A punching bag is an essential piece of equipment in the training routine of boxing athletes or hobbyists.
The reason behind it is not so far-fetched.
Heavy bag workouts are great for developing power, footwork, and speed, which are basically basic boxing abilities you can’t help but have – Regardless of, if you’re a professional or a hobbyist.
A traditional heavy bag, like its name implies, is heavy and can only be installed in commercial gyms and very few home gyms. Most times, it would cause a crack in the ceiling or there is simply not enough space to install it.
That’s where a freestanding heavy bag comes in.
It not only doesn’t need to be mounted but can easily be moved around and still give you similar results to a traditional heavy bag. It makes the perfect choice for your home gym.
With all that being said, I’ll go ahead and make a detailed review of the best free-standing punching bags money can buy.
- The 5 Best Free Standing Punching Bags Reviewed
- 1. Ringside Elite Standing Punching Bag
- 2. Century Wavemaster XXL
- 3. Century BOB Standing Punching Bag
- 4. Everlast Power Core Standing Heavy Bag
- 5. Century Versys Standing Punching Bag
- Setting Up Your Standing Punch Bag
- Filling Up The Base Of Your Freestanding Heavy Bag
The 5 Best Free Standing Punching Bags Reviewed
Here are my picks for the best standalone punching bags. The list comprises several heavy bag designs that can be used for full workouts, cardio, or even grappling.
1. Ringside Elite Standing Punching Bag
Our Verdict: Best Overall
If you shop for boxing or combat sports gear, then you must have come across Ringside products at a point. Ringside is no doubt a reputable brand, but their standalone heavy bag is the best I’ve seen from any brand.
The Ringside Elite has a very stable build that you will hardly find in other standing heavy bags. More specifically, its plastic base can be filled with up to 270 pounds of sand or water, which is strong enough to withstand the heavy strikes.
Many users, however, find it hard to fill it up with sand, so they opt for water, which works just as fine and easier.
The secret to its impressive stability is not just the heavy plastic base. The heavy bag itself has a spring-loaded core that makes it sway when hit, instead of the base sliding or tripping over.
The good thing is, the bag rebounds well and you won’t have to wait before you land your next strike.
Furthermore, the innovative spring design makes it suitable for Muay Thai or kickboxing, since it can withstand not only heavy punches but also powerful kicks.
Nevertheless, the bag will sway, but it rebounds quickly, which makes your training more realistic.
On another hand, the Ringside Elite has its foam covered in synthetic leather with a removable foam collar that controls the swaying movement. Also, the bag has a padded base for protection when you perform low kicks.
Although the bag is stiff to some extent, it isn’t as tough as a hanging heavy bag, but definitely is nothing like a pillow.
- Sturdy and stable build
- Innovative spring-loaded bag for better weight distribution
- Can be filled with around 270 pounds of either sand or water
- Firm shock-absorbing foam with a stiff vinyl shell
The Ringside Elite is the best free standing punching bag not just because of it’s stable but for its compatibility with users at all skill levels. Also, it stands at 6”4 with a very wide action area that works fine for boxing and Muay Thai to mention a few.
The only drawback is its price is on the high side, but you won’t find a worthy competitor at a lower price.
2. Century Wavemaster XXL
Our Verdict: Best for Boxing
The Century Wavemaster XXL comes in a close second place to the Ringside Elite standalone heavy bag. Like Ringside, Century is a reputable martial arts brand; in fact, one of the largest suppliers of martial arts gears in the world.
The company’s goal to make its customers learn the art of martial arts is right on track with the Wavemaster XXL.
It is stable and very unlikely to slide when hit as its base can hold up to 270 pounds of sand or water. With this feature, you can train as hard as you like, delivering your toughest blows.
However, because only the base absorbs the full force of a hit, it is easier to knock over compared to the Elite standing bag that has a spring-loaded bag. The spring makes the bag sway and distributes the force of a hit in the process.
This drawback makes it more suitable for boxing rather than MMA or kickboxing where you land the toughest kicks.
An interesting feature of the Wavemaster XXL is that it doesn’t require a tool to be assembled. Basically, you just place the punching bag in the base and screw it in place.
Plus, you can fill the base up without disassembling the whole thing, which is a big deal compared to the Elite standing bag.
Also, the bag is easy on the fists compared to a heavy bag, which is a good thing. But for some hardcore users, it might be a downside to it.
