Fitness Test Lab
Spread The Word!

Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar 3.0 Review

Level up your deadlifting game with the Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar 3.0.

With its open design, you’ll enjoy a comfortable and natural grip that is perfect for deadlifts and other back and leg exercises.

The built-in deadlift jack makes loading and unloading plates easy and eliminates the need for an additional piece of equipment.

Say goodbye to awkward bar grips and hello to gains!

Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar 3.0

 Price Check

Why use a Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar

I believe the ability to lift heavy things off the floor with good form is a crucial skill everyone should obtain and maintain.

After all, it’s common in everyday life to have to pick up heavy objects from the floor, such as children, boxes, furniture, pets, etc.

Training to do deadlifts will ensure you’re up to the task when the need arises.

But, deadlifts can be challenging for those who are new to the movement or have a history of back issues.

One of the best ways to make the deadlift more accessible and effective is by using a hex bar, also known as a trap bar, like the Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar.

I’ll briefly explore the benefits of using a specialty bar like the Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar for deadlifts, and why it’s a better choice than deadlifting with a standard Olympic bar.

  1. Increased comfort and safety: The BoS Open Trap Bar features a hexagonal design that centers the weight outside of the body instead of in front of the body, allowing for a more natural grip that reduces strain on the wrists and lower back. This makes the exercise safer, especially for those who are new to deadlifting or have had injuries in the past.
  2. Improved technique: Using the BoS Open Trap Bar allows you to maintain a more upright position during the deadlift, which fosters more engagement of the glutes and hamstrings instead of over-reliance on the lower back muscles. This also helps to improve posture and decrease the risk of back injury.
  3. Greater versatility: The design of the BoS Open Trap Bar allows for a wider range of exercises that can be performed with it, such as shrugs, farmer’s walks, split-squats, and lunges. This allows for more variety in your training routine, making it a great addition to a home gym.
  4. Great for limited mobility: The Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar is an ideal solution for individuals with mobility issues who still want to maintain a deadlifting routine. The high handles on the trap bar provide a more mechanically favorable starting position and shorter range of motion, which can help to improve form and build strength in the hips and back. For those that want or need more range of motion by starting in a deeper stance, the bar can be flipped over to use the low handles instead.
  5. Ease of use: The Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar is designed with a built-in deadlift jack, which makes loading and unloading the weight plates easy, efficient and less time-consuming. It also eliminates the need for one less piece of equipment, since I can now get rid of my stand-alone deadlift jack!


The Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar 3.0 is designed to deliver both strength and style, made from tough welded steel with a durable black oxide finish that is resistant to scratches, chipping, and corrosion.

In short, it’s perfect for heavy use in a home gym setting.

Weighing in at 47 lbs with a 25mm frame, the Open Trap Bar can handle an impressive weight load of up to 700 lbs despite its compact size.

The dimensions of the frame measure 59 inches in length and 22.5 inches in depth, with an inner width of about 23 inches between handles.

The opening between the feet is 17 inches wide. The dual handles are 10 inches long and spaced 4.5 inches apart, with a moderate knurling pattern for a comfortable grip.

The jack stand feet, which measure 7 inches in length, are coated in rubber for a stable base.

The BoS Open Trap Bar features 50mm Olympic sleeves with a loadable length of 9.5 inches. The sleeves are coated in bright zinc and rotate smoothly on bronze bushings.

Not all specialty bars are designed to work with Olympic-sized plates and collars, so the fact that the sleeves can accommodate Olympic plates and collars is a great bonus.


The Bells of Steel team thoughtfully packed the Open Trap Bar with lightweight wood frames on each end to keep the shape of the box intact and protect the bar.

The framing works very well, since the only damage to the box was some minimal wear from the feet punching through the cardboard.

However, the rubberized feet weren’t damaged in any way.


The open design of the Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar is definitely a case where looks can be deceiving.

The bar frame is 25mm in diameter, which is within the range of standard barbell diameters but looks thin compared to other hex bars I’ve seen and used.

To me, the BoS Open Trap Bar looks like it should weigh next to nothing.

Looks light, but looks are deceiving

However, once I pick it up that impression is shattered. The Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar is hefty, sturdy, and well made.

Thankfully, at 47 lbs it weighs only three pounds more than a standard Olympic barbell, so it’s very easy to move around when not loaded.

The medium knurling on the handles feels great, but the black oxide coat has a shiny sheen that feels a little too slick for my preference. I’ll explore how the finish impacts my grip under real world use later in this article.

The deadlift jack feet are rubberized, which protects the bar *and* my flooring at the same time.

I also want to mention the relatively affordable cost of the Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar.

It wasn’t that long ago that you had to shell out $700+ dollars to get an open trap bar with a built-in deadlift jack.

The Eleiko Öppen Deadlift Bar comes to mind, as that was the first hex bar I ever saw that had an open design and a built-in deadlift jack. 

Eleiko makes high quality gear, but the prices are out of reach for most of us, myself included.

Now there are several companies offering open hex bars at lower price points, and Bells of Steel is making one of the highest quality options at a very affordable price point.

