This should be the first question that you ask yourself before you start searching for Muay Thai equipment to buy.
Stay with me and I will explain to you what kind of stuff you need. And how to tell whether you're looking at a quality product or just a piece of junk.
There are plenty of Thai boxing equipment brands around which doesn't make your decision any easier.
The upside to this situation is that thanks to the stiff competition you can find good gear at a decent price.
It is worth investing some extra money to buy expensive quality gear. It doesn't mean that you have to buy premium gear straight away. At least not until you can tell the difference yourself.
Just trust me on this: do not buy the cheapest stuff. It will most likely break or lose shape quickly and it may cost you a nasty injury.
It is especially important to buy the right Muay Thai gloves.
I was pretty happy with medium and upper-medium-priced Muay Thai equipment at the beginning of my training. I had only made a single important exception for the most important piece of gear: the boxing gloves.
It is wise to invest some extra money in top-shelf Thai gloves. With price comes quality, and endurance. and comfort of use.
Also, thanks to the better quality materials they can be lighter than regular gloves but still deliver the same level of hand protection as the more bulky, cheaper gloves.
In general, Muay Thai equipment made in Thailand by brands like Twins or Fairtex is of good quality at any given price - they don't produce very cheap stuff and they make some premium quality training accessories. Also, some non-Thai companies like Venum have recently started to make good Thai boxing gloves at a competitive price.
Equipment made in Pakistan is considered to be of poor quality. This is not always the case. I've tried Farabi gloves once and I think they are quite decent entry-level budget gloves. Obviously, the best stuff is handmade in Thailand and you'll have to pay a premium price for it.
There are differences between top brands too. For example, Twins gloves are softer than Fairtex ones and they may be better for sparring, especially for beginners.
A good gym will provide you with all the necessary stuff like heavy bags, weights, dumbbells, medicine balls, skipping ropes, and training facilities like mats and boxing rings.
Most of them will offer you sparring equipment as well. I wouldn't recommend using it. Generally, it's of poor quality and in a "one size fits all" size.
You will be better off bringing your own personal stuff.
If you want to train outside of a gym you can assemble your own small workout space at home you will just need to get some basic training accessories for a starter.
The best thing about it is that you can train a bit now and then between doing other things. It is also useful if you decide to have a few less intensive training sessions instead of one heavy workout a day.
I started with a heavy regular boxing bag and a hard banana bag to train on. This way I could condition my shins with a softer bag and then move progressively to a harder one. Get some dumbbells, weights, a medicine ball, and a skipping rope and you are good to go. This should be good enough for a start.