Review

Best Bumper Plates 2022: The Best Rubber Weight Plates for CrossFit

May 13, 2022 by
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Some people say “weight is weight,” and while we agree that you can get just as strong lifting cinder blocks as you can dumbbells, we also know there are few pleasures in life that stack up to nailing a lift with a beautifully knurled Olympic barbell and hearing the dead bounce of high-quality bumpers on gym floors. 

That’s why we bring you this guide to the best bumper plates for CrossFit, so you can experience that joy during all of your at-home strength training sessions and WODs. 

We Know Bumper Plates

Not all bumper plates are created equal. Our team of CrossFit L1 coaches and certified personal trainers knows this after collective decades of using various bumper plates at different CrossFit boxes around the U.S. Together, our team of coaches and athletes has used nearly 50 different sets of bumper plates, from recycled rubber to calibrated competition plates.  

The Best Bumper Plates In 2022

Editor’s Choice (Best Standard Bumpers): Fringe Sport Black Bumper Plates

Fringe Sport Black Bumper Plates
Fringe Sport Black Bumper Plates
Credit: Garage Gym Reviews

Why CrossFit athletes will love these: Minimal bounce, great durability, and fair pricing make these the best value bumper plates on the market. 

Pros: 

  • 1% weight tolerance
  • Hooked stainless steel inserts
  • 3-year warranty on 25s, 35s, 45s and 55s; 1-year warranty on 10s and 15s
  • 90 Shore A durometer rating on 10s and 15s (and warrantied even if dropped) 
  • 85 Shore A durometer rating on everything else 
  • Made of virgin rubber

Cons:

  • Strong rubber smell out of the box
  • May need a wash; greasy from the manufacturing process 
  • 10-lb plates have slightly smaller diameter (17.5”) 

I can’t say enough good things about these Fringe Sport bumper plates. If you want the best value bumper plates for your home gym, you can stop looking. Made of high-density rubber with all-black raised lettering, these bumpers are not only high-performance training equipment, but they’re dang good-looking, too. 

Fringe Sport’s bumper plate sets are some of the only ones warrantied against dropping—even the 10s, so you can safely use them for training the Olympic lifts with light weight. Between the hooked steel hubs and high durometer ratings, these are some of the best quality plates available for CrossFit. 

On the surface, the Fringe Sport bumpers seem expensive, with the 10-pounders clocking in at $82 for the pair (compared to the Rogue Fitness Echo plates at $64 for a 10-pound pair). However, this is a reasonable price point once you factor in the free shipping; in fact, they actually turn out to be less expensive. 

Runner-Up Standard Bumper Plates: Rogue Fitness Echo Bumper Plates V2

Rogue Echo Bumper Plates
Rogue Echo Bumper Plates
Credit: Garage Gym Reviews

Why CrossFit athletes will love these: Rogue Fitness quality and aesthetics are a great addition to any home gym. 

Pros: 

  • 1% weight tolerance
  • 45-lb plates are less than 2.5” in width
  • 88 Shore A durometer rating 
  • Made of virgin rubber 

Cons:

  • 10-lb plates are only .83” in width
  • May be oily upon arrival 
  • Shipping is expensive 

For good-quality gym equipment, you really can’t go wrong with Rogue. These Rogue bumper plates are our second favorite thanks to their low bounce, minimal weight tolerance, and sleek design. (That stark white-on-black lettering will look great in any gym—may we suggest the Rogue HG 2.0 collars as a complement?)

Aesthetics aside, the Echo Bumper Plates also boast a high Shore A durometer rating, a measure of how hard the rubber is. The higher the rating, the less bounce and warping your plates are subject to. The 88 out of 100 rating means these are some of the most durable rubber bumpers available. Also, thanks to the steel core, the 45-pound Echo Bumper Plates are thinner than most, meaning you can slap more weight on the bar sleeves. 

As much as we love these bumpers and think they perform exceptionally well, the Fringe Sport black bumpers strike us as a better deal because they’re offered in more set options, and once you factor in shipping, cost less than the Echos.  

Best 10-Pound Bumper Plates: Titan Fitness Urethane Bumper Plates

Why CrossFit athletes will love this: 10s are known for “taco-ing,” but that fear is a thing of the past with these sturdy urethane weight plates. 

colorful urethane bumper plates
Titan Fitness Urethane Bumper Plates
Credit: Garage Gym Reviews

Pros: 

  • Less bounce than virgin rubber and crumb rubber plates
  • .95-inch thickness to promote durability
  • Steel core prevents folding and bending 

Cons:

  • Urethane is a more expensive material 
  • Slippery surface 
  • No bevel, making them hard to pick up from flat on the ground

It’s a tale as old as time (er, as old as CrossFit): Nice, new 10-pound bumper plates warp into useless taco-shaped rubber, or worse, break in half. This happens exceedingly fast, especially with high-volume use, which is why we recommend snagging a pair of Titan Fitness 10-Pound Urethane Bumpers. 