So, two biceps up to Bells of Steel for making this design more affordable for the home gym faithful! 💪💪

Real world use

I realized the potential of the Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar when I used it for the first time and was able to lift 20 pounds more than my previous maximum deadlift weight.

Having the weight centered outside my body rather than in front makes a huge difference!

I’ve been using the BoS Open Trap Bar consistently over the past month and it works great for traditional deadlifts, split-stance deadlifts, one-legged deadlifts, shoulder shrugs, and farmers carries.

I’ve read reviews of other brands of trap bars stating that standard weight collars don’t work with them, but I’m happy to say that my Lock-Jaw collars work just fine with the Bells of Steel Open trap Bar.

I also have a pair of Rogue OSO collars that I don’t like as much as my Lock-Jaws, but they work just fine too.

Knurling and coating

I really like the Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar 3.0 but I do have one nit to pick.

If I could change one thing about this bar, it would be the coating. I’d prefer a matte-finish dry coat instead of the slightly glossy coat currently being used.

My hands get sweaty very quickly when I’m lifting, and while the medium knurl on the handles does provide a decent grip, the finish gets slick with very little moisture.

Slippery hands on a bar are never a good thing, but are especially bad when deadlifting since grip is the only thing keeping the weight from crashing down to the ground.

Having said that, it’s not enough of an issue to put me off from using this bar.

I’ve been able to adjust by using a pair of Warm Body Cold Mind lifting straps to keep hold of the bar once I start to sweat.

I also have a chalk ball I use from time to time, although I keep my use of chalk to a minimum to avoid a mess.

Dual handles

Bells of Steel did a great job including both high and low handles on their Open Trap Bar 3.0, increasing the versatility of the bar.

Many of the open trap bar designs available right now only offer a single low-height handle, opting instead for variations in grip size rather than height. The open trap bars from Titan, Rep Fitness, and Vulcan Strength fall into this category.

In my opinion, the ability to pull from a higher position is what makes trap bars so useful, so I consider dual-height handles as a must-have feature for any trap bar worth considering.

The Open Trap Bar 3.0 lets you switch effortlessly between high and low handles for maximum versatility during deadlifting exercises. All you do is flip the bar over by tipping it up on its feet.

Rotating sleeves and sleeve length

At 59 inches long, the Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar qualifies as a shorty barbell.

I’m fine with that, since I only use shorty bars in the Lab to save on space.

However, a shorter length always comes with tradeoffs. In the case of the BoS Open Trap Bar, the tradeoff is shorter sleeves.

The trap bar 3.0 sleeves have 9.5 inches of loadable length, as opposed to 16 inches for a standard Olympic bar.

Obviously this means you’ll be able to load less weight on this bar, which could be problematic for those of you with a monster deadlift or those who only have access to bumper plates.

I was able to fit my entire 150kg stack of Titan urethane competition bumper plates (full review) on the Open Trap Bar and still fit an OSO collar, which is 377.6 pounds when adding the weight of the bar.

I think 377 lbs is a very respectable deadlift for many, myself included, but serious powerlifters are likely going to need more capacity.

If the short sleeves are a concern, Bells of Steel does offer a larger trap bar with more sleeve length in the form of the Industrial Rackable Trap Bar.

As for the rotating sleeves, they are a nice touch but they are somewhat wasted on this bar.

Smooth rotating sleeves are really only need for explosive movements like Olympic snatches and cleans.

I defy anyone to try and do snatches with the Open Trap Bar. It just ain’t gonna happen.

So, while it’s nice to have rotating sleeves and they don’t hinder use of the bar in any way, they also don’t add much in the way of functionality ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Deadlift jack

The design of the built-in deadlift jack is extremely user-friendly.

It is intuitive and easy to operate, making it accessible to anyone, regardless of their experience level or lifting abilities.

All you do is pull the top (or front) of the bar toward you to tip the bar up on its feet. Once tipped up, it’s very easy to slide weights on and off the bar.

The built-in deadlift jack is very easy to use

This easy-to-use design also reduces the risk of injury, since it eliminates the need for you to bend over and manually lift each end of the bar to add or remove weights.

Alternatively, if you own a deadlift jack like I do, you can get rid of it!

Storage space is at a premium in my home gym, aka the Fitness Test Lab, so I do a happy dance every time I can reduce the amount of equipment I have to store without compromising my ability to exercise.

Bottom line

Deadlifting is an essential skill everyone should have. The Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar makes this movement more accessible and more effective.

The hexagonal bar design centers the weight outside of the body, reducing strain on the wrists and lower back, making it safer for those who are new to deadlifting or have had injuries in the past.

It’s also great for those with limited mobility, offering high handles for a more favorable starting position and low handles for more range of motion.

The built-in deadlift jack makes loading and unloading plates easy and eliminates the need for an additional piece of equipment in the form of a stand-alone deadlift jack.

It’s not for everyone, since heavy lifters may find the shorter sleeves do not hold enough weight for their needs.

But overall, the Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar is a worthy addition to your home gym. I highly recommend it 💪😁👍

Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar 3.0

 Shop Now

About the Author Mario

I'm a software product manager with a full-time job, family, and a desire to stay strong, mobile, and fit. I separate fact from fiction to find the most effective and affordable options for home fitness. If you'd like to build your own home gym, start here.