Flap is too small to protect contents from elements
Unfortunately I trusted the design acumen of Tom Bihn. Unfortunately the major design flaw in this bag can only be observed by using it, which voids the return possibility. I have owned crossbody bags by Danish Schoolbag, Tumi, Brady, Filson, Timbuktu, and Patagonia. Never before has the flap failed to cover and protect the contents as the bag was normally carried. The Maker's Bag--and this in Seattle!--leaves a wide gap at either end of the flap. And this bag was described as potentially a field bag; it rains in the field, guys. if I could return this I could. But I guess it's headed to eBay and I'm headed back to my old Patagonia Half Mass. Photos of flaps of both attached. How can this flaw have persisted through years of the bag's production? The photos do not equivocate.
Hi Rob! First up, we're sorry that The Maker's Bag isn't working for you, and we'll be reaching out to you via email soon.
You're not the first person to be concerned about the flap! We remembered answering this question a few years ago, so we searched for our answer from back in 2015. That response is below. Some good news is that, since then, we haven't personally experienced issues with rain getting in the bag when we're carrying it, and we haven't heard from folks who've experienced that either. We totally get why the concern exists, even if in use it hasn't yet been an issue.
Here's the scoop on why the design is the way it is:
The Maker's Bag is designed to be a bit open on either side when it's set down on the ground/on a table/surface or otherwise not carried so that its pockets (especially the water bottle pockets) are more accessible. When carried, the tension of the shoulder strap pulls those gaps closed.
Rain access was a consideration, but we figured it would be unlikely that someone would be stopping and setting the bag down in the rain (or if they were, it would be in order to access the main compartment and at that point rain might be getting in anyway).
We've had some good rain testing opportunities here in Seattle as of late with our Maker's Bag (sigh) and haven't personally experienced it to be an issue/our stuff hasn't gotten wet.
With the hope to preemptively address any concern because of the appearance of the gaps when the bag isn’t carried, we did consider various possible design solutions — however, all of these solutions would change how uniquely accessible and wide open the main compartment and its the pockets are, which is one of the design features folks love best about this bag. So, we decided to not mess to much with a good thing, and kept the design the way it is.
Hope this helps a bit, and be on the lookout for an email from us!