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The Maker's Bag

Regular price $140.00
  • Black 400 Halcyon/Island 200 Halcyon
  • Taiga 400 Halcyon/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
  • Wilderness 525 Ballistic/Coyote 210 Ballistic
  • Ursa 525 Ballistic/Dawn 210 Ballistic
  • Constellation 525 Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic
  • Mars Red 525 Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic
  • Nebulous Grey 525 Ballistic/Island 210 Ballistic
  • Nebulous Grey 525 Ballistic/Viridian 210 Ballistic
  • Black 525 Ballistic/Coyote 210 Ballistic
  • Black 525 Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic
  • Original 400 Halcyon/Island 200 Halcyon
  • Aubergine 525 Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic
  • Burnt Orange 525 Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic
  • Deep Blue 525 Ballistic/Dawn 210 Ballistic
Add Shoulder Strap Upgrade: Add a Size of Cache: Add Freudian Slip:
  • Everything you buy from us here at TOM BIHN is satisfaction guaranteed. We’ve been in business for over 30 years and we stand behind what we make.

    If something goes wrong and it's our fault, we'll fix it for free. Repairs due to normal wear and tear or due to other things that are not our fault will be performed, when possible, at a reasonable charge right here in our Seattle factory where your bag was made. Defects in materials or workmanship are uncommon and almost always evident while the product is still new. Keep in mind that bags and packs are often subject to extreme wear in everyday use: do not expect them to last forever. Only true love lasts forever! You can expect a TOM BIHN product to give years and years of hard service.

    Face Masks
    Our masks are satisfaction guaranteed. Please if you're happy with your mask *or* there's something that doesn't work for you. We want to hear from you!

  • Our bags and face masks are designed and cut & sewn right here in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

    That allows us to be control freaks in the best way possible; we have direct control and oversight of the quality of our materials, our products, and the jobs and working environment that we help create. It also offers us a unique spontaneity: when we have an idea for a new product or accessory, we can design it, figure out how to build it, add it to our website and be ready to ship it out our front door all within just a few weeks. How cool is that?

    Intrigued? You can more about the unusual way we do business on our Company Philosophy page.


U.S. high tenacity 1050 denier ballistic nylon
bluesign® certified 525 denier High-Tenacity 2x2 Ballistic nylon
— or —
bluesign® and OEKO-TEX® certified Ultralight 400d Halcyon/420d nylon ripstop exterior
bluesign® and OEKO-TEX® certified 200 denier Halcyon/nylon ripstop fabric lining
Tough Duraflex®, Nexus, and Woojin buckles and related components
#5 and #8 YKK coil zippers


Sewn in USA with globally sourced materials
100% finished seams


Dimensions: 13.6" (w) x 10" (h) x 6.9" (d) / 345 (w) x 255 (h) x 175 (d) mm
400d Halcyon®/420d nylon ripstop: 15.0 oz / 425 grams
1050d Ballistic: 1 lb 5.0 oz / 595 grams
525d Ballistic: 1 lb 2.6 oz / 530 grams
Volume: 750 cubic inches / 12.5 liters
What's Included:
1x Standard Shoulder Strap, May be Upgraded to Absolute Shoulder Strap
1x 8-inch Black Webbing Snaphook/Snaphook Key Strap
1x Black Zipper Pulls w/ Plastic Ends (8-Pack)
1x Gatekeeper Waist Strap
Total O-rings: 5 (4 in the main compartment, 1 in the front zippered pocket)


A briefcase/messenger/field bag with loads of pockets and organization for your projects.

Note: the optional Maker's Bag Freudian Slip will be restocked at 7:00am PT on 3/31 along with the Maker's Bag itself. Making is about using basic materials to actuate our ideas. Take a pen and a notebook. In one person’s hands, the pen and paper make plans for a house. In another person’s hands, the pen and paper make a drawing of a mountain. Other hands may use the pen and notebook to write a short story, or put away the pen and turn the paper into an airplane. We are individual in what we create, and yet united by the fact that we do.

We designed the Maker’s Bag to support all of us—knitters, architects, robot makers, foragers, writers, designers, teachers, or painters—in our making.

The Maker’s Bag is a briefcase/messenger/field bag. You can wear it cross-body or on one shoulder; d-ring attachment points on the left and right side of the bag accept most shoulder straps with snaphooks. Included with the Maker’s Bag is our Standard Shoulder Strap, and you have the option of upgrading to the Absolute Shoulder Strap (recommended for heavy loads). An included removable waist strap means you can secure the Maker’s Bag to your body as you ride your motorcycle or bicycle, and a simple webbing grab handle on the back gives you a place to quickly move the bag from floor to table or vice versa.

Abundant with pockets and compartments —12 in total—the Maker’s Bag ranks as one of the bags with the most built-in organization we’ve made. You might not even use all of the pockets of the Maker’s Bag initially: that’s OK because you’ll be ready for what comes next.

Under the front flap of the Maker’s Bag is a zippered pocket that spans the width of the bag. The pocket unzips from left to right; one o-ring is thoughtfully placed to allow immediate access to whatever you’ve clipped to it (Key Strap, Organizer Pouch, Wallet) without even fully unzipping the compartment. Inside the zippered pocket are four open-top organizational pockets of equal size; these pockets fit phones, small notebooks, travel watercolor cases. The remainder of the pocket is ready for other, larger items: snacks, gloves, maps, pocket guides, small tablets.

