If you’re looking to train those fists of fury at home, then it might be wise to include freestanding punching bags in your equipment arsenal. While some consider just having a hanging bag, a freestanding bag can be convenient in some ways. For starters, some people won’t have a viable place to put a hanging bag. Additionally, you can move around a freestanding bag with much more ease.
So, if you’ve decided that those benefits are for you, the next job is to select which brand and model to get. That’s where you might run into some dilemmas. To help you decide what might be the best option for you, we’ve compiled a list of our top choices. In this article, we’ll discuss the essentials of what makes a great punching bag, and what follow those criteria. You’ll also learn how to set them up properly.
At the end of the article, we’ll explain our ranking system and answer some frequently asked questions when getting a freestanding punching bag. Our goal is to make you an informed buyer and satisfied customer in no time.
Editor’s Choice Product: The Ringside Elite
Want to know which punching bag was our top pick? Check it out below…
Why is it the best?
- Pricing and quality offer the best bang for the buck
- Complete length
- Wide area to hit
- Base and construction are very stable
- Won’t budge, no matter how hard you punch or kick
- High durability, guaranteed to last long
We’ve carefully selected and reviewed 10 of the best freestanding punching bags you can get. Read on for our broad list ranked from 1 to 10:
1. Ringside Elite
We’ve included this Ringside Elite punching bag because of how hard it is to knock over. Although most punching bags can hold up against standard punches, the Ringside Elite is our pick for punching bags that will remain standing.
A combination of a punching bag and reflex bag, the Ringside Elite accommodates a spring-load so that it can absorb the shock and spring back quickly. This way, you can also practice your speed.
This freestanding bag is also the biggest on the market. It’s a whole 6’4” and can reach a weight of 270lb when adequately filled.
The bag is made from synthetic leather of decent quality. It’s packed with a dense foam that can easily take your punches. You can also attach the included foam pad to the base in case you want another layer to it.
The only drawbacks to this punching bag are the squeaky springs and small base hole. These do add a little nuisance and make a mess when filling up the base, but we can easily overlook all these minor flaws for the Ringside Elite’s overall quality.
We recommend this freestanding bag if your punches pack well, and you want to practice your timing. You’d be hard-pressed to find a sturdier bag to withstand your hits.
- Tough vinyl shell
- Removable collar to adjust movement
- Base pad protects kicks
- Base tank accommodates up to 270 lbs of sand
- Great price and quality ratio
- Tough and long-lasting
- Large and heavy
- The base can be filled with sand or water
- Right size for large fighters
- Hard to topple over
- Uses quality materials
- Difficult to move around
- Squeaky springs
- The hole in the base is small
- The initial setup might be challenging
2. Everlast Omniflex
What we appreciate most about the Everlast Omniflex is its price, but the quality is still more than satisfactory. This well-made freestanding punching bag goes for below $150, which is an excellent price for a punching bag.
This bag has a height system that allows you to adjust it manually. If you want to practice upper strikes, you can move it up. If you’re going lower, simply adjust it down. Keep in mind that since this is done manually, you have to pause in the middle of your rhythm to adjust it.
At its tallest, the Everlast Omniflex reaches around 5’7”. When filled at the base with water or sand, it comes to about 130 lb, which will afford you some great punches.
We highly appreciate the quality materials of this bag. It’s made with a highly tear-resistant durable Nevatear material on the outside and shock-absorbing foam on the inside. Overall, it’s built to last.
Another useful quality about the Omniflex is how little space it takes up. If you live in an apartment and need to save on space, you will benefit from the Omniflex. If you have a larger living situation, you could still appreciate how easily you can move and roll around the Omniflex to your chosen location.
You should note, however, that the Everlast isn’t the most adept at taking hard and experienced punches. Because it has a relatively slim design, it can topple over more quickly than others on this list. We would recommend this more for beginners who need a budget-friendly start. Otherwise, you would want something more heavy-duty, even though it will be an investment.
If you need more information about the Omniflex, feel free to read our full review.
- Durable synthetic outer shell
- Low-profile plastic base
- Base pad protects kicks
- Weighs up to 130 lbs
- Adjustable height up to 67”
- Omniflex neck absorbs hits well
- Made from durable materials
- Affordable and great for when on a budget
- Mobile and takes up little space
- Great for beginners
- The outer lining is tear-resistant
- Design won’t turn heads
- Quality could be better
- The height needs manual adjustment
3. Maxx MMA Cobra Reflex Bag
If you don’t know what a reflex bag is, it’s a punching bag with a secure spring load. This way, it can bounce back well to help you train your reflexes.
