Brute Force is a brand that was in the past known for making some of the toughest exercise sandbags around, Their fitness equipment was considered some of the best on the market.
The company specialized in manufacturing bags and weighted vests and they could take some serious abuse. 5 years ago, they were probably the best sandbag manufacturer around.
But our recent experiences with this company have drastically changed our mind…
Without a doubt, functional strength training is one of the most effective ways to exercise. This type of workout requires you to lift various types of weights that you can comfortably handle, which is where training sandbags come in. Sandbags have sand-filled inserts that can allow you to adjust their weight. Not only this, but they are also portable and accessible to those who don’t have access to or desire to go to a gym.
So in this review, we’ll cover our whole terrible experience with Brute Force bags so that you can decide whether you wish to give this company your money.
Firstly, my experience of their customer service was atrocious! After not seeing any sign of my order for 3 weeks, I sent them an email asking for the status of my order. I received their auto-response email but nothing after that. I waited a few days and still nothing so I sent a 2nd email.
Again, I received no response so I searched for another way to contact the company.
But they do not have a contact phone number on their website!
It was only after I sent another strongly worded email, that I received any sort of response. And it was not a satisfactory one.
To cut a long story short, it was only after I threatened to take further action that I eventually got them to take care of me as a customer and actually send my order.
Appearance & Varieties
When it comes to equipment like this, I feel that looks are the least important factor (function over form). In fact the rougher it looks, the better. It’s likely that you have only seen the military green version of the bag, or possibly the black variety. Along with some other equipment, I ordered the green Athlete Sandbag Kit along with some other equipment.
After receiving my order, I was disappointed…
The box was completely damaged and it looked like all of the equipment had been used previously. I complained via email and guess what… no response!
There are over ten varieties of Brute Force Sandbags as they are available in different colors and sizes. I feel bad for recommending these to my buddy because he ordered color and it arrived in a similar state to mine and looked nothing like the website photos.
They are claimed to be military-grade quality but I don’t see it here. There are 3 sizes available:
- Mini Sandbag – 5-25lbs
- Athlete Sandbag – 25-75lbs
- Strongman Sandbag – 50-125lbs
The four sets of handles (8 in total) on a Brute Force Sandbag were OK at first. The handle positioning allows for:
- Neutral grips
- End cap grips
- Suitcase grips
- Barbell grips
This opens up opportunities for doing different exercises like the snatch, deadlifts, bent over rows, curls and squats to name just a few. These handles should be manufactured from military-grade material and stitched with a robust thread, which should not come loose when the bag is overloaded.
But during my 3rd workout session, one of the handles broke. The so-called triple reinforced box stitching had come apart.
Among other sandbag training benefits is that these bags allow you to perform many exercises such as Squats, Clean and Press, Deadlifts, Windmills, High Pulls, Carry, and Push-ups.
Intensity training is all about adjusting weights as you become stronger. The Brute Force Sandbags come with plenty of sand fillable inserts that allow you to do this. These sandbags are pretty easy to fill.
The double velcro filled me with confidence at first.
These filler bags are not very strong or well-made. So pretty much every time that the bag was dropped with force or from a height, I could see some sand leaking out into the main bag. I took care to not fill past the maximum capacity.
The inserts are removable thereby helping you to increase or reduce weight but you need to get used to cleaning up sand after every workout if you use these bags.
Poor Build Quality
When it comes to fitness equipment that will be used in a harsh environment, there’s one thing that always comes to mind. That is if you buy cheap, you buy twice.
Unfortunately, these are not cheap and I had to buy a replacement after just a few advanced sandbag training sessions.
One thing that Brute claims that sets their sandbags apart from other workout bags is their tough military-grade material. I was so excited to put this to the test but was utterly let down by their quality.
Unlike the Garage Fit sandbag, I was waiting for the moment when the bag split or fell apart when heavily loaded. Luckily I didn’t get this far because I got tired of cleaning up sand every time I used it.
The website boast about the following features:
- 1000 Mil-Spec Cordura
- Military-grade velcro
- Seatbelt webbing
- YKK Zippers
The velcro was strong and worked apart from sand leaking from the filler bags. Also, the zipper got clogged with sand and would get stuck regularly.
Mobile App & Youtube Channel
The company’s mobile app is one of the things that make them stand out from the competitors. At a first glance, I thought that it looks like it could be a useful tool. That’s until I realized that they haven’t posted anything in months. At the time of writing, the app itself has not been updated by the developer for over 2 years and is full of bugs. Taking a look at the reviews, I was not the only one having issues with it.
The Brute Force Youtube channel had daily WOD updates and other content in the past. At the time of writing, they have not posted anything for 6 months.
I was extremely disappointed with the entire Brute Force Sandbag experience as it overpromised and underdelivered. If you want a sandbag for advanced training that can take abuse, then just go for a good ol’ Rogue Fitness sandbag instead.