Workouts & Exercises

Best Free Standing Heavy Bags of 2023 – My Personal Top Picks Reviewed

For the longest time, I bought into the idea that punching bags ought to be hung. Anything that stands cannot be an effective punch bag. They tip over. They dance all over the place. They are designed for kids and teens.

I currently live in rental apartments. But I couldn’t fathom a day without throwing some mean punches and low kicks on a bag. Soon, moving homes turned into an ordeal because no rental would allow me to drill holes and hang a heavyset bag.

Then one day, I saw the Wavemaster in action in an MMA club in NJ and I thought, ‘Wait. That doesn’t look so bad’. An MMA fighter, all 192 lbs. and 6’4″ of him was going at the bag like it was his boss.

The bag didn’t flinch. I watched this unfurl from a distance, thinking what a fool I was for believing that standing punching bags are flimsy, trippy, waste.

That evening, I sold my old clunker Everlast Punch bag on Craigslist (RIP), and started my quest for the best standing punching bags.

I wanted to find out not only what the best were but also mainly what were the bang for buck options and what was each model best suited for.

This was 3-years ago. Since then, I have got my hands on most punching bags of the standing variety and I am never going back to a hanging heavy bagEver. Again.

Now that I know standing heavy bags are able to take the abuse I want to throw at them, I will never be found drilling holes in my wall, ceiling, or wasting money and home space on a punching heavy bag stand. I left that to commercial gyms and those looking to install heavy bags and wall bags.

If you too, have been looking at bags that allow you to punch freely without dealing with holes and drills and whatnot, then you are at the right place.

I have listed my top picks for the best standing punching bags here and considering that I am not Bruce Wayne, I have listed the ones that are affordable and give you the most bang for your buck.

Quick Summary of My Top Picks

Before we jump into the meatier bits, here are my top picks for any punching bag workout.

#1 – Wavemaster XXL

This is the One that I Bought for Myself

The Wavemaster XXL is one of my favorite standing punching bags

After a lot of trial and error, I finally bought the Wavemaster XXL for myself. Here’s why.

  • Highly Rated with tons of Reviews – ** I want you to just take a look at the insane amount of customer ratings and reviews here. Case closed.**
  • It’s built to outlast you. Not kidding! I have been throwing punches, high and low kicks on this for about 2.5-years now. Damn thing still looks new. 
  • Affordable – Complete value for every dime you spend on it
  • Covered by a high-density foam layer that’s gentle on your knuckles
  • This DOES NOT tip over folks.

As i said, I’ve been throwing the abuse at this standing heavy bag for years now. It’s seen outdoor weather of all sorts, and sweaty home gym fueled workouts for hours on end. It is the best bang for buck, indoor, outdoor, or for me garage punching bag you can buy.

There is a new bag from Wavemaster, the 2XL Pro. But to be honest between the 2XL Pro and the XXL, I would pick the XXL, it just suites me better, and I’ve seen it in several other home gyms too.

You can check out the exact model that I got on amazon by clicking here.

#2 – Century Original

Top Pick for Women and Beginner Fighters

The Century Original is small and easy enough for women and beginners

The Century Original is a classic that needs no tweaking. It’s remained unchanged since it was first launched years ago. It still works like a charm in the face of higher-priced competition.

  • Sturdy and lightweight bag
  • Can be adjusted according to your height. There are 7 preset height adjustment settings to choose from
  • High density foam core coated with vinyl. It’s as tough as they come
  • A very lifelike surface for punches. You won’t feel like you are punching an artificial surface at all.

#3 – Ringside Versys – Best For MMA Fighters

The Ringside Versys standing bag has handles that help with fight simulation

The Ringside Versys is not just a punching bag. It’s a fight simulator which makes it a favorite with MMA and Jijitsu fighters.

  • Versatile choice for grapples and groundwork
  • Perfect for tiny basements and apartments
  • Cost effective option for fighters on a tight budget

#4 – Ringside Cobra – Best Reflex Bag

Ringside Cobra is the go-to punching bag for eye-hand co-ordination and speed

The Ringside Cobra is a reflex bag that helps you develop hand eye co-ordination and speed.

  • Comes with two different sized bags. A big one for accuracy and a smaller one for speed drills
  • Easy to adjust tension to control the sway than with most other bags
  • Stainless steel core rod connected to a 55 lbs. base. Stays in place.

