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The Best Beach Bags for Organizing All Your Summer Fun Must-Haves

best beach bags
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Updated January 2, 2024

Going to the beach sounds like a fun and casual thing to do, but the reality is often different—especially if you’re going with children. It’s frankly astonishing how much stuff you need for beach days, and you need a bag that can accommodate all that while still keeping out sand, water, and possibly some hungry seagulls. To help you figure out the best beach bag for your needs, we’ve rounded up a bunch of our favorites.

What to consider in a beach bag

The ideal beach bag is deceptively roomy, insulated, waterproof, easy to clean, and with multiple sealable pockets. Not every beach trip will require this—sometimes, a simple canvas tote will suffice—but for anyone planning on spending more than a couple of hours on the sand, you want to be able to fit in everything you need for the day, and ideally be able to keep the contents cold.

Our top picks for the best beach bags

The best beach cooler bag: Corkcicle Estelle Tote

Corkcicle Estelle Tote

Keeping your stuff cool at the beach is vital, whether it’s snacks for the kiddos or four six-packs of what is definitely, totally just soda, officer. That’s why our team put Corkcicle’s Estelle tote, a zippable insulated tote that offers a stylish alternative to typical rectangular or backpack-style cooler bags, to the test. The design features lightweight reinforced insulation, which in our experience of the bag, will keep a block-style ice pack mostly frozen for eight hours (even without ice, cold sodas we put in the bag were at least still chilled, if not fridge-cold, after eight hours, too). It has an optional shoulder strap, deep wrap-around pockets and exterior straps for holding towels or jackets. The tote gets high marks for looks, as its tailored style and colorful material definitely turned heads—don’t be surprised if you get asked many, many times where you found the bag when you’re carrying it around. We were also impressed with its capacity. You can fit up to 24 cans (there’s those four six-packs we mentioned) inside the bag, and while this does get as heavy as you’d think, the durable straps are supportive enough to distribute the weight more comfortably than a typical soft-sided cooler.  

Specifications:

  • Material: Neoprene exterior, vegan leather base
  • Dimensions: 21 inches x 7 inches x 14 inches 
  • Care: Handwash only
  • Price: Currently $143.96, normally $179.95

What we like:

  • Durable
  • Stylish, unique design
  • Comes in four colors
  • Interior insulation is made from 100% recycled materials

What we don't like:

  • Expensive
Best for All Day Cooling
Corkcicle Estelle Tote

Corkcicle Estelle Tote

The best beach bag with a zipper: Herschel Alexander Zip Tote

Herschel Alexander Zip Tote

“Indestructible” is definitely a strong word, but having had a Herschell tote that’s made it through several years of beach trips with babies and well beyond without a scratch, it’s not totally inaccurate. This version is insulated, has three front pockets, and comes with a separate, insulated bottle sleeve. Its leak-proof interior is great for either lugging drinks to the beach, or wet towels and swimsuits home.

Specifications:

  • Material: Recycled fabric (specifics not listed)
  • Dimensions: 22 inches x 7 inches x 15 inches
  • Care: Not listed
  • Price: $90

What we like:

  • Comes in six colors
  • Main body is made of 100% recycled materials
  • Also available in smaller size

What we don't like:

  • No internal pockets
best with a zipper
Herschel Alexander Zip Tote

Herschel Alexander Zip Tote

The best mesh beach bag: Yiyi Guo F-color Mesh Beach Bag

Yiyi Guo F-color Mesh Beach Bag

A mesh bag doesn’t sound ideal for the beach, since it’s guaranteed you’re not keeping the sand out of it. But this tough, lightweight bag at least makes getting the sand out again easier, since the 3mm by 3mm holes in its mesh are large enough to allow sand to pass quickly through, rather than getting stuck in there for the rest of time. It also has nine—nine!—pockets (seven exterior mesh pockets, one large inside pocket, and one waterproof inside pocket) and a carrying capacity of 160 lbs. For something that somewhat resembles a goth’s body stocking, it’s surprisingly well suited to a day on the beach.

