The REP Open Trap Bar is a feature-rich trap bar with great specs at an attractive price. This is a heavy-duty, rackable trap bar with a built-in deadlift jack, dual stainless steel handles, and long sleeves. With more handle varieties coming soon, it’s one of the most versatile specialty bars on the market. For $399 shipped, it represents the best value in its class.
Who It’s Right For
Things to Consider
REP has done it again.
They’ve gone ahead and put the entire trap bar market on notice.
I said the same thing when they released their safety squat bar, which is one of the best I’ve used.
I feel the same about the REP Open Trap Bar – it’s simply one of the best trap bars you can buy.
This bar is well-balanced, with great features that several competitors don’t have. Considering the price and free shipping, it’s hard to beat it.
In this review, we’ll take a close look at the REP Open Trap Bar. I’ll share the pros and cons and compare it to other popular options, including the Kabuki Trap Bar HD and Eleiko Oppen Deadlift Bar.
Let’s dig in.
REP Open Trap Bar
The concept of an open trap bar began around 2015 and really caught fire in 2019. Since then, several companies, including Kabuki, Eleiko, Bells of Steel, Prime Fitness, and more, have created versions.
REP is late to the party, but that may have been smart because it allowed them to blend some of the most useful features into one bar.
In other words, it was worth the wait.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t some areas that REP could improve, but this is a winner overall.
Let’s look at the specs, and then we’ll get into the review.
- Weight: 60lbs
- Length: 84.3″
- Shaft Finish: Black Powder Coat
- Rackable: Yes
- Handles: Dual
- Handle Spread: 27.25″
- Knurling: Moderate
- Handle Finish: Stainless Steel
- Sleeve Finish: Hard Chrome
- Sleeve Length: 16.5″
- Other Features: Center knurl for cambered squats and built-in deadlift jack
REP designed an impressive trap bar with a beefy, strong frame. By combining features and concepts into their design, they’ve built a high-quality, functional bar with perfect balance.
The REP Open Trap Bar is one of the most heavy-duty trap bars. Built with 50mm round tube steel, it weighs 60lbs and has a static weight capacity of 1,350lbs. Before getting into the finer details of the bar, it’s important to cover a few high-level features:
One of the most compelling features of this bar is that you can rack it in your squat rack. While it’s not the first open trap bar to do this, it opens up a lot of variety. You can perform cambered squats, bench press, overhead press, rack pulls, and more. They designed it to fit in 49″ wide racks (e.g., Rogue Monster) or less, but it’s best in a 47″ wide rack like the REP PR-5000 or PR-4000.
Built-In Deadlift Jack
All open trap bars have integrated deadlift jacks, so it’s not a novel concept, but it’s one of the biggest benefits of owning this type of bar. By rotating the bar onto the feet, you can easily load and unload plates, saving energy for the actual lift. Closed trap bars can’t offer this.
Center Knurled Frame
In addition to making this a rackable bar, REP used round tube steel to make squats and other movements more comfortable. They then took it a step further by adding 6″ of center knurling to create even more texture. This is a medium, hilly pattern that provides a nice grip. It’s also great for thick grip suitcase carries.
The frame is coated in a matte black powder coat, which I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, I understand the decision because it provides a better texture for some movements you’ll be performing. On the other hand, it shows scuffs easily, and I’m in love with the glossy metallic black powder coat on the safety squat bar. Ultimately, I think the texture wins out, but expect some cosmetic blemishes over time.
One of my favorite things about this bar is how nicely it balances, including by itself on the floor. Most open trap bars don’t have enough counterweight on the back side to balance a loaded bar on the floor. This bar does, which creates a more efficient pre-lift setup.
You can tell that REP took their time designing this bar. It’s well thought out and nicely executed.
This bar includes a removable handle set with dual height 28mm stainless knurled grips and a 27.25″ spread. Look for REP to release more handle variations in the future.
The handles on this bar are great overall, but they’ll be even better when REP introduces its future line of additional handles.
The first thing to note about these handles is that they’re removable. You can detach the entire handle assembly by loosening a single, thick bolt. This is useful in two ways:
1.) You can get more clearance when performing cambered squats. After removing the handles, you regain 5+ inches of internal space, which is helpful for larger lifters or those who squat with wider stances.