This Max MMA Cobra is the first reflex bag you will find on our list. Its significant traits are the well-designed spring load and the noticeably small bag.
The reflex bag is designed so that the spring load, halfway through the stand, can get the bag springing back very fast while remaining very stable. Because the bag does bounce back fast, we recommend the Max MMA Cobra for intermediates and experts rather than for beginners.
Of course, if you’re a beginner who is up to the challenge, you can go for this bag and test how well you can work with it.
Another characteristic of the Max MMA Cobra is that it comes with its weight. This element is an extra bag that weighs down the base and can be attached to the ground. This way, despite the fast rebounds, the stand won’t move around or fall over.
The size of the Max MMA Cobra is also especially perfect for small living quarters. It’s compact size, and fast spring load will help you work up your fighting speed in the comfort of your home.
- Adjustable height of 52” – 65”
- Steel rod construction
- Comes with two different bag sizes
- PU leather bags
- Can be filled up to 55 lbs of sand
- Incredible rebound speed
- Adjustable height
- Easy to set up
- Might not be heavy enough
- Quality is average
4. Ringside Fitness Punching Bag
If you prefer a punching bag that can work your cardio and endurance, this Ringside Fitness Punching Bag could be your best option. As a freestanding punching bag, it’s not mainly built to take hard hits. Instead, it’s best for a consistent, long series of strikes that work up your heart rate and get you sweating.
Being made by Ringside as well, this Fitness Punching Bag does look similar to the Elite. But the Fitness bag has different features that make it more ideal for fitness training. The greatest obvious difference is its height. While the Ringside Elite is very tall and broad, this Fitness bag comes up to 10 inches lower.
The base is also different. Instead of a wide diameter, the Fitness bag features a smaller plate that can only be filled to around 140lb of water or sand. Unfortunately, like the Ringside Elite, the hole in the base is quite small and can be inconvenient. You may consider using a funnel.
The bag itself is very well-padded. The outermost layer is a high-quality vinyl that is built to last through punches and resist tears. Beneath the plastic is a thick lining of dense foam for absorbing your blows.
So, if you’re more a fitness buff than one looking to work on punches, we highly recommend the Century Fitness Bag. It’s on the more budget-friendly side too!
- Durable vinyl shell
- Extra dense foam lining
- Base pad for kick protection
- The tank can hold up to 240 lbs of sand
- Removable foam collar
- Comes up to 5’6” in height
- Suitable for an aerobic and cardio workout
- Easy to set up
- More affordable than others
- The base hole may be too small
- Not the best for hard punches
5. Century BOB XL
We’ve chosen the BOB XL, or Body Opponent Bag XL because we appreciate its realism. The BOB XL is essentially a freestanding dummy for punching practice. With its anatomical design, you can practice striking different and specific body parts. Because of this, the BOB XL is an ordinary bag in gyms everywhere.
Like some others on this list, the BOB XL uses a massive plastic base that can be weighted with sand or water. When filled, it can also reach around 270 lb. The dummy bag remains quite stable, thanks to this.
The dummy uses urethane foam that is durable, resistant to tearing, and has a long enough lifespan. The urethane foam makes the bag quite firm, so we advise you to wrap your hands or put on gloves for this one.
One thing that makes the Century BOB incredibly reliable is that it has a low center of gravity. Thanks to this, it usually will not fall over, given that you’ll likely be striking higher. From our personal experience, we appreciate how stable a freestanding bag it is. It either takes a well-aimed hit or a remarkably forceful punch to knock the bag over.
The BOB comes in two sizes: regular and XL. The regular version is a bit more affordable but only includes an upper torso. The XL version, on the other hand, comes with a full body to the upper legs.
The BOB is especially famous for those into martial arts and self-defense. The anatomical style helps you identify specific areas to strike, and it’s tough to knock over.
- Lifelike upper torso body bag
- Adjustable height up to 80 inches
- Strong plastisol body with urethane foam
- The base holds up to 270 lbs of sand or water
- Lets you practice hits on realistic body parts
- Great training for self-defense
- Excellent quality and durable material
- Has two sizes
- Will stay upright well
- Useful for striking body or head
- Prone to slippage from heavy use
6. Ringside Fitness Reflex Bag
The second Reflex Bag on our list is the Ringside Fitness Reflex Bag. A frontrunner in the punching bag game, we appreciate the reflex bag that Ringside has made.
Compared to the Cobra reflex bag, the Ringside bag has a slower rebound thanks to the location of the spring load, which is closer to the bottom instead of halfway up. Thanks to this, we believe the Ringside Reflex Bag is more appropriate for beginners.
