Random gym thought while bench-pressing 315 pounds: I wonder what those clamps on the side of the barbell are called….whoa! This is getting heavy!
For those of you who don’t lift in the gym often (even those that do), you must be wondering what in the world is a barbell collar? Is that for your neck? Well, no. Barbell collars are clamps used to tightly hold the plates applied to the barbell; subsequently preventing them from falling off while you are engaging in your lifts (ah! So that’s what those things are called?!)
Top Barbell Collars Comparison Chart
While lifters who lift lighter weights may not see this tool as a necessity, those who lift in the hundreds definitely find barbell collars useful; as they eliminate the weight from falling off the barbell, which disrupts the lift and raises the potential for injury of yourself or those around you. Not only does falling weights become dangerous, but it is also very embarrassing when you are in a gym full of people. Olympic lifters primarily use this tool because it stabilizes the weight, so the lifter can accurately perform their exercise without the hindrance of moving weight. Barbell collars are also very important because unstable weight can take away the effectiveness an exercise has on a lifter.
Lifting Barbell Collar Buying Guide
What to Look For
Now that we figured out what a barbell collar is, the biggest question we need a solution to is: what do we look for in an ideal barbell collar? Let’s start with the basics. For those beginners who are really naïve to barbell lifting: a barbell has two sides; both of which are used to put weight on. When doing most exercises with a barbell you need to put an equal amount of weight on each side so that you are balanced. With this being said, you must receive at least a pair of clamps whenever you purchase barbell collars. In addition, it is best to look for something that is tight and sturdy, something that you will be confident in its abilities to stabilize the heaviest of weights.
Is there a difference between clamp and spring tension? Both items perform the same task; they just do it in a different way. Spring tension barbell collars work more like a hand gripper whereas a clamp is tightened by lever once it is applied to the barbell. In most cases, the spring tension collars seem to last longer compared to the hard plastic-made clamps, but some prefer the latter.
Best Barbell Collars Reviews
The Lockjaw brand clearly has the best quality out of all other barbell collars. Lockjaw’s barbell collars can maintain the heaviest bench presses, squats, and deadlifts! This barbell collar is slightly more expensive compared to the average but based off of its quality, it is definitely worth the extra dollars. The LockJaw Olympic barbell collar comes in less than a handful of colors. You can be different with blue or red, or stay traditional with the black barbell collar. Either way, the LockJaw barbell collar is the best choice to go with if you want a modern barbell collar with excellent quality.
- Easy to use
- Barbell collar stays secure throughout the entire workout
- Three different color options
- Some pairs loosen after frequent use
- Some sellers are selling fake items
The cliché “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” might be relevant when analyzing the CAP barbell collars. Being the original barbell collar, these clamps can do everything needed to keep the weight on. The CAP collar has comfortable grip handles will make it that much easier for you to adjust the weights on your barbell appropriately. While this particular barbell collar is one-inch, the CAP brand also offers two-inch clamps for both spring tension and locking clamp. This type of barbell collar is considered to be the “standard” in most gyms nationwide because of its simplicity and effectiveness.
- Easy to use
- Holds onto the barbell tight
- Very expensive
- Some users claim that their collars didn’t stay on
Clout Fitness’ version of a quick release barbell collar is a low price, high-quality item meant to hold any amount of weight that you apply to your barbell. The Clout Fitness package includes a pair of clamps, a nylon case, and a holding box case. So you not only get the items you are looking for, but also miscellaneous accessories that can be used to transport your barbell collar to and from the gym. The clamps weight about .25 lbs. each, so they won’t be a burden by weighing down your bags.
The Clout Fitness barbell collar is made mostly with reinforced plastic, so while it isn’t made with the strongest possible material, it will be durable enough to last you and your gym buddies a long time of lifting.
- Clamps come with nylon case and holding box
- Quick release tightly grasps the barbell
- Won’t last as long as other brands
- Could clamp tighter to the bar
YYGIFT’s rugged two-inch barbell clamps are great for the Olympic lifter who is looking for security and peace of mind throughout their lifts. The quick release system simplifies the process of putting them onto a barbell. Made of reinforced plastic and resin ABS frames, the YYGIFT barbell clamps are sure to be durable. The grip for YYGIFT’s clamps is so tight that they will not budge by any means, so you can rest assured knowing that your weights won’t slide off. Some users feel as though the clamps start to loosen after approximately six months, but even with slight loosening, the product is still worth more than the measly price it costs to buy it!
- Quick-release system enhances the lifter’s convenience
- Low/average price
- Clamps are known to loosen after six or more months
- Made with unreliable material
These Synergee collars look a lot different than most others and we like them for both their looks and their construction. These collars fit securely around a 2″ standard Olympic barbell and offer as secure a fit as you’ll ever need. The lightweight aluminum collars have rubberized linings to not only protect the bar, but to ensure a slip-free fit. The rubber runs the entire circumference of the bar and not just in a small section.
