The 5 Best Barbell Collars for Weightlifting

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

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Do you want to lift your weight plates in a secure and efficient way? Are you tired of anxiously glancing over to make sure your weights are still on the bar after every set? Then you need a trusty barbell collar that won’t give in to the strain.

It doesn’t matter if you’re doing regular gym workouts on a strict schedule or you’re going for moderate workouts during the weekend, the right barbell collars are the key to a successful weightlifting session. Not only do they protect your safety, but they also provide that extra assurance and stability to let you focus on your training.

Barbell collars used to lock weight plates on a barbell
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In A Hurry? Here’s Our Best Picks

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Lock-Jaw PRO 2 Barbell Collar - Quick Release Barbell Clamp (All Black)
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Clout FitnessBarbell Clamps Collars
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Titan Fitness Quick Release Weight Clamp Collars, Fire Red Anodized Aluminum, Pair of Olympic Shaft Exercise Collars, Locking Barbell Weight Clips for Weightlifting Strength Training
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Proloc 1 - Standard Olympic Barbell Collars (Pair)
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Product's nameBest Overall
Rogue USA Aluminum Collars
Great Alternative
Lock-Jaw PRO 2 Barbell Collar - Quick Release Barbell Clamp...
Budget Option
Clout FitnessBarbell Clamps Collars
Most Convenient Option
Titan Fitness Quick Release Weight Clamp Collars, Fire Red...
Best Collars for Specialty Bars
Proloc 1 - Standard Olympic Barbell Collars (Pair)
Final ThoughtThe Rogue barbell collars bring a remarkably strong yet lightweight design suitable for a variety of home gym configurations.If you're not a fan of metal barbell collars, then the hex-shaped resin design of the Lock Jaw Pro 2 is a fantastic alternative.If you can't go over a certain price range but still want a reliable piece of fitness equipment, the Clout Fitness Olympic Barbell Clamps might be just what you need.If you want a high-quality collar pair that you can trust to keep your bumper plates in place, without investing some serious time and effort into adjusting the locking mechanism, then the Titan Quick Release Clamp Collars are right up your alley.Whether you're a professional or amateur weightlifter, the Proloc 1 Standard Olympic Collars are the best choice for those who need reliable collars to accompany their specialty barbells.
Styleclampclampclamplocking latchmagnet latch
Materialsaluminum with nylon lever and rubber padsresin with rubber coverage on the insideABS plasticaluminum with replaceable rubber plugsnylon resin
Weight0.5 lbs per pair 1 lbs per pair  0.5 lbs per pair2 lbs per pair 0.8 lbs per pair
Width1.5''2''2''1.25''1.75''
Color Options1.04.018.01.08.0
Price$$$$$
Learn moreSee at RogueSee at AmazonSee at AmazonSee at AmazonSee at Amazon

Who Is This Guide For?

Anyone who’s serious about improving their stamina and boosting their strength in weightlifting can benefit from using an appropriate form of collar for their barbell sleeves. It doesn’t matter if you’re a newcomer to the scene or an advanced lifter who wants the ultimate gym experience in the comfort of your own home, then you can definitely benefit from these accessories in more ways than one.

Why You Should Trust Us

At BoxLife, there’s no stone left unturned when it comes to finding and trying out different pieces of fitness equipment. We’ve taken the long road in researching and testing out various products in different settings and environments to truly get a feel of how they perform. We’re confident about our recommendations, thanks to our extensive experience in the workout industry.

We understand that different people have different needs, which is why we take the time to view each product through more than one set of eyes, as numerous members of our team get the chance to test out the products before we recommend them. We highly value the user-friendliness, convenience, and quality of the products, as well as focus on the standard safety requirement to avoid potential mishaps in the gym.

Our Top Pick
CAP Barbell - The Beast
Based on our testing, this is the best budget barbell for beginners. For less than 150$, you get a good, durable barbel made of Japanese stell with black matte finish. Frankly, it offers great value for money. It's also backed with an 1 year warranty.

How We Picked the Best Products

To get a fully expansive view of every aspect that makes up weight bar collars, we took a thorough approach toward user experience and product quality. Putting our own experiences aside, we took a deep dive through discussion threads across Reddit and Quora, as this vast community of weightlifters provided us with valuable insights and feedback from their own experiences.

We also looked at various customer reviews on Amazon, Titan, and Rogue Fitness, where a more general consensus can be formed in relation to the various products. This was done as a way of getting a feel for what kind of features and amenities are actually useful, as well as what kind of issues may arise during use.

