HomeBest of 202210 Best Trap Bars to Buy in 2022

10 Best Trap Bars to Buy in 2022

The trap bar is one of the most versatile specialty bars that you can own. It offers several benefits, including athletic performance, injury recovery, injury prevention, engraining proper technique, etc…

In addition to these benefits, trap bar exercises can include deadlifts, rows, shrugs, carries, lunges, etc… many of which serve as foundational elements of strength and conditioning.

Trap bars have advanced tremendously in recent years. Now there are different styles and different features that can open up even more training variety. With other differences including price, handles, sleeves, weight capacity, etc… it can be challenging to narrow it all down.

In this article, I'll take you through some of the best trap bars to buy in 2022 and give you some reasons why owning a trap bar is a good idea. Whether you're a beginner lifter looking to learn proper hip hinge mechanics or an advanced lifter looking to elevate your training, this article has you covered.

Let's dig in!

Best Trap Bars in 2022


How to Find the Best Trap Bar for You

Selecting gym equipment can be exhausting, overwhelming, and downright confusing when you factor in different features, prices, etc… trap bars are no exception, and it's important to filter them down to make the best buying decision for you.

In addition to this guide, which will detail everything you need to know about trap bars, Garage Gym Lab also has a very useful equipment finder that will filter it down for you based on a few quick questions. It takes less than 30 seconds – no emails, no funny business – just helpful content right inside your browser.

I personally own nearly 50 barbells and I've used well over that. Each trap bar that I have outlined in this article has either been personally owned/used by me or has been meticulously researched through spec comparisons, user reviews, and feedback from people I trust.


Quick Navigation

  1. The Winners
  2. Trap Bar Benefits
  3. Types of Trap Bars
  4. Important Factors to Consider
  5. FAQ's

Best Trap Bar for Most People

Rogue TB-2

Rogue TB-2 - Best Trap Bar

Price: $395
Weight: 60lb
Handle Height: Dual
Handle Diameter: 34mm
Shaft Finish: Powder Coat
Sleeve Finish: Powder Coat
Olympic Sized Sleeves: No
Rackable: Yes
Loadable Sleeve Length: 16″
Made in: USA

Pros

  • Dual handles provide two elevations to lift from
  • The bar is rackable, which increases versatility
  • 16″ loadable sleeve length is close to Olympic barbell length
  • 25″ center width accommodates most lifters very comfortably
  • Corner gussets for increased strength
  • Both handles are knurled

Cons

  • Powder-coated sleeves will show wear and tear over time
  • Smaller diameter sleeves will not accommodate standard barbell collars

This Rogue Trap Bar, in my opinion, is the best for most people. It has solid specs, dual handles, it's made in the USA, and it's reasonably priced.

The first thing to consider about the Rogue TB-2 is that it offers dual handles. I recommend most people buy trap bars that offer dual handles since they increase the versatility of the bar. The high handles are great for training different ranges of motion. Lifters who are recovering from an injury or those who are looking to blast through training plateaus will find the high handles to be very beneficial. They sit approximately 8″ above the low handles. Both 34mm handles are knurled with a medium profile, but the low handle is the only one that is knurled from end to end. Even with the high handle only having a center knurled area, it's inconsequential since lifters are only gripping the center to maintain the balance of the bar.

The hex frame of the TB-2 measures 25″ from handle to handle. This is an ideal distance since the handles will naturally sit in a comfortable position under most lifters' shoulders. Too small of a distance and some lifters can feel claustrophobic. Too wide of a distance and some lifters can feel less powerful since their arms are too far out. Corner gussets in the frame increase the strength of the bar.

Moving to the sleeves, there is a smooth area between the hex frame and the collar that makes this bar rackable. A rackable bar increases overall versatility since it allows you to perform a variety of exercises in your rack (e.g. rack pulls). The sleeve itself measures 16″ long, which is close to the same length as an Olympic barbell. This simply means that you'll have no issue loading a lot of weight. With the overall strength of the schedule 80 pipe, the bar won't have an issue handling all of that weight either.

The two primary downsides of the Rogue TB-2 are both related to the sleeves. Firstly, they aren't Olympic-sized. While this is common among many specialty bars, it means that your normal barbell collars will not work. You will need axel collars or something like the Proloc collars. I strongly recommend Proloc collars because they work on all types of barbells. Secondly, the sleeves are powder-coated like the rest of the bar. This is purely cosmetic, but powder coating will show imperfections as soon as you start sliding plates on and off.

