Review: These Lock-Jaw HEX Collars are designed for Olympic barbells and are much easier to take off and put on than the spring collars you may have at your gym or box. When you are under time pressure, being able to get collars off fast is important to your end result.
These barbell collars will not add too much weight to the bar, as these are the lightest lock-jaw collars you can get, weighing only 8 oz per pair.
They are made from a plastic nylon material and will not damage the barbell and the clamp is easy to open and close.
Ultralight weight, 8 OZ per pair.
The lightweight nylon material will not rust or oxidize.
Easy to get on and off, a time saver.
May slide a bit if the barbell is dropped several times during a workout.
Review: Lock-Jaw Elite barbell collars can hold more weight than others and are designed for powerlifting. These are better than most if you lift extremely heavy loads or drop weights.
They are made with the same durable nylon other lockjaw collars are made from, so they are really light, but they are reinforced with metal at key stress points and are designed to hold more weight and take more abuse.
Metal reinforced joints and hinges.
Clip that locks the open and close tab down.
Designed for extremely heavy weight.
Harder to lock down than other models – these are designed to stay secure.
The strongest lock jaw barbell collars you can get, will not budge under heavy weight.
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Review: These lightweight barbell clamps are offered at a great price. They are made from high strength nylon which makes them really light.
They are very easy to get on and off, which can help you shave seconds off your time, and they come in several colors so you can get ones that stand out from others so you don’t lose them at the gym.
40 oz weight for the pair.
Easy to get on and off.
Available in several colors.
Pretty cheap, price-wise.
They work well, but may loosen after a year or two of use.
Easy to use barbell clamps, a good product for the money.
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Review: If you lift heavy and want the best training collars for your barbell, look no further. These chrome barbell rings have a compression fit that is secured using pressure around the entire circumference of the bar.
This high-quality collar will not damage your bar, holds an extreme amount of weight without budging, and looks good on your barbell.
While these are more expensive than others, these are the last pair you will need to buy.
Many times stronger than the lever bolt method collars.
Will not damage your barbell.
Streamlined design, not bulky and will not get in the way.
Adds 5 lbs of weight to the barbell per pair.
Keep an eye on these if you use them in a public gym, they are expensive to replace.
The best barbell training collars you can get, these will last a lifetime.
Review: These inexpensive clamp style barbell collars lock on the weight using durable, high strength nylon. They are easy to get on and off and if you are left struggling with chintzy spring collars at your gym or box, pick up a pair of these. They are much faster and easier to get on and off.
One tip to keep these clamps as good as new is to open the clamp are relieve the tension when you are not lifting, so they stay tight when you clamp them back down.
Easy to get on and off.
Not long lasting, may loosen up over time.
These barbell collars are fast and secure – you will like them much better than spring style clamps.
OSO Barbell Collars
Review: These Olympic barbell collars are made from aircraft-grade aluminum, so they are pretty light. They can withstand being dropped and they stay put, making them great for CrossFitters.
They come in many different colors so you can easily identify your pair, and they are made in the USA, unlike cheaper and poorer performing collars.
Available in 8 colors so you can quickly identify your pair.
Rubberized interior prevents damage to the bar.
Simple lever unlock.
Can be repeatedly dropped – great for CrossFit.
Lever is plastic, although the body is aluminum.
Best barbell collars for CrossFit – stays secure and can withstand repeated drops.
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Review: These ultralight nylon barbell collars are easy to adjust and get off, clap closed tight, without damaging the bar, and have a little more play in terms of diameter than most.
They fit sleeve diameters from 1.937″ to 2.007″ so you can use them with specialty bars and with standard Olympic size barbells.
Lightweight, made from heavy-duty nylon.
Locks tight without damaging the bar.
Fits sleeve of 1.937″ to 2.007″ so it fits specialty bars e.g. Farmers carry handle & multi-grip bars.
On the expensive side.
Great barbell collar for strongman workouts, fits Olympic barbells and specialty bars between 1.937″ to 2.007″.
The Verdict: Which Barbell Collars I Chose
I chose the OSO Barbell Collars as my goldilocks pair of barbell sleeves. I am a CrossFit athlete and drop the bar every so often.
The spring collars at the box are a joke and several of us bring our own to make the workout go a little faster when barbell work is included in the WOD.
I need a collar that can withstand being dropped many times.
I also need a collar that can slide off easily and shave time from my workout.
I do not lift extremely heavy weight, so a barbell collar that can hold extreme weight is not that important to me, although I am sure these OSO collars would perform great with heavy weight too.
