How to Choose a Heavy Bag? – The Ultimate Guide

“How to choose a heavy bag” question’s answer actually depends on  a lot of things including training type, its weight, length, class and of course martial art’s type. There are also couple of features to consider like durability, filler…

Let’s start with the most common question…

How to Choose Weight for Hanging Heavy Bag?

If you consider only boxing training, then short heavy bags will do the job. Their length is generally shorter than 50″ and you should choose the bag close to half of your weight. I am 173 Lbs. so I generally do my boxing training with weights between 80 and 100 Lbs.

If you have kicks and knee strikes in your workout routine, then generally tall heavy bags ,which are taller than 60″,  are for you. When it is the case, you should consider at least 100 Lbs. bags. Because if you choose half of your weight, then it would swing a lot.

how to choose a heavy bag


Do you need a Heavy Bag Stand?

When a punching bag is heavier than 100 Lbs. , then getting a heavy bag stand is the best option. Even though lots of wall mounts easily can hold very heavy weights, are you sure that your ceiling will support it? Well I have honestly no idea whether my ceiling can support it or not and I don’t want to bet on it 😉 Also lots of quality stands are not that expensive. You can check reviews of these stands on here.


Do You have Suitable Place to Hang a Heavy Bag?

I can’t use any hanging heavy bags in my home because I live in a rental and I know my land lord. I am sure that he would not let mounting to ceiling or floor. Or maybe you don’t want to give extra cash for a stand. Then free standing punching bags are way to go and lots of them actually give you incredible benefits which can’t be acquired by heavy bags like precision or very low knee strikes.


About Free Standing Punching Bags

These generally have optimal rebound rate for your strike. With that, you may sometimes get too much resistance from it. I had this experience with Ringside Elite, if you run into this issue, you can empty the base couple of Lbs. and then start training with it again.

Free Standing Heavy Bag Pros

  • very easy to set up
  • Surface for knee strikes, low kicks
  • Lots of choices for every training type
  • Some of them can improve precision

Heavy Bag Pros

  • Develops your striking timing
  • Best equipment for footwork
  • Nostalgic feeling 😉

Heavy Bag Cons

  • not easy to set up
  • Don’t provide surface for low leg strikes (if you do muay thai, kickboxing…)

If you think of getting free standing bags, check out this incredible list.



Sand: If its not quality heavy bag and it is filled with sand,  then it won’t be durable much and some spots will behow to choose a punching bag hard or soft after couple of months. With that, you won’t be having this problem with quality heavy bags and free standing punching bags.

Water: I prefer water instead of sand. First reason is that water filled heavy bags give more natural striking experience. Secondly, well it is water I can fill it easy whereas filling sand will be more difficult.

Filling the free standing bags with or sand doesn’t matter because you will be filling the base. So this choice won’t be affecting your striking experience

Foam: This is found in most quality bags. It absorbs shocks way better than sand or water and always gives the same quality striking experience wherever you hit. These bags are very durable and you can expect to you use at least 3 years and get same quality training.

Fabric: This can be a quality material or not durable material. When heavy bag’s filler is fabric, I strongly suggest you to look at reviews as always and of course the warranty period.


Cover Material

Synthetic leather, genuine leather and heavy duty vinyl are best choices for a cover material. With that if you want premium quality heavy duty vinyl and genuine leather are top quality for cover.


Do Brands Matter?

According to me, Outslayer and Century are the best brands. However they have a few bad products. So it does not matter what matters is the quality of the bag. You should always check out the online reviews. If you are looking a review of quality brands punching bags have a look at Outslayer Heavy Bag Reviews. I am sure that you won’t be disappointing by the quality 😉

I hope you enjoyed the content and if you have any questions about choosing heavy bag, please leave a comment below.


Media Courtesy of Marines and Moody Air Force Base via Creative Commons License, Some Rights Reserved
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6 thoughts on “How to Choose a Heavy Bag? – The Ultimate Guide”

  1. I have been interested in getting a bag for home but was always worried about where to put it, I didn’t want to end up ripping my roof off because it wouldn’t support it. I think I will definitely go with a free standing bag now. With the bags that are filled with water, is there ever a chance they will leak? I wouldn’t want to fill my house with water either.

    1. Free standings are great for home and you can put it away when you finish workout I have not had that problem and I always check out the best punching bags reviews and people also don’t report this kind of problem. So it is all good 😉 you can take a look at these bags reviews.

  2. Hey!

    First of all, very nice article about heavy bags, informative and easy to read, great job!

    It will be nice to have a bag at home but I don’t have any space and it’s rental apartment, maybe one day… Although, I’m going to the gym almost every day and there is a heavy bag, better than nothing.

    1. I sometimes live in rental and that literally sucks. Well actually I think the same maybe one day 😉 But I think of a free standing one and not hanging one. It will be more suitable for home and I will probably get a dummy for precision training.

      If you will need any help while choosing a bag, you can always have a comment or e-mail me.

  3. Thanks for regularly posting such interesting product reviews. As my grandson is into boxing and Christmas is coming I thought that it would be a nice gift for him. After reading your article on the free standing punching bags, I think that he would love that.

    However, I have read various comments regarding the Everlast bag itself, that it functions very well, but I am a bit concerned about water not being enough weight. Do you have a response for that?

    Looking forward to your comment on this matter before making a decision.

    John ツ

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