When you need minimal, yet effective training gear, sandbags are it. They’re pretty similar to kettlebells, in that both forge unbreakable joints, stabilizers and immense strength. This makes them a must-have for any OCR athlete.

Whilst kettlebells are relatively portable allowing you to stay mobile enough and perform hardcore exercises in your house or outdoors, they can’t be taken on longer trips or on the plane. Needless to say, sandbags fall into the same category of portable, yet not-that-portable gear. Or so I thought….

perfect sandbag filler

My choice of sandbag filler: small bags filled with stones and sealed with lots of duct tape. Stay tuned for the part 2 of the sandbag series to find out why…

For the last few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of exercising with a brand new type of sandbag – the Mandown USA sandbag. I love it when a simple piece of gear evolves into an advanced all-rounder you can take with you anywhere to train with anytime. In a hotel, in a parking lot, at the part, anywhere. This is exactly what the Mandown Manbag achieves, and no, it doesn’t take up half the luggage space.

Manbag comes as an empty bag which you can fill with anything you want. You can use sand, rocks, water bottles, beach equipment, travel accessories, etc… whatever you have on hand. It’s an evolved duffel bag meets sandbag piece of gear.


With plenty of outdoors training sessions under our belt, here’s what we think of Mandown USA sandbag so far:


  • You can vary the weight of the sandbag filler, thanks to a unique design allowing you to roll down the ends and tighten it with a nifty double closure. Fill it up, refill it and change your type of filler anytime.
  • 30-80lbs capacity. Meaning it can expand to a pretty big size and fit almost any #beastmode need.
  • Great travel companion: without filler, it’s a small duffel bag that can easily fit into the bottom of a regular backpack.
  • I will be testing and beating this sandbag for months to come, but so far it’s proven very durable.
  • This ‘manbag’ is not just for men. It comes in black and bright pink accents.
  • Takes all of 5 minutes to assemble into a fully functional sandbag.
  • You can tighten the bag as much as you wish – very easy and quick tightening system. I absolutely hate old sandbags that become sloppy overtime.



Size of the Man bag without any filler inside. Banana for scale.


  • Finding the right material for fill in the sandbag might be tricky for inexperienced folk. In part 2 of this article, I’ll share the easiest ways to choose your filler. (Make sure you’re on our mailing list if you want to be notified when this article comes out.)


As an OCR athlete I travel across Europe to attend various endurance events. Sometimes staying up to 2 weeks in an unknown place can take a toll on one’s mental strength… You know exactly what I’m on about — that desperate need to train and stay active. Sometimes even a holiday becomes tiring when I haven’t broken a sweat in too long!

Of course if you’re lucky you might find a local gym, but knowing that OCRs tend to take place in the middle of nowhere, you might need to MAcGyver your way to training. And I’ve seen it all before; articles like ‘5 exercises you can do in the hotel room to get ripped’ etc… All of it plainly ridiculous. OCR athletes like you and me need something more macho! And this sandbag is–if not the answer–then very close to one.

manbag sandbag mandown usa wod

With a trip coming up next week, I’m excited to pack the Mandown in my carry-on and simply refill it with anything I can find at my destination for a fair price: rocks, salt bags, even kitty litter can work. Better yet it feels good to know that, if I do want to throw around heavy stuff even on holiday, the option is there for me to get to it in less than 5 minutes.


As I said, stay tuned for part 2 of this article in which I’ll show you how to make your own sandbag. Meanwhile check a recent weekly wod article on the pyramid training with this sandbag.

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