Training shouldn’t end when the gym closes for the night.
For people who are training in boxing and other combat sports, need the chance to practice their head movement, timing, and bobbing.
A solution for this issue is a reflex bag, a quieter and simpler training bag compared with a double end bag.
We’re going to take a look at why you need a reflex bag, what makes some better than others, and show you the best reflex bags that you can get your hands on today.
What is a Reflex Bag?
Basically, a reflex bag is a free-standing punching bag that is designed to help you work on your movement while taking up relatively little space. It has a bag at the top, a pole that swings back at you when the bag is struck, and the base which sits on the ground.
You can set one of these up instead of drilling mounts into your ceiling and floor for a double end bag and still get a great workout at home.
Benefits of Using a Reflex Bag
There are several reasons that you will want to make use of a reflex bag.
First off, a reflex bag allows you to train while you’re at home. That’s very important when you’re trying to train when the gym is closed or when you have to close the skill gap between you and the other people that you train with.
The specific kind of training that you get out of using this bag is really good as well. You can practice head movement, timing, dodging strikes, and making your shots land where you need them to.
Another reason that the reflex bag is a good idea for you to use is that it is a lot quieter than using a double end bag. That means you can train at home without disturbing the neighbours, which is important depending on your living situation.
Best of all, you don’t have to mount this bag to the ceiling or fasten it to the ground, since it's weighted base keeps it in position.
For a bit of inspiration, check out the mash up video of Ryan Garcia working his reflex bag.
How to Determine Which Reflex Bag to Buy?
Considering the wide variety of reflex bags currently available, it can often be hard to differentiate the good from the bad.
With that in mind, pay special attention to the following aspects.
Quality of Bag
First of all is the overall quality of the bag itself. Considering this thing is going to take a beaten for a good number of hours, it needs to be able to hold up. Typically, genuine leather tends to be the most durable, however over recent years it's becoming less and less common in punching bags.
These days, synthetic/ faux leather seems to be the go to. Although not quite as durable as genuine leather, it can definitely get the job done... plus it's easier to clean.
Personally, I prefer a reflex bag with the spring located roughly half way up the pole. This allows for a much faster rebound, and also makes the overall set up more steady.
If you're a beginner looking for a slower rebound, a reflex bag with a spring located at the bottom of the pole is probably the way to go.
Some reflex bags have multiple settings that allow you to adjust the tension of the spring. This is great for beginners, as you can start on a lower intensity setting and progress your way up.
Capacity of the Base
One aspect that's definitely worth paying attention to is the base. Make sure that the base can hold enough water or sand to properly weigh the stand down. Additionally, some companies include a weight bag which you can place over the base to further improve it's stability.
Lastly is price. While reflex bands tend to be somewhat budget friendly, the cheapest of the cheap tend to be bad quality. I've noticed a lot of cheap, knock off reflex bags floating around online which should probably be avoided.
These tend to snap easily and are definitely not worth an investment.
Reflex Bag Reviews
Right, I think it's about time we crack on with the reviews.
Max MMA Cobra Reflex Bag
The Max MMA Cobra Reflex Bag is definitely a mainstay on the list of the best reflex bag because of its particular structure.
A lot of times, you’re going to find that the spring is located close to the base. That makes it take some time for it to rebound based on the strength that you use to hit the bag.
However, the Max MMA Cobra Reflex bag has a spring that is located about halfway up the pole. That means that the bag is going to rebound a lot faster than the other ones on the market. That makes it a fair bit more difficult to use and also gives the user a more beneficial workout than using other reflex bags.
The location of the spring also helps the bag stay more stable when you’re striking it, so you’re less likely to knock the whole thing down.
That being said, like any other reflex bag you’re going to want to make sure that you weigh down the base properly before using it. The product comes with a weight bag that you can fill to make sure everything is weighed properly. This will keep it from tumbling over after you land a few hits on it.
The bag itself is made of pretty tough materials, polyurethane. It’s going to be able to take a beating from you without breaking down. It also comes with two different bags with a medium and large size, both with an inner bladder design.
The rod that flexes back and forth towards you is made of steel, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking down or rusting anytime soon.
All in all, it’s easy to why this is such a great reflex bag as it's got some great features and built to a solid standard.
