Short On Time?
The REP Open Trap Bar was our top pick because of the combination of value and versatility. The removable handles, open design, and built-in deadlift jack made it hard to beat.
Trap bars have quickly emerged as one of the most popular specialty bars among home gym owners. It is not hard to see why, with so many benefits. The trap bar offers athletic training, injury prevention, weight overloading, and so much more.
Gone are the days of easy decisions in this market, trap bars have advanced so much that there is now an abundance of choice. With so many factors like bar type, sleeve length, handle height, etc, it can be overwhelming to narrow it down to just one bar.
In this guide, we will take you through the best trap bars you can buy for your home gym. This guide will have the trap bar for you, whether you are a beginner or a gym veteran.
Best Trap Bars For Home Gyms
Every single trap bar on this list has been tested hands-on by the team of personal trainers and athletes at FitDominium. Aside from testing, the team also compared specs, customer reviews, and pricing.
- Best Trap Bars For Home Gyms
- Best Trap Bar Overall: REP Fitness Open Trap Bar
- Best Closed Trap Bar: Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar
- Best Value Trap Bar: Titan Fitness Rackable Hex Trap Bar V3
- Best Budget Trap Bar: Titan Olympic Hex Weight Bar
- Best Budget Open Trap Bar: Bells Of Steel Open Trap Bar
- Trap Bar Benefits
- What Are The Different Types of Trap Bars?
- How Did We Rank These Trap Bars
- Final Verdict
Best Trap Bar Overall: REP Fitness Open Trap Bar
- Removable handles
- The frame is knurled for squatting
- Built-in deadlift jack
- Multiple handle options
- Olympic Sleeves
- Standard handles are wider than most trap bars
- Not that rigid
- Bar coating is not the most durable
The main reason we picked the REP Open Trap Bar as our best overall bar is that it is the perfect intersection between value and versatility. It is hard to find another bar that is as jam-packed with features while still being fairly affordable.
For starters, the open frame makes the bar easier to use and allows for even more exercise selection. The removable handles and knurled frames mean that you can use the bar for tons of other exercises besides deadlifting. During our personal testing, we did presses, lunges, and squats. We found all of the movements to feel surprisingly comfortable with this bar.
Meanwhile, the standard Olympic sleeves and built-in deadlift jack make loading this bar very easy with no extra equipment or specialty collars required.
In terms of things I thought that could have been better, I am not a fan of how wide the standard handles are. REP sells three handle options (narrow, standard, and wide) and I think that most people would find that the narrow option is what is most comfortable. When I went higher in weight (500lbs+), I also found that the bar did not feel as rigid as some of the bars.
Best Closed Trap Bar: Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar
We picked the Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar as our best-closed trap bar. The main reason for our pick was the quality of the finer details of the bar that just made it stand out against competing bars.
For starters, the quality of the frame is immediately apparent after you first lift this bar. Rogue has not listed an official weight capacity for a good reason. I lifted fairly with this bar (500 lbs+) and felt absolutely no whip or play. I also felt like the width of the frame was perfect. It was the right balance between not feeling cramped while also not being too large to the point of making the bar unstable.
Moving onto the handles, I have always recommended that people buy trap bars with dual handles for increased versatility just like this bar has. The handles themselves had an aggressive knurling that I thought worked great.
The only real negatives with this bar are the sleeves. The sleeves will not work with standard collars meaning you have to spend even more money and purchase specialty collars. Also, even after just a few uses, I could tell that the powder coat on the sleeves was going to chip away quickly.
Despite these minor flaws, I still think that the Rogue TB-2 is the best closed bar on the market. If you do not mind paying a little extra for more quality, you cannot really go wrong with the TB-2.
Best Value Trap Bar: Titan Fitness Rackable Hex Trap Bar V3
If you are simply looking to get the most bar for the least amount of money, the best value trap bar available is the Titan Fitness Rackable Hex Trap Bar V3. It is not the cheapest bar, but it is definitely the cheapest bar that performs at such a high level.
What Titan essentially did with this bar is make their own version of Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar but offer it for about 20% less. Titan may have made some cost cuts here or there, but this bar performs just as well as the Rogue TB-2 for the most part.
With their latest iteration in the V3, Titan actually made some great improvements that I think make this bar even more of a value pick. Titan finally added knurling to the lower handles and improved the black powder coat to make it more durable.