Urethane is a harder compound than virgin or non-virgin rubber, so not only are these 10s more durable than rubber 10s, they also have less bounce—your bar won’t go flying quite as far as it would with rubber bumpers. The Titan urethane 10-pound bumper plates also have a thicker diameter than most. Nearly an inch thick, these will better resist bending and breaking, even if you drop the barbell from overhead.  

We don’t think CrossFit athletes need a full urethane bumper plate set, but we do think urethane 10s are worth having for lightweight barbell WODs and Olympic lifting technique practice.

Best Bumper Plates for Olympic Weightlifting: Eleiko IWF Training Discs

A woman in the receiving position of the clean
Using Eleiko bumper plates
Credit: Kate Meier/Garage Gym Reviews

Why CrossFit athletes will love this: Calibrated to precision, these color bumper plates can take the fall from overhead over and over again.  

Pros: 

  • Weight tolerance within grams 
  • Meet all IWF specifications; IWF-certified for training 
  • Proprietary rubber blend is abrasion-resistant
  • Steel core and large steel hubs reduce bounce

Cons:

  • Much pricier than standard bumper plates
  • Hard to pick up when flat on the ground
  • Bolted insert may come loose over time

When it comes to Olympic weightlifting, there are training bumper plates, and there are competition bumper plates. In truth, they’re almost exactly the same. Competition bumpers may have slightly less bounce and minor improvements in durability compared to training bumpers. For the average CrossFit home gym owner, though, training plates will more than suffice. 

We especially love the Eleiko IWF Training Discs. Any training equipment from Eleiko is accurate within grams, so if you train with these, you can walk onto the platform on meet day feeling confident in your numbers. 

On top of supreme accuracy, these plates are ultra-durable, designed to withstand drops from overhead time and time again. They are, after all, constructed specifically for high-volume and heavy Olympic weightlifting training sessions. These discs are also backed by a five-year warranty.

All that said, some would call these plates absurdly expensive. The Training Discs certainly aren’t cheap, but if you’re truly looking for the best weightlifting training bumpers, you’ve found them. 

Best Budget Bumper Plates: Hi-Temp Bumper Plates

Why CrossFit athletes will love this: These budget-friendly bumper plates will bring back memories of early CrossFit days, when most boxes were rugged warehouses with no AC. 

Pros: 

  • Less expensive than virgin rubber or urethane plates
  • Great for eco-conscious trainees who prioritize recycled goods
  • No oily manufacturing substances upon arrival 

Cons:

  • Steel center hubs tend to come loose
  • Have much more bounce than other types of rubber plates
  • Larger width takes up more space on barbell sleeves

I don’t know about you, but when I first started CrossFit, crumb rubber bumpers were the only type of bumpers plates I had access to. So whether you’re looking to reminisce on your early CrossFit days, save some money, or shop with an eco-conscious mindset, Hi-Temp bumper plates are a good choice. 

Made entirely of recycled rubber—often old car tires—Hi-Temp plates are some of the least expensive bumpers you can buy. In almost every regard, Hi-Temps are just as durable as virgin rubber plates, except for the center hubs, which tend to come loose due to the molding process. The 10- and 15-pound Hi-Temp plates also warp more easily than our other top picks. 

The biggest issue that athletes tend to have with Hi-Temps is the high bounce rate. These plates have a lower durometer rating of 75, which means they don’t thud like the Fringe Sport or Rogue Echo bumpers. Still, there’s a reason CrossFit affiliates have used Hi-Temp plates for more than a decade: They’re a solid plate at a great price. 

Other Great Bumper Plates

A woman sliding a 45-pound bumper plate onto a barbell
Rogue Fitness Training Bumper Plates
Credit: Nathan Hay/Garage Gym Reviews

Our favorite bumper plates are far from the only options. Here’s a quick look at some other options to outfit your home gym with. 

REP Fitness Black Bumper Plates 

These REP Fitness bumper plates are super similar to the Rogue Echo Bumper Plates V2, but they have a 3% weight tolerance (versus Rogue’s 1%), so we think the Echos are the better choice. 

Rogue Fitness Competition Bumper Plates

We love these color-coded bumpers, but most CrossFit athletes have no use for true competition plates—and competition plates are often pricier just for the sake of being competition plates. This is why we recommend Eleiko’s Training Discs: They meet IWF standards, but they’re less expensive than the Competition Discs. 

Vulcan Strength Alpha Bumper Plates V2

These are some of the only Olympic bumper plates we know of that are warrantied for outdoor use. So, while we don’t think they’re the best of the best, we do recommend them for CrossFit athletes who have outdoor home gyms or a non-climate-controlled garage gym. 

XMark Hi-Impact Bumper Plates

These are some of the best bumper plates you can get on Amazon. I have a set of used XMark bumpers in my backyard gym, and while they’re treating me just fine for the most part, I have noticed the steel inserts are trying to wiggle free. 