All in all, the TB-2 Rogue Trap Bar is an outstanding option and, again, the one that I recommend for most people.


Best Open Trap Bar

Kabuki Trap Bar HD

Kabuki Trap Bar HD - Best Trap Bar

Price: $699.99
Weight: 30kg
Handle Height: Dual
Handle Diameter: 25.4mm, 29mm, 38.1mm, 50.8mm
Shaft Finish: Semi-Gloss Powder Coat
Sleeve Finish: Zinc
Olympic Sized Sleeves: Yes
Rackable: No
Loadable Sleeve Length: 17″
Made in: USA

Pros

  • Open-end design greatly increases versatility
  • Dual handle height with interchangeable handles
  • Choice of three fully knurled zinc-plated handles of different diameters
  • Choice of thee handle widths for individual proportions
  • 17″ loadable sleeve length
  • Olympic-sized zinc-plated sleeves
  • Built-in deadlift jack
  • Very large weight capacity

Cons

  • Not rackable
  • Swapping handles is not a quick adjustment

The Kabuki Trap Bar is one of my favorite specialty bars that I own. It's a very feature-rich bar with a great spec profile and excellent overall performance. If you're looking for an open-end trap bar, this one is among the best.

The first thing to note about the Kabuki bar is that it has an open-end design. As you can read about in more detail in the below section titled “types of trap bars”, an open design greatly increases the versatility of the bar. You can perform some movements better compared to a closed bar, and you can perform entirely new movements that aren't possible with a closed trap bar. When using this bar, you'll find it to be extremely well-balanced.

Another great feature of open-end hex bars is that they commonly come with a built-in deadlift jack. This makes it much easier to load and unload plates by simply rotating the bar upwards and onto the jack. One thing to note is that the Kabuki jack is made of steel construction with several notches. This works great on rubber flooring, but it may cause some dents and scratches on a wooden platform floor.

Kabuki Strength Trap Bar HD Handle

The next great feature of the Kabuki Trap Bar is its handle system, which has several benefits. Firstly, it offers dual height for increased versatility. Secondly, and more advanced, is that the handles can be interchanged. Kabuki offers four sets of knurled handles: 29mm (included), 1″, 1.5″, and 2″ Love Handles. This allows lifters to train different grip demands and at different positions. Each handle is knurled in a medium profile. I have the standard 29mm and the 1.5″ handles.

The Love Handles are particularly unique because they can be set to a fixed position or a rotating position. The 1″, 1.5″, and Love handle options include an upcharge. The handles can be swapped with a socket set and, while they're easy enough to switch, most users will keep them in their positions. Also, keep in mind that these handles cost extra.

Thirdly, the handles are placed on the bracket of your choice, which provides an internal width of 23″, 25″, and 27.” As mentioned above with the Rogue TB-2, 25″ is going to be the ideal choice for most people. That said, if you have very narrow or very broad shoulders, you can make the narrower or wider bracket choice.

The sleeves on this bar are shipped detached to save on shipping costs. They're easily assembled with a few bolts. They're also generally a great feature of the bar because they have an Olympic diameter, they're coated in zinc, and they're 17″ long, which is longer than most Olympic bars. You'll be able to load a lot of weight on this bar and, with its high weight capacity, you can rest assured the bar will hold strong. The sleeves also include the famous pressed metal end caps that Kabuki is known for – they look amazing.

The Kabuki Trap Bar HD is one of my favorite and most used bars in my entire collection. I highly recommend it.

Code GARAGEGYMLAB5 will save you 5% on your entire Kabuki order.


Most Versatile Trap Bar

Prime Trap Bar

Prime Trap Bar - Best Trap Bar

Price: Starting at $775
Weight: 73lb
Handle Height: Adjustable height (5 options)
Handle Diameter: 30mm + 2 Other Options
Shaft Finish: Gloss Powder Coat
Sleeve Finish: Stainless Steel
Olympic Sized Sleeves: Yes
Rackable: No
Loadable Sleeve Length: 16″
Made in: USA

Pros

  • Open-end design is very functional
  • Built-in deadlift jack
  • Choice of three different handle options (standard, Kaz, & Paddle)
  • Five height options ranging from traditional height to 9″ above
  • 16″ loadable sleeve length
  • Stainless steel sleeves look great and are very protective

Cons

  • Most expensive option. Price increases to over $1,000 if all handle options are purchased.
  • Not rackable

The Prime Fitness Trap Bar is another cutting-edge trap bar with a great design and feature set.