A man setting up barbell collars on its barbell
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How We Graded Each Product

After we had a preliminary list of the best barbell collars for home gyms, we set out to test them. We had multiple members of our team grade them according to our carefully formulated criteria based on the following:

  • Materials – When performing heavy lift exercises, there are many things that could go wrong if the materials of the product are not up to par. It doesn’t matter how careful or experienced the user is, if the core of the product is not sturdy enough to withstand the heavy weight, then it can cause serious damage.
  • Size and Width – For standard barbells, the max weight limit corresponds with how much space you have to load the plates onto the bar. Not all collars are made the same, so we also took into consideration how much space each collar takes up in the overall setup. Naturally, thicker models take up more space, but they’re also more stable and durable.
  • Fit – The collars should correspond to the size of the barbell sleeves since any discrepancies can cause the plates to move around even when the collar is properly secured. They shouldn’t be too tight either as this can cause damage to the sleeves after a few uses. Unless you have specialty bars that require different sizes of collars, there shouldn’t be any lateral play once you place the clamps.
  • Collar Style and Release Mechanism – The way the collar attaches to the barbell sleeve should be considered as well, especially when thinking about safety and convenience. There are usually two types of collars that use either a screw-on or clamp-style release mechanism. The latter is much easier and faster to use without compromising on security, but the former offers more stability and can last a lot longer.
  • Style – Not everything is about performance, as aesthetics can also play a role in the overall design of a product. We took a closer look at the different designs and colors available in the market, assessing them for potential improvements or changes. While personal preference is taken into account, we mainly focused on the overall design of each product and how it could influence the user’s experience.

The Best Barbell Collars for Different Purposes

When the elaborate grading system took its final shape, we came up with a few models of barbell chain collars that truly delivered in both performance and design. While some users may prefer some features and amenities more than others, each item had something unique to offer and satisfied our stringent criteria.

Rogue USA Aluminum Collars – Best Overall

Rogue Fitness is one of those names in the strength and conditioning industry that has a well-deserved reputation for quality products. The Rogue USA Aluminum Collars live up to this promise with their simple yet effective design, advanced features, and reliable construction. The aluminum casing is both lightweight and durable, with reinforced handles for a secure grip.

Pros

  • Constructed with aircraft-grade billet aluminum
  • Comes with an interior rubber lining to prevent scuffs
  • Wider and more resilient base for increased stability
  • Straightforward sliding collars for quick and secure fastening

Cons

  • Only available in a chrome metal finish
  • May be difficult to remove with one hand

Key Specs

Materialsaluminum with nylon lever and rubber pads
Styleclamp
Width1.5”
Weight0.5 lbs per pair 

Why It’s Great

At the top of the fitness pyramid are perhaps the lightest collars on the market with Rogue USA Aluminum Collars. With their simplified and intuitive design, you can easily secure your weights with the straightforward slide-in mechanism. The clamp itself feels sturdy and incredibly secure, with no lateral play whatsoever.

Moreover, you’ll find cleverly-designed ergonomic grooves on the outer casing as well, giving you an extra grip when removing them from the barbell sleeves. The rubber pads on the inside provide extra cushioning from any potential scratches and scuffs, with the aluminum casing providing a truly robust construction. The inner edges have a slightly rounded finish, which inherently makes sliding the barbell clamp set into place a literal breeze.

The overall width is an elegant amalgamation of security and convenience, allowing you to fit your plates easily without taking up too much space. They don’t feel bulky or unwieldy either, with a smooth chrome metal finish on the outside for a sleek and stylish look. While they are some of the most expensive collars on the market, it’s easy to see some of the premium features they offer.

Who It’s Best For

The Rogue barbell collars bring a remarkably strong yet lightweight design suitable for a variety of home gym configurations. Whether you’re lifting on your own or doing powerlifting exercises with friends, these pieces of fitness equipment will provide a strong and reliable grip on your plates, without cutting down on convenience or usability.

Lock-Jaw PRO 2 Barbell Collars – Great Alternative

Taking a slightly different yet equally useful approach to barbell training, lock-style collars like the Lock-Jaw Pro 2 Barbell Collars have a larger lever at the top that helps you secure the plates quickly and conveniently. Their quick lock and release system brings an unparalleled level of functionality, convenience and safety to the user, especially when adjusting the weight plates during an exercise.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty resin construction for reliable performance
  • Larger lever clamp for easier operation and handling
  • Reliable and secure fastening on barbells sleeves
  • Simple yet effective design for a truly great value

Cons

  • Slightly wider design takes up more space
  • Comes with a shorter one-year warranty

Key Specs

Materialsresin with rubber coverage on the inside
Styleclamp
Width2”
Weight1 lbs per pair 

Why It’s Great

Many people would be quick to dismiss a resin-based collar like the Lock Jaw Pro 2, but its superior design makes it worth considering. The industrial-grade resin construction comes from its military-grade engineering practices, giving it a strong and durable nature, all while offering incredible mobility and ease of use. Even if they might be a bit heavier than their aluminum counterparts, they still come with a simple yet effective design that’s well worth the money.

