A hex bar is a hexagon-shaped barbell with weight sleeves on each side, also known as a trap bar. It allows the athlete to stand inside the hexagon to perform deadlifts, shrugs, and more. Some of the benefits of using a hex bar for deadlift training include better perfecting hip-hinging mechanics, less stress on the lower back, and a shorter range of motion due to elevated handles (a good tool for beginners).
The most common variance between trap bar options is weight capacity, space within the hexagon, and the height of the handles. There are some unique designs on the market that offer more utility but involve some assembly. Let’s get in a proper stance and find the best trap bar for you.
Best Trap Bars
- Best Trap Bar: Force USA Walkthrough Trap Bar
- Best Hex Trap Bar with Elevated Handles: Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar
- Best Hex Trap Bar: Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar
- Best Value Trap Bar: CAP Barbell Trap Bar
- Best Trap Bar for Knurling/Grip: Rackable Hex Trap Bar
Editor’s note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended to diagnose, prevent, and/or treat health problems. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning a new fitness, nutritional, and/or supplement routine. Individual needs for vitamins and minerals will vary.
Best Trap Bar
The adjustable handles, open walkthrough design, and built-in bar jack are the main reasons this trap bar is at the top of this list. Changing weight plates without hassle is a nice upside. With a weight capacity of up to 661 pounds, this bar measures 69 inches from end to end and weighs 65 pounds when fully assembled. Yes, this bar does require assembly, which may be a put-off for many, but it is worth the expected 20 minutes it takes to level up in the gym.
You can do a lot more than deadlifts with a trap bar, and this one takes that to a new level with ergonomic, adjustable handles and a built-in bar jack for easy plate loading. It measures 69 inches in length and can support up to 661 pounds.
Who Should Buy Force USA Walkthrough Trap Bar
- Beginning lifters who want a bar that’s easier to lift than a more traditional barbell.
- Athletes looking to add a new kind of barbell to their workouts to change up their training.
- Those who prefer having one side of the hexagon open for easier movement.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Force USA Walkthrough Trap Bar
- Those who prefer a trap bar with more aggressive knurling.
- Anyone who needs to train the snatch or clean & jerk specifically.
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Best Hex Trap Bar with Elevated Handles
This trap bar weighs 60 pounds and measures 88.5 inches in length. Manufactured in the USA, each end sports 1.91-inch long sleeves and knurled handles with a diameter of 1.34 inches — each handle is raised 8.25 inches off the floor. It has a black powder-coated finish and is constructed from 1.5-inch square steel tubing. The design offers athletes the ability to lift with either the raised handles or straight handles parallel to the hexagon frame by flipping the trap bar over.
This trap bar is designed with handles so athletes at both beginner and advanced levels can perform deadlift variations comfortably. Each knurled handle of this barbell is 8.25 inches high off the floor and it's manufactured in the USA.
Who Should Buy Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar
- Lifters who want access to a trap bar that offers both raised and non-raised handles.
- Those who already have access to compatible Rogue equipment, such as barbell clamps.
- Athletes who want to improve their range of motion in the deadlift gradually.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar
- Not all standard barbell collars are compatible with this trap bar.
- Sliding weight plates on and off may cause wear to the powder coat finish over time.
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Best Hex Trap Bar
This black trap bar measures 89 inches in length, weighs 60 pounds, and knurled handles that are not raised (offering a neutral grip). The diameter of the hexagon measures 28.5 inches and the bar is officially approved for use with the United States Army’s Combat Fitness Test (ACFT). It is manufactured in the USA using 1.5-inch square steel tubing and comes in black. Each sleeve measures 16 inches in length and can support either standard weight plates or bumper plates.
This 89-inch long trap bar weighs 60 pounds unloaded and is equipped with neutral-grip flush handles. It is manufactured in the USA and is compatible with standard Olympic weight plates.
Who Should Buy Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar
- Those who do not want a trap bar with raised handles.
