Super light but doesn’t sacrifice comfort: the padded handles, dare we say, rock. Folds up small. Zips securely at the top.
Here are some key facts about the Small Zip-Top Shop Bag. Read below for the full scoop.
- Designed as a reusable shopping bag, it has lots of other uses too: personal carry-on bag, all purpose hauler, Every Day Carry.
- Has comfortable padded handles.
- Made of our ultralight 200 denier Halcyon/nylon ripstop fabric or light-but-tough 210 Ballistic nylon.
- We’ve made several totes from which you can choose: Large Zip-Top Shop Bag, Original Large Shop Bag, Original Small Shop Bag, Pop Tote, and The Truck
Way back when, we received this request: “Can you please, please, please make a reusable grocery bag? Yes, I already have ones that I've been given for free or bought for cheap at the store. The trouble is that the thin straps dig into my hands and shoulders and the bags themselves wear out pretty quickly. I want a Tom Bihn grocery bag." – K.M.
How could we refuse? The bag that Tom designed as a result — the Original Shop Bag — has been one of our most popular designs for the last decade. People use the Original Shop Bag as a lunch bag, personal carry-on bag, every day carry tote, all around hauler, and, yes, as a reusable grocery bag.
Over the years, we received feedback from folks who asked if we could add a zipper closure to the Original Shop Bag—particularly from those who used it as a personal carry-on bag, everyday carry tote, or lunch bag that would get stuffed into a locker or cubby. Darcy, who often carries an Original Small Shop Bag as her EDC, finally convinced Tom and Nik to tackle the project of adding a zipper to the Shop Bag.
Seems simple enough, right? Just add a zipper to an open-top tote bag so you can zip it shut. However, a zipper has a beginning and an ending that must be engineered into the design. If that’s not carefully thought out, the zipper can constrict the size and utility of the very opening you’re trying to close.
We think we’ve managed to nuance these conflicting realities quite well in our Zip-Top Shop Bags. The zipper is longer than necessary, and thus does not reduce the effective size of the opening. The fabric we added to the top of the bag on either side of the zipper (which allows you to close the bag even when it's chock-full) graciously drops away from the opening when unzipped, and in doing so doesn’t encumber access to your stuff. And there you have it.
One of the things you’ll notice first about the Zip-Top Shop Bag is that it has comfortable, PORON® padded handles that will never break down or lose their padding. These padded handles prevent that awful hand-slicing experience of traditional non-padded fabric handles, and they're extra comfortable on your shoulder. The handles have been designed to be an ideal length that will allow most folks to wear the bag over their shoulder or carry it in their hand.
It’s a sturdy enough tote to hold beer, wine, canned goods, and other heavy items, but we wanted the bag itself to be light—something you can carry with you everywhere just in case you were stopping by the store. That's why we make the bag out of our ultralight 200 denier Halcyon ripstop fabric (made in Japan). Even though it's light in weight, it's also a tough fabric. Because the Halcyon fabric lacks the stiffness of our other heavier-weight fabrics, we've piped the seams with the same stiff plastic material that's used on hat brims, and which we cover with 400 denier pack cloth. This gives the Zip-Top Shop Bag enough body to stand up while you are filling it, and the structure the piping provides also keeps the bag looking smart.
The inside of the Small Zip-Top Shop Bag has two deep, open-top pockets designed for items like bottles of wine or juice. The pockets are contoured and pleated so they have volume enough for even a 24 fluid ounce mineral water bottle.
The Zip-Top Shop Bags are easy to clean—they resist dirt and water rolls right off. You probably won't need to wash it that often, but if you do, put it in the kitchen sink with a little bit of mild dish soap. Rinse it out, shake off the excess water, and hang it up on a clothesline or over a doorknob to dry.
Sewn in Seattle
Our bags are designed and 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 find out more about the unusual way we do business on our Company Philosophy page.
THE BIHN Guarantee
Everything you buy from us here at TOM BIHN is satisfaction guaranteed. We’ve been in business since 1972 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.
- Judith B.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Comfortable, Versatile, High Quality Craftsmanship, Durable5 months agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Comfortable, Versatile, High Quality Craftsmanship, DurableRated 5 starsBeyond a shop bag!
The Small Zip Top Shop Bag turned out to be a fantastic travel bag for me. I ended up changing my packing configuration at the last minute and decided to carry my small café bag and I wanted a tote bag that I could take on the plane. I grabbed the Small Zip Top Shop Bag - what a fantastic bag for a small carry on bag on the plane. It slid upright under the seat in front of me - no need to lay it flat- it held water bottles in the inside pockets, my iPad in a padded sleeve along the longer end, and various other things I needed at hand on the flight. I had a three hour layover in Atlanta and according to my Fitbit I walked 2 miles . The Small Zip Top Shop Bag was packed full but carrying it in my hand did not bother me, and once in a while I slung it over my shoulder when I wanted both hands free. At my destination, it then became a shop bag, able to carry a good amount of purchased items.
- S M E.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, High Quality Finishings, Good Storage Size, Versatile5 months agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, High Quality Finishings, Good Storage Size, VersatileRated 5 starsSmall zip-top shop bag
I love this bag! I have a large and a small shop bag, neither with a zipper, and I use them constantly. I've found however that, unless I've put off my grocery shopping, I don't use my large bag nearly as often as I grab the small shop bag. Next week I'm planning to fly to a convention, and will definitely be taking my small zip-top bag with me! I think it will hold an amazing amount of clothes, as well as other necessities.
- Cathy H.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts High Quality Craftsmanship, Durable, Good Storage Size, Versatile, Thoughtful Design8 months agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts High Quality Craftsmanship, Durable, Good Storage Size, Versatile, Thoughtful DesignRated 5 starsUltimate Lunch Bag
I bought this bag for those unexpected shopping stops. One day I was packing up to head out to work and pulled this bag out to put my lunch, morning protein and afternoon tea bottles in to carry it to my car. Suddenly realized it's the perfect bag to carry all the food essentials for those days I don't work at home. Just love those pockets on each side to hold the bottles. Of course it's still used for shopping or a store all when shopping as it holds extra shopping bags along with my Side Kick.
- Paul W.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, Versatile, Made in USA7 months agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, Versatile, Made in USARated 5 starsThe Joy of Using This Tote Bag is Unmatched
The Zip-Top Shop Bag is utilitarian genius. Like you, I've tried a dozen shop totes that either cost me a couple bucks or were handed out free at some event/magazine subscription, and while I advocate using a "bring your own bag" for shopping of any kind, the bag itself has to be good to be usable. And most tote bags are complete garbage. The Zip-Top Shop Bag is not -- In fact, it is the best tote bag ever made.
The biggest issue most generic tote bags face is the handle. This critical feature of the bag is often the most overlooked design. Oftentimes you're loading things into this bag, and then commuting with it a short distance back to your car, or a longer distance on a bus or bike, and it's imperative that the handle should be comfortable at all times. It shouldn't dig into your palms, and it shouldn't feel flimsy. It should work like a dream. And the Tom Bihn Zip-Top Shop Bag works like a dream.
I can't advocate enough for using this bag. Buy one. Buy two. Buy three! They will last. And those handles will become your favorite thing about them.
- Kris S.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Made in USA, Versatile, Durable9 months agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Made in USA, Versatile, DurableRated 5 starsSuper handy for everything
Love the zipper and the only way it could be better if the halcyon fabric came back.