Anyone who is serious about combat sports will either have or be looking to add a decent quality punching bag to their training arsenal. In this article we are going to be assessing the best free standing punching bags but there are other types of punch bags on the market which you might also want to consider – but for most, either a freestanding or heavy bag is the best piece of kit available.
Free standing punch bags are ideal for those people who struggle for space to hang a traditional heavy bag or who want to train with it in different places (as it is fairly mobile). Choosing a free-standing punching bag to buy is not easy as there are so many on the market and making the right decision is key as getting it wrong can result in injury due to poor quality kit or wasting your money – or both!
Best Free Standing Punching Bags – Top 10
We have put together our favourite 10 and there should be something to suit all budgets, needs and skill levels – from punching bags for beginners to punch bags that will keep a more experienced combat specialist on their toes.
Century BOB – Freestanding Punch Bag
The Century BOB is without doubt the best free standing punching bag on the market today. It’s not the cheapest but for combat sports such as boxing and MMA there is no better alternative. BOB stands for body opponent bag and although the name might be a bit cheesy you can be rest assured that this is a quality product that will not only stand the test of time but will also become one of your most important training aids.
Made from a vinyl skin on the outside and filled with high density urethane foam on the inside, this piece of kit can take some serious hits. You will need to fill the base with water or sand which will cause it to weigh around 120kg so portable this is not (unless you empty the base of course).
The material is not harsh at all so it can be used with or without training gloves and as the most lifelike bag on our list it is great to use to improve the accuracy of your strikes – whether that is with hands or feet. You can also adjust the height of BOB pretty easily between 60 inches and 78 inches tall so you can train for your next opponent based on their height or yours.
We would recommend filling the base with sand rather than water as it will make it much more sturdy but other than having to fill the base we cannot really offer any criticism of this punch bag. If you have the budget then go for the best – you won’t need to buy another.
Century Wavemaster XXL
Number two on our list is also a Century product and comes in the form of the colossal Wavemaster XXL. Standing at 175cm and with a diameter of 45cm, this standalone punchbag actually has the largest striking surface area of all free-standing punchbags in the UK.
It features a fillable base (sand and water) and when filled is extremely sturdy and is more than capable of withstanding your most powerful kicks and punches.
If you are looking for more of a standard punch bag rather than a human shaped one like BOB then the Century Wavemaster XXL is about as good as it gets. You will pay a premium for the XXL but it is made from premium materials with a high quality vinyl to the outer and a high density foam to the inner. At 20kg unfilled, the Wavemaster XXL is pretty portable but once filled you will struggle to move it as it will weigh closer to 100kg.
Century is pretty much considered to be the leading brand for punching bags and you can’t go wrong here so long as you can stump up the £300+ price tag.
Gallant 6FT Punch Bag
If you are looking for incredible value for money and not just the out and out best free-standing punching bag, but you don’t want to compromise on quality then Gallant is an excellent option. This 6ft version of the Gallant punchbag is about a third of the price of the Wavemaster XXL but you are getting much more than a third of the quality.
The base of the Gallant is a little narrower than some of the competitor brands so it is advised to fill this with sand – although you can use water. The advantage of the thinner base is that you can get much closer in to bag – this is good for being able to throw short range punches and kicks and will help those with shorter limbs.
The bag quality was surprisingly good quality considering the price. The bag is double stitched and made from high quality synthetic leather with a 5cm layer of EPE foam on the inner. We were able to give this a real kicking (and punching) and the bag held firm each time with no signs of damage whatsoever.
Unfortunately the Gallant is not height adjustable but there is a smaller version of this bag which is also a little cheaper so if you prefer the 5.5ft version you have that option. For most people the 6ft version will be perfectly adequate and is without a doubt the best value bag in this category.
Lonsdale Unisex Omni-flex Punch Bag
One of the nicest looking punch bags on the market and one that fares very well in customer satisfaction surveys and reviews. The design might not suit every combat sport but for boxing and MMA it is an excellent training aid.
The Lonsdale Omni-Flex is height adjustable with a maximum height of 170cm and features a fairly narrow base which makes it great for smaller spaces. The base is designed to be filled with water or sand and the bag itself offers a good degree of flex when you land your strike, this makes for a more interesting and engaging training session.
Made from synthetic leather and vinyl, the overall quality is excellent and if you are looking for a bag that can withstand and give you a high intensity workout then this is it.
The Powercore free standing punch bag from Everlast is another high quality candidate in our top 10 list and is also one that is in the mid-range price bracket that delivers that perfect balance of quality and affordability. Perfect for most combat sports and also for casual workouts, the Everlast Powercore comes with a high quality sturdy base that can be filled with water or sand and is also height adjustable with a heigh range of 132cm tall up to maximum of 165cm.
Unlike some of the other bags featured here the Powercore features a steel plate and a shock absorbing collar that is branded as a Power Transfer Ring collar that is designed to withstand some serious impact – and indeed it does this job admirably. One point we would make though is that the Powercore is not the quietest when it comes to taking punches, but that being said, it does provide a nice amount of recoil which makes for a good responsive bag. This was not an issue for us but if you have thin walls your neighbours might not be thanking you.
The bag is well made on the outside and internally with the inside featuring a tri-disc foam structure that disperses the energy from each strike in a balanced way in to the bag. If you are a moderate to powerful hitter then we would recommend filling the base with sand rather than water or you may find you get more movement from the base than you’d like.
The Everlast Powercore is a good free-standing punchbag at this price point and for those happy to fill with the sand and leave it in one spot it will make for a very good training partner.