- People looking for a rather spacious hexagon to lift within.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar
- Folks who don’t have access to compatible barbell collars, such as Rogue Metal Axle Collars or the OSO Axle Collars.
- Lifters who would prefer a hex bar with raised handles (or at least the option).
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Best Value Trap Bar
This trap bar weighs 52 pounds unloaded and measures 55.71 inches in length. The diameter of the hexagon is 24.61 inches, and sport-neutral grip handles on each side, which are raised 4.72 inches from the floor. Both handles have 25-millimeter diameters, and the loading sleeves are nine inches long. This trap bar is on the more affordable end of the market when compared to other competitive options, making it a potentially better pick for beginning lifters. There is an option available with flush handles — meaning they are aligned with the hexagon (not raised).
This trap bar weighs 52 pounds and measures 55.71 inches long. The knurled handles each have a diameter of 25 millimeters and there are raised and flush grip options available.
Who Should Buy CAP Barbell Trap Bar
- Lifters who are happy with less aggressive knurling.
- Beginning lifters who are investing in their first trap bar.
- People working with a tighter budget.
Who Shouldn’t Buy CAP Barbell Trap Bar
- Those who need more area in the hexagon to lift comfortably.
- Anyone who prefers handles with aggressive knurling.
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Best Trap Bar for Knurling/Grip
This heavy-duty Titan Fitness trap bar measures 85.5 inches in length and is designed to be rackable on a power rack or squat rack. That means in addition to deadlifts, it might be more comfortable to perform bent-over rows and rack pulls with the added safety of the rack. It weighs 60 pounds unloaded and has a weight capacity of 800 pounds. The raised handles sit 7.5 inches high from the floor, and the weight sleeves are sized to fit comfortably on J-hooks. It comes in a powder-coated black finish.
This 60-p0und trap bar has a weight capacity of 800 pounds and measures 85.5 inches in length. The knurled handles have a diameter of 32 millimeters and are raised 7.5 inches off the floor.
Who Should Buy Rackable Hex Trap Bar
- Lifters who want a much heavier weight capacity (800 pounds).
- Those who appreciate a medium level of knurling.
- Folks who want a hex bar designed to be rackable in a squat or power rack.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Rackable Hex Trap Bar
- People who prefer a smaller trap bar (this one is 85.5 inches long).
- Lifters who need thinner handles to grip — these handles are 32 millimeters in diameter.
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How We Decided Our Picks
There isn’t necessarily a particular threshold any hex bar needs to be deemed better than another when it comes to weight capacity. That will vary from the needs of different athletes. However, there can be a large discrepancy between the amount of weight different hex bars can support — the market ranges from as low as 500 pounds all the way up to 1000 pounds.
If you intend to perform heavier deadlifts, you’ll want a more solid hex bar. Hollow bars will naturally be prone to bending more than solid bars.
Diameter of the Center
Hex bars’ diameters can vary anywhere up to five inches. Most hex bars will have a center diameter of at least 20 inches. For larger athletes, both in terms of weight and height, it is likely to be a more comfortable lift using a hex bar with a wider diameter.
When considering the features of a preferred hex bar, it might be a safe practice to compare the center diameter with other potential options being considered to see which has sizing best suited for a given athletes’ stature.
Handle Placement and Knurling
The placement and use of knurling on handles are almost entirely subjective to the athlete’s desires but an important consideration nonetheless. If the athlete is more comfortable with handles perpendicular to the weight sleeves, there are many options on the market with that design.
There are options available for athletes who prefer handling angled slightly to offer a potentially more natural grip, although fewer than options with handles at 90-degree angles.
Knurling on handles can be helpful for a steadier grip, and for athletes that enjoy having knurling, there are options on the market that range from lighter to more aggressive knurling. Likewise, for athletes who prefer knurling absent from the handles, there are hex bars on the market that offer that.
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Hex bars are a great tool for working the mechanics of your deadlift and can be helpful for those who prefer less stress on their lower back. When looking for the best hex bar to invest in, be mindful of the key hex bar features that would be best suited for you.