Whether you’re out to become a regional boxing champion or just like to get your kicks in as a form of cardio, a quality punching bag is an essential part of any home gym. The best punching bags can last for years without showing any major signs of wear. They’re reliable workout buddies, day in and day out!
In this guide, we’ll help you steer clear of the crappy, low-quality punching bags that seem to be everywhere on the market these days. We’ll show you which brands and models we currently recommend, and explain why we’ve chosen these options over the competition. We’ve also included some helpful buying advice to make your decision easier.
There’s something for everyone in this guide, regardless of your age, gender, or experience level. Read on to find your new favorite punching bag!
|Everlast 70-Pound MMA Poly Canvas Heavy Bag||70.4 lbs.||$|
|Cleto Reyes Speed Bag||1 lbs.||$|
|Muay Thai Punching Bag 6’ 150 Pounds (unfilled, black)||7.4 lbs.||$$|
Best Punching Bag Reviews (2019)
This is a great first bag. We suggest it to folks on a budget, as well as to newcomers who want something inexpensive that still performs well. This is the least we think you can pay for the real thing. It’s simple, straightforward, and as much as any casual user needs. We also thinks it makes a good, inexpensive beater for kids and teens to kick and punch the hell out of!
It’s inexpensive. You can pick up one of these punching bags for well under $100, which we think is a great deal for what you get. This is affordable enough that casual users can easily justify the purchase, without being so cheap as to sacrifice quality.
It lasts a long time. You can easily expect to get a few years from this, especially if you’re a new boxer or a casual user. While you may need to freshen up the stuffing, the outer materials are refreshingly rugged for something so inexpensive.
It offers enough weight to challenge most users without being dangerous for newcomers and younger users. The Everlast is rated for 70 pounds. You can do most things with that weight, even kick!
We think it’s an excellent first bag because it gives you a fairly standard size and weight to work with, without being so heavy that you’d get discouraged or injured.
It comes prefilled, too. That makes life a lot easier for you! By contrast, the premium Muay Thai model below comes unfilled, so you have to figure in the cost of filler material and the effort of actually stuffing the bag.
It only holds half the weight of our top recommendation (the Muay Thai below). It’s also smaller, particularly in terms of height. That’s why we primarily recommend it to beginners, casual users and kids/teens. Dedicated fighters will want to go for a full-scale model like the Muay Thai below.
That model is also more durable than the Everlast. This one isn’t something that’s appropriate for demanding users who want something to stand up to years of daily beatings.
If you’re interested in boxing recreationally, or looking to get your cardio fix with the gloves on, you absolutely have to have a speed bag. Speed bags like this one respond far faster and more dynamically than a big, bulky bag like the other models we’ve recommended in this guide. They’re what you want for training your reflexes and responsiveness. You can either use one of these alone, or in conjunction with a larger bag.
This is a good secondary bag for anyone to have in their home gym, since you can use it to practise agility and responsiveness as well as strength and form that you’ll train on your larger equipment.
It’s the gold standard of speed bags. There’s really no competition in this category, as far as we’re concerned. Everyone who’s serious about boxing uses Cleto Reyes speed bags. You’ll find them in any decent training facility, as well as the home gyms of any number of famous fighters.
It’s very space-efficient. One of the best things about a speed bag like this is the fact that you can install it practically anywhere without getting in the way of your other equipment. It’s very compact and doesn’t require a lot of free space around it to use it safely.
These bags last forever. They’re made entirely in Mexico from very high-quality leather. The stitching is all done by hand, and quality control is as good as it gets with punching bags. You can buy one of these and safely assume that it’ll last for years of daily use.
It’s very expensive for its size. However, given the fact that it’s handmade in Mexico and as good as these things get, we think it’s well-worth the price.
If you want to do kickboxing or heavier-duty punching, it’s best to have a more standard bag on hand in addition to your speed setup. Unless you’re tight for space or just after a cardio fix, we suggest pairing this with one of our other recommendations.
Our ultimate punching bag recommendation is this Muay Thai model. It’s a full-size, heavyweight champ that we think makes a worthy investment to anyone who trains hard and regularly with a punching bag.
It’s a full 6 feet tall. This is as big as punching bags generally get, and provides plenty of surface area for all manner of attacks. We like it because you can do pretty much anything to it–punching, kicking, practicing holds, etc.
