Buying Guide for Beach Tote Bags
Why buy a beach tote bag?
When you’re at the beach or lounging poolside, you usually spend a relatively short time in the water, and a much longer time lying out. It’s important to have sun safety accessories like sunscreen and a hat, as well as ways to keep yourself (and any little ones) entertained. You also probably want to leave the Italian leather clutch at home, as chlorine, salt, and sand can damage luxury bags that aren’t intended for outdoor use.
What should you consider when buying a tote bag for the beach?
- Size: If it’s only you that’s trekking down to the beach, you probably don’t need an extra-large oversized bag (although, no judgment here if you do). For larger families or extended gatherings, that extra-large bag can help you store all of the things you need.
- Durability: You want a bag that will stand up to the occasion. Stitched handles and heavy-duty material will make sure your bag is ready for many repeat visits.
- Inside Pocket: It’s a good idea to have at least one inner zippered pocket for your wallet, phone, or keys to ensure those things stay safe from water and sand.
- Waterproof: This might be the best feature of a beach bag. Choosing an inner waterproof lining will keep those extra-soaked swimsuits and towels contained so there’s no mess while transporting your bag.
What beach essentials should you plan on packing into a tote bag?
For yourself, plan on getting a bag large enough to hold your sunglasses, sunscreen, a cap or sun hat, and Iip balm (saltwater and chlorine are extremely drying). For your entertainment, you’ll want a couple of magazines, a book or e-reader, and about two to three toys per little one. We also recommend a water bottle and a few snacks to prevent dehydration and hanger. With all of that to pack, it’s clear you’ll need a chic tote to make your pool or beach day a success.
Our Picks for the Best Beach Tote Bags
HOXIS Large Mesh Beach Tote Bag
A roomy, water-resistant mesh tote bag with long straps.
Pros: This super chic mesh bag will look great on the beach, at the farmer’s market, or as your everyday purse. It’s offered in a variety of on-trend colors, and the loose structure makes it easy to pack in a backpack or suitcase. When you’re at the beach, sand falls right through the mesh material, rather than being sealed in for all eternity. We also love the extra-long faux leather straps that elevate this above a typical mesh bag. It also has an internal pocket that can keep your phone, earbuds, and wallet safe from the sun and sand.
Cons: If you’re someone who has a hard time emptying your bag of receipts and everyday clutter, you may not love having the contents of your purse on display every time you use it.
Bottom Line: We love this mesh bag for taking you from the beach to the bistro in style, and the fact that it won’t become a sand trap makes it even better.
Bogg Bag X Waterproof Washable Tote Bag
An extra-roomy, tip-proof, and water-resistant beach bag.
Pros: The Bogg Bag is beloved for its minimalist design, upright construction, and waterproof material. You can easily pack towels, water bottles, snacks, toys, and sun protection for the whole family without carrying an unstructured sack. The upright standing is especially nice for beach days, as your belongings won’t take a tumble into the sand. This bag is also fantastic for working in the garden and can be hosed off to clean it. It’s also easy to load and unload from a boat or car without tipping over. There are interior pockets to keep your jewelry, headphones, and wallet safe.
Cons: This is a more pricey option. Also, the interior pockets may be prone to damage after just a few uses.
Bottom Line: This premium beach tote is on the high end of cost but brings incomparable space and convenience.
TOPDesign Canvas Tote Bag with Top Zipper
This chic, large-capacity canvas bag comes with a zipper closure.
Pros: Beach bags don’t have to cost a fortune to be functional and fashionable. That’s why we love this canvas tote bag with reinforced straps. You can easily customize it with iron-on patches or enamel pins, or just find the right bag in your signature color. Because of its low cost, consider snagging one for your family members or for your squad before a big beach trip. You can easily take this from the beach to the grocery store with confidence and plenty of room to spare. The zip-top also adds extra security.
Cons: This bag does not have a sturdy bottom which makes it tip-prone on the beach–a huge problem if sand wanders its way in. Canvas is also more difficult to clean, so this is not a bag you can toss in the wash after a day at the pool.
Bottom Line: If you need a simple, classic “boat bag” style tote on a budget, look no further than this spacious beach bag.
SCOUT Deano Water-Resistant Foldable Tote Bag
This tote bag is travel-friendly, compact, large, and water-resistant.
Pros: This structured tote bag doesn’t take up a ton of room or have a bulky design. It can fold flat, making it a dream to pack into a suitcase or day bag. The lay-flat bottom keeps the bag upright and prevents bursts, so you can pack this bag to the brim without fear. It’s also water-resistant and the tarp-like material is incredibly easy to clean, helping this bag stay pretty trip after trip. Just fold this bag flat and store it in your closet with ease—when it’s time to take it back out again, it’ll snap back into shape in a flash.
Cons: While this certainly isn’t the most expensive bag on our list, it is up there for a foldable tarp-like bag.
Bottom Line: A great beach bag for those with limited storage space or if you want to stash this in your carry-on.
BeeGreen Monogrammed Canvas Tote Bag
An upright, moisture-resistant, canvas bag with monogrammed initials
Pros: BeeGreen has given the canvas tote bag a chic Parisian twist with its bold black-and-white design and embroidered monogram. This bag is super stylish, roomy, well-made, and has that extra special personal touch. It’s well-suited as a bachelorette party favor, or a gift for Mother’s Day, birthdays, or bridal showers, thanks to the personalized monogram. It works not only as a fashionable beach bag but can be used at the grocery store or as a go-to work bag.
Cons: Like other canvas bag options, this bag should not be machine washed and only gently washed by hand. There’s also no insert to help stabilize the bag.
Bottom Line: A beach tote that’s so lovely, you may need to order a few–one for yourself, and one for everyone else on your shopping list.
Beach tote bags are a must-have for hitting up any beach, lake, or pool. Thanks to thoughtful designs and plenty of patterns, there’s a bag for everyone—whether you have a family with kids or are riding solo, you can do it in style with this selection of beach bags.