As you will see, the Prime Bar has an open-end design and a built-in deadlift jack. This jack is squared off with rubber end caps, so it will protect your floor better while making it very easy to load and unload plates. It's also one of the most heavy-duty trap bars on the market. Weighing 73 lbs, it's a tank that's capable of handling virtually anything you can throw at it.

Aside from its open design, the best quality of the Prime bar is the handle system. This is a very unique and very clever design that provides two key benefits. The first is that it offers multiple heights that can be adjusted extremely quickly with a simple pop-pin. There are five options ranging from normal barbell height to 9″, each spaced 1″ apart. This allows lifters to dial in their starting position based on user height and/or exercise selection.

KAZ Handle - Best Trap Bars

The second great thing about this handle system is that the handles are interchangeable. The bar comes standard with a pair of 30mm knurled handles. From there, you can add their KAZ handles or their RO-T8 handles. The KAZ handles are knurled and they have a unique tapered design that fits the hand nicely. The RO-T8 handles have a paddle grip that greatly reduces grip fatigue so you can train main muscles more effectively without grip limitation.

What I love about this system is that all handle options are permanently fixed to the adjustment tube, so you can swap them out in a matter of seconds. The downside is that the additional handles add to the cost, so if you get them all, you'll be looking at over $1,100 for the bar. The third benefit of the handle system is that it creates a width of 25″ internally, so it will accommodate most lifters very comfortably.

The sleeves on this bar, like the Kabuki Bar, are shipped disassembled to save on shipping costs. They're easily installed and they include a few nice benefits. These sleeves offer an Olympic diameter, they're 16″ long, and they're stainless steel. This is a great feature that I haven't seen on any other trap bar. The stainless will fight oxidation better than any other finish, which will keep your bar looking better for longer.

With its very unique and adjustable handle design, the Prime Trap Bar is the most versatile of its kind. It's expensive to be sure, but if you have the budget, it's an excellent option.


Best Rackable Trap Bar

Eleiko Öppen Trap Bar

Eleiko Oppen Trap Bar - Best Trap Bar

Price: $796
Weight: 25kg
Handle Height: Single
Handle Diameter: 28mm
Shaft Finish: Gloss Powder Coat
Sleeve Finish: hard Chrome
Olympic Sized Sleeves: Yes
Rackable: Yes
Loadable Sleeve Length: 16.34″
Made in: Sweden

Pros

  • Open design increases versatility
  • The bar being rackable increases versatility further
  • Very refined knurling on handles
  • Round tubing allows for cambered squats
  • Built-in deadlift jack
  • Sleeve length is on par with Olympic barbells
  • Hard chrome sleeves look better for longer

Cons

  • Expensive for the average home gym owner
  • Only one handle height

Another high-quality open trap bar is the Eleiko Öppen Bar. This bar doesn't have the same handle versatility as the Kabuki or Prime Bars, but it does have one distinguishing feature.

The best feature of the Eleiko Trap Bar, aside from its open design and its built-in deadlift jack is that it's rackable. As mentioned earlier, a rackable bar increases the versatility of the bar. What makes the Eleiko Bar even more versatile is that it uses rounded tube steel. Why is that important? You can perform cambered squats with it. That's right – add squats to the list of trap bar exercises you can perform with this bar. Eleiko isn't the first to create this possibility (Intek and Movestrong), but they have delivered a great bar to perform it. Try that with a closed trap bar.. no, actually, don't.

The Eleiko Öppen Bar has a single-height handle, which I do consider a disadvantage compared to other bars. The handle itself is 28mm, which is consistent with Eleiko's famous Olympic weightlifting bars, but which is thinner than most trap bars. I prefer a thicker handle, but if you're going for a true barbell feel, this one hits the spot. Not only that, but it offers the same exquisite knurling as their renowned barbells. The internal width of the bar is just under 25″.

