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Remember your gran’s overstuffed tote bag? She’d come to visit, and there could be anything in it from a squashed banana to a gift for you, and possibly a lost shoe that she never let go of. In college, your SO would stuff a weekend’s worth of stuff into either a plastic tote bag or a sad thin canvas one. Guess what, tote bags have grown up and gotten all gosh darned sophisticated on us. Now, those overly large squares or rectangles with straps stitched on the top have become the plaything for designers and upscale brands.
Oh yes, you can pick up the best tote bags that are a veritable workhorse. These babies can stow the free-range fruits and veggies that you picked up at the farmer’s market, or work stuff, or a change of clothes or gym gear.
And there are designer totes that double as a weekender. There are designer totes that’ll carry your weekly food shop, a laptop, and what have you. Logomania has spread to tote bags, so you can find a (relatively speaking) inexpensive way to work that trend and swing a designer’s bag from shoulder or wrist.
Our best tote bag roundup has been divided into two groups: everyday and designer tote bags. Look at our selection to see what’s the best tote bag for all your needs.
The Best Everyday Tote Bags
Looking for a bag that can withstand crazy commutes, quick overnight trips and multiple trips to the market? Here are eight bags that work hard.
1. Baggu Giant Pocket Tote Bag in Spanish Olive
Baggu has been making a variety of tote bags for quite a while now, and they’ve developed a reputation for making rugged and nice-looking tote bags. For those who want one bag that they can use shopping, for work, the gym and an overnight bag, Baggu’s Giant Pocket Tote Bag is your jam. This sucker is big, 17 inches by 21 inches. It has two large outside pockets, two interior pockets and can carry a 15-inch laptop.
Baggu Giant Pocket Tote Bag in Black
ALSO CONSIDER FROM BAGGU
Baggu’s branded giant totes come in black or white, they’re built just like the non-branded giant, bags. However, they’re on sale. At almost half off the original price, their branded totes showcase their name in a rainbow of colors.
2. Everlane The ReNew Transit Weekender
LIKE HAVING YOUR OWN SHERPA
You know and love Everlane for their clothing that looks amazing season after season, but did you know that they also make accessories? Their gigantic tote bag AKA the ReNew Transit Weekender could probably fit a passel of puppies with room for more things. Made with waterproof recycled polyester, this zip-top bag has a padded laptop sleeve, two water bottle holders, an exterior zippered pocket, and another pocket that a luggage handle can go through. This is the bag you use when you take the kids to an amusement park as it’ll hold food and a change of clothing, or to a picnic, or shopping. The tote bag can be carried by hand, shoulder or crossbody.
3. L.L. Bean Boat & Tote Bag
L.L. Bean’s sturdy canvas tote bag is a book editor’s BFF as so many of them use these indestructible bags to carry ARCs (advance reader copies), manuscripts and whatever else they have to read in them. For the rest us, they’ve become the go-to bag for all seasons. You can use it to carry stuff to the beach, take stuff home from the market, and in a pinch, you can even use it as a hamper. The zip-top tote also comes in either blue, dark green or black trim.
4. Herschel Supply Co. Bamfield Canvas Tote Bag
Herschel Supply Co.’s tote bags are as durable and good-looking as their famous backpacks. This black canvas tote bag can hold up to 44 liters and has an outside slip pocket. The inside slip pocket can hold keys and your wallet.
5. Nixon Large Heist Bag
BEST FOR THE WEEKEND AND BACK
This bag is much bigger on the inside and can hold a ridiculous amount of stuff. On a personal note, I own one and am always surprised by the amount of stuff I can pack in it. The outside pockets are huge, each outsized zippered pocket can hold a pair of sneakers. The tote bag has a top zipper, that when opened reveals a very large spacious interior. The hand-carry straps are so big that the bag can rest on the shoulder with them. This bag holds 29 liters and has a detachable shoulder strap should you decide to turn it into a crossbody bag. Made from recycled polyester, this bag has a shadow camo print and always looks new. It also comes in other colors.
6. BARK Bounce Dog Park Tote Bag
BEST FOR DOG PARENTS
Finally, a tote bag that addresses the needs of dog parents! This canvas tote bag has a lined treat pocket, so you won’t have to live with crumbs in your pockets, and a built-in poop bag holder. The rest of the tote bag can hold toys, other dog paraphernalia and your wallet. The neutral wave pattern gives you the option to use it for food shopping and more.
7. DoroSun Insulated Shopping Cooler Tote Bag – Large
This triple insulated tote bag can be used at the market as it’ll keep frozen food and perishables safe until you can get it home. If you’re doing a tailgate or picnic, or bring food to a work party, this bag will keep food the same temp it was when you zipped up the bag. There’s an outside slip pocket for your keys, wallet, and other things.
The Best Designer Tote Bags
Stow everything you need in these designer tote bags while showing off your style.
8. Marni Folded Logo Tote Bag
Marni’s green and black faux leather tote bag expands to carry it all. There are two large compartments to keep things organized. Originally $790, the bag is now on sale at 40% off.
9. Gucci GG Multicolor Large Tote Bag
GOES WITH EVERYTHING
If you’re going to carry stuff, do it in style. Gucci’s rainbow-hued tote bag is trimmed in leather, has a zippered interior pocket and a detachable shoulder strap.
10. Burberry Camouflage Print Cotton Tote
BEST FOR WORK AND WEEKENDS
Burberry’s camo print is more Rorschach than woodland visual obfuscation. Snarky comments aside, this leather-trimmed tote has open and zippered interior pockets, a detachable shoulder strap, leather hand straps and can hold almost anything.
11. Maison Kitsune Logo Print Cotton Canvas Tote Bag
Maison Kitsune’s cotton logo tote bag gets you into the logomania game without breaking your bank account. The tote bag can hold a laptop, books or groceries.
12. Noon Goons Mojave Faux Snakeskin Tote
LA-based Noon Goons is a surf/skate/streetwear brand with upscale flair. The snakeskin print’s made from a poly blend and is easy to wipe clean. This modern-style tote bag is lined and can be used for commuting or overnights.
13. Molly Goddard Tartan-Check Logo Tote Bag
British designer Molly Goddard is relatively new to the fashion scene, but her clothes have been worn in Killing Eve, on tons of celebs and she’s been shaking up the menswear scene as well. Her branded cotton tote bag has an interior pocket for keys and things. Fill it up with a couple of good books or a bag of coffee or two.
14. Want Les Essentials Austin Organic Canvas Tote
Montreal-based Want Les Essentials creates modern and minimalist designs using green products. Their organic tote bag has gussets on the side so that it can expand into a huge square, ready to engulf and hold down anything from gym clothes to your weekly food shop. The tote bag also has an outside zippered compartment to keep important items secure. It comes in black, navy or khaki.