ISTA 2A Testing

The ISTA 2A test procedure is designed for packaged products that weigh less than 150 pounds. The ISTA 2A procedure borrows elements from ISTA 1A and ISTA 3A to use in a sequence of tests that aim to simulate common transportation conditions and hazards.


Purpose of ISTA 2A

As products are transported from the manufacturing facility to their final destination, they’re likely to face a series of potential hazards. Common transportational hazards may include exposure to extreme temperatures, changes in humidity, impacts, and vibration. If a product isn’t properly packaged, these hazards can result in product damage, safety hazards, and a loss of profit.

The purpose of the ISTA 2A test procedure is to test the strength and durability of individually packaged products weighing less than 150 pounds by simulating the hazards they may face while being transported. ISTA 2A is a partial simulation test that is used to assess how well-packaged products perform while in transit and how they react to extreme conditions.

ISTA 2A Test Procedure

When following the ISTA 2A test procedure, individual packages will be subjected to a series of tests. In keeping with ISTA 2A requirements, the following tests should be conducted in the order listed.

  1. Atmospheric preconditioning at ambient temperature and humidity (ASTM D4332)
  2. Atmospheric conditioning at controlled conditions (ASTM D4332)
  3. Machine-applied compression (ASTM D642)
  4. Vibration; fixed displacement or random (ASTM D999 or ASTM D4728)
  5. Shock/drop testing (ASTM D5276)
  6. Vibration; fixed displacement or random (ASTM D999 or ASTM D4728)

Adhering to the proper ISTA 2A test procedure will ensure that a packaged product undergoes accurate testing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to our most frequently asked questions.

What types of packages are tested under ISTA 2A?

ISTA 2A testing is exclusively used for individually packaged products that weigh less than 150 pounds (or 68 kilograms). These are packages that, under real-world circumstances, would be prepared for shipment. Each package is tested and considered individually rather than as part of a batch.

What test sequences are performed with the ISTA 2A standard?

All individually packaged products undergoing ISTA 2A will be subject to:

  • Atmospheric preconditioning
  • Atmospheric conditioning
  • Compression testing
  • Vibration testing
  • Shock testing

What are the benefits of the ISTA 2A test procedure?

The ISTA 2A standard provides manufacturers with a number of important benefits. Using the ISTA 2A test procedure, manufacturers can:

  • Evaluate the durability and performance of individually packaged products
  • Protect products while in transit
  • Compare the effectiveness of various package designs
  • Improve customer satisfaction by ensuring products arrive safely at their destination

If you’re interested in ISTA 2A testing, Westpak can help. Our team of engineers are skilled when it comes to applying the series of tests mandated by ISTA 2A test procedure. Contact us today to learn more about ISTA 2A and how it can help you make good decisions about your package design.


Testing at Westpak has been accredited by A2LA to comply with ISO 17025.

Westpak testing labs are ISTA certified to perform a variety of tests.


If you have any questions or are not sure where to start, our Westpak experts are here to help!

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