Well, our preference of EZ lift plates over solid plate at little bloke is pretty obvious by the stock we carry but I thought I'd outline why we think they are better. Firstly, what is an EZ lift plate?
An EZ lift plate, put simply, a weight plate with handles. These handles serve a couple of purposes - firstly to allow the plates to be picked up and moved around easily and often with only one hand.
Convenient if you are adding and removing plates from your barbells a lot. Secondly, the handle can be used to hold the weight plates while you do exercises with them. With the latter - most things that can be done with a kettlebell can be done with an EZ lift plate (some easier than others), so simply by having these plates you immediately increase the range of exercises you can do.
Think lunges, shrugs, snatch, curls etc etc. Don't change plates on your dumbbells - just use the plates themselves. So why is this better than solid plates? Often you need two hands to move you solid plates, or strong forearms to do it one handed.
So why would you buy solid plates? The single advantage they have is that they generally have a smaller diameter across which means they take up less space (the EZ lift plates are bigger as they have a cut-out for the handles.
As the difference is negligible, not much of an advantage in our opinion. EZ lift plates - IMO, a much more flexible and valuable piece of equipment. Worth noting that we also call our plates tri grip plates. Why? They have three handles, or three places to grip.
Lastly - Plastic coated vinyl plates - don't bother. Other than they break if you workout with heart and treat them bad, they are twice the thickness of normal plates so take up twice the barbell real estate.