Best Trap Bars (2021 UPD) | #1 Hex Deadlift Bar [Buying Guide]

  • Brian Adams – Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
    If you’re in the market for a reliable, ergonomically designed trap barbell for under $400, you can’t go wrong with the Rogue TB-2.
  • However, if you want something closer to the $300 price range without compromising on quality and durability, Rogue’s TB-1 model would be a better option.
  • There are several things you need to consider when choosing a trap barbell such as how durable it is, whether or not the coating is rust-resistant or if it requires constant maintenance, and the load it can carry.
  • Standard trap bars like the Synergee 20kg TB can handle around 500 lbs of weight. While more heavy-duty models like the CAP Trap barbell will be able to lift up to 1,000 easily.

7 Best Trap Bars (List for 2021)

1

TB2

Rogue TB-2

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2

Rogue TB-1 2.0

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3

Titan Fitness

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4

Synergee

Synergee

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5

Xmark-Fitness-XM

XMark Fitness

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6

Everyday Essentials

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7

CAP

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Not everyone is familiar with a hex trap bar. That much became clear to me when I saw the look of puzzlement in my client’s face when I recommended he start using trap bars to lighten the load his workouts have on his body. 

And while I’m not usually one for recommending specialized bars, I make an exception for trap barbells. Their design and functionality make it both easier and more convenient to perform certain workouts, allowing you to maximize your lift periods.

1. Rogue TB-2 - Best Traditional Trap Bar

TB2

The Rogue TB-2 is an upgrade from Rogue’s signature hex bars. It features a better dual handle design, reduced weight, and 80 pipe Olympic sleeves which allow you to load Olympic weights on it without issues. It boasts a more traditional hex barbell design with Rogue’s beautiful signature black powder finish that lends to its sleek look.

Take a look at its best qualities:

Dual Ergonomic Handles – the Rogue TB-2 boasts an ergonomic dual handle design where you can flip the bar over to switch from each set of handles. This makes it better for strengthening lockouts and limiting shoulder stress.

25-inch Spacing – the TB-2 olypmic trap bar has an optimal space of 25 inches in between both handles. This means it can accommodate various builds without sacrificing comfort.

PROS

  • 16-inch sleeve length
  • The handles are optimally knurled, so they aren’t too aggressive and not too mild
  • It is compatible with Olympic weights
  • It features reinforced joints, which means it’s built to last
  • The black powder coat reduces the risk of oxidation
  • It combines commercial quality craftsmanship with an economical price tag of under $400

CONS

  • The black powder coating will wear off over time, especially when constantly put in contact with other metals

Summary: The Rogue TB-2 is a good choice for you if you want a standard commercial high-quality and best trap bar deadlift within a home-use price point. It costs under $400 and features a sturdy build, ergonomic design, and dual knurled handles that are appropriately spaced so as to accommodate both smaller and larger users comfortably.

Rogue logo

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2. Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar 2.0

TB1

As I mentioned before, the Rogue TB-2 is an upgraded version of the TB-1. But even so, the TB-1’s features combined with its under $300 price point make it more than a worthy investment for home gym owners anywhere.

Compared to cheaper models and better than open design models, the TB-1 boasts more refined features and better durability that Rogue is associated with. 

Here’s why you’ll like it:

Aggressive Knurl – for more hardcore trainers, an aggressive knurl is significant. The Rogue Trap Bar 2.0 features an aggressive knurl pattern on both handles that make it both easy and comfortable to grip for long periods.

Rackable Trap – this tb is long enough so it can be used on your standard power bar. That means you’re able to do overhead presses and other workouts on your power bar with the benefits of a rackable hex barbell.

PROS

  • It’s rackable, so it can be used on your power rack and will give you more workout options like power rack deadlifts
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty
  • The knurling is aggressive enough for intermediate lifters
  • The sleeves are long enough to be fitted with bumpers
  • It costs under $300, so it’s not only well-priced, but it’s also quite affordable

CONS

  • It’s a very basic barbell
  • The coating will wear off over time, especially in areas where it could rub off on other metal surfaces

Summary: The only issue with the TB-1 is that it’s just your average basic trap bar. Aside from its rackability and durability, it really doesn’t have much going for it. However, it is a good choice for you if you want a reasonably priced tb without any unnecessary qualities.

