What We Like
Durable, all-weather material
Mesh sides allow sand to filter out
What We Don't Like
Might be too heavy when fully loaded
Not very stylish
Black material gets hot in the sun
Going to the beach? That probably means that you have a ton of stuff to carry with you, including towels, extra clothes, sunscreen, toys, water, food, drinks, books, and anything else you couldn’t possibly leave behind. Ordinarily, transporting all of these items would mean multiple trips back and forth to your car, all while employing multiple bags and wasting precious beach time. Not with the OdyseaCo Oahu Mesh Beach Bag. The top-rated beach tote does the job of at least three ordinary bags thanks to its extra-large capacity. We tested its design, portability, and durability to see if it’s truly shore-worthy.
Design: Large and in charge
The first thing we noticed upon receiving the Oahu Mesh Beach Bag was that the packaging left a little to be desired. It comes shipped in a plain, clear plastic bag—that smelled strongly of chemicals. As a result, the bag itself was infused with an off-putting odor that took two days of airing out on a patio to eliminate. While we don’t know if it was just this bag or if this is a regular occurrence, it’s a possible outcome to consider if you’re sensitive to scents.
We found that it was large and durable enough to take clothes to and from the laundromat, go grocery shopping, and even lug around sports equipment.
Our second impression was a little more positive: It’s really, really big, despite being shipped folded into a small rectangle. Though the dimensions immediately register as large (at 18 inches long and 29 inches wide with a strap drop of 9 inches), it also expands to a depth of 8 inches. There are seven additional pockets on the outside of the bag, which really increases how much you can carry. These exterior pockets are big enough to comfortably fit a 2-liter bottle of soda, rolled-up beach blankets, an insulated lunch bag, or a sand pail.
Material: Breathable black mesh
The bag is made out of a black mesh material, which may not be super stylish but keeps it breathable and lightweight despite its size. This is good for two reasons: First, when we took this bag to the beach, we were able to shake out excess sand before bringing it back to the car and then the house—eliminating the issue of sand forever lingering on the floor despite how often we vacuum. (For many people, that is the worst part of going to the beach.)
The mesh also helped air circulate through the bag, keeping it from smelling like low tide and mildew. If you or your family is the type that tends to “forget” damp towels and bathing suits in beach bags, this is something you’ll appreciate.
Though the sides are made of mesh, the bottom is solid. This gives the tote a bit more structure while also helping to keep additional moisture out of the bag (for instance, stray pool water that ends up on a deck, or condensation from water bottles).
Durability: A workhorse
The best feature is that the Oahu Mesh Beach Bag is its sturdiness. This is the type of product that can go far beyond beach season and become a staple to keep in your trunk. We found that it was large and durable enough to take clothes to and from the laundromat, go grocery shopping (especially if you’re fond of buying in bulk), and even lug around sports equipment. The stitching didn’t fray after exposure to the elements, and the handles are reinforced.
The best feature is that the Oahu Mesh Beach Bag is its sturdiness.
Portability: Comfy handle, but be careful not to overpack
A beach bag needs to be able to travel well, so we were pleased to find that the padded, hook-and-loop fastener grip on the handle is easy on the hands. The top of the bag can be secured with a zipper. This isn’t so much for security (it is a mesh-sided bag, after all) as it is for keeping the fully loaded bag closed and the items contained for transport.
Since it folds down into a small rectangle, this bag would be a space-savvy addition to your suitcase for a beach getaway. Keep in mind that this bag’s capacity-maximizing features can also create a downside in terms of portability: The bag will get very heavy if you utilize all of the pockets and stow away too many things.
Features: Handy holders
OdyseaCo added a few nice features on the inside of the bag for privacy and security. (Though again, it’s a mesh-sided bag, so adjust expectations accordingly.) There is a carabiner clip on the inside where we safely secured our keys (no more worrying about losing them in the sand!). There is also a fairly large inside pocket that measures about 8 x 8 inches. Since it’s made from canvas and zips shut, we found that this was the perfect place to stick our wallets, loose change, and other important items. Even better is the fact that the pocket is lined with a plastic material. This ensures that the contents will stay dry, even if the rest of the bag is wet.
Since it folds down into a small rectangle, this bag would be a space-savvy addition to your suitcase for a beach getaway.
OdyseaCo included a bonus cell phone holder made of a vinyl material. It might seem like an odd extra at first, but the holder is a double-sealed model resembling an I.D. badge holder and is designed to keep nearly any-sized cell phone safe from the elements. To close it, you first “zip” a seal that resembles that of a sandwich bag, then you seal it again with two plastic clips that snap into place. The resulting seal is very tight; you won’t be able to accidentally open it.
The phone case comes with an elastic strap so you can wear it like an armband and a lanyard to make it easier to carry in your hand. It has a waterproof level rating of IPX8, which means that it can keep your device perfectly dry in up to one meter of water. We tested the seal (using a very old cell phone) and found it to be dry after submerging in 2 feet of water for five minutes. While we personally wouldn’t submerge a pricey new phone, we did feel the case is an acceptable accessory for walking around a water park or for sitting near a pool or shore.
Price: Pretty affordable
The Oahu Mesh Beach Bag retails for less than $30, which is very fair in our opinion. Considering you can pay around the same price for a smaller novelty tote or messenger bag that can only fit two or three hardcover novels, this is a bargain.
Competition: There is no bigger bag
We compared this tote to the large summer beach bag from Daisy Rose. This is basically a debate over design or function. The Daisy Rose product is definitely much prettier, with its woven straw exterior and boho-inspired details. However, the Oahu Mesh Beach Bag can help you carry much more to and from the beach. It is a much better choice for lugging around towels and snacks for a family; it is even a good choice for someone who is carrying flippers and other water sports gear. The bag might not be the prettiest thing to carry your beach items in, but it can definitely carry everything you need for a fun day outside.
- Product Name Oahu Mesh Beach Bag Tote
- Product Brand OdyseaCo
- MPN OC-OM-BB-B
- Price $27.49
- Weight 1.3 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 29 x 18 x 8 in.
- Color Black
- What’s Included Beach bag, smartphone case, carabiner clip