Fold back the front flap of the Maker’s Bag and the main compartment is on display. Because we added piping to the exterior of the Maker’s Bag, the bag maintains its shape and stands up on its own so you can view the entire interior compartment easily without holding the bag open. The main compartment has four O-rings, two on the front and one on each side. The o-ring on the left side of the main compartment of the Maker’s Bag has an included 8” Key Strap.

Many of our bags have an open-top exterior back pocket; for the Maker’s Bag, we chose to forgo that pocket in exchange for an interior zippered back pocket that spans the width of the bag. This is an ideal place for a small laptop (up to 11”) or tablet (in a protective sleeve such as our Cache), pad of paper, magazine, coloring book, or folded jacket or sweater. The remainder of the main compartment is open and at the ready for larger items: a yarn project in a Travel Tray, a laptop (up to 13”) in a Cache, a jacket, lunch, or supplies of any kind.

The main compartment of the Maker’s Bag also has five smaller organizational pockets. The pockets on each side are expandable mesh and ideal for stowing a travel mug or water bottle. On the front side of the main compartment are three elastic-banded open-top pockets; a 3D Organizer Cube can fit in the center pocket and a Pen/Pencil Organizer Pouch can fit in either the left or right pocket.

Want to add even more pockets and organization to your Maker’s Bag? Consider adding the Maker’s Bag Freudian Slip. It adds five additional pockets of organization—three zippered pockets on one side and two large open top pockets on the other.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, and everything you make: we want to see it. Share your photos with #tombihn, post your photos in our Forums, or email them to us.

Choosing an Exterior Fabric

You like choices and we like to give you choices! That's why the Maker's Bag is typically available* in two different exterior fabrics. Our Materials Glossary explains each fabric in great detail, but here are some quick facts that may help you decide which to choose. And we're always here if you have questions:

400d Halcyon
Weave: plain weave with 1/4” / 6mm ripstop
Fibers: 400 denier type 6 filament nylon (base fabric); 420 denier ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene ripstop grid
Coating: light urethane
Made in: Japan

Choose this fabric if:
  • You want a lighter weight alternative to traditional nylon fabrics that has remarkable tear strength and good abrasion resistance.
  • You're looking for a fabric with a modern, "technical" appearance.
  • You have pets: 400d Halcyon doesn't collect pet hair, reducing your monthly lint roller costs.

1050d High Tenacity Ballistic Nylon
Weave: 2x2 “ballistic” weave
Fibers: 1050 denier type 6,6 (high tenacity) filament nylon
Coating: medium urethane
Made in: U.S.A.

Choose this fabric if:
  • You want a super-tough fabric – originally designed for use in bullet-proof vests.
  • The weight of your bag isn’t a huge concern (though it’s worth noting that 1050d Ballistic is still lighter than cotton canvas or leather).
  • You want a smooth surface that won’t collect pet hair or sweater fuzz, slides easily into and out of the overhead bin, and fits in whether you're traveling for work or leisure.

*There may be times when one of the exterior fabrics mentioned here isn't available. Even with our best efforts, the demand for our bags occasionally outpaces our production capabilities: at times, some products, color combinations, or fabrics might be temporarily unavailable or "In Production." See the In Production color combinations as a guide to what our factory crew is making and what will be available next.

Customer Reviews

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Design Notes

The general contours of the Maker’s Bag (with the exception of its exaggerated thickness) follow those of the Cafe Bags. To me, the Maker’s Bag was a logical extension of the Cafe Bags, but with a volume and wider base closer to that of the Swift. Its wide bottom and piping help it to stand up on its own: that way, you can access your stuff without holding it open. That thickness also means that it’s big enough that with the flap up, you can see easily into the main compartment.

I designed the Maker’s Bag to be able to fit laptops of up to 13”, and also to approximately share the dimensions of the Swift so that knitters could use the Maker’s Freudian Slip in both bags. The main compartment of the Maker’s Bag can even hold two Maker’s Freudian Slips.

In general, I use any and every open-top pocket as a pen pocket; for those who want dedicated pen slots, I created the Tool/Pen Wrap (note: the Tool/Pen Wrap design has since been retired).

When the bag is loaded up or being carried, the positioning of the shoulder strap attachment points help to keep the flap centered and closed over the bag without overly compressing that top flap—a nod to clean aesthetics and fewer wrinkles.
— Nik

want help choosing the right size?

1. Measure Your Laptop

Measure your laptop (or Google its make, model, and the word “dimensions” to find its listed dimensions).
Compare its measurements with the chart to the left (swap the Height and Width when measuring for a Vertical oriented Cache).

Laptop Measurements Diagram

2. Compare Those Measurements To These

Size Interior Width Interior Height Interior Thickness
10A (10.5" iPad Pro)9.76" / 248mm6.61" / 168mm0.31-0.78" / 8-20mm
10B (iPad or 9.7" iPad Pro)9.33" / 237mm6.46" / 164mm0.31-0.78" / 8-20mm
11A (11" iPad Pro)9.87" / 250mm7.25" / 184mm0.31-0.78" / 8-20mm
12A (12" Macbook)10.94" / 278mm7.51" / 191mm0.31-0.78" / 8-20mm

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