When it comes to boxing equipment, there’s nothing quite as important as your choice of bag, especially if you are training at home. Alongside a heavy bag which you’ll be performing the bulk of your training on, you also want either a Cobra “reflex’ bag or a double end bag, the choice of which is down to personal preference.
Both of these bag options are great for building speed, accuracy, and quick reflexes, three fighting components that always require work, even for the pros. Each bag has its pros and cons, which will be discussed in this post. Furthermore, both options are ideal for home-use, whether that’s in the garage or outside, a convenient training tool to keep around, especially if you’re into your home training.
So, with this in mind, this blog post will compare the two different bag types, the Cobra ‘reflex’ and the double end bag. There will also be some bag recommendations to check out.
What is the Cobra ‘reflex’ bag?
For starters, both the reflex bag and the double end bag are generally less popular pieces of boxing equipment when compared to other pieces available on the market, such as the traditional heavy bag.
Nonetheless, this does not mean that both of these options do not deserve a place within your training arsenal, allowing you to become an overall better boxer. It is worth noting that both options can also be used for mixed martial arts, including heavy kicks and other combos safely.
The reflex bag contains a cylindrical shape, making this easy for beginners to hit. This bag is set up easily, simply connecting the bag to the base – this is all that is usually required.
Okay, now that we’ve discussed what exactly a reflex bag is, we’re now going to highlight the pros of choosing this bag type. Pros include:
- This bag is ideal for beginners due to the long cylindrical shape
- Easy to set up
Each of these pros will now be explained in greater detail below.
Ideal for beginners
Firstly, the reflex bag is ideal for beginners, mainly due to the long cylindrical shape, making it easier to hit. Although both bags are relatively easy to use, if you are a complete beginner, you will likely see the best results using a reflex bag.
Easy to set up
Alongside these bags being easier for beginners, they are also much easier to set up. This is because the base only needs to be connected to the body of the bag, whereas the double bag requires swivels, screws, and other tools. So, if you’re looking for a low maintenance, easy to use, and set up bag for beginners, the reflex bag is definitely the option for you.
With this being said, there a few cons to the reflex bag, some of which include:
- Limited what you can do on the bags e.g. different movement and punches
- Reflex bags are often more expensive
Like before, each of these cons will now be discussed in more detail below.
Limited use of movement and punches
To begin with, the bag limits your use of movement and punches; for example, you cannot perform an uppercut on this bag. Instead, you are stuck with more traditional moves such as straight jabs and hooks.
Now, with this being said, the reflex bag is still a great piece of kit, but if you’re looking to work on your uppercuts or are a little more advanced than a beginner, then you may get more use out of a double bag; more on this shortly.
Reflex bags are often more expensive
Our final con is that reflex bags are often more expensive than double end bags, perhaps due to their ease of use and simple installation. However, both entry-level reflex and double-end bags cost a very similar price, so if you’re in the market for either a second-hand or initiatory bag, then you have both options available to you.
Cobra Bag in action
Check out my video below of boxing stars Canelo Alvarez and Ryan Garcia using the Reflex Cobra Bag to give you an idea of how to use it.
What is the double end bag?
So, we’ve discussed the reflex bag, including what it is and the pros and cons. However, now it’s time to discuss its competitor, the double end bag, another popular choice for beginners and more advanced boxers.
The double end bag can be hung, allowing for increased movement and a variety of different moves and combinations, which cannot be done on a regular reflex bag. This doesn’t mean the reflex bag is worse; it simply depends on what you are looking for.
Okay, like before, it’s now time to move onto the pros of choosing a double end bag, perhaps over its rival, the reflex bag. Pros of the double end bag include:
- Speed and position can easily be adjusted
- Easier to practice technique (as the bag can be adjusted and loosened)
- Can practice uppercuts
Speed and position can easily be adjusted
Firstly, the speed and position can easily be adjusted on a double end bag, done by adjusting the cord. Once adjusted, you can practice blocking and striking from different angles, allowing you to work on your technique in different ways compared to a reflex bag.
Easier to practice technique
This point is similar to the above; however, the double end bag is a better option for those looking to practice technique, alongside an array of different striking options and patterns. For instance, dependant on your ability level, you can adjust the bag to best suit you. If you’re a complete beginner, you can tighten the bag so it doesn’t move quite so much, allowing you to practice your initial jabs before adding blocking and speed into the mix.
Can practice uppercuts
Our final positive regarding the double end bag is that you can practice uppercuts. This is not available on a reflex bag. Uppercuts are a common punch used in virtually all fights, so it’s essential that all your punches are balanced and up to par.
Once again, we will now highlight the cons of the double end bag, allowing you to see whether or not it’s the right fit for you. Cons of the double end bag include:
- More difficult to install
- Can be hard for beginners
More difficult to install
There are very few downsides of the double end bag. However, one of the only negatives is that it is relatively difficult to install. Unlike the reflex bag which connects with ease, set up in minutes, the double end bag requires screws, swivels, and other tools to install.
Oh, and you’ll also need to replace the bladder every 3-6 months to ensure an optimal bounce rate during each session or buy a new bag.
Hard for Beginners
If you are just starting out in boxing, using the double end bag might actually be a difficult option to start with. It’s important to get used to the boxing fundamentals and technique using a standard punch bag first. Once you start to feel comfortable, you challenge yourself with this piece of equipment to improve your reflexes and timing. Check out heavy bag workout for beginners here for some ideas
Double End Bag in Action
Check out former three weight world champion Lomachenko using the double end bag in one of his training camps.
Similarities between both bags
To finish, we want to highlight similarities between both bags. Similarities include:
- Relatively inexpensive
- Both bags are suitable for improving your skill
- Ability to test your reflexes, speed, agility, and accuracy, amongst other skills
The double end bag and the reflex bag are both relatively inexpensive, both coming in at a similar cost for the entry-level options.
Both bags are suitable for improving your skill
Second, both bags are suitable for improving your skill, allowing you to practice a variety of jabs and other combinations. And yes, this does include mixed martial arts moves, including kicks. Despite this, the double end bag is better if you’re looking to practice more advanced movement.
Ability to test your reflexes and more
Finally, both bags allow you to test your reflexes, speed, agility, accuracy, cardio, and a variety of other skills. Although, with this being said, these bags (whichever you choose) should be used in combination with your regular training for the best results.
Both the reflex bag and the double end bag are great for beginner boxers, each containing several pros and cons each.
Despite this, the double end bag is arguably better for more advanced boxers, allowing you to practice improved movement, different punches (including uppercuts), and overall more advanced technique.
Cobra Bag Recommendations
Ringside Cobra Reflex Boxing Punching Bag
Title Boxing Deluxe King Cobra Reflex Bag w/Anchor Bags
Double-End bag Recommendations
Title Boxing Double End Bag
Everlast Double End Bag
Let me know in the comments below what bag your prefer to practise reflexes or if you would consider getting one for your home boxing gym?
You can check out more boxing equipment reviews here or why consider some other boxing training equipment here:
- Top 10 Best Hanging Heavy Bags – Reviewed & Rated
- Top 10 Best Free Standing Bags – Reviewed & Rated
- Top 10 Everlast Punch Bags To Improve Your Boxing and Fitness
- Best Century Free Standing Punching Bags | Review
- FightMaster vs BoxMaster Boxing Punch Stand Review
- Amazing Home Gym Boxing Equipment And Ideas
- Century BOB Punch Bag Review | Features And Set Up
- Sparbar Boxing Review
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