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Best beach bags: Canvas, straw and tote bags to transport you into summer

Hit the beach in style with these summer bags that will keep your belongings safe and clean

With summer just around the corner, you’re probably in need of a new beach bag to lug around your essentials in style, whether you plan to head abroad to sunnier climes or pray for another heatwave in good ol’ Blighty. The best beach bags will be strong and durable, spacious enough to comfortably fit your towels, flip flops and a whole host of other gear – and, let’s not forget, stylish.

The last of those may be a less practical concern, but it’s no less important if you plan to use your beach bag for an entire season. Of course, there are plenty of bags that get this balance wrong, swinging too far in favour of aesthetics over function, but the best beach bags combine the two to ensure you don’t have to replace your bag because it a) breaks or b) goes out of fashion.

Following the latest trends can be fun, but it’s probably a no-no if you want something that will last for more than a single summer. For this reason, the small straw shoulder bags you’re seeing everywhere right now might only be a short-term solution and something you’re unlikely to use again. A good-quality, classic beach bag will see you through several holidays for years to come.

Below, you’ll find our pick of the best beach bags on the market right now, providing sufficient room for everything you need for a stress-free day by the sea.

How to choose the best beach bag for you

What material is the best choice?

Straw or mesh bags are great but tend to leave contents open to the elements, and canvas and cotton bags are lightweight and strong while also being good at keeping sand and other nasties out. If you know you’ll be walking long distances, consider one with reinforced or cushioned straps, and a top zipper is a bonus. If you’re keen on taking a tablet to the beach with you, choose a bag with extra compartments for an added layer of protection.

What features should I look out for?

A beach bag isn’t a pool bag – it probably doesn’t need to be completely waterproof. Nevertheless, it still needs to offer adequate protection for your belongings. If you plan to use your bag for more than carrying suncream, dry towels and snacks, you should choose one with multiple compartments, so you don’t have to worry about your wet swimsuit interacting with your valuables. Speaking of valuables, look for an added pocket to store your tech securely, keeping such items away from sand and water.

READ NEXT: Best lightweight and comfy beach towels

The best beach bags you can buy right now

1. Malirona Large 2-in-1 Travel Tote Bag: Best canvas beach bag

Price: £15 | Buy now from Amazon

Keep your mucky, sandy footwear away from the rest of your belongings in this Malirona bag, which includes a separate compartment at its base for those items you want to keep well out of the way. The bag is made of durable canvas with a zip to keep valuables safe, and there are plenty of pockets inside and out, enabling you to organise your items. And that base compartment isn’t only for shoes – it’s spacious and strong enough for clothes, drinks or anything else you desire.

Key specs – Size: 18 x 36 x 46cm; Material: Canvas

2. Nannacay Starfish Bag: Best luxury beach bag

Price: £150 | Buy now from Shopbop

If you really want to invoke the beachy, bohemian look, this Nannacay bag is ideal, with its woven fabric and gorgeous starfish design making it perfect for the summer months. At the same time, your items remain safe within the removable drawstring pouch inside, and there’s also a dust bag included. Not enough colour for you? Then maybe you’ll be a fan of fun pom-pom detail on the drawstring. The bag is completely handmade, so you can be sure it’s unique.

Key specs – Size: 4.5 x 29.5 x 36cm; Material: Woven sisal

Buy now from Shopbop

3. “Take me to the Beach” Beach Bag: Best slogan beach bag

Price: £18 | Buy now from Not on the High Street

A basic and affordable beach bag that doesn’t compromise on style, this tote from Not on the High Street can be personalised inside with a message to a loved one – making it the perfect gift – or just some phrase or joke that you get a kick out of yourself. The bag is lightweight and beautifully simple, with a gusset providing additional room. There’s nothing stopping you from using it all year round, either, if you don’t mind being ironic in the middle of a snowstorm.

Key specs – Size: 33 x 42cm; Material: Cotton canvas with rope

Buy now from Not on the High Street

4. Valerie Large Beach Bag Puka: Best for a pop of colour

Price: £175 | Buy now from Revolve

From a company that only makes natural and ethical products, this large beach bag is spacious and stylish, with a removable fringe tassel adding a delicate touch of laid-back glamour. The pink striped design is eye-catching without being garish and there’s enough interior space for everything you might need – but not so much that you’ll lose things at the bottom, never to be seen again.

Key specs – Size: 20 x 43 x 71cm; Material: Cotton

Buy now from Revolve

5. Spacious Beach Bag: Best on a budget

Price: £13 | Buy now from H&M

If you really have too much stuff to fit into a standard-sized bag, you may be better off with this alternative from H&M. Made from 100% cotton, the bag ties at the top and includes an inner compartment for your phone and other small items. It’s so roomy that you could easily fit in snacks, towels and suncream for the entire family – although do consider how much you can lift before you fill it to the brim!

Key specs – Size: 29.5 x 40.5 x 42cm; Material: Cotton

Buy now from H&M

6. Aruba Mesh Beach Tote Bag: Best for heavy packers

Price: £20 | Buy now from Amazon

If Mary Poppins had a beach bag, it would probably resemble the Aruba Mesh Beach Tote Bag, which seemingly has a compartment for absolutely everything. It isn’t a looker, but it has multiple pockets for your valuables; a water-resistant cooler pocket for any drinks and food you want to take with you; and a super-strong reinforced strap, so you can be sure it won’t break even when at full capacity. If you often find yourself losing stuff just as you need to grab it, this is the bag for you.

Key specs – Size: 15 x 41 x 76cm; Material: Mesh and canvas

7. Joseko Summer Straw Handbag: Best straw beach bag

Price: £20 | Buy now from Amazon

Straw beach bags have their downsides (such as a lack of water resistance), but they’re a classic option for a reason. Made from high-quality rattan and straw, this Joseko summer bag looks great and boasts the convenience of detachable straps but, as the product description warns, shouldn’t be overloaded as the material is not designed to withstand heavy weights. If that’s not a problem, this is a great option, with a top zip providing safety and an interior pocket provided for your valuables.

Key specs – Size: 16cm x 25.5cm x 34cm; Material: Straw

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