For almost every boxer, martial artist, or MMA fighter, a speed bag is an essential piece of gear. Now, what makes speed bags, so crucial is their versatility.
A speed bag does much more than just helping you punch faster.
A good speed bag can train your defenses, reflexes, timing, range, speed, endurance, counters, hand-eye coordination, punch selection, and much more.
Check out the speed of Mayweather on the speed bag in this video.
How to choose the best speedbag
These training bags come in different styles, and each style has various features. Each speed bag has some essential characteristics in common that make them the best speed bag.
Knowing these features can help you make an educated purchase. Let’s take a look!
A swivel is the piece of equipment that fixes the bag to the platform. There are several swivel types readily available in the market. It may come as a surprise to some people, but the right kind of swivel can influence the performance of your bag.
For example, ball and hook swivels are best for beginners because it slows down the bag speed, consequently helping to improve your rhythm and accuracy. They are also the easiest to unhook.
However, they also tend to be a little noisy. So, if you are averse to noise this may not be the right swivel for your speed bag.
The other most common swivel types are Chain-link and U-bolts.
Chain links are quieter but can be quite a challenge to remove. Secondly, they also need frequent lubrication around the parts, otherwise, they become noisy.
U-bolts are the most popular around the world. The reason is U-bolts are easy to fix and provide excellent rebound on the bag. Some people have trouble with rebounds because of the u-bolt shape that causes the speed bag to slide further along the length.
In my opinion, adding some extra tape to the top of the bag can eliminate this problem. Want more information about swivel types? Watch Paul explain it in very easy terms
Two features that add to the strength of a speed bag are stitching and material. I mentioned stitching first because poor stitching can lead to the bag falling apart at the seams.
Try to go for options that have reinforced seams. Since speed bags frequently undergo huge amounts of pressure, you should consider the quality of stitching when buying.
In terms of materials, the most durable ones are made of 100 percent genuine leather. They are sturdy, compact, and last for years. Leather speed bags feel excellent when hit and give a very satisfying sound.
If you want the best option in genuine leather-made products, then go for natural cowhide leather. It is considered top-of-the-line.
Synthetic leather is also a good alternative. It is durable but not as good as leather in regards to feel and performance.
Another material is canvas. It is the cheapest of the three but not durable at all. I only recommend it to beginners or occasional trainers.
The bladder refers to the interior of the bag that gives it a particular shape. Just like the exterior, several materials are used to make the bladder.
Latex rubber bladders are the most durable. They are also comparatively lightweight and offer impressive rebounds.
Some bladders are made of rubber and butyl material as well. However, they are not as durable, and some of these models are heavy too. Rubber speed bags, in particular, are a bit of a chore to work out with because you will need to reinflate them after a few sessions.
For better performance, always choose one that has the right weight. If the speed bag is too heavy, they are harder to move.
Lighter bags, on the other hand, can disrupt your rhythm due to how fast they move.
Ultimately, you should go for the right weight – not too heavy or not too light. An ideally weighted speed bag will improve your performance by enhancing your hand-to-eye coordination.
Speed bags come in various sizes. Admittedly, you should select the size depending on your skill level. Smaller balls need more accuracy for contact.
If you are a beginner, you should start with bigger speed bags then as you get good, you can move on to the smaller speed bags.
The larger speed bags are easy to hit as they don’t require as much accuracy for hits.
Just like with any other gear, you have to consider how much money you are willing to spend. In most cases, a higher price fetches you the best speed bags. Thankfully, they are not very expensive items.
You can get one at a very reasonable price without emptying your wallet. Nevertheless, I will not recommend opting for low-priced products as they tend to not last as long.
Now that you know about essential features to take into consideration, let’s look at the top five best products market has to offer today. Read on for details!
While the title clearly mentions boxing, this speed bag can also be used for other similar sports like MMA, Muay Thai, and all other martial arts.
Featuring a hand-stitched rivet design, robust steel swivel, and cowhide leather material, this speedball is made to withstand any punch. And trust me, not every speed bag can take my hits.
It is straightforward to assemble, inflate, and install. You can even use a regular football pump to inflate it.
This product is suitable for amateurs as well as professionals. Its HG steel mount can be attached to different surfaces. Moreover, its B-balancing system ensures stability while perfect rebounds.
One reason why it stays so stable is because of its inner foam layer. The foam helps it absorb the shocks under intense pressure.
Overall, if you are a novice and want to increase the speed of your punches, then this product is a good option. However, professionals may not like its oversized shape, frequent inflating, and minor noise.
- Made of cowhide leather, it is easy to clean and very durable
- The double-stitched rivet construction provides extra durability
- High-grade steel swivel can be used with many different ceiling types
- Suitable for boxing, Muay Thai, MMA, and martial arts
- Easy to assemble, inflate and install
- May require inflating
- The size of the ball is bigger
- The Swivel doesn’t move consistently initially, but I got used to it afterward
- Maybe a little bit noisy
The first thing you notice right out of the package is the quality of the speed bag. Its ultra-soft leather exterior feels great on bare hands.
