Best Free Standing Punching Bag Reviews & Buyers Guide

Best Value

best value free standing punching bag the wavemaster xxl

Wavemaster XXL

Best Overall

best free standing punching bag

Century Bob XL

Most Affordable

century original free standing power bag

Century Original

Free standing punching bags are the most popular type of punching bag bought today. 

And for good reason.

Free standing bags are a freaking godsend for anybody who is looking to train at home but does not want to be forced to have to drill holes in their walls, buy a heavy bag stand, or do any type of time consuming set up that is required for hanging punching bags.

And hey, lemme guess.. you’re searching around on the internet trying to find the best free standing punching bag? 

One that will last, one that will give you the most bang for your buck, and one that will take the power without tipping over.

Well good, you have made it to the right place. 

We have done the research for you (countless hours), and can speak from personal experience and testing (I have tested 3 of these bags personally for over 6 years, and 2 for over a year now).

Our Top Pick

Best Bag For Your Buck - Wavemaster XXL

the best value free standing punching bag
  • Offers the Most Bag For Your Buck - Cost Effective
  • Most Popular & Highest Rated
  • Built For Years of Abuse - This Thing is a Tank!
  • Thick density foam making it soft to the punch
  • Can Handle The Most Force - Does Not Tip
  • Built to the Highest Standard
  • I have owned this bag for 6 years, dang thing still looks good!

The fact is that free standing punching bags are simply just badass, cheap, and great for workouts.

There are many other reasons as to why I got my free standing punching bag. Portability, convenience, and because it's cheaper and requires less effort than punching holes in my wall, ceiling, or having to buy a stand to hang a traditional heavy bag.

*The single best thing about free standing bags is that they do not require you to drill any type of holes or do any type of set up like other bags do. The only set up you have to do for these is simply fill the base with sand or water and you are ready to go!

We have compiled a list down below of the 12 best free standing punching bags.

Yes, there are a ton of other options on the market but honestly they are not worth a hoot, let alone your money.

And although there are some clear winners in the bunch, like the Century Bob XL, the Wavemaster XXL and the Ringside Elite, all of these are good options.

I have sorted these based on what I think most people will value most.

  • Overall Quality
  • Durability
  • User experience
  • Cost

In that order.

Our Best Rated Free Standing Heavy Bags

century bob punching bag

#1 Rated

Century Bob XL

  • This is the Highest Rated Free Standing Bag
  • Best Overall Option
  • Best Option for Boxers and MMA Fighters
  • Great for Workouts
  • Built To Last - Owned for 6 years
  • Best User Experience & Most Fun Bag By Far!
  • My Personal Favorite

The Century Bob Bag is a great option for those that want to get a sense of real world training and who want to hone in their punching accuracy. 

Just take a look at the customer reviews and you will see just how great this punching bag really is.

the best value free standing punching bag the wavemaster xxl

#2 Rated

Wavemaster XXL

  • Offers the Most Bag For Your Buck - Cost Effective
  • Most Popular Option
  • Built For Years of Abuse - This Thing is a Tank!
  • Can Handle The Most Force - Does Not Tip
  • Built to the Highest Standard
  • I have owned this bag for 6 years, dang thing still looks good!
ringside elite free standing heavy bag

#3 Rated

Ringside Elite

  • Best Option for Heavy Bag Workouts - Most Stable
  • Great Option For Boxing Classes
  • Provides adjustable Bag Recoil that can keep you engaged during your workouts
  • Extremely Stable
  • Built to Last
  • Large Striking Surface
  • I like the slight recoil it provides
versys fight simulator free standing hybrid bag

#4 Rated

Versys Fight Simulator

  • Best Option For Jiu Jitsu Fighters
  • Groundwork & Grappling Versatility
  • Affordable
  • Portable
  • Compact - Great for Small Spaces


century cardio wavemaster free standing bag

#5 Rated

Century Cardio Wavemaster

The Century Cardio Wavemaster is a great option for fitness enthusiast who need a good bag to use for boxing workouts.

