We spent over 30 hours researching speed bag platforms and setups, and after examining crucial details like ease of setup, build quality, long-term durability, and adjustability, the XMark XM-4441 has proven itself as the best speed bag platform. The XM-4441 takes no more than 30 minutes to install, and its combination of heavy-duty steel framing and ultra-thick strike board provide a rock-solid foundation at a very reasonable price. Article Summary
Speed bag training is one of the most important forms of training for a fighter. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a complete beginner or a veteran in the ring, or whether you practice boxing or MMA, using a speed bag regularly can significantly improve your skills both physically and mentally. “It isn’t just about hand-eye coordination or speed,” TITLE Boxing says, “When used correctly, a speed bag can provide numerous beneficial edges that other pieces of equipment can’t,” including focus, timing, reflex, and rhythm.
We spent roughly four days reviewing speed bag platforms in order to find the best, most solid options. When it comes to platforms, two of the most important aspects to look at are quality and durability. Since you’re going to be slamming a bag back and forth repeatedly, you want a platform that’s going to be rock-solid without any wobbling or rattling so that it will hold up over time without an issue. For this, we closely examined each platform’s frame design and materials to ensure stability and sturdiness. Another key feature is adjustability. Having the ability to adjust the height of your speed bag is not only good for training purposes, but it also means you can accommodate a number of different users (friends, family, clients, etc.).
Besides our own research on quality, material, and features, we also turned to the hands-on experiences of other users. We spent hours reading through customer reviews of each platform, taking note of both positive and negative commentary from beginner and expert trainers alike, that way we had every bit of info possible on each model. Using all of this intensive research, we were easily able to identify which platforms are best and have explained each of our choices in detail below.
The best speed bag platform overall
XMark probably isn’t the first name to come to mind when you think of boxing equipment. You probably think of names like Everlast or TITLE. While Everlast and TITLE do offer their own speed bag platforms, neither of them even come close to the quality, strength, and value of the XMark XM-4441.
In case you’ve never heard of them before, XMark is a growing home gym equipment company, producing everything from basic barbells and weights to full-blown power racks and functional trainers. While they aren’t necessarily a household name just yet, they have developed a rather solid reputation for providing super high quality products at reasonable costs, and their XM-4441 speed bag platform couldn’t be a more perfect example.
Starting with the build quality, the XM-4441 boasts a 1.5-inch-thick hardwood strike board mounted to a heavy-duty steel support frame, providing one of the strongest setups out there. There is a common issue with stability that we noticed when researching platforms: some companies use a strong frame and a weak strike board, and other companies use a weak frame and a strong strike board. In both cases, this presents a rather critical weakness in a product you’re going to be slamming around for the next few years. XMark was the only brand we found that addressed both sides of the problem by providing a strong frame (heavy-duty steel) and a strong strike board (super thick), putting their platform’s strength and sturdiness far ahead of the competition. The heavy-duty build also helps to minimize vibrations, keeping the platform on the quieter side so you don’t have any noisy rattling.
Another key benefit to the XM-4441 is its extensive adjustability. Some platforms aren’t adjustable at all (which is terrible), and other platforms adjust in the range of 6-10 inches. The XM-4441 gives you a full 15 inches of adjustment using rails that are built into the wall mounts, allowing you to find the perfect height to train at. Adjusting the platform is easy and can be done in about 20-30 seconds using four twist knobs; simply loosen the knobs to move the platform to your preferred height, and when you tighten them back down it will lock the platform in place with no movement whatsoever.
As far as installation goes, the XM-4441 is a pretty straightforward platform to setup – another big plus for XMark considering how confusing some of the competitor platforms are to install. XMark includes a very detailed instruction manual, and all-in-all, setup takes about 30 minutes to an hour depending on how handy you are. There is hardware included for mounting the platform on standard household wood studs, but if you want to mount this on a different type of wall (like concrete, for example), you’ll need to take a quick trip to your local hardware store to pick up some new bolts.
It’s also important to note that the platform does include a professional-grade ball bearing swivel at the center of the strike board, but it does not come with the speed bag itself. The XM-4441 model only includes the platform, swivel, and mounting hardware. You’ll need to use your own bag or purchase one in addition to this platform.
Based on everything noted above, it should be pretty clear why we chose the XMark XM-4441 as the best speed bag platform. It offers everything you could want and need in a platform, and it’s listed at a very fair price considering the superior quality you’re getting. In fact, it’s actually on the lower end of the price spectrum; most heavy-duty platforms are in the $250-350 range, but the XM-4441 is available for under $200.