Additionally, you’ll find a clever hinge-style spring system at the back that provides extra security and stability for your plates. The enlarged lever clamp takes on a useful butterfly-style shape, which inherently gives you more control over the placement and fastening of the collar. The polymer construction ensures that the fastening mechanism won’t be adversely affected by sweat or other liquids, so you can expect them to last a very long time.

Given the customizable nature of resin, the overall design of the Lock Jaw Pro 2 is far more interesting and appealing than its competitors. The wide range of colors available further adds to the overall value and aesthetic appeal, with each hue adorning your barbell with subtle sophistication. The dye job doesn’t chip or fade quickly either, thanks to its professional-grade engineering.

Who It’s Best For

If you’re not a fan of metal barbell collars, then the hex-shaped resin design of the Lock Jaw Pro 2 is a fantastic alternative. It still provides enough security and strength to keep your weights in place during regular and Olympic lifts, but with a far more convenient design and much more interesting aesthetics. It’s ideal for anyone looking to outfit their home gym with attractive yet heavy-duty barbell collars, as well as the occasional user who wants a strong and reliable piece of fitness equipment.

Clout Fitness Olympic Barbell Clamps – Budget Option

Being on a tight budget doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to compromise on quality. The Clout Fitness Olympic Barbell Clamps come with all the necessary features of a reliable barbell collar, all without breaking the bank. Made of a lightweight yet durable plastic composite material, it offers a surprisingly secure grip and practical convenience for users of all levels.

Pros

  • Affordable price with a relatively good value
  • Lightweight yet durable construction for general usage
  • Flexible design allows for easy installation and removal
  • Wide clamping surface for improved stability

Cons

  • Made of plastic composite, which may not hold up against heavy plates
  • Weight collars could break if dropped

Key Specs

MaterialsABS plastic
Styleclamp
Width2”
Weight0.5 lbs per pair

Why It’s Great

As far as budget barbell collars go, the Clout Fitness Olympic Barbell Clamps offer tremendous value for the money. While they may not have as many features or be as strong and durable as more expensive models, they are still incredibly practical pieces of fitness equipment. These plastic collars provide sufficient gripping power that won’t slip or move around while you are in the middle of an exercise.

Since it’s an affordable option, the plastic composite base can get banged up pretty quickly, especially if you’re doing heavy lifting on a regular basis. But even so, it still offers a surprisingly secure hold on the plates, with a wide clamping surface that provides improved stability. The whole design is fairly simple too, with a large lever at the top for easy installation and removal. Even if it’s not the strongest model on the market, it should still be able to hold its own against regular-sized weight plates.

And if you thought resin was customizable, try the 18 different color options the Clout Fitness offers. They’re all equally bright and vibrant editions of a budget-friendly solution, with a solid combination of style and performance. Even if they might not have a fully ergonomic design, the clamps are still incredibly comfortable and easy to use, with take-it-anywhere portability that you would expect from a lightweight plastic fitness tool.

Who It’s Best For

If you can’t go over a certain price range but still want a reliable piece of fitness equipment, the Clout Fitness Olympic Barbell Clamps might be just what you need. As far as budget equipment is concerned, it certainly checks all the boxes, providing an easy and secure hold on your plates while not compromising your wallet. It’s the perfect choice for anyone who wants to upgrade their barbell setup without having to spend too much, or those just starting out on their fitness journey.

Titan Quick Release Clamp Collars – Most Convenient Option

The quick-release type of collars has become quite popular of late and for a good reason. Their unique design brings an unprecedented level of convenience and safety to the user, both when adjusting the bumper plates during an exercise and storing them away afterward. They rely on a lever-style mechanism that can be released with a single hand, with a quick-release design that’s both reliable and simple to use.

