So, you want to become a great boxer?
Then you need a good punching bag, the best punching bag you can afford.
But how on earth do you find the right one? There are so many models!
If you don’t plan your purchase, you may lose the money paid out for a bag that doesn’t work for you.
What’s worse, you may get injured using the wrong bag, too!
In this easy guide, I’ll explain the different types of punch bags and the way you can choose the right one for you.
How Can You Benefit from Owning a Punch Bag?
Owning any of these types of punching bags will help your boxing skills, as long as you use them. If you have a bag at home, you’re a lot more likely to train often. That will help you in refining your skills.
Here are some of the boxing skills that you can improve by practising with a punching bag every day.
- Combination punches
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Different types of punching bags.
Each bag has a purpose and the correct one will aid you in improving your punching skills. The right one for your purposes depends on your training. Here are some different types and their training purposes.
The best heavy bags are very versatile, and that accounts for its popularity.
It moves when you hit it, and mimics an opponent’s movement, so you’ll need to use proper positioning and footwork to get clean punches off. This is different from free-standing bags that just don’t move as much and don’t require as much skill to land clean kicks or punches.
Leather is used in the best heavy bags and these last longer, as long as you take care of them correctly.
Before you choose a hanging bag like a heavy bag, be sure you have a place to hang it. You’ll find that there are a variety of ways that you can hang a heavy bag, but a heavy bag takes up a lot of room, since you move around it when you practice.
Pros and cons
- A mid-range bag is not too expensive
- It improves your movement and footwork
- It’s an effective training aid
- You need plenty of room to hang one so you can use it properly
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The Best Heavy Punching Bags List
Century Hydrocore Heavy Bag
We’re big fans of hydro bags for quite a few reasons. One is that to us they feel less like hitting a bag and more like hitting an actual person, which is fairly important if you’re training for actual competitions. Another is the fact that they cost less to ship and are easier to get from A to B if, for example, you move house.
If you’re going to go down the hydro route, however, you really need to buy from a reputable brand to make sure that your water stays in your bag no matter how hard you hit it. This bag scores here although we’d still suggest you wrap plumber’s tape on the threads of the water jug, just to be on the safe side if you hit a really heavy blow.
We would have to say that we’d recommend either keeping this bag vertical (hanging it) or emptying it since we’re not 100% sold on the cap being totally leak-proof, but then we rather suspect that’s what most people will do anyway.
- A popular alternative to the traditional heavy bag, the HydroCore heavy bag fills with water to offer a consistent rebound. Made with durable vinyl...
- Ideal for all types of workouts involving punching, striking and kicking.
- 14" Diameter x 52" Tall.
- Approx. 90lbs. when fully filled
Everlast 70-Pound MMA Heavy-Bag Kit
This bag is weighted and priced at the beginner end of the market and is highly unlikely to be suitable for anyone wanting to practice advanced MMA moves. If, however, you’re just starting out and want to see how you go before deciding whether or not to invest in a more advanced bag, then this one is, in our opinion, an excellent choice for beginners of average height and strength.
Let us explain. This bag is about three feet in length, which covers the average strike range on a person of average height. If you’re very tall then you’re probably going to want to look for a longer bag. If you’re of average height but very strong you can use this bag, but you may find it moves a bit more than you’d like. If you’re of average height and want to practice lots of low-kick combinations then you need to look for a bag intended for more advanced users.
NB: the filling for this bag is a combination of natural and synthetic fibers and filtered sand. We’ve heard that some sellers remove the sand to make the bag lighter to ship. We don’t see this is a big issue either way, but you may want to check before you buy.
- Kit includes 70-Pound, heavy bag, heavy bag gloves, 108-Inch hand wraps
- Heavy bag stuffed with a custom filling of natural and synthetic fibers blended with sifted sand
- Heavy Bag gloves and wraps for protecting your hands against the abrasion of the bag
- Adjustable height customization chain
- Bungee cord for adding greater resistance to the bag
Everlast 100-Pound Nevatear Heavy Bag (Traditional Logo)
The punching bag itself is great, we only wish we could say the same about the hardware. We feel we need to tell you upfront that if you opt for this bag, we think you’d be well advised to swap out the chain as soon as you get it home and while you’re at it, swapping out the D rings as well would probably be a good move.