This bar is also rackable but I would be wary if I had a smaller rack. With our 49″ we had no problems but should compare the specs o the bar to the rack to be sure.
Best Budget Trap Bar: Titan Olympic Hex Weight Bar
- Budget-friendly (about $150)
- Great knurling
- Lighter at 44 lbs
- Greater starter trap bar
- Short sleeves so you cannot use bumper plates
- Only 500 lb weight capacity
- Chrome finish chips easily
If you really just want the basics, the Titan Olympic Hex Weight Bar will get the job done. At just $150, you can still do all of the essential trap bar lifts while not breaking the bank for a specialty bar that you are not even sure if you will use.
Despite its low cost, the bar is actually built fairly well. I found that the handles and knurling were great for a bar at this price point.
The main compromise you will be making with this bar is the sleeve length. Since the sleeves are so short, you are not only limited on what type of plates you can use but also how much weight you can actually get on there. For this reason, I would also recommend this bar to beginners who just want to get a feel for the trap bar before making a large investment.
The bar comes with chrome plating which will chip with time. However, you cannot really complain at this price point. The Titan Olympic Hex Weight Bar will certainly not turn heads but is a great option for what it is.
Best Budget Open Trap Bar: Bells Of Steel Open Trap Bar
- Open trap bar versatility at an affordable price
- Built-in deadlift jack
- Rotating sleeves
- Knurled grips
- A short loadable sleeve length of 10″ will limit plate choice and weight capacity
- Lower weight capacity
The handles on this bar are very nice. I thought the knurling felt great during my lifts and that black oxide coating was a nice touch. However, the handles are a little thin at 25 mm.
The main quirk of this bar is the rotating Olympic sleeves. I have never really seen this on any other trap bar before and honestly, did not notice a difference in terms of my lifts. The only real benefit was that I could use my regular collars on this bar as well.
The biggest compromise you will have to make with this bar is the short loadable sleeve length of just 10″. With that little room, you will never reach the 700lb weight capacity unless you use specialty plates.
Trap Bar Benefits
The trap bar has many benefits which make it a great addition to any home gym:
It Is Easier On Your Lower Back
In terms of trap bar deadlift benefits, the primary one is injury prevention for your lower back, When you are doing a deadlift with a hex bar, the weights are situated directly at your sides as opposed to in front of you during barbell deadlifts. This means that the trap bar allows the weight to be more in line with your own center of gravity.
In practice, this means that there will be less sheer force on your lumbar spine when you are moving the weight. Also, trap bars tend to offer a higher starting position so you do not have to bend down as much.
I am a large proponent of the straight bar deadlift but will be the first to admit that lower back injuries are common especially if proper form is not used. The trap bar relieves some of the risks by putting you in a much safer position.
Neutral Grip Position
Unlike traditional barbells where you either have to be pronated or supinated, the trap bar has a neutral grip.
This will make the biggest diffrence in injury prevention when it comes to your shoulders and biceps:
Shoulders Are Externally Rotated
Many people have extremely limited shoulder mobility due to a sedentary lifestyle. This lack of mobility can lead to pain during pressing movements.
Comparatively, a trap bar allows you to take a neutral grip which externally rotates your shoulders. This externally rotated position removes lots of strain from the shoulder joint and is more comfortable.
No More Bicep Tears
When you are doing a barbell deadlift, you can either take an overhand grip or a mixed grip.
The overhand grip is fairly safe for your biceps. The problem is that the overhand grip often becomes the weakest link in someone’s deadlift. Meaning that their grip strength caps their deadlift.
Advanced lifters find that a mixed grip allows them to lift more weight. However, if you use a mixed grip, you are putting your bicep in a very vulnerable position. Bicep tears are not uncommon using this grip and should be a cause for concern.
There is no need to use a mixed grip with a trap bar. In a neutral position, your biceps are much safer.
Less Technique To Learn
If you are a serious lifter, you will know that lifting is NOT as easy as it looks. To master a lift you need to spend time learning the movement power and acquiring the needed mobility.
And while the same could be said for a trap bar, it is much easier to learn. You do not really need a whole lot of mobility to technique.
For the most part, you can really just get inside it and lift it up. This makes it a great choice for beginners or anyone who does not want to worry too much about their form.
