The concept of the heavy bag has most likely been around in some form or fashion for as long as humankind has worked on developing the art of combat. A practitioner would need an object that they could practice and hone their moves on at full power, and with low risk of injury. Beating the snot out of your training partner every time doesn’t lend itself to longevity, especially for the person on the receiving end!
The modern style of heavy bag and its’ subsequent mass production seems to have really taken off in the early 1900’s along with the rise in popularity of Western Boxing. With the advent and innovation of new and more durable materials, along with the incredible rise in popularity of Boxing and later Mixed Martial Arts, heavy bags began to evolve over the years to the familiar styles we see today.
We’ve done the leg work for you, so keep reading to decide what’s the best heavy bag for you!
- Different bags for different training styles
- Proper technique prevents injury
- Picking the best heavy bag for a home gym
- Top 14 best heavy punching bags for 2020
- Fairtex Banana Bag
- Outslayer Filled Punching Bag
- Everlast HydroStrike Water Bag
- Combat Sports Double-End Heavy Bag
- Fairtex Teardrop Punching Heavy Bag
- Century B.O.B. Freestanding Training Dummy
- Meister 100 lb Filled Heavy Bag
- Century Versys Fight Simulator
- RDX Unfilled Punching Bag
- Jayefo Trexter Heavy Punching Bag
- MaxxMMA Training & Fitness Water/Air Heavy Bag
- Everlast 70 LB MMA Heavy Bag
- Dripex Freestanding Punching Bag
- Century Original Wavemaster Freestanding Bag
Different bags for different training styles
Short heavy bag
There are many types of heavy bags, each with their own purpose and intended use. The classic and most common is the Short Heavy Bag, that weighs about 70-100 lbs and is around 3-4 feet in length. It is meant to symbolize the head and torso area of the opponent, and will swing freely when struck.
This light punching bag is mounted overhead from the ceiling or a punching bag mount. This type of bag is designed for Boxing training, not for kicking. Power punchers may find this type of bag too light.
Mid-length heavy bag
These bags are typically heavier and longer than the typical boxing bag, but do not touch the floor. The length is usually around 4-5 feet, and they are designed for punching primarily, but are decent for kicking practice as well.
Mid-Length Bags will move and sway during training, but less so than the Boxing Bag. This is better for practicing heavier strikes. These bags are mounted overhead via ceiling or punching bag mount.
The Banana Bag is a long heavy bag made for Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts training. It is typically 6 feet or more in length, and sits on, or just above the floor. These bags are meant for punching and kicking, as well as knee, elbow, and clinch techniques.
These Muay Thai heavy bags will weigh 100 lbs or more, but will have little sway or movement to them, unless mounted higher above the ground. Banana Bags are mounted overhead to ceiling or bag mount.
Teardrop or body bags
This style of bag is designed to accommodate the different angles and striking techniques that take place in a real fight. The Teardrop heavy bag and Body Bags are great for practicing uppercuts, liver shots, and just all around more precise striking.
These bags are good for both punching and kicking, with the proper technique. This is a more advanced bag design, probably not the best for beginners. These bags mount overhead via ceiling or bag mount.
Standing Bags are heavy bags mounted to a stationary weighted base and can stand alone without being attached overhead. Most standalone punching bags are 3-5 feet in length for the striking surface, with varying heights for the base.
Most standing bags are suitable for training both punches and kicks, and have adjustable heights. This type of bag is great for since it requires no heavy installation, but it does have limited mobility.
Proper technique prevents injury
Most Heavy Bags weigh anywhere between 60 and 150 lbs, so proper technique and adequate protection is essential. Depending on the type of bag being used, the heavy bag will swing and sway with each strike, and punching the bag at the wrong angle while the weight of it is swinging in can cause potentially serious wrist injury.
I have seen people do long term damage to their wrists from poor technique, thrown at full power on a moving, or even stationary heavy bag. I highly recommend using the proper handwrapping techniques for every heavy bag session to avoid injury.
This means protecting the wrist as well as the small bones in the hand, especially for those just starting out using a heavy bag. After some time, and you have developed proper technique, punching without wraps or gloves can be beneficial for self defense training, but there is always the risk of injury.