Once you’ve done that, however, you’ll have a great bag which is not quite pro standard, but certainly more than up to the needs of intermediate users until they trade up to their “final” bag. Unlike the hardware, the cover is robust and the filling feels good to the hand and seems robust enough to take some serious punishment over the long term.
Overall, we’d say that even factoring in the cost and time of changing the hardware, this punching bag is still great value.
Outslayer Boxing MMA 100lbs Heavy Bag Filled
This bag is 55 inches in length, in other words about four and a half feet, so it’s getting close to pro standard, in fact if you’re on the shorter side, this punching bag may be a very suitable choice for you, even if you’re an advanced user.
Outslayer is based in the U.S.A. (California) so in addition to supporting U.S. industry, you’re guaranteed to get your punching bag since it will be compliant with all U.S. regulations on filling.
Speaking of filling, the one used here is cloth, which means it keeps its uniform shape and density without any need for maintenance. Where bags use sand, gravity will eventually take its toll, which is why it’s a good idea to flip it over regularly (basically like turning a mattress).
Outlander has struck a nice balance (no pun intended) between resistance and give. You’re not going to hurt your hands but when you do hit hard you’re going to feel it. Quality is excellent and we can see this punching bag withstanding years of beatings. Outlander obviously thinks so as it’s backed with an impressive 10 year warranty.
- 100 lbs Punching Bag - Made in USA
- Ships filled in a reusable heavy duty vinyl cover
- Comes with 10 year Warranty Certificate
- This 100lb Punching Bag is great for Martial Arts, Boxing, Fitness and MMA training.
- 55" in height plus 6" straps
Outslayer Filled Punching Bag for Boxing and MMA, 80lb
In addition to being lighter than our previous pick, this punching bag is also shorter at around four feet, which means it’s better suited to beginners and will get them safely to the intermediate stages.
The quality is everything we’d expect from Outslayer, we really can’t think of a bad thing to say about the bag or the hardware. Actually, the term “hardware” is a bit inaccurate here since Outslayer uses straps which are much easier on the hands and hence this punching bag would be a great choice if you’re looking for a bag which can be easily adjusted to suit people of different heights.
Outslayer is famous for its use of cloth stuffing and for the fact that it stays put without any maintenance required. This bag has quite a bouncy feel to it (by design), but if you prefer a bag with a bit less give, you can just take out some of the stuffing.
Overall, this is a strong contender for the title of “best beginner bag”, but the price difference compared to the Everlast 70-Pound MMA Heavy-Bag Kit means that it’s the latter which probably claims the title of “best value beginner bag” even after upgrading the hardware.
- Outslayer 80lb Boxing and MMA Punching Bag Kit
- 80lbs-Unfilled Model.
Outslayer Muay Thai Heavy Punching Bag Red (130 Pound)
This is a serious bag for serious users. It comes in at 6 foot in length and the straps add another 12 inches. The weight out of the box is 130 pounds but you can add stuffing to take the bag to a total of 300 pounds, which ought to be enough to satisfy even the most demanding of users and is backed by Outslayer’s famous 10 year guarantee. In spite of the name, this bag is an excellent choice for MMA or any combat sport involving low kicks.
This is an interesting option. By this point you’ve probably worked out that we love Outslayer’s quality (as does everyone else). Part of what makes Outslayer punching bags so highly respected is their cloth filling, which keeps its form and gives a consistent response over the long term. What makes this bag a bit different is that you fill it yourself.
Outslayer recommends using compressed fabric, such as old towels, sheets and blankets. They specifically caution against using sand as it does tend to slide down to the bottom of the bag over time. We have heard of people filling these bags with sand, but we don’t know how well it worked for them. We’ve also heard of these bags being filled with everything from memory foam to rubber mulch to old clothes and most users seem to be happy with their choice.
Our one, minor, peeve about this bag is that we think the top zipper could have been a bit more generous to make filling easier, by which we mean quicker, but overall we think this is a worth addition to the Outslayer stable and at 6 foot long it will keep more advanced users happy.
Ringside Hydroblast Water Heavy Bags
Hydro punching bags have a very distinct feel to them and in our experience, you either like it or you don’t. Basically, they do tend to feel much more like hitting a real human than other bags so if you are training for a fight they can be a great choice, but if you are just interested in staying fit, you may not like it so much, in fact the feel of them may make you uncomfortable.
You definitely need gloves when using these bags and you need to be prepared for resistance to your punches. Remember that even though water is a liquid, if you actually hit is (as opposed to sliding your hand into it), it is actually very hard (which is why divers break the water with their arms before their heads go in).
