Readers are asking about two bag filling devices on the Internet — EZBagger and GoBagger. They scoop and funnel sand directly into bags.
My preference for a bag filler was explained in my post titled Bucket Chutes (December 16, 2008). I explained how you can modify a standard $1 bucket in couple of minutes for something very similar.
The main drawback to these other devices is they are designed for small bags. From their websites it looks like they’re using 12” bags or something similar. I’ve never heard of earthbag builders using 12” bags. Most are using 18”-24” bags to obtain wide, stable walls. It would be physically impossible for all but professional athletes to scoop up enough material to fill an 18” bag the way they show (and work steadily all day long).
Plus, most earthbag builders are using soils with about 20%-30% clay – adobe soil, road base, reject fines, etc. – not pure sand, which can shift and cause structural problems. The clay portion is important for stabilizing the walls. It would be very difficult if not impossible to scoop up these types of soils in the way that’s being advertised.
But judge for yourself. I’ve never used either product, and don’t intend to.