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The Best Men’s Beach Bags for Day Trips

Best Beach Bags 0 Hero

Beach bag essentials often include a water bottle, some sun protection, a snack or two, and, most importantly, the bag itself. It’s easy to forget how important something is when there are so many other items you plan on packing into it, but there’s simply no way to enjoy a beach day without this handy accessory. We know what you’re thinking: “A bag is a bag is a bag.” With an outlook like that, you’re putting whatever gear you take to the shore with you in harm’s way, especially if you have any gadgets in there.

Tons of brands claim their bag is built for anything, but there are a few qualifications to live up to take on your next beach day. To help you distinguish between the average bag and one fit to take on the waves, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to what makes an ideal beach bag, as well as the best options on the market.

The Best Beach Bags Breakdown

what are beach bags?

While you tend to hear people talking about what to pack for the beach, the bag you’re packing these products into typically goes overlooked. If we’re being honest, beach bags can easily be confused with commonplace tote bags, but several brands go above and beyond the standards to separate their respective takes on the matter. You’ll want to pick out a sturdy accessory that can handle basking in the hot sand no matter how long you decide to stay on the shore. In theory, a waterproof option makes the most sense, and several appear in our guide. That said, as long as you don’t plan on running into the water with a non-weatherized one, any of our picks will bode just fine.

do you need a beach bag?

While many totes, backpacks, and other bags will carry things just fine, beach bags will usually have features like waterproofing or reinforced bottoms to make them a little more rugged. They may also come with more internal storage pockets to keep your stuff safe from the elements, and adjustable carrying options.

what to look for

Material: Cotton (usually cotton canvas) and nylon will be the most common and reliable options for a beach bag. Straw bags are another popular choice, and while they can look good, they don’t offer as much durability as cotton or nylon options. You’ll also want a bag that’s easy to clean, and thankfully both canvas and nylon are pretty low-maintenance (and a bag with mesh and/or other ventilation can help keep everything dry and odor-free). If long trips from the beach back to your car are in the future, then a bag with padded straps can also be beneficial.

Sizes: You’ll need to know what kind of space you’re working with and if it can hold your beach day essentials. If you’re carrying big bottles of water (or other drinks), like to enjoy food, and travel in big groups, then a bigger bag (around 25L of capacity or over) will be ideal. Conversely, for quick solo or duo trips to the beach, something around 15L may be more easy to manage (and travel with).

Waterproof: While most beach bags will get the same job done, if you want a weatherproof option, then make sure it’s made with the appropriate synthetic material or a waterproof finish. Some bags may be water-resistant and not fully waterproof, and they’re adequate for tame beach days further away from the water (and without any rain).

Closure Mechanism: Since you’ll be battling the elements, it’s ideal to go for a bag that can close all the way (although some more casual options may not, it’s part of the style). Zippers are tried and true, drawstrings work just as well, and there are even roll-top options for added space and security.

Compartments: If you like bringing books, devices, and things you want to keep from getting wet to the beach, then a bag with internal compartments that can close will help. Some may even come with removable dividers to enhance the organization options (or you can add one yourself if the bag is big enough).

Style: Your classic beach bag with be made of a light cotton canvas and generally won’t be too big (~20L of capacity). If you want more of a modern style, plenty of bags come in sleek (and waterproof) options.

L.L.Bean Boat and Tote

  • Durable and double-layered
  • Affordable
  • Reinforced bottom
  • Could use more pockets

Best Starter Bag: L.L.Bean’s timeless Boat and Tote has been touted as the essential beach bag by countless owners, which is why you might be so surprised to see that it’s the most affordable option. The heavyweight canvas tote is sturdy enough to hold whatever gear you have in hand, and it even comes available in four different sizes — small through extra large — to offer all the space you need. It is made sturdy by a pair of reinforced handles held together by double-needle stitching, so you don’t have to worry about it falling apart anytime soon.

Material: 24oz. cotton canvas
Sizes: S-XL
Waterproof?: No

Bellroy Lite Tote

  • Lightweight
  • Sustainably-made
  • Water-resistant zipper
  • 3-year warranty
  • Straps aren’t very comfortable

Best Travel Bag: The Australian accessory maker’s line of Lite bags are great for toting around on everyday occasions, but the Tote is adequately sized for any trip to the shore. It’s composed of durable, recycled ripstop made from 100% plastic bottles and comes equipped with a full-length water-resistant zipper for easy access and trusty protection. Plus, it’s remarkably portable, as you can either fold it or roll it before heading out the door.

Material: 100% recycled ripstop nylon
Size: 15L
Waterproof?: No

Patagonia Black Hole Tote

  • Made in a Fair Trade Certified facility
  • Waterproofed with a DWR finish
  • Constructed with post-consumer recycled material
  • Bottom of the bag could use more structure

Best Bag Overall: Like anything from Patagonia, this lightweight, weather-resistant bag is sustainable. In this instance, the brand used using nothing but post-consumer recycled polyester. This eco-friendly material composes the sturdy nylon that gives this roomy, 25L bag the reinforcement it needs. On top of that, it is treated with a DWR finish to ensure you’ll never know what it’s like to get your gear wet — kind of like how you’ll never know what’s inside a black hole.

