Headed to the beach this weekend? Not with that free tote you’re not.
While the bag you stuff full of sunscreen, towels, months-old New Yorkers and other summer-day necessities is usually an afterthought, it shouldn’t be.
Those complimentary canvas bags are too small. Your hiking backpack is too convoluted. And should you dare bring your gym-to-office duffel, you’ll rue the decision when you still have sand in it a year later.
So herewith, 11 superior carriers that'll withstand sun, sand and stray dollops of Coppertone.
For no frills and no spills: Rains Waterproof Tote Bag
As a rainwear company, it should come as no surprise that the Danish brand’s bags transition seamlessly from downpour to the shore — courtesy of the water-repellent fabric and waterproof zipper.
For lounging at Gatsby’s: Jack Spade Dipped Industrial Canvas Coal Bag
While the Jack Spade brand has been relegated to the “gifts for him” section of the Kate Spade website (RIP), this colorblocked waxed canvas tote is evergreen. It first made an appearance in the late ‘90s and, unlike pretty much everything else from the ‘90s, it’ll stay fresh summer after summer. We also dig this diamond design.
For long-distance thirst-quenching: OtterBox LT 30 Soft Cooler
For the days you must trek over the river and through the woods, OtterBox built this massive yet forgiving backpack cooler (that can also be carried via a shoulder strap). Holds up to 50 cans (!) and keeps ice frozen up to three days.
For being king of the utilitarians: L.L. Bean Insulated Tote
While the Bean offers almost unlimited beach-friendly options, from the purposeful Utility Boat and Tote to the humble Hunter’s Tote, this insulated carry strikes the best balance. Food-grade and seam-sealed interior to keep the sun, sand and seagulls out of your snacks? You betcha.
For showing off more than your beach bod: Noah Cordura Tote
Expect to see lots of Noah on the waterfront this year, thanks to their recent Sperry collab. But there’s no better way to stand out while sporting summer’s trendiest brand than unabashedly rocking their nylon Cordura and duck canvas tote … in peach.
For smartly concealing the fact that you're toting diapers around: The E.C. Knox Ellison Diaper Bag
Most diaper bags look like ... diaper bags. This ballistic nylon messenger, on the other hand, is only a diaper bag when you need it to be. Yes, it has fatherly essentials like a removable, washable liner and fold-out paisley changing pad, but it's also got a computer sleeve and dedicated pockets for all your essentials.
For upcycling seafarers: Sea Bags Vintage Sail Tote
Based on the working waterfront in Portland, Maine, Sea Bags construct their beach totes out of old sails. They’re made in the U.S. from upcycled materials and look killer. What more could you want?
For looking after the tykes: Mostly Heard Rarely Seen 8-Bit Tote
Pro tip: Want the kids to help you carry the bags to the beach? Give them one with Boo the ghost and they’ll be fighting over who gets it. Better snag two.
For the yacht party: The Superior Labor x Todd Snyder Shoulder Bag
If you’re headed dockside, white cotton is the way to go. If you’re headed yacht-side, spring for this brass embedded shoulder slinger from the Japanese lifestyle brand.
For beach-tested, surfer-approved: Birdwell Beach Britches Tote
Birdwell crafted this bag out of their proprietary SurfNyl fabric, which has been tested “to withstand the wear of a life spent in the sun and sand.” And it’s affordable to boot.
For late summer: MUUL RuckBucket Cooler Backpack
Elevator Kickstarter pitch is it’s a five-gallon bucket in backpack form. Genius. And while your spine might involuntarily seize up at the thought, the RuckBucket team cut their teeth at places like Poler, Ford and Finex — so you’re in good hands. The cherry on top is the infomercial-esque dramatization that comes 32 seconds into the video above.
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