The 6 Best Reflex Bags

Updated: Jun 20, 2021

What is a reflex bag? | Why they are an essential boxing tool | How to use a reflex bag | Benefits of reflex bag training | The 6 Best Reflex Bags

A boxer training on a boxing reflex bag.

The reflex bag is the boxer’s tool of choice for developing and sharpening punching speed and accuracy. Unlike punch bags, which are, comparatively, as responsive as one of those frozen cow carcasses Rocky Balboa wailed on in preparation for his first tussle with Apollo Creed, the reflex bag offers a dynamic and responsive boxing experience.

What is a reflex bag?

At its essence, a spring-loaded foam head attached to a heavy base by a steel pole. However, there are variations and some reflex bag designs are better than others: it’s all a matter of the placement of the spring. Let me explain.

The closer the spring is to the foam head the greater the responsivity of the bag and the more skill is required to use it effectively. Bags where the spring is situated at the base respond very slowly; this is the single most prevalent complaint from people who have purchased this style of reflex bag: there just isn’t much reflex. It is for this reason why they are more suitable for beginners.

Conversely, bags where the spring attaches straight to the head, rather like a coiled neck, move with blinding speed and unless you’ve got the reflexes of a cat, or Joe Calzaghe, you’ll be punching air all day long.

But thankfully there’s a middle ground between the two extremes. Reflex bags where the spring is centred between the base and the foam head offer a respectable degree of responsivity, making this style of bag challenging but also widely accessible.

Why they are good?

Heavy bags are great for developing punching power – something that you can’t do on a reflex bag. But heavy bags can also breed bad boxing habits; such as flat footedness, sloppy punching technique, and an immobility of the torso and head.

By contrast, reflex bags, because of the dynamic and often unpredictable way in which they move, almost force the boxer to be flightier of foot. For if you are not on your toes moving, bobbing and weaving, you’re likely to catch a foam head in the kisser.

In addition, reflex bags can help to improve the timing and accuracy of your punches. Essential boxing attributes that the heavy bag can actually deteriorate. Furthermore, because little to no power is applied when using a reflex bag, you tire less quickly which enables you to maintain a higher work rate.

How to use a reflex bag

a boxer using a reflex boxing bag. He has just punched the reflex boxing bag and is now 'slipping' it.

As briefly touched on above, reflex bags are designed to help the boxer hone timing, accuracy and, yes, reflex action. They are not designed to be hit hard. Doing so will not only result in damage to the bag, because they’re not built to absorb weighty blows, but also potentially your elbow and/or shoulder joint.

The aim, when using a reflex bag, is to remain light and loose. The boxer pops out snappy punches from the chin ensuring to execute correct technique. While doing so he or she will be bobbing and weaving, sticking and moving.

Benefits of reflex bag training?

The benefits that regular reflex bag training boasts include:

Improved punching speed
Improved torso and head mobility
General fitness and stamina
In addition, reflex bag training can increase muscular tonality and help to burn unwanted calories.


The 6 Best Reflex Bags


Best Reflex Bag #1: Ringside F.A.S.T Bag (£200)

Product Overview (click image for availability)

  • Heavy bag designed with a sturdy base, fillable with either sand or water.

  • Adjustable Reflex Bag Height.

  • Heavy-duty Speed Bag Spring.

  • Easy construction.

The “Fundamental Accuracy and Speed Test” Reflex Punching Bag has been developed to test precision, coordination and speed.

Ringside has developed this Standing Reflex Bag ‘alongside our team of professional boxers to provide the perfect Cobra Reflex Bag for both beginners and professionals alike.’

With a sturdy base, metal construction, and a heavy-duty spring, this boxing reflex bag provides premium build quality and performance for any kind of punching bag training exercise.

Ringside’s reflex bag, with its central positioned spring, would make a perfect addition to a home gym or garage boxing gym set-up.


Best Reflex Bag #2: Fnova Punching Ball Speed Bag (£156,66)

Product Overview (click image for availability)

  • The height of the sand ball rack can be adjusted between 160cm and 220cm.

  • The surface of the boxing ball is constructed from high-density PU leather and four-layer thick PU protection measures to prevent bursting and effectively improve impact resistance.

  • Equipped with 12 suction cups to reduce movement at the base.

  • The base can be filled with sand or water.

Fnova’s reflex bag boasts extensive height adjustable options making this product suitable for most all heights.

The head is comprised of compacted foam and is not, as is the case with most reflex bags, inflatable. This feature enables you to unload heavier punches. However, it comes at a cost.

Because of the weighty head and the placement of the spring, which attaches centrally, the responsivity of this product will be touch slower than, say, Ringside’s FAST bag.

But in saying that, it will still be responsive enough to test even the most practiced pugilist.


