Top critical review
21 people found this helpful
Mehhh, okay for the price. Def not the pro version in terms of quality ...
on February 15, 2014
Writing a review about a sandbag isn't exactly on my bucket list, but now I can say I've done it in case the topic is ever brought up - With that disclaimer off my chest, I'll get to the point:
They're okay for the price and for the 'casual' photo/video amateur - Meaning, if you're on a budget and just need some sand bags to weigh down a few light stands or a DIY jib, they will work. Don't expect a long life expectancy out of these if you're planning on using them for daily productions. They're not garbage by any means, but they aren't winning any awards for outstanding craftsmanship either. They're just cheap bargain no name bags that one should get if they need some weight but won't lose any sleep if you have to toss them after a beating on a shoot. 3 of the 4 I got were AOK - 1 arrived with the zipper already broke but I use lead weights in a baggy so the issue of spilled sand wasn't an issue.
Even with pro bags, if I use sand for ballast I will always put the sand in a heavy duty ziploc baggy just for that extra protection. I never want to be 'that' guy who leaves a trail of sand in some persons house on a shoot or fouls a bunch of equipment with silt because of all things, the sandbags failed.
Inexpensive and durable enough to be a warranted (and cheap) purchase and alternative for the low/no budget film maker/photographer. (u can skip the sand and go with gravel, nuts/bolts, lead, whatever dense/heavy stuff you have at your disposal)
Great for the small home studio/setup that doesn't get broke down daily or only gets put up now and then.
Bright and reflective - No more wondering around in the dark after a 18 hour day trying to hunt down orphan equipment - (also a plus if you're working with a group of folks who sometimes like to 'add' your equipment to their arsenal - (write your initials inside with a permanent marker or paint pin)
They're probably not going to hold up too long if they are used/moved often - Zippers are there for cosmetic/novelty use on some of the bags since they usually jam up and/or break right away. Outdoor heat/sun really takes a toll on them.
Inconsistent quality - You might get 4 that rival kevlar, or you could get 2 that are great and 2 that are about as durable as a plastic grocery sack. (I'm talking cheap liquor store plastic sack quality - Not a nice dept store bag like Macy's)
VERDICT - Not for the 'top shelf' equipment arsenal - Def geared as an expendable. Perfect if you need sandbags in a hurry and don't have access to a grip rental co. Ideal for rough terrain - Take them in empty, fill them with dirt at your location and use them. Great for the small studio where lugging them from location to location isn't an issue.
Hope that helps - Sandbagging is the mother of rigging and we all usually learn the hard way when we are first starting out and try to skip the weights on a C Stand (always entertaining to see your gear topple over because it's top heavy and then followed by a chorus of sarcastic "told you so's") - One thing to consider is checking used expendable/grip rental co's as an alternative. They often sell used bags and even though they aren't as pretty as a new shiny sandbag, they are the better route if you want/need pro gear with a long shelf life.