Although it’s considered a specialty bar, a Trap Bar, also known as a Hex Bar, is a versatile piece of equipment that will quickly become a staple in your home gym.
The design allows the weight of the bar to stay in line with your body, making it easier to maintain form in certain exercises. The design also allows you to maintain the skin on your shins when doing deadlifts, as opposed to an Olympic bar.
Before becoming a Certifed Personal Trainer, I only used the trap bar for deadlifts when the Olympic bars were already being used at the gym. Now that I have spent some time researching movement and muscle growth I have come to love the trap bar for a variety of exercises including:
- Romanian Deadlifts
- Farmer’s Walk
- Neutral Grip Shoulder Press
- Bent Over Row
- Neutral Grip Bench Press
- Inverted Row
- Push-ups (with the bar on the floor)
We’ve reviewed the best-selling and highest user-rating trap bars and have come up with the best choices for your home gym, depending on your budget and goals. We will also show you what to look for when you decided to pull the trigger on a trap bar.
A Quick Look
|Best Overall Trap Bar – Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar|
|Best Premium Trap Bar – Kabuki Strength Trap Bar HD|
|Best Budget Trap Bar – Titan Olympic Hex Weight Bar|
|Best Open Trap Bar – Force USA Walkthrough Trap Bar|
|Best Rackable Trap Bar – Bells of Steel Industrial Rackable Trap Bar|
Trap Bars Reviewed
A trap bar is a sizable investment, so you want to be sure you get the best product you can for the cost. We have laid out several models that should suit different people’s needs. So whether you are on a budget or are ready to invest in an expensive home gym, we have you covered.
Best Overall Trap Bar – Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar
When looking for the best overall product, we try to find the best mix of value for money, flexibility, and quality. Luckily, the Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar is the perfect mix of all those elements, and we believe it is the best trap bar on the market today.
The TB-2 is competitively priced and won’t break the bank for anyone building their home gym, and it comes with Rogue’s renowned build quality. You get plenty of value for your money with this model.
We were awed by the durability of the build. You often get what you pay for when buying gym equipment, and you are paying for a solid piece of equipment in this case. The TB-2 is as sturdy as they come and has a 4.8 out of 5-star customer rating out of 140 reviews on the site, a lot of which speak to the sturdiness and build quality.
Another reason we picked this product was the company that manufactures it. Rogue is one of the top dogs in the field, and it has some of the best customer service we have interacted with.
The TB-2 Trap Bar itself weighs 60 lbs, which is a little heavier than standard Olympic Barbells. It also has 16” of loadable sleeve space to really pack on the Olympic weight plates.
Rogue spaced the handles 25 inches from the center, making this easy to grip. There is a set of high grips and low grips that are accessible depending on which part of the bar is facing up. This spacing is not as wide as some other trap bars but still feels comfortable and natural when exercising.
You can also rack this bar, allowing you to use it for other exercises rather than just deadlifts. We had great success using the TB-2 for squats or overhead presses. Being wide enough to be racked not only gives the bar more versatility but also allows for convenient storage.
Of course, this model is not perfect. We have a few minor complaints that should not deter you from picking it up.
Rogue finished the bar with a black powder coating. While this coating does make it look aesthetically pleasing and gives it rust resistance, it’s prone to chipping, and putting on weights will erode the finish over time.
Having quality knurling is important to maintain grip when the bar is loaded. The knurling on the TB-2 may be a bit too abrasive for some. If the sharpness bothers you, you can mitigate it with workout gloves. Alternatively, you can just sand down the knurling on the handles to fit your needs.
- Quality build
- Customer service
- Excellent handles
- Powder coating on the sleeves will wear over time
- Knurling may be aggressive for some
- Some standard barbell collars won’t work, need to buy specific collars
Best Premium Trap Bar – Kabuki Strength Trap Bar HD
If you do not mind paying a sizable chunk for a premium product, the Trap Bar HD From Kabuki Strength is a sweet option. Kabuki is one of the finest in exercise equipment manufacturing. As such, the Trap Bar HD is one of the best products on the market but is also one of the most expensive.
This bar has an open design, meaning it does not resemble a hexagon. An open design allows you to use this bar for many different exercises rather than just for deadlifts.
The grip options really set this trap bar apart. Included with the bar are 2 pairs of 29mm stainless steel, machine-knurled grips that fit in the swappable handle brackets. The brackets can be changed to allow for a 23”, 25”, and 27” distance between the handles. Two different heights are available with every bracket depending on which part of the bar is facing up.
Kabuki also offers additional 1”, 1.5”, and 2” Love Handles that fit in the brackets giving options that will fit any preference. The Love Handles can be fixed in place or installed so that they roll.
