Whether you're jetting off to Turkey or driving down to Torquay this summer, you're going to need a bigger bag to lug that towel, bikini and carefully-selected beach read around. We've rounded up the best beach bags, from compact numbers that fold up small in your suitcase to sturdier ones that double-up as a carry-on bag, from traditional straw weave to modern sea-(/rain)proof plastic, to get you ready to hit the beach in no time.
1. Bibi Jute Fringe Bag: £69, phase-eight.com
Easily big enough for all your seaside essentials, this fringed bag with woven leather handles is also elegant, meaning it will see you right through from the beach in the day to the bar in the evening. It’s very well made, too, so it will last you for summers to come, which justifies the price tag, though its unlined and doesn't fasten.
2. Multi-Souvenir Beach Bag: £41.65, boden.co.uk
This is available in two floral designs and, our favourite, this multi-souvenir print. The reinforced bottom means you can pack some pretty heavy stuff in there if needs be and the leather handles don’t make bare summer shoulders sore like some others, although the drawstrings are more decorative than anything.
3. Straw Basket Bag: £55, thewhitecompany.com
This sea grass straw basket bag is a holiday classic, with short woven handles that you can slip over your arm if you need to free up your hands. There’s enough room for your book, sunnies, costume and towel, though there’s no lining or internal pocket for smaller bits and bobs.
4. Striped Canvas Shopper: £32.50, whitestuff.com
This smart-looking bag is a generous size and will double up as your hand luggage and beach bag. Make the most out of your purchase and use it as a shopping tote when you get home, too. The pink lining is a nice touch and it comes with a zipped pocket to keep your valuables sand-free and secure.
5. Translucent Bag: £39.99, crocs.co.uk
Mention Crocs and most people think of those distinctive clogs, but the brand does some nice accessories too. You can pick up a standard blue and white stripe beach bag, but we prefer this roomy, lightweight, easy-to-clean semi-translucent bag that comes in black, aqua or pink, with leather accents.
6. Outwell Puffin Insulated Bag: £12.24, gooutdoors.co.uk
Here’s a great one for people who like to bring their sandwiches along to the beach. There’s a removable layer of insulation, so you can use it as a normal beach bag or keep food shopping or lunch cool too. The wide straps make it comfy to carry on the shoulders and it can take a heavy load.
7. Wicker Pattern Large Leather Trim Tote: £55, cathkidston.com
If you like the look of wicker but don’t like the hassle of sand getting stuck in all the gaps, then you’ll love this structured tote with wipe clean fabric. As you’d expect from Cath Kidston, it’s well-made with top-notch materials and all the colours – it comes in green, brown, blue and white – are gorgeous.
8. Converse Playbook Beach Tote: £20, caseluggage.com
This tote from the famous trainer label is great value and extremely roomy (it carries just over 23 litres), so it works well for both beach and luggage. The extra-wide shoulder straps make it comfortable to carry if you're packing heavy and it's machine washable.
9. Jelly Whopper Shopper: £27.99, superdry.com
This see-through PVC bag is wipe-clean, so there's no need to panic if you spill your ice-cream or the tide gets a little too close. It’s also extra-large, so it can take a beach-size towel and a copy of War & Peace (or something more beach-appropriate) no problem.
10. Women’s Straw Bag: £75, shop.replay.it
This gorgeous colour block straw tote is also available in beige and aqua we particularly like the unusual thin leather handles, though they may pinch a little if carried on bare shoulders. It is more finished than other straw bags, with lining and zip closure.
11. Kristen Take Me to the Ocean Beach Bag: £20, southbeachofficial.com
This bag has “holiday” written all over it (well not literally, but it might as well do). With tan faux leather handles and the design printed front and back, it’s a lovely casual bag, while the bright pink lining is a fun addition. There's a small zip compartment inside for keys and money.
12. Copa Cabana Tote Bag: £29, accessorize.com
Geometric patterns and neons are all the rage this year, making this bag a popular – as well as practical – choice. The colourful pompoms and tassels that hang from the handle are a nice finishing touch and there’s a bright pink lining (we feel a bit of a theme developing) with handy internal pocket.
For something a bit different, our vote goes to Cath Kidston’s Wicker Pattern Large Leather Trim Tote, while Accessorize's bright Copa Cabana Tote is bound to be a popular choice, but for practicality and great value, we also love the Converse Playbook Beach Tote.
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