The head leather and nylon lining give it extra durability. The welting between the panels is very flush, making sure that the surface won’t rub against your hands. The best thing about this item is that it is available in five different sizes so you can select the one you deem most suitable for you.
To test the waters, I ordered the smallest size, which is 5×8 inches. To my surprise, it turned out even tiny than what I am used to.
Cleto recommends 10 psi.
At this level, the bag is as hard, and as fast as any other finest quality speed bag I have owned previously. What’s more, this bag comes with an additional bladder so you can replace it in case the old one gets damaged.
The problem is the factory model comes with a glued bladder. Good luck replacing that one!
All in all, this is an option for people looking to improve reflexes and coordination. It has a swift swing and will last a long time.
Lastly, as it comes in various size options, everyone can find a suitable size as per their skills.
- Comes with an extra bladder
- Available in multiple sizes
- The leather loop is very tight
- It offers training at a very high speed
- The bladder is glued in with contact cement which makes replacement somewhat difficult
- Priced a little higher
This nice-looking speed bag platform sports a sleek minimalistic design. The 11-gauge steel mainframe offers incredibly firm support with minimal vibrations once attached to the wall.
Its 24-inch drum has been manufactured using a one-and-a-half-inch thick oak hardwood. Therefore, it is by far one of the most durable platforms in the market.
Installing it can be a challenge, in my opinion, as this thing weighs around 50 pounds. Once correctly installed, the oak hardwood provides rock-solid support to the base for the speed bag. It reduces vibrations felt on the punching bag itself.
The wide drum means you can fit any speed bag irrespective of the size. Besides, the platform has a 15 inches height adjustability that allows you to create unique custom speed workouts.
Additionally, the package includes a professional-grade ball-bearing swivel, but honestly, my experience with it hasn’t been mediocre. Therefore, I suggest opting for a better swivel.
In terms of price, though, this platform seems a little high at first. However, you should keep in mind that you are paying for the quality and durability of this platform, which, unlike other models, far exceeded my expectations.
- Sleek minimalistic design
- Oak hardwood construction is very durable and offers a reliable support
- It has a wide drum suitable for any size of the speed bag
- 15 inches height adjustability
- Included swivel has a lousy quality
- It is heavy so installing it can be a challenge for a single person
- Priced a little higher
Hunter is a relatively new manufacturer in the market. But their products continue to impress. Made of genuine cowhide leather, this speed bag is intended for beginners.
Initially, as soon as I opened the package, the stitching on the bag seemed off. But once I aired it up, the bag fared very well. The thick leather gives it a lovely bounce.
There are three reasons why I love this product.
First, the interior of the bag is lined inside with four layers of poly-cotton material that give it a very plush feel. This bag is very easy on the hands.
Second, it is very well balanced and shaped for accurate rebounds. So, it doesn’t get deformed after a few sessions. The rebounds help to keep the rhythm.
Third, the double-lined hanging strap discourages splitting while the riveted attachment offers superior durability.
The package comes with a hunter swivel that has a reduced center hub.
It is constructed with quality bearings. Due to this reason, the bag moves freely and makes a steady striking rhythm – ideal for speed and accuracy training.
- The poly-cotton material interior makes this bag very punchable
- Well-shaped for accurate rebounds
- Very durable because of the double-lined hanging strap and riveted attachment
- This is an affordable purchase
- It is big and comparatively heavy
If you are a recreational boxer and looking for an all-in-one basic boxing training package, the RDX 12PC speedball platform should be your first choice.
It includes everything you need to get a great workout at home. For instance, you get a pair of leather gel gloves, hand wraps, a hand gripper, a speed bag, a jump rope, and a speedball platform. All at a very affordable price.
I did notice some minor downsides to this set. Firstly, its adjustability settings are complicated. You must remove the entire drum and then set it at the desired height, which can get cumbersome if there are multiple users.
Secondly, for durability, you must reinforce the platform to get any meaningful workout. In my experience, once I reinforced it, the platform started vibrating with more intensity, which gets annoying in the long run.
Obviously, this is not the best platform in the market based on quality alone. But still a good option for beginners who are looking for a basic boxing set and all the equipment in one order.
- The set has everything a novice needs to start boxing at home
- The set is effortless to assemble and install
- Has a very affordable price
- Lower-grade material
- The adjustability settings are rather hard to use
All said and done, the clear winner of my roundup is Cleto Reyes Platform Speed Bag. It has a very tight leather loop and is available in multiple sizes to accommodate beginner as well as more experienced athletes.
You can easily find the right size and weight as per your needs. Its impressive rebounds are perfect for speed training. You can attach its durable steel mount to any surface you want.
Moreover, it comes with an additional bladder to cover any damage during the training session.
In case you don’t fancy this product because of its higher price, I am sure you will love the other more affordable training items mentioned above.
Each of them has its own advantages and limitations. If you keep their features in mind, I am sure you will make a well-informed purchase. Good luck training!