The 8 Best Beach Bags to Buy in 2018

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Whether heading south to escape the cold northern winters or planning a summer beach trip, a durable and functional beach bag is a necessity. If you’re trying to pack light, you’ll need something compact, and if you plan on bringing beverages, you should consider a space-saving cooler beach bag. Here are the best beach bags for a relaxing sun-filled getaway.

Our Top Picks

01 of 08

Best Overall: Oahu Extra Large Beach

5

If you come fully prepared for anything at the beach and need more space for all that gear, the Oahu Extra Large Beach Bag is a sprawling 18 inches high by 29 inches wide and has a whopping eight pockets to store items in. There are seven external pockets and one interior watertight pocket for electronics, and the bottom of the bag is waterproof as well, so liquid won’t seep in if the bag is set on wet sand. There’s also an easy-to-use carabiner hook for keys so they don’t get buried in the bottom of the massive bag. Amazon buyers were surprised with how roomy the bag is and stated it was well constructed. 

02 of 08

Best Value: LL Bean’s Everyday Lightweight Tote

LL Bean’s Everyday Lightweight Tote
Courtesy of LL Bean

For a multi-functional bag that’s great at the beach as well as for day-to-day use, the Everyday Lightweight Tote by LL Bean is an excellent option at a reasonable price. Available in two sizes: medium measuring 12 x 6 x 13 inches and large (measuring 15 x 7.5 x 17 inches), the bag is large enough for beach gear without being bulky. Available in several neutral colors like burgundy, navy blue and sunflower with contrasting stitching, it’s an easy choice for men and women. For storage, there’s a front pocket for quick grab-and-go items, and the interior has a zipped pocket with a key clip. The well-built bag beach bag also has a zipped top, reinforced handles and double-layered bottom.  

03 of 08

Best Sand-Proof: CGear Sand-Free Tote Bag

After a relaxing day at the beach, it’s frustrating to come home and realize you’ve brought a whole bunch of sand with you. A sand-proof beach bag can help minimize the mess, both in your house and in your car. The CGear Sand-Free Tote is different from other beach bags because it’s made from a patented double-layer mesh weave that allows sand to sift right through. Even if you throw in sand-covered shoes or beach toys, all that grit will fall out of the bottom of the bag the minute you pick it up. And while it lets sand out, it doesn’t let any in (a feature reviewers rave about).

The CGear Sand-Free Tote is made from water-resistant PVC with reinforced seams for added durability. To clean, just rinse it with water. And at a roomy 17 x 7.5 x 15 inches, it’s large enough to hold towels and toys alike. The bag has one smaller interior pocket for valuables and comes in an eye-catching blue plaid that’ll be easy to spot on the beach. 

04 of 08

Best Straw: Daisy Rose Summer Beach Bag

If you’re looking for a traditional, yet stylish straw beach bag, the Daisy Rose Summer Beach Bag is a top choice. Measuring 13.77 x 11 6.69 inches, the handmade beach bag is made of environmentally-friendly, plant-based materials (it has a straw base and vegan leather carry handles). The interior can zip shut and features a small pocket for phones or keys, and chic, striped interior lining that can pull upwards, making it easy to shake out any sand that gets in. The decorative bag has a colorful top, as well as dangling decorative pom poms that set it apart. Amazon buyers loved the attention to detail and felt that the bag was well made and durable. 

Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08

Best Budget: Getagadget Huge See Through Beach Bag

If you just need a simple, affordable beach bag to carry all of your gear, consider the Getagadget Huge See Through Beach Bag. This functional, large bag comes in nine bright colors like purple, lime, orange and pink, and is constructed from durable, see-through nylon that makes it easy to identify the item you seek. Measuring 16.8 x 24 x 4 inches, the wide bag includes an exterior pocket for quick-grab items, as well as a zippered interior pouch to conceal valuables. The bag can hold two or three towels (plus other items) and can be easily folded for storage, however, it cannot stand up on its own without being full of items. 