These bags are easy to fill, but you probably want to put a bucket underneath them when you do so (or fill them outside) as you’re pretty much guaranteed to get some splashes.
As a final point, the bag is, obviously, waterproof, the chain is not. If you leave this bag outside then you will need to protect it from rain or else the chain will rust.
- Impact is absorbed into the water bag which is significantly easier on joints and hands
- The Ringside Hydroblast Water Heavy Bag helps to improve punching power, agility, flexibility and accuracy
- The durable even-walled rubber has a unique shell design and water filling provides a life-like feel of the human body
- Built to last for indoor or outdoor use in your commercial or home gyms
- Arrives unfilled with a Ringside logo sticker to attach and ready to hang with the included steel chain
Ringside Leather 65 lb. Heavy Bag – Filled
Even though it’s the lightest bag on our list, this punching bag offers really impressive quality at a great-value price. Its leather outer is smooth on the skin and the inch of foam directly under the cover gives great protection from injuries. At 42 inches (three and a half feet), this punching bag offers a bit of extra length over many of the other entry-level bags, hence could be a good choice for taller beginners.
Overall, we’d say the quality is great for the money and we’d put it more or less on a par with the Outslayer Filled Punching Bag for Boxing and MMA, 80lb and a little ahead of the Everlast 70-Pound MMA Heavy-Bag Kit but the pricing reflects this.
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Best Heavy Bag For Beginners
Ringside Leather 65 lb. Heavy Bag – Filled
Outslayer Filled Punching Bag for Boxing and MMA, 80lb
Everlast 70-Pound MMA Heavy-Bag Kit
We couldn’t put the Everlast in quite the same league as the others when it comes to quality, but we have to give it top marks for value. Ultimately, we’d be happy to hand a beginner any of these bags, our choice would ultimately come down to weight.back to menu ↑
Best Heavy Bag For “Blow the Budget” Quality
Anything by RDX. They aren’t the cheapest out there, although they do have some affordable options, but if you put quality above all else, they are the brand which sets the standard.
Free-Standing Punching Bag
This bag has an attached base and does not require hanging or a stand. It is somewhat comparable to a hanging punching bag. A regular punching bag is a more popular choice, but a free-standing bag does have advantages over a hanging heavy bag.
In your house or gym, you’ll appreciate that a free-standing bag can be put away when you’re not using it, so it doesn’t take up as much room.
Also, if your training area is not as large as you’d like, you can move a free-standing bag so that you have room to train with other equipment.
You can use a free-standing bag for your groundwork, too. You can lay it on the mat or floor and practice ground fighting with it. Lots of MMA fighters use this type of bag, since it is so effective for ground work.
It’s a no brainer to set up a free-standing bag. Just fill the base so it’s weighted. Most people use water or sand for this purpose.
You’ll find free-standing bags in many different styles. Lots of fighters prefer those shaped like a human. That’s because it makes your training more realistic, since the shape is similar to what you’ll see in the ring.
You can really improve your fighting skills if you use a good free-standing bag for your workouts. You can practice punches and kicks and improve your groundwork and technique. Free-standing bags are very durable and versatile equipment types for your gym or training area.
Pros and cons
- Usable for groundwork
- Versatile piece of equipment
- When set up the first time, must be filled with water or sand
Some Great Heavy Punching Bags
This kind of bag was designed to practice curl punches and uppercuts. Some MMA and Muay Thai Rutherglen fighters also use them for practicing their elbow strikes.
An angle bag is somewhat similar to a maize bag, and it’s not a necessity for your fighting kit, since you can practice most of the same moves on a heavy bag.
The difference in an angle bag from a heavy bag is that it protrudes at the top. The shape is wider at the top than the bottom. This makes it easier to practice uppercuts.
An angle bag is a welcome part of your gym, but some of them are overpriced and not as versatile as a free-standing or heavy bag.
Best Angle Punching Bags
Wrecking Ball – Maize Bag
It’s no mystery how this bag got its name – the filler used is maize and it looks like a wrecking ball. It is shaped like a teardrop and although you may find it useful in your training, it’s not an essential bag to purchase.
If you already bought a punching bag, you can add to your training with a maize bag. But if you’re only going to buy one or the other, the punching bag is more versatile.
