View Full Version : Shop bag question

04-18-2017, 02:03 PM
Just a quick question before I buy a shop bag..(NWS and Halcyon look very nice)
I never considered buying one before, but Ive been using a cheapo free version recently and realise its handy to have in a small Q-kit (the smallest size).
So,can a large size fit in the smallest size Q-Kit?, (Kat says it cant be done, but thought I would put the challenge out there!)

I would tend to have it in my EDC Side effect, just in case I do some grocery shopping, or carry books etc.

Also, I would also have it in my S19, when Im on holiday, so how does anyone store it in the S19, or even in the S25?


04-18-2017, 02:07 PM
The shop bags are wonderful. They don't fold tiny tiny so someone else will need to answer on Q-Kit. But I have kept one in an S25 and a Daylight Backpack (smaller than S19, I think). Usually just folded in the main compartment.

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04-18-2017, 02:28 PM
They're not thin little "packs in a wallet" type of bag. The piping makes them stand up so they are not so floppy. They fold flat, which makes them packable in a backpack or suitcase, but they would not fit in a Q-kit.

04-18-2017, 02:43 PM
A small (200d) shop bag can be rolled into a small q-kit, but it looks to be a very tight fit (https://forums.tombihn.com/general-bag-discussion/9306-dyneema-shop-bags-what-tb-does-well-my-two-cents.html#post94829).

I think a large shop bag would fit better in a stuff sack -- probably a size 1?

04-18-2017, 03:05 PM
Sorry. Ignore my post. I accidently reposted the link that Aeon did. I need new glasses.

04-18-2017, 05:18 PM
Would also fit in a small table tray, however I found that folding them into their inner pocket makes them flat, and then easy to double over itself to fit in a long, narrow pocket like a small stuff sack or the side pockets on the the S19, SA, etc.

04-18-2017, 07:30 PM
A large shop bag, folded and rolled, will just fit in a size 1 stuff sack. I like keeping one in a size 2 stuff sack instead, partly so I don't have to roll it so tight and partly so I can use the stuff sack to hold smaller or more delicate items when I'm shopping.

As Aeon mentioned, a small shop bag just fits in a small Q-Kit. (But the smallest size of Q-Kit is mini, and neither shop bag will fit in a mini.)

I don't think you'll have much luck carrying either size shop bag in a Side Effect, unless there's not much else in there. I carry a Chico bag with me in my EDC for unplanned stops, and only take shop bags when I'm planning on shopping. (I like the shop bags for their pockets and their great handles!)

04-18-2017, 09:02 PM
Also, I would also have it in my S19, when Im on holiday, so how does anyone store it in the S19, or even in the S25?

I always take at least one small or large shop bag on every trip. However, I do not fold it up into an accessory bag. I fold it up and stick it wherever it will fit. I have some of my TB gear out getting ready for a trip later this week, so I tried the large shop bag in both a 3DOC and #1 stuff sack in an S19 to give you an idea of where you might store it. **Mods, please reorient the pics**


04-18-2017, 10:13 PM

Check the Can the piping in TB bags get damaged from folding? (https://forums.tombihn.com/general-bag-discussion/11996-can-piping-tb-bags-get-damaged-folding.html) thread for pictures, including some of the ones linked in earlier posts (of the Small Shop Bag folded into the Small Q-Kit, pictures and a video of how to fold the Shop Bag into its own pocket, and pictures of how some people carry it in the side pockets of the Synapse 19 or Synapse 25. Not hard (on the Mac I download, view in Preview, Command+r to rotate 90 degrees right, Command+s to save, and then upload each of the images again, but much of the time I'm accessing the forums on a mobile device while my laptop is running programs, so not always easy to support.



If you want to see pictures of Shop Bags stored in Travel Stuff Sacks, take a look at the pictures in the If you roll up a Large Shop Bag... (https://forums.tombihn.com/questions-about-bags/11026-if-you-roll-up-large-shop-bag.html) thread. That contains the embedded Hacks video of how to roll the Small Shop Bag into into a Small Q-KIt (note that this is the larger of the two Q-Kits -- the original Q-Kit is now dubbed the Mini size; a Large Shop Bag does not fit into a Q-Kit and Kat is quite correct).

