Best Open Trap Bars for 2022

It is believed that the trap bar or hex bar was invented in 1985 by Al Gerard, a renowned powerlifter. He came up with this unique barbell design in order to reduce the chances of injuries involved with the use of standard barbell for deadlifts and other powerlifting moves. 

The hexagonal trap area helps lifters maintain a neutral posture while lifting, thereby reducing the strain on the spine. If you already have a pre-existing back injury, this is probably the only safest option for you to train with weights. 

However, the trapped hexagonal design is very restrictive. It is mostly useful for deadlifts, which is why not many of us would want to have it in our small, space-constraint home gym. We would rather want to buy a more versatile piece of equipment that can be used for doing a wide range of exercises. This is why many manufacturers have come up with an upgraded open-frame design

Open trap bars or open hex bars have an open front side so you can do a wide range of exercises such as farmer carry, high knees, shoulder press, etc. Watch the video below to get an idea of how you can use an open trap bar. 

 

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In a hurry? Here are our top picks!

Name Our Rating Price
Kabuki Strength Open Trap Bar HD 4.5 Check Pricing
CAP Barbell Open Trap Bar 4.5 Check Pricing
Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar 4.4 Check Pricing
Hulkfit Open Trap Bar 4.3 Check Pricing
Fitek Premium Open Trap Bar 4.3 Check Pricing

Click here to skip the Buying Buide and go straight to Our Top Picks

Buying Guide

Is an open trap bar necessary? 

No. They are not an absolute must-haves for home gyms or even for commercial places. Plus, no matter what upgrades are made, trap bars will never be as versatile as standard barbells. 

But, if you have back issues or if you want to train heavy without straining your spine, investing in a good quality open trap bar should make sense to you. 

When you are training with a standard barbell, the weight is either in front of you or towards your back. In both these cases, chances of hyperextending your spine are high. Plus, there are also high chances of losing your balance, especially if you are a beginner. 

But, when you are using a trap bar or an open hex bar, the weights will be on your sides. This will help minimize overextension of the spine, which in turn will helps minimize the strain on the back. Plus, your body will not have to focus too much on the balancing part, so you will be able to lift heavy. If you are a beginner at weight training with not enough flexibility, this will help you stay safe while working at home without the help of a spotter. 

So yes, as we said above, an open trap bar or a conventional trap bar is not a necessary piece of equipment but if you have mobility issues or back issues or if you want to train harder, it is good to have one. 

Our Picks

#1 - Kabuki Strength Open Trap Bar HD

Kabuki Strength Trap bar HD

What we think

If you are looking for a well-built high-end open trap bar for some intense pumping sessions, the Trap Bar HD by Kabuki Strength should be a good options for you. It provides ample adjustability. You can adjust the hand grip to change the intensity of the workouts. You can even customize the distance between the handles, so you don’t have to strain your body or workout at uncomfortable angles. Only Kabuki Strength can care so much about you.

Although it is quite obvious, Kabuki Strength Trap Bar HD is a near-perfect home gym equipment, meant for people who want to train hard and do not mind spending some extra dollars on a piece of equipment that comes with lifetime warranty.

The only issue we had with it is that it is not rackable.

Pros

  • 17” long loading sleeves
  • Machined sleeves that minimize wobbling and rattling of plates
  • Very high loading capacity
  • Choice of handle brackets and hand grips
  • The rolling grips can help you make your workouts as challenging as possible

Cons

  • None as such

Summary

Unquestionably, one of the best trap bars for fitness enthusiasts, bodybuilders, and people who love to train hard.

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 4.5 out of 5.0.

#2 - CAP Barbell Open Trap Bar

Cap Barbell

Quick Review Video



What we think

This is a good option for beginners and casual trainers who have no intentions of lifting more than 350lbs of weight. It has medium-aggressive knurling, which helps give you a good grip. It is designed as per ASTM standards and has a solid steel construction with chrome finishing. 

Since it is made of solid steel, its weight is on a higher side, which could be an issue if you are just getting started. CAP Barbell open trap bar weighs 71lbs, making it one of the heaviest bars that we have come across. The Kabuki Strength trap bar weighs 66lbs whereas the Everyday Essentials open trap bar weighs just 45lbs. This extra weight makes it a really strong option though. 

The only major issue we found in the CAP barbell open trap bar is its poorly designed feet. They are not quite stable and you can’t confidently put the barbell down when done. You will have to spend a few seconds to ensure that the barbell is stable on the ground.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Versatile in use
  • Works as expected

Cons

  • Packaging and shipping needs to be improved
  • The design of the bar’s stand could have been improved
  • Poor warranty

Summary

Decent product for people who do not want to lift more than 400lbs. But, it is quite heavier than other competitive open trap bars.