Pros

  • Quick-release design allows for easy installation and removal
  • Locking mechanism with a single pull of the lever
  • Accommodates most Olympic barbells and bumper plates
  • The durable aluminum frame provides strength and stability

Cons

  • Only a red version is available
  • Heavier product weight may be difficult to manage

Key Specs

Materialsaluminum with replaceable rubber plugs
Stylelocking latch
Width1.25”
Weight2 lbs per pair 

Why It’s Great

Heavy lifters who don’t want to waste time adjusting plates on and off their barbells will love the Titan Quick Release Clamp Collars. With a single pull of the lever, you have instant access to the inner plates, with a simple one-hand operation that can save you precious time. All you need to do is squeeze the two handles together to release the outer collar and quickly adjust the weight you’re working with.

The construction is also worth mentioning, thanks to its solid aluminum frame that feels quite durable. It’s strong and secure enough to hold even the most demanding lifting sessions, designed to keep your weights in place without risking any potential accidents or injury. They’re compatible with most Olympic plates and specialty barbells, thanks to their meticulously engineered design and intuitively placed levers.

As far as aesthetics go, these barbell clips are available in a single color – red. If you put the lack of variety aside, you’ll find that it’s a very eye-catching hue, with a stunning finish and a stylish design that will definitely make a statement in any home gym. Even if this set is a bit heavier than other versions, it’s certainly worth the extra effort for those who prioritize convenience and safety. Once you snap it on, you can be sure that your weights won’t move an inch.

Who It’s Best For

If you want a high-quality collar pair that you can trust to keep your bumper plates in place, without investing some serious time and effort into adjusting the locking mechanism, then the Titan Quick Release Clamp Collars are right up your alley. Their minimalistic yet incredibly efficient design is ideal for people who want to lift heavy weights without having to fiddle around with their collars, providing a reliable and secure locking system that’s both convenient and safe.

Proloc 1 Standard Olympic Collars – Best Collars for Specialty Bars

If you’re focused on specialty barbells, you’re aware of the importance of having reliable and secure collars. These uniquely-designed weights are better for targeting specific muscle groups and improving tensile strength in body parts like the arms and back. As such, they have a distinct set of requirements that standard collars don’t fulfill, such as a smaller sleeve diameter and a more ergonomic design.

Our Top Pick
CAP Barbell - The Beast
Based on our testing, this is the best budget barbell for beginners. For less than 150$, you get a good, durable barbel made of Japanese stell with black matte finish. Frankly, it offers great value for money. It's also backed with an 1 year warranty.

Pros

  • Can fit multiple bar sleeve sizes and designs
  • Magnetic design for greater security
  • Durable nylon resin base and ergonomic lever system
  • Lightweight construction for added portability

Cons

  • Lacks interior padding
  • Orders may take a while to process

Key Specs

Materialsnylon resin
Stylemagnet latch
Width1.75”
Weight0.8 lbs per pair

Why It’s Great 

Often viewed as competition collars thanks to their versatile design, the Proloc 1 Standard Olympic Collars provide an excellent combination of ergonomics and performance. The first standout feature is the magnetic clasp that helps keep the collars in place even during vigorous exercise, with a secure locking mechanism that can withstand some serious wear and tear. It doesn’t feel wonky or loose, even during squats or bench presses.

Another notable aspect is the adjustable sleeve diameter, which can accommodate multiple bar types and shapes. It’s based on a specialized set screw that extends and retracts with a single twist of the ergonomic lever. The cylindrical piece of steel tightens or loosens the clamps on the barbell sleeve, which inherently opens up the possibility of using a variety of bar sizes and weights. The bolt creates a 360-degree grip on the sleeve, which further enhances the security and stability of your collars.

Finally, the nylon resin base is sturdy enough to handle heavy loads, with a textured feel that provides extra grip and prevents slipping while you’re lifting. And thanks to their light construction, these collars are incredibly portable and easy to transport, whether you’re taking them to the gym or your home. Plus, the color combinations are quite stylish, ranging from vibrant orange to more subtle blacks. All of them are as eye-catching as they are functional, with a unique spin on the classic barbell accessory.

Who It’s Best For

Whether you’re a professional or amateur weightlifter, the Proloc 1 Standard Olympic Collars are the best choice for those who need reliable collars to accompany their specialty barbells. They’re quite suitable for targeting smaller muscle groups, as they can accommodate multiple sleeve diameters and shapes, while their secure locking mechanism provides extra peace of mind when lifting heavy weights and navigating through all sorts of exercises.

A regular barbell collar
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Important Factors to Consider When Buying Barbell Collars

Barbell collars play a crucial role in weightlifting and strength training, ensuring the weights remain securely in place during exercise. With various types, features, and considerations to keep in mind, choosing the right barbell collar can enhance your workout safety, performance, and overall experience. 

Let’s take a look at the essential factors to consider when purchasing barbell collars.