However, you might look at the price point and see that it appears to be a little on the moderate to high end. As we always say: you get what you pay for. While there are some brands out there looking to gouge you, this is definitely not the case.
Ringside Cobra Reflex Bag
The first thing that you will notice about the Ringside Cobra Reflex Bag is that it is probably sold out where you’re trying to buy it.
This is definitely one of the most popular reflex bags on the market today due to a variety of great features.
If you’ve been involved in boxing for even a short time, then the chances are good that you know about the Ringside brand. It’s a mainstay in modern boxing gear for a reason, and reflex bags like this are a reason why.
This reflex bag is primarily made from steel, so you can count on it taking a lot of punishment in the bag, using the spring, and on the actual pole itself.
The body is designed to take a beating and keep coming back. When it does come back, it rebounds fast. The rebound on this reflex bag is very quick due to the spring’s location about halfway up the pole. That means when you strike this bag, you better be ready to react.
The base of the reflex bag stand allows you to directly fill it with water or sand so you can knock it around a bit and not have to worry about toppling it over. You can adjust the stand from 5’ to 7’ so you have a lot of variability to work with when you’re training.
All in all, this is a great reflex bag that is built to last. However, the fact of the matter is that this bag is very hard to get your hands on, so you have to do some shopping if you hope to get one.
Yet, we’ll be the first to tell you that it is worth it.
If this is out of stock (which it probably will be) we'll provide another brilliant Ringside option next on the list.
Ringside Fitness Reflex Bag
If the crazy fast spring action rebound of the Ringside Cobra Reflex bag is too fast or you’re looking for a more realistic idea of reaction speed, then this bag could be for you.
The main difference that you’re going to notice between the Ringside Fitness Reflex Bag and Cobra is the placement of the spring.
On this model, the chrome spring on the reflex bag is located on the bottom of the pole rather than the middle. That means when you strike it, the whole pole has to flex down and then return. The slower rebound is good for people who are looking to work on their timing without cranking the speed up to 11.
The bag is made from synthetic leather rather than genuine leather. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s low quality though. Synthetic leather is still very durable and will stand up to plenty of training sessions for you.
Another benefit of this synthetic leather is that it is very easy for you to clean if it starts to get scuffed and sweaty. That’s important because the last thing you want is to have to replace the bag too soon on one of these.
The base of the reflex bag is nice because it can hold a lot of weight so you don’t send the thing flying over. You can fill it with water or sand, providing 125lbs or 240lbs of weight to the base respectively.
You can adjust the height on the frame between 49” and 69”, so you have plenty of room to adjust based on your height and comfort level.
Overall, this is a pretty solid reflex bag that comes with a fairly low price point that just about anyone can afford. The fact that it’s a Ringside brand is also good because you know that you’re going to get very good quality.
Everlast Hyperflex Bag
Anyone that is involved in boxing will be familiar with Everlast as a brand.
They have been around for many years and show no signs of not putting out interesting and durable products. The Everlast Hyperflex bag is a pretty unique form of reflex bag because it has three different areas where it can flex.
For starters, it has a steel spring on the bottom that makes the pole flex like any other reflex bag. The spring is located low on the pole so it rebounds quickly but isn’t going to fly back at you faster than you can handle for the most part. Unlike other reflex bags, there are three knobs on the pole that unlock areas that you can use to work out in specific ways.
For example, if you unlock the top, you’ll get the chance to work on a bag that emphasizes fast punching with movement from the top of the bag as well as the overall flex from the spring on the pole.
There are three settings on the bag including Speed Flex, Straight Flex, and Hyperflex, each involving using the three knobs to create settings that let you work on different techniques
The base of the Everlast Hyperflex is a little smaller than most others and will only handle about 70lbs of water or sand before it is full.
That means that you don’t want to be rocking this thing with all of your power or you could run into some problems. You could add your own weights to the base to increase it's stability if you're finding it a bit unstable.
The height on this pole is not as high as some others, but it comes up to roughly 63” when fully extended. The bag on this one is interesting because it is made of solid foam instead of a bladder filled bag. It’s a little hard to strike, and it’s not as durable as leather.
All in all, the Everlast Hyperflex is a very good reflex bag setup. It has a pretty low price point, comes with some unique features, and comes from a very well-respected company. It’s certainly a wonderful entry into the competition for the best reflex bags.
