If I lay a Bag of Holding (BoH) on its side, and have a hose half in and half out of the BoH, will air flow freely through it?

Or will the opening of the BoH block the air from flowing?


4 Answers 4


It's up to your DM

There's nothing in the description for the item that describes or even implies whether such a thing would work. Nothing in the item description gives us any idea of how the bag opening works mechanically or even if air flows freely into it when open.

The only description that implies air in the bag is:

Breathing creatures inside the bag can survive up to a number of minutes equal to 10 divided by the number of creatures (minimum 1 minute), after which time they begin to suffocate.

The implication here is that there is a finite amount of air in the bag, but nowhere is it described how air gets in or even if it can. A strict RAW reading would note that nowhere does it allow for more air nor does it strictly even say that air is the issue.

Also covered nowhere in the description is how something would act if it sticks partially out of the bag.

Such ambiguities are thus solely left to the discretion of your local DM to decide for their table.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Another ambiguity is that nothing says how or when the "air supply" in the bag is replenished. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 14:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RyanC.Thompson As much as the issue of the "air supply" is important, so too is the need for creatures in the bag for love - they may just as quickly feel "all out of love" unless they have the ability to "make love out of nothing at all". \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Commented May 21, 2022 at 21:21

Removing Air takes an Action

The DMG p.153 states:

Retrieving an item from the bag requires an action.

Therefore, the answer is: no, air does not "move freely" through a hose half in and half out of a Bag of Holding. It takes an action to move air out of a Bag of Holding.


Using the 10 minutes to represent the air supply in the Bag of Holding is a GM interpretation of rules as intended and not a reading of rules as written.


Breathing creatures inside the bag can survive up to a number of minutes equal to 10 divided by the number of creatures (minimum 1 minute), after which time they begin to suffocate.

There is no mention of air breathing or water breathing. In fact, by RAW you can place a water breathing creature into the Bag of Holding without water and it can survive (for the specified time) before beginning to suffocate.

The Player's Handbook p.183 states:

For example, a creature with a Constitution o f 14 can hold its breath for 3 minutes. If it starts suffocating, it has 2 rounds to reach air before it drops to 0 hit points.

Ergo, if you want to be able to breath for longer than the 10 minutes, then you have to add a breathable medium to the Bag of Holding. The rules do not state how long the same air (or same water) remains breathable. Presumably any amount of air lasts indefinitely unless your GM states otherwise.

The rules do not specify how quickly things may be added to the Bag of Holding. It is up to your GM to decide how quickly you can scoop air into the Bag of Holding.

Exceeding Capacity

I caution you against trying to completely fill the Bag of Holding with water, because the weight limit of 500 lb will be exceeded long before the 64 cubic feet of volume is filled, thus rupturing the Bag of Holding.

If the bag is overloaded, pierced, or torn, it ruptures and is destroyed, and its contents are scattered in the Astral Plane.

There does not appear to be a limit to the amount of air you can pull into the Bag of Holding by pumping it through a hose (or by some other means) provided that you do not place too much air (more than 64 cubic feet) into the Bag of Holding (thus causing it to rupture). For the same reason, I caution against filling a Bag of Holding to capacity with air because then there is no space left for other items.


As Written, Probably Not.

Strictly speaking, this is up to your DM, as other answers have noted. However, looking at the physics of it, a small hose is not going to do a lot of gas exchange.

If you had the hose in your mouth and were breathing off it, this would be workable. We can assume that since the bag is closed you have to inspire and expire through the hose. If you can breath in through the hose and vent to the bag, this is trivially fine. But even with all respiration going through the hose it’s probably workable: The volume inside the hose is basically just an addition to the dead volume of your mouth and upper respiratory system, so unless the hose is longer than about four feet, you’re going to be fine (longer hose just means progressively deeper breaths to get fresh air).

As asked though, you (and friends?) are huddled in the bag, with a hose dangling through the opening. This is a bad time. You have a fairly simple system here: a 500 cubic-foot plenum and a hose. We can assume that the bag seals around the hose fairly well, because you don’t need a great seal to make the gas exchange negligible. You actually will see slight “volume” changes from breathing in a rigid plenum; the gas in your lungs is slightly more pressurized than ambient ( on the order of 10 inches of water). Very round numbers, you have a cubic foot of breathing you can do, ignoring temperature that says your respiration drives something on the loose order of 0.01inches of water pressure differential. That is way, way too little to get a good flow through the hose.

So, as asked, you will not get fresh air and will suffocate.

Now, D&D 5e isn’t a physics engine. You go from zero to hurting after an arbitrary time, based on an arbitrary binary condition (“bag closed”). If sticking a hose in means the bag “isn’t closed”, then you will never suffocate. But I would expect a ruling that the bag is indeed closed, and physics does not point to getting a reprieve from propping a hose in the opening.


It's up to the DM

From a scientific perspective, the opening to a Bag of Holding, and presumably the haversack and portable hole, is an air-tight door.

So when you "seal" the bag, it is not that the air inside escapes. Otherwise you'd have a popping sound every time you opened the bag as you break the seal and all new air rushes inside.

When a living being is inside the bag, they don't run out of "air", they run out of oxygen. Living beings as we know them breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Plant life absorbs carbon dioxide and release oxygen. We are symbiotic that way. But you couldn't just throw a fern into the bag and think it would supply you with oxygen. too little, too slow.

So the hose you are asking about would work as a snorkel; allowing new oxygen to come in and expel carbon dioxide. More science would be needed to figure out how big the hose would have to be to circulate the volume inside the bag.

So the real question is, can the hose stay part way in and part way out? That also is up to the DM, but this question also indicates that there is no clear cut answer in the rules.

My personal ruling would be that so long as the bag is not moved, then the hose is fine.

  • Items don't get fully sucked in when they cross the threshold otherwise the user would be sucked in every time they reached in to grab something. So things can be part way in, part way out.
  • You create a, for lack of a better term, wormhole from our plane to the demiplane every time you open the bag. The end points are relatively fixed in space.
  • If the opening moves too far, the a new wormhole needs to be established. So if the bag is stationary, the wormhole stays until the bag is fully closed. If the bag is moved, the original wormhole closes with any partially contained items either sucked in or pushed out depending on mass. When the endpoints are stable (not moving), a new wormhole is created connecting both sides.

In your case, if someone tried moving the bag more than a few feet, the hose would likely be ejected, unless something inside was holding it. In which case a DC20 Strength check would let it be pulled all the way inside (assume there was volume left to hold the whole hose).


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