If you’re a mother and planning to take your brood on a beach holiday, you can’t just focus on your luggage like you do on other trips. Once you’re at your destination, you can forget about your suitcases, unpack your beach bag and fill it with the tons of stuff you need for a day at the beach. If you’re only packing the bag with your own stuff, you don’t need a large one, but when your kids are not old enough to be responsible for their own bags, you will! That’s why the best beach bags for Moms are roomy but light and easy to carry, has at least a few pockets for small items, and is easy to clean of all the sand that invariably enters it. Of course, your partner can share the load, in which case you’ll need two bags.
There are certain materials that work very well for beach bags. Bags made of only polyester are usually machine washable and light, while cotton canvas is light and sturdy and look good at the beach. We’ll select a few stylish beach bags of each type that we think are perfect for a Mom who needs to pack a bag for herself and one or more kids. Don’t know what essentials you should pack for a day at the beach? We’ll tell you farther down this page!
There are numerous beach totes to choose from but the following ones that we’ve reviewed are top rated.
Polyester Beach Bags
Polyester is the best material for a beach bag because even if it gets wet, it drys out very fast and it is machine washable. If the bag is made of polyester mesh then all water and sand will fall through the small holes.
Saltwater Canvas Whale Bag, Giant Mesh Family Beach Bag Tote
While the brand name might indicate that this is a canvas bag, the Saltwater Canvas Whale Bag is actually made of strengthened weatherproof mesh that allows sand to drain out and can be thrown into the washing machine. It is made in the USA, was featured in O Magazine in 2011, and is still very popular for families going to the beach. It also does well as a shopping bag, picnic bag, laundry bag or even a dog carrier!
The bag is 16″ tall and has a 15″ by 13″ oval base. The base lets you stand the bag upright on its own and folding it down when it’s empty. There are 8 drop pockets on the exterior to hold everything from a book, pairs of slippers, sand toys, etc. to water bottles, sunscreen and more. The main compartment can hold up to 6 beach towels and there’s even a secret zippered pocket inside to hold a bit of cash and ID and a snap hook to secure your keys.
The base stitching is extra strong and the dual shoulder straps are doubled and run the length of the bag to ensure they don’t tear off even if you load the bag with heavy stuff. The mesh material is also durable and rip resistant.
There are a few different colors of this large mesh beach bag to choose from, so take your pick.
SCOUT Original Deano Classic Tote
Scout makes several totes and a few different travel accessories for women in fun prints and colors, but the water resistant beach bag called Original Deano Classic Tote is still everyone’s favorite from the line. That may be because it can be used for a variety of things. It is made of a durable lightweight polywoven fabric called polypropylene, so it is waterproof and can be wiped clean. You could even spray it with a hose and let it line dry!
The dual handles are made of leatherette and so is the reinforced flat bottom. Nothing will get into this bag even if you set it on the sand and let the water reach it.
The Deano measures H 15″ x D 10″ x W 19″ and can hold 5 towels and even have enough space left over for things like beach toys, books and personal items. The only negative is that there are no pockets whatsoever, so using it to also hold small items means you’ll have to dig around at the bottom quite a bit. However, there is a clip on the inside with which you can secure your keys or a small purse with a strap, so one of these matching water resistant Scout Wristlets will do very well for this purpose.
You can get the Scout Deano in any of 35 different patterns, so you may even be tempted to buy more than one!
Dejaroo Mesh Beach Bag
Like the Saltwater bag, the Dejaroo Mesh Beach Bag is also made of strengthened polyester mesh with external pockets design to keep everything organized. You can also get it in a variety of fun bright colors with contrasting trim and double shoulder straps.
You get 7 oversized outer pockets for toys, sunglasses, sunblock, water bottle, flip flops, etc. and one inner zippered pocket for your keys, wallet or phone. The main space inside has a flat rectangular base measuring 16.5″L x 8.5″W, while the total height is 15″, so you can fit enough beach towels in there as well. It also collapses into a small enough package to easily store in a locker at a public pool.
The webbing around the top edges of the bag and pockets ensures that nothing pokes and scratches at you when carrying it. Sand and water will just pour out and you can also machine wash the bag whenever you want.