The reflex bag is coated in an easy-to-clean synthetic leather. Like plenty of the other bags on this list, its base can be further weighed down by sand or water.
The height of the Ringside Reflex Bag is manually adjustable, going from 4” 1 to 5’9”. This convenient feature allows for different striking heights or even multiple user preferences.
Another beautiful thing we appreciate is this bag’s affordability. Overall, if you’re looking for a reflex bag for beginners, this model delivers excellent value for money.
- Durable synthetic leather
- Adjustable height up to 49” – 69”
- The base tank can be filled up to 240 lbs of sand
- Chrome spring
- A cheap option that does the job
- Useful for developing timing and accuracy
- Not as durable as other options
7. Century Aerobic Cardio Wavemaster
Instead of being built to absorb your hardest punches, the Cardio Wavemaster is better for your cardio and fitness training.
This bag is a smaller, lighter version of the Century Wavemaster. This bag comes up to a lower height. The bag itself is around 10″ in diameter and 40″ in length. It is attached to a smaller base of approximately 22″ in diameter. This base can only be filled to around 170 lb of sand or water. Mainly due to the lightness of the bottom, this Cardio Wavemaster can be toppled over if you strike too hard and picking up the bag every so often will break your workout. Instead, use it to train your endurance.
This bag is well-built with a dense foam that absorbs your punches, given that they’re not too heavy. The foam also helps distribute the force you deliver. Even then, we recommend that you practice with wraps or gloves to avoid hurting yourself.
If you want a visual design that matches your preference, you have a few options: red, blue, and black. Each of them comes with the signature Century design.
If you’re interested in getting a beginner cardio punching bag, it comes highly recommended. But if you want something to train your hits with, you might want to look elsewhere on the list.
- Light but durable
- Small and portable
- Can be filled up to 170 lb
- Engages cardio and endurances
- Adjustable height from 47” – 68”
- High-density foam
- Used for practicing precision strikes
- Perfect for enthusiasts and young users
- Uses high-quality materials
- Doesn’t take up too much space
- Convenient to move around
- Not suited for heavy use or martial arts
- Filling up base may be challenging
8. Century Versys
For those MMA fighters out there, our most recommended punching bag for you is the Century Versys Fight Simulator. What’s unique about this punching bag is its design allowing you to practice both low and high strikes. You can hit the bag from the ground and transition going up. While other martial art styles can use this bag, it’s most specialized for MMA fighters.
Considering how this bag can fall over relatively quickly, we recommend this almost solely for MMA fighters. MMA is one of the rare fighting styles that can take advantage of a fallen punching bag. Unfortunately, most others would require a standing opponent.
The bag comes with top handles which you can use for grasping the bag in place and striking. This is especially useful for those knee strikes. The bag itself has a significant surface area, which helps practice attacks at different heights and areas.
Unlike the others, this bag doesn’t need to be filled with sand or water at its base. It’s around 100 lb, and while it sounds light, it is designed to topple over.
This Versys Fight Simulator is a wonderful bag in its versatility. It works great for MMA fighters, especially with all the aspects we mentioned earlier. Feel free to read more about this punching bag.
- Durable vinyl construction
- Ideal for aerobic, endurance, and speed training
- Fight simulator for MMA
- Pre-filled base
- Great natural rebound feedback
- Practice all kinds of martial arts moves
- Base weighs up to 100 lbs with sand
- Perfect to practice martial art techniques
- Satisfying feedback for realistic simulation
- Feels very high quality
- Mobile and easy to move around
- Has handles
- Not a replacement for heavy bags
- Mostly specialized towards MMA
- Easy to topple over
9. Century Wavemaster XXL
The Century Wavemaster XXL is an excellent alternative to the Ringside Elite. It falls a bit lower than the Ringside Elite at a comfortable 5’9″ and can take a good hit. Despite standing at a shorter height, it can reach a similar 270 pounds when its 18-inch base is filled with sand or water. The support itself is strong, too, built wide with solid plastic.
The height of the Century Wavemaster allows you to strike the bag at different height levels. You can range your attacks from high to low to take advantage of the full range this bag provides. While other bags will need manual height adjustments for you to practice your strikes, this bag requires no such effort. We highly appreciate this feature.
However, this bag can be knocked over, mainly caused by the lack of a spring load. So instead of it springing back after a hard hit, it can end up on the ground. If you’re a larger person or a particularly hard puncher, do keep this in mind.
We find the material of the bag to be of good quality. It uses a thick vinyl lining wrapped around very dense foam made to absorb your force.