Types of Standing Punching bags – Yes, There are 3 Variations

Standing Punching bags come in different types

When I started my research, I had no idea that there were different types of standing punching bags. I always thought that there’s just one variety, which is the Wavemaster XXL, a heavy bag.

Turned out, I was wrong. There are three types of standing punching bags. Here’s a look.

Free standing Heavy Bags

Free standing Heavy Bags are the closest type that looks much like a heavy bag

The free standing punch bag is the equivalent of heavy bags and as such, are best suited for heavy bag workouts. Some of the best free standing punching bags on the market feature a high density inner foam layer with a sturdy fabric or durable vinyl cover.

The low profile base is hollow and can be filled with water or sand. The only downside is the lack of height adjustment really. The height is generally fixed and ranges from about 6 feet to 8 feet depending on the model.

The weight can range from 100 pounds up to even 300 lbs depending on the which model you choose.

I have to say though, 300lb punching bags are not for the faint of heart. You best be one big human with one big set of heavy bag gloves.

Some models require you to screw together the top and bottom sections of the bag while others come pre-assembled.

Reflex Bags

For speed, agility and fast hand-eye coordination the Reflex punching bag is the best choice

The other bags you can train on are reflex bags, which, despite having smaller striking areas, still pack lots of cool perks.

Reflex Bags are designed for speed and agility drills as well as footwork. These bags have more sway than traditional punching bags thanks to the rapid rebound spring feature with enough resistance to withstand intense boxing punching and kicking training sessions.

So, you can use them for shadow boxing, pivot and move, muay thai, mma training as well as other drills that demand a moving target.

Most of them feature an adjustable tension setting, allowing you to alter the speed at which the bag rebounds back at you. This makes them an ideal choice for those who are new to boxing punching and speed bag training sessions. Seasoned boxers can also benefit from these, or train on other options that are purpose built for advanced trainers.

Hybrid Standing Bags – like the VersysFight Simulator

Hybrid Standing Bags are solid but still give you fight simulator function

Hybrid bags offer the best of both worlds. They have a stable base, so you can use them for power training. But they also have some natural sway, which makes them ideal for speed drills as well, without having to worry about knocking the bag over.

That said, these bags may not work for pure heavy bag training. They are better suited for more specialized applications.

The Versys bag for instance, comes with handles and straps that allow a fighter to simulate the grips and groundwork training that would otherwise require the assistance of a sparring partner.

Best Free Standing Heavy Bags – My Top Bang-4-Buck Picks

Let’s start with my favorite type of standing bag, the heavy bag. Heavy bag training is non-discountable, if you are serious about developing strength.

As a recreational fighter who’s very keen about developing real-world self-defense techniques, I have always emphasized on consistency with the heavy bag.

Not letting even a nomadic lifestyle get in the way. Okay, enough chest thumping. Let’s talk free standing heavy bags.

#1 – Wavemaster XXL

The Bag I Own & Have Abused for 2.5 Years

It's large, and has one of the best striking surfaces, the Wavemaster XXL is worth every single penny

Century Wavemaster XXL Review

The This bad mamah jamma here is an extra-large martial arts heavy bag with the highest-quality striking surface that I’ve come across in free standing bags.

I’ve owned this bad boy for over 5 years and during the course of this, I have thrown the kitchen sink at it. At times, I have left it outdoors where rains have battered it. A heavy bag on the other hand would’ve required me to get a suitable stand for outdoor activity, which would have increased the cost.

But it stands tall and keeps taking whatever I and Mother Nature throw at it.

What I like about it

The Wavemaster XXL's height and width are great especially for the tall folks

The Wavemaster XXL stands 69 inches tall and has 18 inch diameter. Both, the height and the width are perfect for a tall athlete like me.

Its outer layer consists of a hand sewn 2mm thick PU durable vinyl shell with tear resistant construction. The seams have to be stitched with some kind of steel cable. There’s no way fabric can sustain this kind of abuse and not rip.

The outer lining is water resistant nylon while the inner core is high-density foam. It provides great feedback upon contact with an appropriate amount of give needed during high-impact workouts.

The round base holds 33 gallons of water which makes it very stable and sturdy. Whether you are doing boxing or kickboxing training, low kicks or high kicks (aka head kicks), this bag does not tip over. Period.

Although you can easily fill it with water or sand, I recommend filling with sand. You can find sand bags to fill it with for dirt cheap on amazon here.