A maize bag WILL help you improve your footwork, though, since you’ll need to bob and weave to use it. So, it’s useful, but not the most important bag.
Pros and cons
- Helps in hand to eye coordination
- Helps to improve your movement and footwork
- Can be more expensive than a punching bag
- Only has limited functionality
Best Wrecking Ball Bags
Wall Mounted Pad System
This training equipment is simple and doesn’t give you a lot of value for the money you’ll pay. It is pricey and limits your training options.
A pad system uses a big padded block to practice punching, mainly hooks and jabs. The padding is on a backboard that bolts to the wall.
A pad system makes a good feature on a wall of your training area, but there isn’t a lot to recommend it beyond that. It’s expensive and requires some DIY skills in mounting it.
If you’re a renter, you may need to look for other bags, since you may not be allowed to mount it on your wall. So, renters are better off with a free-standing bag or heavy bag instead of a wall system.
Pros and cons
- Good looks
- Isn’t as versatile as other types of bags
- Must be firmly mounted on a wall
Best Wall Mount Puch Bags
What to Consider when Choosing the Best Punching Bag
The fill of a bag is what is contained in it. There are four main types of filler used in punch bags – fiber, foam, water and sand. Some bags have combination fillers like foam and sand together.
If you use a good filler, it will give the right resistance against punches and kicks without providing such a hard surface that it could cause injury. Some fighters do like a firm bag with not much give, though. Seasoned fighters do better with the firmer fill than newbies do.
Foam is really a good filler and it has many advantages. Foam won’t shift towards the bottom as you use the bag, so you won’t have to mess with it. The feeling is more consistent in all areas of the bag.
Many companies that make punch bags swear by foam as a filler. Companies like Everlast invest in determining the most advantageous foam technology.
Fiber is commonly used for bag fill, and it has its own good attributes. It gives a punch bag a consistent feel in all areas. Beginning boxers, Muay Thai or MMA fighters will get some mileage out of this fill, since it offers great resistance.
Punching bags filled with water? Really?
Water filled bags are much more portable than bags with other types of fill. If you’re moving to a new home or gym, or just relocating to another part of your house for your training, you can empty your bag of water, fold it up and then refill it before you set it up in the new area.
Other than portability, there’s not much notable about water-filled bags, except that some boxers feel that connecting with a water-filled bag offers more realism than other types of bag filler.
Sand bags offer a lot of stout resistance and they work better for seasoned fighters, not beginners. They work well in power training, although they can be a nuisance.
Bags filled with sand may clump or develop air pockets, so you’ll need to turn the bag upside down to shake the sand around again. It’s a bit of a pain, but not a deal breaker.back to menu ↑
What Weight of Punching Bag Should You Get?
When you’re trying to decide on what bag is the best for you, it’s essential that you get one that’s the correct weight. If your bag is too lightweight, it won’t give you enough feedback to be worthwhile.
But if you buy a bag that’s too heavy, it won’t have enough give when you hit it, and you may easily sustain a wrist or hand injury.
SO, how do you know what weight of bag to get?
A punching bag should be about half of your body weight.
If you weigh 160 pounds, then your bag should weigh about 80 pounds. Bags don’t come in every possible weight, so you may have to round up or down a bit to find the size closest to your ideal weight.
When you follow this guideline, you’ll have less chance of injury when you’re training and doing bag work.
Punch Bag – Outer Materials
Punch bags are made from synthetics, canvas or leather.
Synthetic bags aren’t the best. They’re lots easier to keep clean, but the material isn’t as durable as others.
Canvas bags are pretty durable, and many of them last a long time. You have you be sure you don’t keep them in a humid area, or they can develop mold.
Most boxers think leather punch bags are the best you can get. They are durable and last a long time.
Hanging Bag versus Free Standing Bag – Which is Better?
In this match, we’ll compare these two popular but different types of bags. They both have their own advantages and benefits, so you need to determine which is best for your own training use.
A hanging bag is a good piece of boxing training equipment. It’s versatile and comes in different sizes and shapes. There are many options, from 50 pound to 100+ pound bags.
Some people think that hanging bags are a pain, since they take up lots of room and must be hung from something. If you don’t have the room, maybe a standing bag would be better for you.
If you go with a standing bag at home, be sure you use the hanging bags at the gym, since they are essential for proper boxing training.
This bag is really versatile. That’s because you can use them not only like conventional punch bags, but also used for groundwork, just by laying them on the floor.
