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Barbell collars are an easy and affordable way to add more security to your weightlifting regimen. Barbell collars work by keeping your weight plates or bumper plates in place as you exercise with a barbell, allowing you (and your floor) to stay safe while you lift heavy weights. Plus, barbell collars, also known as locking collars, prevent your barbell from rattling and guarantee that your weight load has an even distribution, ultimately providing you with a more balanced workout. These collars are an essential safety accessory to have on hand if you’re using weightlifting bars with threaded sleeves or barbells that you load plates on. Power Rack Smith Machine
Still, with hundreds of weight bar collars available for purchase, it can be hard to find a product that’s right for your needs. Luckily, we’ve taken the guesswork out of the process and gathered the best barbell collars for garage or home gym workouts, plus everything to know about them. Our comprehensive guide to the best barbell collars on the market covers what types are available, why these accessories are beneficial, how to use them and everything you should consider before making a purchase. Read on to learn more about our favorite buys.
Rogue USA Aluminum Collars come in as our best overall barbell collars because of their versatility, sleek design and aircraft-grade aluminum construction that can benefit all types of lifters. These lock-style barbell collars from Rogue Fitness are produced in the U.S.A. and designed with 6061 billet aluminum, which is the same type of aluminum that’s used in the aeronautics industry. They also have a rubber lining interior to prevent the collars from scuffing your bar or weight plates.
Rogue Fitness’s aluminum collars are compatible with any standard Olympic bar and weigh 0.25 pounds each, or 0.5 pounds for a pair. Their lock-open, high-strength nylon lever has a snap flexure that allows you to fully open each collar for easy installation and locking. With its ultra-durable design, Rogue USA Aluminum Collars provide both functionality and versatility for a variety of strength training workouts, like bench presses, deadlifts and squats. Still, some users complain that these Olympic barbell clamps become loose over time and are difficult to remove with one hand. If these collars aren’t right for you, you can also consider our best overall barbell collars runner-up, Iron Lab Olympic Barbell Collars, which retail for a lower price of $14.95 per set.
Purchase Rogue USA Aluminum Collars
Spring-style barbell collars offer some of the easiest usability, since these collars work like clothespins that you simply open and close by squeezing the handles. Our favorite collars in this category are REP Fitness Spring Clips, which offer a simple yet functional design that makes them a great choice for bodybuilders looking to change their weight loads without any fuss.
Coming in at an affordable price point of just $14.99, many users praise these spring clips for their strong grip and easy-to-squeeze handles. Still, while spring-style clips are arguably much simpler to use, they tend to have a shorter lifespan than lock-style collars and could potentially scratch your barbells or weight plates. Some users may not like the plastic parts, as well, since plastic is prone to snapping; to avoid this, be sure to steer clear of dropping your barbell.
Purchase REP Fitness Spring Clips
If you’re a fan of the high-intensity, varied functional workouts that CrossFit entails, you’ll need a heavy-duty pair of barbell collars to keep you and your fitness equipment safe. The Lock-Jaw PRO 2 Barbell Collars win our best barbell collars for CrossFit title because of their upgraded locking mechanism, strong resin frame and larger lever for faster installation and removal—the latter of which is a necessity when you’re working with the high speed and variety of CrossFit workouts.
These lock-jaw hex-shaped collars are available for purchase through Perform Better and Amazon, and promise to be 50 percent stronger than their original version. They’re made with a hard polymer construction that includes elastomer grip pads and resin to prevent the clips from scratching your bar. Collars also come in numerous color options, and are compatible with two-inch barbells. Yet these locks run on the heavier side, weighing 0.5 pounds each, so it’s important to consider your overall weight load before making a purchase. More casual or lighter lifters may want to select a pair that weighs 0.25 pounds or less.