My personal experience with it

Besides the height and length and right construction the Wavemaster XXL is also built to last

As I mentioned, the Wavemaster XXL is the first free standing punching bag that I ever witnessed being used by a professional fighter. So I instantly gravitated towards it. Not that I am complaining. It’s been a treat to use.

It has held up to the test of time and still looks as good as new despite being used five to six days a week. I have punched, kicked, kneed and elbowed this bad boy from all possible angles. Barring once, where the LVP floor was slippery, it has never tipped over or moved around.

The feedback upon contact is top notch. But it’s reasonably quiet, which means you don’t have a pesky neighbor breathing down on your neck, even if you are throwing some punches pretty late.

What I recommend it for 

If space isn't a problem for you, then a bag with such a large surface is worth it

If you have a sufficient amount of space available in your house, this is the best punching bag to consider. It’s a beast that offers plenty of striking area, tough outer cover, and can take a beating from stronger people, including MMA fighters weighing 200 plus lbs.

#2 – Century BOB XL

Best for Real World Training Simulation

Century BOB XL is my second favorite choice for good reasons

Century Bob XL Review

The BOB or the body opponent bag is my second-favorite heavy bag. I bought this two years after I bought the XXL, purely for the more lifelike training experience.

This body opponent bag is as good for ground training as it is for punching drills.It is a solid choice for great workout like those muay thai takedown moves.

This one, like the Wavemaster and the regular bob, has an insane amount of positive ratings and customer reviews on amazon. I want you to first take a look here and just see what I am talking about.

It’s a humanoid shaped bag, in case you are wondering. But that’s not the sole reason why I love this heavy bag.

What I like about it

If you want to practice for precision, then this Century BOB XL is the punching bag for you

The Century BOB XL is ideal for practicing your precision strikes. It even has a scowl that will make you want to gouge its eye out. Also great for slaps and direct hooks as well as throat punches.

With seven height adjustments between 60″ and 78″, you can train both upper and lower body drills making adjustments on-the-fly.

The Bob comes with high quality materials and key features like Century’s high-strength plastisol core with a urethane foam surface. The result is a great bag with a very realistic surface. The contact feels great, with the right amount of give – just what you’d ask for from such a solid and extremely durable bag.

The Bob has a sturdy base and a spring loaded core that gives a slight natural swing to it and still manage to stand up strong. But it’s not wild and unpredictable, it’s just enough to take those muay thai blows as a real life fighter would. That round base weighs 270 lbs. when filled for superior stability. There’s no way you are getting it to tip over even with high kicks.

My personal experience with it

The Century BOB XL is as solid as a tank yet easy on your knuckles

Well, where do I begin? Every time I throw a punch on the BOB, it feels like I punched my boss. It’s pleasurable. The urethane foam absorbs the impact force and evenly distributes it across the surface.

I even use the BOB for grapples sometimes, even though I cannot actually topple it over. I also like the fact that it stands 6’6 at full size, which means I can practice my roundhouses and smack it square on the jaw.

If only I could eliminate that scowl.

What I recommend it for

This bag is a solid option for both Krav-Maga and self defense training

The CENTURY BOB XL is my go-to body opponent bag for drills that take an opponent. It’s as good as an opponent that will take all the punches ,elbows and low kicks you throw at him. I have started to use it for my Krav Maga drills and it’s been a lifesaver.

#3 –Century Versys Fight Simulator

Best Option for MMA Fighters

Century Versys Fight Simulator is a versatile punching bag for a variety of workouts

Century Versys Fight Simulator Review

The Century Versys Fight Simulator is one of the most versatile body opponent bags you’ll ever come across. At first glance, it looks like any conventional heavy bag, minus the heavy base that’s common across these bags.

But look again and you’ll notice the straps. These are handles that double up as grips allowing you to practice takedowns and grapples. At the same time, the Versys is capacious and can be used for more conventional drills too.

What I like about it

The good thing about this bag is that you can fill the base with enough wait to keep it from toppling

The Versysfight simulator sandbag comes pre filled and weighs around 110 lbs. If you hate messing around with water or sand and filling heavy bag bases, then this alone will quip your interest.

I also like the fact that there are straps both on top, as well as on the bottom. I sometimes secure my feet in the lower straps which lets me practice sit ups. Also, they work great for bag drags. The Versys stands 65” tall, which is a little shorter than what I generally prefer.

But it’s not my primary training bag. I use it at the gym for KravMaga practice. But I know a lot of MMA fighters who swear by this bag and how it has helped them immensely during the pandemic when gyms were shut.

