So you are looking for a trap bar?
Good for you, while they have grown in popularity over the past few years they are still an underused and under-appreciated piece of equipment.
And if you think they are just for deadlifts you are way wrong. They have many more uses than just that and are something every serious lifter should have at their gym.
Let’s get more into what you should look for in a good trap bar.
Related: Best Home Gyms For Weightlifters
What to Look For in a Trap Bar
Weight Capacity – The weight capacity is the amount of weight you can use on the bar. The capacities of the bars on our list range from 400 lbs to 1000 lbs so be sure to choose a bar that is able to handle the weight you will be using.
Sleeve Length – This is the length of the tube that you put the weights on. It is something you should take into consideration if you will be lifting a lot of weight and also if you will be using bumper plates which are a lot thicker than standard metal plates.
Standard or Olympic Weights – I think Olympic weights have almost become the standard but when you are using a trap bar you definitely want to go with one for Olympic weights. The Olympic style are more heavy-duty and can handle more weight and wear and tear. Also, the Olympic weights are taller which is better for using with the trap bar.
Knurling – This refers to the grip that is etched in the handles. With a hex bar, you will generally be using a good bit of weight so you want to make sure it has good knurling so the bar won’t slip out of your hands. All of the bars on our list have adequate knurling so if you choose any of them you will be all set in that department.
Coating – Coating is another thing to consider as it helps prevent rust and corrosion. We have a variety of coatings on this list from powder to chrome for you to choose from.
Best Hex Trap Bars on the Market
Ok, enough with the foreplay let’s get to it. Here are the best trap/hex bars on the market today.
#1 Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar
We start off with a really nice trap bar from Rogue. This bad boy is a complete overhaul of the original and they made it bigger and better.
- Weight – 60lbs
- Length – 88.5″
- Width – 28.5″
- Knurled Handles
- 16″ sleeves
We like how they have the raised handles on one side and the regular flat handles on the other side. This way you can just flip it over and use whatever preference you prefer.
We like the 1.34” in diameter knurled handles that make it very easy to keep your grip, in fact, they might be a little too knurled for those out there with sensitive hands. If you are one of those people you might want to sand the handles a small amount, most people will love it though.
This beast also features 16 inches of loadable sleeve length so unless you are some kind of a god there will be plenty of room for as much weight as you need.
The Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar is finished with their signature black powder coat. One of the negatives of this is that any metal to metal contact such as adding and removing plates can cause the coating to wear off over time.
We also like the fact that it comes with a lifetime warranty. If you are somehow able to break this thing (you won’t), you get a new one.
The price tag on this one is $375.00 which is actually pretty reasonable considering the high quality. If you want to save a few bucks you can also try their Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar 2.0. It is essentially the same thing without the raised handles so if you don’t mind not having those it will save you some decent money. It is priced at $295.00.
- Made in the USA
- Knurled handles for a no-slip grip
- 16 inches of sleeve space for lots of plates
- Not outrageously priced
- Coating on sleeves rubs off with plates going on and off
#2 Valor Fitness OB-HEX Trap Bar
Next up we have another really nice piece of equipment with the Deadlift/Trap Bar from Valor Fitness.
This trap is made specifically for deadlifting. As you can see in the picture it has the sleeves raised up so you can load and unload plates with ease. Anyone who has loaded plates on a trap bar before knows what a pain it can be, we like this feature a lot.
It also has 4 different grip sizes on it so you should easily be able to find one that you like.
The bar itself weighs 68 lbs and it can be a bit clumsy to move around on its own and storage is difficult. This is a piece that needs its own full-time area of your gym.
If you love the trap bar deadlift this bar would be one to consider. It isn’t as versatile as the other bars though so if you are looking to do more than the deadlift or farmer’s walk you will be out of luck.
This trap bar is moderately priced at about $250 and the shipping is free.
- Rubber stoppers protect your flooring
- Raised sleeves for easy plate loading and unloading
- 4 different grips so you can be sure to find the perfect size
- Sturdy build
- No easy to move around or store, needs its own space
- No detailed specs on website
See more about this product on Amazon
#3 Hex Trap Bar from Titan Fitness
Next on our list of the best hex trap bars we have another really nice, and more affordable trap bar from Tiger Fitness.
- Length 87.5 inches
- Handle spread – 25 inches
- Handle diameter – 1.25 inches
- Sleeve length – 15.75 inches
- Weight – 60 lbs
- Weight capacity – Tested at 810 lbs over a 24 hour period
We like that this bar was made to be used with a power rack, this means easier loading and unloading of the plates. It’s also great to be able to pull it straight off the rack when doing exercises like heavy shrugs rather than lifting it from the floor.
This bad boy was tested at 810 lbs. Some of you may say that’s less than the others on this list but it was tested at that weight for 24 hours. Meaning this is one tough piece of equipment.
We also like that it has the raised handles on one side and flat handles on the other so you have the option to use either one.
The knurling on the upper handle of this bar is also excellent. Unfortunately, the knurling on the lower handles is almost non-existent. You would think they would both be the same but for some reason, they aren’t.
Another negative about this bar is that it is not made in America, they are made overseas and shipped in. Also on the negative side, many reviewers said it was not as rackable as it claimed to be and that it only works on some rack and not others.
The price tag on this bar is as I write this article is $244.95 and it comes with free shipping so there no extra expense.
