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15 great beach bags, totes and backpacks to pack all your necessities

We rounded up beach bags that will carry everything you need to enjoy a day in the sun.
Photo of a smiling young woman enjoy sunny summer afternoon at the beach
When shopping for a beach bag, consider factors like size, material, organizational features and cost to help you narrow down your options.AleksandarNakic/ Getty Images

Some pack light when they head to the beach, focusing on essentials like sunscreen, sunglasses, and a great book. Others, however, gather additional items to complete their beach day, including snacks and drinks, towels, portable speakers, toys to entertain kids and more. No matter which type of beach goer you are, you’ll need a fashionable yet functional bag to stuff all your belongings inside. Below, we rounded up beach bags that range in style, size and price to help guide your shopping.

SKIP AHEAD Beach totes | Crossbody beach bags | Backpacks for the beach

Our top picks

How we picked the best beach bags

To recommend the best beach bags, we considered the following factors:

Size: While some people look for larger bags, others may want smaller options if they’re just packing the bare necessities.

Material: Since beach bags are likely to get sand and water on them, you might want to look for options designed with a water-resistant material, or one that’s machine-washable or easy to spot clean. If you like to bring food and drinks to the beach, consider purchasing an insulated bag.

Pockets and other organizational features: Interior and exterior pockets, as well as other organization compartments like dividers, give you a place to put all your items and make finding them easier.

Cost: Higher priced beach bags are an investment you can use year after year, while lower priced options may only be in good shape for one season depending on how much you use it and how well you care for it.

Best beach bags to shop

Below, we rounded up a handful of beach bags we think you should know about. Select staff told us about some of their favorite beach bags, and we also added highly rated options from Select reader favorite brands and major retailers like Amazon and Target.

Best beach totes

Bogg Bag Original Bogg Bag

Similar to a mesh bag, the Original Bogg Bag has small holes in its material that allows sand to escape. The bag stands up on its own and comes with two reusable plastic inserts — you can snap the inserts’ buttons into any free hole on the bag’s interior or exterior, giving you a place to store your phone, sunscreen, goggles and more. In addition to the Original Bogg Bag, you can also purchase the smaller Baby Bogg and Bitty Bogg Bag, all of which come in over a dozen colors like Mint Chip, I Olive You, Latte You Lots.

Size: 19x15x9.5 inches | Material: EVA | Care: Washable

Scout BJ Bag

Designed with four exterior pockets and an interior zipper compartment, Scout’s BJ Bag offers lots of space to organize everything you pack inside. The bag can stand up on its own, has a zipper closure and folds flat when it’s not in use. It’s available in a variety of colors and patterns like Victoria Checkham, Montauk Mint, Anchors Away and more.

Size: 18.5x8.5x14 inches | Material: Water-resistant polypropylene | Care: Machine-washable

YETI Camino 20 Carryall

Yeti — a beloved brand among many Select staffers — offers a 20-liter tote that’s equipped with interior dividers (which you can fold away to create one large compartment) and two interior zippered pockets. You can carry it from its shoulder straps or cross bar handles, and the tote can stand up by itself, according to the brand. The tote also has a water-resistant shell to keep moisture out. You can purchase the bag in colors like Storm Grey, Alpine Yellow, High Desert Clay and more.

Size: 15x7.75x13.25 inches | Material: Yeti’s ThickSkin Shell and an EVA molded bottom | Care: Spot clean

Corkcicle Travel Soft Estelle Tote Cooler

If you’re taking food and drinks to the beach, you can keep everything cool in this insulated tote. It can hold 24 cans or 18 cans plus two wine bottles, according to the brand. Exterior straps can hold a rolled up beach towel, picnic blanket or yoga mat, and there are pockets on the outside of the bag to store other essentials. The tote comes with a removable, adjustable padded shoulder strap and has a full zipper closure as well. You can purchase the bag in Black, Navy Camo, Santorini and Periwinkle styles.

Size: 21x7x14 inches | Material: Neoprene exterior | Care: Spot clean

Gray Malin The Copacabana Tote Bag

“My parents bought me and my soon-to-be sister-in-law these beachy tote bags before a family trip to the Bahamas this past Christmas,” said Select editor Christina Colizza. “The bags have a nice, 10-inch long drop-strap made of real leather that makes them easy and comfortable to carry. Plus, they have a little storage pocket for your wallet and keys, and the canvas exterior and nylon interior make it easy to wipe down, or shake clean of any sand." The tote bags are available with many of photographer Gray Malin’s images, including of Lake Michigan, umbrellas on a beach and more.

Size: 19x17x5.25 inches | Material: Canvas exterior, nylon interior | Care: Spot clean

Rothy’s The Lightweight Tote

"I normally like mesh bags for the beach, but this Rothy's bag also fits the bill for me since it's washable,” said Lauren Swanson, Select editorial director. “I can throw my towel, book and sunglasses in here easily and then toss it in the wash at the end of the day. It also makes a great bag for picnics," she added. The tote has a built-in key leash and you can purchase it in many different colors and patterns like Black Portobello, Blueberry Gingham, Dragon Fruit and more.