The best bang for your buck
If you don’t necessarily care to have the best of the best, and instead you’re looking for a platform that offers a solid bang for your buck, the Everlast Elite platform would be a perfect choice for you. At under $100, this is one of the cheapest platforms on the market, yet still offers great quality. It also happens to be the #1 best-seller on Amazon in the speed bag platform category.
If you’re even remotely into the boxing and/or martial arts scene, you’ve heard the name Everlast. They’re arguably the biggest name in the sport of fighting. Directly from their website: “Since 1910, Everlast is the world’s leading manufacturer, marketer, and licensor of boxing, MMA, and fitness equipment.” Given that they have over 100 years in the business, it’s safe to say they’re a trustworthy brand.
Compared to our top pick, the XMark XM-4441, the Everlast Elite speed bag platform is a little more on the basic side in terms of its build quality. Rather than a full steel frame, Everlast uses a combination of wood and steel for its support system. As you can see in the image above, there are two wood support braces which mount directly onto your wall, and then the strike board itself is mounted onto the wood support braces using two steel cross-braces. A few users have reported a small lack of stability due to this frame design being slightly weaker than a full steel frame, but they were also quick to note that you can provide an easy fix by throwing a little weight on top of the strike board (a sandbag or weight plate, for example) to help keep the platform stable.
Similar to XMark’s platform, the Everlast Elite is adjustable to allow you to train at different heights. Moving in 1-inch increments, the platform is adjusted using spring pin locks, and there are 8 different heights you can set the platform at (thus allowing for 8 inches of adjustment total). While our top pick has nearly twice the amount of adjustment, 8 inches is still more than enough room to find your perfect height as well as train at a multitude of levels to fine-tune your striking skills.
Due to the multi-brace frame design, setup and installation of the Everlast Elite is a bit more time-intensive than competitor platforms, but as long as you can follow directions well, you’ll be able to set everything up in about one to two hours. One thing to be aware of now is that Everlast does not include hardware to mount the wood support braces to the wall, so you’ll need to supply that yourself. The hardware needed will depend on your personal setup (location, type of wall, etc.), but according to users online, the following hardware is recommended for wall mounting:
• Four 4-inch lag bolts, 5/16ths thickness (plus washers)
• Power drill, plus drill bit to pre-drill holes for the above lag bolts
• Phillips screwdriver
• Socket set
In addition, just like most other speed bag platforms, the Everlast Elite includes a swivel for you to mount the speed bag, but it does not include the bag itself.
At under $100, the Everlast Elite is a killer value for your dollar. It does come with a few small snags here and there, but all are manageable with a few simple workarounds. If you have any more questions about the setup of this platform, there are some extremely helpful tips, images, and videos in the top reviews on Amazon. Go here to check them out.
A good (but pricey) runner-up
Although we believe the XMark XM-4441 and the Everlast Elite cover all ends of the consumer spectrum (those looking for the best speed bag platform overall, and those looking for the best value option), the TITLE Precision is also a great option for those looking for a professional-grade platform. It’s certainly on the pricier side, but it’s a very solid setup.
Just like Everlast, TITLE is an extremely well-known name in the fighting sports industry. They are represented by a number of top professionals in the ring, and you can find their equipment alongside Everlast’s in nearly any commercial boxing gym around the world. With that said, their equipment is also perfectly suitable for home use, which brings us to our runner-up, the TITLE Precision platform.
Similar to our XMark top pick, the TITLE Precision platform is built using a high-density hardwood platform and a heavy-duty steel frame – however, as you can probably tell from the image above, the frame is considerably more bulky. This is due to TITLE’s height adjustment design which utilizes steel guide shafts rather than a built-in rail system, so there is a lot more material required to make things work. Unfortunately, the extra bulk goes a little unjustified, seeing as our top pick (and even other platforms) is able to provide the same amount of stability and adjustment without the 25+ extra pounds in materials. This is no exaggeration either, the TITLE Precision platform weighs in over 70 lbs; something to keep in mind if you don’t have super strong walls at home.
As you’ve probably gathered from the talk about their bulky adjustment design, the TITLE Precision platform is in fact adjustable. The strike board can be moved 14 inches in vertical adjustment, making it great for trainers of any height. Their guide shaft system takes a little longer to adjust than other systems, but it’s manageable (think 60 seconds instead of 30). TITLE has also included one of their pro-style swivels for the strike board, but as is standard for most platforms, you’ll have to purchase the speed bag separate.
In the end, the big thing that sets TITLE’s Precision platform back is their price. A bulkier, heavier design isn’t the end of the world considering the quality and sturdiness that this platform provides, but at nearly $300, it doesn’t offer any additional value to justify the higher price tag. For the same price, you could buy our top pick plus a high-quality speed bag and a pair of gloves.