If you are a kickboxer, this is the bag for you.

It's plenty of bag for any kickboxer.

Top Free Standing Bag Pick for Women

century powerline wavemaster self standing bag

#6 Rated

Century Powerline Wavemaster

The Powerline bag is a great option for those who are on a tight budget and who are just getting started.

Best For Beginners

everlast powercore standing punching bag

#7 Rated

Everlast Powercore

The Everlast Powercore is a punching bag that is designed for heavy bag workout.

Another great option for those who use a punching bag for their at home heavy bag workouts.

century original free standing power bag

#8 Rated

Century Original

The Century Original is an entry level bag that is designed for younger adults just getting into the sport of boxing or Martial Arts.

everlast omniflex

#9 Rated

Everlast Omniflex

The Omniflex Bag is a great option for people who want a free standing bag with an adjustable height.

This bag scored high in all of our test other than the stability area. For most this won't be an issue but for with hard kicking and very hard punching this bag does tend to move around a bit more than the others.

dripex free standing reflex bag

#10 Rated

Dripex Free Standing Reflex Bag

This bag is actually a hybrid bag mix between a larger traditional standing bag and a reflex boxing bag. 

This bag is a great choice for those who want to work on their speed and their accuracy.

Very affordable as well

ringside standing boxing bag

#11 Rated

Ringside Reflex Bag

This free standing reflex boxing is designed for boxers and MMA fighters who want to improve upon both their punching speed and their punching accuracy. 

These have become a very popular option for professional boxers and UFC fighters.

standing reflex bag

#12 Rated

MMA MMA Reflex Bag

The MaxxMMA Cobra Bag is a punching bag is another great option for those that want to work on their reflexes and their punching speed.

This bag actually placed slightly ahead of the Ringside bag in our test but was edged out by Ringside because of the higher cost.

Different Types of Free Standing Bags

Contrary to popular notion, there’s no lack of options when it comes to free standing punching bags.

They are available in different designs and styles that you can choose from depending on your training style.

Here are some of the most popular ones.

Traditional Stand Up Punch & Kick Bags

Striking bags are the most popular option and are the simplest of them all. These have a heavy base with a bag on top for punches and kicks done standing up.

Striking bags allow you to practice straight jabs, hooks, body shots and a variety of kicks. It is perfect if you are looking to develop strength and conditioning in your punches and kicks.

Free Standing Hybrid bags

Hybrid bags are perfect for all types of training drills. You can throw punches, kicks, train your knees as well as grapple on the ground. These have handles on the top and bottom that can be gripped while you train your knees, or for grappling.

The base can either be filled with water or sand, depending on your training goals. Some bags, like the Century Versys come with pre-filled bases and are designed to offer a natural rebound.

Reflex bags

If you are looking to develop speed, footwork and reflexes, check out the free standing reflex bag. These are perfect for shadow boxing, stepping, sliding, pivoting and any other natural fighting movement that’s difficult to achieve with a stationary variety of a free standing bag.

Reflex bags have a smaller punching surface and a more aggressive recoil which lets you train and hone your reflexes. Also, you get a 360-degree spatial access to the bag, which makes it one of the best training aids for this type of training.


The Best Free Standing Punching Bags List

All said and done, here are the top rated free standing punching bags currently on the market.

1. Century Bob XLBest Overall & Highest Rated

Best features

  • Highest Rated Free Standing Bag
  • Extremely Fun & provides an awesome user experience
  • Real Life Simulator
  • Freestanding mannequin that provides a realistic punching experience
  • High density foam wrapped with Plastisol
  • 40” tall and 15.5” wide
  • Can zone your punches and kicks
  • Height adjustable from 60” to 82” tall
  • Very little recoil

Century Bob Review

The BOB or the Body Opponent Bag was one of Century’s flagships that became extremely popular among martial artists around the world.

