Installing a Speed Bag
Those who plan on setting up a speed bag at their own home will often acquire a speed bag, an appropriate swivel for hanging their speed bag, maybe a couple spare bladders, and then head home to do the installation. The main problem here is that we left out the platform for mounting the speed bag!
This may seem obvious, but the platform can be really easy to overlook. Other bag equipment like heavy bags can be hung from a beam in the ceiling with various lengths of chain, but with a speed bag, you need to hang it within reach, which means the ceiling usually isn’t an option.
Therefore, many companies are now developing adjustable platforms for easy installation of speed bags that can work for people of many different heights. In this article, we will review some of the best speed bag platforms available with an emphasis on value.
This is arguably the most popular speed bag platform on the market. Not only is Everlast one of the most popular boxing brands out there, but they were also one of the first companies to develop an adjustable platform for speed bags, allowing them to gain a foothold on the market and refine the platform based on customer feedback.
While it doesn’t look like the fanciest speed bag platform, it’s one of the more affordable platforms you can find, especially for something adjustable. Besides, boxing isn’t exactly a pretty sport, and in our opinion, this would still look great in the gym!
The platform itself is about 24 inches in diameter and about 1 inch thick. It can slide up and down on the black rails and uses a spring pin lock to keep it at the desired height. It covers a large range, so you have a bit of flexibility in regards to how high you mount the whole thing.
One thing to keep in mind are inclusions and exclusions. This speed bag platform comes with a swivel, which is really handy especially if you don’t already have one, but you need to get the mounting hardware on your own. This will require a trip tot he hardware store, but you won’t need to get too much.
Overall, this is a great value speed bag platform that has been well-liked by many customers. If you are looking for really specific feedback about various aspects of the platform, we recommend checking out the customer reviews on Amazon. Often times you can find someone who has similar personal preferences to yourself, which may make the decision a little easier.
This XMark adjustable speed bag platform is a little more expensive than the Everlast Elite; however, the material and quality of construction is a step up as well. XMark isn’t overly well-known, but they do a great job in the area of mounting home equipment. They tend to favor the simple, yet heavy-duty style of construction, and many customers describe this platform as “solid”. This is a great sign, as XMark clearly values quality and durability over pretty and fancy features, so you know you will be getting something reliable.
This platform is 1 1/2 inches thick, 24 inches in diameter, and is made of a hardwood oak that has a furniture finish. If you want to make sure it will fit, the manufacturer lists the overall dimensions as 31.5 x 24 x 23.5 inches. It comes with an awesome 11-guage steel mainframe (mount/slider part), which not only enhances the durability significantly, but it is also effective at reducing the vibration. Similar to the Everlast Elite, the XMark platform comes with a swivel, but it’s pretty crappy.
In terms of mounting this unit, it comes with the necessary hardware, but you will still benefit from having some extra tools around, for example, a level and a drill. It’s pretty simple to figure out, but given the size of this, the fact you will be hanging it somewhat high on the wall, and the awkward size (of any speed bag platform), you may want to get a friend to help you out while you install it.
Overall, the XMark XM-2811 adjustable speed bag platform is awesome. It gives you that extra peace of mind knowing you have a reliable product, and simply put, it gets the job done time after time. It is a little more pricey, so it may not be for everyone, but if you know you will be using it a lot and already have some experience on the bag, then we definitely recommend it!
This is a super heavy duty speed bag platform, but you have to pay the price for it. So what makes it so expensive? First, the construction is ultra heavy duty by speed bag platform standards. The platform, which is 23 inches in diameter, is constructed from high density wood and is 2″ thick (double the thickness of the Everlast Elite) and has am adjustable range of 13 inches. The steel frame uses reinforced beams with dimensions of 2×2 inches and 2×1 inches, and the included mounting brackets are suitable for mounting on a cement wall.
The other reasons this speed bag platform is expensive are the inclusions of a swivel and an actual speed bag as well. This sounds like an awesome deal, but beware, the speed bag that it comes with really sucks. It’s poor quality, becomes lumpy fairly quickly, constantly needs re-inflation, and the bladder seems way too small for the bag. We are a little baffled as to why they included such a poor speed bag, but we suspect it’s simply so they could say it comes included. The swivel is fine, some like it, some don’t, so it just boils down to personal preference. Most platforms will come with a swivel, so we wouldn’t look too much into this.
It comes with instructions for assembling and mounting the unit, but they’re brutal and don’t offer much beyond a few a pictures. Admittedly, some of the problems with the instructions are simply inherent in a product this heavy duty, but even still, they could be better. This doesn’t mean you can’t assemble it, but instead, it may just take a bit longer and you would likely benefit from having someone else help out as well.
Overall, this is a high-performance, heavy duty, reliable, and durable speed bag platform, but it’s expensive enough that the overall value isn’t quite as high as the other two we reviewed. If you have the extra dough to throw around, then it’s definitely worth considering, as long as you’re focused mainly on the platform, and less so on the speed bag and swivel that comes along with it.
What to Look for in a Speed Bag Platform
Quality of Materials and Construction
When looking for a platform to hang your speed bag from, or any other device for that matter, we strongly recommend placing an emphasis on materials and quality of construction. It’s easy to get sucked in by appearance, extra features, bonus product that are included, etc, but at the end of the day the main thing that matters is whether or not you can get good use out of the platform.
When looking at the platform material, chances are it will be some form of wood. You want something that is fairly high density (hardwood oak is usually good, or if they say “high density wood” that should be good enough) as well as thick, no less than 1 inch.
As for the components that actually mount on to the wall, metal is definitely preferred, ideally steel. Wood is fine too, but it simply won’t stand up tot he test of time like metal. We have only ever seen metal for the tracks that adjustable platforms slide along, so this should be pretty standard, but the actual beams that attach to the brackets can be a little more variable. Again, if you’re going to put in the work to buy, assemble, and mount a speed bag platform, you want to be confident that you have something good.
We definitely prefer adjustable speed bag platforms simply because they’re so convenient. If you know it’s only going to be you hitting the bag, then it probably doesn’t matter too much, but if there’s a chance multiple people will be using it over time, then definitely go with an adjustable platform.
Adjustable speed bag platforms are usually a little more expensive for obvious reasons, so if it’s not in the cards, don’t worry too much. One trick you can use is to mount the speed bag at a height that works for slightly taller individuals. If you are able to find a couple different things to stand on that are different heights, then you just created your own adjustability. The main downside here is that you still don’t have a full range of heights to select from, and keeping a bunch of boxes around can become messy and take up more space.
Most speed bag platforms come with some extra items, for example, a speed bag swivel, or even a speed bag itself. In our experience, these usually aren’t that great, so be cautious when deciding how much that is worth to you. We would recommend getting at least the speed bag separately. If you want to test a swivel that may be included, go for it, as a spare won’t cost that much anyway.