Updated May 2022
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Buying guide for Best fitness sandbags

For a tough workout that will deliver amazing results, simply add a fitness sandbag. Fitness sandbags are a great way to add difficulty to your exercise routine and are ideal for CrossFit training. Weighted fitness sandbags are filled with shifting sand, so they don’t have a steady shape, which means you need to use a variety of muscles to keep them stable.

Whether you’re seeking a new type of workout or a supplement to your standard reps, a fitness sandbag will work nicely. These sandbags are available in multiple designs and weight limits, so you can find just the right one for your muscle-toning needs.

Our guide details everything you need to consider when shopping for fitness sandbags, from shape to weight to material, and includes easy tips for incorporating sandbags into your workouts. For our top product picks for the best sandbags on the market, check out the matrix above.

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Fitness sandbags will be shipped to you unfilled the majority of the time. Providing your own sand saves money on shipping costs.

Key considerations


The majority of fitness sandbags resemble duffel bags. They have multiple handles and a duffel shape. You fill the large bag with smaller sandbags to adjust the weight. This style of fitness sandbag is quite versatile.

Another style of fitness sandbag are kettlebell-style bags. These sandbags resemble flattened kettlebells, and you can perform many different workouts with them. They also work as a substitute for a medicine ball.

Strongman sandbags are another option. These bags are cylindrical, and they don’t have handles. You hug them to your body or lift them over your shoulder during a workout.

Expert TIp
I like to use sandbags for over-the-shoulder squats as a lower body exercise that incorporates instability while targeting the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps.
BestReviews Fitness Expert

Workout type

Choose a style of fitness sandbag based on the workouts you plan to do. Duffel-style sandbags with multiple handles are the most versatile and work best for cross-training. You may want to use a lightweight kettlebell-style sandbag for a cardio or weight-loss workout. Strongman sandbags with one handle or no handles are designed for building strength, helping the user gain power and muscle mass.


Fitness sandbags must be constructed from durable fabric. You’ll be moving the bag constantly, shifting the sand inside. Sandbags hold a lot of weight, so tough fabrics are important. Should you inadvertently drop the sandbag during a workout, it could split open if it’s made from cheap fabric.

Additionally, the handles of the sandbag need to have strong stitching. These handles will support the full weight of the sand during certain workouts, so they need to be durable.



A heavy-duty canvas or nylon Cordura fabric will be the most durable. Some fitness sandbags have a covering that keeps water from seeping into the bag, which is a nice feature for a sweaty workout. Some sandbags have plastic buckles or reinforcement guards on the outside. These may dig into your skin during a workout, though, so they’re not recommended. Metal zippers without a fabric cover may also dig into your skin, so you may want to look for Velcro closures.


Fitness sandbags are available in a variety of weights, which is specified by the maximum amount of weight they can accommodate. Weight limits of 10, 25, 50, 100, 150, and 200 pounds are common. And, of course, you can precisely control the weight by how much sand you place in the bag.

Interior bags

With larger fitness sandbags, you’ll fill two to 10 secure bags with sand and then place those bags inside the larger bag. This makes controlling the sand during the loading process easier. It also allows you to put a precise weight in the bag. These interior bags need to have secure closures and be constructed from high-quality fabric, so they don’t leak. An interior bag can typically hold anywhere from 10 to 50 pounds of sand securely.


Fitness sandbags are available in a variety of colors. Black is the most common, but you’ll also find camouflage, khaki, and a number of other colors. Some people color-code their sandbags based on the maximum weight the bag can handle so that it’s easy to find the right bag for each workout.

Expert Tip
Although sandbags are built to take a beating, in my experience, they will at times leak their contents. Be sure and check the bag for leaks after each session.
BestReviews Fitness Expert

Fitness sandbag prices

Fitness sandbags can be expensive pieces of workout equipment. These bags must be able to support a lot of weight on particular stress points, so they require a high level of workmanship.

Weight capacity plays a big role in determining price. Sandbags that can hold up to 25 pounds of sand cost between $15 and $75. Bags with a capacity of 100 pounds run from $50 to $150.

Duffel-style bags are more expensive than kettlebell-style bags. Duffel sandbags cost more because they have multiple handles to allow for various types of workouts, requiring precise stitching. Many duffel bags also come with multiple interior bags, allowing you to vary the weight in the sandbag easily.

Finally, you will usually need to supply your own sand. You can purchase 50 pounds of clean, dry sand for about $3 to $7. The good news is that you can reuse the sand over and over in your fitness sandbag.

Expert Tip
One of my favorite exercises is overhead throws. Squat to the floor, pick the bag up, bring it up above your head while raising yourself up on your toes, and then explosively throw the fitness sandbag on the ground. Repeat for the desired number of reps, usually around 10.
BestReviews Fitness Expert


  • Focus on your weightlifting form. If you don’t use proper form with fitness sandbags, you run a greater risk of injuring yourself. Poor form with the bag will place extra stress on certain muscles, potentially leading to a strain. Using your core properly will help you stabilize the bag and shifting sand.
  • Study some workout options and routines. Some fitness sandbags will ship with a suggested workout routine. This is a good way to start using the sandbag safely. Otherwise, there are numerous workout suggestions available online.
  • Manipulating the sand is a nice workout. One of the best workouts you can do with a fitness sandbag is to try to keep all the sand at one end of the bag while moving it around. You’ll use muscles you never knew you had!
  • Increase the strength of your grip. As you’re maneuvering the bag and the sand shifts inside, you’ll naturally strengthen your hands. You have to continuously adjust your grip to keep the bag balanced on your body. This is a significant benefit of fitness sandbags versus free weights or weight machines, where your hands remain in the same position.
  • Don't overload a fitness sandbag beyond its recommended weight limit. This could cause the fabric or handles to fail.
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Avoid dropping or dragging your fitness sandbag if possible. These bags are not designed for this type of movement, which could cause the fabric to tear or split.


Q. How do I know what weight to get in a fitness sandbag?

A. Many duffel-style fitness sandbags come with multiple interior sandbags. This allows you to easily adjust the weight inside the large bag for your needs. We suggest purchasing a bag that can handle a heavy weight limit and then using the smaller bags to adjust the weight as you gain strength. This provides plenty of versatility.

Q. Why are the weight limits of fitness sandbags so low? I can lift much more with barbells.

A. Typically, someone lifting a sandbag will not be able to match the weight they can lift with a barbell set, at least initially. Because of the way the sand shifts around, you’ll find yourself using different muscles to maintain the weight versus a sturdy barbell. This allows you to receive a solid workout with less weight.

Q. Why do manufacturers recommend only partially filling the sandbags?

A. Each manufacturer will have a specific recommendation on the fill level for their bags, but 65% to 80% is common. This is because a completely full sandbag could burst if it’s dropped accidentally. Additionally, you’ll receive a more thorough workout with a fitness sandbag if the sand can freely shift inside the bag versus being packed tightly.

Q. Will my fitness sandbag leak?

A. Manufacturers attempt to create leak-proof bags with Velcro and zippers. Over time, however, these closures can become loose or fail, so they need regular inspection. Pet fur or other particles on the Velcro could lead to an imperfect seal and a leak. Always double-check the closures and seams after filling your fitness sandbags. Often, a leak occurs because the user did not close the bag properly, rather than a failed closure.

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