Loading the Kabuki Trap Bar is convenient and simple thanks to the built-in bar jack. You do not need to lift the bar off the ground to load weights, just need to pivot the bar up on the jacks to get the plates off of the ground. Kabuki Strength suggested a maximum weight of 1,500 pounds.
The bar weighs 30kg without any additional weight and is finished with a semi-gloss powder coat. The Olympic-sized weight sleeves are finished with clear zinc.
As far as drawbacks, the biggest complaint of the Trap Bar HD is that it’s not rackable in conventional J-cups. The bar can still be used from racked positions if you have spotter arms or safety straps, but for the price I wish it fit into the j-cups on my rack.
- Built-in bar jacks
- Open design
- Tons of grip options
- Comfortable knurling
- Not rackable in J-cups
- Too expensive for most people
- Clear zinc finish on sleeves
Best Budget Trap Bar – Titan Olympic Hex Weight Bar
Exercise equipment is expensive, and trap bars are no exception. It’s not uncommon for first-time purchasers to experience some sticker shock when they see the price of some pieces.
Luckily, Titan Fitness saw these issues and made a trap bar for under $200. While this may still be expensive to some, this model is cheaper than most, and the quality is still worth the purchase. This product is a bit barebone, but you can use it for an excellent workout.
The bar weighs 44 pounds, making it relatively light compared to others on the market. You can load around 500 pounds on this bar. The 500-pound limit will not hold you back if you are a beginner or casual lifter. Experienced lifters may not get much use out of this model, however.
The medium-grade knurling on the handles feels pretty good, definitely not as aggressive as some we’ve tried. It is rough enough that it helps with grip but not so abrasive that it tears up your hands if you use it too long.
Titan Fitness manufactured the handles to be over 24.5” apart. This spacing is slightly less than other models and keeps your arms close to your sides when doing shrugs or deadlifts. The bar has low and high grip options depending on which part of the bar is facing up.
Unfortunately, this model has a closed design that is not long enough to be racked. A closed, non-rackable, design is not necessarily a deal breaker, but it does limit the variety of exercises you can use it for.
Titan Fitness gave this model a simple chrome finish that helps with oxidation but is not overly fancy. It’s exactly what we’d expect at the price point.
- Value for money
- Classic look
- Medium knurling
- Not Rackable
- Supports only 500 pounds of added weight
- Closed design
Best Open Trap Bar – Force USA Walkthrough Trap Bar
An open trap bar design allows you to tackle different exercises and gives you more exercise options. And when it comes to a home gym where space and funds are tight, the more multi-tasking pieces you have, the better.
Force USA has a really unique trap bar on the market with this open model. This product has many of the same features and benefits as the Kabuki Trap Bar HD but at a slightly lower price.
The utility is the name of the game when it comes to this trap bar. Of course, you can still perform the classic deadlifts and shoulder shrugs with this bar, but the open design allows for presses, lunges, and rows. The center handle also allows for suitcase carries.
Force USA’s design for this trap bar is unique compared to other models we tried. It’s one of the few trap bars we have seen that you must assemble at home. It is a short setup process, but some might find it annoying. Some lifters may also not enjoy the looks, but that is a matter of preference.
This bar is heavy without having added any additional weight. The product comes in at 65 pounds empty, which makes it one of the heaviest we tested. Some lifters may want a lighter bar, so keep that in mind before you purchase this product. The trap bar supports a max weight of 660 lbs, so if you’re a serious powerlifter this may be a limiting factor.
Adding weight to this bar is a no-brainer thanks to a similar system to the Kabuki Trap Bar. The bar has a jack system that lifts it off the ground enough to allow you to slide weights on and off. It does not get much simpler than this model when changing weight.
Overall, the versatile design from ForceUSA can be a nice addition as long as the downfalls aren’t deal breakers for you.
- Unique and versatile design
- Built-in jack system
- Lots of handle options
- Heavy bar
- Not Rackable
- Only capable of holding 650 pounds
- You must assemble the bar at home
Best Rackable Trap Bar – Bells of Steel Industrial Rackable Trap Bar
The ability to place your trap bar on a squat rack allows you to get more value out of the product. Opening up more exercises with a single piece of equipment is an excellent way to save money and space in your home gym. The Industrial Rackable Trap/Hex Bar from Bells of Steel is what you need if you want squat rack compatibility.
This is a relatively affordable trap bar, and it performs above some higher-priced models. The build feels stable, and the construction should withstand the wear and tear exercise equipment goes through. The limited lifetime warranty offers peace of mind if something was to go wrong.
Bells of Steel went with a rust-resistant black cerakote finish on the frame and gold titanium-plated rotating sleeves for a premium-looking piece of equipment that offers great resistance to rust and oxidation.
The high and low handle options come with aggressive knurling that will help grip the bar when it’s loaded. The bar also features a built-in jack system that allows you to get the plates off of the ground for easy loading and unloading.