Anfan Reflex Bag - Budget Friendly
The Anfan Reflex Bag is a notable entry into the competition for great reflex bags for several reasons.
The first thing that you’re going to notice is that the spring is on the bottom of the pole, so the rebound on this bag is going to be fast but not too fast for you to respond. You can adjust the height from between 56” and 68” in height, so that should work for most people.
The bag itself is designed from a strong sponge material that is then coated in faux leather. It’s not the most high quality bag out there to be sure, but the overall leather design should serve its purpose and not break down after a few heavy workouts.
The stand itself is made from fixed steel and so is the spring on the bottom of the stand. That means it has a good chance of withstanding just about all the punches that you’re going to throw its way.
Speaking of throwing some hard punches, you can fill the bottom of the stand with 66lbs of water to provide some extra weight so you don’t go knocking this thing over. As I mentioned earlier, you can also add your own weight via sand bags to the base in order to further increase stability.
There are two colors that you can get for the bag for the Anfan reflex bag and they are back and red. There’s nothing too fancy in that respect.
However, that is kind of reflected in the overall price that you get. It has a lower-end cost so that just about anyone can afford to buy one of these without putting a huge amount of money down.
That being said, we always tell buyers that you get what you pay for. There are no bells and whistles on this bag, but it will be enough to get some good training done for all of the users.
Protocol Reflex bag
The company might not be as famous as some others, but the Protocol Reflex Bag Set has got it where it counts.
This designed with a steel stand that is attached to the plastic base. The base can be filled with up to 66lbs of water, giving it a good chance against the punches that you’re going to be throwing at it.
The bag itself is made from some dense foam and then coated in faux leather. It is going to absorb good punches but it may not be as durable as some other materials like good polyurethane or even genuine leather. It comes in red and black, giving you a little bit of choice in the purchase that you’re making here.
It's height is also adjustable between 49” and 63” inches. This is definitely not as tall as some of the other options that you’re going to see on the market today. However, it should be tall enough for most people to use and work out with.
The cool thing about this reflex bag is that the company does everything it can to increase the value for the customer a little more than usual.
For example, when you buy this bag you get a pretty low price point that isn’t going to break your bank. Also, when you buy this, you get a free pair of boxing gloves that you can use to train. Sure, they aren’t going to be the world’s best gloves, but it is a good way for someone that is newer to training to get a bargain on their purchase.
Overall, this is a pretty solid, budget friendly option. It has a lot of features that are baseline for the product line.
You can expect the chance to put this bag through its paces and get some good mileage out of it.
All right, it’s time to take a look at what we consider to be the top reflex bag out there today.
A great reflex bag is something that is going to help out the user in a whole lot of ways. It’s going to push you to train your reflexes and reactions so that you dodge and absorb hits in the right way while delivering concise shots of your own.
When you are buying a reflex bag, you need something that is going to work with your skill level and provide you with a challenge. You need a way to work your movement and get the best out of every training session so that you walk away better and not just sweatier than before.
With all of that in mind, we had a difficult choice to make here.
On paper, we like the Ringside Cobra Reflex Bag. It has an amazing rebound, incredible quality, and a structure that is built to last. However, the problem is that it is just about always out of stock. You are going to have a hard time getting your hands on this reflex bag.
That being said, we have an alternative that has all these amazing qualities and that is the Max MMA Cobra Bag. Featuring the same spring system that gives you fast rebounds along with some tough construction; you’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of this reflex bag.
The bag is notable for a lot of reasons. First off, they give you some nice hand wraps to use while you’re smacking the bag around. That says something about a company when they are willing to give you good quality extra things. Also, this bag is so good that it is what the professionals use.
Some people might look at the price and say they can get one cheaper, too. While you can get a reflex bag cheaper for sure, the fact is that this one is higher quality, better to use, and has a reflex mechanism that will make your training worthwhile.
All in all, there are a lot of good reflex bags out there but the Max MMA Cobra Bag is simply one of the best reflex bags that you’re ever going to find.
Well, that is all we have for you in terms of great reflex bags. We demonstrated that there are a fair number of really good bags and a few great ones that you need to consider when you’re in the market.
As always, we wanted to take some time to thank you for taking a look at our page.
It’s always good for people to check out what we’re writing down so you can become more informed about the gear you need as a fighter.
Feel free to drop us a line and let us know what you think!