Architect's Bag


Hey everyone,

I am a solo practitioner and travel quite a bit for work, finding myself on the road once or twice a month. With this comes the fun of packing up everything I need and prepping for upcoming meetings. I use 11x17s for a lot of design presentations or even reduced size drawing sets. ( I would do 12x18 but that is a discussion of what simple printers are capable and a tangent conversation). I find that I have my laptop bag and a slew of folders holding the 11x17 drawings. 

One day as I was packing, I started wondering if there is a good professional bag that would work for holding drawings and taking to meetings. I could not find anything specific to fit this criteria. Yes, there are workarounds of people finding bags large enough to stow away drawings into something that fits into the luggage category, or the commentary of why can't you just roll your drawings. 

So my question is two-fold. 

1. Is there such a bag on the market for an architect to transport 11x17 or even 12x18 drawings flat, along with the other meeting essentials?

2. Assuming there is not: Is there a demand for it? Do you find yourself or someone that you work with in need of such a bag?

Oct 18, 17 7:16 pm

You might be interested in this. Elegant, however, not very cheap :

12" x 18" portflio bag

11" x 17" bag

Oct 18, 17 7:59 pm

These look wonderful!! The price is a different story.


I can sew, send me your design. What is your budget? 

Oct 19, 17 5:24 am
Wood Guy

I have this bag:, which will handle 11x17, or 12x18 if well-protected, and an oversized laptop. I don't use it much, though--it's somewhat ungainly, nowhere near as elegant as the ones ovalie posted--but it gets the job done, affordably. 

(I also have and recommend this printer, which will handle 12x18 prints: )

Oct 19, 17 9:09 am

I have a timbuk2 bag, my second one now, and find that it's practical. Unfortunate that you don't get much use out of it from it's size. Rock and a hard place type of dilemma. (And thank you for the printer recommendation too)

Perhaps the Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger Tarpaulin

Or perhaps you could convince the folks at pup to make one.  If only we knew someone...

Oct 19, 17 9:11 am

Sending the PUP love to you, Marc!


Pretty much every person in my office uses a variation of the timbuk2 bag that Wood Guy posted.  It's not particularly stylish, but it's extremely durable.  We do a lot of very dirty field work and my bag has fared well.  Easy to wipe clean with a sponge.  I have the medium size and it holds a laptop in an outside pouch, 11x17 sets and clipboards, plus tapes and the like.  

I like the design of a lot of the MRKT bags, but I'm not sure it could handle the dirty environment or provide enough organization for my stuff.

Oct 19, 17 10:06 am

Great feedback! Interesting to hear that the timbuk2 is the go to bag.

They don't fit your requirements, nnazarov and everybody, but look how gorgeous these bags that PUP made from RCA dome roof fabric AND Exhibit Columbus banners are!

Oct 19, 17 11:02 am

They do have a great urban appeal!


In Copenhagen many people would have a black Rains backpack, it's really cool and waterproof

Oct 19, 17 12:19 pm

That looks great. Do you know how it is with interior compartments?

This is a beautiful bag. very architecty.


Yes indeed!! I don't know about its interior compartments as I've never had it myself. Try google/youtube for this :)


I always use one of these.

Oct 19, 17 12:26 pm
wurdan freo

its your bag... baby

Oct 19, 17 10:24 pm

I currently have a Timbuktu but those Mad Rabbit and Rains models look slick. I've been attracted to that boxier look for a bit now. Anyone have experience riding regularly with one?

I suppose Copenhagen has it fair share of bicycle commuters...

Oct 20, 17 1:57 am

I had a smaller MRKT bag (carter series) that worked pretty well, but I walk.

I am certainly not the regular bicycle commuter I used to be, but still a key factor I look for in bags...


Ortlieb was the go-to brand at university, very high bike messenger appeal though, wouldn't know anything a bit more stylish yet equally durable and waterproof.