If a large punching area is your thing, the Wavemaster has the largest a full 18 inches diameter and stands at 5”7’.
- Requires no tool to assemble
- Durable double vinyl cover
- Has a large base opening to easily fill it with water or sand
- Very stable as a punching bag
- Available in three (3) color – black, blue and red
- Short height
The bottom line is, the Century Wavemaster XXL is a fantastic punching bag. It will withstand the hardest of punches without falling over, but the same can’t be said with powerful kicks.
In the end, it is well worth its price, and it makes the perfect alternative for the Elite standing punching bag if you find it too expensive.
3. Century BOB Standing Punching Bag
Our Verdict: Best for MMA and Precision Training
The Century BOB has a realistic design that easily stands from virtually every other standalone heavy bag in the market.
Instead of an ordinary leather-covered foam bag, the Century BOB has a half body mannequin with a vinyl cover. This feature allows you to practice connecting punches or hits to specific body parts with precision.
It is particularly a great buy for martial artists.
The BOB also has a large hard-plastic base that’s capable of hold up to 270 pounds of sand or water. The mannequin will surely sway but won’t topple over easily, which makes it even more realistic.
Despite its heavy load capacity, it’s pretty easy to move around after a workout, just like the #1 and #2 products, or any freestanding heavy bag at that. You only need to slide the base around rather than trying to lift it.
Furthermore, BOB, the half-bodied mannequin is well padded, so you can’t punch, elbow and kick your bones against plastic. It is made with high-density foam and covered in durable vinyl. Nevertheless, it is a firm, heavy bag, so you should wear good wraps or gloves to avoid bruising your knuckles.
One feature Century BOB has that you won’t find in our top products is its height adjustment. It is capable of switching between seven heights from 68 inches to 78 inches. Its highest point is way above other adjustable standing heavy bags and an inch taller than the Ringside Elite
- Half body form mannequin to train with precision
- Stable with over 270 pounds load capacity
- Has seven (7) height adjustment settings
- Max height of 78 inches
- Mannequin is large with a 30” X 22” X 12” size
- Poor quality control – Some users complain of screws at the back falling off
A little glitch with BOB is that many users have complained about the screws in the back falling off and the fact that they are flatheads. In many cases, they suggested the more expensive BOB XL as a better option.
The regular BOB only has an upper-body mannequin, but the BOB XL couples that with an upper leg and greater height adjustment.
Finally, the Century BOB is a good buy if you are looking for the best free standing heavy bag to train with precision.
4. Everlast Power Core Standing Heavy Bag
Our Verdict: Best Budget Buy
Everlast is the most popular brand in this review, but their Power Core standalone heavy bag is the most economical. It’s no surprise though, Everlast is known for making the best product quality at the lowest possible price.
The first thing the Power Core standing bag offers is solid stability. It uses an innovative Powercore Transfer Ring design to distribute hit impact and, ultimately, reduce the base sliding and falling over.
The base of the Power Core bag is large and can accommodate up to 250 lbs of water and 370 lbs of sand. This gives it comparable stability with more expensive standalone heavy bags.
Also, this standing punching bag has an adjustable neck that allows you to switch within 54” and 65” to make your workout complete. The only thing is, its max height of 65” is somewhat short, especially for taller users.
Despite its seemingly sturdy build, the neck of the bag makes it fragile as it can break from heavy impacts from your set of the best heavy bag gloves. If it helps to know, the manufacturer replaces it as soon as possible.
One other thing is its assembly. A few users have found it frustrating to line out all the bolts at the base and screw them down. Plus, some other users even complained that water leaks through the bolts if you fill the base up.
- Adjustable height (54”-65”)
- Good stability
- Heavy load capacity of over 300 lbs load capacity
- Air foam chamber makes hits feel realistic
- Easy to assemble
- Bolts are hard to screw down in some products
- Water leaks out from the top when filled to the brim
Without a doubt, the Everlast Power Core bag is a fantastic choice if you are looking for a lower-priced product with good quality. It is durable and stable enough to give you a taste of what the top products feel like till you upgrade to one of them.
5. Century Versys Standing Punching Bag
Our Verdict: Most Versatile
It is not made with a heavy load base that prevents the bag from sliding or falling over; rather, it is made to do all of that for an all-around practice. This kind of feature is what MMA fighters look for, to practice punching, kicking, grappling, and ground moves.