Rogue logo

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3. Titan Fitness Trap Bar - Best Budget

The Titan Fitness Trap Bar is a rackable Hex barbell with a 22-inch handle spread that will cost you a little over $250. It weighs 60 lbs unloaded, so it’s a pretty standard heavy bar that can lift upwards of 500 lbs if you’re more of an intermediate lifter.

Take a look at its best qualities:

800-lb Load Capacity – the 16-inch sleeves allow you to load up to 800 lbs of lifting weight. This makes it ideal for intermediate lifters or beginners who want to invest in a bar they can eventually lift more weights with.

Rackable – the 22-inch handle spread makes it easy to rack the Titan Fitness TB. This also makes it more convenient to load up your plates at a more comfortable angle instead of from the floor.

PROS

  • It has a load capacity of 800 lbs.
  • It is rackable, which not only gives you more exercise variety, but it also lets you load plates with less fuss
  • The handles are raised 7.5 inches off the floor to give you better access when lifting
  • It’s affordable and costs just a little over $250

CONS

  • The knurling is just medium so it may not be enough if you prefer aggressive knurls
  • The load capacity may not be enough for pro lifters who want to lift more than 800 lbs of weight
  • The black powder coat will wear off over time

Summary: The Titan TB is a good option if you’re looking for a starter hex bar that has a load capacity that would allow you to lift heavier weights in the future. It costs less than $270, and its rackable feature makes it easier to load plates onto it. However, the black powder coating tends to wear off over time.

TF

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4. Synergee - Most Affordable

Synergee

The Synergee Trap Barbell is the cheapest bar on this list. But that doesn’t mean it won’t get its job done.

Available in 20 and 25kg variants as well as two finish options, this hex trap bar can lift up to 750 lbs with ease and will last you a very long time.

Here are its best qualities:

Multiple Plate Options – with 10 inches of loadable sleeve length, the Synergee can support Olympic grip, rubber bumper, and cast iron plates. This gives you plenty of variety and options to help you get into shape and develop strength.

Handle Options – there are two handle styles to choose from: flat and raised. Aside from that, the 25kg bar has two sets of handles with varying knurl marks to help you get a better—or more comfortable grip as you please.

PROS

  • It’s affordable and costs less than $200
  • There are two handle types to choose from—flat and raised
  • There are two finish options—black powder and chrome
  • The 25kg bar variety has two sets of handles with different knurl patterns for a better or more relaxed grip
  • The 10-inch sleeves can support multiple Olympic plate types
  • It has a load capacity of 750lbs
  • They have a replacement guarantee where they send you a new bar if you’re unsatisfied with the one you purchased

CONS

  • The 750-lb max weight may not be suitable for serious powerlifters

Summary: If you’re looking for a truly cheap (in price) hex bar, the Synergee is a good choice. 

It costs less than $200 and comes with a better than money-back guarantee where they send you a brand new bar for free if you’re unsatisfied with the one you received.

Synergee

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5. XMark Fitness Chrome Olympic Trap Bar - Best for Beginners

Xmark-Fitness-XM

The XMark Fitness Chrome Olympic Deadlift TB has a 400-lb capacity that is best suited for beginners. Polished in a chrome finish, it’s designed to outlast rust and extensive workouts with a bit of maintenance that will support you and your body as you start to build strength and work your way towards intermediate-level equipment.

Take a look at its best features:

Raised Handle Design – XMark Chrome Olympic Deadlift makes it easier to perform lifts thanks to its raised handles. The handles give you better access, so you don’t need to bend over completely before you start lifting.

Optimal Knurls – the knurl pattern on this model makes it both comfortable and optimally grippy for newbies. I find that the knurl is just the right depth to support its 400-lb weight capacity without risk of slipping or blistering non-calloused hands.

