Speed bag training develops both stamina and reflexes therefore is essential to work with the very best speed bag. It’s great for general fitness and if you’re planning on any serious fighting, it’s essential for many reasons, one of which being to eliminate your natural response of blinking as you see a punch coming towards you.
Because of this a good speed bag is an investment, which means you should be prepared to spend some decent budget on one and also on the board and swivel you will need to use it.
The Best Speed Bag - Five Points To Keep In Mind
Quality material and good workmanship are a must
Speed bags are designed to be punched. That’s a tough ask and only the best speed bags make the grade. It’s no coincidence that 8 out of the 10 bags in our review are made out of leather. The other two bags are made out of highest-quality synthetic leather. The overall construction is also important, in particular, a decent speed bag must have robust seams or it will split apart with use.
When it comes to speed bags, sizing works a bit differently to how it does generally. In most situations, smaller people need smaller sizes of equipment and vice versa. When it comes to speed bags, however, the size of the bag determines how quickly it moves. Smaller bags are quicker than larger ones. The size of the user is irrelevant, small people can use large speed bags and large people can use small speed bags.
Shape influences balance, movement and response
Shape isn’t the be all and end all of a quality speed bag, but it is worth noting that speed bags do come in different shapes. You might like to try out a few before you invest in your own to see if there’s one you particularly prefer (or dislike).
Your board is an integral part of your speed bag set-up
Also known as a platform or drum, your board’s most obvious function is a place from which to hang your speed bag. It’s worth giving a little thought to this. Most boards are designed to be hung from a ceiling (or from rigging which goes into the wall), but there are also boards which can hang a bag horizontally off a wall and renters might want to look at free-standing options.
Whatever type of platform you choose, remember that it plays a huge role in creating that vital rebound from your punches, so it’s worthwhile putting up the money for a good one.
Remember your swivel
Assuming you’re hanging your speed bag from a ceiling, you’ll need to use a swivel to allow it to move freely and have the best possible rebound. There are all kinds of swivels out there, but generally the choice is easy as your speed bag manufacturer will recommend one. If they don’t, then a ball hook has fast reactions, but can be very noisy. A Deville swivel uses ball bearings and some people believe it has the edge in terms of optimum rebound.
Now that we’ve covered what you should look for when buying a speed bag, here’s our list of top ten picks. For speed, if you specifically want a vegetarian/vegan-friendly option, then there are two synthetic leather bags we can recommend. They are the Ringside apex speed bag and the Venum skintex leather speed bag. Non-vegetarians/vegans, please note that these speed bags are on our list due to their quality and are well worth considering on their own merits.
Balazs lazer speed bag
This bag manages the unusual and very appealing combination of avoiding thick welting but still offering incredible robustness and the promise of standing up to a lot of use. What’s more, it keeps its air better than any other bag we can think of. Sure, you’ll have to top it up occasionally, but you won’t need to inflate it constantly as with some other bags.
The secret to this bag’s success is the combination of top-grade leather and a kevlar covering. If you’ve never heard of kevlar it’s used in bullet-proof vests and other body armour due to its combination of lightness and strength. It’s been enthusiastically adopted by top sports brands in numerous fields and, in case you hadn’t guessed, it’s really durable.
In addition to the excellent construction, this bag really performs well, it has a pretty much perfect shape and balance and so offers outstanding reactions. What’s more it comes in no less than five sizes. As you’ve probably realized by now, it’s far from the cheapest option here, but if you want top quality and you’re prepared to pay for it, then you should certainly consider this bag.
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Cleto Reyes medium platform speed bag
Even though Mexico is far more famous for “lucha libre” wrestling than for the likes of boxing and Muay Thai, it has still managed to produce one of the best fighting sports brands in the world and this speed bag is definitely worthy of their name.
These bags are individually hand-made in Mexico and the quality of both the leather and the workmanship ensure that they’re built to last. There’s a lovely balance and excellent responses and these a certainly a contender for the best speed bag.
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Contender fight sports speed bag
Opinion was divided over this one and we suspect that’s probably a fair reflection of how people in general are going to feel about it. Some people are going to love it and others are going to wonder what on earth they see in it. With that in mind, we’ll start with the negatives so you can decide if they put you off.
This bag is on the heavy side and it isn’t quite a true round shape which means its movement can be a bit unpredictable. We’d suggest beginners should probably look elsewhere unless they are particularly big and strong, in which case this bag could be an option. On the plus side this bag is really robust with welted seams, layers of stitching and extra-thick swivel loops. If you’re looking for a bag which can live up to some tough use, you should definitely at least look at this one.
