FAQs

For a deeper dive, read more about The Details.

Shipping & Returns

If you're based in the U.S., free shipping normally takes anywhere from 2-6 days via FedEx (we ship our bags from our office in San Francisco). Order by 4pm PT and we'll ship out your bag on the same day you place your order!

For faster delivery options, we have overnight shipping and 2-3 day guaranteed delivery options available for $25 and $15.

If you're based internationally, we ship all of our international packages via FedEx and it can take anywhere from 3-7 days for your bag to arrive.

Due to limited supply, we can only offer 1 bag per person.

To track your delivery status, click here.

All 50 states of the U.S.A. We also ship to Canada, parts of Europe, Asia, and Australia. If you're in a country that you don't see on our shipping page, send us an email at carry@ismbags.com and we'll figure out a way to make it work!

Shipping is free for all customers in the United States. If you live outside of the U.S., you'll have to cover a portion of the shipping cost (which includes taxes) but you won’t have to pay anything when you receive your bag.

We offer priority 3-7 day international shipping via FedEx to our international customers. Our international shipping rates include all duties and taxes:

Canada: Free

Europe: $75

Australia: $55

Asia: $45

Others: Send us an email to find out!
If you have any questions on international shipping prices, we'd be happy to help, shoot us a message at help@ismbags.com

We accept all major credit cards as well as PayPal, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, and Afterpay (for more about Afterpay, click here).

All payments securely processed and we do not store any payment related data. Credit cards are processed through Shopify Pay and Stripe.

We want you to love your bag and know it’s something you’d want to carry everyday, so we offer a 30 day trial with a money back guarantee. Once you receive your bag, you’re free to use it and if at any point during the 30 days you don’t feel like it’s a good fit, we’ll send you a shipping label and a full refund, no questions asked. To start the returns process, click here.

All U.S. customers will get a free return shipping label on us. For International customers, we aren't able to cover the return shipping costs at the moment, but the 30 day trial and refund still applies.

Your bag should fit you and your items perfectly! If you find that your bag is too big or too small or if you would like to try a different hardware color, we offer free exchanges. We'll send you a free shipping label as well as send out your replacement bag. Send us an email at help@ismbags.com and let us know which bag you'd like to make an exchange for!

If your bag is the right size but the straps are too long for your frame, we also offer a complimentary tailoring service where we'll adjust the straps for you, free of charge. To have your bag straps shortened, send us an email and we'll take care of it asap!

We’ll cover your bag, for life! That means each bag is guaranteed by a limited lifetime warranty that covers any manufacturing defects and damages to zippers, leather, straps, and any functional features that you need to carry your bag.

If there are any issues, we’ll either fix them to you or send you a new bag. It's our way of standing behind the quality of products that we make.

The Bag

We use high quality, full grain-leather made from a reputable tannery in Taiwan. The zippers are from YKK, a Japanese manufacturer known for quality zippers that last a lifetime. Both the Nylon exterior and interior polyester twill are sourced from a supplier in Taiwan. We added a water-proof layer of coating to all of our materials so that you don’t have to worry about moving around in a drizzle.

Because we use full grain leather, no two bags are made the same way. This means there might be slight variations in the way your bag looks from the ones we use in the photos. But, we guarantee the same level of quality and craftsmanship for all of our products.

With the ISM backpacks, we chose to use full-grain leather as it's the highest quality of grain found in leather since it has the least number of imperfections.

Full-grain leather is made from animal hides that haven't been treated yet via sanding or buffing. Because it isn't trimmed or shaved it's a type of leather that's closest to its natural state, making it durable for long term use.

We wanted to use leather that would last (it's why we stand behind our lifetime warranty) so full-grain leather is a perfect fit. It’s an incredibly strong type of leather and has patinas that will develop beautifully with age and is less stain-resistant than other types.

Our leather bags cost the same to make as brands that sell them for 3-4 times the price of ours. Since we sell directly to you, there's no added markup that you normally pay for brands that sell in retail stores.

Our products are made to last. But to make sure it looks as good as new for a long time, we recommend using a leather conditioner to polish the bag and keep it looking new. If you're looking for a quicker fix, you can also wet a towel/cloth in warm water and gently wipe the surface of the leather and nylon to remove any dirt or marks.

If you’re not actively using the bag, it’s best to store it in the dustbag we provide or in a cool location, away from sunlight.