Century Versys VS1 Fight Simulator
If you need a free standing bag for combat sports that require more than just punches and kicks then the Century Versys VS1 is going to be the best option for you. It is also a great option for anyone looking for a more portable bag as it features a pre-filled base weighing in at around 50kg in total.
If you need your punching bag for elbows, knees or even takedowns then the VS1 is perfectly equipped for that as the most flexible bag on our list. It also features top handles which makes it even easier to perform those knee strikes. The only negative to the VS1 is the price as it is one of the more expensive punching bags in our top 10 – but if you need an all round sparring partner that allows you to work on standing and groundwork then the VS1 is ideal.
At just 35cm in diameter, the VS1 is one of the best for storage but still features a good surface area. It is extremely well made with synthetic leather to the outer and a high density foam to the inner and it can really take some abuse. Although great for storage, you will need some space around you when training as it is possible to knock the bag over completely with a very powerful kick or punch.
Overall, the VS1 is just about the most versatile freestanding multi-combat sport bag on the market and is perfectly made for aerobic conditioning as well as technique training. We have to say we love it, we just wish it was a little bit cheaper.
Dripex Punch Bag
The Dripex free standing punch bag is without a doubt one of the best value for money bags on the market thanks to its quality design and manufacturing and its absurdly low price point. There is both a children’s and adult version with the former coming in around the £60 mark and the full sized version likely to set you back just under £90. We only tested the adult version which stands at a pretty impressive 175cm in height. Unfortunately the height is not adjustable but the base does have some nifty features that we have rarely seen on other brands. PVC shock absorbers are included to minimise shock and noise – although these are removable if you want a more responsive bag. There are also 12 suction cups on the base to help keep the bag in place although you will still need to fill with the base with sand or water (the former preferred as usual). The addition of the suction cups does make this bag super stable even for the bigger hitters.
In terms of the bag quality we have to say we were pretty impressed here too. 2mm of synthetic leather covers the outer layer of the bag with a fabric buffer then sitting between the outer layer and the EPE high density foam to the inner. The bag felt good to use, was responsive and the impact from our strikes felt well balanced with shocks being absorbed well. The Dripex withstood our punches and kicks well and there was no sign of damage after a good few sessions. Reviews from customers seem to back this up on the whole and for the price the Dripex is without a doubt a winner and would be a good addition to your training aids.
Lions 5.5ft Free Standing Bag
Another cheap free standing punching bag this time coming in the form of the Lions 5.5ft. At less than £65 this is about as good as it gets at the lower end of the price range and although some elements of this bag have cheaper looking materials (mainly the base) the bag itself is actually pretty darn impressive. The base itself is very sturdy and although its is quite a narrow base it is more than enough to hold the 167cm (total height) punching bag. The bag itself is made from a synthetic leather material for the outer and high density foam for the inner with a good level of energy dispersion evident upon striking.
The Lions bag was capable of taking some very powerful strikes and we gave it a pretty good bashing from a kickboxer who really did give it some – the bag withstood this no problem. As we only tested the bag for a week we were sceptical as to its longevity under constant workouts but our research mainly led us to happy customers who had used this bag for 6 months plus with no significant sign of wear or tear.
The base will need to be filled with sand or water and as always we recommend sand – although the total weight is not as heavy as other bags. The striking surface of the main bag is 97cm and the bag circumference is 90cm which provides plenty of striking area for your workout.
This Lions bag was a favourite of ours at the lower end of the price range and will suit most casual combat sport enthusiasts – anything more than that though and you might want to go for something a little higher end.
U’King Punch Bag
Any free standing punch bag for less than £100 is worth a look in our book so we tentatively took delivery of the U’King model. Having fairly low expectations it probably wouldn’t have taken too much to impress us but impress us it did. It features 12 suction cups on the base just like the Dripex bag and the base is also fillable with sand or water – one of which is required. The bag that is filled with high density EPE foam provides a good firm striking surface and the bag itself is around 30cm in diameter so you get plenty to aim at. The synthetic leather outer is also well made and the stitching is up to the standard of more well known brands.
We gave this bag a good test each day for a week and by the end of it the bag looked as good as new. Suitable for MMA, kickboxing and boxing sparring, this free-standing bag is well made and should last for years.
The base is made from highly durable rubber and the suction cups can be loosened to allow you to move the bag easily in to another space. Overall, we liked this punching bag although would probably opt for Everlast or the Lonsdale over this just because of the brand.
Gallant 5.5ft Punching Bag
The Gallant 5.5ft free-standing punching bag is a top quality bag at a low price point. The only reason we have put this at the bottom of our list is because we have already featured the 6ft version earlier on – but if you don’t need the extra height and are on a tighter budget then the 5.5ft version is a top choice and one that could easily make our top 3 overall. Unlike some of the other budget punching bags on this list, the Gallant has 5cm of EPE high density foam making the strike energy dispersion even better and a little kinder on your joints.
The solidity of this bag means that even the most powerful of strikes will struggle to move the bag too much and even though the base is narrow, the stability of this bag is excellent. Like the 6ft version, the narrow base allows you to get in close to the bag to allow you to practise those short distance punches.
At under £70 it is hard to find fault with this punching bag and at 160cm in height it gives many of the others on this list a run for their money in this regard too. If the aesthetics are important to you then you are in luck with the Gallant as there are no less than 4 designs to choose from. This is the perfect addition to your workout and will suit those who are already in to combat sports as well as those looking to include some combat in to their aerobic training.