My personal experience with it

This bag makes for a great choice for takedowns, elow strikes and other Krav Maga moves

I have used the Versys extensively for KravMaga Practice. My buddies at the gym generally scoff at the idea of practicing KM drills with a dummy, given that KM is a very dynamic martial art. That said, the Versys works phenomenally well for takedowns, throws as well as general punches and elbow strikes.

What it lacks in terms of unpredictability, can be made up with an agility bag, which we will speak about in a bit.

What I recommend it for

You can use the Century Versys for Taekwondo, MMA and other combat sports

If you are practicing MMA, Taekwondo or any other combat sport that features drills with hand grips, grappling and more groundwork, then the Versys free standing heavy bag is a perfect choice.

Don’t discount the fact that it’s a 55” strking surface that works really well for more conventional drills too.

#4 – Century Wavemaster Original

If you are looking for a compact punching bag for adults, the Century Wavemaster Original is the bag for you

Century began as a boxing company, and the original Wavemaster builds on that tradition. This is a compact punching bag designed for adults, that will easily fit into small apartments, offices or gym studios.

It is height adjustable and comes with a heavy duty high density plastic base that will keep it as steady as a rock. The adjustable height making it a particularly excellent choice if you share your reflex bag with other users.

What I like about it

It might be compact enough to fit in tight corners, but this Century Wavemaster Original is still built to last for a lifetime

There’s a lot of great things about the Wavemaster. It has the classic design that changed the way professional athletes looked at freestanding bags ( AKA floor bags).

Capacious enough for adults, compact enough to fit in any corner of the house, and sturdy enough to last a lifetime.

It comes with key features like 7 height incremental height settings that take it from a low, 47″ to a mid-sized 68″, which work for a variety of drills. It has a fair bit of give too, which is signature Century.

When filled up with sand or water the base weighs 270 pounds, making it pretty stable though.

My experience with it

If you are looking for a punching bag that can take the hits like a champion, get this Century Wavemaster Original punching bag

If you are on the fence about getting home a freestanding heavy bag, look no further. This bad boy is the classic. The first freestanding bag that kick started an era of portable punching bags for both the company Century and martial artists all around the world.

#5 –Powerline Wavemaster

For those seeking for a punching bag with a large surface area, this PowerlineWavemaster is the bag for you

The PowerlineWavemaster XXL is an extra-large variant of the Wavemaster for athletes who prefer an extra wide surface to throw their punches at, and a large base to match.

If you thought that free standing punch bags cannot sustain heavy bag drills, here’s the eye opener you needed. The Powerline is 17 ½ inch diameter and comes with 2x the amount of high density foam as the original wavemaster.

The result is a thick and heavy surface that provides the quintessential ‘thud’ that you get when you punch on the old Everlast leather bags.

What I like about it

The large striking surface and its soft cushioning set the Powerline in a class of its own

The Extra room and the padding. These two features make the Powerline a class of its own, even when compared with other free standing bags. There’s a lot of surface to practice your kicks with.

Also, the extra padding keeps your shins alive even after a vigorous session. The base works best when filled with sand. It gives it that extra stability you need when you are looking to go heavy on the bag.

Also, if you find that the bag slides around, stick a few layers of foam on the underside of the bag and ensure you have max filled base weight and you should be good to go.

My experience with it

Tthe Powerline Wavemaster is better suited for kicking thanks to its large striking surface

I do not own the Powerline. But I have practiced a lot on it in the club and I can tell you it’s a great bag made of high quality materials. I prefer using it for kickboxing training rather than the conventional punches.

The quality fill material and extra padding does help even without boxing gloves. Although at times, a misdirected kick can land on that hard plastic base and that’s not pleasant.

What I recommend it for

Tthe Powerline Wavemaster is better suited for kicking thanks to its large striking surface

If you find the conventional wavemasters lacking in terms of size and thickness, don’t even think twice. Go for the Powerline. Also, anyone who wants to hang a heavy bag at home but lacks the structural capabilities to do so, here’s your ticket. From knee strikes to punches, its high quality vinyl, stable base weight overall build quality allows it to take on quite a beating.

#6 – Everlast Powercore Bag

If you don't have the Wavemaster, then get this EverlastPowercore snce it's just as good as the Wavemaster

Everlast power core bag is almost a Wavemaster clone. It looks like the wavemaster and even feels like one, when you land a few punches, powerful kicks or other strikes on it.  But the Everlast powercore does have a few differences.

