How manufacturers measure bags – and why it’s wrong!

We have recently been looking at our website and trying to figure out a way to best communicate the most accurate information to you, the customer.

Whilst looking at some of the bags we stock, which include paper bags and clear bags, we realised that we have not been using the manufacturers’ sizes, as we feel they are misleading.

We have never said that we do this, we just do it – because the vast majority of people do not need to know this. Most people just want to know – “how big is this bag” – and we tell you.

What manufacturers tell you and what you actually get, therefore, can be two different things and when you are just starting out in buying packaging, this can be very confusing and off-putting.

Here at The Bag N Box Man we have – for years – used a VERY simple way of showing you the size of the bag – by measuring the available and usable space in three dimensions, usually in a width x depth x height or similar.

Measuring in three dimensions:

Measuring the gusset, or depth, simply means opening up the sides:
Measuring the width, or gusset depth of a bag

This way, if you have a product that measures 180 x 105 x 335mm (width x depth x height) then you know it will fit into this specific Block Bottom Paper Bag.

Would you have known this if the measurement stated was in fact 175 x 290 x 345mm? I doubt it, but this is the manufacturers stated size, not very helpful is it?

Why do manufacturers measure bags this way?

It is actually really logical and simple. Instead of measuring the bag like we do – when it is opened and measuring the available size – manufacturers measure the bag with the gusset extended / opened, and then flattened, as seen in this photo:

Manufacturers hyper-extend the bag so that the gussets are flat:
Measuring the opening of a bag Measuring the opening of a bag

Makes perfect sense when you know the how and why, but we don’t think this is very helpful to you, the customers. Which is why we display both the manufacturers sizes and the size as we have measured it, showing you the actual available space.