The Versys punching bag comes pre-filled with 100 lbs of sand and also doesn’t need any assembling. This means it is ready to take all the punishments as soon as it gets delivered.
To make it even more compatible and realistic, it has handles rounding its top that you can hold onto for grappling moves. Plus, handles at the bottom for dragging and other cardio or resistance workouts.
Like most quality free standing punching bags, it has a tough vinyl shell covering its foam. The foam is not so hard when hit, but is hard enough not to bend in the middle.
- Top and bottom handles for grappling and dragging workouts
- Pre-filled with 100 lbs of sand
- Easy or no assembly
- Durable vinyl cover
- The bag leans to a side rather than standing upright
If you get the Century Versys for the right reasons, you can rarely go wrong. Its price, plus highly-rated reviews, is proof that you are paying for a top-notch product.
Not to forget that the bag can also be used by pro fighters and not just beginners or hobbyists.
Setting Up Your Standing Punch Bag
All standing punching bags have two primary parts that are coupled together to make one piece. The parts usually include:
- A hard plastic base
- A neck holding your choice of the best heavy bag
The only difference is that each manufacturer adopts different ways to assemble these parts. Luckily, these types of punching bags are relatively easy to put together, unlike with speed bag platforms which require more components.
Some manufacturers use bolts to screw the neck firmly into the plastic base. On another hand, some are locked in place by simply turning the neck in the base, like tightening a lid or jar.
Filling Up The Base Of Your Freestanding Heavy Bag
The main thing keeping your standing heavy bag from falling is the material used to fill up its plastic base. Most manufacturers will specify that you fill the base with sand or water, but some people also use gravel or rock.
How are they really different, you wonder?
I’ll get to that now.
Water is the most used material for filling the plastic base because of how easy it is to find, fill, and empty. To fill the base, you can just connect a water hose into the opening of the base till it’s full and tip it over to empty the base.
If you are a beginner or intermediate athlete, using water as your go-to material should suffice. But for athletes with a big punch and looking to punish the heavy bag, water might not be heavy enough to keep it stable.
- Cheap and easy to find
- It’s very easy to fill and empty
- It can become stale or contaminated if left unchanged for a long time
- It is more likely to leak
Sand is a heavier material than water, so it is mostly used when the base is not stable enough with water as the fill material.
However, sand is harder to find and fil. If you don’t have sand in your home, you have to buy a couple of sandbags for a few extra bucks at your local supply store.
Also, sand is harder to fill since you have to pour it into the base using a funnel with brute force.
Regardless, it makes the standing bag more rigid and less likely to slide or fall over compared to water.
- It gives better stability than water
- Less likely to leak compared to water
- It can be stressful and expensive to get
Rock or Gravel
Some folks have improvised using a new fill material – gravel or rock.
Although no manufacturer will tell you to use rock as a fill material, it works. Even female athletes wearing women’s boxing gloves will not have a hard time with a rock-filled standing heavy bag.
In any case, using rocks guarantees that there will be no leakage in the base because they are large. Also, it is the heaviest of three materials, so you can rest assured you will get “rock-solid” stability.
As a side plus, the sound of the rocks rattling can add a pleasant spin to your workouts.
However, rock is also the hardest material to fill because it doesn’t flow as well as gravel and sand. Plus, large chunks of rock might not fit through the opening of the base, so you will have to find smaller rocks, like pea gravel.
Lastly, it is the most expensive material. Nevertheless, you will get a stable standing bag, which is your ultimate goal.
- Gives the most solid stability
- No leakages
- Makes a pleasant rattling sound when the bag takes a hit
- Hard to fill
If you got used to your boxing training with a speed bag, these two are greatly different from each other, but both have a great impact on your routine.
And so, before we wrap this thing up, here’s a cool video of a quick workout on a free-standing punch bag:
Standing heavy bags are your best choice if you have no space in your home, or a strong enough ceiling to mount a heavy bag.
To save you the stress of finding the best free standing punching bag for your home, I’ve compiled this versatile top 5 list.
In the end, I’ve chosen the Ringside Elite Standing Punching Bag as my top pick. It offers unrivaled stability with its spring-loaded core.
Its durability, coupled with its 6’4 height, makes it suitable for all users, regardless of your height or skill level.