Purchase Lock-Jaw PRO Barbell Collar
Powerlifters don’t want to spend unnecessary time locking and unlocking barbell collars to change their weight loads. Instead, quick release clips like Titan Fitness Quick Release Weight Clamp Collars help save time (and energy) during tough workouts. These barbell collars rank as our favorite in this category because they’re fast and easy to remove with one hand, and don’t require a ton of effort to install on a barbell. They’re made with aluminum, and are designed to be used with Olympic bars. Plus, they have a one-year warranty, so you can feel confident in your purchase in the event that your collars are defective or stop working well.
These collars have a heavier product weight of one pound each. If you’re looking for a lighter alternative, we also recommend the Lock Jaw Hex Olympic Barbell Collars because of their 0.3-pound per collar weight, quick-locking latch and dual-compound construction for enhanced durability. Still, the Titan Fitness collars are our favorite quick release option for those willing to factor in an extra two pounds to their total lifting weight.
Purchase Titan Fitness Quick Release Weight Clamp Collars
Eleiko is a leading brand in high-end fitness equipment and accessories, and that holds true for even their smallest items. Eleiko IWF Competition Collars are our favorite high-end barbell collars because of their sleek look and advanced lever locking system that improves grip. The lever also helps lifters make fast weight changes, making these a great choice for weightlifting competitions (they’re also certified by the IWF, or International Weightlifting Federation).
While these collars are definitely a splurge, they’re worth it for those with high-end gyms or those who simply want sleek accessories to add to their barbells. Eleiko IWF Competition Collars are made out of precision-cast metal and topped with a chrome metal finish. They weigh a heavy 5.1 pounds each, so these collars are best suited for very heavy lifters and those who engage in professional weightlifting. The products also come with a two-year warranty, which offers peace of mind for such an expensive buy.
Purchase Eleiko IWF Competition Collars
Unlike more popular lock-style or spring collars, some barbell collars simply require a little velcro to do the trick. Our best budget barbell collars are Fringe Sport SuperStraps Collars, which cost just $10 and fasten around your barbell with velcro. These wrap-style straps can double as wrist wraps if needed, and are made with a combination of cordura (or recycled yarns), rubber and metal.
Related Post: Best Budget Barbells of 2022
While they’re not nearly as durable and long-lasting as collars made out of aluminum or stainless steel, many users praise these budget-friendly barbell collars for getting the job done, although some report that weight plates may slide around a bit. Still, for the price point, these collars are better than having none at all, and will offer you and your equipment extra protection while lifting weights.
Purchase Fringe Sport SuperStraps Collars
A good pair of barbell collars is a must for heavy-lifting, and Rogue HG 2.0 Collars come in as our top pick for this category because of their heavy-duty design. These lock-style collars are made with rubber pads and stainless steel hardware for a firmer grip, which allows users lifting extremely heavy weights to feel confident that their weight plates are safely secured. At the same time, these collars are on the lightweight side and weigh under 0.5 pounds each, so they’re easy to throw in a gym bag if needed.
While their solid nylon resin design likely won’t damage your bar or weight plates, some users complain that this material is prone to snapping. You can also check out Clout Fitness Barbell Clamp Collars as another set of collars that are a top pick for heavy lifting, which cost $19.95 and come in more than a dozen color options to choose from.
ETHOS Lock-Jaw Olympic Barbell Collars are our top pick for best Olympic barbell collars because they’re easy to use, can withstand long workouts and fit most Olympic-sized barbells. These barbell collars have a simple yet effective design complete with a lock lever to make it easy to add or remove the collars from your barbell; there are also integrated grip pads to prevent sliding and to keep your barbell safe from any scuffs or scratches.
Since Olympic weightlifting uses heavier weight plates and weight loads, these collars are tough enough and snug enough to stand up to the task. They’re available at a mid-range price point of $49.99, or you can also use Affirm or Afterpay to pay in four interest-free payments.
Purchase ETHOS Lock-Jaw Olympic Barbell Collars
Specialty barbells serve as alternatives to traditional Olympic barbells by allowing you to do a different variety of exercises. Some specialty barbells are also designed to target specific muscle groups. Since these specialty barbells have a wide range of sizes, you’ll need a set of barbell collars that can accommodate various diameters. Get RX'd Proloc 1 Magnet Collars are our favorite collars for specialty bars because they can fit bars ranging from 1.937 inches to 2.007 inches. They’re also made with magnets for easy storage—you can even stick them on your fridge when you’re not using them.