Oct 20, 17 3:38 am
Grumpy Grizzly

I don't carry anything at the 11x17 size so the Bucket Boss briefcases work fine for me.  I can also carry my laptop and my Samsung tablet along with an Architects Ruls, a bunch of old school templates, and I hang my Leica D2  on the strap.  The D2 works with my Samsung Tablet and Ortho Graph allowing me to do As-Builts in next to no time, then load them right into Autocad Mobile or email it to myself to use it on Autocad or Revit on my laptop.

If you've never heard of Ortho Graph, feel free to drop me a note and I'll tell you about it.  It beats any other as-builting app hands down.

Oct 21, 17 4:34 am

Bumping this thread because we all love to talk about bags, obvs.

People for Urban Prgress has a new line of smaller messenger bags, including one called the Architect (all of our bags have names of jobs: Clerk, Executive, Page, Intern...).

The Architect bag is gorgeous, non-gender-specific, and beautifully proportioned.  I'l post more pics in a minute.

Apr 2, 18 8:56 am

Here it is in use:

Apr 2, 18 9:03 am

And another in use pic...some other stuff happening here too. 

Apr 2, 18 9:08 am

And me being very FLW in a vintage cape while carrying the Architect bag. No mistaking me for an engineer LOL! The artwork above me is an installation by my friend  and fellow Cranbrook grad Lauren Zoll.

Apr 2, 18 9:10 am


Non Sequitur

What's with that light on the left?

edit: never mind, I checked the art installation's page.  Neat stuff.


I like this bag.  I've been looking for something my field work stuff can go it.  It's hard to find a good crossbody bag that is big enough for a clipboard.  The only ones close that I've found are from Tom Bihn.

Also I love the cape! It's very hard to find a good, well-fitting, well-made cape.

Grumpy Grizzly

As I mentioned before, I carry a BucketBoss briefcase and it holds most of what I take to a jobsite meeting.  A decent St John's Bay Vest with lots of pockets carry everything else (Usually backup for what's in the briefcase.  Then I have a small 6" x 6" pouch that has a flap that comes over the inside pocket, plenty of pen holders slots, even has a small pouch with a velcro flap that's perfect for my Leica Disto's to fit in.

My gear goes right out on the jobsites with me and when you're working on house flips or interior remodeling, those capes and knee high boots with I'm sure a 2" heel just aren't for that environment.  

As for carrying drawings, if they won't fit in my 8.5 x 11" binder folded over, I'll pull out my Samsung Tablet and show them what we're talking about.  Autodesk now has a decent version of Autocad for both Android and Apple tablets.

Of course, if you're going to a clients meeting, by all means take a larger set of drawings with you but, put them in 'ye olde cardboard tube'.  If they need them larger than 11x17 load them onto a thumbdrive and stop by a FedEx Kinkos on the way and print them out there.  

Also, there are projectors in phones  these days, why not do your presentation on the clients wall to give them a better idea of what you're doing.

As for the briefcase in the posts mentioned above not being "gender specific", I'd have to disagree with that.  Those are most definitely designed for ladies.  

Apr 3, 18 4:54 pm

I mean, on jobsite days I don't wear kitten heels, but after 50 years I've gotten pretty good at wearing heeled boots on the jobsite. Yesterday I climbed a ladder in 3" heels (not a jobsite technically, so no OSHA requirements for PPE).

Grumpy Grizzly

I treat every day as a jobsite day.  No telling when I'll get a call to go meet with a new client or discuss changes from a design I've given them.  The meetings are pretty much always onsite, why go to an office when the house you're designing is on the other side of town?

I wear construction boots because you never know when you're going to step in the wrong place.

I'm not a suit and tie designer.  I don't even own a suit.  Can't see the need for one, never will.  Bury me in Carharts, a flannel shirt, and steel toed boots..

Apr 10, 18 9:11 pm

If you all are such DESIGNERS - why don't you DESIGN one? lol Architects have great ideas... but we are horrible at executing... 

Apr 10, 18 9:15 pm

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