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With half of all U.S. adults now fully vaccinated, the travel industry is expecting a surge in so-called “vaxications” this summer — according to tracking data from Tripadvisor, popular beach destinations like Florida and Mexico will likely be top spots for vacationing as the weather gets warmer. However, a long-awaited beach vacation may require a few essentials to make the most of your trip — sunscreen, water bottles, sunglasses, a relaxing beach read and a beach towel, to name a few — and a beach bag or tote can be a must-have for hauling your beach day needs across the sand.
Best beach bags and totes in 2021
Whether you’re looking for a classic straw beach bag or an extra-large tote for the whole family, we’ve compiled some top-rated options from major retailers and Shopping reader favorite brands ahead of your summer beach trip.
Best water-resistant beach bags
This stylish tote is made from water- and tear-resistant vinyl-coated nylon material that’s lightweight enough to take on longer trips yet durable enough to last through multiple vacations. It comes in either a Small, which is 14 inches wide, or a Large, which features a 17-inch bottom. You can also choose from six colors — Red, Yellow, True Blue, Black, Navy and White — and add an embroidered monogram, available in 25 different colors.
This Sea to Summit sack can be a good seal-tight beach bag option — it’s made of water-resistant nylon and polyurethane material, and it’s lightweight enough to use on hiking, camping or backpacking trips. You can choose between three sizes ranging from an XS (2 liters) to XXL (35 liters).
This beach tote is made from water-resistant nylon, eliminating the hassle of drying off your beach bag before heading home while also keeping essentials like cellphones and e-readers protected from water. The durable material is also puncture- and abrasion-resistant, according to the brand, and easy to clean.
Best canvas beach bags
L.L. Bean’s Boat and Tote beach bag is made from durable cotton canvas with reinforced handles, so you can fit multiple, heavier essentials in it rather than lugging around several bags. The flat bottom allows you to keep it upright and helps contents stay in place, and you can also choose between multiple sizes, handle lengths and colors like Regatta Blue, Dark Green and Deep Mulberry.
This cotton canvas tote bag is highly customizable depending on your needs: You can choose from multiple sizes ranging from Small to Extra-Large, you can select between Regular or Long handle length and you can choose between an open or a zip top. It includes a water-resistant base and trim, wide felled seams that allow it to stand upright and a personalization option that lets you monogram, embroider or engrave your tote.
This large tote is made from heavy duty canvas and includes a faux leather base and handles for sturdiness. Aside from its chic style, what really makes this tote stand out is its practicality: It features six long outer pockets in addition to its main compartment, and an outer strap to place any clip-on items like sunscreen, water bottles or pouches.
Best straw beach bags
If you’re looking for a classic straw bag with a fun design, this option features your choice of Black or Pink and Orange hearts across the tote. It also has convenient interior lining, an interior wall pocket and 8-inch straps to make carrying heavier essentials like beach toys, towels and extra shoes less of a hassle.
This versatile straw tote can be a classic staple for the beach, the farmer’s market or a daytime trip. The brand claims it added some additional features to this tote from previous versions, including an opening that’s wider than the base and a more durable straw material.
This sleek straw beach bag is made with 100 percent paper straw and features a cotton lining interior and vegan leather trims. It includes an interior slip pocket to store keys, phones and additional small items, and the bag itself is fairly roomy — it stands at 15 inches high and 20 inches wide, which is plenty of room for storing a beach towel and a few other beach essentials.
Best mesh beach bags
Mesh bags can be a more breathable option for your beach essentials. This bag has eight easily accessible and semi-transparent pockets to organize multiple items, from flip flops and beach towels to water bottles and sunglasses. It comes in 13 different color combinations, including Green with Aqua handles and Blue with Grey handles.
This highly rated tote features a 9-inch-long strap, an interior zip pocket and eight large rip-stop mesh pockets on the exterior. It’s also lightweight at 1 pound, according to the brand, and can be folded up and easily stored away when not in use.
This mesh-lined beach bag comes with a detachable insulated cooler at the bottom that can fit up to 12 water bottles, according to the brand. The cooler even comes with an additional handle, so you can use it as a separate accessory.
Best sustainable beach bags
Shopping reader favorite brand Rothy’s offers a sleek beach tote that’s made from 100 percent recycled materials, including a blend of ocean-bound marine plastic and Rothy’s signature thread spun from water bottles they collect from oceans across the globe. It features an interior back pocket compartment to easily access smaller items, while the main compartment includes a drawstring closure that can provide peace of mind.
According to the brand, Madewell’s (Re)sourced material is made of both polyester recycled from plastic and conventional polyester material. This soft and sturdy tote has a zip closure at the top and comes in three colors: Coal, Bronzed Lichen and Golden Spinach. It also features an interior padded laptop compartment so you can comfortably take your tech to the beach.
With fun prints and colors, this large tote bag is a good kid-friendly option. It’s part of Vera Bradley’s ReActive collection, which features a lightweight, durable and water-repellent material made from 22 total recycled plastic water bottles, according to the brand. It features an exterior zip pocket and an interior slip pocket for additional storage, and the brand claims the tote is large enough to fit 12 beach towels.
Best personalized beach bags
This customizable beach bag is made from a cotton canvas blend and comes in multiple colors and styles, from Navy and White stripes to Ivory with a vintage floral pattern. You can have letters, names or monograms embroidered onto the front of the bag, and you can choose your font, thread color and “needed by” date.
Like most of Paravel’s bag, duffle and luggage options, the Cabana Tote allows you to personalize it with up to three letters — either hand-painted or embroidered in your choice of 11 different colors — or with a hand-painted emoji, including a palm tree, bumblebee or peace sign. It’s also sustainable — in addition to the leather handles eco-certified by the Leather Working Group, the canvas exterior, water-resistant interior lining and straps are made from a total of 23 recycled plastic water bottles, according to the brand.
If you’re looking for a more personalized version of the classic straw beach bag, this option from Mark & Graham lets you customize it with a monogram of up to three letters and your choice of font and color. The bag, which is woven from natural palm leaf, also features a soft linen lining and leather handles for comfort while carrying it around.
Where to buy beach bags and totes
If you’re looking for more options for beach bags and totes, these trustworthy retailers offer a variety of styles, colors and fabrics.