Best Heavy Bag Guide – Ultimate Review Of The Top 10

Heavy punching bags and combat sports go together like fists and gloves and they’re also very useful for general training.  Good punching bags, however, are investment pieces.  Because of this, we strongly recommend doing your homework before you part with your cash.  With this in mind, we’ve put together a brief buyer’s guide together with our round up of the best heavy bags on the market right now and we’ve been as honest as we can about any disadvantages they have.

If you’re already familiar with the basics of heavy bags then we suggest you head straight down to our review section, if not, here’s a quick guide to what we think you need to know.

Brands matter

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 to 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.

As a final point, we have heard that in addition to U.S. federal rules, some states have their own rules about permitted fillings for punching bags.  Reputable brands will comply with these, but if you buy from an unknown one, you’re risking having your delivery refused by your state authorities.

Brackets and fixings

Even the lightest punching bags are heavy so think carefully about where you will use your heavy bag and how you are going to attach it to the wall (or ceiling).  Some bags will come with chains, but you may find you need extra (particularly if you have high ceilings).  If you’re not confident in your wall or ceiling (or you’re renting) you could see if your bag will adapt to a stand (or just buy a freestanding punch bag).

best punching bag

Size and weight

When it comes to heavy punching bags size can matter a lot, especially if you’re interested in MMA.  As a rule of thumb, decent, entry-level punching bags come in at around the three foot mark and are fine for people of average height doing beginner to intermediate MMA moves.  Taller people and people wanting to practice more advanced moves will benefit from longer bags.

The importance of weight is pretty much what you would expect.  Most beginners will want to start with lighter bags, people who are particularly strong already, however, may want to have a little more weight right from the get go.  As you progress you can increase the weight of your bag.

Intended use

This is basically a combination of who is going to use the bag and how they want to use it.  Basically how tall and strong is the person, how much combat-sport experience do they have and what kind of sport moves do they want to practice.  If you’re taking lessons in a particular sport then your instructor will be able to give guidance here.  If not, you could head to an online forum to get help from more experienced users.

Included accessories

While it can be nice to buy a package which comes with some extra, useful, items such as gloves, we’d be cautious about placing too much emphasis on this as some manufacturers can use these as ways to pad out and inferior offering and make it seem more appealing.  Again, pay attention to the brand and the specifications rather than the add-ons.

Condition

If you’re buying new, then you can, literally, expect brand new.  If you’re buying pre-loved then we’d strongly recommend going to see the bag before you pay for it and if you’re new to combat sports then it would probably be a good idea to take a friend along.  As a minimum, get lots of pictures.

So now that you know what to look for, here’s our pick of the best heavy bags on the market right now.

best punching bag for home

The Best Heavy Bags List

Century Hydrocore Heavy Bag

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.

Everlast 70-Pound MMA Heavy-Bag Kit

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.

Everlast 100-Pound Nevatear Heavy Bag (Traditional Logo)

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

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.

Outslayer Filled Punching Bag for Boxing and MMA, 80lb

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 Muay Thai Heavy Punching Bag Red (130 Pound)

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

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.

Ringside Leather 65 lb. Heavy Bag - Filled

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.

In short

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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.

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Best Heavy Bag For Younger Fighters

Everlast 70-Pound MMA Heavy-Bag Kit

It’s good enough to give them a decent workout and to let them discover if they’re prepared to make a serious commitment to either a combat sport or just working out with a punching bag.  When they either lose interest or develop enough to need a better punching bag, you may be able to recoup some of your initial investment by reselling it as Everlast is a recognized and reputable brand.

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Best Heavy Bag For Renters

Century Hydrocore Heavy Bag

Ringside Hydroblast Water Heavy Bags

We know water bags aren’t to everyone’s taste, but they are far and away the easiest bags to move and store.

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Best Heavy Bag For “Blow the Budget” Quality

Anything by Outslayer.  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.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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