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Truck Tote Bag Organization

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    Truck Tote Bag Organization

    I'm working up a use case scenario: Work Bag. I work as a gardener/grounds keeper/laborer. So, think less office and more tools/clothing/food & moving from one outdoor site to another throughout the day.

    I've (almost certainly) already decided on the bag: The Truck. What I still need to work through will be organization of the bag. This first post is mostly to keep things organized in my mind. As I progress through the to-do list, I imagine that questions will come up for the community. Of course, peanut gallery quips, comments, questions, and encouragement are always welcome. :-)


    Reference Links
    • Info on what organizational accessories particularly complement the Truck
    • Forum thread comparing the Pick Up, Truck, and Monster Truck
    • Forum provided Dimensions info. Also, further dimension info, provided by staff member Kat in response to my chat query: Thanks for writing to us at TOM BIHN! The Middle sections on both Trucks can be a little flexible, as you can 'over pack' them, and take a bit of room from either side pocket. However, the general size of the regular Truck is 9" w x 12.5" h x 11" d, while the Monster Truck is 10.5" w x 12.5" h x 12.5" d.
    • Overall list of Truck related forum threads
    • Overall list of Truck related images pulled from forum
    • Placeholder. I know that I found an image of how the medium cafe bag freudian slip mcbfs fits in the center compartment of the Truck bag, pushing the sides out just a little bit. Will link when I find it again.
    • Placeholder for article comparing coolers (summer lunchbox)

    Organizational & Other Considerations
    • Waterproof cover. This shouldn't be a common concern as, typically, my work bag resides in the work truck and I pull items as needed from there. I could perhaps use an existing pack rain cover that I already own or sew a cover (and spray it down with silicone that I've already got laying around?)
    • Accessibility: Daily Use. It is important that most used items be available via open top pouches (similar to those in the Makers Bag or MCBFS). Unzipping pockets or the ziploc bags I'm using for testing has proven obnoxious on the job and noticeably slows me down in comparison to colleagues.
    • Accessibility: Periodic Use. Clothing items that stuff into own pocket can be attached to O-ring with a key strap + carabiner. These tend to be more back ups for foul weather, as opposed to the open pocket items which are in daily use. I do however prefer the key strab + biner option over a stuff sack to keep everything as immediately visible and easy to grab-and-go as possible.
    • Yes, the Lunchbots duplex will fit in the center Truck compartment
    • Placeholder for Lunchbot duplex dimensions (winter/spring/fall lunchbox)
    • Placeholder for Stanley cooler dimensions (summer lunchbox)
    • Placeholder to reference dimensions of various tools. Off top of my head the longest/tallest tool is Hori hori knife + sheath ~10 inches
    • If I eventually purchase the stanley cooler for summer lunchbox use, will that fit or need to carry separately (not preferred)?
    • Remember to purchase a dry bag for when I need to store wet clothes. (Extra gallon size ziploc fine for now. They just break down quickly and then need to be replaced and dry bags for paddlesport use will be an eventual purchase anyways.)

    To Do Items
    • Create a list of what I currently store in each ziploc and how often the various items are used, noting this will change winter/summer. What items do I want in open top pouches? What items can be less accessible?
    • Note what items are best served as purchases vs what items will work best via diy
    • Consider what will live in my locker at work vs what will commute between home/work with me, particularly as I shift from driving to taking public transport + Brompton bicycle.
    • Prioritize purchase of Red Ants Pants prior to TB purchase as additional pants pockets may (or may not!) affect organization of TB bag.

    Last week I sewed up a dummy/muslin version of The Truck using scrap fabric around the house.

    Today, I've been sewing up dummies for freudian-slip-like-objects using scrap fabric and cardboard inserts to create organization to sort my personal protective equipment, tools, extra layers of clothes etc.

    I'm getting closer to figuring this out. It's exciting! I'm still on track to purchase a Truck tote bag. I thought I might pick up some freudian slips but my organizational needs may just be too specific. I want lots of open pockets to keep things as easy and fast as possible to grab. With the backpack and Ziploc bags that I currently use for organization, all the zips have proven pretty obnoxious. The MCFS *might* work, as it fits the Truck well enough and has those open mesh pockets in the front and open top slash pockets in the back.

    I'll be trailing the tote and organization at work next week. Excited to see how it goes!


      Hi Caesg! I appreciate your detailed list of considerations, options and measurements. I see your post has some age on it. Did you find a solution?

      A note to moderators and members: I have some experience in toting tools for carpentry and landscaping and below have some suggestions for non-Bihn items. I hope you will allow it in providing some input for solving the problems addressed above.

      I work in construction and my partner is a landscaper. We are familiar with having to tote lots of gear and being prepared to spend a day on site with everything you might need including clothing, food and tools.

      Is there a list of tools and other items you wish to carry that you can provide us?

      Based on my experience I would suggest you consider more than one bag. I have found it's helpful to keep the clean and dirty items separate. Soil knife would not cohabitate with snacks and lunch or with other items you want to keep clean like a wallet or phone.

      I would recommend a classic canvas rigger's bag or a five-gallon bucket for the tools. And a bag, like the Truck!, for lunch, keys, phone, extra layers of clothes and more. Or two Trucks? One for tools, one for clean stuff? I noticed that there's a carpenter shown in the pictures on the Truck item page. (If anyone's curious, I think those bags are from Diamondback Toolbelts).

      A canvas rigger's bag is a durable tote bag with pockets on the outside for quickly retrieving tools with one hand. If you consider this type of bag I would suggest checking out: Florida Coast, Steele Canvas, Parrot Canvas and Occidental Leather.

      Side note: I'm not sure if this has been discussed elsewhere in the forum but I think it would be really cool if TB came out with a tool tote/bag. Something carried rather than worn as a belt.

      I'm not sure what your setup is but a 5-gallon bucket is also great for hand tools especially when outfitted with a canvas bucket organizer.

      There are many nice features with canvas bags and organizers. They're cheap, they last a long time, they're washable. I'd suggest you wash by hand and be sure to air dry only!

      My partner carries a hori hori, a folding pruning saw, two pair of Felco pruners and a buck knife. All of this is stored in a leather tool belt made by Wheeler Monroe. They make excellent tool belts for gardeners and landscapers. My partner's belt is designed for pruners, saw and has a pocket expressly for a hori hori. The belt and another long, non-folding knife go in a 5-gallon bucket. In addition to the bucket there's a backpack with food, extra layers, phone, keys, etc.

      Occidental Leather also makes a ton of different wearable bags and pouches. Some are clip-on, others thread through a belt. I own a few and they're great, I wear them when installing and also in the wood shop. The nylon bags would be very useful outside of the world of construction. Their products are durable and made in the USA.

      At any rate, I hope there's something useful to you in all of this. Please send us an update on your quest for the right bag!