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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.

PROS
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)

CONS
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.
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on February 17, 2014
After a year of fairly regular use, 2 of 4 are still fully functioning. 1 burst after a few weeks, and 1 is tearing open (sealed with gorilla tape for now.

I always suggest using gravel instead of sand, and putting it in a large ziplock bag before putting it in the sand bag. In this case, a wise move as the burst bag would have been a severe mess with sand. The torn bag would be leaving a trail of sand were it not for the inner bag I used.

All in all, worth the cost. These are budget bags, and they do a reasonably good job as budget bags. If you need high quality bags, and purchase these, you have only yourself to blame if they don't fit your needs.
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on October 23, 2013
These cost something under $5 each. I can't see how they it. They are exactly as described, double zipper, the stripes are sewn onto the black fabric. I put the sand inside a zip lock just to have one more layer of leak prevention.
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on May 30, 2014
I use these both in and out of my studio, mostly as anchors for my larger umbrella stands. I have a couple of 5 foot diameter umbrellas (monsters!) that are VERY easily blown over in the lightest of breezes. When outdoors, I just chuck 2 of these bags onto each light stand base and the umbrellas stay right where I put them, even in a pretty good breeze.

Love these bags!
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on September 3, 2015
Although seeming like great product when receiving. On one the zipper seam and on another the handle seam came loose exposing sharp steel part after only 2 uses. Cannot return since past time but not confident on the others reliability in the field. Pleas advise.
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on March 22, 2016
Great for the price. Some users have complained about the zippers derailing, but all it takes is zipping them back and forth to fix that, -and there are two zippers for security. The insides are plastic lined so that the sand won't seep through, if you do, in fact, fill them with sand.

I suggest filling them with gravel instead of sand as there'll be less of a mess if the gravel gets loose. You can buy 25 lb. bags of aquarium gravel at most pet stores, which works nicely and costs less per pound than the smaller bags of fine gravel you might find at a garden store. For extra security, put the gravel in a zip lock plastic bag first. I used quart size freezer bags as they're heavier gauge plastic than most food bags and filled them up with just about as much gravel as they'd comfortably hold, and then put another bag on outside that for good measure. One of those bags of gravel in each side of these sandbags is enough to hold down most small light stands, and an entire 25 lb. bag of gravel was enough for all four bags in this set. But you could load these sandbags up more heavily if you wanted to as there is room inside for that, but you'd need to use larger zip lock bags than the quart size.

Other than the zipper issue these bags seem made well enough for most light uses. They do have a pronounced plastic-y smell when you first open up the package, so you might want to air them out for a while before filling and using them. I did only give them four stars because of the zipper issues, but so far so good.
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on March 10, 2016
I bought these sandbags to help weigh down a few Dolica tripods with a slider on them, as well as a couple light stands.
These are... alright. They're hefty, durable, and have an awesome dual-zipper system to them that prevents sand from leaking out. Perfect!

BUT the super wide handle for these makes it difficult to actually hang these from the hooks on the bottom of my tripods. Weird.

Also, the double-zipper format and small openings made it fairly difficult to actually fully fill them up with sand effectively.

They're getting the job done for now, though.
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on May 23, 2016
My tripod has a tilting center column feature that I use when I need to film a top down view of my desk while shooting video. Sadly, when I tilt the center column, it messes up the center of gravity on the tripod and it tips. These weight bags work awesomely to help counteract that and bring back the center of gravity so my tripod doesn't tip over with my camera on it.

I found it easier to not use sand in these bags but a few 5 pound dumbbell weights (CAP Barbell Standard Free Weight Plate, 1-Inch, 5-Pound, Gray). These work great with the 5 pound dumbbell weights. Please note these bags do not come prefilled, so you do need to buy the weights yourself. It has been a year and I never had these bags rip on me. Honestly, I feel these bags are probably great for weight lifting training too if you are into that sort of stuff. The straps and zippers are durable. None of them broke under the weight. I tend to tie these weight bags to my tripod via heavy duty wire ties (Nite Ize Gear Tie Assortment Bag - 8 Units).

Overall, if you are in film or photography, I'd highly recommend you get these.
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on August 25, 2014
Of the four bags I received, the zipper was derailed on one of them right out of the box, and another bag developed a hole in it after one job. You would think that when making a bag to hold several pounds of sand, that a quality zipper would be foremost in mind. These zippers are not YKK, but some cheap (presumably Chinese) generic brand that were easily derailed. I also zipped another one off track after loading it with sand the first time I used it. Returned mine for a refund
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on February 28, 2015
after a few months 3 of them have already started leaking - At first i thought oh great product but after using it in the studio for a while. just a flipping MESS! Sand all over the damn place. stitching has come out of the corners and just keeps going. Im not exactly gentle with them its a sand bag - but not tossing them around either.
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