It was so popular that it’s been featured in numerous TV shows and movies, including John Wick where Keanu Reave shows off his ninjaesque punches and kicks on it.

This is the Bob XL, which is a bigger, meatier, punchier version of the original Bob.

This is the best free standing bag that money can buy right now.

The mannequin is 40” tall and 15’5” wide accurately simulating a real-life opponent. You can land punches on the head, the chest, ribs, arms and the neck, John Wick style.

It is made of high density PE with a plastisol coating, which makes it impervious to any kind of damage.

The BOB comes on a free standing base with a 270 lbs. capacity, that can be filled with water or sand.

It is height adjustable from 60 to 82” tall depending on your training drill and the height of the ceiling. At 82”, it is perfect for those ceiling high kicks.

As expected for a punch mannequin, it has very little rebound or recoil. It stays rock steady, just like opponents ought to, and it does not topple over easily, unless you are trying to practice ground work.

2. Wavemaster XXL - Best Bang for Your Buck

Best features

  • Cost Effective Option - A lot of bag for the money
  • Great All Around Versatility
  • 6’7” tall & 18” wide
  • High density foam wrapped in Vinyl
  • Extremely durable
  • Non-spring loaded for a stable kicking and punching surface
  • Low profile base with 270 lbs. capacity
  • Very difficult to topple - Would take some extreme Kicking Power
  • Has been my go to workout bag for the last 6 years

Century Wavemaster XXL Review

The Wavemaster is a very popular free standing punching bag range from Century and the XXL-size is one of our favorites.  

This bag is my top pick because it does a great job of combining quality with price.

I have owned the Ringside Elite, Bob XL and the Wavemaster XXL bag for over 6 years now and I have to say, this bag has held up like no other.

I have left this punching bag outdoors in the snow, sun, rain, and cold for weeks at a time and still to this day it has held up very well.

The Wave stands 6’7 tall. A few inches more than the Ringside Elite, and it is 18” wide giving you ample practice surface area. 

It is a traditional free standing bag which is perfect for practicing kicks, punches, knees, and any other type of boxing move you can throw at it. 

It is just a great all around bag that can be used for just about everything.

This is not a spring-loaded one though, so the recoil is a little less as compared to the Ringside Elite.

It’s pretty stable though and has a huge, low-profile base that has a 270 lbs. capacity when filled with water. You will have no problems throwing your best punches and kicks at it. 

It will not topple over. Period. 

The practice surface is high-density foam wrapped in vinyl, which is an excellent combo that is durable enough for everyday use. 

Century backs up their punching bags with a one-year warranty, but there are martial artists who have been using these bags for years with no problems whatsoever. 

3. Ringside Elite - Most Stable Punching Bag

Best features

  • 6’4 tall bag
  • 17” x 62” practice surface
  • Impact absorbing foam wrapped in vinyl
  • Spring-loaded design with excellent recoil - I Love this!
  • Recoil can be controlled with removable foam collar
  • Heavy base with 270 lbs. capacity, that will not topple over

Ringside Elite Review

The Ringside Elite commands prime real estate in our apartment.

As of now, this is the most stable standing bag that money can buy. The reason it is so stable is partly due to the recoil that it provides. 

*Note: I really enjoy the recoil that this bag allows for and I think you will to. It is adjustable and makes for a great satisfying feeling each and every time you hit this bag.

This is a spring-loaded, striking free standing bag that stands 6’4″ tall and offers you a generous 17” x 62” of striking surface for punches and kicks.

With 360-degree access, that’s as good as any large, hanging bag.

On the bottom, it has a plastic base tank that can be filled with sand or water depending on what’s easily available. It has a 270 lbs. capacity by the way. That’s a lot of sand.

If any of y’all had concerns that your bag might tip over, get this one. There’s no way you are toppling it. The base is virtually immobile when filled.

The bag does have a fair bit of recoil. But that can be controlled with a removable foam collar that adds to the recoil or reduces it.