The bar is a monster weighing in at 80 pounds with no weights attached. You can load up to 882 pounds on this trap bar, so just about anybody can find a use for it. Some extreme powerlifters might be looking for a higher capacity.
The bar is also quite wide at just over 7 feet. The wider distance can be an issue if you’re home gym space is quite small but it allows the weight plates to rest on the rubber mats of standard 8-foot wide lifting platforms.
While we have a few nitpicks with this bar, it is one of the best values you can find for exercise equipment.
- High weight load
- Aggressive knurling
- Rotating sleeves
- Heavy before adding any plates
- Longer than some rackable bars
What To Look For in a Trap Bar
Before purchasing a trap bar for your home gym, you should know what makes one product better than others. We have a simple buying guide for you, so you know what to look for before purchasing.
If you are new to weightlifting, you likely won’t need to worry about the weight capacity. But experienced lifters may need something that can handle several hundred more pounds than the average user. Check the bar capacity, and sleeve length to make sure it will suit your current and future needs.
Handle distance is a preference, but you should opt for a trap bar that feels comfortable to lift. Try multiple products to see what distance you prefer. Some bars offer multiple grip options at different heights and diameters and can be changed to meet your preference.
Knurling is what you feel on the surface of your exercise equipment. Most knurling is abrasive, and companies put it on equipment to help you maintain your grip even when sweating.
You want to find a knurling that is rough and easy to grip while not being too tough on your hands. If you find a bar you like with knurling that is too tough, you could sand it down or wear gloves while lifting.
In addition to the knurling on the grips, you want to ensure they have an acceptable diameter. Too large of a grip will be hard to hold, and too small of a grip can be uncomfortable. Most bars for men are around 28 mm, while women’s bars are approximately 25 mm.
You should treat exercise equipment as a long-term investment. You want to find a product with a sizable warranty so that you can replace it in case of breakage.
Try to find a trap bar that is durably constructed. There is definitely an element of ‘you get what you pay for’ when buying gym equipment. Also, it’s important to consider the dimensions and style. The exercises you plan on using the trap bar for will determine if you need an open bar vs a closed hex design and if you need a bar that is rackable or not.
Things to Consider
Although I don’t consider a trap bar an absolute necessity in the home gym, I still consider it a great investment. Something as simple as changing your grip will work different muscles in an exercise and the trap bar allows you to do that. This can be helpful if you’re hitting a plateau, or just need to switch things up in your routine.
Drawbacks of a Trap Bar
A trap bar can be more unstable than an Olympic Bar. This is especially true if the grips you use are in line on the same plane as the plate sleeves. If the grip is above the plane of the weight then the bar will feel more stable.
A lot of trap bars also do not come with rotating sleeves because the primary exercises they are built for, like deadlifts and shrugs, are not overly explosive and don’t have much rotation so the sleeve bearings would be overkill. For more explosive exercises, and movements where the trap bar will rotate, the rotational inertia will be a factor to deal with.
No matter your budget or experience level, I strongly believe you will enjoy the benefits of having a trap bar in your home gym. The best bar you can buy is the one you will actually use! I personally love having the option to switch up my routine every few weeks to help break out of the physical and mental plateaus, as well as keep me motivated and on track.
What is a trap bar?
A trap bar, also known as a hex bar, is a type of weightlifting equipment used to perform exercises such as deadlifts and shrugs. It is an alternative to the traditional straight barbell, consisting of a center hexagonal shaped frame with two handles on each side. The trap bar allows the user to lift heavier weights while maintaining a more upright posture and providing greater stability than with a straight barbell.
What are the benefits of using a trap bar?
The main benefit of using a trap bar is that it allows you to lift heavier weights while maintaining proper form and keeping your back in an upright position. This reduces the risk of back injury from using a straight barbell. Additionally, the hexagonal shape of the trap bar allows you to move your hands further apart, giving you a greater range of motion than with a standard barbell. Finally, the handles on each side make it easier to grip and control the weight during lifts.
What exercises can be performed with a trap bar?
Trap bars are most commonly used for deadlifts, shrugs, and bent-over rows. However, they can also be used for pressing exercises such as bench presses and overhead presses. Additionally, some people use the trap bar to perform farmer’s walks or carries. Finally, the unique shape of the trap bar can be used to perform unique exercises that are not possible with a straight barbell.
Are there any risks associated with using a trap bar?
As with any weightlifting exercise, there is always the risk of injury when using a trap bar. It is important to make sure that you are using the correct form and that you are not lifting too much weight. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the trap bar is secure before using it. If not done correctly, there is a risk of the bar slipping or tipping over and potentially causing an injury. Therefore, it is recommended to always have a qualified spotter when using a trap bar.