Most helpful positive review
73 of 74 people found the following review helpful
Good cheap sandbags!
on August 12, 2010
Up until now I've been buying sandbags at the camera store, pre-filled. Reason being that "pre-filled" (and fully sealed) bags just seemed so much easier! Buy it in 5, 15 or 25 lbs and it's ready to go.. no worrying about buying sand, filling it or dealing with the mess. I bought about half a dozen of these in different sizes before giving in and getting these (the same price, or less, than one of the pre-filled bags).
Right off the bat, they've got some pros and cons.
+ Obvious pro is that you get 4 of them for the price of 1!
- Downside is that you need to buy sand / filler
+ Plus-side of that is that you can make these 2 lb bags, 5 lbs, 8 lbs, 15 lbs, etc.. youre not stuck with 20 lbs. Just add/remove weight to get to what you need (good for those times where you need a little counterweight but not 20lbs worth.. or you dont want to carry 80 lbs in sand around.
+ On the same side, you can fill them on location... Taking photos at the beach seems odd to carry around 80 lbs of filled sandbags when you can just fill it up there! The instructions also claim you can use other materials like rocks. I'd be a bit hesitant on the rocks/sharp objects as they could puncture the bag (and leak sand all over if you decide to re-fill it).
- The design isn't the prettiest.. its got a caution look which is cool, but blue and black? why not yellow and black?
+ The design is reversible.. flip it over and it's all black.
- The handle is very wide.. about 2 inches? Trying to squish that down to fit into a small carabiner isn't fun.
- The handle is also quite tight to the part of the bag it connects to (which also has a hard piece inside to keep it flat) , this makes it a little tougher/less comfortable to haul around, but not too bad.
+ Double-zippered (and opposite ways) to prevent sand from leaking out through the zippers
- Double zippered but only single-layered everywhere else. If something pokes a hole in it, sand will come pouring out.
- Iffy quality on some. 3 were fine but the 4th seemed stretched out (as if the seams were about to burst) and had all sorts of loose threads (the company said they would send a replacement though) and the others seemed fine.
My little tip is to pre-package sand before putting it in the bag. I bought a box of ziplock bags and filled sand in those before putting it in the sandbag (as an extra layer of protection) - this also helps if you need to lessen the weight without dumping sand out wherever you are.
One odd note.. these seem to be the same bags sold by Cowboystudio in their products, but rated at 12 lbs. which makes me wonder which is right.
I bought 2 50 lb bags of sand and ended up using maybe 2/3rds of a bag to fill 5 of these -- I suggest getting the bags one at a time to fill as necessary. Assuming 20 lbs per sandbag is a lot (and very heavy!) when you might end up only using 10 lbs a piece or less.
The fact you get 4 of these is great.. I can use them on lightstands, tripods or booms without coughing up cash for 4 individual bags. Although I listed negatives above, I still consider this to be a 5 star product.