[RPG] Portable Hole vs Bag of Holding vs Handy Haversack – differences other than size/weight


I've got a kleptomaniac in my group who's constantly picking up entire armfuls of junk to bring back to town or squirrel away for a rainy day. I want to gift her some kind of carry-all to assist in the junk-holding, but scouring item lists has turned up three different potential options, all of which seem roughly similar other than their respective total volumes.

  • Portable Hole has a 3.14 × 10 × 9ft3 (~270 cubic feet) space with no weight limit
  • Bag of Holding has a 3.14 × 1 × 4ft3 (~12 cubic feet) space with a 500lb weight limit
  • Handy Haversack has a combined .75 × 4 × 4ft3 (~12 cubic feet) space with a combined 120lb weight limit (I think, I am very bad at math)

My intention is to reskin one of the items as a tapestry that's being used as a cloak by a puma. (Isn't D&D great?) I want them to be able to put things into the tapestry and also retrieve them at will later. Other than that it's pretty flexible.

Am I overlooking a difference between the Portable Hole, Bag of Holding and Handy Haversack that would make one item significantly better suited to this purpose than the others? If size and weight are the only relevant parameters then it's an easy enough choice but I can't help but shake the feeling that I'm missing something.

Best Answer

If you're going by volume, The portable hole is the largest.


Retrieving an item from a deep hole takes a lot more time than retrieving an item from a bag or a haversack. A haversack has the magic to automatically place the item you're looking for at the top of the bag so it's easy to access. A bag of holding and a Portable hole do not..

If your rogue is looking for some tindertwigs or a torch and she has a portable hole, she may end up having to slide down a very deep hole and sift through belongings to find exactly what it is she's looking for. With the haversack she can just open it, reach in, and grab the torch immediately.

The trade-offs of the haversack / bag of holding / portable hole is in value, utility, and in volume.

  • The Haversack has the smallest volume but the most utility.
  • The Bag of Holding has medium volume and as a result medium utility.
  • The Portable hole has the largest volume and as a result medium utility, as you can also hide in it in a pinch.

The Portable hole also has the benefit of being able to place it into any surface, which makes it a place you can duck into if you place it into a wall, so it could aid in possible hiding if the character is trying to evade detection.