Since the base is round, you will have an easier time moving this than the Ringside Elite. You can roll it, even when partially filled. You can also choose among a few colors such as red, blue, and black.
In most aspects, the Wavemaster is quite similar to the Ringside Elite. The main differences are the mobility of the bag and how hard it is to knock it down. As we mentioned, the Wavemaster is much easier to move around, albeit easier to knock over. If practicing strength and force is your priority, we recommend you get the Ringside Elite.
Still, we find the Wavemaster XXL to be a great bag, second only to the Ringside Elite. You have a lot of range to practice here and flexibility with moving it around. This bag will not disappoint.
- Durable vinyl cover
- Low-profile base
- Stable weight distribution
- Large surface area
- Built for heavy use
- 69” in height and 18” in diameter
- The tank can fill up to 270 lbs of sand
- Lots of areas to practice your strikes on
- Sturdy and durable
- Can be moved around more easily
- Might be too expensive for some
- Takes up a lot of space
- The pro option is better
- Doesn’t have spring load
- Can be knocked over if hit too hard
10. Century Wavemaster 2XL Pro
You might end up confusing the Century 2XL Pro and its cousin, the Century Wavemaster XXL. While the two have similarities, the 2XL Pro has certain features that we appreciate a lot. These features combined make the 2XL Pro a perfect punching bag for boxing practice, in our opinion.
This bag uses a lock nut at its top, a small innovation that allows the bag to remain securely attached to the base. Bags tend to loosen at the bottom, especially after long years of use, and if you hit hard. This Century model does an excellent job of addressing that problem. You won’t have issues with loose attachment to this bag.
The Wavemaster 2XL Pro is made with exceptional materials, such as extra layers of very dense foam padding. These do a great job of absorbing punches, even better than Century’s other models. This bag stays upright incredibly well, too. It comes up to the heavyweight of 270 lb when filled with sand or water at the tapered base.
This 2XL Pro also has a fantastic visual appeal. It comes with different color options, which are blue, red, and black.
The only drawback a customer would see is this bag’s price. It’s the priciest on this list. For that, we wouldn’t say it has excellent value for money. Other punching bags here can give you a satisfactory experience for much less.
Still, if you’re not concerned about saving money, this Wavemaster 2XL Pro is a fantastic option.
- Thickest padded Wavemaster
- Maximum impact absorption
- 67” in height and 18” diameter
- Large surface area
- Has a tapered base
- The tank can fill up to 270 lbs of water
- Best for boxing
- Has a locknut on top
- Large target to practice on
- Extremely durable
- Has great visual appeal
- Built to withstand massive abuse
- Not the best value for money
How We Ranked
We ranked this list according to several criteria, but the most prominent was value for money. Our list indeed contains a great variety of bags. Some are different types made for various purposes. They vary from heavy bags to dummy bags, to reflex bags, to fitness bags.
Each of them is an excellent quality in their own right, but our lowest-ranked model is something we find a bit more expensive than its competition on the market.
Still, there is no denying the quality of each of these bags. While these bags are ranked 1 to 10, remember that these are ten models out of dozens on the market. In the end, it still comes down to your expectations and preference.
Who Should Purchase these Punching Bags?
People will have all kinds of reasons for buying a freestanding punching bag. The question is, what’s yours?
If you’re a beginner or aspiring enthusiast looking to get into fitness, then punching bags are a reliable way to work your cardio and muscles. Using punching bags could be your gateway to learning more advanced techniques too.
If you already have an intermediate or higher skill level in martial arts, boxing, or other combat sports, it’s likely you already have a punching bag–but is it a freestanding one? If you only have a hanging bag right now, a freestanding bag will offer more versatility. If you want the flexibility and features of a freestanding bag, then you should get one! It’ll help spice up your training regimen.
Children and teens might also benefit from having a freestanding punching bag. It offers a great workout, and it’s more fun than most kinds of exercises too. Then, get them interested in actual lessons.
If you’re looking to become a professional athlete, or already are one, a personal freestanding bag will be invaluable to your training equipment.
No matter the reason, a punching bag at home will certainly offer a lot of health, workout, and entertainment benefits. Just make sure you learn proper technique if you haven’t yet!
Check also: Best Head Gear For Boxing And MMA Reviewed
How Do I Pick an Excellent Bag?
Watch out for these characteristics when looking for a new punching bag:
Make and Material
A good punching bag has to be made with durable material. While we favor real leather most, it’s not always the most available. Some good alternatives are durable vinyl paired with foam that absorbs force well. Some poorly made bags use lower quality foam that lumps and tears quickly.
