If you’ve recently been to a farmer’s market or urban downtown area, then you know this: tote bags are trendy. They’re replacing backpacks and briefcases as the go-to carrier for errand-running and commuting; they’ve become stand-ins for plastic and paper shopping bags at upscale stores; they come with magazine subscriptions. But the bag that popularized the tote wasn’t made to carry laptops or groceries — it was meant to haul ice and wood, and L.L.Bean created it in 1944.
That bag is still around today, and it’s called the Boat and Tote. It’s made in Maine from rugged 24-ounce cotton canvas just as it was all those decades ago when it was known as the Ice Carrier, and even though it’s more likely to transport supplies for a weekend at a cabin than firewood or block ice, it can still support loads that weigh up to 500 pounds. L.L. Bean’s design for the tote actually hasn’t changed much at all beyond the addition of colored handles and trim. It’s still the original rugged tote, and today you can pick one up in any of its four available sizes for 25-percent off by entering the code GIFT25 at checkout.
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