Choosing a fencing bag that fits both you and your needs can be daunting. There are multiple colors, sizes, and manufacturers to select from. As with most sports equipment, your budget limitations must also be considered. Regardless, you will eventually need something that is both tough and comfortable to maneuver in order to transport your fencing equipment.
Fencing bags come in multiple forms. They can be relatively small, convenient, and lightweight to carry, ideal for beginners and those who do not require very much equipment. At the other end of the spectrum are those that make up the huge and cumbersome category. A large fencing bag is usually outfitted with multiple carrying straps, and mercifully most rest on wheels.
When deciding on a fencing bag, the main consideration is determining how much equipment you need to transport.
If you own just one or two weapons and you plan to participate very little in competitions outside of your own club, then a small or “junior” bag may be desirable. Perhaps you aren’t certain yet that fencing is your sport and you aren’t ready to commit to the purchase of a fencing bag. Many clubs will provide most of the equipment for beginners. If however, you choose to buy your own foil, epee, or sabre, and continue using the fencing club’s other equipment, consider buying a single weapon bag. Your club’s armorer will thank you for it as your weapon will last much longer without requiring repair.
If extensive travel is likely, plan to get one of the larger bags. Just as with modern suitcases, having wheels can be a godsend when maneuvering through airports and around town. Speaking of suitcases, the large bags have enough space that you likely won’t need a second bag for clothes and toiletries. A word of warning though. Once your fencing bag is filled with personal possessions and fencing gear, it will be very heavy and rather awkward to lift and maneuver. Always practice proper lifting techniques.
Most of the large, wheeled bags have multiple pockets and compartments to ensure that organization is easy. If you happen to be an organized person by nature, the many compartments will help you to take quick inventory of your equipment as it is quite common for fencing equipment to “grow legs” during competitions. Remember, missing equipment generally isn’t theft, it’s usually just a disorganized fencer grabbing everything that is near their bag and stuffing it in.
No matter what type of bag you buy, be sure to take notice of the strength of the zipper and of the stitching on the carrying straps. Cheaper brands will often cut corners in these areas.