06 of 08

Best for Travel: Utility Tote by YinJue

Travelers seeking a beach bag that is compact, lightweight and functional will find the Utility Tote by YinJue to be a worthwhile purchase. For starters, nylon material is water-resistant in case of an afternoon shower while soaking in the sun. The bag packs up into itself to the size of a small pouch, so it won’t take up precious space in your luggage and weighs less than half a pound. Two exterior mesh pockets are ideal for sunscreen, glasses and hats, while the inside has a convenient drawstring and zippered closure to secure items. Although it is ideal for one person to use at the beach, you may want to consider something larger if you are bringing a lot of items.

07 of 08

Best Designer: Malirona Beach Canvas

For a fashionable beach bag that stands out in the crowd, the Malirona Beach Canvas is a stylish alternative. The cream-colored bag is available in four different color patterns of blue, green, pink or black stripes. Made of durable canvas material on the exterior, there’s also woven hemp rope handles to give the bag a nautical feel, plus two convenient exterior side pockets that are perfect for water bottles and sunglasses. The beach bag measures 20 x 15 x 5.5 inches and the fabric-lined interior has a zippered closure and two small slots (that do not zip shut) for cell phones, iPads or other necessary items. 

08 of 08

Best Cooler Beach Bag: Malibu Beach Bag

The Malibu Beach Bag by Blue Sky Basics is both a lightweight, attractive-looking beach bag and a small cooler for drinks and snacks. The top portion of the bag is made of breathable mesh and can hold large beach towels and additional beach gear, plus the outside has two smaller, zippered closures for chapstick, sunglasses, sunscreen or other small items. Below the mesh is an insulated cooler that zips open for easy access, with Velcro on the top compartment so that when the cooler is opened on the bottom the items on top don’t fall out. The bright blue bag measures 16 x 6.5 x 20 inches, has sturdy Navy blue carry straps and also includes a waterproof waist pouch as an added bonus. 

Products We Tested

How We Tested

Our reviewers spent 11 hours testing one of the top-rated beach bags on the market. To get the most well-rounded results, our testers packed up their belongings and toted this bag to and from the beach on hot, sunny days. We asked our reviewers to consider the most important features when using this bag — from its size to its material — and we've outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Beach Bag

Size Whether you’re looking to bring just a book and a towel or gear for the whole family, you’ll want a bag that can haul everything you need. If electronics are part of your beach routine, you’ll also want a bag with waterproof inner pockets (or separate waterproof bags included). And naturally, if you want to carry cold drinks or food, a bag with an insulated section is a must.

Fabrics Canvas, the most traditional beach bag material, is durable and offers a classic aesthetic. Straw bags are a close second in terms of style and functionality. If you need a waterproof bag, look for one made of nylon or polyester. Other materials offer additional benefits, like sand-resistant silicone. Pay attention to the handles as well — braided ones look great, but might bite your shoulders or hands if you’re hauling your bag for a long time, while flat cloth or canvas handles are both durable and comfortable.

Extras Take a bag’s special features into consideration before you buy it. Most have waterproof zippered compartments (or stand-alone bags for your phone and other electronics) and some come with convenient clips for your keys. Travel-friendly bags are often lighter and can fold up into themselves to save space in your luggage. Other details to consider: whether the bag has a zippered closer, drawstrings, or merely a snap.

Test Results: Oahu Extra Large Beach Bag Tote (Best Overall)

5

What We Like

  • Large size

  • Durable

  • Great for big families or groups

What We Don't Like

  • Size means it can get very heavy

  • Not as many pockets inside

Oahu Beach Bag Tote
Oahu Extra Large Beach Bag Tote
Beach Bag Tote
Oahu Bag Tote

This bag’s storage capacity was no joke. One of our testers went to the beach with a friend and summarized what she was able to carry: “As a group of two, we were able to fit a beach blanket, two beach towels, a frisbee, sunscreen, shoes, books, snacks, and our cooler — yes, an entire flexible cooler filled with drinks and sandwiches. And even after all that, there was room to fit more.” The only downside is that the bag can get heavy, but our reviewers still thought it was comfortable to carry even when it was weighed down. Lastly, although our testers loved the storage pockets on the outside of this bag, they wished there were more pockets inside, too.