Other platforms worth mentioning
We’ve covered what we believe are the top three best speed bag platforms above, but in case you are doing some free browsing online, we’ve also included some notes on a few other models and why they didn’t make it to our list of top picks.
XMark also makes another speed bag platform called the XM-2811. It’s nearly identical to our top pick, the XM-4441, but its frame uses a heavier gauge steel. We did not include this model in our top three because we didn’t see a point in going for a more expensive version of the same exact platform just for the sake of having a heavier-duty steel. The XM-4441’s frame is already rock-solid enough.
The Valor Fitness CA-53 is like a heavier-duty version of the TITLE Precision (the runner-up in our guide), using a similar guide shaft adjustment design, thicker steel framing, and an even thicker strike board (over 2 inches thick). Since one of our main complaints about TITLE’s platform is that it is unnecessarily bulky, the Valor Fitness model just took this complaint to an even higher level.
The Balazs i-Box is a very high-quality platform. It’s very similar in features and design to our top pick, however the price is significantly higher. We didn’t include this in our top three because we didn’t think users would want to pay almost $80 more for a product that was so similar to our #1 pick.
Besides the Precision model shown in our top three, TITLE also makes a more budget-friendly platform called The Classic. This model is very simple in design but lacks adjustability, which we considered to be a key feature, so we did not include it for this reason. For nearly the same price, you can buy the Everlast Elite and have a much nicer platform that is also adjustable.
Choosing the right platform for you
Although we’ve shown you the general verdict on each platform in our guide, there are still a few more considerations to make to ensure you’re choosing the best speed bag platform for your personal wants and needs. Here are some questions to ask yourself before buying.
How often will you be training?
If you’re going to be training with the speed bag often (or if you like to train hard), it kind of goes without saying that you’ll want a higher-end platform that’s built to last. You’re going to need something solid and well-made so that it can take a daily beating without falling apart in a year. On the other hand, if you’re not going to be speed bagging that often, it’ll probably be fine if you opt for a lower-end platform. This will save you a little cash and will still hold up just fine over time since you won’t be using it daily.
How much height adjustment do you want?
Some platforms offer a little adjustment, some offer a lot of adjustment, and some don’t offer any adjustment at all. Now, we probably don’t need to tell you that having adjustment is certainly better than not having it. There are a number of benefits to having a platform that adjusts; it allows you to train at different height levels so that you can be prepared for a competitor of any height, and it also allows multiple people to train on the same platform because they can adjust it to their preferred level (this obviously won’t matter much if you’re the only person that will be using your platform). With that said, consider exactly how much adjustment you want to have. Most models will adjust in the 5-10 inch range, but there are also some models that will adjust in the 10-15 inch range and higher. In our opinion, more is better – we like maximum versatility.
Are you handy with tools?
Some platforms are easier to install than others. Some include clear instructions and only require the use of a few basic tools to get everything done from start to finish, but others provide less-than-helpful directions in addition to some advanced drilling and tool use. We’ve made notes about the installation process of each platform in our guide, but if you’re shopping around, always remember to check the setup process to make sure it’s something you are capable of handling.
Other gear you’ll need to get started
Investing in a platform is just the first step towards setting up your new speed bag training center, you still need a few more things before you can start pounding the bag.
Buying the best speed bag platform won’t do you much good without the speed bag itself, will it? Unfortunately, most platforms do not include a bag with your purchase. This is because most fighters usually prefer to pick their own. Speed bags come in a variety of sizes, weights, and materials, and everyone has a different personal preference based on their training goals, experience level, or some other variable. For help choosing the right speed bag for you, check out TITLE Boxing’s guide on choosing a speed bag.
While you’re obviously free to train bare-handed if you want, it’s recommended that you wear some sort of hand protection like wraps or gloves. Wearing hand gear not only protects your fingers and knuckles from becoming bruised and bloody (not that you have to worry about this too much since it’s just a speed bag), but it’s also a good way to become more familiar with sparring while geared up. If you’re new to the sport, Everlast has a helpful guide for choosing the right gloves.
Wrapping it up
There are a number of professional-grade speed bag platforms out there, but only a few of them are actually worth your while. After extensive research on over a dozen great models, we believe the top three in our guide are the best choices if you’re looking to invest in one of these great training systems. The XMark XM-2811 was our choice as best speed bag platform overall due to its superior build quality, simple setup, and reasonable price. However, we figured its price tag may still be a little high for those on a tight budget, so we picked the Everlast Elite as our #2 spot due to its great value for your dollar. To round out our list, the TITLE Boxing Precision platform was the next-best platform in terms of quality and functionality, but its price tag was a little unreasonable in our opinion.