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.

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 kind of sign, such as a construction site sign as well. In fact, it can help you keep plastic chairs, camping tents, and umbrellas standing.

Sandbag alternatives

You should use bulk bags for what they are made for. But, 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 not reliable and are not manufactured to be used as sandbags. Therefore, you should avoid using them for the same role.

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 them.

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.

What is the role of filled sand bags?

Filled sandbags play many roles. They are pre-filled, meaning the filler material is already present in them when they are 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 warning 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.

Pros and cons of filled sandbags


  • You can use them as it is, meaning you will not have to spend time and energy on 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 polyethylene, PVC, etc.
  • They are durable and can be used for different situations such as flooding.Cons:
  • They are expensive compared to empty sandbags.
  • They require transportation vehicles like a forklift, so, in addition to spending money on bags, you may have to spend money on their transportation as well.
  • They require more storage area as they have filler materials and cannot be folded like empty bags.

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 third most abundantly produced plastic polymer in the world. It is a chemically resistant synthetic resin used to manufacture 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.

  • Polypropylene sandbags

Polypropylene is an “addition polymer” commonly used to make plastic products and packaging products. It is a lasting and dependable material; that is why sandbag manufacturers use it to make sandbags as well.

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 the need arises.

  • 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.

Types of sandbags on the basis of their function

Sandbags have the following types that define their functions.

  • Barricade sandbag: Use 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, umbrella, plastic table, tent, etc.
  • Training sandbag: Used in gyms to gain strength and build muscles.

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.

Step 1: Get a PVC or polypropylene bag (that you may already have at home).Step 2: Buy a bag of builder’s sand. If you cannot get it either, you can use your garden soil as well.Step 3: Get a shovel or a similar tool and start pouring sand inside the PVC bag.Step 4: Don’t fill the bag up to its mouth as it will make the bag very heavy. Fill it one-third or a maximum one-half of the bag’s total space.Step 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 many 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 give different properties to your sandbag as well. Sandbags used for training and workout should have pebbles and materials that are heavy and can be a great weightlifting tool.

Sandbags that are 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 of any size. But, the average size of a standard sandbag is around 14 inches x 26 inches or 18 inches x 30 inches.

Learn more: How to make a sand bag?

A guide to purchasing sandbags

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

See the below elements:

  • Size

Sandbags are manufactured in varying sizes. A small to medium-sized bag will be suitable for traffic signs and other items that you want to hold still. On the other hand, if you need a sandbag for flooding, you should get a large-sized bag, so that you can 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 will have to 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 for a temporary purpose. 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.

Manufacturers mentioned in the article are reliable and trusted by many people around the world. 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.

Top 5 sand bag manufacturers!

Are you having trouble selecting the right manufacturers of sand bags? Is a large number of 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 in search of top sand bag manufacturers, this guide to know all about sand bags will tell you who you should consider for your ultimate sandbag needs.

Popular sandbags used in different countries

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

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

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 in any other country. Manufacturers design sandbags according to their purpose of use.

Should you invest in sandbags?

After learning all the benefits and uses of sandbags, it is now understandable why sandbags 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 money.

Similarly, when you use them to hold up traffic signs, you actually protect signs from falling down, which can damage their structure. They keep the traffic sign up, which guides vehicular as well as foot traffic to stay safe and use roads the right way.


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 the difference in their construction material or function.

They are manufactured all over the world. Some of the trust-worthy 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 future emergency use.


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