The punching surface is a shock-absorbing foam, wrapped in a durable vinyl coating. Punches and kicks are not too loud, which is just the way we prefer it.

While the foam does a terrific job of applying the force of impact, it is not soft and squishy mind you. You’ll need to go slow at it, especially if you are new to punch bag training. Take your time and build up your strength.

The thing that we like the most about the Ringside Elite, is the build quality.

It is built like a tank and can take an absolute pounding without as much as a scratch to show for it.

After five years of every day battering, ours has finally started to show some signs of aging. But even that’s just general fraying here and there.

There’s not even a single tear or rip anywhere, which is phenomenal.

If you are a heavyweight athlete looking for a reliable free standing punching bag, this is it.

We cannot recommend it enough. You can see my full review of it here.

4. Versys Fight Simulator – Best For MMA Fighters

Best features

  • Fight simulator from Century
  • Perfect for a variety of martial arts drills
  • Handles on top and bottom allow you to clinch and grapple
  • Light enough to allow you to pin it easily
  • Stable pre-filled base keeps it steady for practice
  • Natural rebound
  • Great Option for Small Spaces or those living in an apartment

Versys Fight Simulator Review

This is the Versys Vs. 1 from Century and it is one of our favorite free standing punching bags in the world.

Well, Century calls it a fight simulator and we believe that it better describes what you can do with this bag.

You can punch it, kick it, grab the handles on the top and the bottom to pin to the floor, grab it and practice your knee kicks and last but not the least, grapple with it.

Irrespective of whether you are into kickboxing or MMA, this one is perfect for any type of training drill.

The Versys Vs. 1 comes with a prefilled base that gives it a natural rebound. If you hate filling the base of a punch bag with water due to the mess it can leave, this has you covered.

Also, the natural recoil allows you to shadow box or practice footwork as well.

The surface is high density memory foam and the outer covering is vinyl. Just like the range of punch bags from Century, the Versys is highly rated by martial artists for its build quality and durability.

It stands 66” tall and is just 13.75″ wide by the way. So even if you have low ceilings, the Versys is perfect for your home.

5. Century Cardio WavemasterBest for Kickboxers

Best features

  • Compact, lightweight freestanding bag
  • Ideal for HIIT and cardio drills
  • 40” surface made of high density foam with a Poly Denier outer shell
  • Perfect for speed and accuracy drills
  • Four preset height adjustments
  • Low profile base with 170 lbs. capacity

Century Cardio Wavemaster Review

The Cardio Wavemaster is a lightweight, freestanding bag from Century that is ideal for cardiovascular drills or HIIT drills, that are common in kickboxing.

It is not a bag where you can throw your monster punches. Instead, it is ideal for practicing speed drills and accuracy.

The surface is just 40” tall, made of high density foam and comes with a poly denier outer shell that’s extremely durable.

The smaller area lets you perfect the landing for your kicks and punches. It comes with four, preset height adjustments from 53.5” to 65.5” making it perfect for athletes of all sizes.

Since this isn’t designed for heavy kicks and punches, it will move around and even topple if you go too hard at it.

It comes with a very low profile, rounded base that’s portable and has a 170 lbs. capacity for its fill.

Most others in this list of the best free standing punching bags have a 270 lbs. capacity instead. The lower capacity has to do with the intended use.

If you are looking to hone your footwork, to move around while you throw punches and kicks, there’s no better choice. Due to the size, it is very portable as well.

You can see my full review of the Cardio Wavemaster here.

6. Powerline WavemasterBest for Beginners

Best features

  • Denser version of the regular Wavemaster
  • Double the quantity of high density foam
  • This is a beginner entry level bag that is designed for harder strikes and punches.
  • Sturdy and tough practice surface
  • 26” tall and 17.5” diameter
  • Height adjustable from 47” to 68”
  • Perfect for teens and kids aged 10+
  • 270 lbs. capacity base

Powerline Wavemaster Review

The Powerline Wavemaster is the denser, thicker version of the regular Wavemaster, for more intense punches and kicks.