The base is heavier, especially when filled with sand. It weighs 370 pounds. which is amongst the heaviest freestanding bags out there.

This gives the entire unit a lot of stability, especially if you are going hard at it with those muay thai kicks. It does not move around very easily. That said, the striking surface does seem to have more sway than the Wavemaster.

What I like about it

The EverlastPowercore has one outsanding shock absorption feature that sets its above the competition

The EverlastPowercore features a high-density foam core with what the brand calls an Air-foam chamber. This is essentially an outer layer that works like a shock absorbing system.

The impact of your punches are more evenly distributed, or so Everlast says. I personally found no difference in this and the wavemaster. That said, some of my buddies who are much shorter and weigh less, mention that this is gentler on their arms and wrists than the wavemaster.

My personal experience with it

The EverlastPowercore Bag can move around some when the strikes and kicks land, but it gives you a great deal of value for your money

I have had a few opportunities to train on the Powercore. I have used it for both boxing drills as well as Kickboxing. I found the surface to be very similar to the Wavemaster.

I prefer the wavemaster’s surface, but that is personal preference. I also prefer heavy bags that dont move around as much as this does. But again, that could be me with my Wavemaster bias.

The EverlastPowercore is definitely a worthy contender in the world of freestanding bags!

#7 – Everlast Omniflex

If you are looking for something in between heavyy bags and speed bags, then go with the EverlastOmniflex punching bag

The EverlastOmniflex is a hybrid freestanding bag that aims to bridge the gap between speed bags and heavy bags.

It’s designed like a heavy bag, at least in appearance. But the bag comes with an Omniflex neck shock absorbers, which gives it a fair bit of sway.

This allows you to use it for speed and agility drills for MMA and Kickboxing.

What I like about it

The EverlastOmniflex bag's foam surface with a nevater coating can take on quite a great deal of beating

The Omniflex is a very versatile freestanding bag in my opinion. The foam surface with the nevatear coating can take a fair bit of punishment, which means that you can go reasonably hard at it without worrying about frays and tears.

The neck is height adjustable from 59″ to 67″ which means that you can lower or elevate the striking surface depending on your height and the drills.

My personal experience with it

One thing to keep in mind though, this bag isn't built to withstand seriously heavy punches

Everlast calls this a heavy bag. But take that with a pinch of salt. This is not really a bag where you can throw heavy punches.

It’s more of a speed bag-heavy bag hybrid. The biggest difference in a traditional heavy bag and this one is the base. The Omniflex weighs just 130 lbs. when filled. That should give you a fair idea of what to expect.

Bob & Wave, pivot and punch, the bag works great for these. But not for hardcore punches.

Best Standing Reflex Bags

Reflex Bags are the real deal for training on speed and honing your reflexes

Reflex bags are space efficient, fit perfectly in smaller spaces, can be easily moved around, and offer a realistic feel.

But….reflex bags are also one of those things that are very difficult to get right. Sometimes, the bag sways too much, or it’s too slow. At times, the swing is too unpredictable and you never know when the bag hits you right back, smack on the face.

And of course, not everyone can land a perfect blow on the small striking area, it takes lots of practice and an advanced skill level to master. But all it takes is a bit of foot work to find the right build quality and great value for your money when sifting through the many reflex bags on the market today.

It took me two years of trial and error before I could finally find reflex bags that ticked all the boxes that I was looking for.

Here’s my pick of the lot.

#1 – Ringside Fitness Reflex Bag

The One I Bought

If you are looking for a reflex bag with the ideal swing control, stability and sturdiness, then get the Ringside Fitness Reflex Bag

This is mine sitting out in my backyard. This is how it looks after a full year of use. (AKA NEW)

This is the tried and tested reflex bag from Ringside that I’d recommend to one and all without batting an eyelid.

It’s stable, sturdy, has perfect swing that’s completely controllable to match slow or quick jabs from users with different skill levels. Besides, it stands in smaller spaces like a corner of the room without eating into valuable real estate.

A lot of my sparring partners tell me that it’s impossible to get a reflex bag that mimics the dynamic movements of a real life opponent. I completely agree. But this is the closest that you’ll ever get to it.

What I like about it

From the cool swiay to its material, this reflex bag got it all

Everything! The bag is made of durable faux leather which is super easy to clean after a sweaty practice session. Grab a wet towel and wipe it down. As simple as that.