You may find that it will have a strong smell when you get it but just let it air out for a few days and the smell will dissipate completely.
Oahu XXL Mesh Beach Bag Tote
The Oahu XXL Mesh Beach Bag Tote is a really large beach bag with compartments galore so that one person can carry everything for the entire family for a day at the beach. It measures 18″ in height and 24″ in width and depending on thickness, can hold anywhere from 6 to 10 beach towels in the main compartment. It is also big enough for a rolled up mat. The walls and outer pockets are all made of extra durable mesh but the bottom is solid and reinforced so that it can handle the weight of a lot of items packed in it. Inspite of its size it is a packable beach bag if you want to throw it in your suitcase for your beach vacation.
The main compartment can be zipped shut but if you prefer to keep it open, the zipper flap will turn down and out of the way too. There are 7 large outer pockets and one large inner zipped pocket that is waterproof. This zipper is hidden underneath the main compartment’s zipper flap so you can store your phone and wallet in there securely. A carabiner clip is attached on the inside of the bag for you to clip your key chain on so that it doesn’t get lost inside and is easy to find.
The shoulder straps are of a comfortable length, features tough and broad webbing and has padded wraps so that they don’t hurt your shoulder even if you carry a heavy load. This is our pick for best beach bag for a large family.
Canvas Beach Bags
Odyseaco Baja Beach Bag Waterproof Canvas Tote
This very colorful option is the best waterproof beach bag on this list and comes in quite a large size for a canvas option at 16.5 x 14 x 7 inches. Its rope-style shoulder handles are extra thick but soft with a shoulder drop of 10″. This heavy duty bag is tear and rip resistant and its reinforced seams ensure it can handle a heavy load. It is also resistant to water. Inspite of all this, it is quite lightweight.
The Odyseaco Baja Beach Bag Waterproof Canvas Tote features two large external side pockets that are lined for a water bottle and sunscreen lotion, and an internal zippered pocket for your keys, wallet and phone.
The canvas is waterproofed on the inside so wet towels won’t make the outside of the bag damp, and dry clothes inside won’t get wet if water splashes on it. Although you can wash this bag in a machine, it is better to spot clean it instead to retain a new and sleek look.
Fishers Finery Day At the Beach Beach Bag
This very nautical-looking bag comes in two sizes – the family size is very large at 27 X 18 X 8 inches, so it’s a good option if you’re looking for one that carries several towels and other items, so it is our pick for the best family beach bag. The individual size measures 18 X 14 X 8 inches.
The Day at the Beach beach bag is made of durable canvas with a nylon taffeta weatherproof lining, structured bottom and zipper closure on the top to keep sand out. The shoulder handles are made of thick but soft cotton rope for easy carrying.
There is a small drop pocket on the front exterior and two large zipped pockets inside to keep your wallet, keys or even an e-reader.
Handy Laundry Heavy Duty Natural Canvas Tote Beach Bag
This Canvas Tote Beach Bag by Handy Laundry is made of beige canvas with nylon 22″ handles and trim in one of 4 colors.
It measures 22″ W x 16″ H x 6″ D and features one outside drop pocket and one zipped one inside.
While it can also be used as a work bag for books or files, be careful not to overload it, as it can get pretty heavy.
Straw Beach Bags and Totes
Daisy Rose Large Summer Beach Bag
This Summer Beach Bag by Daisy Rose measures 17.7″ by 13.8″ by 6.7″ and features a straw shell that’s lined by fabric. The inside walls feature a zippered pocket and a drop pocket and the main compartment zips up all the way. It also comes with a bonus zippered pouch that you can use separately or carry inside the beach bag for any small items, like cosmetics, you want to keep organized.
The bag features two vegan leather shoulder straps with a drop of 9.4″. They’re thin but sturdy and can handle a heavily packed bag.
Although its overall dimensions are quite generous, the straw shell makes this bag a bit restrictive in terms of capacity. You can fit a single large beach towel inside with a magazine or three thinner towels. However, it is stylish and functional enough that you could use it as a travel tote as well.
What to pack in large beach tote bags