Size: 12.8x6.7x13.6 inches | Material: Fabric made from ocean-bound marine plastic | Care: Machine-washable

State Bags Wellington Cabana Tote

"I absolutely love State Bags and this tote is no exception,” Swanson said. “The main compartment is very large, but isn't overbearing. I can usually fit several towels, shoes, books and even a few snacks in it.” State’s tote comes with a detachable, zippered pouch to store your phone, sunscreen, wallet and more, and Swanson added that cleaning the bag is easy due to its flexible plastic material. “In fact, I once spilled salad dressing in this bag and just threw it in the shower to rinse off,” she said.

Size: 22 inches wide on top and 16.5 inches wide on the bottom, 12.2 inches high and 8 inches deep | Material: TPU | Care: Spot clean

L.L. Bean Boat and Tote

Many Select staffers recommended taking this L.L. Bean tote to the beach. You can purchase it in small, medium, large and extra-large sizes, as well as regular and long widths. The bag has a double-layer base, reinforced bottom and seams double-stitched with nylon, all features the brand says makes this tote suitable to carry heavy items. You can purchase the bag in colors like Field Gold, Red Wine, Natural and more, and add a monogram for an additional fee.

Size: Varies based on size | Material: Canvas | Care: Spot clean

Sea Star Fisherman’s Tote

If you like the idea of a bag that sand can escape from, Sea Star’s Fisherman’s Tote is a great, lightweight option. The laser-cut neoprene bag expands as weight is added to it, adjusting in shape according to the contents inside. It folds flat when it’s not in use and it dries in 15 minutes if it gets wet, according to the brand. You can purchase the bag in colors like White Gold/Platinum, Black and Red/Light Blue.

Size: 14x22 inches| Material: Neoprene | Care: Washable

Best crossbody beach bags

Baggu Medium Nylon Crescent Bag

Select photo editor Vivian Le prefers this Baggu bag to a fanny pack — she said it’s roomier than most belt bags and you can wear it as a crossbody bag or slung on your shoulder. The bag is built with an adjustable strap and two interior pockets to keep you organized. Le said its main compartment is large enough to fit most books or a Kindle if you like to read at the beach. You can purchase the bag in colors and patterns like Taupe, Black & White Pixel Gingham, Rhian Daisy and more.

Size: 13.75x4x8 inches | Material: Recycled heavyweight nylon and a recycled ripstop nylon lining | Care: Machine-washable

Calpak Luka Belt Bag

I grew up walking distance from the beach, so portability was always top of mind when deciding which bag to pack my essentials in. I swear by Calpak’s Luka Belt Bag, which you can wear as a fanny pack or crossbody bag. I use it as my everyday bag, but it’s suitable for small to mid-sized beach necessities, too. It has a roomy zippered pocket on the interior and exterior of the main pouch, and you can adjust the strap’s length. The main pouch fits my phone and wallet case, earbuds, keys and sunscreen, and I usually put hair ties and other smaller items inside the zippered pockets. You can purchase the belt bag in colors like Bubblegum, Chocolate, Oatmeal, Matte Black and more.

Size: 11x 5.5x3.5 inches | Material: Polyester | Care: Spot clean

DAIKOYE Beach Toy Mesh Beach Bags

"These beach bags, which come in packs of three, are great for transporting kids' beach toys,” Swanson said. “Personally, I bought them because the size was perfect and the color combinations were adorable for my nieces and nephews. But the best part is that the mesh makes it easy to shake out any excess sand." The bags zip closed and have an adjustable shoulder strap. You can also fold them flat to store.

Size: 9.4x4x8 inches | Material: Water-resistant nylon and mesh | Care: Washable

Best backpacks for the beach

Fjallraven Tree-Kanken

I roll up my towel or blanket and attach it to the bottom of this backpack via its adjustable straps, and I pack the main compartment with a water bottle, snacks, portable speaker, sunglasses and more before heading to the beach. The backpack is lightweight and has a zippered front pocket, which is where I put an e-reader, book or my phone. You can purchase the backpack in colors like Waterfall Blue, Charcoal Grey, Lilac Pink and more.

Size: 28x14x36 inches | Material: Pine Weave lyocell | Care: Spot clean

Target Shade & Shore Convertible Backpack

This backpack converts into a tote thanks to its multi-functional straps, allowing you to adapt its fit to what you find more comfortable. The bag has an interior slip pocket and an exterior front accessory pocket, while its drawstring closure helps keep larger items inside. It’s available in Blue and White/Colorblock styles.

Size: 18.88x9.84x15.35 inches | Material: Polyester and cotton | Care: Spot or wipe clean

Béis The Terry Backpack Cooler

Béis’ backpack is equipped with a cooler, giving you a designated place to store drinks and keep them cool at the beach. You can also remove the cooler compartment when it’s not in use, or use it by itself since it has its own handle. The backpack has a zipper pocket on the exterior, as well as one zipper pocket, two water bottle pockets, two slip pockets with an elastic closure and a key leash on the interior. You can purchase it in Citron, Beige or Black colors.

Size: 30x18x50 cm | Material: Faux leather trim, recycled poly liner | Care: Spot clean

Why trust NBC Select?

Zoe Malin has been covering apparel and accessories for over a year at Select and has published guides about water-resistant sneakers, kids backpacks and more. For this piece, Zoe researched dozens of beach bags on the market and included those recommended by Select staff, plus highly rated options from reader favorite brands and retailers.

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