Proloc 1 Magnet Collars are compatible with Olympic bars and powerlifting bars and most logs, cambered bars, Swiss bars and safety squat yoke bars. Since most of our picks for our best barbell collars list are specifically designed for two-inch Olympic barbells, you can also look at Greententljs 1 Inch Barbell Clamps for one-inch diameter standard bars, which can hold standard weight plates. These retail for $10.95 on Amazon and come in six color options.
Purchase Get RX'd Proloc 1 Magnet Collars
If you’re a lighter lifter or new to your weightlifting journey, you’ll want a pair of lightweight barbell collars to ensure that your weight load remains at a comfortable level. We’ve picked OSO Mighty Collars as our best lightweight barbell collars because of their ultra-low weight (coming in at just 0.15 pounds each) and their secure locking clamp mechanism. They also come in two color options: gun metal or blue.
Still, don’t be fooled by the lightweight design; these barbell collars are made out of aircraft-grade aluminum and include rubberized interior lining to help protect your barbell and weight plates. However, some users report that the aluminum scratches easily, so it’s important to be careful when handling these collars. The two-year warranty covers only manufacturing defects.
Barbell collars, also known as barbell clamps or barbell clips, are one of the most important safety features to include in your powerlifting or bodybuilding workouts if your exercise regimen includes lifting heavy weights with a bar. Not only do barbell clamps collars keep your weight plates or bumper plates securely attached to your bar, they ultimately prevent these weight plates from falling off, which can cause serious injuries if they come detached. Heavy weight plates can also damage your floor if dropped. Plus, weight plates can actually get damaged themselves if dropped from a high height, even if they’re made with high-quality cast iron.
In addition to the safety benefits they provide, barbell clamps make the weightlifting process smoother by ensuring an even distribution of weight on your bar and keeping your bar from rattling, which can distract you or slow you down. They’re also affordable and easy to find, unless you decide to splurge on a higher-end pair, which can cost several hundred dollars.
There are several types of barbell collars that each work in different ways. These are three of the most common.
Lock-style collars are shaped like a circle and include a clip locking mechanism that opens and closes to secure the collar around your barbell. These collars are essentially clamps that put pressure on your bar to keep your weight plates or bumper plates in place. Metal collars tend to be more durable than nylon or plastic covers, and are a better choice for heavy-duty lifting. Lastly, lock-style collars are usually more expensive than other types of barbell collars.
Clamp-style collars, also known as spring-style collars or spring clip collars, work like clips for your barbell. These collars have a spring-loaded design that uses force to keep them secured to your bar. You can open and close them by applying pressure to the handles (similar to opening and closing a clothespin), which allows you to add, remove or move the collar around the bar. Once you let go, the clamp closes and keeps the collar securely locked in place as you lift.
Spin-lock collars are rarely bought on their own, since they’re usually included with a dumbbell or barbell bar as part of a set; that’s because a spin-lock collar requires a spin lock bar to attach to. These barbell collars work like nuts and bolts that you tighten and untighten to change your weight load, applying pressure against your weight plates and the ends of your barbell.
Barbell collars come in various styles, price points and designs for different types of barbells. Consider these six factors before deciding on a set that’s right for your weightlifting needs.
Barbell collars typically come in three styles: lock-style, clamp-style and spin-lock. Usually, you’ll be deciding between lock-style and clamp-style collars, since spin-lock collars tend to come with a barbell that includes a spin lock bar in its design. While lock-style collars are usually more durable, clamp-style collars often have a lower price point. At the end of the day, it’ll depend on your budget and which barbell collar style is easier for you to work with.
