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. So grab a tote, and you’ll be set for your next day spent in the sand.
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 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 like sand toys and beach balls to keep your little ones entertained.
- Durability: You want a beach bag that will stand up to the occasion, meaning extended exposure to sun, saltwater, and chlorine. Also look for handles and materials that won’t rip under the strain of carrying bulky loads. Stitched handles and heavy-duty material will keep your bag ready for many repeat visits.
- Inside Pockets: Consider if you want a beach tote that’s one large compartment or has dividers inside; the former will have a large capacity and be able to fit bulkier objects, but a multi-compartment tote offers better organization so that you’re not digging through your bag to find your sunglasses. It’s also a good idea to have at least one inner zippered pocket for your wallet, phone, and/or keys to ensure those items stay extra safe from water and sand.
- Waterproof: This might be the most important feature of a beach bag. Choosing an inner waterproof lining will keep those extra-soaked swimsuits and towels contained so there’s no mess during the trip home. If you choose a tote made from cloth, look for a fabric that is waterproof or at least water-resistant.
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 hunger. With all of that to pack, it’s clear you’ll need a chic tote to make your pool or beach day a success.
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. Its internal pocket can keep your phone, earbuds, and wallet safe from the sun and sand.
Cons: If you have 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. In addition, the bag does not hold up well when carrying heavy items, as the straps are likely to break. You also may find that it is difficult to clean, which is important for a beach tote.
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. It’s not great for toting heavier items, but the internal pocket is great for keeping smaller essentials organized. Overall, if you’re looking for a versatile and functional bag that can be used for a variety of purposes, this bag may be a great choice.
Bluboon Waterproof Beach Tote
An adorable waterproof tote bag with pockets for all of your beach essentials.
Pros: This waterproof beach tote is made of durable polyester material, which is lightweight and waterproof, making it easy to clean and maintain. It is also designed with a smart wet compartment to hold dirty clothes and wet towels, which is ideal for beach trips. Additionally, the bag has multiple pockets and plenty of space to store all your beach essentials, including towels, flip-flops, water bottles, sunblock, and toys. There’s even an interior pocket for your keys, phone, and other small valuables. The smooth straps and handle are large and long enough for most people, making it comfortable to carry around. Lastly, the attractive design of the bag is eye-catching and fashionable, which is sure to draw envious looks from other beachgoers.
Cons: This bag can collect sand, which makes it more difficult to clean. This can be a definite downside, as a beach tote can accumulate lots of grime. In addition, some found that the colors were not accurately represented in the photos, so this tote may look slightly different upon delivery.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a functional and stylish tote for your next beach trip and beyond, look no further. This model is durable and able to hold wet towels, books, snacks, and all of your essentials without ripping. It’s also lightweight, easy to pack, and suitable for use at the beach, pool, or on vacation.
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. It may require more maintenance than other bags and may shrink in the washing machine.
Bottom Line: If you need a simple, classic “boat bag” style tote on a budget, look no further than this spacious beach bag. This bag is lightweight, easy to use, and perfect for toting your beach essentials.
SCOUT Deano Water-Resistant Foldable Tote Bag
This tote bag is travel-friendly, accommodating, 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. In addition, this bag is great for toting all of your necessities, and can hold up to 75 pounds!
Cons: While this certainly isn’t the most expensive bag on our list, it is up there for a foldable tarp-like bag. For the price, the material is flimsy and low quality. Many had issues with the bag collapsing or straps ripping and were disappointed with the quality compared to the price of the bag.
Bottom Line: Here’s a great beach bag for those with limited storage space or if you want to stash this in your carry-on. You may find it to be versatile for many uses beyond beach trips. However, the price point may be a bit high for some, and the material could be more durable in some cases.
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 work bag.
Cons: Like other canvas bag options, this bag should not be machine washed and only be gently washed by hand, which can be time-consuming. There’s also no insert to help stabilize the bag, so it may not be ideal for hauling heavier items.
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. While it may not be ideal for toting heavier items, this tote is perfect for most occasions and locations.
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 tote bags.