PROS

  • It’s affordable and costs under $250
    The raised handles allow you to have a better starting position before you lift
    The shoulder width handles make it more comfortable to hold
    Its knurls offer just the right amount of grip and comfort especially for beginners
    It’s well-built using high-grade steel

CONS

  • Some customers complain of the lack of quality control prior to shipping there are a few areas that need additional sanding or have missed the chrome coat
  • It’s cheap, and will look cheap in your gym
  • It requires some level of maintenance

Summary: The XMark Fitness Hex Chrome TB is ideal if you’re looking for a beginner hex trap bar. Its chrome finish means you have to worry less about maintenance and rusting, but would still require minimal maintenance to keep it looking sharp. It can handle up to 400 lbs of weight with ease and boasts a medium knurl for a comfortable grip.

XMark

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6. Everyday Essentials Olympic 2-Inch Hex Weight Lifting Trap Bar - Best Affordable

The Everyday Essentials Olympic 2-inch Hex WL trap bar boasts a solid steel body that can easily handle up to 1,000 lbs. It comes in closed and open hex bar options that allow you to choose a more traditional or modern kind of bar as you please.

Take a look at its best qualities:

One Inch Grip Size – the Everyday Essentials Olympic 2-inch Hex TB features ergonomic one-inch-thick handles with multiple knurling positions to help you more comfortably grip your bar without worrying about slipping.

Open and Closed Hex Bar Design – this trap bar comes in two variations—open and closed. Keep in mind that the open bar will cost you a little over $70 more than the traditional design. But, you will have a better exercise variety on it.

PROS

  • It can handle up to 1000 lbs for lifting, which makes it ideal for heavy lifters
    It comes in an open and closed hex bar variation
    It’s very affordable and costs under $200
    The one-inch handles make it more comfortable to hold your bar

CONS

  • The finish requires a good bit of maintenance if you don’t want it to rust; unfortunately, it will likely either develop a patina or the black coating will eventually wear off

Summary: The Everyday Essentials Olympic Hex Bar is an ideal option if you’re looking for the most affordable heavy bar for weight lifting. It can easily handle up to 1,000 lbs, and it costs less than $200. Plus, if you’re looking specifically for an open-type TB, it comes in that option too for around $70 more than the traditional design. Unfortunately, you will need to put some effort into maintaining the look of your bar if you don’t want it to look old and rusted in a few months.

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7. CAP Trap Bar

This CAP Trap barbell comes in three finishing varieties as well as grip options that allow you to choose exactly what you want for your workouts. It has a 32 millimeter grip diameter that makes it both easy and comfortable to hold whether you’re performing shrugs or deadlifts. The bar itself weighs 75 lbs unloaded, so you’re well assured that it can handle heavy weights as well as stand up to daily use.

Here’s why you’ll like it: 

Multiple Grip Varieties – there are several grip options to choose from, such as flat, raised, or a combination. This allows you to more specifically determine exactly what you want for your workouts while maintaining a level of comfort that would only keep you motivated to push harder.

Heavy Duty Pro Trainer Use – this bar can easily hold up to 1,000 lbs of loaded weight. This means it can work comfortably as a beginner bar while still giving you enough room to transition into more serious workouts in the future.

PROS

  • There are multiple finish options such as black, chrome, and zinc
  • It can carry up to 1,000 lbs
  • It is compatible with standard Olympic weights
  • The 32 mm grip is adequately knurled for aggressive use while still maintaining a good level of comfort for beginner use

CONS

  • Some customers have complained that the bar doesn’t actually weight 75 lbs which makes us skeptical that it can really lift up to 1000 lbs

Summary: The CAP regular Trap bar is a good option for you if you’re looking for a barbell with specific grip options. It also comes in multiple finish varieties, so you’re better able to choose exactly what kind of bar you want. Feature-wise, it doesn’t have much added to it. However, it’s a good heavy bar that can (presumably) lift up to 1,000 lbs without any problems for around $100.