Like the Kabuki and Prime Bars, the Eleiko Öppen Bar has Olympic-sized sleeves with plenty of length to hold a lot of weight. The bar is rated to 500kg (1,100 lbs), so it's a highly capable bar. The sleeves are finished in hard chrome, which is a common sleeve application that will look good for a long time.

While the Eleiko Trap Bar doesn't have the same bells and whistles as the Kabuki or Prime bars, it's an excellent open trap bar and I think it's the best rackable trap bar on the market.


Best Value Trap Bar

Titan Hex Trap Bar

Titan Hex Trap Bar - Best Trap Bar

Price: $269.99 w/ Free Shipping
Weight: 60lb
Handle Height: Dual
Handle Diameter: 32mm
Shaft Finish: Powder Coat
Sleeve Finish: Powder Coat
Olympic Sized Sleeves: No
Rackable: Yes
Loadable Sleeve Length: 16″
Made in: China

Pros

  • Dual handle height
  • Rackable features increases function
  • Corner gussets for increased strength
  • 16″ loadable sleeve length
  • 32mm knurled handles
  • Great value at under $275 shipped

Cons

  • Powder-coated sleeves will show imperfections quickly
  • Non-Olympic sleeve diameter requires special collars
  • 22″ handle width may feel tight to some users

The Titan Rackable Hex Trap Bar is one of the best value trap bars on the market. For less than $275 shipped, you get a bar that, while not perfect, is comparable to some more expensive bars on the market.

At first look, you may think this bar looks remarkably similar to the Rogue TB-2… and you would be right, almost. It's virtually an identically spec'd bar except for the handle diameter and the handle spread, which is 22″ as opposed to 25″. Therefore, it may feel tight for some lifters. Lifters with narrow shoulders, however, will likely prefer this bar over the TB-2. The diameter of the handles measures 32mm vs. 34mm. If you have smaller hands or you're just looking for something more similar to an Olympic bar, you also may prefer the Titan bar over the Rogue. One other difference is that Titan is made in China and Rogue is made in the USA.

These differences aside, the Titan Hex Trap Bar is very similar to the TB-2. It has dual handles that are knurled in a medium profile and powder coated. It has corner gussets and a stated capacity of 800 lbs. The bar is, as the name implies, rackable, so you can perform a variety of movements from your power rack. The sleeves are 16″ long and they're not Olympic sized, so your normal barbell collars won't fit. The sleeves, like the rest of the bar, are powder-coated, and they'll show imperfections quickly.

Ultimately, this will come down to budget and your tolerance for the tighter hex frame. If you like the idea of the 22″ frame, the Titan Hex Bar is going to be tough to beat for the money considering the specs are largely similar. Overall, the bar is very well-reviewed.


Best Budget Open Trap Bar

Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar

Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar - Best Trap Bar

Price: $274.99
Weight: 47lb
Handle Height: Dual
Handle Diameter: 25mm
Shaft Finish: Black Oxide
Sleeve Finish: Zinc
Olympic Sized Sleeves: Yes
Rackable: No
Loadable Sleeve Length: 9.7″
Made in: Import

Pros

  • Open-end design increases versatility
  • Built-in deadlift jack
  • Rotating sleeves are different from other trap bars
  • Knurled grips with a black oxide finish create a nice texture
  • Olympic-sized Zinc sleeves mitigate aesthetic wear and tear
  • Great price for an open-end trap bar

Cons

  • Loadable sleeve length of less than 10″ will limit weight depending on what plates you're using
  • Lower weight capacity compared to some other open-end options

The Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar is a solid budget option. It has a fairly no-frills spec profile, but with one unique feature that you won't find on many other trap bars.

This BoS bar has an open-end design that, like the others, opens up more exercise possibilities. It also includes a deadlift jack to make loading and unloading plates easier. It's built using 25mm tube steel with a warrantied weight tolerance of 700 lbs, which is plenty for most people.

The bar includes dual handles that are both knurled and coated in black oxide. If you've read any of my stuff before, you know that I'm a big fan of black oxide on barbells because of its superior feel. Because black oxide is a conversion coating, it doesn't interfere with the knurling the same way powder coating, chrome, etc… does. Therefore, despite this being a medium knurl, it provides a better grip than it would with an alternate finish commonly seen on trap bars. The downside to black oxide is that it's more susceptible to oxidation over time. Also as it relates to the handles, they too are 25mm, which some people may find to be a bit thin.