It comes with twice as much high density foam as the original version, making it extremely sturdy and a tad firm, for first timers.

Hint: You might need heavier gloves with this.

The practice surface is just 26” tall and 17.5” in diameter, making it one of the smallest ones in the Wavemaster range. Even if you live in an apartment with limited room, this will fit right in.

It is height adjustable from 47” to 68”, which allows athletes of all ages and heights to use it comfortably.

The adults section in our gym has the regular wavemaster while the kiddie section has one of these.

10-14-year olds find it perfect for their drills.

Comes with a 270 lbs. capacity base that keeps it as steady as a rock during practice.

Best features

  • adjustable height
  • great for beginners
  • affordable
  • great option for boxers
  • 370 lbs when filled
  • extremely stable
  • triple layer foam protection
  • wide striking surface

Everlast Powercore Review

The Everlast Powercore is a heavy duty, freestanding punching bag that’s designed for vigorous contact drills.

It features a PowerCore steel plate interior, that makes this one of the sturdiest punching bags that we’ve ever used.

In addition to this, the practice area is covered with Tri-disc foam, which is essentially, a triple-layer of foam that offers superior impact absorption, making it gentle on your hands and wrists.

It’s not squishy or soft, mind you. It just won’t hurt your hands like a normal, heavy bag can. This means that it is perfect for kids as well.

The bag is 28” in length and 14” in diameter. It is height adjustable from 54 to 65 inches, making it apt for both punching and kicks.

On the bottom, it has a high density base with a 370 lbs. capacity for sand and 270 lbs. for water. This means that it stays rock steady without even the slightest of wobble.

The base also features a power transfer ring that absorbs the force of impact and evenly distributes it across the length of the bag, preventing it from moving.

Everlast is one of the best martial arts brands in the world. You cannot go wrong with the Powercore Free Standing Heavy Bag.

8. Century Original - Cheap Free Standing Bag

Best features

  • Incredibly popular free standing bag from Century
  • 26” tall and 13” in diameter with a rounded design
  • 7 height adjustments from 47” to 68”
  • High density foam with a tough, vinyl outer shell
  • Realistic surface for punches, kicks and other types of drills
  • Heavy duty base with 270 lbs. capacity

Century Original Wavemaster Review

If you have ever used a top rated free standing bag, then the Wavemaster probably needs no introduction.

This is the flagship from Wavemaster punching bag from Century that set the tone for hundreds of imitations. None offer the quality of the original though.

The Wavemaster stands 68” tall when fully extended and 47” at its lowest height. This makes it perfect for kids and adults alike.

Between these two extremes, you can choose from 7 preset height settings to suit your training requirements.

The striking surface on the wavemaster is 26” tall and 13” wide with a rounded design for 360-degree access. It is made of high density foam and comes with a tough vinyl outer shell.

Punches and kicks feel realistic without any strain on your wrists. You can practice with your normal sparring gloves on this.

While the bag itself is light and offers a fair amount of recoil for accuracy and speed development, the heavy duty base stays wobble-free, when it is fully filled.

In case you were wondering, this is the original Wavemaster, while the ones that we picked earlier in this list are the Cardio and the Powerline versions.

Best features

  • Compact, apartment-friendly design
  • High tension spring at the base gives it a fair amount of recoil
  • Lightweight bag for speed, agility drills
  • High density foam striking surface
  • Excellent impact absorption
  • Nevatear synthetic coating
  • 67” tall

Everlast Omniflex Review

The Everlast Omniflex is a compact, apartment-friendly free standing bag from Everlast that offers a fair amount of responsiveness courtesy the high tension spring that connects it to the base. 

It’s not one of those bags that stay grounded like a boulder. 

Instead, it is light enough to sway at angles that give ample room for training your reactive punches and movements. 

The bag comes fully assembled with a high density foam striking surface that does a remarkable job at absorbing the force of impact. 