We also like the simple and sturdy lock and release design which adds another great feature to the already great-looking and potentially head-turning qualities of this set of collars. In each package, you’ll get 2 silver-colored collars (2 inch) with quick release.
- Very durable
- Easy to put on
- Head-turning design
- Slightly pricier than a few other brands (but less than many others)
- 8-10% of users reported significant problems with either the ability to slide them easily or that they broke after some use.
This product from Kylin Sport is everything you would want in a pair of Olympic barbell collars. This collar pair is equipped with a quick snap lever that properly adjusts the clamps to the barbell. Made of ABS material the Kylin Sport barbell collar is considered to be one of the most durable collars in this market. This tough barbell collar comes in red, black, blue, grey, green and pink. The buyer has a handful of choices regarding the color they want their barbell collar to be. Upon purchase, you will also receive a Kylin Sport drawstring bag, where you can safely carry your barbell collar in and out of the gym.
- Made with durable ABS material
- Comes with a drawstring bag
- Comes in over a handful of different colors
- Difficult to operate
- Not as durable as advertised
- Some buyers didn’t receive carry bag
An inexpensive pair of clamps with an odd brand name, the Greententljs two inch barbell clamps are great for most lifting activities, such as: deadlifts, bench press, crossfit, and the overhead press, for example. Similar to the Dark Iron brand, this barbell collar can be easily installed with one hand with the spring-powered snap-latch. The Greententljs brand guarantees satisfaction, or your money back!
A downside to this brand in comparison to other barbell collars is the material. This pair of barbell collars is made of reinforced plastic, while other brands manufacture collars made of aluminum and other unbreakable properties. While this type of plastic will be sturdy, it might not be enough to last for a long time.
- Holds the bar securely
- Cheap in price
- Easy one hand installation
- Hard plastic material might not be as durable as metal
- It is difficult to tighten the clamp
Lightweight, secure, durable. These are the characteristics of the Dark Iron Barbell Collar. You could essentially install the barbell collar effectively with one hand. These clamps are designed to be user friendly, so you no longer need to waste valuable time securing the plates. Dark Iron’s barbell collar is manufactured with high impact polyester that is made to last as long as possible. These clamps won’t fall off or slide, so you can safely lift weights using a barbell and start working towards your goals. The Dark Iron Barbell Collars come in a two-inch design, so keep that in mind when you are looking for new clamps.
- Made with strong polyester material
- Easy to put on and take off
- Not one size fits all (too tight)
- Reported to slightly slip
This barbell collar is great for beginners. The mad scientists at Iron Lab created a pair of barbell collars that are very sturdy, and easy to use. Iron Lab’s cam clamp securely locks onto the barbell; offering you the confidence and peace of mind knowing the weight on your barbell is unmovable. This collar is made with high quality nylon that is so strong; it is unable to be destroyed. If the Iron Lab Olympic Barbell Collar isn’t up to your standards, you can simply contact Iron Lab and receive another set or a refund. It is available in black, red, and blue.
- Easy to apply and remove
- Collar is very secure to the bar
- Manufactured with a durable material
- Cheap price
- Some customers claim that other brands were built better
While it’s true that not everyone who bought these from Amazon was thrilled with them, the VAST majority thought they were excellent and worked very well. As far as we were concerned at Sportconsumer, anything that wasn’t plastic was already higher on the food chain, so these Greentendljs’s did the job perfectly. The aluminum adds to longevity and durability, while the one hand install is a must as far as we were concerned as well! Keep in mind that this set is meant for 2-inch Olympic bars so it’s useless for anything smaller.
If you’re not 100% thrilled, Amazon offers a no questions, no hassle return policy, so go crazy! (well, that’s just my way of saying this set of clamps is most definitely worth a look if you need durability and you have the budget).
- Comes in FIVE unique colors
- Made with high quality, durable aluminum
- The levers aren’t as durable as the actual collar
- Some complaints about faulty rubber lining and actual broken collar (which can both be remedied with a return to Amazon ASAP!)
- Price is high
Conclusion & Recommendations
Barbell collars are an overlooked essential to weightlifting. Using barbell collars is pretty much an absent-minded process, yet they play a crucial role in the security of the weight we use for our lifts. The largest asset you want to gain from using barbell collars is peace of mind. Knowing that you can lift without worrying about the weight falling off relieves a lot of stress. When participating in heavy and technical lifts, such as Olympic lifting, there is already a lot of pressure on the lifter. The last thing they need to worry about is whether the weight is secured properly. If you want something safe and that has a proven reputation, go for the CAP collar. But if you want something with top quality, a secure fit, and a modern look, the Lockjaw barbell collar will serve you well. Sure, technically you are shopping for a product that will keep the weight on your barbell secure, but more importantly, you are looking for peace of mind, and these ten barbell collars will deliver just that!