Best Beach Bags
Packing to prepare for a trip down to the beach can be a little tricky at times. You have to make sure you have your sunblock, your towels, something to read, something to snack on, a bottle of water, a frisbee for the dog, a place to put money in case that guy pushing the popsicle cart passes by, as well as a place to put your keys and phone. And you need a place to store all of these things because your hands are probably occupied holding your chair and the dog’s leash as you walk down to the sand. No one likes the image of fumbling with all of their gear as they try and find a perfect spot to set up camp, so investing in a really great beach bag will hopefully make things just a little bit easier.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research
Doesn’t collapse when empty
Can hold a lot of stuff
- Odyseaco Baja
- Moskus Gear
- Odyseaco Aruba
- Red Suricata
- Pier 17
- SCOUT BJ
- Abbot Fjord
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Odyseaco Baja
Doesn’t collapse when empty
Can hold a lot of stuff
Rope straps have a tendency to dig into shoulders
When you think about toting all of your stuff down to the water this summer- you are probably conjuring up an image of this product. It has a classic bohemian design that fits right in down the sand next to the water, and it big enough to have room for all the stuff that you need, and some of the stuff that you don’t need.Read more
This product is only offered in one color pattern and design- an orange and red bohemian pattern, which is a pattern that is quickly gaining popularity. It has a beige rope shoulder strap that you can carry in your hand (without it dragging on the ground), or you can sling it over your shoulder.
Odyseaco takes into consideration what vacationers need when heading down to the shoreline, and designed a product to adhere to those needs. There are two sides pockets that are perfect for hanging sunglasses, and toting bottles of water. The interior has a small zippered pocket along the top that it meant to securely hold keys or cell phones. It has a boxy bottom that allows for easy storage of towels, and other gear you will need this summer.
The cost of this unit isn’t wildly expensive, but you are going to be dropping a bit more money on it than you would many of the other options out there on the market. However, if you want something that past users rave was the perfect companion to all of their summer trips- the slightly higher price point will be worth it.
For travelers that want something a little more stylish, but also has a lot of utility for all of the things that they will need to bring with them down to the water, this will be an excellent addition to all of your future family vacations.
2. Moskus Gear
- Zippered top pocket
- Waterproof cell phone carrier included
Some feel that it is too small
Editor’s Ranking: 9.8/10
Moskus Gear makes one of the best products for toting all of your summertime essentials in a sleek and stylish package that looks like it was born right on the ocean. It is made from really high quality materials that will be able to take a beating, and is also pretty easy to wash.Read more
The design of this model is made specifically to sit right alongside you in the sand. The blue and white striped design boasts a nautical theme, but there are also a few other designs to select from such as a seashell pattern that comes in various shades of blue, and a pink and white striped design that looks like the blue and white nautical print. It has a long rope handle that can be carried by hand, or thrown over your shoulder.
The most important thing to note about the Moskus Gear design is how well built and durable that it is. A lot of the other designs out there on the market are made from really thin materials that will most likely not even last you to the end of the summer. This model, however, is constructed from a heavy duty canvas material on the outside, and is even lined on the inside- something that you don’t see often with these products. It can also be zipped close, which is a nice feature when you don’t want to worry about losing important items such as car keys or phones.
The price of this unit is incredibly affordable, and will most likely cost you the same amount of money that you would spend on breakfast and coffee in the morning. Considering that is comes with a 30 day money back guarantee, as well as a waterproof cell phone carrier- this comes in at an incredible price.
If you are in the market for something think, durable, stylish, and easy to carry this summer to keep all of your shoreline necessities safe and sound without breaking the bank- this is an excellent option.
- Large design
- Zippered pocket
- Can hold up to 4 large towels
Do you need something as big as the ocean? The size of the Shylero tote is where it really stands apart from the rest. No one likes the feeling of trying to shove all of the things that they will need for the afternoon into a product that is too small, and this design will ensure that you will never run into that problem again.Read more
Buyers can select from two distinct designs- a basic blue and white striped nautical theme model, and a green and brown camouflage design. It comes with 10-inch rope straps that are perfect for carrying in your hand, or you can opt to throw it over your shoulder.
