It’s hard for me to believe that I have had my Brute Force Sandbag for less than 2 years. It has been on 2 summer vacations, helped me rehab from a ruptured patella tendon, and is always part of my training and preparation for obstacle course races like the Spartan Race. I purchased the Athlete model in Firefighter Red for myself in August 2016 and got my wife the Athlete model in Pink in October 2016.
The Brute Force Sandbags come in a variety of models ranging from the Mini model to the Heavy Hitter model. The Mini model, the Athlete Model, and the Strongman model are your traditional sandbags that have handles. The Barebones model and the Heavy Hitter model do not have handles and have a much higher weight capacity.
The Mini model has a weight capacity of 0 – 25 lbs, the Athlete model has a weight capacity of 25 – 75 lbs, the Strongman model has a weight capacity of 50 – 125 lbs, and the Barebones models along with the Heavy Hitter model have weight capacities well over 100 lbs.
I got my Brute Force sandbag and my wife’s through Amazon, they both cost $130.00. I am an Amazon Prime member so shipping was free. The sandbag came with two double Velcro filler bags. One filler bag has a 30 lb capacity and the other filler bag has a 50 lb filler capacity. Sand is not included with the filler bags. The smaller filler bag in the picture below is the 30 lb capacity bag and the the larger filler bag is the 50 lb capacity.
It is entirely up to you what you fill your sandbag with. The Brute Force website notes that you can fill it with sand, pea gravel, rubber mulch, steel shot or even rice. Whatever you use to fill your bags, the density of the filler used will affect the max weight of the bag. I filled my bag and my wife’s bag with playground sand from Home Depot. I have used a sandbag filled with pea gravel and I didn’t like it at all because there was no give when you throw the bag onto your shoulder or your back. Although Brute Force website indicates you could use rice, I think that could be a problem if you store the sandbag in an area that could be susceptible to any type of creature, critter or insect, etc. As such, I would suggest you use some sort of sand.
Filling the bags is probably easier done with 2 people. By using 2 people, you have the ability to have 1 person hold the filler bag in place while the other person puts the sand in. I would recommend this method because it’s neater and more efficient. I speak from experience. I filled my 50 lb filler bag myself and it was doable but it was a bit time consuming and messy. My wife helped me fill her 30 lb filler bag and it was much easier with her assistance. I also recommend that you have a scale available while you are filling the filler bags. That way you can keep checking the weight and make sure you are putting in the desired amount.
The filler bags are designed in such a manner that they do not leak sand as long as you fill it to the red fill line. Obviously under filling the filler bag does not cause any issues. If you go over the red fill line, then the filler bag will leak sand. I filled my 50 lb filler bag with almost 54 lbs of playground sand, this was in part because I filled it by myself. As you might be able to tell in the picture below, it has leaked a little bit of sand. That being said, I have used another sandbag that doesn’t use the double Velcro filler set up like the Brute Force sandbag and even when that filler bag isn’t overfilled, it still leaks a great deal of sand.
Once you have filled the filler bags, then you will place it inside the shell of the sandbag. I have never had any issues with the zipper, it seems pretty sturdy. Once the filler bag is in the shell of the sandbag, you can zip the sandbag up and it is ready for use. The way the sandbag is designed, there are zipper tabs at each end of the zipper. This is a pretty cool feature because you don’t really have to worry about the zipper at all during your workouts or training.
The Brute Force sandbags stand out from other sandbags for a couple of reasons. The first is that they use double Velcro filler bags, which means, as long as you don’t overfill them, they are not going to leak sand. Another reason these sandbags are better than their competition is because of the materials that are used for the handles.
The soft grip handles are much better than the vinyl/rubber handles that are used on other sandbags. I know that other sandbag manufacturers believe that their vinyl/rubber handles are superior to the soft grip handles, but I do not agree. I recently did a workout that required me to do a double sandbag carry. I used my Brute Force sandbag and another sandbag with vinyl/rubber handles. When I threw the sandbags up on my shoulders, the sandbag with the vinyl/rubber handles caused an abrasion on my shoulder, the Brute Force sandbag did not. The reason I didn’t get an abrasion from the Brute Force sandbag is the soft grip handles.
The other reason I think the Brute Force sandbag is better than other manufacturers is because of the Brute Force app. The app provides a WOD (Workout of the Day) for every day. I have only done a handful of the workouts, but the few I have done have been really good. I recall 1 workout that was based on the 12 Days of Christmas song and had you go up and down the ladder of exercises from 1 to 12. The WODS are similar in makeup to Crossfit or H.I.I.T (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts. The WODS typically use the sandbag and bodyweight. You don’t have to worry about coming up with a workout if you don’t want to, all you have to do is download the app and then do the workouts on the app. The app features videos showing you how to perform the exercises and it also has a timer so you can time yourself and compare your score to other Brute Force community members.
The exercises range from sandbag thrusters, to cleans, to deadlifts, to squats and even sandbag push-up and drags. The Brute Force website recommends that the Athlete model sandbag be used for intermediate to advanced level sandbag training for functional strength development and conditioning.
All Brute Force sandbags are made in the USA. They are made with tough and resilient 1000D Mil-Spec Cordura, featuring YKK Zippers, 5 panel seatbelt webbing, and triple reinforced BOX X stitching. The Athlete model shell measures 30” x 13”. There are 4 sets of flexible, soft grip handles (8 total) Neutral Grips, Barbell Grips, Suitcase Grips, End Cap Grips. If you are looking for a sandbag that will hold up to Crossfit and H.I.I.T style workouts and obstacle course race training, then stop searching and buy this one, you won’t regret it.
Editor’s Note: Also see our video review of the Fringe and Rogue sandbags.