Break-In Method Comparison

What is the best bag break-in method? Here at Six by Six, we tested 13. All deliver results, but one stood out from the rest. TLDR

The Meat and Potatoes of the Comparison

We used commonly referenced break-in methods to see how they affected a bag's speed and flop. The MN Tailgate Omega bag is for testing as it has a very common fast fabric and a great carpet on the slower side. Each bag was broken different way with some building upon previous methods. Each was compared to a MN Tailgate Omega bag that has been played with for two years (Old Faithful).

The break-in methods used were:

  1. Case's Wash Method

  2. Basic Throw

    • Measured after 200 throw​s

    • New data is added after throwing it 100 additional times (this will be perpetual)

  3. Sac Relax Serum 

    • Sac Relax - One application

    • Sac Relax -  Two applications

  4. Bag Smash

    • Dropped a 5 lb plate weight on the bag

  5. Household Dryer

    • Tumbled in the dryer for an equivalent of 200 throws

  6. Fabric Conditioner (Seventh Generation fresh lavender scent)

    • Fabric Conditioner - One application​

    • Fabric Conditioner - One application, then textile detergent

    • Fabric Conditioner - One application, textile detergent, then another application

  7. Textile Softener​ (Milsoft Fabric Softener)

    1. Textile Softener - One application

    2. Textile Softener - One application, then textile detergent

    3. Textile Softener - One application, textile detergent, then another application

  8. Boil​

  9. Dawn Platinum

  10. Ultra Break-In Serum and Mallet

  11. Rubber Mallet (came with the Ultra Break-In kit)

  12. Hair Conditioner (Maui Moisture hair Care - Lightweight Hydration)

    • Hair Conditioner - One application

    • Hair Conditioner - One application, then Dawn Platinum

    • Hair Conditioner - One application, Dawn Platinum, then another application

  13. Toss Sauce

**See below for more specifics on these testing techniques.

 
 
Break-In Techniques

We have provided detailed instructions on the methods for anyone to follow.

Each bag was measured before being subjected to a break-in method.

Softener and Conditioner Application (Sac Relax, Fabric Conditioner, Textile Softener, and Hair conditioner: Soaked each bag with warm water (90 degrees F) by running it under the facet for 1 minute (30 seconds per side). We let the bag drip vertically for 5 minutes. We applied 4-grams (a nickel-sized) of softener/conditioner into a plastic bag and then closed and flattened the bag until the softener/conditioner visibly covered the inside. The bag was placed in the plastic bag and the softener/conditioner was worked in by hand. It was left inside the bag for 30 minutes before rinsing it with warm water (90 degrees F) by running it under the facet for 1 minute (30 seconds per side). It was then run through a top load washing machine on the spin and drain setting at max speed to get as much water out as possible. Lastly, this was then placed on a rack to dry.

Detergent Application (textile detergent): The bag soaked for 5 minutes in 140-degree water as suggested by the manufacturer. A a nickel-sized drop of the detergent was placed on each side and worked into the seams, surfaces, and closure seam. The bag was soaked for an additional 10 minutes at 140-degrees.  The water temperature was measured using a thermometer and the bags were placed into a stockpot on an electric stovetop. A trivet was placed to separate the bags from the heating element (1/2 inch separation). Finally, the bags were rinsed under a cool faucet until there weren't any bubbles forming when worked. One thing to note is that the textile detergent used was slightly acidic and rounded-off/smoothed out the resing pellets. 

Case's Wash Method: The bag and a towel were placed in a front load washer without detergents or conditioners on the delicate wash cycle. Following the cycle, it was set drying rack with a fan.

Thrown: The bag was thrown indoors and flipped the bag each down and back (down was the fast side, back was the slow side). This ensured that each side of the bag encountered the same number of throws. 

Sac Relax: See the Softener and Conditioner Application above.

Bag Smash: The bag was placed on a cornhole board and a 5 lb plate weight was dropped from a height of ~40 inches. This was repeated 200 times, flipping the bag at 100 drops. It was calculated that 5 lbs being dropped from ~40 inches equaled the same amount of force as a bag being thrown at a height of 9.5 feet at its highest point.

Tumble Dried: The bag was placed in my dryer for the equivalent amount of time as being "thrown" 200 times. In my case, this is 35 minutes.

Fabric Conditioner: See the Softener and Conditioner Application and Detergent Application above.

Textile Softener: See the Softener and Conditioner Application and Detergent Application above.

Boil: The bag was placed in a stock pot at a rolling boil. It was boiled for a total of 2 minutes (1 minute each side). It was removed and run through a top load washing machine on the spin and drain setting at max speed to get as much water out as possible. Finally, this was then placed on a rack to dry.

Dawn Platinum: We soaked each bag with warm water (90 degrees F) for 5 minutes in a thick glass bowl. The bag dripped vertically for 5 minutes. A a nickel-sized drop of the detergent was placed on each side and worked into the seams, surfaces, and closure seam. Lastly, the bags were rinsed under a cool faucet until there weren't any bubbles forming when worked.

Rubber Mallet: Placed the bag between a microfiber towel that had been folded in half (two layers of the towel above and below the bag). The bag was then hammered in a clockwise direction, focusing on the seams and then two strikes in the center. The direction was reversed every 10 hits until  100 was reached. Then the bag was flipped and the hammering process resumed.

Ultra Break-In Serum and Mallet: Ultra has a video that explains the process if you'd like to watch it, about 5 minutes long. The main difference is that I smashed the bag 100 times on each side during Step 2: Condition of the break-in process. The exact process is explained in the Rubber Mallet section.

Hair Conditioner: See the Softener and Conditioner Application and Dawn Platinum process above. The procedures for this technique were modified from Corbin's Cornhole Review.

Toss Sauce: These bags were broken-in following the instructions as provided. We determined that 140-degrees was hot water and used it for the soaking portions of the process. The bags were dried for the equivalent amount of time used in the Tumble Dried procedure above but at high heat as instructed.

Keep checking this page for more break-in methods. Use the Contact Us page if you'd like to suggest a new method.

What worked best

We recommend using the third Fabric Conditioner method (One application, detergent, then another application). This resulted the best balance between speed and flop. The measured values also matched our reference bag (Old Faithful) the closest.

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