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Everything you need to know about sand bags!

Floods, strong winds, and heavy rainfalls are some weather events or weather disasters that can occur anytime, anywhere. They can influence human lives in many ways. Therefore, people are always looking for tools they can use to reduce the impact of such events.

Sandbags are one of the tools people use to deal with certain issues associated with weather events. They are sack-like structures that contain sand, soil, or any similar filler material that can absorb water or make them heavy.

Bags of sand are used all over the world to play different roles. You may have heard that sand bags are used to hold traffic signs or offer flood protection, but know that these are not their only uses. Sandbags are much more than flood protectors or traffic sign holders.

Read this comprehensive guide to learn all you need to know about sandbags.

Two pvc sand bags coloured in orange, manufactured in Sino Concept factory

What are traffic sandbags?

A traffic sand bag is a particular kind of sandbag that is used to weigh down traffic management and traffic control signs on roadways or parking lots.

Signs displayed on the stand are light in weight and can fall when a strong wind blows or heavy rain occurs. They require support to stay up on stormy or rainy days.

When a heavy-duty sandbag is placed on the feet of sign stands, they give signs the support they need and prevent their fall.

The good thing is you can use traffic sandbags to support any other sign, such as a construction site sign. In fact, it can help you keep plastic chairs, camping tents, and umbrellas standing.

An orange sand bag used to stabilize a triangle traffic sign at the roadside

Frequently asked questions about sandbags

1. What is the average lifespan of a sandbag?

It depends on the construction material of the bulk bag. A bag of sand made up of natural fibres like jute has a short lifespan, while an ultimate sandbag made up of plastics like PVC or woven polypropylene can last for years, depending on how you use it.

2. What makes sandbags worth buying?

The versatility and usefulness of sandbags make them worth buying. They are multi-purpose tools that can help people in many ways.

Sandbag alternatives

You should use bulk bags for what they are made for. However, some manufacturing companies are now providing sandbag alternatives that can be helpful in certain situations. Some examples of these alternatives are:

  • Metal flood barriers: Made up of metal
  • Inflatable flood barriers: Can be inflated when they are not in use
  • Tube flood barriers: Have a long tube-like shape
  • Expanding water bags: Expand when they have contact with water

Some people may use packaging bags, bulk containers, pouches, weight bags, and feed-big bags as sandbag alternatives.

These bags are unreliable and not manufactured to be used as sandbags. Therefore, you should avoid using them for the same role.

Orange sand bags made of pvc material for traffic safety use

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What is the role of filled sand bags?

Filled sandbags play many roles. They are pre-filled, meaning the filler material is already present when bought from a manufacturer. These woven bags are commonly used to play the following roles.

  • They are used for sandbagging by the public works department when they get flood or tropical storm warnings from national weather service providers. People build flood barriers using sandbags, which helps with flood prevention and flood control.
  • New bags containing sand gravel are placed on the topsoil, which has a risk of soil erosion. This way, the soil does not have contact with water, snow, animals, etc., helping it improve its health over time.
  • People may also use filled sandbags for sandbag training, strength training, functional training, bodyweight training, and core training to achieve fitness goals. They use them with different exercises like bent over row, high pull, deadlift, lunge, and squat to get better results.
  • They may also be used as ballast to hold up traffic control signs on a roadway, playground, driveway, etc.

Advantages of filled sandbags

  • You can use them as it is, meaning you will not have to spend time and energy filling bags with sand. This feature of filled sandbags helps more in emergencies when instant assistance is required.
  • They come in several sizes, which helps buyers select the right size for their needs.
  • They are available in many materials, including reusable polyethene, PVC, etc.
  • They are durable and can be used for different situations, such as flooding.


  • They are expensive compared to empty sandbags.
  • They require vehicles like a forklifts, so in addition to spending money on bags, you may also have to spend money on their transportation.
  • They require more storage as they have filler materials and cannot be folded like empty bags.
Two orange sandbags made of PVC material and filled with sand for traffic safety

Learn more: What is the role of filled sand bags?

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What are the different types of sandbags?

Sandbags can be divided into many types based on their characteristics. Some of their popular types are:

Types of sandbags based on their construction material

Sandbags are generally divided into three basic forms based on their construction material. Here is a brief introduction to each form of sand bag.

  • PVC sandbags

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is the world’s third most abundantly produced plastic polymer. It is a chemically resistant synthetic resin that manufactures packaging solutions, belts, and even sandbags.

PVC can be given any colour. It means PVC bags can have many different colours. It can withstand many environmental conditions because of its resistance to chemicals and even UV when it is UV-treated.

PVC material to make sand bags coloured in orange
  • Polypropylene sandbags

Polypropylene is an “addition polymer” commonly used to make plastic and packaging products. It is a lasting and dependable material, so manufacturers also use it to make sandbags.

Polypropylene woven sacks are reusable. They can be filled or empty. You can store them for as long as you want and use them again when needed.

Five white sandbags are made from polypropylene, a lasting and dependable material.
  • Burlap sandbags

Burlap sandbags are eco-friendly as they are built from natural fibres. They generally have a short lifespan and start to degrade naturally after being exposed to environmental factors for a short duration.

They are sold in brown colours, which is their natural colour. Burlap sandbags are preferably used for temporary purposes.

Many eco-friendly burlap sandbags are made from natural fibres stacked together.

Types of sandbags based on their function

Sandbags have the following types that define their functions.