Cap Barbel

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Benefits of Using Trap Bars

Although I’m usually an advocate for not needing specialty bars, I tend to make an exception for bars. In fact, I recommend them to many of my clients because of their versatility and functionality. They are even more so beneficial if you often suffer from back aches and would like to lessen stress on your lumbar region.

Less Back Strain for Floor Lifts

If you often suffer from back pains and tend to cut your workouts short because of the strain traditional straight bars put on your back when lifting weights off the floor, these bars are a good fit for you. The way these bars are designed puts less strain on your spine which leads to two things: better performance and reduced risk of injury.

I’m no stranger to pushing my limits in the gym. But that’s never a good excuse to push through potentially harmful exercises that could put you at risk of not being able to lift in the future. Hex bars give you a little more wiggle room when it comes to lifting which allows you to spend more time training and less time in pain or discomfort.

Trap Bars

Trap Bars Offer Great Versatility

Unlike other bars where you’re only limited to three or five exercise variations, these bars can be used for a multitude of movements. I particularly enjoy how the bar seemingly never gets in the way when you’re working out, unlike straight bars and other specialty bars. 

Some of the more modern hex bar models feature an open-back design where you can simply walk into your barbell with nothing hindering you from the back. These designs offer a lot more versatility when it comes to workout variety like lunges.

Better Deadlift Performance

Any basic trap bar will let you perform nearly all deadlift-type movements with the exception of the sumo lift. So unless you’re a big fan of it, it’s not a big problem for most users. One thing many people don’t know is that these bars are one of the most ergonomic home gym barbells to use when you’re performing deadlifts. The way trap bars are held makes it so you have better options for how you can position your knees, and there’s no straight bar hindering your shins from sliding forward when needed for better stability and support.

Trap Bars Give Your Biceps a Break

Aside from the clear benefits trap bars have on your spinal health, they also lessen the tension on your biceps. This is because your shoulders are put in a more neutral position during lifts which allows you to better tolerate the stress of deadlifts if your scapular region tends to bother you otherwise.

What Factors Should I Keep in Mind Before Buying a Trap Bar?

When purchasing any barbell, there are several things you need to keep in mind like the finish, type of bar, and the exercise variety of each bar. The same aspects are applicable for selecting a trap bar as well. However, there are also a few distinct factors you need to keep in mind.

The Width Between the Handles

The Width Between the Handles

The space in between the two handles determines the size of the trainer a trap bar can accommodate. Having too large or too little of a gap would defeat the convenience and purpose of a trap bar, effectively adding on to your strain instead of reducing stress on your body. 

Keep in mind that if you’re taller or larger, you’d be more comfortable using a trap bar with at least 28 inches of space in between both handles. On the other hand, if you’re more petite or have shorter arms, choose a trap bar with a handle space of around 23 inches.

The Weight of Your Hex Bar

Some users don’t give the actual weight of their bar much thought. Something you may not consider is that the weight of your unloaded bar will be added onto the final weight after your plates are loaded. This is also something you should consider when you’re wondering what the maximum limit of your bar is. 

The Maximum Weight Limit of Your Trap Bar

All barbells have their limits. Consider the maximum weight capacity of your trap bar and compare that to your goals. While you may not need a heavy-duty trap bar right now, is it something you aspire to be able to do in the future? 

How does this connect to the weight of my trap bar? Generally, heavy bars will weigh a bit more than standard use. Most heavy barbells can lift upwards of 500 lbs and will weigh somewhere around 60 lbs unloaded. 

On the other hand, lighter duty barbells will only be able to lift a maximum of 400 lbs and usually weigh around 23 to 28 lbs when unloaded.

Can You Rack It?

Rackable models are generally longer in length and allow you to rest them on your power rack’s safeties. If you want to be able to do overhead presses and use your hex bar with your power rack, this is an important factor to consider. Otherwise, it shouldn’t matter. But keep in mind that a rackable bar will give you a better workout variety.

