[Note: This post was originally published during Wrath of the Lich King and lost a while back in a nasty disaster; with the help of the Internet Archive I’ve recovered it, and also updated it for Warlords of Draenor.]
So you just rolled a new character in World of Warcraft and after that woefully inadequate 16 slot backpack filled up on the very first quest, you finally remembered that your alt needs bags. You could spend 20 to 40 gold buying four 16-slot Netherweave Bags on the auction house, which you’ll eventually replace and have to vendor. Wouldn’t it be nice if 16-slot bags didn’t bind, so you could keep them around and mail them between characters?
While the Cataclysm introduced a number of new opportunities to purchase 14 and 16 slot bags from vendors, these are typically too expensive or require too much time commitment to obtain easily for many people. For instance, 14 slot bags cost 12 gold, and 16 slot bags cost 30 gold and require Revered reputation with the vendor’s faction; similarly sized bags are almost always much cheaper on the AH.
Instead of spending that gold on bags that will only eventually get vendored for almost nothing, consider making an investment in the Traveler’s Backpack. With 16 slots and no binding, they can be banked or mailed between your characters after equipping them. And they usually cost only slightly more than Netherweave Bags. The best part is, when you’re finally done with them, you can resell them on the AH and get your money back.
The Mooncloth Bag, made by tailors, is also 16 slot and doesn’t bind, but it’ll likely cost much more than the Traveler’s Backpack. If you’re a tailor, though, and are used to making bags for your alts, you might consider making these instead of Netherweave Bags. Unfortunately the pattern is a rare world drop, so you’ll have to know it already, or buy the pattern on the AH.
Warlords of Draenor introduced a new 16-slot bag, Clefthoof Hide Satchel, which also doesn’t bind. It is available from various vendors for 200 gold. If you can’t find a Traveler’s Backpack or Mooncloth Bag, and you have the gold to spare, this might be a viable option.
Also introduced in Warlords is the absolutely free 20-slot bag, Ogre Diving Cap. Originally this did not bind, but since patch 6.1 it is bind on pickup. Fly to Joz’s Rylaks in Nagrand. Nearby is a bridge; dive into the river and loot the Watertight Bag from the skeleton underneath the bridge. This can only be done once per character, and requires level 98 to loot, so it won’t be very useful except perhaps for backfilling some bank slots.
If you don’t have access to a lot of gold because you’re a single character on a server, or you’re new to World of Warcraft, there are some other options for you as well:
During the Darkmoon Faire, you can get a 16-slot Darkmoon Storage Box for the low price of one Darkmoon Prize Ticket. It is unique, so each character can only own one of them. Doing any daily or monthly quest at the Faire is sufficient to obtain a prize ticket, so these are available to level 1 players.
There are a large number of options for bags of 12 or fewer slots, but these aren’t usually worth the time and trouble to seek out, since larger bags are so easily available, even to low level players with very little gold to work with. Every Death Knight starts out with four 12-slot bags, and every Death Knight knows how fast they seem to fill up.
All of these options make it cheap and easy — indeed, some are virtually free — to equip your character of any level with more than enough bag space to level and make gold without the inconvenience of constantly running out of bag space.