Bumper plates have become closely associated with CrossFit because they’re durable, easy to handle, and can be dropped from a height without the floor or plate breaking. These traits, along with the fact that they make less noise than steel plates, are essential for any weight plates used in a typical CrossFit workout.
To ensure that you get all these features, it’s important that the bumpers you purchase are of the highest quality. This article takes a look at 5 of the best CrossFit bumper plates you can buy today.
Best Bumper Plates for CrossFit At a Glance
Best Bumper Plates for CrossFit Overall
Rogue’s HG 2.0 bumpers are a solid product at a reasonable price. Made of high-density rubber, these plates are durable, have low bounce, and a standard weight tolerance of +/- 1%. However, make sure you handle the 10 – 15 lbs. plates with greater care since they are vulnerable to chipping or fracturing.
Next Best Bumpers for CrossFit
Fringe Sport’s bumpers are perhaps the best black plates on the market. They look great, have low bounce, are very durable, and come in both kg and lb variants. You don’t need to worry about wearing out the 10 and 15 lbs. plates either, which are harder than those offered by most other brands.
Best Cheaper Bumper Plates for CrossFit
If you wanted to buy the HG 2.0’s but wished the price was a little lower, Rogue’s Echo plates are a worthy alternative. Besides a slightly persistent rubber odor, the Echo plates have all the hallmarks of a premium bumper such as low bounce, durable material, and high hardness.
The 5 Best Bumper Plates for CrossFit
|Rogue HG 2.0 Bumper Plates||
|Fringe Sport Contrast Bumpers||
|Rogue Echo Bumper Plates||
|XMark Hi-Impact Bumper Plates||
|Vulcan Strength Black Bumpers||
|Rogue HG 2.0 Bumper Plates|
|Fringe Sport Contrast Bumpers|
|Rogue Echo Bumper Plates|
|XMark Hi-Impact Bumper Plates|
|Vulcan Strength Black Bumpers|
These are the plates you’ll find most commonly in CrossFit gyms across the country, and there’s a good reason for that. The Shore Durometer is a scale used to measure how hard weight plates are. The HG 2.0 ranks on this scale at 88 out of a possible 100, rating highly compared to other bumper plates. These plates are 450mm in diameter as per IWF standards. They have low bounce that remains consistent regardless of the force of impact on the floor. The high-density rubber used also adds to its toughness, meaning that these plates can take a fair beating.
Having said that, these plates are thinner compared to other bumpers in this category. While this allows you to load more weight onto a bar if you choose to, it also makes the 10 and 15 lbs. plates more susceptible to breaking. These plates are generally weaker compared to the heavier ones, and Rogue’s lighter bumpers are not the strongest.
- Popularly used in CrossFit gyms, regionals, and CrossFit Games.
- IWF standard diameter
- Low bounce
The Not So Good
- The 10 and 15 lbs. plates are not as durable as those made by some other brands.
Fringe Sport’s bumpers pair high quality and aesthetics to make for a truly great product. The matte black finish, along with the raised colored lettering look stylish and also make it easier to distinguish between different weighted plates. The 10 and 15 lbs. plates have a Shore Durometer rating of 90, which is excellent considering how easily some 10-15 lbs. plates can break. The heavier plates come in at 85, which is lower than the HG 2.0 but only slightly. They also have hooked stainless steel inserts for better durability.
They have many of the hallmarks of a quality bumper plate. This includes high-density virgin rubber construction, dead bounce, 1% range weight tolerance, and stainless-steel inserts. However, one distinguishing factor is that these weights are available in both lbs and kg, which is relatively uncommon in the US.
- Offer lb and kg variations
- 10 and 15 lbs. plates have a Shore Durometer rating of 90
- Aesthetically pleasing
The Not So Good
- Color on the lettering can start to wear off fairly quickly
Rogue’s Echo bumpers are fairly similar to their HG 2.0. They have the same Shore Durometer rating of 88, stainless-steel inserts, IWF standard diameter, and 1% weight tolerance. They have a 90-day warranty for 10 and 15 lbs. plates and 3 years for the heavier plates.
One potential drawback of these plates is that the rubber odor on these plates can be fairly strong and may take a while to fade. However, if you’re on a tight budget, good quality bumpers rarely get cheaper than this.
- Offers the same quality as the HG 2.0 at a cheaper price.
- Popular with CrossFit affiliates.
- Dead bounce
The Not So Good
- Strong rubber odor
XMark hasn’t been around for as long as some of the other bumper brands, but they’re offering a product seriously worth considering. Their plates have been drop-tested over 12,000 times from a height of 6 feet, which is a testament to their durability. They’ve also increased the width of their 10 lbs. plates to match the 15 lbs. plates to improve their strength and reduce the chance of them bending or breaking. However, they don’t offer any warranty on either of these plates. The heavier plates are under warranty for 3 years.
All of their plates are composed of 90% virgin rubber, which helps give the bumpers a uniform shape for maximum safety during drops. It also contributes to the low bounce these plates have, minimizing the chances of accidents or injuries. They follow IWF standard diameter recommendations and have very low rubber odor that dissipates soon after unpacking.
- Drop-tested over 12,000 times from 6 feet high.
