Are you in need of some new bumper plates for your garage gym or CrossFit affiliate?
Whether you’re just getting started and buying your very first bumper plates set, looking for an upgrade to your existing weights, or you just need access to more weights in light of all your gains, you have come to the right place. I have scoured the net for the best brands & set prices for basic black bumper plates, training bumpers, and competition WL discs. I’ve considered bumper plates sets from all the major manufacturers and found what I believe to be the best prices on the best and most durable bumpers on the market.
For a primer on bumper plates, including the difference in the types of bumpers, the advantages of bumpers vs steel plates, and average prices per pound by brand, see my original bumper plate guide.
Last update: January 2018 – price and link verifying; typo corrections
Best Bumper Plate Sets – Table of Contents
- Basic Black Bumper Plate Sets
- Basic Kilo Bumper Plates
- Colored Bumper Plate Sets
- Training Bumper Plate Sets
- Competition Bumper Plate Sets
- Looking for steel or rubber-coated plates?
Basic Black Bumper Plate Sets
The contenders: HI-Temp, Rogue HG 2.0, Vulcan, American Barbell Sport, Rogue Echo, Rep Fitness, and XF bumper plates.
Brands left out – but not forgotten: There is no shortage of other basic bumper brands; Kraiburg, Again Faster, Ader, York, Pendlay, and all the small CrossFit shops that get their names stamped on versions of these very same bumpers. In an effort to keep this bumper plate section even remotely easy to read, brands not offered in sets, redundant brands with higher prices, brands with inferior/no warranties, and brands known to be poor quality (box-store brands like VTX, RAGE, CAP, etc) have been left out or even omitted from this post.
Weight sets: I’ve priced out the following sets: 160-lbs (pairs of 10’s, 25’s, and 45’s), 260-lbs (pairs of 10’s, 15’s, 25’s, 35’s, and 45’s), and the 350’ish-lb range (included plates vary slightly in this range). There are many other sets of varying weights and plate combinations available but these three are the most common and therefore the easiest to compare. This should be more than enough to give you a solid idea of how each brand is priced.
Specifications: When it comes to basic black bumpers, these brands are all very similar; some are even made in the same factory. With the exception of HI-Temps, all these plates are the IWF standard, 450 mm in diameter plates with 50 mm steel inserts (HI-Temps are 17.5″, or 444 mm.) When shopping other brands avoid plates with brass or bronze inserts; buy plates with steel or stainless steel inserts only.
The width of each size can vary slightly by brand. Most are generally in the same ballpark, but the crumb rubber brands (XF and HI-Temps) are super thick. On the other hand, the Vulcan plates are probably the narrowest non-competition bumpers available. Of course the only reason the width matters is so you can get more weight on the bar. There are other minor differences, and I’ll summarize each brand briefly below.
The HI-Temps are significantly thicker and more resilient than the virgin rubber brands, but they produce more bounce. These are decent plates, and they are one of the few bumper options suitable for outdoor use (the other being the colored Vulcan Alphas). They are also one of the only brands of bumpers that are made in the US of A. Drawbacks include higher cost, and a slightly smaller overall diameter than pretty much every other single plate on the market (17.5″ vs IWF 450 mm), and a susceptibility to insert separation.
Vulcan Strength bumper plates are currently my favorite plate available. Not only are they priced competitively (especially in large sets), but the plates themselves have a number of design innovations that improve their durability so that you never have to replace them.
While there are many, the most important improvement is the inclusion of steel rebar to the insert (image below). So now not only is the plate molded around the insert, but the rubber also gets molded around this rebar as well. This update pretty much eliminates any chance of insert separation. In the image below, you can see a cross-section of a Vulcan 10-pound plate. Even with half the plate cut away, the insert still won’t come out of the plate.
The combination of this improved durability, competitive set pricing, long warranty, and low bounce make the Vulcan plates about the best choice for CrossFit and Olympic training; in both garage gyms and busy CrossFit affiliates.
Rep Fitness Bumpers sport Vulcan’s hooked insert and thin profile disc design, and prices look surprisingly low on the surface, but Rep Fitness doesn’t include shipping rates into the cost like most other vendors. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing to do site-wide, but if there is one product that this backfires on it is bumper plates, as most companies sell these at near break-even prices or even a loss just to get your business. Rep does not. So get a shipping quote for your area and maybe the Reps are good deal, probably not.
The American Barbell Sport Bumpers are AB’s version of the black bumper plate. These have a competitive starting price, and like most dealers the cost does include shipping on sets. Unfortunately, these plates don’t feature the design enhancements of the Vulcans and they actually cost slightly more. They’re nice looking plates and they will last, but ever since the prices were raised 5-10% they aren’t nearly as competitive. [review]
The Rogue HG 2.0 is the standard basic black bumper model. This is the plate design that most of us are familiar with, and the ones you see in most CrossFit boxes (the previous HG plates had the grenades on them). The HGs were recently improved and are now similar in appearance to the Vulcan version, but unfortunately the Rogue plates do lack the anchored insert. I have no problem with these plates, but they are best for lifters looking to add some big plates to an existing collection, as the 10’s and 15’s are not the most durable around.