Best Reflex Bag #3: Ringside Fitness Reflex Bag (£139,99)

Product Overview (click image for availability)

  • This bag's height can be easily adjusted between 49"-69".

  • The plastic base tank can be filled with up to 125 pounds of water or 240 pounds of sand.

  • Mimics the movement of an actual opponent via the specifically-placed chrome spring.

  • Made of easy to clean durable synthetic leather.

The Fitness Reflex Bag from Ringside, on account of the low spring placement (which attaches right at the base), is perfect for novice boxers or fitness enthusiasts who wants to get a great workout, while developing accuracy, timing and distance.

The durable, synthetic leather punching bag ensure superior longevity even after years of use.

Another feature of note is the adjustable pole which extends from 49” up to 69”. This makes the bag accessible for father and son or mother and daughter.

The plastic base tank can be filled with up to 125 (60kg) pounds of water or 240 pounds (110kg) of sand. This ensures that, when fully filled, it will remain fixed in position during training sessions.


Best Reflex Bag #4: Basisago Heavy Stand Punching Bag With 360° Reflex Bar (£189,99)

Product Overview (click image for availability)

  • Easily adapt to a wide variation of heights making it suitable for teenagers and/or adults.

  • The plastic base has 8 super suction cups to prevent shaking and scratching floor, you can fill it with sand or water to keep the shelf stable.

  • Suitable for any smooth surface floor.

  • High-quality hand-sewn artificial leather ball and shock-absorbing polyurethane wraps, more durable and safer, can participate in sports activities for a long time.

Basisago’s reflex bag boasts a high-quality hand-sewn faux leather head which reduces wear and tear over time.

In addition, the shock-absorbing polyurethane foam enables you to give this bag a bit more welly. And, unlike some of the inflatable products, will actually feel like you are hitting something.

The plastic base sports 8 suction cups that stabilise the bag while your whale away. The superior stability that is afforded thanks to those suction cups is compounded if the base is filled with either water or sand – or a mixture of both.

Another feature that warrants mention is that 360° rotating foam arm. The theory behind this feature is self-explanatory. However, not all reflex bags come with one – especially not at this price.


Best Reflex Bag #5: Dayong Boxing Punching Bag (£219)

Product Overview (click image for availability)

  • Scientific design cobra reflex boxing bag with stand.

  • Height adjustable from 59" to 71"(150-180cm).

  • Water/sand unfilled durable high-density plastic base with multiple powerful suction cups.

  • Steel rod construction along with high-grade PU bags with inner bladder design.

Dayong offer a little bit more than just a reflex bag. Included within their package comes a pugilistic starter kit. As well as something to hit you’ll receive a pair of gloves, wraps and a hand pump. Pretty impressive I think you’ll agree.

The bag itself is inflatable (which explains the pump) and is held in place by a stainless steel support. That, by the way, is a feature of note. The majority of reflex balls are propped up by aluminium tubing which is not very durable and thus is liable to bend. Stainless steel, on the other hand, offers superior strength.

In addition, the bag can be adjusted from 59" to 71". Making it suitable for people of different heights. And holding it all in place is a large capacity fillable base and suction cups.


Best Reflex Bag #6: Boxingbar Viper Reflex Cobra Bag Speedball Boxing (£249,99)

Product Overview (click image for availability)

  • Redesigned to ensure improved responsivity and durability.

  • Built for the competitive athlete.

  • Foam-filled bag withstands greater force and improves longevity.

  • Steel frame offer superior strength and robustness.

According to Boxingbar this reflex bag is one of their most popular products.

Question. Why?

The bag has been redesigned to ensure improved responsivity and durability. Because it has been built for the competitive athlete in mind, it has been constructed from superior-quality materials.

In addition, the foam-filled bag not only requires no inflation, a boon for those bereft of a pump or patience, meaning as soon as it’s assembled you can get boxing. But also a foam-filled head can take a bit more of a beating.

The sturdy steel frame offers superior strength and longevity and the adjustable, rapid-rebound spring can be set to accommodate the Bilbo Baggins of the world right up to the High Towers.


To Conclude

It's not up for argument, the reflex bag is one of the best training tools for developing punch speed, accuracy and timing.

But reflex punching bags are also a great way to improve fitness and boxing conditioning. It's these attributes of the reflex bag why they are growing in popularity.

Anyone of the products reviewed above would make for a perfect home boxing training tool. And because of their versatility you'll be able to work on all aspects of your boxing skill set.


Teach yourself the principals of pugilism with our Boxing Basic How To Guide.


(As we are very interested in user experience here at Hungry4Fitness, we would be very grateful if you could take a few seconds out of your day to leave a comment. Thanks in advance!)

Blog Author

Adam Priest, former Royal Marines Commando, is a personal trainer, lecturer, boxing and Thai boxing enthusiast.

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