Types of Barbell Collars

  • Spring Collars – These affordable and widely available collars feature a simple design with springs that compress to secure the weights. They are easy to use but may have limited gripping power, particularly for heavy lifting.
  • Screw-on Collars – These collars have threaded ends that screw onto the barbell, providing a secure and tight grip. They are durable and suitable for heavy loads, but they require more time to secure and remove.
  • Clamp Collars – Lever or clamp collars use a quick-release mechanism to secure the weights. They are convenient, provide a strong grip, and are often used in competitive weightlifting settings.

Material and Durability

Steel collars are sturdy, durable, and suitable for heavy lifting. They offer excellent gripping power and can withstand the rigors of intense workouts.

Aluminum collars are lightweight and corrosion-resistant, making them a popular choice among weightlifters. However, they may not be as durable as steel collars. 

Plastic collars are affordable, lightweight, and easy to use. They are ideal for beginners or light to moderate lifting but may not be as secure or long-lasting as metal options.

Grip Strength and Security

Consider the type of locking mechanism of the collar. Ensure it securely holds the weights in place and prevents any sliding or shifting during exercises. Also, some collars feature grip pads or rubberized inserts to enhance the gripping power. These help prevent damage to the barbell’s surface and provide added security.

Compatibility and Size

Different barbells have varying diameters, including standard (1 inch) and Olympic (2 inches). Ensure the collar you choose matches the barbell diameter for a proper fit and secure grip. Also, check the collar’s dimensions to ensure it fits comfortably on the barbell and provides sufficient coverage to prevent weights from sliding.

Ease of Use

If convenience is a priority, consider collars with quick-release mechanisms that allow for easy and swift attachment and removal. Some collars offer adjustable tension settings, allowing you to customize the grip strength according to your preferences and workout requirements.

User Reviews and Recommendations

Research and read customer reviews to gain insights into the collar’s performance, durability, and user experience. Look for reputable brands with positive feedback from weightlifters and trainers.

Price and Budget

Set a budget range based on your requirements and frequency of use. While cost is an important factor, prioritize quality, safety, and durability over the price tag to ensure a worthwhile investment.

All in all, choosing the right barbell collar is essential for safe and effective weightlifting. Consider the type, material, grip strength, compatibility, ease of use, and user reviews when making your purchase decision. By choosing a high-quality collar that meets your needs, you can enhance your workout experience and focus on achieving your fitness goals with confidence.

A barbell collar on a rack
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Frequently Asked Questions

What are barbell collars?

Barbell collars are small fitness devices used to secure weights onto a barbell during weightlifting and strength training exercises. They are typically placed on the sleeves of the barbell, adjacent to the weight plates, to prevent the plates from sliding or shifting during workouts.

Barbell collars come in various types, including spring collars, screw-on collars, and clamp collars, each with its own locking mechanism. By keeping the weights securely in place, barbell collars enhance safety, stability, and performance during weightlifting exercises.

Do Olympic lifters use collars?

Yes, Olympic lifters commonly use barbell collars. Olympic lifting involves explosive movements such as the snatch and the clean and jerk, where the barbell is lifted overhead or brought to the shoulders. To ensure the weights remain secure during these dynamic movements and to maintain the balance of the barbell, collars are used. Olympic lifters rely on the stability and safety provided by collars to prevent any shifting or sliding of the weights during their lifts.

Are barbell collars worth it?

Yes, barbell collars are worth it for several reasons. Firstly, they significantly improve safety during weightlifting exercises. By securely fastening the weights on the barbell, collars minimize the risk of plates sliding or coming loose, preventing potential accidents or injuries. Collars provide stability and keep the weights evenly distributed, allowing lifters to focus on their form and technique.

Secondly, collars enhance performance by reducing unnecessary movement and shifting of the weights. This ensures that the lifter can execute the exercise with precision and efficiency, maximizing their power and strength output. The use of collars is particularly crucial for exercises that involve fast, explosive movements or require precise positioning, such as Olympic lifts and heavy squats.

Furthermore, collars help maintain the integrity of the barbell and weights by preventing excessive wear and tear. The consistent use of collars minimizes the risk of damage to the barbell’s sleeves and plates, extending their lifespan.

In summary, barbell collars are worth the investment for their safety benefits, performance enhancement, and protection of equipment.

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About

Julien Raby is the owner of BoxLife. He owns a bachelor in literature and a certificate in marketing from Concordia. He's Crossfit Level 1 certified and has been involved in Crossfit since 2010. In 2023 he finally made it to Crossfit Open Quarterfinals for the first time. LinkedIn Instagram Facebook

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