These sleeves only add .8 lbs to the bar, so that’s not too bad, unlike steel barbell clamps that can add up to 5 lbs. Yet they are aluminum, and will not break in half, as I have heard can happen if you drop the nylon collars on the concrete.
I got mine in purple and feel confident that the bright color will ensure I do not forget them when I leave, which is a bonus because I can be pretty out of it after a tough workout.
I like how they have performed so far, they are really easy to get on and off, but time will tell how long they last, because the lever is plastic, which I did not realize before I got them.
Buying Guide to the Best Barbell Collars
What factors you should keep in mind before buying Barbell Collars?
How Much Weight You Lift?
If you lift over 350 to 400 lbs, especially if the weight is going overhead, you need barbell collars that are designed for that kind of weight.
Two on this list that are designed for extremely heavy weight:
While you may get away with deadlifting high weight using cheaper collars, I would not recommend these less expensive collars for lifting overhead.
Do You Drop the Bar Often?
Some barbell collars can be used on a barbell that you drop many times. Other barbell collars cannot withstand this abuse.
If you plan to drop the bar, consider the OSO Barbell Collars which are designed for the weight and force of barbell and plates being dropped.
Do You Use the Barbell Collars in a Public Place?
If you use the barbell collars in a public gym or box, that’s cool.
Many lifters and CrossFit athletes bring their own because they are easier to use and more secure than the standard spring style most gyms have.
My only advice is to try and get a pair in a color that stands out, so you remember to grab them before you leave and so people understand they are yours and they are less likely to sprout legs and walk away, if you know what I am saying.
Do You Mind if the Collars Add Weight to the Bar?
Metal barbell collars, with the exception of aluminum, can add as much as 5 lbs to the barbell. And you can forget about stashing metal barbell collars in the pocket of your shorts.
If this is an issue for you, then nylon or aluminum barbell collars weigh much less.
The nylon barbell collars are also easier to throw in a gym bag and tote around. The lighter nylon barbell collars weigh as little as 8 OZ for a pair.
Just something to consider if you don’t want to add 5 extra lbs to your gym bag.
Barbell Collar FAQs
What are the Best Barbell Collars?
The 9 barbell collars listed above are the best I can find.
If you go to a normal gym and just want an inexpensive pair because the spring styles are a pain in the butt to get on and off and slide too much, go with the Iron Lab Olympic Barbell Collar that come in different colors and get the job done much better than spring styles.
How Much do Barbell Collars Weigh?
There is quite a variation in weight between Olympic barbell collars and it mainly depends on the material.
Metal or stainless steel barbell collars can weigh around 5 lbs for the pair.
Nylon barbell collars can weigh as little as 8 OZ for the pair.
Aluminum barbell collars weight between 10 and 11 OZ, depending on the brand.
What is an Axle Bar and What Collars can I use with an Axle bar?
The Rogue Axle bar is a specialty bar that is thicker in the center than a standard barbell.
The axle bar is 1.5 inches in the center and 1.9” on the outside ends, where the plates go.
Compare that to a standard barbell where the center grip has a diameter of 1.1 inches and the outside collars are usually 2”.
I prefer the regular HG 2.0 because they also fit standard Barbells.
Keep in mind, these collars listed above will also work for Rogue’s Log bars, Farmers walk handles, multi-grip bars, and other Rogue specialty bars.
Do Snap-On Style Barbell Collars Work?
While the idea of snap-on collars, like the SnapClips Barbell Collars is intriguing, the execution is lacking.
They start to slip after being dropped just a few times, which is annoying because you will need to adjust them often. Because they slip after being dropped, they probably won’t work for CrossFit.
If you NEVER drop the barbell when you work out, this type of collar might work for you. They also work well for variable-sized barbells and specialty bars like the farmers walk handles and multi-grip bars.
Plus they are very lightweight, which is a benefit when you travel or cannot carry a lot of stuff with you.
Also, these will hold up under weights of maybe 350 to 400 lbs, but I would not use them for more weight than that, especially for overhead lifts.
Wrapping it Up
Now that you have seen the best barbell collars I could find, you should have a pretty good idea which ones will work for you.
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Until next time…
I will see you at the box!
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Michael is a fitness expert and professional home/garage gym builder. His tutorials, guides, and reviews are backed up by his own experience and will definitely help you achieve your goals. He also loves putting mayo AND ketchup on the pizza for some reason!