Specifications:

  • Material: Ripstop mesh
  • Dimensions: 16.5 inches x 8.5 inches x 15 inches
  • Care: Not listed
  • Price: $19.99

What we like:

  • So. Many. Pockets.
  • Inexpensive

What we don't like:

  • No other color options
Best for carrying capacity of 160 lbs
Yiyi Guo F-color Mesh Beach Bag

Yiyi Guo F-color Mesh Beach Bag

The best washable beach bag: Bogg Bag Original Bogg Bag

Bogg Bag Original Bogg Bag

Being able to chuck your beach bag in the laundry is great, but you know what’s better? Being able to just rinse it off in the sink in less than 30 seconds. Made of sturdy, waterproof EVA, this is the Crocs of beach bags: The look isn’t to everyone’s taste, necessarily, but there’s no denying just how durable and easy it is. It’s also very hard to tip over, which is always a bonus on the beach.

Specifications:

  • Material: Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA)
  • Dimensions: 19 inches x 9.5 inches x 15 inches
  • Care: Just hose it down!
  • Price: $89.95

What we like:

  • Comes in 35(!) solid colors, and nine patterned versions
  • Includes two clear, snap-on insert bags
  • Also available in smaller size

What we don't like:

  • Some reviews describe it as being too heavy
Best for Durability
Bogg Bag Original Bogg Bag, Pretty As A Periwinkle

Bogg Bag Original Bogg Bag, Pretty As A Periwinkle

The best waterproof beach bag: Qogir Neoprene Multipurpose Beach Bag Tote

Qogir Neoprene Multipurpose Beach Bag Tote

When you’re looking for a waterproof bag, it’s tough to argue with one made from literal wetsuit material. This neoprene tote has two large, water-resistant, internal zip pockets, and snaps on each end so that when you fold it up after use, it actually stays folded. It also smells like a surfer, and what’s not to like about that?

Specifications:

  • Material: Neoprene body, sailing rope handles
  • Dimensions: 14 inches x 10 inches x 12.5 inches
  • Care: Machine washable
  • Price: Currently $48.69, normally $81.15

What we like:

  • Comes in over 20 colors and patterns
  • Removable shoulder pad and bottom board
  • Roomy

What we don't like:

  • Multiple reviews mention it has a strong scent when new, but as with most neoprene products, this will fade quickly
Best Waterproof Bag
QOGiR Neoprene Multipurpose Beach Bag Tote with Inner Zipper Pocket … … …

QOGiR Neoprene Multipurpose Beach Bag Tote with Inner Zipper Pocket … … …

The best family beach bag: Scout 4 Boys Bag Extra-Large Tote

Scout 4 Boys Bag Extra-Large Tote

If you don’t have children, you’re probably looking at this and thinking, “Why on Earth would I ever need a bag the size of a Volkswagen?” If you do have children, though, you get it. Able to hold up to 75 lbs and featuring a stable, burst-proof bottom, this bag is as durable as it is enormous. A U-shaped zipper on top makes it easier to close—just don’t lose your child in there.

Specifications:

  • Material: All-weather woven fabric
  • Dimensions: 24 inches x 12 inches x 19 inches
  • Care: Wipe clean with damp towel (soap optional), air or towel dry
  • Price: $65

What we like:

  • Strong
  • Roomy
  • Lightweight (before you fill it, at least)

What we don't like:

  • Can hold so much stuff, you may need two people to carry it
THE BIGGEST BAG, PERIOD
Scout 4 Boys Bag Extra-Large Tote

Scout 4 Boys Bag Extra-Large Tote

The best lightweight beach bag: Baggu Cloud Bag

 Baggu Cloud Bag

First off, just because it’s called the Cloud Bag, it doesn’t mean you have to get the cloud print—here are three other color options to choose from. Whichever you choose, the bag is lightweight, but still large enough to hold enough for a solo trip to the beach (depending on what you have planned, of course—don’t get mad at us because it turned out you couldn’t fit a jet ski in there).