The XF’s are by far the thickest bumpers available, and also the most expensive.
Set variety is non-existent, as XF plates are only offered in a 370-pound set or 100 kilogram set. You’ll have to buy pairs if you want less weight, but I don’t recommend building a set of any brand of bumpers in pairs. An unfortunate drawback to these (aside from pricing) is the fact that the steel inserts are not seamless like other plates, and the seam will do a number to the finish of your barbell. That said, these are some the quietest plates on the market, so if that noise dampening is important to you, these may be the plates for you.
Alternatively, the Vulcan Alphas are just as quiet as the XFs, but they are colored so they aren’t in this list. However, they are less expensive, thinner, and the inserts don’t have a damaging seam. If noise is an issue in your home, garage, or affiliate I strongly suggest looking into the Alphas if the XF’s are out of your comfort zone price-wise. You can also read a review of the Alphas here.
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160 lb Bumper Plate Set
The 160-pound set is the smallest available set and it contains a pair of 10’s, 25’s, and 45’s. This set is small, and I would suggest at least a 260-lb set if you’re starting from absolutely nothing. Having said that, this is the one set that just about every merchant offers so I have included it anyway. Just remember that the larger the set is the less you pay per pound, and the more time you have before you need to add more weight to that set.
- Vulcan Strength Premium Bumpers – $269
- American Barbell Sport Bumpers – $278
- Rogue HG 2.0 Bumpers – $275 *
- XF Bumper Plates (sold in pairs) – $314 +LTL
- HI-TEMP Bumper Plates – $323
- Rep Fitness Bumper Plates – $200 + LTL
* requires the purchase of two other ‘3-ships-free’ items to receive free shipping.
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260 lb Bumper Plates Set
The 260-pound set is a well rounded intro set that includes pairs of everything from 10 to 45 pounds (10’s, 15’s, 25′, 35’s, and 45’s). The Echos sell for less than the Vulcans, but Vulcan has a more innovative plate. If you plan to toss around your 10’s and 15’s alone on the bar I would definitely go with Vulcan. If not, then the durability of the smaller plates matters not.
- Vulcan Strength Premium Basic Bumpers – $408
- Rogue Echo Economy Bumpers – $385
- American Barbell Sport Bumpers – $462
- Rogue HG 2.0 Bumpers – $425 *
- HI-TEMP Bumper Plates – $498
- XF Bumper Plates (sold in pairs) – $510 +LTL
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350(ish) lb Bumper Plates Set
These bigger sets are not as easy to side-by-side compare as the previous two – due to the difference in total weight and difference in plates offered in the packages. They range from 340-lbs to 370-lbs depending on the vendor, but in all cases these are the most economical (cost per pound) sets offered. Free shipping is available to various parts of the country from all of the listed vendors below except for the XFs.
- Vulcan 340 lb (10’s,25’s,35’s,45’s,55’s) – $505
- Vulcan 370 lb (10’s,15’s,25’s,35’s,45’s,55’s) – $551
- American Barbell Sport (10’s,15’s,25’s,35’s,45’s,45’s) – $606
- Rogue HG 2.0 350 lb (10’s,15’s,25’s 35’s,45’s,45’s) – $545 *
- Alpha 340 lb (10’s,25’s,35’s,45’s,55’s) – $604
- HI-TEMP 350-lb (10’s,15’s,25’s 35’s,45’s,45’s) – $668
- Rep Fitness 370-lb (10’s, 15’s, 25’s 45’s, 45’s, 45’s) – $455 + LTL
- XF 370 lb (10’s,15’s,25’s,35’s,45’s,55’s) – $692 +LTL
Basic Bumpers in Kilograms (KG)
Finding basic bumper plates in kilograms is not as simple in the United States as it is in the rest of the world, but selection has gotten better. Rogue offers black HG plates in kilograms, Vulcan offers colored basic bumpers in kilograms, and American Barbell offers both. Finally, York makes black kg bumpers but the price doesn’t appear to be very competitive no matter who the retailer is.
- Vulcan KG Training Bumpers (they are basic, but they are colored)
- Rogue KG HG 2.0 Bumpers (regional free shipping on sets only)
- American Barbell KG Sport Bumpers (also available in IWF colors)
Basic Color Bumper Plates
Colored basic bumpers are a compromise between basic black plates and Olympic training and competition discs. Getting IWF colors on your basic plates raises prices somewhat, of course, but no where near what professional large-hub plates cost.