Overall this is a good bar but it isn’t perfect, that’s why it’s in fourth place.
- Excellent grip on the top set of handles
- Rackable bar – according to the manufacturer
- Less expensive
- Has raised handles and regular handles
- Not made in the USA
- Bottom handles have bad/no grip
- Reviewers say it is not as rackable as it is claimed to be
- Sometimes out of stock
See this product on Amazon
#4 XMark Fitness Hex Bar – Best On A Budget
Last but not least…ok I guess it actually is the least but some of you have probably reached this point in the article and your wallet is screaming. If that is the case then this is the bar for you. Granted it is definitely not as good as the top 4 bars but it will work.
- Weight – 56 lbs
- Length – 55 inches
- Width – 26 inches
- Polished chrome
- 400 lb weight capacity
It has knurled handles that are actually above average which is nice, they aren’t as good as others on the list but they will definitely suffice for most people. The handles are raised on one side too which I like for versatility so you can go flat or raised whatever your preference.
The sleeves on this one are 10 inches and it has a weight capacity of 400 lbs which is enough for most people.
Most of the reviews are positive but some noted receiving a bar that had rust spots when it and others noted sharp slag where it had not been ground down before it was coated.
The price on this one is $149.00 and it comes with free shipping on top of that so it is a good price.
The max weight for this bar is 400 lbs so if you are a beast who lifts more than that you should pick another bar, that weight limit should be ok for average lifters though.
Overall this is a good bar that will work well for most people, it’s not the best but it will do the job that most people want and will go a bit easier on your wallet.
- Less expensive
- Good grip/knurling
- Free shipping
- Raised Handles
- 400 lb weight capacity may be too low for some
- Short sleeves won’t hold a lot of bumper plates
- Reviews complain about rust and sharp spots on new bars they receive
- Sometimes out of stock
See this product at Amazon.com
#5 Öppen Bar by Eleiko
The Öppen Bar made by Eleiko is next on our list. This weird-looking, patent-pending design is made for increased versatility. It is also made for easier loading and unloading of the plates than it is with a traditional hex bar. Simply flip it up on its side and loading plates becomes a breeze. It also has rubber bumpers on the end so when you stand it up you don’t mar the gym mat which is a nice bonus.
- Weight – 55lbs
- Length – 84.65 inches
- Width – 23.19 inches
- Height – 8.9 inches
- Sleeve length – 16.34 inches
- Max training weight – 1100 lbs
- Warranty 5-years
The open design allows you to use the bar for lunges without busting your legs against the bar. Other than that, it’s mainly the same exercises as with a regular trap bar.
The Öppen Bar also comes with some really high-quality handles, like the best grip of all the bars on the list, so if you are a grip fiend this would be your bar.
Overall this is a really nice bar that has had some serious engineering involved in making it. It’s not just tubes of steel welded together like some bars. Not that there’s anything wrong with welded steel tubes but this one is a cut above when it comes to engineering and design.
Unfortunately, this one also has a pretty high price tag at $796.00 plus shipping. Is it worth it? If we thought it was it would be in first place.
We promise the next trap bar on the list will be reasonably priced.
- Stands up on end for easy plate loading and unloading
- Open design allows you to do lunges
- Superior engineering
- Excellent grip
- Pretty expensive
- Only a 5-year warranty
Best Trap Bar Exercises
We love the trap bar so much we even wrote an entire article about the best exercises you can do with a trap bar. Give it a read if you would like to expand your mind without doing psychedelic drugs.
If you don’t feel like clicking over to that other article though it’s ok, we can give you a quick rundown of the best trap bar exercises right here.
The best trap bar exercises are:
- Trap bar Deadlifts
- Farmer’s walk
- Trap Bar Shrugs
- Overhead press
- Floor press
- Bent over rows
- Lunges (open trap bar required)
Why Trap Bars May Be Better For Deadlifts
If you are wondering if there is a difference between doing deadlifts with a straight bar and deadlifts with a trap bar the answer is most definitely yes.
For a deeper look, you can check out our article Which Deadlift Variation is Right For You.
In a nutshell, the reason you might want to do trap bar deadlifts is that they are safer than your traditional deadlift. Since the weight is under your hips rather than in front of you it reduces the amount of stress on your back tremendously. The bulk of that stress that would normally be on your back is moved to your quads. Less stress on your back and a better quad workout, what’s not to like?
What is the Difference Between a Tarp Bar and a Hex Bar?
Honestly, nothing. They are the exact same thing. Some people call it a hex bar due to its hexagon shape, others call it a trap bar. It seems like half the people call it one name and the other half call it the other. Whichever name you use they are both the same.
Trap Bar Conclusion
There you have the best trap bars on the market. We have to admit some of them are a bit outrageous when it comes to price but they are all pretty awesome and you can easily find one that will do the job and also fit into your budget. We like the Rogue TB-2 the best for its high quality and reasonable price tag. If you have a hex bar that you love that isn’t on this list leave us a comment below and we will check it out.
Ryan is a former college wrestler and lifelong fitness fanatic. He has run half marathons, done mud runs, placed in body transformation contests, coached wrestling and now coaches girls soccer. Not to mention he has also tried literally hundreds of supplements over the years and has a vast and thorough supplement knowledge. He has written for Muscle & Strength, Testosterone Junkie, The Sport Review and other publications. He is also the editor in chief of this website. Feel free connect with him on his LinkedIn page below.