Where this bar differs most from other trap bars is that it has rotating sleeves. This is exceptionally rare among trap bars and many specialty bars in general. Bells of Steel has taken the approach that barbells should have rotating sleeves, which is why they also include them on their safety squat bar. I don't think it makes much of a difference in terms of actual performance, so it's hard to recommend on that basis alone. But it is a distinguishing feature and it at least gives the sleeve a barbell look and feel, including an Olympic diameter.

The biggest downside to this bar is that it offers very short sleeves of less than 10″. Even though it has a 700lb capacity, you'll never get there with bumper plates or even with non-calibrated plates. Iron plates in general will be your best bet on this bar. Standard iron plates will let you load up over 500 lbs with enough room for a collar at the end.

If you want an open trap bar but you don't want to spend up for the high-end options, the Bells of Steel bar is a strong contender… but factor in how much you plan to lift and if you have the plates to accommodate it given the shorter sleeves.


Best Budget Hex Trap Bar

Synergee Hex Trap Bar

Synergee Hex Trap Bar - Best Trap Bar

Price: $229.95 w/ Free Shipping
Weight: 25kg
Handle Height: Dual
Handle Diameter: 28mm
Shaft Finish: Chrome or Black Phosphate
Sleeve Finish: Chrome or Black Phosphate
Olympic Sized Sleeves: Yes
Rackable: No
Loadable Sleeve Length: 10″
Made in: Import

Pros

  • Very budget-friendly
  • Dual handles for increased versatility
  • Both grips are knurled with two patterns
  • 750lb capacity

Cons

  • Not rackable
  • Short, 10″ sleeves will limit how many plates will fit on the bar

The Synergee Hex trap Bar is one of the best and most popular budget trap bars on the market. It's not going to blow the stat sheet away, but it has some nice features that make it a great option for under $230.

The Synergee bar uses a 28mm tube steel to construct the main hex frame and the handles. The bar does offer dual handles and they're both knurled from nearly end to end. One interesting thing about this bar is that the high handle uses a less aggressive knurl than the bottom handle, presumably because most users will be deadlifting from the lower handle. Either way, the bar offers a medium profile which is good for a variety of movements and rep schemes.

The handle spread on this bar is 23″, so a little narrower than some competing bars, but comfortable enough for most lifters.

Not uncommon among budget trap bars, the Synergee bar has short sleeves of 10″. This will limit how much weight you can load. It will also largely depend on the type of plates you're using. Thick bumper plates, for instance, will result in less than 315lbs, whereas iron plates will result in well over 500lbs. The bar has a warrantied weight capacity of 750lbs.

The good news is that the sleeves have an Olympic diameter and a chrome (or black phosphate) coating. I recommend chrome since it will tend to look better for longer.

It's hard to bet against the Synergee Hex bar if you're shopping on a budget and you're looking for a basic trap bar. It has received hundreds of very positive reviews and it ships for free.


Best Trap Bar on Amazon

CAP Mega Hex Bar

MAP Mega Hex Bar - Best Trap Bar

Price: $222.49
Weight: 75lb
Handle Height: Dual
Handle Diameter: 32mm
Shaft Finish: Chrome
Sleeve Finish: Chrome
Olympic Sized Sleeves: Yes
Rackable: No
Loadable Sleeve Length: 10″
Made in: Import

Pros

  • Very budget-friendly
  • Dual handles
  • Both grips are knurled
  • 26″ internal width provides some extra space inside the frame
  • At 75lbs and with a 1,000lb weight rating, it's one of the beefier trap bars on the market

Cons

  • Not rackable
  • As with other CAP products, quality control may be an issue
  • Short, 10″ sleeves will limit how many plates will fit on the bar

The CAP Mega Hex Bar is sort of a cult classic budget trap bar. This bar has been around many years and it has amassed thousands of mostly positive reviews. Like the Synergee bar, the CAP Mega Hex bar has a basic spec profile, but it gets the job done.

