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The simplistic design of totes them make them extremely versatile as travel bags or for day-to-day uses. You can take them along as a carry-on bag for a weekend getaway, pack them with gym gear or fill them with school books and office supplies. Totes made with nylon have the added feature of being water and tear-resistant, and there are a number of different options available for every budget. Here are some of our favorites.
Best Overall: Baggallini Avenue Lightweight Tote Bag
For a well-constructed tote that is built to last and holds a lot of items, the Baggalini is a top choice overall. The tote is available in 11 different colors ranging from bright magenta or apple red to more conservative shades such as “java” brown or charcoal gray. The exterior of the tote features a small, zipped pocket, two shoulder straps and one longer removable carry strap. Inside the fully-lined, polyester interior there’s plenty of useful organizational features such as a zipped pocket, pen, cell phone and wallet slots, as well as a padded sleeve for laptops with a Velcro closure. The bag measures 15.25 inches wide by 12 inches high and has a luggage handle sleeve to attach to a larger carry-on suitcase.
Runner Up, Best Overall: Zoress Waterproof Tote
Those seeking a large, multi-functional tote should take a closer look at the Zoress Waterproof Tote, an ideal bag to keep travelers organized on the go. The tote comes in four, earth-toned colors, is sleek and fashionable and measures 18.89 inches wide by 11.02 inches high. On rainy days, tuck away an umbrella in the waterproof exterior pocket or use it for grab and go items – it zips shut. The inside is loaded with pockets, including one for a cell phone, wallet and documents, plus there are additional small pouches and the main compartment that’s roomy enough for a laptop. Amazon buyers loved the size of the tote bag and the fact that it is very lightweight.
Best Budget: Foldable Travel Trustbag
For a lightweight, foldable - yet reliable - tote at a bargain price, the Foldable Waterproof Travel Trust Bag is a fantastic choice. The bag weighs less than half a pound and measures 18.9 x 12.6 x 6.4 inches, and is ideal as a gym bag or carry-on luggage. Pack it into your suitcase before your trip, fill it with souvenirs and easily transport them back home. Made of water- and tear-resistant nylon and sturdy zippers, the back features a small front pouch and luggage strap, so it can be easily secured to wheeled luggage. The Trustbag comes in red, light blue or navy.
Best for Beach: Codream Mesh Beach Bag with Cooler Insulated Picnic
Whether heading to the park for a picnic or the beach for a day in the sun, this mesh bag has a brilliant design that helps make for a fun day outdoors. The nylon tote is water resistant and measures 20 x 16 x 7 inches and can fit four large beach towels and a few other items in the main compartment. The top of the bag zips closed and features padded handles so it rests comfortably on the shoulder, as well as two exterior side pockets are perfect for sunscreen, chapstick, smartphones and other grab-and-go items. The bottom of the bag has a self-contained, removable cooler that can hold up to 12 cans (or snacks and water bottles).
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best beach bags.
Best Convertible: Crest Design Convertible Multipurpose Backpack
For a tote that is multifunctional, the Crest Design convertible is both a backpack, tote bag and messenger bag. Measuring 12.6 x 18.5 x 5.1 inches, the zippered tote can comfortably fit a 17-inch laptop in the fabric-lined main compartment, as well as additional items in the two interior slots. The bag comes in seven different colors, including black, pink and various shades of blue and purple. The exterior is made of water-resistant nylon and features a zipped pocket for smartphones and other small items, as well as side pouches for umbrellas and water bottles and several straps that allow the bag to be used as a backpack, tote or even a large purse.
Most Versatile: Crest Design Shoulder Briefcase
For a tote that works as a handbag, briefcase, messenger bag or carry-on, the Crest Design Shoulder Briefcase is an excellent, versatile option. Constructed from water-repellent nylon, the tote has six color varieties and patterns to choose from ranging from a vintage, navy design to bright floral prints. The front exterior has four different pockets of various sizes for organizing, with even more pockets inside for a laptop, pens, wallet and cell phone. The large-sized bag measures 15 inches long by 11 inches high, has a zipped closure for the main compartment, a mesh pouch and includes a detachable shoulder strap and carry handles.
Best for Business: Victorinox Werks Traveler 5.0
If you don’t mind splurging a bit for a high-quality, business travel tote, the Victorinox Werks Traveler 5.0 is a sleek and functional necessity. Made from durable, ballistic nylon, the tote is available in black or olive green and has a gray or orange interior. Thoughtful touches include a back pocket that can convert to a luggage sleeve (to attach to the handle of a rolling carry-on ) and oversized carry handles that allow the bag to be worn over the shoulder. To keep items organized, there are two large exterior pockets, a key fob and four interior pouches, including two padded slots for eReaders and tablets, as well as one zipped pocket.
Best Design: Amolar Gym Bag, Water Resistant Gym Tote Bag
For those needing something more durable, the Amolar gym bag has a thoughtful design that can withstand heavy items. The large tote measures 23 x 15 x 8 inches and is lightweight. Mesh side pockets are perfect for water bottles and wet clothing, making this a top choice for traveling or going to the gym. The Amolar can hold a lot of gear, so the comfortable padded shoulder straps help to reduce the pressure. The interior has separate compartments for organization, while the zipped front pocket on the outside is ideal for sunglasses, wallets and keys. The high-quality bag is made from black nylon with pink zippers and gray mesh.