For the sake of discussion, assume we are talking about a type IV bag of holding, which can carry up to 250 cubic feet of items. Source

So, let's say I put in a large box the size of, say, a modern refrigerator. Assume the box is light enough for me to be able to put it inside, no problem strength wise.

Then, I place the bag of holding on the floor and hold the opening open. What do I see? Do I see the box (assume I do not put my hand in). If the box is visible, does it appear to be the correct size or shrunken? Do I see it floating in space, or resting on some sort of floor? In either case, what is the color of the surrounding environment. If space, is it blackness? If there's a floor, is it the color of the bag?

Now, say instead of a single item, there are many items inside the bag that fit within the normal rules of the bag. If I peer inside (without sticking my head inside), will I be able to see all the items? Will they apppear stacked on top of each other or separate? If they appear stacked on top of each other, how can I be assured that fragile items will not break? Can fragile items break if I throw the bag across the room?

If this question contains too many sub questions, please comment and I'd be happy to narrow the scope.


3 Answers 3


Officially, ask the GM

There's no official answers to these questions beyond a couple of sidelong mentions, so the DM must answer them if they come up, like, for example, if the party expects to be spending a large amount of time within their bag of holding (maybe by using a bottle of air or a necklace of adaptation).

Unofficially, here's some speculation

I've speculated below about some things and drawn some conclusions based on the limited information presented by the text about others, but none of these are official, and I'm unaware of an official stance on any of the questions raised.

Stocking the bag

The first problem of shoving a refrigerator-sized box into a bag of holding is, frankly, shoving the refrigerator-sized box into it. The bag is only 2 ft. wide and, unless the GM says the bag does, that opening doesn't stretch to accommodate stuff. So while that opening could accommodate a human child...

Not a refrigerator

...or a Medium adult, a standard-size kitchen-type refrigerator box would likely be too big.

Gazing into the bag

But let's say that one does get whatever into one's bag of holding then sets down the bag and takes a look inside. What does one see?

A bag of holding opens into an extradimensional space in its own demiplane... usually.1 Whether that demiplane is naturally illuminated or not is up to the DM.

  • If a bag's interior is naturally illuminated, can an open bag be used for illuminating an area when one's out of torches? Can one enter the bag, read by such light, and exit the bag if one doesn't exceed the weight limit or overstay the breathable air time limit?
  • If the bag's interior is not illuminated does one take longer than a full-round action to extract an item from an overloaded bag, contrary to the bag's description, because of one's inability to see the bag's contents?

Reaching into the bag

Assuming one can always fish items from an unoverloaded2 bag as a move action or from an overloaded bag as a full-round action, the magic of the bag must keep its contents sort of organized, respond to the possessor's will, some DM-determined combination of both, or something entirely different. That's because the bag must be more organized and convenient than a backpack: while the move action retrieve an item provokes attacks of opportunity,

Retrieving a specific item from a bag of holding is a move action, unless the bag contains more than an ordinary backpack would hold, in which case retrieving a specific item is a full-round action.

So while just as much—if not more—effort is needed to retrieve an item from a bag of holding, technically doing so while threatened is not as dangerously distracting as retrieving an item from, for example, a backpack.

Thus the DM has at least two choices:

  1. The possessor of the bag looks into the bag and sees all the contents as if through a telescope, and is able to manipulate the bag opening to see into different parts of the bag. If the bag's overloaded, one searches the bag with quick glances while keeping an eye on one's foe, I guess.
  2. The possessor of the bag sees an empty bag (or, alternatively, what would be the contents of a normal bag of that size) but can mentally manipulate (perhaps sliding like a touchscreen) objects within the bag until the correct one comes into view. This manipulation is rapid but not distracting, so one can keep one's eye on one's foe.

Stacking stuff in the bag

Whether stacked items fall over in the bag is the DM's call. For the first kind of bag described above, I'd argue No, the items remain stacked. That demiplane is stable. However, one must be careful when putting new things into such a bag so that they don't crush sensitive items already inside. For the second kind of bag, I'd argue Yes, the stacked items fall. The second case uses a multiple but limited number of what are, essentially, sub-bags within the main bag (that number being up to the DM, but likely each as big as a regular bag or, I dunno, like, infinite, each one capable of holding a sling or a piece of chalk).

Personal experience

The handful of times this has come up, I've used the stable bag model, depositing bag-stored items on the translucent, illuminated, spongy, gray surface of the bag's own exclusive demiplane. I've never told the PCs that a dense item carelessly tossed into a bag (which is, usually, instead, a handy haversack) crushed a fragile item because I figure that when an adventurer tosses treasure into his bag, he's careful not to crush other treasure while doing so. Some DMs might not be so kind. But, then again, I've also never had PCs stack a series of items on top of one another in an effort to shortcut the expected time to to extract a lone item from the bag. That might change my mind (or, at least, see their foes start doing the same).

1 The Knights of the Dinner Table comic book illustrates plots that may develop in a campaign wherein bags of holding share a demiplane in The Bag Wars Saga.
2 Not a real word.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Underload however, is a real word and means exactly what you want to convey... XD \$\endgroup\$ Dec 18, 2017 at 11:01

I’ve always had it that items placed inside a bag of holding disappear into it and are no longer affected by “normal” laws of physics. Items in a bag of holding do not interact with each other, unless something sentient is in the bag it would be able to interact with other items as if they were reaching in. Basically all the items are in the same place in a sort of state of flux(if that makes any sense) up to the weight/volume limit of the bag(no organization required). The bag would reacts to your thoughts bringing the desired item to your hand, and if someone doesn’t know what is inside a bag of holding reaches inside a random item would come to their hand. Looking inside is just a void.


"When you peer into the Bag of Holding, you experience an intense feeling of vertigo. Save to avoid adding the remains of your last meal to its contents."

In the games that I run, the interior of a BoH is not a 5x5x10-foot space or anything of the sort. The interior, as stated in the SRD link from the question, is not just extradimensional, it is non-dimensional. It has no height or length or depth, but is utterly foreign to how we perceive the world around us, because it does not share the structure of that world. "Stacking" items within the Bag is similarly meaningless - how can one thing be on top of another when "on top of" isn't a well-defined concept?

Rather than being arranged spatially, all of the items in a BoH are simply inside and, when you reach in, your hand closes on one of them1. If the Bag holds less than a backpack could contain, then you usually get the one you want on the first try (move action), otherwise it might take a moment to get the right one (full-round action).

1 If you want to get pseudoscientific about it, you could say that it holds a quantum superposition of all items placed within, which collapses into a single object when you reach inside. But that's a horrible abuse of the concepts of quantum mechanics.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, but joking aside, what DO you see? \$\endgroup\$
    – durron597
    Dec 19, 2017 at 21:56
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You see a non-dimenstional space. Our brains and sensory apparatus are evolved to deal with three-dimensional spaces, not non-dimensional spaces, and are unable to process it. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 20, 2017 at 8:11

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