The sway is perfect for me. Now, this is subjective. But the Ringside features a heavy duty chrome spring, which is positioned towards the middle of the neck. This gives it a very controlled whip. That’s how I like my reflex bags.

Its height adjustable from 49″ to 69″ making it an ideal choice for a variety of drills.

My personal experience with it

With the base boasting a capacity of up to 240lbs, this reflex bag is super stable

I love the fact that if you fill the base with sand or water, it weighs 240 lbs. This is vital for a reflex bag, especially when you throw hard combos.

The large base doesn’t move a bit when the bag swings at full speed during combinations even when I’m fired up after strength training or cardio training and drilling at very high intensity levels. This bag takes jabs and toughest blows from heavy hitters during more intense training session drills.

One possible flip side is that the bag’s a little too big for accuracy training routine. But that’s not a deal breaker for me, at least I can get just the right striking area for a full range of hits when practicing precision strikes.

What I recommend it for

This is the best reflex bag to go for if you want controlled sway

If you are tired of trying reflex bags that lack realistic features like a predictable swing, try this. I am pretty sure you’ll find it to be your go-to gold standard reflex bag for all kinds of drills and great workout overall.

#2 – Ringside Cobra

Ringside Cobra is very popular among MMA pros for good reasons

The Ringside Cobra is the most popular reflex bag amidst MMA fighters. The first iteration of the Cobra was so popular that Ringside went ahead and ironed out the creases and launched a second one with some meaty upgrades.

The new version of the Cobra comes with unique features like an industrial quality steel alloy spring, which gives it a great whip. If you prefer a fast-moving reflex bag, you’ve just found it.

This one has a tough spring and therefore will require you to hit with a decent amount of force. With that being said, make sure you training with a quality and padded set of boxing gloves, rather than hitting the bag with no gloves like most beginners tend to do.

A pair of amateur style training gloves will be just fine for just about any heavy bag use.

What I like about it

The Ringside Cobra is so solid you can hit it all day

The Cobra is a strong and virtually indestructible reflex bag. I am using the term indestructible here, because the previous iteration had a weak weld which would come loose after a while.

I like the fact that the brand fixed this right away. The new one’s not breaking off no matter what you throw at it. The bag sway was never bad. But the new spring loaded core makes it an even better option. It’s fast, and perfect for combos.

The base is a little lighter than the Ringside one though. So, you might want to use some heavy plates if you intend to go Rocky Balboa on this.

My Personal Experience with it

I personally love just how much punishment this bag can take without surprises or disappointment

I loved the swing on the Cobra so much, that I was distraught when it broke off after a few weeks. But my coach updated me that there’s a new version and it’s beefier.

I have knocked it around for weeks and weeks after that. It’s never failed to impress. The bag surface is perfect for speed drills. Not too soft, but won’t crack your knuckles either.

It has more sway than the ringside. But again, there are times when you appreciate the extra buzz, don’t you?

What I recommend it for

For those of you that love a fast reflex bag get this one

If you find the Ringside reflex bag lacking in speed, go for the Cobra.

#3 – MaxMMA Advanced Cobra

The MaxMMA Advanced Cobra is the go-to budget reflex bag

The MaxMMA Advanced Cobra is a budget-priced reflex bag that works great for athletes who are shopping on a tight budget.

Let’s say you are just wetting your toes in MMA and are not sure whether you are going to stick with it. You’re not sure whether you want to throw down a couple hundred bucks for a bag, right?

This is your reflex bag. It’s durable enough to last a long time and doesn’t cost an arm and leg.

What I like about it

The MaxMMA Advanced Cobra packs in some great features like up to 4 speed settings

The Cobra offers some neat features that the big ticket branded bags don’t. For one, there are four adjustable settings for the speed. This is a great feature for beginners as well as athletes who like to use speed bags for different kinds of drills.

Just tweak the setting and you have more sway. Tweak it again and you have more control. Fab!

I also like that you get two PU bags of different sizes and weights with it. The core weight bag is larger and better suited for heavier punches during serious workout, while the smaller and lighter PU bag moves much quicker.

My personal experience with it

The versatility I get with this bag always blows me away

A close buddy owns the MaxMMA Advanced Cobra and I was quite amazed at how versatile this bag is. The steel rod is top notch, as is the spring.

You can easily control the sway and it goes from like really fast to very slow, with two intermediate stages.