The CAP bar is built using 32mm steel around the hex frame and the handles, which makes it one of the heavier duty trap bars on the market. It weighs 75lbs and it has a weight capacity of 1,000lbs. The bar comes with dual handles that are both knurled with a medium-depth profile. The handle spread on the CAP Mega Hex Bar is 26″, which provides some additional room compared to many of the trap bars on the market and those listed in this article.

The sleeves on the bar are very similar to the Synergee bar listed above. They have an Olympic diameter, they're 10″ long, and they're finished in hard chrome. While the bar is capable of handling a lot of weight, you'll likely never be able to achieve it given the shorter sleeves.

CAP has a reputation as being one of the better budget providers of fitness equipment. With that, however, quality control seems to be the biggest concern. You won't be getting the same fit and finish on the CAP Mega Hex as you would with some of the other bars on this list, but for the money, it's a viable option.


Best Single Handle Trap Bar

Rogue TB-1

Rogue TB-1 - Best Trap Bar

Price: $295
Weight: 60lb
Handle Height: Single
Handle Diameter: 34mm
Shaft Finish: Powder Coat
Sleeve Finish: Powder Coat
Olympic Sized Sleeves: No
Rackable: Yes
Loadable Sleeve Length: 16″
Made in: USA

Pros

  • Fully knurled handles from end to end
  • 16″ loadable sleeve length
  • Corner gussets for increased strength
  • 25″ internal width is comfortable for most lifters
  • The bar is rackable, which increases versatility

Cons

  • Sleeves are not Olympic-sized, which requires special collars
  • Powder-coated sleeves will show scarring quickly
  • Not dual height, which may or may not be a con depending on the lifter

The Rogue TB-1 is the same as the TB-2 above without the dual handles and for $100 less. It's a well-designed USA-made bar with solid specs. Please refer to the TB-2 section above for details.


Best Trap Bar Alternative

Titan Rickshaw

Titan Rickshaw - Best Trap Bar

Price: $149.99
Weight: 50lb
Handle Height: Single (higher than normal trap bar)
Handle Diameter: 25mm
Shaft Finish: Powder Coat
Sleeve Finish: Powder Coat
Olympic Sized Sleeves: No
Rackable: Yes
Loadable Sleeve Length: 13″
Made in: China

Pros

  • Open design is great for farmer's carries, etc…
  • Elevated sleeves make it easy to load and unload plates
  • 24″ internal width is comfortable for most lifters
  • More compact than a traditional trap bar
  • 13″ sleeve length provides a good-not-great load capacity

Cons

  • Handles are not knurled and some may find the 25mm diameter to be small
  • Not as versatile as a traditional trap bar
  • Non-Olympic powder-coated sleeves will show imperfections and require special collars.

If you don't have the space or the budget for a quality trap bar, one piece of equipment to consider is the rickshaw. Titan Fitness makes one for less than $150 shipped.

The rickshaw is a compact open-end bar that sits higher than a trap bar and has one set of handles. It's great for farmer's carries and shrugs, but it can also effectively be used for partial deadlifts, etc… The handles, however, aren't knurled and they're smaller at 1″ (25mm). It's common for lifters to use straps with a rickshaw. The handle spread is 24″, which is a good space for most people, especially when performing farmer's carries.

The bar sits on a flat base with elevated sleeves, so loading and unloading plates is a breeze. The sleeves are not Olympic-sized, so you will need special collars. Although the sleeves are “only” 13″ long, this is enough loadable space for the movements that will be most commonly performed on a rickshaw.

The bar is designed as a strongman tool. It's not a trap bar, but it does several of the things an open trap bar does at a lower price and with a smaller footprint.


Trap Bar Benefits

The beauty of specialty bars is that they help to round out training, they add versatility to your workout, and in some cases, they create a safer and/or more comfortable lifting experience. The trap bar is great at each of those. It's been called the swiss army knife of specialty bars by some, and I tend to agree. It's one of the most versatile bars that anyone can use.

I'll highlight a few of the key benefits of the trap bar below, but feel free to check out my list of trap bar benefits for a more comprehensive overview.