Material: 100% recycled polyester body fabric and 100% recycled nylon webbing
Sizes: 25L, 61L
Waterproof?: Yes

Birdwell Nylon Tote

  • Retro style
  • Stands up well to sun and sand exposure
  • Cut and sewn in California
  • Could use some more depth

Best Classic Bag: Birdwell and the beach go hand in hand, so it was only a matter of time until we rang the iconic surf brand in for the occasion. Its stylish nylon tote bag, crafted with the same sturdy material used to sew its beloved swim trunks, is an ideal choice for anyone trying to catch those early morning waves in a matching pair of bottoms. It also features functional elements like a drawcord key loop and a roomy interior pocket to stow your phone and wallet.

Material: Birdwell’s SurfNyl fabric
Size: 15 ¼” H x 17 ¾” W
Waterproof?: Water-resistant

Rains Small Weekend Travel Bag

  • Optional shoulder strap
  • Stable flat base
  • Great for the rain
  • Waterproof
  • Shiny look isn’t for everyone

Best Weather-Resistant Bag: As its name suggests, RAINS’ array of weatherized products is ideal for stormy weather — or, in this scenario, beach weather. The Polyurethane-crafted bag measures 15” wide, 12.5” wide, and 7” deep, so it’s capable of holding onto your sunscreen, phone, water, and more. It’s rounded out with a zipper for enhanced security and an optional shoulder strap to grant easy wearability.

Material: Polyurethane
Size: 15″W x 12 1/2″H x 7″D
Waterproof?: Yes

Away F.A.R. Tote

  • Sustainably-made with recycled materials
  • Weather-resistant
  • Exterior webbing daisy chains
  • On the larger side

Best Lightweight Bag: At this point, Away is perhaps the most popular luggage brand on the internet, but its relatively new F.A.R. Collection veered off the runway and into uncharted territory. The 45-liter, weather-resistant tote bag from this capsule is an eco-friendly accessory made from abrasion-resistant, recycled polyester to ensure your doing your go-to items and the planet a favor. It’s also remarkably functional thanks to its surfeit of pockets, webbing daisy chains, and an interior webbing loop for hooking your keys.

Material: 100% recycled polyester
Sizes: 45L
Waterproof?: Yes

YETI Camino 35 Carryall

  • Waterproof
  • Abrasion-resistant shell
  • Comes with dividers for organizing
  • On the heavy side

Best All-Arounder Bag: YETI’s 35-liter Camino bag is waterproof and puncture-proof, so it has what it takes to withstand a day at the beach. Its abrasion-resistant shell doubles as a durable barrier between your gear and any jagged rocks you might come across on your trio. Its interior houses a collection of deployable dividers that let you keep everything organized, so you won’t have to deal with a sandy bag full of loose items.

Material: Nylon
Sizes: 35L
Waterproof?: Yes

Filson Dry Roll-Top Tote Bag

  • Roll-top adds convenience and space
  • Heritage brand
  • Waterproof
  • Removable and adjustable shoulder strap
  • A little bright

Best Roll-Top Bag: It’s hard to go wrong with any of Filson’s products, and the heritage label’s Dry Roll-Top Tote is no exception. The blisteringly bright bag boasts an 840-denier nylon makeup that can hold up to 35 liters. This material is enhanced by a water-resistant TPU finish and radio-frequency welded seams for maximum sturdiness. For added convenience, its roll-top closure grants easy access and security simultaneously, so you can unbuckle the waterproof seals to grab ahold of your gear.

Material: 840-denier nylon with clear ether TPU coating and nylon webbing
Sizes: 35L
Waterproof?: Yes

New Life Project x Outerknown Wide Tote

  • Handcrafted in Japan
  • Water-repellent coating
  • Removable shoulder pad
  • Only comes in one size

Best Sustainable Bag: While Outerknown hasn’t been around as long as Birdwell, it’s another major brand to look out for in the world of beach-ready attire, gear, and more. The eco-conscious brand’s New Life Project is part of its strive to deliver sustainable accessories that can function as well as any other, and it did a great job with this option. The Japanese-developed tote is equipped with a removable shoulder pad and water-repellent coating, making it an easy carry that’s beyond protective.

Material: 59% CORDURA polyester yarn, 41% recycled polyester
W 16 1/2” H 20 3/4” D 7”
Waterproof?: Yes

Mission Workshop Drift Tote

  • Made in the USA
  • Highly versatile, with multiple storage options
  • 16″ padded laptop compartment
  • Made in small batches by a dedicated team
  • N/A

Best Premium Bag: Anything you buy from Mission Workshop is bound to last you quite some time, so it’s always worth considering paying top dollar for the best product. The S.F.-based technical brand’s Drift Tote features a bevy of interior pockets, including a large one with mesh compartments for seamless organization and a padded pocket big enough to hold your laptop — or, in this instance, a towel or two. Compositionally, it has a 28-liter capacity and is made of HT500 high-tenacity nylon, then rounded out with Cordura for unrivaled durability.

Material: HT500 high-tenacity nylon, MultiCam Black Camo Cordura
Sizes: 28L
Waterproof?: No

The Best Tote Bags for Everyday Carry

Best Tote Bags for EDC 00 Hero

If you want to find a similar style of bag for inland days, take a look at our guide to the carry space’s best tote bags for some versatile open-top options.