  • Barricade sandbag: Used to form the army barricade and fortification.
  • Flood sandbag: Used to control flood water.
  • Ballast sandbag: Used to hold lightweight items, including a traffic sign, a construction site sign, an umbrella, a plastic table, a tent, etc.
  • Training sandbag: Used in gyms to gain strength and build muscles.
Orange PVC sandbags, burlap sandbags, black training sandbags, and barricade sandbags.

How to make a sand bag?

If you cannot find a sandbag in the market, the best solution is to build one yourself. You don’t need to be an expert to do that.

Here is a simple step-by-step guide to making a sandbag:

  1. Get a PVC or polypropylene bag (that you may already have at home).
  2. Buy a bag of builder’s sand. If you cannot get it either, use your garden soil.
  3. Pour sand inside the PVC bag with a shovel or similar tool.
  4. Don’t fill the bag to its mouth, as it will make it very heavy. Fill it with one-third or a maximum of one-half of the bag’s total space.
  5. Close the mouth of the bag with a woven tie or a small rope that you may already have at home.

Which filler materials are added to a sandbag?

People add different materials to the sandbag according to their needs. Some examples of these materials include:

  • Garden soil
  • Play sand
  • Rubber mulch
  • Wood pellets mixed with wood chips
  • Garden pebbles
  • Pea gravel

Each material has different properties, so it will also give different properties to your sandbag. Sandbags used for training and workouts should have heavy pebbles and materials that can be great weightlifting tools.

Sandbags used for flood control should have an absorbing filler material like sand or soil. On the other hand, sandbags for traffic signs can have sand, soil, pebbles or any other material that helps them weigh down traffic signs.

What is the average size of sandbags?

A sandbag can be any size. But, the average size of a standard sandbag is around 14 inches x 26 inches or 18 inches x 30 inches.

An orange sandbag is being made by a worker in the Sino Concept factory.

Learn more: How to make a sand bag?

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Purchasing guide for a sandbag can be very helpful in finding the right product for your needs. You should know which features of a sand bag must be checked before it is bought.

Elements to consider when selecting a sandbag:

  • Size

Sandbags are manufactured in varying sizes. A small to medium-sized bag will be suitable for traffic signs and other items you still want to hold. On the other hand, if you need a sandbag for flooding, you should get a large-sized bag to place it properly to build a flood barrier.

  • Material

Sandbags are available in the market in many materials. Some materials are not reusable, meaning you must discard them only after using them once. In contrast, some materials, like PVC, are reusable. You can use them multiple times.

Get the non-reusable material if you want to use your sandbag temporarily. Get a reusable material if you want to use sandbags for a long time for a permanent need.

  • Manufacturer

Sandbag manufacturers create bags of different qualities. Some are durable, while others last only for a short time. Do your research, and select the sandbag manufacturing company carefully.

The manufacturers mentioned in the article are reliable and trusted by many people worldwide. You should consider them for your traffic sandbag or flood sandbag needs.

Where to buy sandbags?

You can purchase sandbags from many places. However, getting them directly from their manufacturers is more advantageous.

You can also find them on e-commerce stores like Amazon, etc. Such stores have a very wide variety of bags and their alternatives. You can also find sandbags from your local hardware stores.

Orange sand bags made of pvc material with a strict process

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    Top 5 sand bag manufacturers!

    Are you having trouble selecting the right manufacturers of sand bags? Are many manufacturers available in the market making you more confused? If that is the case, this article is what you need to read.

    Sand bags are prepared in almost all parts of the world because of their usefulness. They come in different sizes, materials, and forms, which often makes it hard for potential buyers to select the right sand bag for their needs.

    If you are searching for top sand bag manufacturers, this guide to learn all about sand bags will tell you who you should consider for your ultimate sandbag needs.

    B&Q sandbags, Sino Concept PVC sandbags, Screwfix sandbags, Grainger sandbags, and Jaybro sandbags.

    Feel free to check our articles below to learn more about this topic:

    Popular sandbags used in different countries

    Sandbags are not a new tool. People have been using them for hundreds of years. They are used in almost every country to play the roles we have already mentioned.

    Sandbags in the UK, USA, New Zealand, Canada and many other countries share almost the same features or characteristics. They can be burlap, polypropylene, PVC, polyethene, or similar building materials.

    Their sizes can also be variable. There is no hard and fast rule that only this particular size should be manufactured in the US or any other country. Manufacturers design sandbags according to their purpose of use.

    Two burlap sandbags, two white polypropylene sandbags, and two orange PVC sandbags.

    Should you invest in sandbags?

    After learning all the benefits and uses of sandbags, it is understandable why they are worth buying. Investing in them only once can help you save money in the long run.

    When they are used for protection against floods, they help you prevent damage caused by floods and eventually save you money.

    Similarly, when you use them to hold up traffic signs, you protect them from falling, which can damage their structure. They keep the traffic sign up, guiding vehicular and foot traffic to stay safe and use roads correctly.



    Sandbags are popular flood-control and traffic sign management tools that you can use for different reasons. They are divided into different categories based on their construction material or function differences.

    They are manufactured all over the world. Some trustworthy sandbag manufacturers are Sino Concept, Screwfix, and Jaybro. Their products are lasting and can be used to perform many roles.

    You should never buy a sandbag without checking its features like size, material, quality, stitching, etc. Buy a sandbag that matches your needs well. Empty sandbags are good for long-term uses. You can fold and store them in a small space for emergencies.



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