This means that it’s reasonably quiet even when you are landing some serious punches at it. No loud thuds and bangs that can wake up the neighborhood. 

The outer shell is made of Nevatear, which is Everlast’s proprietary synthetic coating that is considered to be amongst the most durable ones. Many professional MMA fighters use these bags for conditioning and regular practice drills.

It holds up extremely well to vigorous use. 

There are four height adjustments to choose from and at its tallest setting, it stands at 67”. That’s shorter than most of the other ones that we’ve picked. So if you have an apartment with a low ceiling, you might want to check this out. 

The base needs to be filled with water or sand and it weighs around 130 lbs. when fully filled. 

Best features

  • Four layered striking surface with stainless steel core, fabric buffers, EPE foam and 2mm PU leather
  • Minimal sound to the punches and kicks
  • ABS base tank with 12-suction cups that lock the bag in place
  • Dual PVC absorbers and 4-springs to reduce sound
  • Perfect amount of recoil for agility drills as well

Dripex Free Standing Bag Review

Despite not being a brand as well-known as some of the others in this list, we really like the Dripex Freestanding Punching bag.

It is one of the most feature-rich options that you have. 

For starters, it is extremely durable as it features a stainless steel tube in the core, which is surrounded by fabric buffers, a layer of high density EPE foam and then 2mm thick PU leather.

The multiple layers serve two purposes. 

Firstly, it keeps the sound to the bare minimum. There’s almost no sound to the punches. Secondly, it absorbs the force of the impact so well that you’ll have no wrist strain whatsoever even if you practice for hours on this. 

Under the bag, you have an ABS base tank that features dual PVC shock absorbers and 4-springs that give it a fair amount of recoil, without creating a din. 

Agility drills? Check! 

Under the base tank, there are 12-suction cups that keep the bag grounded when it’s filled with sand. You can be rest assured that even with the most intense practice sessions, this will not move around in the room. 

Overall, we are very impressed with the Dripex Freestanding bag. It is perfect for a variety of drills and for apartment use in particular. 

Best features

  • Freestanding reflex bag for agility and accuracy drills
  • Prefilled with a foam core
  • Firm punching surface
  • Heavy duty base
  • Spring loaded with a fair amount of recoil
  • Height adjustable from 49”-69”

Ringside Reflex Bag Review

This freestanding reflex bag from Ringside fitness mimics the action, speed and movement of an opponent to perfection.

It rebounds at a medium pace allowing you to practice and hone the accuracy of your punches. The bag stands on a base that can be filled with water or sand, and the connector is spring-loaded which is what gives it the rebound/recoil.

The striking surface is small and comes prefilled with a solid, foam core. It is not an inflatable air bag.

The consistency of the surface is just right for punching. But it is quite firm and you will need hand wraps or a thin glove at least when you practice on this.

The height is adjustable from 49″-69″. At the tallest setting, you can even use this to practice high kicks.

Overall, if you are looking for a durable reflex bag with proven performance, look no further.

Best features

  • Popular reflex bag from MaxxMMA
  • Two different-sizes of reflex bags
  • PU bag offers a firm punching surface
  • Four tension settings to adjust recoil
  • Stainless steel rod connector
  • Base requires only 55 lbs. of sand
  • Package includes hand wrap gel gloves

MaxxMMA Cobra Reflex Bag Review

The Cobra is one of the most popular reflex bags used by professional MMA fighters, that is known for its high density PU striking surface.

This is the advanced version of the cobra that comes with two different sized bags for different training goals.

If you are focusing on accuracy, you can use the smaller of the two and zone your punches. If you are looking to develop speed, you can swap it for the larger one.

The advanced cobra also allows you to adjust the tension setting for the recoil.

There are four settings to choose from. At the lowest setting, the bag travels the farthest and recoils slowly, whereas at the highest setting, it travels the least and recoils very fast.