Finding a barbell collar that’s easy to use is important; after all, you don’t want to be spending 20 minutes before each weightlifting workout attempting to install weight clips that are just too complicated for everyday use. Look for a barbell collar that you can add to your weight bar in one minute or less, and even more importantly, that you can quickly take on and off if you want to change your weight load. Spring clip collars tend to be the easiest and fastest to use.
Security is arguably the number one feature any barbell collar set can provide. No matter what, you’ll want your weight plates to stay in place without sliding around on your barbell. And, you definitely don’t want your barbell collars to come loose and send your weight plates crashing to the floor. Be sure that any barbell collar you purchase can withstand the amount of weight you plan to lift and that it fastens tightly without coming undone. If you notice any issues with loose or less-than-adequate attachments to your bar, stop lifting right away and set your bar down.
For extra security, you also may want to consider investing in high-quality weightlifting shoes, which can increase your stability and balance during heavy lifts; a good weight bench to support your back during bench presses; and a weightlifting belt to further protect your lower back.
Barbell collars are generally made for standard barbells, which have a one-inch diameter, or Olympic barbells, which have a two-inch diameter. Be sure to purchase weight collars that fit your bar and can support the amount of weight you plan to lift. If you have a specialty bar, you can buy barbell collars designed specifically for specialty bars, as well. It’s also important to consider how much barbell collars weigh themselves, since this will add on to the amount of weight you’re lifting. If your barbell collars weigh 0.25 pounds each, for example, your total weight load will be 0.5 pounds higher.
Any fitness purchase that you make should last you for a significant amount of time, whether that purchase is as large as a treadmill or as small as barbell collars. Barbell collars made with metal as opposed to nylon or plastic, for example, will offer more durability (nylon or plastic collars will likely be less expensive, though). You can also read verified customer reviews or trustworthy expert reviews to learn how barbell collars stand up to tough exercises over time. If you notice that many users complain of barbell collars breaking or becoming loose shortly after their purchase, you may want to consider looking at a different brand.
Luckily, most barbell collars come at affordable price points, and are often a small price to pay for the amount of extra security they can provide to you and your equipment. Consider your price range or how much you’re able to invest in your garage or home gym, and look for products within your budget; be sure, however, that you choose a durable collar set. A less-expensive buy may save you dollars in the short-term, but you could be looking at potentially replacing your barbell collars in a few months if they aren’t built to last long. This can end up costing you more money, so you may want to consider investing in a higher-quality set.
Many Olympic weightlifters use collars on their barbells. That’s because Olympic weight plates are much heavier than standard weight plates and require an extra layer of security. The heavier the weight load, the more important it is to use barbell collars to keep you and your fitness equipment safe.
Barbell collars are one of the best ways to secure weights on a barbell. These collars, or clips, keep your weight plates in place while you exercise and prevent them from sliding off of the bar.
Weight collars are a safety mechanism that keeps both you and your weightlifting equipment safe. Loose weight plates can potentially cause serious injury if they fall off of your bar. Your weight plates are also at risk of getting damaged if dropped from a height, as is your floor.
Barbell collars are an essential safety accessory that every serious or heavy weightlifter should have on hand. These portable and compact accessories can keep both you and your gear safe, while also adding more stability and even weight distribution to your barbell exercises. Plus, weight collars are small enough to easily throw in a gym bag, and come at various affordable price points (unless you decide to splurge on an ultra high-end brand). If you’re lifting weights with a barbell at home, be sure to invest in high-quality barbell collars to add an extra layer of security to your garage or home workouts. If you’re not sure which weight collar is right for you, consult our best barbell collars list for our favorite picks and everything to know about them.
Prices are accurate and items in stock as of publish time.
Adjustable Dumbbell Barbell Ashley Zlatopolsky is a Detroit-based writer and editor. She writes about health, wellness and fitness for Sports Illustrated, Real Simple, Healthline, Greatist, SELF and more. Previously, she worked as a branded content strategist at USA TODAY. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys dancing, kickboxing, strength training and running.This author is writing sponsored content paid for by Pillar4 and not affiliated with Sports Illustrated.