August 3, 2019  ·  by Scott Hohensinner
Various sized bags of jelly beans

Choosing the right stand up pouch size isn’t difficult, but it does require an understanding of the dimensions and features you want for your pouch. Stand up pouches protect your product, allow it to stand out on store shelves, and help you save money on packaging. Selecting the right pouch size is a great first step, and this article outlines a few key things to help you get started. Along with a stand up pouch chart, we’ll discuss some important details to keep in mind when determining pouch size. Once you’ve found the best size option, you can narrow down your packaging search using other factors such as material thickness, type of packaging material, and pouch features.

How to Size a Stand Up Pouch

Diagram of the pouch dimensions

There are two important things to consider when figuring out how to calculate pouch size. First, pouch dimensions are always listed in the following order: width, height, and gusset, so if a third dimension is listed, you know the pouch contains a gusset. When measuring a gusseted bag, we suggest opening the pouch and measuring from front to back on the bottom of the pouch to get an accurate read. It’s important to note, some manufacturers consider ½ that measured length to be the gusset size, and others will state the entire gusset length in the correct dimension. Second, pouch measurements are always based on outside dimensions as shown in the following diagram.

But here’s the important point: there’s a difference between the listed pouch size and its actual fillable space. For example, a pouch listed as 6 x 8 inches will not necessarily fit a product measuring 5 x 6 inches. That’s why it’s important to test it with your product first.

Also remember that pouch features such as zip closures, seal dimensions, tear notches, and hang holes are included in the overall dimensions of the packaging and can impact the fillable space. The fillable space is the part of the pouch below the zipper or heat seal line that extends to the bottom of the pouch.

Check Your Volume

Diagram of how to pack different kinds of products

Understanding the volume of your product is especially critical when choosing the right pouch size. For example, eight ounces of a dense product, like chicken, takes up less volume than eight ounces of a bulky but light product, like granola. Some bulkier items may even require you to use a pouch that is a full size larger to accommodate the extra volume, so be sure to test your product in various pouch sizes before purchasing. In the packaging industry, common stock stand up pouch sizes range from 6x8 to 14x24. At Summit, we offer these standard sizes, as well as custom stand up pouches. Whether you’re packaging fresh, dry, bulky or sleek food items, we have an option that’s right for your product. To give you a better idea of what size pouch might be best, here’s a chart that shows some products our clients packaged with stand up pouches:

How Do You Fill Your Pouches?

Another important question to ask yourself is, what packaging equipment will I be using? You might be filling pouches by hand, but if you’re utilizing automation in your process, there’s a couple extra things to consider. How you package your product will impact both the pouch size, thickness, and type of packaging material you need. One reason for this is because the force of an automatic filler will be greater than one filled by hand, so you need to ensure your machine doesn’t damage the pouch during operation. Our equipment experts are happy to discuss packaging process options, and how to pick the right stand up pouch size and thickness to match.

Stock Stand Up Pouches

Illustration that demonstrates six stock stand up pouches. 6x8, 7x9, 8x10, 8x12, 14x24 are all stand up pouch sizes offered by Summit Packaging.

At Summit, we are able to meet standard pouch size needs, and beyond. Some of these common pouch sizes may work perfectly for you. With that said, every product is different, and each requires exact specifications for safety reasons. This stand up pouch size chart will give an idea of our range of standard pouch size options:

To discuss all of our sizing options just contact us, and we’ll get right back to you.

Custom Stand Up Pouches

If a standard pouch size isn’t right for your unique product, never fear. Custom stand up pouches can be sized to virtually any dimension you need. Whether it’s candy, or beef jerky, or fresh salmon, custom packaging solutions are available to you at Summit. Our packaging experts work with customers every day to accurately develop custom sizing, and we want to do the same for you. Custom stand up pouches allow your product to be delivered in the best designed and safest packaging possible.

Pouch Size Calculator

While a pouch size calculator would seem like a simple solution to determine your ideal stand up pouch size, unfortunately it's not that easy. Every product and application is unique. This variety often requires trial and error to find the perfect packaging fit. The sizing strategies we outlined above are a great place to start to determine the volume of your product and understand how much a pouch can hold. Another good place to start is testing pouch ideas at home, in your own kitchen, or pantry.

First, find a pouch on your shelf holding a similar product. Then empty the pouch and fill it with your product to get an idea of the bag size you need. Similarly, you can visit any grocery store and purchase the type of pouch relevant to your product to try filling it with your own material for reference.

What’s next?

As part of your research, we invite you to contact a Summit representative for packaging samples and guidance on sizing. We specialize in stand up pouches, and we can help you choose the right material structure for your filling equipment and process. We are happy to help you find the perfect packaging for your needs.