Trap bars (aka hex bars) have become increasingly popular in recent years. Not only does every major mfr. sell one, but most have gone to great lengths to improve on them.
And that’s where the Rep Fitness open trap bar comes in. After over two years of research and development, Rep has introduced what is, quite possibly, the most fully featured trap bar on the market.
But “fully featured” doesn’t always mean it’s worth your money. So to save you the effort, I bought one and have used it in my training two to three days a week for the last seven months.
- TLDR Review (The Short Version)
- Specs & Technical Overview
- Pros & Cons
- Things I Like About the Rep Fitness Open Trap Bar
- Things I Wish Were Different About The Rep Open Trap Bar
- Who Is The Rep Fitness Open Trap Bar Best Suited For?
- Alternatives To The Rep Fitness Open Trap Bar
- The Verdict
TLDR Review (The Short Version)
The Rep Fitness open trap bar is a rackable trap bar with an opening on one side and multiple handle options. As opposed to a standard trap bar which limits you to only 3-5 exercises, the Rep open trap bar allows an almost unlimited number of movements. It’s very well-built and looks sharp too.
What I like most about this bar is all the small details. I’ve owned quite a few trap bars; each has at least one thing I don’t like. It almost seems like Rep’s been looking over my shoulder and taking notes!
The feature I use most is the built-in floor jack. Loading trap bars has always been a pain in the ass. Not so with this one. Lift it up on the jack, load the weight, and easily lower it to the floor. I absolutely love this feature!
From the shape of the bar itself to the laser-cut details found in multiple places, Rep has put a ton of thought into this barbell. It has extraordinary balance, ergonomics, and a solid fit and finish.
The versatility that Rep built into this bar is on another level. From the ability to rack it to multiple handle options to a frame that is comfortable in hand no matter where you grab it, this bar has very few weaknesses.
One of those weaknesses is its size. This thing is huge! If you don’t have a decent amount of room to use and store it, this bar may not be well-suited to your particular garage gym.
Another small nitpick I have is the knurling on the handles. It’s a little overly aggressive, in my opinion. But that’s me. I can imagine quite a few people liking this grippier knurl pattern.
Overall, this is my favorite trap bar on the market (and I’ve tried every open trap bar there is, from the very pricey Kabuki strength model to the least expensive Chinese import on Amazon).
Specs & Technical Overview
|Bar frame weight||58.4 lbs|
|Narrow handle weight||17.2 lbs|
|Standard handle weight||15.9 lbs|
|Wide handle weight||12.8 lbs|
|Rotating handle weight||34 lbs|
|Load height of low handles||8.3″ to floor|
|Load height of high handles||11.3″ to floor|
|Width of frame interior||33.1″|
|Width between handles||23″ (narrow), 25″ (standard), 27.3″ (wide)|
|Length of frame knurl||6″|
|Static rating||1350 lbs|
|Jack foot material||UHMW|
|Sleeve finish||Hard chrome|
|Bar finish||Black powder coat|
Pros & Cons
Built-in floor jack
Open back design
Multiple handle options
Round, knurled bar stock
Laser cut details
High-quality powder coat on the body
Hard chrome sleeves
Some welds are kind of ugly
Things I Like About the Rep Fitness Open Trap Bar
Built-In Floor Jack
This, hands down, is my favorite feature of this bar. While having a floor jack built in is pretty standard on all open trap bars, there are two things I love about this bar in particular.
First, the round, knurled tubing at the front of the bar makes a perfect handle when raising and lowering the bar to load and unload it. Second, the UHMW feet are the ideal size and shape to be stable when heavily loaded.
I’ve used several other open trap bars with this feature, and all felt unstable. The slightest bump would tip them over. With this bar, I never worry about that.
The single biggest pain in the ass with trap bars is loading and unloading the weight. It’s enough to make you not use it (I speak from experience!). This bar is the exact opposite!
While other bars say they are rackable, if you read the fine print, it’s an afterthought. Here’s what Kabuki Strength says about their $750 open trap bar:
“Rackable–simply place a clamp on each sleeve adjusted to account for your rack width, then add plates as desired.”
I’m sorry, what? You have to make a homemade mod to your $750 bar to use it in your rack? That’s ridiculous!
This Rep open trap bar racks like a dream because it has dedicated sections on the sleeves for that purpose!
I outgrew that bar because I could lift more weight than could be loaded. And that’s not a statement of my strength. It’s a serious drawback to the size of the sleeves!
Since one of the primary exercises you use a trap bar for is the deadlift, you should be able to load a good amount of weight on it. Since the Rep open trap bar has full-length sleeves, you can load just as many plates on it as a standard Olympic barbell!
I won’t outlift this bar any time soon, if ever!
At 6’6″, I constantly find myself adjusting things to fit my size. Handle/bar height on deadlifts is one of those things.
Not only can you adjust the height of the handles on this bar, but you can opt for different diameter handles and handle widths too. This is just one more way this bar is the single most versatile bar I own!
I’ve already ordered the “rotating handles” as an add-on for my bar. I think they should be the standard handle, but they are well worth the extra money anyway!
Round, Knurled Bar Stock
Most trap bars are either made from thin steel tubing (the same diameter as the handles all the way around) or square steel. Neither allows you to do anything with the bar outside of holding the handles.
With this Rep bar, not only is the bar a much bigger diameter but it’s got a center knurl. This makes the bar MUCH more comfortable to use.
It also adds a ton of exercises. You can use this bar as a yoke. You can do cambered squats. You can do cambered presses. The list goes on.
This one simple feature sets this bar far apart from almost every other open trap bar option on the market!