Picking the best heavy bag for a home gym
Which bag suits your situation?
Your living situation will likely be a major factor when deciding how to pick a heavy bag for you. Ideally a garage, basement, or other setting on a ground floor is the best place for your heavy bag set up, whatever style you choose. Additionally, you need to be confident you can mount a 70-150 lb object to your support beams in the ceiling, and that it can stand up to abuse that you are planning to do to the heavy bag.
If you are renting your home or apartment, you may want to consider a standing bag or getting a punching bag mount to minimize the wear and tear on your residence. You might want to take into account the impact each type of indoor heavy bag will have on your neighbors if you live in an apartment or with roommates.
A heavy bag mounted to the ceiling can sound incredibly loud to the person on the floor above, especially during heavy training. Likewise, being below an apartment that has a standing bag on bare floor is pretty loud for anyone on a floor below.
If your plan on having an outdoor heavy bag, you’ll want to take the materials into account, and how well they will withstand the elements in your area. Some outdoor punching bags will become brittle when weathered, and the filling materials can become dense and very compact.
Analyzing where you will set up your heavy bag can help you make sure you get the right bag for your situation.
How to choose the right punching bag?
There are many factors going into choosing a heavy bag. You’ll want to take your experience level as well as your training/fighting style into account when deciding on what bag to get. Are you planning to mainly do some light boxing, or are you looking to do a full Muay Thai routine? Consider weighing out how much time you plan on training vs the investment you are willing to put into getting your heavy bag.
Some other things to consider are whether you want to get a bag that comes filled with sand or other material, or you want to get an empty bag that you will fill yourself. The second option might be better if you plan to move regularly, or want to have control over filling your bag.
Lastly, you’ll want to consider warranty options for your heavy bags. Many of the higher quality, higher cost bags come with a multi-year warranty. This is definitely something to take into account considering that you will be literally trying to destroy your bag every time you train on it.
Bags can rip, tear, fastenings can break, stitching can come undone especially on some low price punching bags; it’s worth getting something that has a warranty if you are making a significant investment.
Top 14 best heavy punching bags for 2020
Fairtex Banana Bag
This is the best heavy bag out there in my opinion. Fairtex always delivers quality product, and the Fairtex Banana Bag is the king of the long punching bag. This bag sits at just over 6ft, depending on which style you choose, but it is perfect for all types of striking, especially Muay Thai. Depending on what height you mount the bag, the bag may sit on the floor slightly.
Fairtex uses quality leather, and superior stitching in their products. The only major drawback is that you have to fill the bag yourself, and it is a long bag. This is a professional level bag, but suitable for beginners. The bag will stand up to any punishment assuming it is properly filled.
Can’t recommend this bag enough, just wish it came filled.
- Professional level quality from the Fairtex brand.
- Ideal for any style of striking and clinch work.
Outslayer Filled Punching Bag
The Outslayer Heavy Bag is one of the top of the line long heavy bags in the market. It is a professional level bag suitable for MMA training, Muay Thai, and Boxing. The bag is just under 6 feet in length, making it suitable for all types of striking. The Outslayer comes already filled, has a 10 year warranty, and comes with a heavy duty storage bag.
The great reviews really speak for themselves. The only drawback would be the high price tag.
- High quality product, great reviews.
- Comes filled.
- Great for professional level MMA, Muay Thai training.
- Good for an indoor or outdoor setup (Storage bag included).
- High price tag.
Everlast HydroStrike Water Bag
As we’ve said before, Everlast is a mainstay of the combat sports world, and this Hydrostrike Water Bag is another testament to that. Water filled heavy bags are not very prominent on the market, but they are very popular with those who know about them.
The Hydrostrike Bag weighs around 100 lbs when filled, and is around 3 ft in length. The shape is similar to the teardrop heavy bag, but a little more rounded. One really great thing about these water filled heavy bags, is that they lessen the impact on the joints, making them ideal for beginners or older practitioners.
The Hydrostrike bag has a rubberized exterior, and comes with a 2 year warranty, so expect it to withstand some punishment. It is hung by a single adjustable chain. This bag would be ideal for an indoor home gym or garage/basement. Sadly, it is primarily for boxing, not really suitable for any kick training.