Can You Do Squats With a Trap Bar?

No, you can’t do any “butt work” like trap barrows with the trap bar. There are two reasons for this. First, your butt isn’t large enough to carry an extra 10-15 pounds through a front squat or row. Secondly, if you’re using a bar with pins to hold yourself up, you’re not doing “shoulders to bar,” and this could be a problem if your upper traps are weak like a cap barbell. However, you can use the trap bar to perform a trap bar push-up variation, as you’ll see in the video below.

As a general rule, I’m a fan of avoiding training isolation muscles, since you’ll have no way to check their progress if you’re only looking at your own physique. Instead, use one compound exercise in order to target multiple muscle groups at the same time. This means doing both deadlifts and squats for the front delts, and doing front squats and reverse flyes for your traps. You should also use the trap bar for Olympic-style deadlifts, too, just like in the video below. This exercise will keep you safely off the back if you start to mess up in the deadlift.

Are Hex Bar Deadlifts Safer?

Recently I posted a video on the youtube channel training aftershock of me performing a deadlift and an axle bar deadlift with 15kg in each hand with my grip. I wrote about how I came about doing the axle bar deadlift for CrossFit WOD, and why I decided to continue to use it for my powerlifting routine. Lifting with just 1 Hand – This is something I wanted to perform long before the WOD but wasn’t sure I would be able to due to the deadlift being my least favorite exercise. I will always have to deal with the challenge of my hands getting tired (not painful) and not being able to lock out the bar after several repetitions, however, I had to give it a shot to test my strength and my pain tolerance. I have to admit it took me a while to catch on to how to place the straps, where to put the bar on my neck and torso, and where my elbows should be. I found these straps at my local sporting goods store that had the adjustable strap that I had seen on random strength equipment a few months before at the same store.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, they are not only effective for deadlifts, but they’re also more ergonomic in a sense. Since there’s no straight bar prohibiting you from moving freely, you can move your shins forward, so your quads support the bulk of the deadlift instead of your hips.

The trap bar was named after the trapezius muscles which is the primary muscle group it was intended to train. Many people don’t know this, but it was actually designed and patented by a well-respected powerlifter named Al Gerard.

Yes, you can do squats with a trap bar. In fact, many trainers interchange between trap squats and deadlifts. The workout lovingly earned its name the trap bar squat and continues to be a favorite among trap bar trainers across many gyms.

A trap bar is better for deadlifts if you want a less strenuous workout, but a straight bar will force you to stick with the traditional “hinged” deadlift style. In reality, it depends on your preferences. However, I personally prefer trap bar deadlifts simply because they allow me to change up my position every once in a while, and so I’m not limited to the traditional hinged position when I’m not feeling a hundred percent.

A trap bar lets you work on nearly all of your muscle groups. When performing deadlifts—a whole-body workout, you’re able to target most points of your body like your hamstrings, glutes, and quads, among other muscles.

Final Words. Are Trap Bars Worth It?

This is one of those rare times where you’ll hear me say that a specialty bar is worth it. It not only make it possible for you to perform deadlifts more easily, but they also give you a lot of workout options, especially if you choose an open hex bar variety where you’re able to do lunges. 

If you’re looking for a solid quality model, the Rogue TB 2 trap bar is a good option. It comes in powder coating that prevents rusting which also means you don’t have to spend time maintaining your bar after each workout. It’s a bit on the more expensive side at under $300, but it’s well worth the price for a bar that features aggressive knurling, a 7.5-inch handle elevation that allows for better access during lifts, and it’s also rackable. 

 

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more affordable option, the Synergee trap bar is a good choice for you. It does away with added design features that one could easily dismiss as unnecessary. Instead, it boasts a 10-inch sleeve length that can hold multiple Olympic plate types for a little over $100.

The CAP and Everyday Essentials Trap Bars are also good options if you’re looking for a heavy-duty piece of equipment for under $200. Both bars can easily lift up to 1,000 lbs, which makes them ideal for more serious deadlifters.