You can roll up a Large Shop Bag to fit into a size #1 Travel Stuff Sack, although It’s a bit tight the first few times if you’re starting with a brand new bag. You’ll have an easier time if you use a shop bag in the 200d weight Halcyon.

I’ll excerpt @LordBute’s picture of a Large Shop Bag in Monarch rolled into a Size #1 Travel Stuff Sack in Island:


If you read the last post in that linked thread, @wolpertinger links to the Shop Bag Stuff Sack (https://forums.tombihn.com/general-bag-discussion/10088-shop-bag-stuff-sack.html) thread, where he gives step by step picture instructions of how he does this. Again, I’ll just excerpt the starting photo:


I usually store my old, much-used Sapphire (small) shop bag (and sometimes newer ones) directly in one of the front right pockets of my Synapse, though you can carry it in the bottom pocket. The reason is explained in @GEOcycle's Synapse continues to surprise (https://forums.tombihn.com/photos-videos-and-reviews/4800-synapse-continues-surprise.html) thread -- you can swing the bag around on your shoulder and access that pocket's contents.

People who don't own the Shop Bag often think that this bag is supremely packable --- that's not the primary reason behind it's design, and if your main reason for considering the Shop Bag is to have a portable, lightweight bag that you can carry in your Side Effect, you'd be better off getting a Chico Bag, Envirosax, Flip and Tumble or Baggu bag, or any of a number of reusable bags (https://brightandbold.com/blogs/news/15765196-reusable-bag-comparison). None of those bags have the padded handle design and intrinsic strength that allows you to carry around really heavy items in relative comfort to your hands or shoulders. Take a look at the pictures, links, and discussion in the volume in liters of shop bags? (https://forums.tombihn.com/general-bag-discussion/11812-volume-liters-shop-bags.html) thread for size comparisons. In one of the linked threads mentioned there, I reference @Dorayme's post and picture titled "My Large Shop Bag saved me", where the extra items for a trip overfilled her Swift (personal item on an airplane), so she placed the Swift and all the extra items that wouldn't fit into that bag into the Large Shop bag and carried it on as her personal item. In general, I can't imagine trusting one of the light-weight, reusable bags of my earlier link for that purpose with any confidence. Even if they took the weight without risk of breaking, they'd be a major pain to carry by their straps.

The other thing that is great about the shop bags is that their side pockets act as insulators for hotter or colder items.

@pammy, In order to change the orientation of your pictures, I'd have to be at a computer and download, rotate, and upload each one.

04-20-2017, 11:32 AM
I found the best way to carry the small shop bag was to fold it in thirds horizontally (essentially bring the end panels in over the middle), then fold it in half vertically and wrap a loop of shock cord around it. It is a relatively flat package and, more importantly, makes it very easy to remove and deploy when I need it. My experience using thinner bags like Chico is that being more compact to store is not worth the reduced durability. I've had Chico bag side seams blow out in the middle of my day, leaving me with an essentially useless item. I know the shop bag will never let me down.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2884/34120877906_80e9675078.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/TZ9qfo)
A30 PCBP 2 (https://flic.kr/p/TZ9qfo) by Nate E (https://www.flickr.com/photos/130114995@N08/), on Flickr

04-20-2017, 11:59 AM
I've had Chico bag side seams blow out in the middle of my day, leaving me with an essentially useless item. I know the shop bag will never let me down.

I've occasionally had the top seam of a Chico bag go (the seam around the opening, so it isn't a big deal), but never a side or bottom seam--and that, even though I've been using them long enough that one of my first ones eventually wore out!

P.S. Is that a Sitka shop bag in an Island outer bag? I like the colors together in that picture.

04-20-2017, 12:25 PM
Yes, it is Sitka and Island.

04-20-2017, 12:27 PM
Yes, it is Sitka and Island.

They look good together.