The PU bag offers a firm, durable surface, that is ideal for rapid punching. It has a bladder design that offers excellent impact absorption.

It is connected to the base with a stainless steel connector rod that stays steady and wobble free. The base requires only 55 lbs. of sand, which is easier to fill as compared to the 130 lbs. that most agility bags require.

The Advanced cobra is one of the only ones in this list that also comes with a pair of Hand Wrap Gel Gloves, which makes it a value-for-money deal


Looking to Buy a Free Standing Punching Bag?

Here’s What To Look For

The amount of misinformation being peddled out there about the best free standing punching bags is alarming.

It’s bashed on messaging boards to an extent that it can make a first timer seriously consider their shopping decision.

At any point, if you get skeptical, go to the beginning of this article and read it again.

But, if you have your mind set on one of these, then here are some of the important factors to consider when you go shopping for it.

What type of Free Standing Bag Do I Need?

Are you looking to develop strength in your punches and kicks? Then you need a heavy duty, free standing bag with a base that has a 300 lbs. capacity, like the Bob XL or the Wavemaster XXL.

These are virtually wobble-free and can easily withstand anything that you throw at them.

On the other hand, if you are looking for something compact, that works for general fitness practice, check out the Wavemaster series from Century.

Athletes who want an all-round bag will find no better option than the Versys Vs. 1 and the BOB.

Reflex bags like the Advanced Cobra and the one from Ringside are perfect for speed and agility drills.

How Much Room Do You Have?

The freestanding bag that you pick should fit comfortably into the room where you intend to place it.

Don’t forget to account for clearance around it.

What makes these bags so effective is that it gives you 360-degree spatial access. If you place it too close to a wall, you’ll severely limit the effectiveness.

Also, this will interfere with the natural rebound that the bag has.

Don’t forget to measure the height of the ceiling. Most bags are height adjustable, but you want to ensure that there’s at least 24-36” of clearance between the ceiling and the bag at its highest setting.

Build Quality

Not all freestanding bags are build equal.

Many of these are so poorly constructed, that they will start to fall apart after just weeks of use.

Ideally, you need something that can withstand everyday use, even if you may not practice every day.

Look for a high density foam core as it offers excellent shock-absorption, making it gentle on your wrists.

If you find a single-layer of foam too soft for every day practice, you might want to consider bags that have a dual layer of foam, like the Powerline Wavemaster.

A vinyl covering is considered to be the gold standard for the outer shell.

Some higher-priced brands offer leather shells. But leather is high on maintenance.

It’s not too forgiving on stains and it can soak up sweat and begin to smell if it’s not kept dry. Not to mention that it’s ridiculously expensive.

Stick to synthetics. It’s easier to clean and lasts just as long as leather.


Top Punching Bag Brands

While there are a multitude of brands that offer free standing punching bags, there are only a handful of them that are highly rated by the fitness community.

Everlast

top rated free standing punching bag brand

Everlast is one of the oldest brands that manufactures boxing gear. More recently, they have expanded their range to include equipment for all kinds of sports. Their free standing bags are quite popular for their professional-grade build quality at pocket-friendly prices.

Century

popular highly rated standing heavy bag brand

Century was formed in 1976 by ace martial artist Michael Dillard. In a very short time, it has risen to become one of the most widely used martial arts gear brands in the world. It has particularly made a niche for itself in the world of MMA gear and it is not uncommon to see top pros using their bags for practice drills.

Ringside

quality maker of free standing punching bags

Ringside boxing is the latest entrant into the space. They are known for their distinct designs which are a blend of old school styling and contemporary features. While their specialty remains boxing gloves, their punching bags are also used by some of the top fitness brands and boxing professionals.


The Benefits of Free Standing Punching Bags

Free Standing Punching bags are an absolute godsend if you like to stay fit with martial art drills, but do not feel like buying a heavy bag stand, drilling holes in your walls, or live in an apartment or condo where space is limited.