Specifications:

  • Material: Recycled nylon
  • Dimensions: 21 inches x 8 inches x 14 inches 
  • Care: Machine washable
  • Price: $56

What we like:

  • Lightweight
  • Folds up into its own detachable interior pouch
  • Both bag and packaging are made of recycled materials

What we don't like:

  • Not as many features as many of the other bags on this list
Best for Solo Trip
Baggu Cloud Bag

Baggu Cloud Bag

The best anti-theft beach bag: Vaultz Locking Cooler Bag

Vaultz Locking Cooler Bag

Aside from being impaled by a runaway beach umbrella, nothing will ruin your day like seeing some no-good, thieving (insert bad word of your choice) has rifled through your belongings. Stop it happening with a secure bag: This waterproof tote has a built-in combination lock and tethering cable, meaning that not only can other people not open it, they can’t run off with it, either. As an added bonus, it’s insulated, so you can keep your sandwiches fresh alongside your valuables.

Specifications:

  • Material: Nylon
  • Dimensions: 14 inches x 7.5 inches x 15 inches
  • Care: Not listed
  • Price: $58.99

What we like:

  • Water-resistant material and zipper

What we don't like:

  • Only comes in two colors
Best Anti Theft Beach Bag
Vaultz- Locking Cooler Bag, Black (VZ03507) | Quill

Vaultz- Locking Cooler Bag, Black (VZ03507) | Quill

How we selected the best beach bags

We made our choices through a combination of thorough research, positive customer reviews, and the personal experience of having spent several years living by the beach with young kids.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What should you pack in a beach bag?

This depends entirely on what sort of day you’re expecting to have. Is it just you, planning on spending a leisurely hour or two relaxing by the ocean? Then grab your towel, sunscreen, sunglasses, a couple beverages of your choice, a good book, and off you go. Making a day of it with a friend or partner? Add snacks, more drinks, maybe a picnic lunch, possibly a small, waterproof bluetooth speaker (but please, please don’t blast your music: I’m sorry to break it to you if you’re the person who drags an industrial sound system to the beach every year, everybody hates you. Everybody.)

If you’re planning on spending the day at the beach with young kids, well, firstl, good luck. Second, pack everything you normally would for a day out and then add about 25% more stuff on top of it. One of my kids wants to be in the water constantly, even when it’s freezing and we’ve both turned blue, so we always bring something super warm and fluffy to bundle them up in afterwards. My other kid, meanwhile, is never happier than when grazing on the beach, so we pack at least three times as many snacks as we think we’ll need. Don’t forget to also grab their beach toys, hats, water bottles, and if you’re going with pre-toilet trained kids, bring enough diapers and wipes for an entire preschool (plus a sealable bag to put them in).

What materials are the most durable and suitable for beach bags?

Anything lightweight, waterproof, and easy to clean will be good. Waterproof nylon, canvas or polyester are good options, as is neoprene, although the latter tends to have a strong scent at first.

How can I keep my beach bag organized and prevent sand from getting inside?

Choosing a bag with sealable pockets is a good start—it’s the best way to make sure your phone, wallet, keys, etc, are both protected from the elements, and easy to grab without turning the whole bag upside down first. Beyond that, try to layer your stuff in the bag in order of when you’ll need it. Towel? On top. Change of clothes for when you head home at the end of the day? Stuff them all the way at the bottom, you won’t need those for hours.

What are some innovative features or technologies found in modern beach bags? 

Waterproofing and added durability are big improvements to the simple bags of yesteryear, as is the creativity shown by some designers in adding pockets to almost every available surface. Sure, pockets aren’t exactly the most recent innovation, but they’re still a big consideration when picking a beach bag.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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