You Can Lift More Weight
Due to the weight being at your sides during a hex bar deadlift, you will find that you easily lift more weight than you with a regular bar.
Simply put, trap bars allow you to put more total weight on your muscles. This can lead to more muscle growth and stimulus.
Furthermore, the gains you see on trap bar lifts will almost certainly translate to your other lifts as well. I know for a fact that when my trap bar deadlift goes up, my conventional deadlift and squat have gone up as well.
There is a reason that hex bars are used a lot by professional sports teams and that is because they build explosiveness and power like nothing else.
A study conducted at Robert Gordon University concluded that the use of a trap bar resulted in significantly greater peak force, velocity, and power during deadlifts compared to a regular straight bar.
Most people look at trap bars and just see deadlifts. But the truth is that trap bars are very versatile pieces of equipment that can be used for a number of exercises. Here are just a few:
- Farmers Walks
- Iso Holds
- Back Rows
- Walking Lunges
- Jump Deadlifts
- Single Leg Deadlifts
- Trap Bar Deadlifts
This benefit is not as clear as the other ones but I’ve found that many people especially have found that the trap bar does wonders for your grip strength.
Simply put the neutral grip allows you to focus much more on the way you hold the bar and grip it.
Not to mention that the trap bar makes it very easy to do. grip strength-based exercises like farmers’ walks or shrugs that are also heavily worth the forearms.
What Are The Different Types of Trap Bars?
As you may have taken note, trap bars come in all sorts of sizes and weights. There are two basic designs that you need to be aware of for your home gym:
Traditional Trap Bar: This is the standard trap bar that you will find at most commercial gyms. It will come in a variety of shapes and sizes and work great for most lifts
Open Trap Bar: An open trap bar is like a trap bar except for one side, either the front or back is missing. The benefit of this is that you can do additional exercises since your shins will not bump into the bar. Unlike a traditional trap bar, you can perform walking lunges and trap bar RDLs. Open hex bars also tend to be more expensive.
How Did We Rank These Trap Bars
With so many trap bars on the market nowadays, our team at FitDominium developed clear criteria that we would use to rank each trap bar that we tested. After weeks of testing and deliberation, these are the main factors we used to rank each bar. For more information, look at our product rating criteria.
Open vs. Closed
Open trap bars are simply better than closed bars. With an open bar, you can simply do more exercises that are not as limited by the width of the bar. With all else equal, we are always going to give the nod to the open trap bar for the added versatility
Companies like Rogue and REP simply have a better reputation in terms of customer service and overall quality. We consider this an important factor but still keep an open to other companies if they deliver a quality product.
If you are able to rack a trap bar, this allows you to do even more exercises like squats, rows, and presses. It is just a nice feature to have for exercise selection and storage as well.
Since you are likely going to be doing some heavy deadlifting with your trap bar, the type of knurling on the handles can make a big difference. In general, our team looked for a knurling that improved grip strength without being too painful to use.
Sleeve Length & Weight Capacity
Sleeve length and weight capacity are two closely related aspects of a trap bar. Lots of trap bars have listed weight capacity way above what you could realistically get onto the sleeves with standard plates. Throughout our testing, we looked for a trap bar that allowed you to use any type of plate and would be able to handle the weight used by most home gym owners.
We are still waiting for a company to really knock it out of the park in this department. As of now, most companies use a black powder coat which chips fairly quickly.
A higher price is not necessarily a bad thing. Our team simply tried to find the bar that offered the most features for the cheapest price.
For every one of these bars, we deadlifted, overhead pressed, benched, and even squatted if the bar allowed it. For each movement, we judged the bar on how smooth the movement felt.
The best overall bar for home gym owners is the REP Open Trap Bar. It offers tremendous versatility and quality at a competitive price.
If you simply want the basics and just starting out in your home gym, the Titan Olympic Weight Hex Bar is our budget pick.
Is a trap bar worth it?
As far as specialty bars go, the trap bar is the most versatile one out there. After you get your standard barbell, the trap bar is the next addition you should make to your home gym, The injury prevention and versatility benefits make it hard to beat.
Why is it called a trap bar?
The trap bar heavily works your traps (trapezius muscle) while deadlifting or shrugging with the bar. This was actually its original purpose so the name stuck.