2.) You can swap them with other handle variations (not yet released). In the future, you should expect REP to release several handle attachments, including thicker handles, rotating handles, and wider mounting brackets.
Speaking of mounting brackets, the stock handle spread on the bar is 27.25″. Although some lifters will find this width comfortable and effective, 25″ is a better all-around width, in my opinion. As someone who isn’t broad by any means, I’m looking forward to a narrower bracket. I think REP should make the stock bar with a 25″ spread and have the wider variation as an option.
When re-tightening the handle bolt, you can do so with your fingers or an Allen key. I recommend the Allen key to completely remove any slack between the handle and frame.
The stock handles have a beautiful stainless steel finish with a 28mm diameter and volcano knurling. The knurling is moderately aggressive, providing a great texture in the hand. I also appreciate the knurl ring in the middle of the handle, making it easier to quickly line up on center. The 28mm diameter is consistent with Olympic weightlifting bars, but I’d like to see something thicker for the stock diameter, even if it’s 28.5mm.
REP included dual handles on this bar, which is a big benefit. The first handle is aligned with the sleeves, while the second handle is 3″ higher (11.3″ from the ground). This allows you to train a partial range of motion if you’re working through an injury or targeting a specific sticking point.
Overall, I love the built-in versatility of this handle system, and I can’t wait to explore the other variations when they’re released.
These hard chrome sleeves have a smooth surface that greatly reduces noise from plate slide. They’re longer than traditional bars, and you can use any collar because of their Olympic diameter.
I’ve been singing the praises of REP sleeves since they first started making barbells. As someone who prefers smooth sleeves, I appreciate that REP uses them. Smooth sleeves are generally much quieter than grooved sleeves. The acoustical difference between this bar and my Kabuki Trap Bar HD is night and day. In fact, these are some of the quietest sleeves I’ve ever used.
These sleeves are 16.5″, making them longer than Olympic barbells. The biggest benefit of longer sleeves is increased loading potential. The extra length is a great feature because most lifters can lift more on a trap bar than on a straight bar. It also has a 50mm diameter, meaning you can use any barbell collar.
The sleeves are finished in hard chrome, ensuring they’ll look great in the long run.
This is one of the top-performing trap bars I’ve used. It shines on deadlifts, cambered squats, and other traditional open trap bar movements. Bench press is possible, but the camber may be too aggressive for some lifters.
The REP Open Trap Bar is an excellent performer on all lifts. Let’s look at a few of the most common movements lifters will perform with this bar.
This bar is simply awesome for deadlifts. While I think a narrower handle spread will benefit most lifters, the balance of this bar on deadlifts is outstanding. Unlike some other open hex bars, adjusting the balance before starting the lift is no longer necessary. You can breathe, get set, and lift in one fluid motion. I also think the knurling pattern is ideal for trap bar deadlifts.
I am genuinely shocked at how good this bar is on cambered squats. I’ve used other open bars for squats, but none feel as good as the REP bar. The round frame is comfortable, the center knurl is sticky, and the ~13″ camber drop is effective. In addition to building leg strength, the biggest benefit of cambered squats is improving core stability. Squatting with the REP Open Trap Bar will humble you quickly and help build serious strength.
Pressing with this bar is absolutely possible, but I don’t see myself doing it much because the camber is aggressive for this movement. Most cambered bench bars have relatively shallow camber depths, but if you want to really tax your stabilizer muscles, this is a good way to do it. Setting this bar up for bench press is also more time-consuming because you must lower your safeties and j-cups.
Similar to deadlifts, rowing with the REP Open Trap Bar is excellent. The neutral handles reduce shoulder stress, and the balance feels great overall. Again, I think a narrower handle spread would benefit most people.
In addition to these, you can perform dozens of other movements with this bar, including lunges, carries, step-ups, Zercher squats, overhead presses, sprint-outs, and more.
This is a nice-looking bar, but it’s held back by a traditional black powder coat that quickly and easily shows scuffs.
Overall, this is a great-looking bar. I love the look of the round tubing, and the stainless/hard chrome touches create a beautiful contrast with the matte black. I am a little disappointed with the powder coat because I’m a huge fan of the metallic gloss that REP uses on their safety squat bar. This finish is already showing scuffs, but that’s the nature of the beast with textured powder coat.