You can move free standing bags around, so they can be stored when you’re not using them. You also won’t have to hang it from anything or drill holes in your wall. Free standing bags are good pieces of boxing gear, and they don’t have many faults.
Which is the winner?
It’s a draw.
Both types of bags have advantages and disadvantages, and you really need to choose a bag based on your training needs. I like hanging bags myself, but if I didn’t have the space to train that I do, a standing bag would work fine.
Choosing a Punching Bag
Check out this video from Rival Boxing. In includes lots of tips on choosing the best punching bag for your training needs.
How to Hang a Punch Bag – Which Way is Best? Best Punching Bag For Home
There’s more than one way to hang your punching bag. Money and space are two of the main considerations. In the perfect world, we could all have the best stands and all their attachments.
Reality intrudes. Most people can’t shell out $1200 on a heavy Punching bag stand.
The good news?
There are cheaper options.
Below you’ll find the various ways to hang your punching bag.
Once you buy a punching bag, it needs to be hung somewhere, so you can use it. The way you choose depends on a lot of variables, like what kind of property you live in and what options it gives you.
Here are the most popular ways you can hang a heavy punching bag, along with the positives and negatives of each type.
Best Punching Bag Stand
This is made with a sturdy metal frame you can use for hanging your bag. There will be a large difference in the best punching bag stands and a average one so beware
- Very portable
- Easy to set up
- Some have extra attachments
- You need lots of space
- Very expensive
The Wall Bracket
These brackets attach with screws, allowing the punching bag to hang anywhere from 16 to 20 inches away from the wall. The length depends on the brand.
- Relatively inexpensive
- Offers sturdy support for your punch bag
- Not portable
- Needs DIY skills – a drill
Universal Punch Bag Hanger
This is a very portable option. It allows you to hang your punching bag in any place, as long as you have something you can hang it from.
- Easily used
- Very portable
- Limits on where you can hang it
- Hang your heavy bag from any beam or pole that can support up to 200 lbs. Works with poles, I-beams, wooden beams, etc.
- Rubberized interior surface prevents sleeve rotation.
- Embedded steel supports increase stability and strength.
- Heavy duty nylon straps provide security and safety.
Ceiling Hook Bag Hanger
This option will let you hang your punch bag from a beam, ceiling or wherever is suitable.
- Easy to move and remove
- Allows 360 degrees of movement around your punching bag
- Some DIY skills required (you have to use a drill to mount it)
The Best Punching Bag For Kids
Did you know there are punching bags for kids?
Oh, you’ve probably seen the cheap kind, the ones that are plastic and inflatable. But these are no way to train a future champion.
We’re talking about an adult punching bag in a child’s size. They are lighter than adult models, but in a smaller size.
These punch bags often come with gloves and, for a child, they will offer protection and support. If your child turns out to show real talent, you’ll want to invest in some better gloves.
If you’re serious about your child getting into boxing or MMA training, a bag like the one in the picture is a good place to start, without breaking the bank.
- Zero Impact G-Core twinned layer non tear Maya Hide Leather Technology (Waterproof & can be used outdoors)
- With 28cm diameter, junior's punching bag is 2ft high (3ft including Chains)
- Offer includes training bag gloves, hanging chain and weighs approximately 10 to 12kg
- Filled with shredded textiles, gives amazing shock immersion.
- Zip top design permits to change the filling as desired.
In Closing – How To Chose The Best Punching Bag…
There are many things to consider when you’re choosing the punch bag that will work the best for your purposes. We’ve covered pretty much all you need to know in order to select the right bag.
To take a look at the best in standalone punch bags and heavy punch bags, drop by our equipment page.
This may seem harsh, but the fact of the matter is that heavy punching bags are massively popular items of sports equipment (for good reason) and hence they’re a popular target for companies which just want to make an easy profit from people who don’t know better. Glossy adverts and marketing promotions mean nothing, what matters is the user experience.
The top brands like Century, Everlast, Outslayer and Ringside work hard to win the respect of the fighting sports community. They have been in the business a long time and they’re probably going to be in the business a long time. Genuine up-and-coming brands will reach out to reputable magazines and blogs and will submit their products for an honest review.
In short, when it comes to heavy bags (and sports equipment in general), buying from a respected brand provides reassurance that you will get the quality you need over the long term and will increase your options for reselling your item if you move on for any reason.back to menu ↑