It’s Well Balanced
One of the main problems with many open trap bars is their lack of balance. What I mean by that is can you rack the bar, position it so it’s parallel to the ground, and have it stay that way?
This allows you to work with this bar inside your rack without constantly fiddling with it. It stays exactly where you put it!
Other bars that are not well-balanced will flip and roll so that the heavier side is down. This makes it impossible to get under the bar without adjusting or holding it.
To me, this is also a hallmark of an exceptionally well-engineered product. When you really look at what it took to balance this bar like this, it’s nothing short of impressive!
Things I Wish Were Different About The Rep Open Trap Bar
As with most things, this bar is not perfect. As I’ve used this bar over the last 7+ months, I’ve definitely thought about what could be improved.
So, this can’t be changed, but this bar is gigantic!!! It takes up a ton of room in my garage. So much so that I’m constantly moving it out of the way so I can train.
I don’t have more room on the wall, so it sits upright on the floor jacks. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t cracked my shins on it multiple times! If you don’t have a lot of room in your gym, consider where you’ll store this bar before you buy it!
The Handle Diameter Should Be Bigger
I have giant hands, and the 28mm diameter handles that come with this bar are a little too narrow for me. They work fine, and it’s not a big enough deal to spring for larger ones (although I did!), but it’s a noticeable enough difference to my 29mm barbells that it bothers me.
The rotating handles offer three handles in one: 28mm, 38mm, and 48mm.
One last nitpick on the handles is their very aggressive knurl pattern. It’s not as aggressive as their power bar EX, but it’s close. I think it would have been better if they had stuck with the same knurling they use on their barbells.
Notice I didn’t say “weld quality.” A lot of people mix these two up.
While the best welds are also beautiful, welds don’t have to be aesthetically pleasing to be effective and robust. And that’s where most welds on the Rep open trap bar fall.
They aren’t as ugly as the welding on Titan Fitness gear, but they aren’t as nice as those on a Kabuki or Eleiko bar (both almost twice the price!).
I want to be clear that I have ZERO concerns about the durability of this bar or its quality. But I also know people like to pick on this aspect of fitness gear, so I thought I’d point it out ahead of time.
Who Is The Rep Fitness Open Trap Bar Best Suited For?
Everyone should have a trap bar in their gym, even if it’s the most basic, least expensive model (like this one from Titan). It’s one of three barbells everyone with a home gym should own.
But that doesn’t mean this particular Rep bar is for everyone because it’s not! It’s big, not cheap, and more versatile than some may want.
This is the Cadillac of open trap bars. It has every feature you’d want in this type of barbell. It’s just not priced like a Cadillac!
Alternatives To The Rep Fitness Open Trap Bar
Is the Rep Fitness open trap bar the only game in town? Nope! There are additional options, some better known than others.
But I want to be clear. Rep knocked it way out of the park with this bar.
There is virtually no other open trap bar at this price point with all of the features and quality of the Rep Fitness open trap bar.
The obvious comparison to this bar is the Kabuki Strength Trap Bar HD. This was one of the first open trap bars on the market (some say it was THE first, others say Eleiko was first to market. We’ll have to wait for the court case to settle to find out).
The Kabuki bar stands above the Rep bar in only one way: Fit and finish. Made here in the US, the Kabuki Trap Bar HD is absolutely beautiful. The welds are much nicer looking than the Rep bar. The finish is impeccable. The knurl is legendary.
If you want to pay almost twice as much for your bar to be prettier, go for it! But also keep in mind the following drawbacks of the Kabuki bar:
- It’s $750!!!
- 14-week lead time
- Made with square steel, so limited in use
- It can’t be used for heavy squats (per the Kabuki website)
- Not rackable without modification
The Eleiko open trap bar is probably the genuine first-to-market open trap bar out there. It’s also the closest to the Rep bar in features.
It’s rackable. It has full-length sleeves. It’s made of round bar stock. The bar jack works really well.
The problem with this bar is that it is rarely in stock and costs $850.00!!! Holy hell, I hope that bar is made of gold! I promise that there is absolutely no reason on God’s green Earth that you should spend $850 on this bar!
Bells of Steel
Another popular option is the Bells of Steel open trap bar. Coming in at $100 less than the Rep model, it’s an okay budget option. But be warned. It’s missing almost every feature the Rep bar has.
The handles are fixed. You can’t change or modify them.
The floor jack is clunky at best. There is virtually no design to it. It looks almost like it doesn’t even belong on the bar. It’s also not wide enough to support the bar when loading it. If you put a weight on one side, that side tilts down and hits the floor. No bueno!
They tout “spinning sleeves.” This is important on a straight barbell. It’s meaningless on a trap bar. There’s a reason that no other manufacturer puts spinning sleeves on their trap bar.
As a last note, I have yet to see a single Bells of Steel product in person that didn’t have blemishes on the finish.
If I were to build my gym again from scratch, the Rep Fitness open trap bar would be one of the very first things I’d buy. I’d buy it before I bought a rack, bench, or straight bar.
With just this barbell and some bumper plates, you could train for a very long time and not miss a beat. Because of its design, full-body training is a breeze with a singular implement!
It’s easy to use, well-built, awesome looking, and highly effective. What else could you possibly ask for in a piece of home gym equipment?!
Rep Fitness Open Trap Bar
The Rep Fitness open trap bar is the single most versatile trap bar on the market. Combining the best features of competing models with a reasonable price point, the Rep open trap bar is The best choice for a home gym if you are in the market for a trap bar!
- Built in floor jack
- Open back design
- Multiple handle options
- Can be used as a cambered bar
- Full length sleeves
- Great aesthetics
- Laser cut details
- Heavy duty construction
- It's huge!
- Some welds are not "pretty"