The bag quality is second to none. The only possible flaw that I found is the base. It weighs just 55 lbs. and for a tall, heavy user like me, that’s an annoying flaw. It keeps sliding around until I use some plates to secure it to the floor.

What I recommend it for

If it's reliability and affordability you are looking for, then the cobra will give you the best of both worlds

If you are a recreational fighter and looking for a reliable reflex bag without breaking the bank, this is one of the best options.

#4 – FITVEN Freestanding Punching Bag

The FITVEN Freestanding Punching Bag gives you a mix of both heavy bag and a reflex bag

The FITVEN Freestanding Punching Bag is an interesting hybrid bag that combines a heavy bag with a reflex bag. So, this you can actually throw some heavy punches at it, and the bag moves around a fair bit.

So you can use it for reflex training drills too. Pretty cool, eh?

What I like about it

Despite being a combination of a heavy bag and a reflex, the FITVEN Freestanding Punching Bag is still surprisingly stable

Generally, I tend to look at hybrids like this with suspicion. How on earth can you use a heavy bag for reflex drills and vice-a-versa? But I was quite surprised by how stable the FITVEN Freestanding Punching Bag is.

It’s a very capacious surface that stands 70” tall. The core is high density EPE foam wrapped around by 2mm PU synthetic leather cover. It’s easy to clean, does not tear and has an even shock absorption, all around.

I also liked the steel tube stand and the industrial grade spring.

My personal experience with it

Besides the fact that you can fill the base with up to 205lbs, it also has suction caps at the bottom for extra stability

Like I said, I thought that this was an overpriced gimmick, until I realized that it wasn’t.

The base when filled with sand weighs 205 lbs. So, it’s pretty stable to begin with. But if you somehow think that you can get it to topple, think again. While some bags feature 12 suction cups, this bag comes with up to 15 of them under it which bolt it secure to the floor.

That add-on makes for a cool feature that keeps the bag right in place. The only movement will be from the spring and steel neck. Talking about the spring, there are two TPU absorbers and 4 springs in total, which give it a very even sway.

Not wild and unpredictable. But sufficient enough for movement drills.

Overall, I am mighty impressed with this heavy-bag hybrid and I’d say if you want the best of both worlds, this is your ticket.

Top Standing Bags for Youth Boxers

If you are looking for a free standing bag for the kids, here are some of the best picks

If you are looking for freestanding bags for your kids, or youth boxers that you coach, then here’s the best overall pick for y’all.

#1 – Wavemaster Kid Kick

The Wavemaster Kid Kick is the bag for you if you are considering introducing your kids to boxing

The Wavemaster Kid Kick is the kiddie version of the Century Wavemaster. Enough said. This is the perfect training tool for home use if you wish to introduce your kid to martial arts drills at home.

It’s compact, it’s sturdy and it’s a tried and tested design. You are essentially buying the wavemaster, only smaller in dimensions and a purpose built, better option for kids.

What I like about it

The base of this bag still packs in the punch with the capacity to hold up to 130lbs for ultimate stability

The Wavemaster Kid Kick is true to form to the original wavemaster. It has a stable, round design base that fills up to 130 lbs. with sand or water. You can topple it over and roll it if you wish to move it around the house.

The striking surface is high density foam with a durable, nylon cover. It’s a sturdy surface that works great for both heavy bag training as well as kicks. The padding is sufficient to prevent sore shins and knuckles. But thick enough to give them the true feel of contact.

Who’s it good for

This bag is built for kids, mostly between 8 and 12 year olds

The Wavemaster kid’s great for 8-12 year olds who want to learn the ropes of martial arts bag training at home.

Some people have used it for much older kids too. But if your kid is in their teens, I’d say go for one of the full-sized standing bags instead, since they’ll quickly outgrow this.

Best Punching Bag Brands

When it comes to punching bags, everyone has a favorite brand. That said, there are only a handful of brands that I personally trust with the longevity of my equipment.

The fact is, punching bags are not all created equal. While most can last years if maintained properly, some have subpar stitching or are made from sub-par materials.

That’s why I’ve sifted through many different brands to come up with this list of durable and popular options.

Century – The Best Brand

Century Fitness is of course among the best of the best punching bag brrands

When it comes to heavy bag brands, I always recommend Century. The reason being that their bags are built for endurance and give you great bang for your buck.