Free standing bags are my go to choice even for my competitive training. Don’t let people sway you into believing that these bags are in any way lesser than their heavy bag counterparts. 

To be able to notice any difference in the performance of the two, you’d have to be a pro-level fighter.

In which case, you should be out training in the gym rather than throwing punches on a bag at home. 

But if you are a recreational fighter or just someone who likes to stay fit, free standing punching bags offer way more benefits than hanging heavy bags can.

You Can Set Them Up Anywhere

Since they are free standing, you can set them up in any room in the house provided there’s enough wall to bag/furniture to bag clearance. We had ours set in the kitchen for two years because that’s the only room that we could spare. 

No Drilling Holes in Your Wall

You don’t have to bother about drilling holes in the wall to hold a heavy bag. Not to mention you no longer will have to worry about a 100lb heavy bag falling from your ceiling and destroying your wall or ceiling in the process They come with their own heavy base which keeps them stable and balanced while you throw punches. If you have a weak framework or low ceilings, these are your best bet.

Free Standing Bags are Cheaper

Free Standing bags are usually cheaper than a normal heavy bag or the ones that come with a stand. These can get to be expensive especially if you are looking to get a punching bag stand with a pull up bar attachment. If you are just starting off with martial arts and are not looking to spend half your salary on a punching bag, go for a free standing one. You’ll save some more money that you’d otherwise spend buying a monstrous stand to hold the heavy bag.

360-Degree Access

Since drilling holes in the ceilings is out of question, the next option that a lot of people consider is getting a punching bag with a stand. However, this greatly limits the spatial access to the bag to say 120-degrees at most. The best free standing punching bags on the other hand give you 360-degree access provided you have the clearance. Most of them can be height-adjusted. So the height of the ceilings should not be a problem. 

Portable & Best For Small Spaces

Oh, you can move it around the house too. That’s a great full body workout since some of these can weigh up to 300 lbs. depending on what you use to fill it.  If you live in a rental, you can transport it to the new house when you move. 

Variety of Designs

Due to the popularity of free standing punching bags, there has been an explosion in the number of designs and options that you have. Right from compact ones to fit a small apartment to large ones perfect for grappling and wrestling, your choices are endless. There are some in unconventional shapes as well, like the grappling bag. 

Hybrid Bags Allow You to Grapple

If you wish to practice grappling, you can do that with a free standing bag. Just charge at it full steam and pin it to the ground. If you use a Body Opponent Bag, you can throw punches at different parts, which is clearly a more effective training method as compared to hitting a stationary cylinder. 


How To Set Up a Free Standing Punching Bag

Although setting up a free standing bag is relatively straight forward there are some things that can be confusing, such as whether you should use sand or water to fill your bag, how heavy you should fill your bag and so on.

Here we will discuss these to help you set your bag up correctly.

How do you fill a free standing punching bag?

On every standing bag there will be a base at the bottom. This base is what you need to fill with either sand or water. There will be a hole on the top side of the base where you can open it up and fill it as heavy as you want it. 

Should I Fill My Bag With Water or Sand?

This debate can be seen all over forums and is one that is still undecided. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. I personally fill my bags with sand but this is because I do not move them much and when I do I tend to just move them outside in the garage or a few feet into another room.

Advantages of Sand:

  • More Stable
  • Less Worry of Springing a Leak
  • Easily Fixable If a Leak does Happen

Advantages of Water:

  • Easier to Fill
  • Cheaper
  • Can Be Emptied Easier if You Need to Move the Bag

My Concluding Thoughts

That sums up our list of the best free standing punching bags.

Remember, if you are looking for a bag for general fitness or for more specialized training needs, a free standing bag is one of your best options. 

It is cheap, effective and will even fit into the smallest of homes. Once you are done using, you can tuck it into a corner for storage. 

Hopefully this article has helped you narrow down your search to help you decide which free standing punching bag is going to be best for you.

Sources:

http://www.martialtalk.com/threads/freestanding-heavy-bag-water-or-sand.30100/

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