The Large Backpack can fit up to a 16” Macbook Pro in the laptop compartment while The Small Backpack can fit up to a 13" laptop (we also added a double layer of padding to keep it safe). The inside compartment holds around 17L of volume, which we’ve found can store a pair of shoes, clothes, and the smaller items you’d carry every day. The front pocket is great for those small items that you need quick access to, like gum, subway cards, and everything in between.

Try our Bag Fit Finder to see which bag might work for you.

When designing the straps of the ISM Backpack, we wanted to combine comfort with a refined and sleek finish.

To make the straps feel as comfortable as possible, we decided to use a combination of memory foam (technically known as EVA foam) and mesh padding. Both materials provide function — the foam gives structure and shoulder support, while the mesh provides some breathability, especially when carrying your bag around all day.

When you're wearing a backpack, the straps are one of the first things that people notice about your bag. So to create a professional look and feel, full-grain leather is used on the outer part of the straps. Extra details is added around the leather trims, like the way the straps are connected to the bag. The devil is in the details.

One of the things we found frustrating about most backpacks is that the fabric used to adjust the straps normally dangles around your chest. For a work backpack this isn't ideal, so we designed a more minimal solution that achieves the same function.

The ISM Backpack straps can be lengthened or shortened by adjusting the strap buckle. Once it's set to a certain length, there's no extra bits hanging around. While we feel that this is the best way to achieve both form and function, one possible downside is that it might take a bit more time if you're someone who needs to constantly adjust the strap length throughout your day.

As we've grown ISM over the past year, we've learned that some customers with smaller frames found the Large Backpack's straps to be too long for their frame. So to create the perfect fit, we offer a complimentary strap tailoring service for your backpack, where we'll alter the straps based on your height and size. If you're interested in having your straps altered, you can email or text us and we'll do it within 1-2 business days.

One of the biggest differences when it comes to a waterproof vs resistant vs repellent backpack is the zipper. Most water-resistant and repellent bags use a non-waterproof zipper, leaving gaps that can allow small amounts of water to leach in.

Instead of compromising on form or function, we used a mixture of water-resistant and water-proof materials in the ISM Backpack. The water-resistant coated full-grain leather and nylon exterior keeps the essentials in your main compartment safe from a drizzle, while the water-proof zipper guarantees that your laptop and tech don’t get wet. Another plus is that it blends in with the bag’s design keeping it minimal and discreet.

By using a regular metal zipper for the main compartment and front pocket, the bag keeps its minimal and stylish appearance, compared to a bag that uses only water-proof zippers.

A separate waterproof zippered laptop compartment is one of the main features in the ISM backpack. The large backpack fits up to a 16-inch laptop, while the small backpack fits up to a 13-inch laptop

In the inside, we added layers of memory foam padding in the laptop pocket that extends all the way to the bottom of the bag so that even if your bag falls on the ground, your laptop will be safely protected.

The laptop compartment section is also protected with waterproof YKK zippers so that you never have to worry about your laptop getting wet when it rains. We wanted to make a laptop bag that didn't look like a laptop bag so the zippers themselves are minimally discreet.

The bags are made at the same factory as brands like TUMI, Longchamp, and Armani. We source the highest quality materials and spend time obsessing over the details so that we can provide you with a better bag than you paid for.

Others

We created ISM with the vision of making beautiful, useful tools that help you work better. So far, we have two backpack styles, one bottle, and one charger. For a limited time, save up to $55 when you get the full bag bundle.

At the moment, mainly on our website and select online retailers like Garmentory and Amazon (only the Large Bag in Black is available on Amazon ). One of the reasons we’re able to offer our bags at this price is because we sell our bags directly to you and don't have to add in a 'wholesale margin' if we were to sell to retail stores.

Our founder, Justin, came up with the idea for ISM as a frustrated freelancer working out of coffee shops who wanted a better solution to his everyday carry. Now we’re a small team of creatives based out of San Francisco. We're always on the lookout for like-minded creatives, if this sounds like you we'd love to chat! Send us an email at j@ismbags.com.

One of the most fulfilling things for us is just the act of creating something new, even if it doesn't work out. It's what gives us energy to keep going through the ups and downs of starting a company. Some of our side projects are things like The ISM Tab Chrome Extension. We have something exciting we're going to be launching to you soon!

We’re always on the lookout for projects that fit our ethos, so if you have any ideas we’d love to talk and collab! Hit us up at collab@ismbags.com