04-20-2017, 01:01 PM
Just to give you another visual way to see a shop bag collapsed for packing, there is a Tom Bihn video on youtube that shows how to fold the shop bag so it is smaller, although the bag in the video looks like it is the small shop bag, not the big one.


04-20-2017, 01:02 PM
Sitka seems to go well with a lot of colors. It leans neutral for a green in my opinion, partly because of the offset against the white dyneema threads. In certain lights it can look pretty close to Northwest Sky.

07-05-2017, 09:10 AM
Has anybody tried attaching a shoulder strap (maybe the PCSB/SE/SK strap) to a Shop Bag? If so, did it work out for you or was it awkward? Am not at home to try this myself at the moment, but was wondering about the possibility of carrying it like a shoulder bag.

07-05-2017, 09:35 AM
AmyMo: The handles of the shop bags work fine over your shoulder, and the bag tucks under your arm.

Are you wanting to carry a shop bag cross body?

Or just over your shoulder with the bag hanging low at your hip?

07-05-2017, 10:14 AM
Both I think potentially. I'm considering my options for personal item to go with my A45 in Backpack mode. In the past I've used a large knit bag from Target that had carry handles plus a shoulder strap and I switched it around a lot depending on comfort and whether or not I needed my hands. In thinking about the shop bag instead of that Target bag, it occurred to me that the only thing different is the lack of a shoulder strap.

Also, while I can usually get the handle straps of the Shop Bag over my shoulder, it's a snug fit, and I don't know how that will be with the A45 on my back at the same time.

07-05-2017, 11:11 AM
OK, I understand. I don't think there's a good strap attachment place for a shoulder strap. There's two o-rings, but I wouldn't count on them as should strap attachment points. You might want to look at a different type of bag that is designed for crossbody wear.

Kelly S
07-05-2017, 12:55 PM
The shop bag is a really great bag but the things that make it a quality bag also make it hard to compact into an easily stowable bag.

The large shop bag will *just* fit into a size 1 stuff sack. The large shop bag can also fold into one of it's side pockets and will squish relatively flat. That's usually how I carry it if I'm putting it in another bag. I have a sidekick, and it takes up a fair amount of space in the side kick. I think the bag would fit in a side effect, but you wouldn't have room for much else.

If I had it in the s19, I'd either roll it up (in or out of the stuff sack) and put it in one of the side pockets or the main water bottle pocket, or fold it flat and put it somewhere in the main compartment, I believe it'd also fit in the bottom pocket either rolled or flat.

If I was going to carry it with a large backpack like the A45, I'd wear the shop bag on one shoulder with the skinny part of the shop bag strap tucked under the backpack strap of the A45 so the weight of the backpack would keep the shop bag from falling off my shoulder.

07-05-2017, 01:14 PM
i wonder if doing a wee bit of bag surgery would make this practical? something like having a tiny bit of webbing and two d-rings attached to the top center of the bag, maybe centered above each side pocket (assuming this could be a job for a seamstress or cobbler, someone who'd be able to do some heavy-duty stitching vs DIY)?

there have definitely been times when i wished that i'd have had a crossbody shoulder tote much like a shop bag available to use.

07-06-2017, 08:49 AM
Honestly, I think what I actually need is a Parental Unit or perhaps a Makers Bag. I just don't have either of those at the moment and am trying to improvise. I have too much for a Large Cafe Bag, thanks to the camera, but not really enough to justify the S25, plus that limits my ability to use the A45 in backpack mode. I'll sort something out in the next four days. :)

07-07-2017, 07:35 AM
[QUOTE=jujigatame;142075]I really regret not buying more sitka. https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2884/34120877906_80e9675078.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/TZ9qfo)

07-12-2017, 02:19 PM
I bought a small shop bag in NWS and tend to just have it loose, I haven't travelled with it yet though.
It's a bit of a tight fit in the smallest size Q-kit, and unsure about squashing the handles.
I will probably use some kind of version of rolling it up to fit in a pocket when I do use it inside another bag.
Thanks for the great pic Ines.