This is as much weight as anyone needs. While some folks will definitely outgrow a lightweight bag like the Everlast above, this is as much as anyone will ever need to train with. Even experienced folks won’t have anything to complain about.
You don’t need to use chains with it. The loops on the top can go right on your carabiners (or whatever fasteners you’re planning on using).
It’s made in the USA. The materials and construction quality here are simply excellent, and we’re big fans of the heavy-duty zipper. That makes it easy to refresh the filling as you go and get a longer working life without having to replace all the filling at once. A lot of punching bags these days have chintzy zippers that break after one or two uses. That means the bags end up being disposable when everything else about them is perfectly good.
It’s covered by a 10-year warranty. That’s pretty spectacular in the world of fitness equipment–especially with punching bags. Most bags don’t come with more than a year of coverage, if that. This thing is guaranteed to last for at least a decade. We think that makes it an extremely safe investment and justifies the high price tag.
It’s very expensive. Casual users don’t need to invest in something this large and expensive. If you’re just starting out or planning to use your punching bag only occasionally, stick with the Everlast above.
It takes up a lot of space, and requires a very stable place to hang it from. It goes without saying that 150 pounds is a lot of weight, so be sure you have a suitable beam handy or a metal frame rated for at least as much weight.
This one comes unfilled, so you’ll need to factor in the cost of filling material when you buy. That can vary depending on what you actually use to fill it. If you’ve got access to some dingy old clothes or rags, you can stuff your bag quite cheaply.
If you’re going to have to pay for filling materials, we recommend rubber mulch or something similar. Some people try to fill their bags with insulation, and that’s both messy and dangerous.
Which of these high-quality punching bags should you buy for your home gym?
If you’re on a budget or shopping for a first punching bag, the Everlast is the obvious choice. It’s not as heavy or as heavy-duty as the Muay Thai, but it also costs much less. This is the best way to go if you’re a casual user or shopping for a child/teen.
We recommend the Cleto Reyes speed bag to just about everyone. Most folks will want a larger punching bag in addition to this smaller piece of gear, but this is absolutely stellar when it comes to training responsiveness and speed. It also makes a high-quality alternative to larger punching bags in home gyms where space is at a premium.
Finally, we suggest the Muay Thai to folks who want a big, heavy bag that’ll handle any assault and last for years. It’s way heavier than the average user needs, but if you’re getting serious about fighting and want a challenge it offers limitless room to grow.
Know What You Want
Punching bags come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. To narrow down which one is the best for you, it’s important to think about what exactly you want to do with one. That might seem like a silly question, but we use punching bags for lots of things besides your standard sparring. You can practice kickboxing with them, work on your quick jabs, or any number of other things.
Think about what you actually want to achieve with a punching bag and then bear that in mind when you’re choosing between our recommendations. For instance, if you want to use a punching bag for cardio, you should get a speed bag that’ll keep you moving quickly. If you’re planning on kicking as well as punching, you should get something big and heavy that’ll offer enough challenge.
Decide On Your Budget
You can pay anywhere from $25 to $250+ for a new punching bag. As a general rule, we don’t suggest spending more than $75. That’s the least we’ve found you can pay for something with decent construction quality and a good design. Sale prices are well and good, but don’t plan on spending less if you want to get something that’ll last. If you’re looking for a full-size, heavyweight punching bag, you should plan to spend at least $250. We don’t think much of the cheaper models in that category. Newcomers and casual users can easily make do with a less expensive, less heavy bag somewhere around the $100 mark. Speed bags are the least expensive option of all, though a high-quality model will still run you about $75 or so.
All of the punching bags we’ve recommended in this guide are designed to be hung or mounted in home gyms. That obviously requires that you have somewhere sturdy to set them up. We typically recommend using an exposed beam, if one is available to you. You can also use the frame of a power cage, though that’s less convenient in most cases.
Whatever type of installation you decide on, be sure that all the fittings (hook, chains, brackets, etc.) you use are rated for at least 125% the weight of your new punching bag. Be sure to leave yourself a healthy margin for safety!
If you’re struggling to figure out where you can hang or mount a punching bag safely, have a look at our guide to the best free-standing punching bags here!
Now that you’ve read through this entire guide, you’ve got all the information you need to choose your perfect new punching bag! Click on the links in our reviews to learn more about any of the models we’ve recommended here. You can also visit our homepage to discover more of our content.