A couple of weeks ago, in a blind panic and looking for things to post about during the summer fashion doldrums, I asked my Twitter followers what they’d want to read. Several responded back wanting to hear about beach bags, but with one caveat – they were only interested in non-straw bags because of the hassle of cleaning sand and debris out of a raffia tote.

I’ve never been much of a beachgoer (and have the pale skin to prove it), so I had never really considered the special accessories challenges that a beach presents rather than, say, a pool or park. But considering how persistent sand is in getting in to our bathing suits, a bag with plenty of crevices for entrance must end up toting home a significant percentage of the beach itself. So if you want to lay out on the shore but keep the sand where it belongs, we’ve got six ways for you to do just that, all for less than $200.

Kate Spade Daycation Bon Tote, $145 via Nordstrom
Red and ivory tiger print? Count me in. This tote’s canvas is coated for a glossy finish that doubles as a stain barrier. It’s on the smaller side, so this bag would be best for a solo trip instead of a family jaunt to the coast.

LeSportsac Beach Tote, $88 via Bloomingdale’s
This bag is my personal favorite of the group. I’ve had great experiences traveling with LeSportsac in the past, and the lightweight-but-tough nylon construction of this tote means that it’ll stand up to even the worst beach beating. The mix of sunny, summery colors means that it doesn’t verge too much on the utilitarian.

Trina Turk Towel Tote, $140 via Bloomingdale’s
Not only does the clear plastic construction of this bag recall the beach totes we used when I was a kid, but it comes already packed for you with a coordinating towel. Just add your own sunscreen and trashy beach novel.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Packables Shopper, $58 via ShopBop
Suitcase real estate is always at a premium, and handbags are one of the hardest things to pack. If you’re going on vacation and want a beach bag that you can roll up and stuff in your carry-on for the flight home, a lightweight, collapsible shopping tote is your best bet.

See by Chloe Tieta Tote, $105 via Bloomingdale’s
At a full two feet wide and 16 inches tall, if you’ve got a big load of stuff to carry to the beach, you should choose a bag like this one. Cotton canvas construction means that it’s not waterproof, but the darker, multicolored pattern will hide any spots or stains.

Jonathan Adler Countess Tote, $198 via ShopBop
I adore Jonathan Adler’s sense of whimsical modernity, and I hope that he expands much further outside of his traditional realm of housewares. Bags are as good a place as any to start.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Lulugurl

    I love the Trina bag! Great post!!!

  • fuchsiafury

    The See by Chloe tote looks just like a MBMJ tote – from the color scheme, to the print, to the plaque!

    • Merve

      Ha thats what i thought so had to scroll back up to make sure the subscripts matched as the one above is MJ…

  • Dede

    I prefer clear plastic bags, they are so pratical and easy to clean.

  • Fel

    Great finds! I especially love the one from Trina Turk :) xx


  • Jo

    I’m so glad you did a post on beach bags! I have a beach trip coming up and was wondering what kind of bag I should bring to the beach with me. The MBMJ bag looks perfect!

  • Sue

    Thanks for showing some love to LeSportsac, Amanda! Another reason why LeSportsac makes a great beach bag is because they can be tossed in the wash when you get home and come out looking as good as new.

    • I’m actually a big personal fan of LeSportsac bags. My go-to carry on bag for traveling is LeSportsac, and it has never done me wrong. I’m waiting until they come out with a pattern that I really love to get a crossbody for rainy days.

  • Lynda

    I’m loving all the bags! The colors really give a summer feel.

  • rose60610

    I’m not much of a beach goer either, but I’m happy to report that I’ve the mastered the art of reclining poolside with a nice daquiri. This also requires careful thought of what bag to use to schlep my trashy novels, magazines, sunscreen, etc. For that I’d choose the snazzy red Spade bag. It’d be a nice replacement for my current blah canvas tote. I don’t swim, so it’d be safe with me.

  • Lanie

    All of these totes are very nice. However, I purchased a Calypso St. Bart for Target tote on l/2 price clearance for only $9.98. It is a roomy brown elephant print with jute bottom. Love those “Made for Target” bags, especially when they are reduced in price!

  • RY

    Beach bags for over $100????? I don’t think so. Old Navy has really nice sturdy beach bags and as Lanie said above so does Target. You have to be crazy to spend this kind of money on a beach bag made of cloth or plastic. It costs these designers pennies to make them or few dollars at most, since they are all made in China. I’d rather get $20 bag and donate another $20 or more to a worthy cause.

  • Bethany

    i just got the Kate Spade Daycation Bon Tote for my best friend’s birthday and let me tell you, i am VERY tempted to keep it! Great size, adorable and affordable! I got it on Sale @ katespade.com for $68!!! :)

  • sally

    I like Kate Spade Daycation Bon Tote and See by Chloe Tieta Tote,they are nice.


  • World traveler

    Planning for beach vacation?? here is nice list I found :)