Century punching bags are made of premium materials. High density foam, top-quality faux leather, double stitched and brass grommets to name a few. They have bags in all sizes and shapes. From freestanding bags to hanging heavy bags, you can find one, regardless of what your punching needs are.

Ringside – Pretty Good too

If you are looking for a budget punching bag then look for Ringside

Ringside is the brand I recommend to anyone who is shopping on a budget. Of course, Ringside bags aren’t as durable as Century, but they will suffice for regular use. If you are just looking for a punching bag mainly for workouts then Ringside will do you just fine. Punching bags in general are already very affordable pieces of cardio equipment but Ringside is one of the best budget options.

Ringside synthetic leather bags are very popular these days. Most mixed martial arts gyms using them instead of traditional heavy punching bags.


Everlast has been in the business for long and earned itself great repute

Last but not the least, we have Everlast. Everlast is a reputable brand synonymous with boxing and has been around for a long time. I have used their hanging heavy bag models for years with no problems, except for the weight and the hanging apparatus.

In recent times, Everlast’s equipment is not considered as durable as the leading brands mentioned above. That said, they do have some good stuff if you’re looking for a bag that offers plenty of striking surface on a budget, I mean if you had to choose between a canvas bag and one made by Everlast with the material that they use, I would go with the Everlast bag If I had the budget.

Free Standing Punching Bag Setup Guide

Although most Free standing Punching Bags don't need complicated set up, you still need to prep it before use

The big bonus of freestanding punching bags is that they are almost ready to use out of the box. You will not have to clamber up a ladder and drill holes or lug around a mammoth stand trying to hang a bag… let alone damaging the resale value of your home like I did.

However, there are still some basic steps that you need to know when you are setting up a freestanding punching bag, which will make life easier for you. I discovered this the hard way. So if you have never set up a freestanding bag before, read this carefully.

Decide where you will park it

Choose a spot for the bag with the need for room in mind

The first thing you need to do is find that sweet spot where you want your punching bag. The general rule is to ensure you have enough space with no obstacles blocking the area of choice.

Account for the clearance you need to move around freely, if you have limited space – which is the case with most home gyms anyway, get one with durable vinyl cover that you can use outside and store inside.

If you have picked up a double end bag, a reflex bag or a hybrid, ensure that you are aware of the rebound and sway throughout your bag workout.

What to fill the base with – Go with Sand

You have several choices as far as the filling type to use for your bag

Is it water? Is it sand? Most brands recommend either one of the two fill material options. I veer towards sand. It’s a perfect choice since it weighs more and hence, gives the base more stability.

It will also be easier to fill it up with several pounds of sand instead of water. But this depends on the brand – if you happen to get a bag that comes with a pre filled base, lucky for you. If not, you don’t have a choice but to do it yourself.

You can check out cheap bags of sand on amazon like this one right here.

Some brands have bases with a miniscule opening that makes it excruciatingly painful to fill with either water or sand. In such scenarios, there are some workarounds that you can try. Here’s an example.

Here is a video showing you how to fill the base of a heavy bag

Water is generally messy. What if the base springs a leak? However, in some situations, water may be the only option. If that’s the case, check for a leak before you fill it up.

Secure the base, if needed

If the bag doesn't feel solid enough you should consider securing it to the floor

In most cases, a heavy base filled with sand is all the stability the bag needs. But if you discover that the base is wobbly or slides around, you will have to use some out of the box thinking to secure it.

Some people I know use heavy duty duct tape. But I cannot use that in a rental apartment for obvious reasons. So I prefer using foam. Just add a few inches of foam on the underside and it should be good to go.

But if you don’t feel like dealing with all that, then a good treadmill mat should be a worthwhile investment for keeping your bag in one place. Trust me, I have been doing leg conditioning and developing power. Even with water or sand, getting enough base weight to keep my bag in one place was still an uphill task. I tried this one here, and loved how it keeps my bag from slithering around with every kick and punch.

MY Recomendation

It's time to pic the best freestanding or reflex bag of your choice

  • Want the Best Bang for Buck Option – Go with this Wavemaster XXL Bag on amazon here
  • Want the Cheapest Quality Option – Go With this on amazon here
  • Want a Real Life Experience – Go with the Bob Bag here on amazon
  • Best for WomenThis bag here on amazon, also available on Century website here.

That sums up our list of the best freestanding punching bags. I hope that you will find it useful when you are researching freestanding options for your personal use.

If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below. And if you liked this article, please share it with your friends. Good luck, keep punching!

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