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Choosing the right stand up pouch isn’t difficult, but it does require an understanding of the correct size 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 size pouch is a great first step, and this article outlines a few key things to know before you start. Then, once you determine the right size, 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

There are two important things to remember when sizing a stand up pouch. 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. To determine gusset size, we suggest opening the pouch and measuring from side to side on the bottom of the pouch to get an accurate read. 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 you must test it with your product first.

Also remember that pouch features such as ziplock 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

The volume of your product is especially critical when choosing the right pouch size. For example, eight ounces of vitamin pills takes up less volume than eight ounces of a bulky 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.

How Do You Fill Your Pouches?

Another important consideration is whether you fill pouches by hand or use automation in your process. How you fill your pouches will impact both the 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.

Do Try This at Home

To find a good starting point for sizing, you can begin 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. 

As part of your research, please contact a Summit representative for packaging samples and to get answers to your questions. We specialize in stand up pouches, and can walk you through the variety of material structures and different levels of automation for your filling equipment. We are happy to help you find the perfect packaging for your needs.