Shylero took into consideration all of the things that travels will need when heading down to the water. Where this product really shines is in its size- it is capable of carrying just about anything. It measures in at 22 inches long, 15 inches high, and 6 inches deep. To give you an idea of just how much this unit can carry- it can hold up to 4 full size beach towels! It also comes with side pockets that are perfect for carrying bottles of water or hanging sunglasses, and there is a pocket on the inside to hide your keys. The top zips up completely- which is also a welcome addition to travels that are always worried they are going to lose something.
The cost of this model is one of the more expensive units out there on the market- but it is still pretty affordable. It will set you back about the same amount of money that you would spend taking the family out to breakfast in the morning. If you consider that this unit is big enough for everyone, and you won’t have to spend money on buying anyone else totes- this is actually a really good deal.
If you are in the market for something that is capable of holding just about everything except the kitchen sink- this model is going to be your best be for this summer, and many summers to come.
4. Odyseaco Aruba
- Cooler at the bottom
- Lightweight mesh material makes it easy to find things
Some feel it is too small
Editor’s Ranking: 9.5/10
Odyseaco brings you something a little different from the other canvas models out there, and they also bring you a lot of utility with this design. It serves more than just one purpose than a traditional tote, and it is offered at a really affordable price point.Read more
The design is one instance where is veers off the standard course of canvas models. Instead of using canvas that sometimes can become heavy (especially when wet), this model is made from an incredibly lightweight mesh with canvas trim, and with canvas straps. It comes in two colors- black and teal.
While the mesh material is perfect for keeping things light, it also allows you to see exactly what you have packed without the need to dig around to find it. Anyone who has ever carried one of these products knows the very distinct frustration of rooting around trying to find something that always seems to be right at the bottom. Another feature that makes it stand apart is the zippered cooler at the bottom. It is made from a waterproof nylon material that is great at keeping drinks cool. Plus, because this nylon material is at the bottom where it sits in the sand, it makes it a snap to wipe off when it is time to pack it back up into the car.
You might think that a product that offers such an innovative design might come at a higher price point, but you would be mistaken. This model cost about par for the course in terms of the price of many similar designs and sizes currently out there on the market.
If you wanted something that could serve more than just one function, and is also incredibly lightweight and affordable, this unit will be great at keeping drinks cool and your wallet full.
5. Red Suricata
- Cooler attached to the bottom
- Zipped top pocket
- Made from lightweight mesh
Straps could break if cooler if overloaded
Editor’s Ranking: 9.4/10
This is a very similar design to the Odyseaco product, with just a few differences that set it at a higher price point. It has a sharp design that will be a perfect companion to all of your sandy adventures, and will be comfortable to carry on those long hikes to find the perfect spot.Read more
This product is offered in two colors- black and teal. It has a lightweight mesh top that makes it a snap to be able to find things without the frustrated feelings of rooting around endlessly to find the specific thing that you need. The straps are made from a soft polyester, and it has the added benefit of a shoulder strap to keep it from digging into your shoulder if you are packing heavy.
Just like the Odyseaco model, this design has the added benefit of a cooler found at the bottom. The cooler is made from a waterproof nylon that is excellent at keeping food and drinks cool, even in the hot summer sun. Due to the fact that it is found at the bottom of the tote, it means that it will never be exposed to direct sunlight. You can also use this cooler to store things that you don’t want to get wet. The top also has a number of zippered pockets that are great for keeping keys, and the entire top of the tote is able to be zippered shut.
The cost of this unit is about the same as some of the higher priced models out there on the market. Considering that it is able to execute more tasks (like keeping drinks cold) than the other canvas designs, the price point for this product is considered to be incredibly fair.
For travelers that do not like the idea of carrying a cooler and a tote down to the water, this product will be a perfect addition because it is capable of doing both.
- Wheeled design with retractable arm
- Doesn’t topple over
- Unique prints
Strong chemical smell
Editor’s Ranking: 9.2/10
This is something that is a little bit different than some of the others out there on the market, and it can be used for more than just carrying things to the shoreline- is can also be used to partake in some serious vacation shopping.Read more
This product is available in four different and unique patterns such as a rainforest, anchors, summer words, and seaside. It has soft canvas handles, and a tall rectangular design that is perfect for keeping all of your towels and gear.
What makes this model a little bit different than a lot of the others out on the market is that is has a retractable arm and wheels much like that of a rolling suitcase. The only difference is that the wheels aren’t too terribly heavy, and it has handles so that you can carry it when you need to. If you have to park far away from the sand, you can roll this tote along the sidewalk, and then pick it up when you make it to the sand. The wheels and retractable arm make it perfect to stand upright when you make it to your perfect spot on the sand without it ever toppling over.
Considering that this unit can be used while you are on vacation, but it is handy enough to take along with you to farmers markets or flea markets when you get home- the price is actually a really great deal. It isn’t the least expensive unit out there, but it is also not the most expensive.
If you are looking for something that will be a wonderful companion to take with you on your summer vacation this year, but is versatile enough to use all year round- this will be an excellent purchase for all of your needs.
7. Pier 17
- Zippered main pocket
- Strong straps can carry up to 30 pounds
Some found the rope straps began to fray after a few uses
Editor’s Ranking: 8.9/10
There are certain imagines that people conjure up when imagining these products- and this one fits the bill perfectly. It has that classic long rectangular design that is perfect for carrying water toys and bulky towels, and it made from a high quality canvas that is made for the sand. Plus, it comes in fun summertime colors.Read more
The unit is available in a striped design that comes in four different colors- blue, pink, beige, and navy. All of the colors are bright and cheery and reflect the feeling of summer by the ocean. It has a long rope strap that is able to be carried by hand, or thrown over the shoulder to keep your hands free to carry chairs or surfboards.
Many of the cheaper designs aren’t really made to last users more that one trip, but the Pier 17 model is made to be one of the last totes that you will ever. The rope straps are reinforced to be able to handle weight up to 30 pounds without breaking or becoming strained. It has a flat bottom to be able to stand up once you make it to your perfect spot on the sand, and it has a zippered pocket to keep the sand out of your things. It also has a zipper on the inside that is great for storing small, important items such as keys and cell phone.
This is one of the more affordable option to make this list. While it doesn’t have any of the extra bells and whistle that some of the others might have such as cooler pockets, it made from really strong materials that might make it the last one that you will ever have to purchase- which makes it an incredible deal.
If you are in the market to buy something that will will last you for many, many family vacations, and comes in a fun print that will likely never go out of style- this is a great option that will not break the bank.
- Separates wet and dry items
- Doesn’t carry all that much
Editor’s Ranking: 8.5/10
We are going to take a brief break from the typical designs that you see along the shoreline to take a look at something a little different. This model is made to fit right on your back so that your hands are completely free to carry surfboards and chairs, and is made to carry wet and dry items at the same time.Read more
The basic design of this model looks like a bookbag with a drawstring closure. It comes in three different colors- black, pink, and blue, and they all have black straps and accents. It is made from a high quality material that is waterproof so that you don’t have to worry about your things getting all wet if you happen to sit too close to the water.
The inside of this tote is what makes it stand out from the others out there on the market. Instead of having one main compartment for your things, it is divided in half. The one side of the tote is dedicated to things that are designed to get wet, like phones, keys, book, and electronic gadgets. The other side is lined with a waterproof plastic that is perfect for placing smaller water toys, wet swimsuits, and wet towels. The way that is straps to your back makes it really easy to keep your hands free for all of your other gear.
By far, this is the most affordable option on this list, and will set you back about the same amount of money that you would spend on a cup of coffee for you and a friend. Keep in mind, however, that this unit doesn’t hold as much stuff as some of the others out there, so if you are in charge of carrying your entire family’s gear this summer, this might not be ideal.
If you are looking for something that will carry and separate your wet gear from your dry gear, and is incredibly easy to carry without weighing you down (and won’t break the bank), this is an excellent option.
9. SCOUT BJ
- Made from durable but lightweight material
- Various color option available
- Stiff structure, won't topple over
Editor’s Ranking: 8.2/10
This is a little bit more structured take on the classic design. If you don’t want something that will topple over- especially if you didn’t fill it up to the brim- this will be an excellent addition on your next trip. Just be prepared to pay a lot more than some of the more reasonable price items on this list.Read more
The basic patterned offered in medium size stripes, and you will have the option to decide on which color you would like. Colors options include black, blue, red, sky blue, orange, and a purple and brown striped design. The straps are a little bit shorter than the classic 10 inch drop straps- they measure in at just over 8 inches. That means that if you want to throw it over your shoulder, it might be a little tighter than most of the others out there.
As we mentioned earlier, the stiff structure of this product makes it stand out from a lot of the others. A stiffer design also means that rooting around trying to find the very specific thing that you need will be just a little bit easier. It also comes with a lot more pockets than some of the others you might have already seen. There are two medium sized pockets along the front (without zippers) that are great for holding snacks or bottles of water. The main compartment doesn’t close completely, but there is a smaller zippered compartment on the inside that is great for holding keys and cell phones. The fabric that is is made from is really easy to wipe down when it becomes dirty.
This is one of the more expensive units making this list- but not by much. If you need a more structured bag that it really able to hold a lot of gear for your next trip down to the shoreline, this will be well worth the slightly padded price tag.
If you were looking for something a little stiffer, and that is really able to hold a lot- this will be an excellent option for your next family vacation, just be prepared to pay a little bit more.
10. Abbot Fjord
- Many zippered compartments
- Durable material
- Comfortable and adjustable shoulder straps
Slightly more expensive
Editor’s Ranking: 7.9/10
This is a really basic design that is made from high quality materials, and is incredibly comfortable to carry. Plus, it has such a simple and unassuming shape that it can even be used for everyday use after you come home from your vacation this summer.Read more
Unlike some of the other options on this list, this doesn’t come in fun colors or designs that make it look like it was made for vacation. There are only two colors available- navy blue and black. They are made from a thick and durable canvas material with beige straps that are very comfortable.
One of the best features about the product is the thick shoulder straps that are able to be adjusted. Surprisingly, most of these products don’t have straps that can be adjusted- and that’s where this one stand out. You can opt to carry it in your hands, loosen the straps to throw over your shoulder, or loosen then even more to wear like a messenger tote. It has a large compartment on the front that zippers closed, and the main compartment on the top has a zipper as well. There is a small compartment on the insider with a zipper that is perfect for putting keys or other valuables.
While it isn’t the least expensive model out there on the market- it isn’t the most expensive, either. Considering that it has a sleek design that is perfect for traveling, but can also be used for everyday use as well- it is offered at a really great price point.
If you are in the market for something that you can bring along with you on vacation this year, but can also work as a great tote once you get home- this is well worth the slightly padded price tag.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Sure, it may look great, and it might come in at a reasonable price- but how good is it at carting your gear? One thing we looked at was how many towels it was capable of carrying. If there is one thing that you don’t want to be without when you are swimming in the ocean all day, it’s towels. Some of the models out there were so big that they were actually able to carry up to four towels. We also took a look at zippers- because zippers are important.
If something small- like a car key or a ring- even thinks about touching loose and unpacked sand, you might as well kiss that item goodbye. A good way to avoid bidding your small (but important) items bon voyage is to lock them up in a zippered pocket. Most of the traditional styles have small zippered pockets on the inside, and sometimes on the exterior, but that about it. We’re drawn to designs that not only had the smaller zippered pockets, but that also had a zipper that closed up the entire tote.
We know that getting ready to pack up the family to go on vacation can not only be a real hassle, but it can also become incredibly expensive. We wanted to ensure that we selected models that were not only more affordable, but we liked items that really let you pack in a lot of gear. Going swimming in the ocean takes a lot more gear than you could realize.
You have to make sure that you bring the bottle of sunblock with you, because it has to be reapplied every 80 minutes. You also have to make sure you have enough towels- and those always take up a lot of room. You also have to make sure that you have a safe place to put your valuables like your phone and your car keys. We wanted to select affordable options, but we also wanted to make sure that they fit your needs. Here are some of the things that we looked at when making our selections.
While it should serve all of the functions of transporting your gear, we would be lying if you said we didn’t look at all of the different designs and patterns. If you were shopping around for one at a new store, you would look at the design first, and then investigate the features. And that is exactly what we did. We liked designs that came in a multitude of colors and designs to make you stick out from the travels that use old grocery bags to carry their gear. Stylish designs are also great because it means that you might be able to use it for more than just carrying gear down to the water. Any time a piece of gear can be used for more than its original intentions- we liked that.
You wouldn’t think that these designs would come with a lot of unique features, but you might be surprised. We discovered a really interesting designed tote that actually has a cooler built into the bottom, and users seem to be really impressed with these designs. The bottom is made from a waterproof nylon that zips all the way around.
You can place your beverages and snacks in the bottom of the unit with an ice pack, and the material will keep it cool while you are out swimming on the water. There were a lot of brands that also offered a waterproof case for your cell phone free with the purchase of their tote. It’s never a bad idea to take a few extra measures to ensure something as expensive as your cell phone doesn’t get wet. If we have learned anything from adventuring outdoors with our phones- it’s that the old ‘cell phone in rice’ trick just doesn’t work.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
You don’t ever want to make it all the way down to the water, find a perfect spot to set up camp, only to realize that you left your book that you had intended to read back up in the car. We recommend making a tote checklist! Write a list of all of the things that you know that you will want to have on your down at the water. As you fill up your tote, check each item off of the list. It may take a tiny bit of extra time, but you- and your family- will be thankful that you came fully equipped with all of the things you will need for a fun and relaxing afternoon.
Other Factors to Consider
If you are paying money for something, it’s always nice if that product can be used for more than the original task. We tried to select units that had interesting designs and functions that would make you want to use it for more than just packing up to head to the shoreline. Many of the users that have bought these types of products have found that they really get a lot of use out of them if they take them to local places like farmers markets or rummage sales. It’s a great way to limit the use of plastic bags and to use your tote for more than just one to two weeks a year in the summer.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What’s better: mesh or canvas?
While shopping around out there, you might have noticed that there are two camps when it comes to these products. About half of the options out there are made from a canvas material, and the other half is made from a mesh material. So, which is better you may ask? Well, like most things- it all boils down to personal preference. Some people just don’t like the mesh designs because everyone can see exactly what you are carrying in your bag. Perhaps you don’t want to world to know that you are reading a Harlequin novel on your vacation- so you might be more inclined to buy a canvas model. The benefits of the mesh design, however, is that they are typically more lightweight than their canvas counterparts- meaning that you can really pack them full without weighing you down. Plus, the mesh material will dry easily if it happens to get wet. The downside about that is that if the bag gets wet, your contents are probably going to get pretty wet as well. Canvas is a little bit heavier, so it might weigh you down a little bit. If of doesn’t have sectioned off compartments (which most of them do not), it might be difficult to find a particular item. The benefit of canvas, however, is that it is a lot more durable, and if it gets wet- your contents will more than likely stay dry.
q: What makes them different from other types of totes?
Size is typically the difference between something that you bring with you to class and something that you bring with you to the beach. What makes them also stand apart is the materials that they are made from. Many of these companies use materials that are specially designed to hold up against the hot, sticky air found along the shoreline, and many of them are a lot easier to wash and wipe down.
q: Are they waterproof?
It all depends on the type of tote that you buy. The ones that are made for the mesh material are pretty obviously not waterproof. However, these types were made to dry in the sun pretty fast if they ever did get wet for any reason. Many of the canvas designs have been treated with a chemical that will make them water resistant, but they aren’t waterproof. Waterproof means that if you drop it into the ocean, all of your materials will stay dry. Water resistant means that if you get splashed, or caught in a brief rainstorm, your items are less likely to get wet. There is one model making our list that has a waterproof compartment, and that is the one that looks like a bookbag. That unit has a compartment that is perfect for putting wet swimsuits or clothes without running the risk of them coming in contact with all of your dry items.
q: Can I put my keys in it?
Due to the fact that the main compartment is often so big, you may be a little concerned to put something as important as your car keys in there. Luckily, almost all brands have a pocket that zips, and it is usually found on the inside label. This pocket is designed to keep items like keys, rings, and cell phones safe from being lost. There is nothing that can ruin a day at the beach more than sifting around in the sand trying to find your lost car keys.
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