Benefit #1: It's Safer for Your Low Back, Biceps, and Shoulders

Trap Bar Neutral Hands - Garage Gym Lab

One of the key differences between a trap bar and an Olympic barbell is that the trap bar places the load in line with your body's center of gravity rather than in front of it. By doing this, it reduces the amount of shearing force on the lumbar spine by allowing the lifter to maintain a more neutral spine position. Furthermore, this load placement creates a more natural lockout whereby your body is purely vertical. On a traditional deadlift, it's not uncommon to see lifters aggressively lean back at lockout to counterbalance the forward load.

Additionally, the trap bar is safer for your shoulders and biceps because of the neutral-grip handles. A traditional barbell can cause discomfort among some lifters because it places the shoulders in an internally or externally rotated position. A traditional bar can also lead to biceps injuries on the supinated hand of a mixed grip when performing deadlifts. A trap bar utilizes a more neutral hand and shoulder position that greatly reduces the risk of injury to the upper extremities.

Benefit #2: It's Easy to Learn and it Teaches Proper Mechanics

Trap Bar Hip Hinge - Garage Gym Lab

One of the foundational movements in daily life is the hip hinge. It's also a movement that many people cannot perform properly. The trap bar is a great tool to teach a hip hinge – it's actually quite organic. Because of the load and handle placement on a trap bar, it creates a movement that naturally encourages a hip hinge and a more neutral spine angle. Once you master it, you'll find that straight bar deadlifts feel safer and you'll have more confidence with the bar.

Benefit #3: It's Extremely Versatile

Trap Bar Versatility - Garage Gym Lab

There are a lot of exercises that you can perform with a trap bar. It's surely one of the most versatile bars on the planet. While some trap bar features and styles will allow for more variety than others, some of the movements you can perform include deadlifts (and variations), presses, carries, shrugs, lunges, squat variations, back rows, etc… To get all of those movements with a single specialty bar is impressive, and when you factor in the inherent safety benefits, it's easy to see the value in using/owning a trap bar.


Types of Trap/Hex Bars

Open Trap Bar vs. Closed Trap Bar

Closed Trap Bars

The most common type of trap bar has a closed hexagonal design that you step into. The traditional hex trap bar was invented in the 1980s by Al Gerard. While the shape has changed from a diamond to a hexagon over the years, the principal of the bar has remained.

The closed trap bar can range in features. You'll most commonly see dual-handle heights, but some will offer only a single height. Read below in the ‘considerations' section for more on handle height. You'll also have some hex bars that are rackable, some that have Olympic-sized sleeves, some that have wider frames, etc… So while the basic function of the trap bar persists through different models and manufacturers, various features will separate the great ones.

Open Trap Bars

Open trap bars have surged in popularity since they were first introduced to the market around 2016. An open-ended trap bar is a more versatile option because it allows for even more exercises. By eliminating one of the long edges of the frame, you aren't limited to a confined space. Therefore, you can more effectively perform unilateral movements and you can perform other movements that are impossible with a closed trap bar.

For instance, walking lunges are more easily performed with an open trap bar than with a closed trap bar. A deadlift with an immediate sprint-out is an example of a movement that is made possible with an open trap bar, but not with a closed version. A common concern with open trap bars is that they'll be unbalanced, however, this is not a problem since they're designed to provide excellent balance when in use.

Open-end trap bars can range in features. Some will be rackable, some will provide multiple handle heights, some will offer different grips, etc… Most all open trap bars, however, include a built-in bar jack that make loading and unloading plates much easier than closed hex bars.

I'm a big fan of open trap bars and I prefer them over closed bars because of their versatility. That said, they're more expensive and not everyone needs all the bells and whistles.


Important Factors to Consider When Buying a Hex Bar

Kabuki Strength Trap Bar

Handle Height

Trap bars commonly come with one of two primary handle configurations: single height or dual height. Single handles allow lifters to pull from the same height as a traditional barbell. Dual handles allow for that as well as a higher position to perform partial range-of-motion lifts. This can be beneficial if you're training a particular sticking point or you're working through an injury. In the case of the Prime Trap Bar listed above, you'll get multiple handle height options.

Open vs. Closed

The trending debate among trap bars is to go with a traditional closed hex frame or an open-end design. Both have pros and cons, but the open design is certainly more versatile. It gives you more exercise options, it provides a built-in deadlift jack, and it can be stored more easily. The downside is the open trap bar can be significantly more expensive. Ask yourself if you need the added versatility/features. If you do, and it fits your budget, I would highly recommend an open-end bar.