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 4.5 out of 5.0.

#3 - Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar

Bells of Steel- Open Trap Bar

What we think

Weighing just 41lb, Bells of Steel open trap bar is one of the few products that closely matches with the weight of a standard barbell. This makes it much easier to understand exactly how much you are lifting. Plus, 41lbs is easier to begin with than the 71lbs CAP Barbell open trap bar that we have listed above. 

As per the manufacturer, the USP of Bells of Steel open trap bar 3.0 is that it has rotating sleeves, a feature that is not usually found in trap bars. Rotating sleeves help minimize the strain that weightlifting puts on your wrists. However, we believe rotating sleeves are not that necessary for trap bars because these types of hybrid bars are basically meant for deadlifts, carries, etc. where you actually do not want the plates or sleeves to rotate. 

The most interesting feature of the Bells of steel open trap bar is that it has two sets of handles. If the upper one seems too easy, you can grab the lower one. Not many budget bars offer such features. 

Talking about the things that we don’t like about this open hex bar is that it has really short 10” sleeves. So, you won’t be able to load too many plates on it. The max weight you could possibly load is 350lbs-400lbs. Plus, the knurling could have been better.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Can stand on its own for easy loading and unloading of plates
  • Has two sets of handles so you can grip any of them as per your comfort levels

Cons

  • Short sleeves restrict the number of weight plates you can load on it

Summary

Highly recommended for beginners.

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 4.4 out of 5.0.

#4 - Hulkfit Open Trap Bar

Hulkfit trap bar

What we think

Hulkfit Hex trap bars are available as closed trap bars and as open trap bars. The only difference between them is the open end. Hulkfit Hex trap bars have the longest sleeves among all, measuring about 21″. You can add ample of plates and yet you will have space left for the collar. The bar is well-built and sturdy but if you want to train heavy, you should invest in better quality products such as the Trap bar HD by Kabuki Strength.

The only major issue that we can figure out in this Hex bar is that it doesn’t come with a loading jack. So, adding or removing plates could be a problem. But don’t worry. All you need is a really expensive barbell jack like the BRTGYM Deadlift Jack. These products are inexpensive but they can save a lot of time and effort that you have to put in for changing plates.

Pros

  • Highly affordable
  • Well-built
  • Can hold up to 12 45 lbs bumper plates
  • Made of solid steel so durability is not a question

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with an inbuilt loading jack for easy loading and unloading of plates
  • poor shipping and packaging

Summary

Solid piece of home gym equipment for light to moderate weight training.

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 4.3 out of 5.0.

#5 - Fitek Premium Open Trap Bar

Fitek Premium Open Trap bar

What we think

Fitek Trap bar requires some basic assembly but the process is quite simple and most buyers have confirmed that they never had any issue with that. with 1400lbs load capacity, this trap bar can be trusted for rigorous training sessions. Fitek trap bar comes with two sets of handles, just in case you want thicker grips.  The handles have almost perfect knurl marks and the sleeves are corrosion resistant.

Not a dealbreaker, but you should know that the frame of the Fitek trap bar has welds. It isn’t made of one single piece of metal just like the Kabuki Strength Trap bar HD.

Pros

  • 1500lbs weight load capacity
  • 20” long loadable sleeves
  • Dual handles with two different diameters for tougher workouts
  • Easy assembly

Cons

  • No major issue found as such

Summary

One of the best open trap bars for rigorous training sessions.

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 4.3 out of 5.0.

Wrap Up

There are a few things that you should consider while buying an open trap bar. 

One of them is the weight of the barbell. Hex bars weigh more than standard barbells due to their bulky size. Their weight could vary between 41lbs and 71 lbs or more, depending upon their make and model. If you are just getting started make sure 41lbs isn’t too much for you.  

The second thing that you should know is that not all hex bars are rackable. For example; the Kabuki Strength hex bar that we have reviewed above has a square frame, which is not compatible with j-hooks of the squat racks. You will have to use spotter arms to hold such frames. 

The third thing that you need to keep in mind is that trap bars require more floor space than the standard barbells that could even be stored vertically in a barbell holder. Trap bars can’t be stored vertically. So, if you have a really small home gym, you really need to figure out if you can have a dedicated space for it. If not, then you should go with standard barbells instead. 

We have already created detailed lists of best affordable barbells, best mid-price barbells, and best high-end barbells so you don’t have to brainstorm a lot. We have also selected some of the best barbell collars and best weightlifting belts that you can use to train safely and confidently. 

We have also created a detailed article on the benefits of smith machines and some of the best smith machines for home gyms. In case you have poor balance and coordination or if you want to train with 100% safety, they are a better option than trap bars or standard barbells. 

That’s it for this article. Keep reading our website for more such useful advice and genuine product recommendations.