- Easy setup.
- Good for beginners or professional athletes.
- Easy on the joints.
- Not good for Muay Thai/MMA training.
- Not good for outdoor gyms.
Combat Sports Double-End Heavy Bag
Combat Sports is another well known provider of quality martial arts gear. Their Double End Heavy Bag is a really cool punching bag that allows for a variety of striking techniques. This is probably one of the best uppercut bags on the market, and it is great for working body strikes also.
At 45lbs the bag is a little light, but the bottom ring allows for anchor attachment to limit the sway. It has a synthetic leather exterior with great stitching, so it should hold up well to punishment. My only complaint would be how light the bag is, but otherwise it’s a great addition to a training regimen.
Suitable for beginners or professional fighters at a fair price. A lightweight punching bag that could be a good addition to a home gym.
- Great for working boxing combinations.
- Good for beginners or professinals.
- Lightweight, comes filled.
- Hourglass shape is great for working uppercuts and body strikes.
- Not good for kicking.
- Very lightweight.
Fairtex Teardrop Punching Heavy Bag
Fairtex is one of the top names in the world of Muay Thai. They consistently produce world class training gear for professional fighters, and the Fairtex Teardrop Bag is no exception. This bag is premium leather exterior with a water and tear resistant inner lining. The bag does arrive unfilled, so be prepared to fill it yourself.
The Teardrop Heavy Bag is great for working Muay Thai combinations and clinch work, and it is the perfect shape for delivering heavy knees and power kicks. I would not recommend this bag for beginners or those who do not plan to train Muay Thai, Kickboxing, or MMA; there are more general and cheaper bags out there.
The bag mounts via D-rings and heavy duty straps, no chains. Bag is approximately 3ft in length. This is one of the best Muay Thai heavy bags on the market.
- High quality product from a premier name in combat sports.
- Great for Muay Thai training.
Century B.O.B. Freestanding Training Dummy
The B.O.B is one of my all time favorite training tools. Century’s Body Opponent Bag is an essential tool for any self defense program, and a great stress reliever. BOB allows for training precision striking, targeting the liver, spleen, eyes, jaw, temple, etc. It is probably the best punching bag for Krav Maga training, and a really great addition for any martial art.
B.O.B. is an adjustable and realistic Head and Torso bag that has a vinyl “skin” exterior. The B.O.B. is adjustable at several increments from 5 feet to 6.5 feet tall. The body portion of the torso is very solid, as it is attached to base, while the head has some give to it, allowing for heavy kicks or punches to follow through.
The B.O.B. sits on a fillable base, similar to the Century Wavemaster standing bag. Filled, the base can weigh over 200 lbs, so expect the B.O.B. to be able to take some punishment. You can even dress him up as your favorite bully, if you are so inclined!
Century’s B.O.B. is great for beginners or professional fighters, and one of the best punching bags for indoor or outdoor use.
- Realistic striking training.
- Very stable standing punching bag.
- Easy setup, good for indoor or outdoor use.
- Not good for training low kicks.
- Higher price tag.
- Screws can come detached in back of bag.
Meister 100 lb Filled Heavy Bag
Meister is a known brand in the combat sports equipment market, and they produce some quality training gear at a fair price. The Meister 100lb Heavy Bag is good, solid choice without any bells and whistles that delivers all the essentials you could look for in a heavy bag. The bag is marketed as “professional gym quality”, and is geared towards heavy training.
This heavy duty punching bag is 5 feet long, and is good for practicing both boxing and kickboxing/Muay Thai routines. The exterior is “military grade textured vinyl” that will stand up to years of punishment. The hanging straps are of the same material, eliminating the need for noisy chains.
This is not the best punching bag for an apartment, but could be a good choice for a garage or home gym, and probably a good outdoor heavy bag. It comes with a removable protective bag as well.
Expect this Meister Heavy Bag to last for awhile.
- Good Product from a reputable brand.
- Professional quality, good for serious training.
- Suitable for all striking styles.
- Comes filled.
- Protective bag included.
- Slightly higher price.