Rackability

A benefit of some trap bars is their ability to be racked, much like a traditional barbell. By having a rackable trap bar, you can perform movements including rack pulls, overhead presses, inverted rows, neutral-grip pull-ups, and even squats. I don't view rackability as a critical feature, but it's nice to have if you perform those types of movements.

Knurling

The knurling on a trap bar will differ from bar to bar, as will the finish of the handles themselves. Trap bars most commonly will include a powder-coated finish or a chrome/zinc finish. The knurling on trap bars will generally lean towards a medium texture – not completely passive, but certainly not aggressive. Bars that have powder coating will tend to feel more mild compared to those that have a plated finish. The Kabuki Strength Trap Bar has the best knurling of any trap bar that I've felt.

Sleeve Length

Sleeve length is a very important factor to consider when it comes to a trap bar. Most people can lift more weight on a trap bar than they can on a regular barbell. Yet many trap bars have sleeves that are shorter than an Olympic bar – in some cases, much shorter. This will limit how much weight you can load onto the bar. Before you buy a trap bar, think about how much weight you lift and what type of plates you'll be using. Calibrated plates, for instance, will allow you to load a lot of weight even with shorter sleeves. Bumper plates, on the other hand, may limit you to 315lbs or less.

Sleeve Diameter

Another factor to consider is the diameter of the sleeve. You will often find that trap bars have smaller diameters than traditional Olympic barbells. This is fairly common among specialty bars, but more and more of them are starting to move to an Olympic diameter. That's because a smaller diameter will not accommodate standard barbell collars. You'll either need axle collars or Proloc collars. I highly recommend Prolocs regardless of diameter because they'll fit on any sleeve and they work extremely well. I've been using them for years, and they're my go-to collars.

Sleeve Finish

Yet another sleeve consideration is the finish. Typically, a powder-coated sleeve will be a sign of a smaller diameter. It will also show imperfections very quickly. As soon as you start sliding plates on and off, the powder coat will chip, scratch, and fade. Chrome and/or zinc sleeves are typically a sign of an Olympic diameter, and they tend to look much better over time.

Bar Weight

Unlike Olympic barbells that have consistent weights of 45lbs or 20kgs, trap bars can vary in weight from 45lbs to over 70lbs. This will force you to perform more gym math, but otherwise, it's just a distinction worth noting.

Weight Rating

Different trap bars will have different weight ratings. While high-quality bars will carry plenty of capacity for most lifters, it's important to consider among budget options. Some bars, for example, only have a 500lb capacity despite having a sleeve length that can accommodate more. This isn't a big deal if you're not a heavy lifter, but if you are, stick to quality bars that you know can handle the load.

Price

As with every product, budget is a big consideration for most. Trap bars can range in price from ~$150 to over $1,000. Consider what features are most important to you and find the product that delivers that in the price range that fits your budget.


FAQs

What is a Trap Bar?

A Trap bar, also known as a hex bar, is a specialty barbell with a hexagonal frame that you step into. This frame includes a set of one or two neutral-grip handles that can be used on a variety of exercises. The sleeves extend from the midline of the frame, which places the weight in line with your center of gravity. Relative to an Olympic barbell, this can create a safer experience, and it can be a great tool to learn proper mechanics and build explosive power.

Should I Buy a Trap Bar For My Home Gym?

I think a trap bar is one of the best specialty bars anyone can buy. They're extremely versatile and they offer many benefits including athletic performance, reducing the risk of injury, teaching proper form, etc… Depending on your training style, I would put the trap bar in the top 3 best specialty bars that you can own.

Who Makes the Best Trap Bar?

I think that Rogue makes the best trap bar for most people, but there is no shortage of quality trap bar manufacturers. Below is a list of some of the best brands:


So, there you have it – my top-ranked trap bars to buy in 2022… and why you should think about buying one.

If you have any questions about barbells, please leave a comment below. Likewise, if you own any of these barbells and you want to chime in with your own thoughts, please do so!

If you found this review useful, please feel free to share it on social media!

The bar is loaded,

Adam

Adam
Adam is the founder of Garage Gym Lab. He serves as the chief content creator with over two decades of training experience. When he's not testing equipment and writing about all things fitness, Adam loves spending time with his wife and two children.

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