Updated August 2022
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Buying guide for Best beach bags

By definition, a day at the beach should be fun and stress-free. In order to make that a reality, you’ll need a good bag to bring all your beach day accessories along. Some people just grab any bag they have around the house before going to the beach. This never ends well, as you always end up adding items to your bag in the moments before leaving the house. Having a designated beach bag allows you to keep all your beach items in one place so you can grab it and head out with everything you need.

Convenience, style, and capacity are some of the most important aspects of any bag for a day out. Beach bags should be highly utilitarian by nature. Aesthetics are important, but they’re not the only thing you’ll want to consider when choosing the best beach bag for your needs. In order to get the most out of your bag, you’ll want to have enough space to put everything in it.

Our options for the best beach bags will help you plan for a great day in the sun and won’t leave you regretting your choice of beach bag before you even make it to the sand.

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Never leave your beach bag completely unattended. Bags are stolen at beaches and pools every day from unsuspecting people.

Key considerations


Perhaps the most vital factor in choosing a beach bag is size. If the bag is too big, you end up lugging around a near-empty (or far too heavy) sack all day. If the bag is too small, you run the risk of important items tumbling out when you’re in the car, at the beach, or anywhere in between. If you frequent the beach by yourself, you probably won’t need the same size as if you usually take a family of five with you. Consider what items you’ll be carrying and who’s going with you.


Almost as important as size is shape. Some beach bags are thin and slender, while others can sit on their own due to a large flat base. The way you use your beach bag has a lot to do with which shape you prefer. Think about the primary items you usually carry in your beach bag and how and when you access them. This will help you determine what shape bag works best for you.


From nylon to cotton and even plastic, you can find quality beach bags in almost any material. Choose what works best for your style as a beachgoer. If you want something that can be at the shoreline with you and prevent the contents from getting wet even at high tide, you’ll want a fully waterproof material like vinyl. On the other hand, if you want a beach bag that looks more like a casual handbag to go with your boho chic beach look, you might opt for canvas.


Some people like the “throw and go” method that a single-compartment beach bag allows. Others like to have as many small pockets on the inside and outside of the bag as possible. Stowing sunglasses, sunscreen, and keys is much easier if you can keep track of them in individual pockets. Think about your preferred method of packing items for the beach and use that to help you make your decision.


This may sound trivial to some, but the color of a beach bag can be of great importance. For instance, when you’re out in the water, you may want something brightly colored up on the sand so you can keep an eye on it without much effort. Conversely, many people wear brightly colored or patterned swimwear, so a beach bag with neutral colors that will go with anything might be a smart option.


Secret compartments

Although not always completely hidden, less visible compartments in a beach bag can be a safe place for cash, keys, jewelry, or any other items you want to keep out of sight when enjoying the waves and sun. Many times, these compartments line the inside of a beach bag and may or may not have zippers or velcro to keep them closed and low-profile.

Phone holders

We no longer leave our high-tech electronics at home when we head to the beach. For many people, their smartphone is one of the most expensive items they own. As such, they want their phone to be well protected when at the beach. Some beach bags now have small pockets specifically intended to house smartphones. It’s usually better to have a dedicated spot for your phone than to have it floating around the inside of a cavernous bag.

Cooler compartment

For those who want to have a snack and a drink at the beach, some beach bags have a small insulated cooler compartment. If you want the luxury of throwing a few water bottles and some fruit in your bag, look for a beach bag with this feature. It will save you some money at the snack bar, too.

Beach bag prices

Beach bags are more complex than they once were. Gone are the days of your parents’ plain canvas bag thrown in the back of the station wagon. Today’s bags cost more to make, so they cost more to sell. That doesn’t mean that you still can’t find a reasonably priced beach bag for your needs.


In the $10-$30 range you can find the most basic beach bags. They are mostly made of canvas and vinyl and don’t generally have a lot of extra pockets. These bags are great for the casual beachgoer who just wants to grab a few towels and head out the door.


Beach bags in the $30-$50 category bring a little more to the table. For this price, you can find bags with a number of additional pockets and other small features like key loops and waterproof compartments.


If you spend between $50 and $100, you can expect to buy a beach bag with a luxury tag. High-end designers make bags in this range, and most of them are made with high grade fabrics and fashionable stitching and logos. They may not have quite as many “extras” as many in the mid-range, but they are sure to turn heads when you’re walking down the beach.

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For your safety
If you don’t plan to put your keys in a dedicated pocket in your beach bag, at least attach them to a key loop to avoid dropping them in the sand.


  • Try rolling up your towels and other items into tight rolls so they better fit into your beach bag.

  • Don’t overload your beach bag with heavy items. It puts undue strain on the straps and stitching and can cause rips in the fabric.

  • Some companies make similar bags in different sizes. Try mixing and matching if you think you’ll need more than just one beach bag.

  • Don’t think you can’t get a great inexpensive beach bag. Sometimes a discount bag gives you everything you need.

  • Make sure to close any sunscreen, creams, or other liquids tightly. If these items spill in a canvas bag it can be hard to clean.

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You may not need to wash your beach bag between every visit to the shore. Minimizing washing will help your bag last longer.


Q. Should I be able to fit all my beach supplies into a single beach bag?

A. Not necessarily. If you have a lot of items to take with you, you may need multiple bags to fit everything.

Q. Is it okay to get a beach bag wet?

A. Although most beach bags are designed for different weather conditions, you’ll want to avoid getting your beach bag too wet to make sure it lasts you a long time.

Q. Isn’t a beach bag the same as any other bag?

A. No. Beach bags have functions and features a regular bag does not. For instance, they often have extra pockets and are made of waterproof materials.

Q. Do I need to spend a lot to get a good quality beach bag?

A. No. Although there are worthwhile beach bags at every price range, you don’t need to spend a great deal to get a great deal.

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