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The Best Beach Bags and Totes for a Day in the Sun (and Sand)
Your usual backpack won't cut it along the coastline.
Summertime calls for a trip to the beach (or at least the pool or lake). But you can never go unprepared. (See below for a full list of what to bring.) Once you’ve gathered all your beach goods together, it’s time to put it all in a bag. For that, you need a beach bag.
Best Overall Beach BagHerschel Alexander Insulated Zip Tote Read More
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What Is a Beach Bag?
Beach bags come in all manner of styles, but the best ones are durable, have enough space to hold your personal effects plus your seaside accouterments. These aren’t exactly your everyday tote bags, but they could function as your daily driver. Whether your speed is an all-natural approach with a burly canvas bag, a high-tech tote with sophisticated water-repellant coatings and a grip of zips, daisy chains and pockets or a bottomless bucket you can stuff with ice and cans of beer, there’s a tote out there begging you to go to the beach.
What to Look for
You can't just take any tote to the beach, though, and which you lug along with you depends on what you're bringing. Spending a few hours in the sun and scurrying home? You probably don't need to pack much. Staying the entire day, eating a few meals and playing some games? You'll have to worry about the size of the bag and whether it's waterproof, because high tide approaches as the day goes on.
Your bag should withstand a single wave, whether with a waterproof bottom or a mesh construction, which easily drains as the waves retreat. If you're planning to bring a phone, your wallet and perhaps even a car key, you probably don't want to carry a mesh bag that could fill with water. (You could always hang it on your beach chair, by the way.)
Our best advice? Assess the situation and pick accordingly. You could always store one of the mesh bags below in one of the bigger cooler bags — versatility.
What to Put in Your Beach Bag
- Facial sunscreen
- Body sunscreen
- Beach towels
- Board shorts
- A bucket hat (or baseball cap)
- An extra T-shirt
- Swim trunks