The metal end caps with laser etching are a nice feature that look better than traditional end caps. I’m happy to see REP using these on their specialty bars.
The REP Open Trap Bar ships in a single box and is well-packaged with plenty of protective inserts. Inside the box are the main frame, handles, and sleeves. Some assembly is required to save on shipping costs.
In total, it took me around 10 minutes to assemble with a socket wrench and an Allen key. The first step is installing the sleeves, which are connected by four countersunk bolts. Once the sleeves are installed, you mount the handles to the frame and thread a large bolt through the sleeve.
Storing this bar (and other open trap bars) is something to consider. The diameter of the steel and the deadlift jack feet prevent it from being stored on a traditional wall-mounted gun rack. I recommend using a vertical storage rack like the REP 9-Bar Holder.
Of course, you can always set it on the floor, but this takes up ~7′ of horizontal floor space. Another option would be to lean it vertically in a corner. Although not as professional-looking, it limits the footprint.
In general, this bar is best stored vertically, in my opinion.
So far, reviews of the REP Open Trap Bar have been very positive at repfitness.com. Users love the design, versatility, and features. The most common complaint has been the 27″ handle spread, which REP is addressing in the future.
REP Open Trap Bar vs. the Kabuki Trap Bar HD
The Kabuki Trap Bar is a popular open option. I’ve owned and enjoyed this bar since it was released. How does the REP bar stack up?
The biggest difference between these two is that the REP bar is rackable, making it much more versatile. Not only that, but it uses round tube steel vs. square tube steel on the Kabuki. So, while you can perform suitcase carries on the REP bar, you can’t do so on the Kabuki (comfortably, at least).
REP took a page out of the Kabuki book with the removable handle concept. Kabuki has three bracket options, including 23″, 25″, 27″ widths. I love this about the bar. Additionally, they have two handle variations: a 29mm diameter and a thicker handle that can be fixed or rotating. It also has a dual handle height like the REP bar but uses an inferior zinc coating.
REP also plans to offer different widths and handle variations, but until they do, Kabuki has the upper hand(le) here. Once REP releases these options, however, I think they’ll overtake Kabuki based on an easier-to-swap design.
Both bars have Olympic-sized sleeves, but Kabuki’s are longer at 17″. If you’re a heavy lifter or using thick plates, this may be a consideration. Otherwise, the half-inch difference won’t matter much. Kabuki’s sleeves have fine grooves, and the bar is generally one of the loudest ones I own. Compared to the smooth REP sleeves, it’s a huge difference.
Lastly, the REP Open Trap Bar is considerably more affordable. As of this review, you can get the REP bar for $399 shipped vs. $699.99 (+ shipping) for the Kabuki. However, the Kabuki bar is made in the USA, which is important to some buyers.
Don’t get me wrong – the Kabuki Trap Bar is great – but ultimately, I think the REP bar is the better buy for most people. It’s more versatile, quieter, and less expensive.
REP Open Trap Bar vs. the Eleiko Oppen Deadlift Bar
The Eleiko Oppen Deadlift Bar is another high-quality open-end hex bar. It’s a good comparison to the REP bar because it’s also rackable.
Like the REP bar, the Eleiko Deadlift Bar uses round tube steel, making things like cambered squats possible.
The biggest difference between these two is that the Eleiko only has a single handle height with no other variations. The 28mm shaft diameter is nicely knurled, but only having one height, one width, and one diameter is a disadvantage compared to REP.
Eleiko also has Olympic-sized sleeves, but they’re shorter than REP by 0.25″ despite being a longer bar overall.
Pricewise, the Eleiko bar is even more expensive than Kabuki at $799.99 before shipping. Considering the inferior handle setup, it’s hard to recommend this bar over the more feature-rich REP bar.
Pros and Cons
The REP Open Trap is the best option for home gym owners looking for a high-quality open hex bar. From cambered squats to removable handle systems, the versatility of this bar is outstanding.
If you’re in the market for a trap bar, I highly recommend this one.
REP Open Trap Bar Rating
The REP Open Trap Bar is a high-quality, versatile specialty bar with excellent features. For the money, it’s the best choice for home gym owners.