View Full Version : Letter Size File Folders

11-13-2016, 05:46 PM
I use a Halcyon MCB as my work bag. I have a particular dilemma that I am hoping some fellow Bihn fans may be able to help me resolve.

I run a weekly ID/Social Security Card/Birth Certificate group at my local shelter. I currently hold all the materials in a ginormous ziploc bag. The ginormous ziploc bag holds:

8 file folders with documents
snack size ziploc bag that holds pens
1 medium clear organizer pouch that I keep receipts in, to return to the shelter manager
a smaller clear organizer pouch that I place my driver's license and the shelter's credit card in


Would a large cordura Organizer Pouch get the job done? Do the curved corners and zipper allow for a standard letter size manila file folder?
Would it be possible for me to sew in an O-ring through either Cordura or Halcyon using a standard home sewing machine?

What I need is essentially a Large (at least 12"x10" with an apropriate opening) Organizer Pouch with at least one O-ring.

I thought I'd hit gold with the PCSB, but it appears a bit snug (12"x8") to be carrying around important documents.

Whadda y'all think?


P.S. For reference: A letter size file folder, folded along the primary score line, shall measure 8 5/8 inches in height (for the front flap), 9 5/8 inches in height (for the back flap), and 11 3/4 inches in width. The allowable variation for each dimension shall be plus or minus 1/16 inch.

11-13-2016, 06:19 PM

I can't answer you questions about sewing an o-ring in, but a standard manila file folder fits in my large Halycon organizer pouch with ease.

I believe all the things you want to fit would assuming all the folders aren't jam packed with papers.


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11-13-2016, 08:30 PM
I use a large organizer pouch (ballistic) every day as an attache case. It holds a few files with ~10 sheets each, a letter-sized notepad, a few pens, phone, and my Dell XPS laptop.

11-13-2016, 10:18 PM
In general sewing through a couple of layers of Cordura or Halycon with a home sewing machine shouldn't be a problem. If you were thinking about a o ring for the inside my guess is that a short piece of grossgrain ribbon (essentially mini webbing) with a small plastic d ring would due the trick. I've never seen the plastic o rings for sale in any of the usual outdoor oriented fabric stores.


11-14-2016, 10:28 AM
Sounds like we've worked out a solution!

Thank you @SIM for the photo. Seeing things visually just really helps set fears at ease.

Thank you @kieri for offering a day-to-day use example that I'd so similar to mine. Sometimes things look like they'll work and still have snags that don't show up until you actually use them on an ongoing basis.

Thank you @bicycle for the sewing insights! I have an extra keystrap with o-ring laying around, so I might use that. Or, I have some metal line that I may cut and solder into a small o-ring of sorts and hang that from a grosgrain ribbon.

Thank you, everyone! Yippee! 😁

11-15-2016, 09:35 AM
Hi caesg: good on you for running this workshop!

For attaching an o-ring to your OP, you might find hand sewing easier than using a home machine. I've hand-sewn a couple of them (generously provided by the friendly TB crew, when I asked for them with an order) into my Halcyon Cafe Bags, using a short length of gross grain ribbon as suggested above. This allowed me to attach them in ways that don't show on the outside of the bag.

You might also find that a key strap is the best way to secure your smaller pouches to that new o-ring. I use a large Halcyon OP to carry documents when I travel, and suspect that the more flexible Halcyon, at least, would tend to pull inwards if a smaller OP were attached to it directly.

11-15-2016, 10:02 AM
Sorry if I'm hijacking a thread, but I'd love to sew an o-ring into a large organizer and into one or two stuff sacks. But I have no real sewing experience.

Kaz -- Is this as simple as asking for gross grain ribbon at a fabric store and then just sewing that ribbon around a ring and through the fabric? I'd appreciate any explanation because that sounds terrific. Over time, I'm converting my life into pouches connected by keystraps.

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11-15-2016, 10:58 AM
It's probably a little more complicated than that. I'd get the grosgrain ribbon, loop it through the o-ring, then stitch the end to the length of ribbon several times. Some sewing machines have a way to do the reinforced seam, or you can do it by hand. I don't think it's a good idea to just stitch the ribbon to the fabric—if anything heavy is attached to it, it will rip off or through. This might not be quite right, but it seems like you'd want to open up a reinforced edge in the pouch. Then stick in the end of the ribbon and re-sew the seam so that the ribbon is sandwiched in between the two layers of fabric. Just a hunch on my part.

11-15-2016, 11:01 AM
Badger -- Thanks. Probably more than my skill. But sounds great. My nest staff sacks will be yarn sacks just for the internal loop.

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11-15-2016, 11:44 AM
For some purposes you may not need to sew an O-ring to the large organizer pouch. For example, I can clip a 1" Triangle Clip (https://www.tombihn.com/products/parts?variant=16645153799) to the bottom small o-ring at the base of the snap hook attached to an organizer pouch, then clip that triangle clip to other items I carry some of these, along with extra Double Carabiner Clipss, in a Mini Coyote Mesh Organizer Pouch in the front zippered pocket of my Side Effect.

I can't easily take and post a picture now, but I'll point people to my post (https://forums.tombihn.com/questions-about-bags/10426-difference-between-yarn-travel-stuff-sacks-post113355.html#post113355) in the Difference between Yarn and Travel Stuff Sacks (https://forums.tombihn.com/questions-about-bags/10426-difference-between-yarn-travel-stuff-sacks.html) thread for some previous pictures of the Triangle Clip, like this one:

The clip opens easily and can clip into the small o-ring at the base of Snap Hooks.

A few other comments for @caesg: the large organizer pouch is longer than your Medium Cafe Bag, so prepare to fold down one end a bit if you don't fill it so full of folders that you significantly decrease the length of the filled pouch (e.g., you could hold a ream of letter size paper in that pouch -- that's a pack of 500 sheets of paper you might buy for a copier or printer). If the large organizer pouch is holding something flat and thin, it's longer. For example, I can just fit my 13" MacBook Air into a Large OP and zip it up, to give you an idea of how much longer the pouch can be.

So, given that you want to carry the pouch inside a medium cafe bag, @kieri's choice of Ballistic Nylon is probably a bit stiff to fold down. Cordura or Halcyon would be better for this, or Parapack (but I believe they haven't made any large size OPs in Parapack in over a year and a half, when they last had these in Steel and Black)



11-15-2016, 01:45 PM
Thanks everyone for the continued feedback! It will be a couple weeks before I put in the order. I'll make a point to report back with how it all hacks out. :)

11-15-2016, 06:17 PM
What's the difference between the "Cordura or Parapack (https://www.tombihn.com/collections/accessories/products/cordura-parapack-organizer-pouch?variant=16620957319)" fabric and the "Balistic (https://www.tombihn.com/collections/accessories/products/ballistic-organizer-pouch?variant=16620959815)" fabric for the large organizer pouches?

11-16-2016, 05:47 PM

Check out the Materials page on this website. It explains about all the different fabrics. Here's the link: