You’ve finally earned it. After all the time spent toiling away in the office during the week, or doing tedious chores all weekend long, you’ve earned yourself a day at the beach. Nothing but sand, sun, and saltwater (and, if you’re lucky—a cooler full of brews).
When packing for the beach, though, we tend to just want to bolt out the door with nothing but our swim trunks and sunglasses on. WRONG. When you get to the beach, you’re gonna be kicking yourself for not preparing properly. You’re going to want something to read. You’re going to want something to snack on. You’re going to need sunscreen and a towel.
That’s where a good beach tote comes into play. You don’t need a giant weekender bag. You don’t even want to deal with zippers. You just want something light that will carry your stuff from the car to the coastline and will stand up to water and sand like a champion. We’ve rounded up 14 of our favorite totes that will do exactly that. Picking out the perfect spot on the beach (away from kids and loud teenagers) is all on you.
Owen & Fred Everyday Tote
Throw a bottle of sunscreen and a few magazines in this tote from Owen & Fred, sling your towel over your shoulder, and you’ll be beach-ready. This sturdy blue nylon bag is perfect for short beach trips, and it has a zippered interior pocket that’s perfect for stowing your cash and phone while you take a dip.
United by Blue Day Tote
United by Blue is an eco-conscious company dedicated to making quality beach wear while helping to preserve the ocean, so this super strong cotton tote is the perfect thing to bring to the beach. Made from 100% organic cotton and printed with a wave pattern, this tote will hold up to 60 pounds, so you can use it to haul your groceries when you’re not beach-bound.
Birdwell Hand Tote
Birdwell was established in 1960’s Southern California in its founder’s living room. Since then, they’ve been creating quality, hand-stitched swim trunks out of nylon that are virtually indestructible. To further serve their customers, they started making beach totes out of the same two-ply nylon used for their trunks, like this solid Hand Tote that is guaranteed to never go out of style.
Topo Designs Tote Bag
While Colorado-based Topo Designs typically designs bags for the mountaineer set, their tote bag offering (available in a rainbow of fun colors) is more designed for Miami Beach than for Mount Kilamanjaro. With extra-long straps, a durable Cordura exterior, and a completely coated interior, it’ll quickly become your favorite beach bag.
Stone + Cloth Coal Bag
Half weekender, half tote, Stone + Cloth’s Coal Bag is really roomy, making it perfect for longer beach excursions, the ones where you hit the sand just as the sun rises and leave well after dark. The top zips to keep the sand out of the bag, and the interior pocket will keep your valuables safe. Bonus? A portion of the proceeds from your purchase will go to a non-profit based in Africa.
Herschel Supply Co. Alexander Tote
Vancouver-based Herschel Supply Co. is known mainly for its quality backpacks, but you’d be remiss if you didn’t give the Alexander Tote a chance. Sturdy enough to double as a casual everyday work bag, this tote would also be great at the beach. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns, and features not only a quick-access exterior pocket (perfect for your keys), it also has an interior mesh pocket (perfect for your phone).
Saturdays NYC Reece Tote
A brand firmly rooted in surf culture, virtually anything they have on offer would be good for the beach. The Reece Tote (available in solid black, army green, or safari print) is made from sturdy canvas with leather handles, but what perhaps makes it the best bag for the beach is that it’s emblazoned with the word “SATURDAYS,” which is a testament on how much we all love weekends. Love ‘em. Can’t get enough of ‘em.
Forestbound Jigsaw Camo Carryall
Boston-based Forestbound makes all of its products from salvaged and recycled materials, which means that this Jigsaw Camo Carryall is a purchase you can feel especially good about buying. This bag in particular is made from canvas salvaged from a real WWII-era military duffel. If this bag could talk…
Jack Spade Wrapped Leather Tote
Slightly larger than traditional tote bags, this simple, preppy offering from Jack Spade is made from dipped canvas and features sturdy leather straps. It’ll make the perfect beach companion, whether you’re on the beaches of Monaco or on the beaches of New Jersey.
Apolis Beach Tote
Founded 10 years ago by two brothers, Apolis means “global citizen,” which is reflected in every product they sell. This striped beach tote, made from golden jute fiber, is handcrafted in a female artisan cooperative in rural Bangladesh. Featuring a waterproof interior lining, leather straps, and antique nickel rivets, it’s the perfect bag for the beach.
Sperry Sailcloth Tote
Sperry is the king of boat shoes, but they also make quality lifestyle gear that’s perfect for the beach and for life at sea. This Sailcloth Tote is made from upcycled sails, which means that the bag is extra-extra-extra nautical (and durable!). The rope handles add a final splash of sea to the mix.
Onia Sutton Tote
Onia is Hebrew for “ship,” which makes its swimwear and beach gear offerings seem even more appropriate. The brand’s Sutton Tote is made from ballistic-grade nylon, meaning it’s virtually indestructible. Available in ocean blue or badass black, the back has interior and exterior zipped pockets for storing your valuables, and—perhaps the best feature—loops on the bottom to help you easily transport a wet towel without getting everything in your bag soaked.
WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie Sangster Tote
Recently founded by two Montreal-based twin brothers, WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie specializes in creating upscale travel accessories. The handsome Sangster Tote is one of their more casual, affordable offerings. Featuring a nautical stripe design, exterior mesh pockets perfect for storing items you want easy access to (your sunglasses or sunblock, for example), and a roomy interior featuring zipped pockets for valuables, this is a bag that will transition seamlessly from the dunes to dinner.
Frescobol Carioca Day Bag
If you’re going to drop nearly $500 on a tote bag, it should look great, and Rio-based beach brand Frescobol Carioca’s Day Bag looks really, really great. Featuring a simple tote silhouette, the bag comes in a variety of bright, beach-ready colors, a waterproof chevron print lining, and buttery leather handles.