The Alphas are the real leaders of this group, although the colors are speckled rather than solid. Alphas are quieter than basic plates, can be used indoors or outdoors, have all the same durability features of Vulcan’s black plates, and they just blow other basic color plate prices out of the water. Read my review on Alphas here if they are on your radar.
Rogue Echos are commonly out of stock because they are a decent plate for private, non-institutional use. The American Barbell Shields got a massive price reduction followed by a price increase and the inclusion of free shipping (which might work in your favor if on the East Coast). Vulcan offers their solid colored plates in bulk which is the way to go if you’re looking for color for a gym or box.
- Vulcan Alpha *quiet* Bumpers 250 lb set (10’s, 25’s, 45’s, 45’s) – $455
- Vulcan Colored Basic Bumpers 260 lb set (10’s, 15’s, 25’s, 35’s, 45’s) – $466
- Rogue Echo Colored 260 lb set (10’s, 15’s, 25’s, 35’s, 45’s) – $475
- Rep Fitness Colored 260 lb set (10’s, 15’s, 25’s, 35’s, 45’s) – $379 + LTL
- AB Colored 260 lb set (10’s, 15’s, 25’s, 35’s, 45’s) – $495
- American Barbell Shields 300 lb set (25’s, 35’s, 45’s, 55’s) – $609
- Troy VTX Economy Colored Bumper Plates – $no
Olympic Training Bumper Plate Sets
Olympic training bumper plates are the non-certified, non-calibrated version of Competition bumper plates. They have a much larger steel hub than basic bumpers have, they’re color-coded, and they offer a dead bounce when dropped. Weight tolerances are much stricter than they are with basic bumpers as well. The vast majority of training bumpers are sold in kilograms, but finding them in pounds stateside is pretty easy (Rogue, & American Barbell offer training discs in pounds.)
Many manufacturers call their training plates competition bumpers despite the fact that they are not actually certified to be used in any sanctioned events, nor are they even calibrated. Ignoring this fact, I still categorized the bumpers below based on their given labeling (by the manufacturer, that is). Just keep in mind that unless a plate is actually IWF-certified, it’s no more than a training bumper.
Rogue’s Competition Bumpers are sort of an exception to this rule as, while they’re not IWF certified for Olympic weightlifting events, they are the official plate of the CrossFit Games.
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Training Discs – 140 kg Sets (or 320 pounds)
The 140 kg set includes a pair of 10’s, 15’s, 20’s and 25’s. The 320 lb set includes a pair of 25’s, 35’s, 45’s, and 55’s.
You’ll see that Rogue has the best pricing on training discs but as a rule you should always double-check Vulcan for a sale. American Barbell appears to be running a clearance on the Training Plates in pounds so check that out. If you like a smaller hub, you’ll want to look at the American Barbell Trainers for kilos, and the Rogue Urethane Bumpers for pounds.
- Rogue Training Bumper Plates 2.0 – $915
- Vulcan Premium Olympic WL Training Discs – $1151
- Rogue Training Bumper Plates 2.0 (in pounds) – $915
- American Barbell Training Bumper Plates – $863
- Rogue Urethane Bumper Plates (in pounds) –$1150
- Uesaka Varsity Olympic WL Training Discs – $1406
- WerkSan Olympic WL Training Discs – $1485
Rogue almost always has a multitude of basic, training, and competition bumper plates in the Closeouts section of their website, including used plates from the 2016-2017 CrossFit Games.
Competition Bumper Plates Sets
While I initially did price out all of the major brands and multiple weight sets, I have decided not go into too much detail with the competition bumpers since so few people want or need them. However, in order to give a general idea of prices for some major brands I will list the current prices for a handful of 140 kilo sets and then provide links for each so that you may research them further if you would like.
As I mentioned previously in the training plates section, it can be argued that most of these bumpers are actually training discs as only a handful are actually certified, but I’ll play along with the manufacturers and call them competition plates. If you are equipment for an event, research very thoroughly which discs/brands are approved for your event.
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140 kg Competition Bumper Sets
140 kg sets include a pairs of 10’s, 15’s, 20’s, and 25’s. Standard Olympic plate colors are green (10’s), yellow (15’s), blue (20’s), and red (25’s).
- Rep Fitness Comp Bumper Plates – $750 * + LTL
- Rogue Competition Olympic Bumper Plates – $1035
- American Barbell Urethane Competition Discs- $1386
- Ivanko OCB Olympic Bumper Plates – $1815
- Uesaka Atlanta Competition WL Discs- $2294 *
- Eleiko Olympic WL Competition Discs – $2291 †
- Uesaka Full Competition Discs – $2564 † *
† – IWF-certified
* – Warranted
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If you have any feedback about any of these bumper plates, please leave a comment. If you feel I neglected a particular brand that should have made this list, I welcome comments on that as well. Tell me which brand, and why it should be here. Please share me!