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Everlast elite leather speed bag
We’re going to be upfront here and say that if you buy this speed bag, you’d better get used to inflating it frequently. Basically Everlast has gone all out to produce a bag which will lead the pack in lightness and speed, which this does, but the price of this is that the air, literally, gets knocked out of this bag very quickly.
On the plus side, the payoff is superbly fast and accurate rebounds. For the record, the speed at which this bag loses air has nothing to do with poor build quality, in fact we’d rate this bag as being very well constructed and as an added bonus, it comes in a range of sizes.
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Fighting sports pro speed bag
It’s a bit ironic that this speed bag is called the “pro” speed bag, because it’s the one we’d be most likely to recommend to beginners and we don’t mean that to be patronizing. Basically this bag is your classic “good all-rounder”, affordable and decent value.
The materials used are perfectly decent (cowhide leather for the exterior and butyl rubber for the bladder) and the workmanship is of a high standard (triple-stitched, leather-welted seams). Having said that, we’ve heard stories about the seams coming apart and we’d suspect this was due to more experienced fighters being tougher on this speed bag than it could manage.
For beginners, however, we’d say this was an excellent choice and it’s available in three sizes.
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Pro Impact genuine leather speed bag punch bag
We’ll tell you upfront that this bag has a latex bladder and if you make it your choice, you’d better get ready to inflate it on a regular basis otherwise you’ll soon find its rebounds getting rather interesting.
Assuming you do keep the this bag well pumped-up, however, you’ll find it nicely shaped and balanced and we think the quality of the materials and construction will see it stand the test of time. In particular, we love the attention put into making sure the seams literally hold together. We also think this bag is very good value.
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Ringside apex speed bag
We have to be honest and say that in terms of colour, we can picture this speed bag more easily in a circus ring than a boxing ring or gym, but that’s a matter of taste and it’s our only gripe about this bag. Having said that, we suspect that quite a few people will love the range of colours, just not us.
Vegetarians and vegans take note, this is one of the two high-quality bags we’ve found which is made of synthetic leather rather than the real sort. (The other one is the Venum). The bladder is latex, which means you may find it deflates a bit more easily than you’d like but it also keeps the entire bag vegetarian and vegan friendly.
Even if you’re not a vegetarian or vegan, this bag has a lot to offer, it has a nice pear shape, which makes for fast, balanced and accurate responses. The overall build quality is good, we are happy that the seams will keep together and the plus point of latex bladders is that they do reduce weight. As an added bonus, this bag comes in three sizes.
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Title boxing gyro balanced speed bag
Gyroscopes are devices which can basically keep themselves balanced, in other words, if you move a gyroscope it will always right itself to how it should be. This was, as the name suggests, the inspiration behind this bag.
We have to say up front, this bag isn’t up to the standards of real gyroscopes, but we wouldn’t expect it to be. Overall, it does do a very good job of reacting naturally to your punches - provided that you keep to the right level of inflation, which is around 4psi. If you over-inflate this bag (or indeed any bag) you will increase the weight and reduce the accuracy of the response.
Overall, we’re very impressed with the quality of this bag, which uses high-quality materials and is well constructed.
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Title classic speed bag
To be honest, we just look at this bag and it appeals to us, there’s something very old-school and, indeed, classic about its design. We could see this being hung as a piece of decoration in a sports-themed bar or something of that sort. Fortunately for our purposes, however, it has a lot more going for it than good looks.
The quality is excellent and really good value, our only minor gripe is that the logo is stitched on, which we could see becoming a minor irritation in everyday use. On the other hand, if you’ll pardon the pun, this speed bag does hold the air well (meaning you don’t have to keep inflating it) and it has nice balance, so we’d say overall it’s a winner.
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Venum skintex leather speed bag
We have to admit, we’d have been tempted to buy this speed bag on looks alone and it gets bonus points for being made of synthetic leather and hence vegetarian and vegan friendly. We haven’t been able to find out what the bladder is made of, but we’d guess strong latex.
There are two reasons for our guess. Firstly we think it would be very surprising for a company to use synthetic leather on the outside of a bag and real leather on the inside (if anything, we’d expect the opposite). Secondly, this bag is nicely light, which suggests a latex bladder, rather than a leather one.
These speed bags are handmade in Thailand and the workmanship is great, so while this is far from the cheapest choice, we’d look on it as a long-term investment. Performance is also impressive with lovely balance and excellent rebounds. We’re slightly disappointed that this bag is only available in two sizes, but with its combination of looks, quality and performance, we still love it anyway.