rackability Mean In Trap Bars?

Rackability refers to a trap bar's ability to fit onto standard gym racks, making it easier to load and unload weights and integrate with other exercises. It's important for convenience and expanding exercise options.

How Does Weight Capacity Affect Trap Bar Choice?

Weight capacity determines how much weight the trap bar can safely support. Ensure the trap bar you choose can handle the maximum weight you plan to lift.

Summary

REP Fitness wraps the best quality, versatility, and price ratio into one trap bar. You can do traditional trap bar deadlifts, including squats, bench presses, overhead presses, lunges, and farmers walks.

When on the hunt for the best trap bar, open-ended are the better options because of their versatility, easy storage in a garage gym, and ease of loading with built-in deadlift jacks.

References

Swinton, P. A., Stewart, A., Agouris, I., Keogh, J. W., & Lloyd, R. (2011). A biomechanical analysis of straight and hexagonal barbell deadlifts using submaximal loads. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 25(7), 2000-2009.

Lockie, R. G., Moreno, M. R., Lazar, A., Risso, F. G., Liu, T. M., Stage, A. A., … & Callaghan, S. J. (2018). The 1 repetition maximum mechanics of a high-handle hexagonal bar deadlift compared with a conventional deadlift as measured by a linear position transducer. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 32(1), 150-161.

About the Author

I am a professional strength & conditioning coach that works with professional and international teams and athletes. I am a published scientific researcher and have completed my Masters in Sport & Exercise Science. I've combined my knowledge of research and experience to bring you the most practical bites to be applied to your training.