Century Versys Fight Simulator
The Century Versys Fight Simulator is maybe not the best freestanding punching bag on the market, but it does shine in some areas. It is a 5 ft tall bag on a 100 lb sand base, designed to be used for many different fight applications. Think of it as an adult version of the toy that kids hit that falls backwards and pops back up.
This would maybe be the best bag for Krav Maga training, or perhaps as an addition to an Mixed Martial Arts training circuit, but probably not the best for a full grown adult with a fair amount of striking experience.
The problem is mainly that one or two heavy strikes can put the bag down, and you must wait for it to return upwards. Those looking for high impact, high output, or practicing multiple combinations will surely be disappointed.
What this bag is great for is Karate or Taekwondo practitioners that do point fighting to score with one or two strikes, or MMA fighters that want a bag they can work striking directly into takedowns and ground and pound. Disciplines like Krav Maga that train to overwhelm their opponent would be great for this standalone punching bag.
Century puts out a decent product consistently, and this Versys Fight Simulator is part of their higher end line (and the price tag shows it). Really the main high point for this heavy bag is the fact that it is probably the best punching bag for an apartment or small space. There is no potential damage from installation, and the noise level will be very low from the bag itself.
- Best choice for an apartment or other similar living space.
- Good for working all kicks, punches, as well as ground work, throws, and takedowns.
- Easy installation.
- High price.
- Not good for combination training or heavy strikes.
RDX Unfilled Punching Bag
RDX is a well known entity in the world of combat sports, and they consistently put out quality products. This RDX heavy bag is available in 4 or 5 ft length, and 5 different designs and colors. The shell of the bag is Maya Hide Leather, and RDX touts it as being able to stand up to the elements, making it an ideal choice for an outdoor heavy bag.
The bag is hung with heavily stitched and reinforced loops that fasten to provided S-Hooks and a 4 way chain. There is a bottom loop as well that you can fasten to your own anchor to limit the sway in the bag. The RDX bag comes unfilled, so be prepared to fill the bag yourself. Among the many great reviews, there were many suggestions of filling the bag with rubber garden mulch. Look into it!
This RDX Punching Bag is my pick for the best overall value to price ratio. Another added bonus is the pair of Maya Leather RDX bag gloves included. The RDX is definitely one to consider when choosing a heavy bag.
- Great product backed by a great company.
- Bonus gloves included.
- Best cost to value.
- Good for heavy training and intense workouts.
- Not the best heavy bag for kickboxing or Muay Thai.
Jayefo Trexter Heavy Punching Bag
Jayefo is a newly emerging brand in heavy bag market, and initially they are doing well. The Jayefo Trexter offers a decent quality long heavy bag for a pretty decent price. The bag is 6ft long and features a leather shell that is internally laminated for extra durability.
The bag comes unfilled, so be prepared to fill it yourself with shredded clothing or other recommended filler. Sand is not really an ideal filler, be warned.
Another great feature is the 10 year warranty Jayefo is offering with their product. The Jayefo Texter Heavy Bag doesn’t offer anything innovative or exciting, just a medium quality Muay Thai heavy bag at a reasonable price.
- Great cost to value ratio.
- 6 ft bag good for all types of punches, kicks, knees, clinch work.
- 10 year warranty.
- Good punching bag for beginners.
- Lower quality materials.
MaxxMMA Training & Fitness Water/Air Heavy Bag
MaxxMMA is a relative newcomer to the combat sports world, but they are putting out some exciting products. The MaxxMMA Water/Air Heavy Bag is a leap forward for water filled punching bags, and has a really innovative design. The core of the bag is air filled, which you fill yourself with the included air pump.
The air-filled core is surrounded by another chamber that you fill with your desired amount of water with the provided hose. This allows for some fine-tuning of your bag resistance, but the innovation doesn’t stop there.
The MaxxMMA bag doubles as an uppercut bag as well! You can hang the bag horizontally and use it to work uppercuts and straight punches. Yet another feature is that the MAxxMMA bag can be used as a workout tool: the bag is equipped with detachable handles that allow users to use the bag to work squats, curls, and any other things they can think of into their workout.