Height and Weight
Since freestanding bags can be knocked over (whereas hanging bags can’t), you need to find one that’s large enough and heavy enough to take your punches. While big bags generally take a more potent punch, they’re not always available or small enough for your apartment. If this is the case, make sure to weigh your smaller bag with a broad base filled with water or sand.
If you do need to fill the base, make sure to do so once it’s settled where you want it. Otherwise, it might be too heavy for you to move around!
Design and Model
Each model is designed with a purpose in mind. Whether it’s for general cardio or improving your strikes, there are many variations. While you’re searching for a new bag, consider what you want to improve. Is it leg strikes? Punches? Grappling? Bags that cater to these purposes are all designed differently, so choose carefully. If you want to see some choices, we have different types of bag designs on this list.
Although more expensive usually means higher quality, you can find decent bags that will fit your budget. We’ve included bags of different price ranges, so we hope you find one that’s affordable.
Check also: Best Boxing Gloves To Use For Cardio Kickboxing
Benefits of a Freestanding Punching Bag for your Training
There are plenty of pros to using a freestanding punching bag over a hanging one. The primary benefit is that you will not need to mount or hang it, which is convenient for the user. Because it doesn’t need extra mounts, you can pretty much use your punching bag anywhere. It’s also much easier to put away and keep.
Punching Bags: Freestanding vs. Hanging
While both kinds of punching bags have pros and cons, we’ll compare them to help you figure out which might be best for you.
Compared to hanging punching bags, freestanding bags need less space to use. While a hanging bag needs area around it because it swings back, a freestanding bag does not. Freestanding bags also don’t need new beams or installments just to support it. It supports itself. If you want a space-saver, the freestanding bag does precisely that.
Range of Models & Brands
The most popular brand of punching bags is currently Century. They have great bags of signature quality, but there aren’t many alternatives, especially among freestanding bags. But since hanging bags are the classic type, you’ll find many different types of hanging bags. Among these are maize bags, uppercut bags, etc.
Hanging bags can take a harder punch from you because it doesn’t risk falling over. Even though freestanding bags can still take a punch, especially when weighted well, you could still knock it over.
Due to this, we see freestanding bags as an excellent way to practice your technique and cardio instead of your punching power. It’s still worth getting if you lack the space for a hanging bag. If you are larger than average, you should look into a self-standing bag that is larger as well. That way, it can match your height and punch. You can tell the freestanding bag will hold up well if the base is broad and dense.
Your freestanding bags may be set up anywhere. As long as you are willing to re-establish the base when you need to move it around, then you are good to go. You also have the option to put it away if you need more space, then a freestanding bag will also give you this convenience.
There is no need for a bracket to mount your freestanding bag compared to a hanging one. Not everyone has a beam from where you can hang a heavy bag comfortably and securely.
What are the best brands for punching bags?
The best brands are Everlast, Ringside and Century. Everlast has products that cater to both the lower end and the higher end market, but everything is of the highest quality. Ringside is also favored by athletes, especially MMA fighters and boxers.
What are various bag types available?
There are several types of heavy bags such as the Punch and Kick Bags, Fitness Bags, Punch and Grapple (Hybrid) and the Reflex Bag.
How do I prepare my bag?
Before putting sand or water in the base, ensure that the bag is where you want it. Once you use sand, it’ll be hard and messier to get it out, and relocating the bag will be harder.
What gear should I wear when using the punching bag?
To avoid injuries when using heavy bags, especially if you’re a beginner, you should use a well-padded pair of punching gloves. The lighter and smaller punching bags can be struck with your bare hands, as long as you know what you’re doing!
We’ve provided you with ten excellent freestanding punching bag options, all of which cater to a range of budget, features, and quality expectations. You’re now more aware of the essential criteria to consider when choosing a bag. Before making your purchase, ensure that the punching bag fulfills what you need from it.
Are you going to use it for substantial practice? Is it more for a cardio workout? How heavy do you need it to be? These questions and more will be useful to keep in mind. What is your skill level too? If you’re just a beginner or looking to get one for a hobby, it might be useful to start with more budget-friendly options. This way, you don’t spend too much while beginning your journey to fitness.
But if you know what you’re doing and need a bag that can keep up with your advanced level, then it’s worthwhile to invest in a more expensive option! After all, your money will not go to waste because every product on our list is highly recommended due to their superior quality.
Whatever your reasons are, we hope you’re able to make a better decision now. So, what’s next? Pick the bag that’s perfect for you, so you can start training right away!