- The 10 lbs. plate is as thick as the 15 lbs.for extra protection.
- 90% virgin rubber composition.
- Minimal rubber odor.
The Not So Good
- No warranty for the 10 and 15 lbs. plates.
Vulcan is another company that has recently risen to prominence with some great products. Leading the way are their bumper plates, which are some of the toughest ones you can purchase at this price. These plates have a Shore Durometer rating range of 87.7-89.3, which is at least as hard as others on this list. They have also been drop-tested a whopping 30,000 times from 9 feet high. This is double the industry standard of 15,000 times. To back this up, Vulcan also offers a 1-year warranty on their 10 and 15 lbs. plates and 3 years for the heavier ones.
To increase the durability of their bumpers, Vulcan makes their inserts from forged steel that is molded into the rubber around it for a sturdier fixture. This reduces the chances of the insert loosening over time. Their plates also have IWF standard diameters, minimal rubber smell, and high-quality virgin rubber construction.
- Drop tested over 30,000 times from 9 feet
- Inserts made of forged steel molded into rubber
- 1-year warranty on 10-15 lbs. plates
The Not So Good
- Plates are slightly thicker than other brands
Should You Get Bumper Plates for CrossFit?
Yes. Bumper plates have many advantages over cast-iron / steel Olympic plates when used for CrossFit. Dropping the latter two from any height is not advisable due to the potential for damage to the plates, bar, or floor, but with bumpers you don’t need to worry about this. Nor do you have to worry about bounce causing injuries like with dumbbells or kettlebells. These plates were made to be dropped. Good-quality bumpers are made of dense virgin rubber for durability and drop-tested tens of thousands of times to ensure long-term usability. Lastly, they make far less noise than steel plates, which can be a huge plus if you share an apartment or have young children at home.
Choosing the Right Bumper Plates for CrossFit
There are three primary factors one should consider when selecting CrossFit bumper plates: Durability, bounce, and bevel.
This is perhaps the most important factor because of the number of times these plates will be dropped. There are several ways to measure the durability of a CrossFit bumper plate. The Shore Durometer scale measures the hardness of weights, while the material (virgin rubber vs recycled rubber) also makes a difference. Furthermore, many manufacturers will list how many times their plates have been drop-tested and from what height. The industry standard is 15,000, but some plates exceed the 30,000 mark.
The 10-15 lbs. plates are usually less durable than the heavier plates, and companies often take additional protective measures to make them last longer. These include increasing its thickness by reducing diameter or drop-testing exclusively for these bumpers.
Bounce is another crucial factor that will help prevent mishaps and damage to your plates or bar. Though most plates have a low but observable bounce, some companies offer bumpers with ‘dead bounce’ or bounce that is barely noticeable. These are the safest plates, especially when dropping from shoulder and overhead.
The bevel is a notch taken from the outer edge of a plate to make it easier to grip and lift off the ground. This is important for CrossFit, so ensure that the plates you purchase have beveled edges. However, this does not apply to the 10 lbs. plate, which becomes more susceptible to warping when dropped with a beveled edge.
An additional consideration you might make is around color. CrossFit comps use color bumpers to easily identify the weight being used. If you’re training for a CrossFit comp, you may want to get yourself a set of colored bumpers. We’ve written this article for home CrossFitters who may not be training for actual competition. Black bumpers are absolutely suitable for this purpose, and are considerably cheaper than color bumpers.
Frequently Asked Questions About CrossFit Bumper Plates
Check out our responses to some of the most commonly asked questions about bumper plates
Will bumper plates damage concrete?
If your concrete is laid and set properly, then no. Bumpers are rubber or urethane, which is significantly softer than concrete. Properly laid concrete will also be well and truly able to withstand the impact of bumpers being dropped from shoulder or head height.
However, concrete may damage your bumpers. It’s best to use good quality home gym flooring, or even a lifting platform.
Are bumper plates worth it for CrossFit
Yes. Bumpers are really the only suitable plates to use for CrossFit WODs due to the high volume lifting and frequent dropping of your barbell. Frequently dropping iron plates from shoulder or head height will quickly wreck your plates, bar and floors. Plus it makes an ungodly amount of noise. Thus, not only are bumper plates worth it for CrossFit, they’re actually your only option.
What are the best bumper plates for CrossFit?
In our opinion, the Rogue HG 2.0 Black Bumpers are the best overall option. They’re tough, affordable, and have as good a guarantee as you’re going to get on bumpers. If they’re a little too pricey for you, The Rogue Echo Black Bumpers are also exceptional quality at a lower price. These are among the best budget bumper plates you can get
If you prefer color-coded bumpers, the Contrast Bumper by Fringe Sport are also great quality. They’re considerably more expensive than either of the Rogue options though.
Why are bumper plates so big?
They’re called bumper plates because they’re made to withstand being dropped from shoulder or head height. As such, the diameter is constant to ensure the force of the drop is evenly spread across all of the plates. They’re also typically thicker that iron plates because you need more rubber to create the same weight as iron / steel.
Well, there you have it: The Best Bumper Plates for CrossFit.
With this list, you have five excellent options that all provide the quality of premium bumpers at the price of standard ones. No matter how many times you drop these plates, they will last you for many years to come.