Water-filled heavy bags are much easier on the joints, and allow you to really put power into your strikes. The outer shell of this bag is made of durable synthetic leather, and the inner bladder comes with a two year warranty.
One other thing I really like about this water filled heavy bag is all of the planning and thought that went into it. MaxMMA included all necessary pumps and hoses, and built a slew of options other than just a straight up punching bag.
One major drawback for me is the size; at 3 feet it will be primarily a boxing bag, not good for kicking training.
- Great design and innovation.
- Multi-use bag, many options.
- Good choice for beginners.
- Good punching bag for home gym.
- Synthetic leather may be less durable.
- Small size, not good for kick training.
- May not be ideal for heavy strike training.
Everlast 70 LB MMA Heavy Bag
Everlast is one of the mainstays of combat sports, and has probably the most prolific collection of moderate and low price punching bag collections in the business. Everlast has been around for decades, producing quality punching bags for all levels of users. The Everlast 70lb MMA is a classic design, with a durable rugged poly canvas material fastened by four canvas straps to a 360 degree swivel. The bag can be height adjusted via the included adjustable chain.
What I like about this bag is the 360 degree swivel and the durable canvas material. This is a somewhat lightweight punching bag, but it can take a beating. Another cool feature is the bottom loop that allows for weighted fastening to keep the bag from swaying too much when training. You’ll have to figure that system out for yourself though, it’s not included.
This bag should hold up relatively well outdoors, although I would be weary of letting moisture get into the filling of the bag. I would keep it covered.
This Everlast bag is a great beginner punching bag, but might be a little light for seasoned strikers or those who train competitively. It’s a nice middle of the road bag to build some skills on.
- Classic model from a reliable company.
- Durable materials and good bag filling.
- Good for an indoor or outdoor punching bag.
- Good for beginners.
- 360 degree swivel.
- Decent choice for boxing.
- Not great for seasoned strikers or competitive athletes.
- Not good for kick training.
- Canvas straps have been known to break or come unsown.
Dripex Freestanding Punching Bag
The Dripex Freestanding Punching bag is a leap forward in the realm of the stand alone punching bag. The Dripex features a fillable base with suction cups designed to stick to an even surface for even more stability.
Another great feature is the spring system that attaches the bag to the base, allowing the bag to have some sway independent of the base, which allows for more dynamic training. The bag is a stainless steel tube wrapped in multi-layers with foam, fabric, and PU leather.
Overall this is a decent stand alone bag, reviews say that the base should be filled with sand for greater stability, and a smooth and flat surface is needed for the suction cups to work. This bag would be good for an indoor gym, but probably not the best outdoor punching bag setup.
This would be a good beginner punching bag, but I don’t recommend this bag for seasoned strikers or those who train competitively.
- Innovative design.
- Good beginner punching bag.
- Freestanding bag, easy setup.
- Good for boxing and some kicks.
- Good for indoor gym.
- Low noise.
- Not ideal for competitive athletes or heavy training.
- Not very stable without use of suction cups.
- Easy setup and install.
Century Original Wavemaster Freestanding Bag
The Century Original Wavemaster is a classic design, and one of the best free-standing bags for beginners. Century’s tried and true model has been around since at least the 1990’s ( I had one as a child) and has withstood the test of time. The bag has 7 height adjustments that go from 4 to 6 feet high, and the bag itself is made of fairly durable material.
This is a good outdoor or indoor punching bag, and an ideal starter bag for children or those looking to do some light to moderate training. One major drawback is the large base. It can be filled with sand or water, but with heavy strikes the base will rock back and forth, causing a bit of noise. Also the large base stifles leg kick training, and striking close to the bag.
I recommend this bag for beginners, not for serious combat sports athletes.
- Good outdoor or indoor punching bag.
- Good beginner punching bag.
- Adjustable height.
- Freestanding bag.
- Good for boxing, punching, and some kicks.
- Not ideal for heavy training.
- Large and noisy base with heavy strikes.
In conclusion, I feel the Fairtex Banana Bag is the best heavy bag for overall training, and will be the best choice for a long term investment in training. The RDX is my favorite for the best budget punching bag for the overall cost to value ratio, and the Century Versys is the best punching bag for apartment or small space.
Enjoy your Training!!