The best punch bags 2018: the best way to practice punching without being hurt or arrested

The top 5 punchbags for your home gym, for boxing and other martial arts

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The best punchbags are a great way to keep fit, even if you're a lover and not a fighter. You can use them to build strength, endurance and get your pulse racing during lengthy training sessions. They come in various shapes, sizes and weights, with smaller, lighter bags helping you to develop speed and longer heavy ones helping you with power and conditioning. 

How to buy the best punch bag

It’s worth considering the material of your punchbag. Most standard ones are made using fake leather, giving them the strength to take regular pummelling without showing much in the way of wear and tear. Genuine leather bags are great, too, but they’re a bit softer and can often be more expensive. 

The best filling for punchbags is textile, but foam is a decent alternative, albeit not as 'authentic'. 

Looking at products from the likes of Amazon and Sports Direct, we’ve compiled a list of the best punch bags featuring various materials and fillings. Whether you put budget or the type of punch bag it is at the forefront of your decision making, you can find the best one for you below. 

Home gyms are often compact spaces, so they require you to be savvy with the type of gym equipment you put in it. You'll have to decide if you want to taken your punchbag down from the ceiling when not in use, or work around it. 

Outslayer Boxing MMA punchbag, black

1. Boxing MMA 100lbs Heavy Bag Filled

Best punchbag (and kick- knee- and gouge-bag) overall

Specifications
Type: Hanging
Weight: 45kg
Filling: Textile
Reasons to buy
+ Heavy-duty punch bag + 10-year guarantee 
Reasons to avoid
- Not leather 

Built like the proverbial brick outhouse, this heavy-duty punchbag takes our top spot for its quality and durability. 

At 45kg it’s firmly in the ‘heavy bag’ category, which is good news for avid fighters, meaning it won’t swing quite as much as more lightweight punch bags, and that you’ll get more of a chance to improve your strength. The 10-year guarantee that comes with it is reassuring, too.

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2. RDX Heavy Punch Bag

Best punchbag for beginners. Comes with gloves and a chin-up bar!

Specifications
Type: Hanging
Weight: 25kg
Filling: Textile
Reasons to buy
+ Comes with gloves + Lightweight and inexpensive 
Reasons to avoid
- Not the best for experienced boxers 

This punchbag set is almost an entire setup in itself, a magician’s box of tricks for the amateur boxer. Absolute beginners are sure to be thankful for the inclusion of a decent pair of gloves, and there's also a pull-up bar, for your Rocky-esque training montages. 

While the individual components probably aren’t the highest quality you could put your hand to, but reviewers have found they’re perfectly passable. In fact, while the relatively lightweight bag might not present enough of a challenged for seasoned boxers, it’s arguably better for those just starting out. All in all, a great value package. 

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3. Everlast C3 Foam Heavy Punch Bag

Best intermediate punchbag

Specifications
Type: Hanging
Weight: 32kg
Filling: Synthetic fibre, sifted sand
Reasons to buy
+ Unusual filling keeps resistance even  + Great value 
Reasons to avoid
- Definitely not for use without gloves 

This bag is, quite simply, a great all-rounder. At a not-too-hefty 32kg it won’t leave you excessively sore after a workout, especially if you’re in a lighter weight class or practice a combination sport. Its unusual filling combination of natural and synthetic fibres, plus sifted sand, offers just the right level of resistance and keeps it consistent across the whole of the bag’s body, while an outer casing of foam is designed to absorb shock upon impact. 

All things considered, it’s surprisingly affordable, and reams of online reviewers line up to sing its praises. 

A top-heavy ceiling-hanging punchbag by Lonsdale in black and red

4. Lonsdale PU Angle Bag

Best cheap punchbag for practicing uppercuts

Specifications
Type: Hanging angled bag
Weight: 28kg
Filling: Unspecified
Reasons to buy
+ Unusual shape for uppercut practice + Durable PU outer 
Reasons to avoid
- Filling may be over-soft for some 

When practicing your devastating uppercut or unleashing a barrage of Street Fighter-style combos, you want a bag that can handle it. That would be this, the Lonsdale PU Angle Bag. 

The PU leather outer is tough and durable, designed to resist wear and tear, but the filling is soft and shock-absorbing to save your hands and wrists, and despite this, reviewers still reported a thoroughly satisfying thud on impact. 

The in-and-out design also helps if you’re going above and beyond the standard straightforward hits, giving you the chance to practice accurate landings on various bits of the body – although if your intended opponent looks like this, god help them. 

The Century Wavemaster XXL punch bag with freestanding base

5. Century Wavemaster XXL Training Bag

Best free-standing punchbag

Specifications
Type: Hanging
Weight: 45kg
Filling: Foam
Reasons to buy
+Freestanding for easy setup+ Base can be filled for more weight 
Reasons to avoid
- Moves around quite a lot if filled with sand 

This extra-large training bag is all about that base. Now, while having a bag that swings and sways all over the place might be good practice for bar brawls, it’s hardly becoming of a pro, which is why reviewers love this XXL Century training bag. 

Standing at a respectable 5’9, it’s a pretty stoic opponent that does move, but unlike a hanging bag, doesn’t swing away and give you time to reset, so it’s a great one for short, high-intensity workouts. Its freestanding design also means you can move all around it, and then dispatch it to the shed when it hands your ass to you.