How We Chose the Best Bumper Plates

A woman holding a barbell in the front rack position
Using Rogue Fitness bumper plates
Credit: Nathan Hay/Garage Gym Reviews

Our team of credentialed CrossFit coaches, personal trainers, and all-around CrossFit enthusiasts put more than 30 sets of bumper plates through our rigorous testing process to create this guide. We judge bumper plates against several criteria, including: 

  • Durability 
  • Compound used 
  • Center hub construction 
  • Dimensions 
  • Bounce (Shore A durometer rating) 
  • Weight tolerance 
  • Shipping and delivery 
  • Price, including shipping and handling

We also consider things like ease of use, which includes how easy it is to handle a plate during a workout: Is it easy to slip on and off of the bar? Can you pick it up if it’s flat on the ground? Are the 45s thin enough to carry in one hand? These questions may seem silly, but if the answer to all of those was “no,” you’d notice. 

In addition to testing bumper plates specifically for this guide, our team also collectively has decades of experience using various bumpers in CrossFit gyms all over the U.S. 

The Importance of Good Bumper Plates

Fringe Sport Black Bumper Plates
Fringe Sport Black Bumper Plates
Credit: Cooper Mitchell/Garage Gym Reviews

In CrossFit, durability is a key factor in all equipment. 

Even though no fitness equipment is manufactured specifically to be thrown around (and often, warranties are voided if a manufacturer can prove equipment has been handled negligently), there are definitely some types of equipment better suited to CrossFit than others. Bumper plates fall into that category. 

Bumper plates are not only more durable than metal plates, but the thick rubber used in bumper plates also protects gym floors and barbells. 

How to Choose the Best Bumper Plates for You 

Truth is, many bumper plates are pretty similar. However, minor differences between them can make a difference in your training, and it’s important to know which specs matter if you’re looking for the best bumper plates for a home gym. 

Bounce

No one wants their barbell to fly across the room after finishing a set of push jerks. Not only is it annoying, it’s also dangerous, especially if you’re training near other athletes. Look for bumper plates listed as “low-bounce” and make sure to read customer reviews, filtering for the key term “bounce.” 

Hardness 

Rubber compounds are measured on the Shore A durometer system, which rates the hardness of the compound. The scale goes from 0 to 100; the higher the rating, the harder the compound. The best bumper plates have Shore A durometer ratings of 80 or higher. 

Vulcan Alpha bumper plate
Vulcan Alpha Bumper Plates
Credit: Nathan Hay/Garage Gym Reviews

Size

Bumper plates should be close in size, if not an exact match, to IWF size specifications. This means: 

  • 440-mm (17.7-in) diameter 
  • 50.4-mm (1.98-in) center hub opening

There will be some minor variance among bumper plates, particularly with 10s and 15s. Manufacturers often design lighter bumpers to be slightly smaller in diameter in order to keep them thicker, thus less prone to warping. Many bumpers also have a slightly wider opening at 50.6 millimeters, in order to slip on and off of the barbell more easily. 

Weight Tolerance

Weight tolerance refers to the degree by which a weight plate is heavier or lighter than its stated weight. The best bumper plates have weight tolerances no higher than 1%. For example, a 45-pound plate would be no heavier than 45.45 pounds and no lighter than 44.55 pounds. A weight tolerance of up to 3% is acceptable for general training purposes and recreational-only athletes. 

Color 

For most CrossFit athletes, black bumper plates will suffice. Color bumper plates can be fun, but they’re often more expensive. Color only really matters if you’re performing Olympic lifts, in which case you’ll want plates that meet IWF color-coding specifications. However, I’d also note that some people also remember colors better than weights. Many new CrossFit athletes find that color bumper plates make it easier to remember what weight they lifted. 

REP Fitness bumper plates
REP Fitness Bumper Plates
Credit: Nathan Hay/Garage Gym Reviews

FAQs About Bumper Plates

Commonly asked questions about bumper plates are:

What’s the difference between bumper plates and weight plates? 

Bumper plates are a type of weight plate. The term “weight plates” encompasses many different products, from iron plates to steel plates to change plates and more. Bumper plates are weight plates that are constructed of, or coated with, rubber to improve durability and decrease sound when dropped. 

Why do you need bumper plates for CrossFit? 

It’s important to use bumper plates for CrossFit workouts, instead of other types of weight plates, because barbells get dropped and moved frequently during WODs. Using bumper plates protects your floors, your barbell, and the plates themselves. 

Are bumper plates the same as Olympic plates? 

Olympic weight plates are any weight plates that meet International Weightlifting Federation specs, which include a 450-millimeter diameter. All Olympic weight plates fit on Olympic bars, which have sleeves 2 inches in diameter. Bumper plates that meet these specifications can broadly be considered Olympic plates. 

Is it easier to deadlift with bumper plates? 

Bumper plates offer more bounce-back upon contact with the floor than metal weight plates, which can make deadlifts feel easier. However, rest assured that your big PR with bumper plates still counts. 

Can you use cast iron plates for CrossFit? 

It’s highly discouraged to use any metal plate, including cast iron, for CrossFit workouts. Because CrossFit WODs often include dropping a barbell from overhead, from the front-rack position, or from the hang, you risk unnecessary damage to your barbell and your floor by using metal weight plates. 

Can you use bumper plates for powerlifting? 

You can certainly use your bumper plates for the powerlifting moves (squat, deadlift, and bench press), but most powerlifters prefer different weights—specifically steel plates—because the wide diameter of bumper plates means you can’t fit as much weight on the barbell.

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