It’s beach season, and you know what that means! So it’s time to go shopping for the perfect swimsuit! But while you’re busily perusing all of those amazing one-pieces, bikinis, and tankinis, you might be overlooking that <em>other</em> VIP that’s just as important to your warm-weather adventures — the perfect beach bag.
Why is it so essential? It’s your one-stop carryall for all of your outdoor needs. It needs to be capable of just about everything, from carrying your everyday basics that you’d normally slip inside your purse to holding the extra necessities you need to see you and your family through a day at the beach. That might mean a little extra wiggle room for the kids’ things if they aren’t old enough to carry their own bags or some added space for your own goodies so you can settle in for a relaxing day on the sand. Here’s how to pick the ultimate beach bag for your needs.
Sure, looks definitely matter, and where beach bags are concerned, they’re probably what catches your eye first. But don’t sacrifice the bag’s size for appearances. It should be more than equipped to carry whatever you typically take to the beach, like a towel, sunscreen, hat, a tablet, a book, a water bottle, a beach cover-up, a sarong, and everything in between.
So before you snap up that cute beach tote with the fun flamingo print or the fabulously chic metallic accents, make sure it’s designed to meet your unique needs. Bags can be both cute and spacious, so don’t feel like you’re missing out if you find one that looks amazing but doesn’t have what it takes to support all of your beach day essentials.
Next, make sure the bag can help you stay organized. There’s nothing enjoyable about digging through an enormous tote bag on a sandy beach, fishing around in vain for something that may have fallen to the very bottom. While it’s not generally a big deal if you don’t tend to pack much, at the very least, you’ll have several larger items and several smaller items stashed in your bag. Why worry about a bottle of sunscreen somehow getting trapped between the folds of your beach towel when you can choose a bag that makes it easy for you to organize everything?
The key is to seek out a bag with compartments and pockets. Some totes are full of them and are essential for those who abide by the old “everything in its place, a place for everything” mantra. You’ll love having a padded space for your tech gear, a separate slot to keep your keys and earbuds, and another area to fold up larger pieces like towels and beachwear.
The best beach bags are made with highly durable materials designed to withstand regular usage and the general wear and tear that accompanies trips to the beach. You’re hoisting it over your shoulder and walking through salty air, exposing it to sand, and possibly carrying it elsewhere, like lunch at a boardwalk bistro or café. So it’s smart to grab something that’s especially sturdy, like a canvas tote bag.
Materials like raffia and sailcloth are also tough and more than capable of holding up to the sea, salt, and sand. Plus, those are the types of materials you can trust will stand the test of time. They’re tough, with a sturdiness that sets them apart from softer counterparts that may snag or fall apart in the wash. Materials like canvas are simple to spot clean, while you can usually clean a straw bag with a damp cloth and a stiff brush. Avoid more delicate materials, like leather, which are likely to lose their integrity when exposed to salt and sand.
The best beach bags of the moment are available in a wide range of styles, from vibrant colors to playful patterns perfect for beach fun, like pastel plaids, classic checks, and sailor stripes. Make it extra special by customizing it with your monogram. It’s easy to find bags that meet your personal needs when the selection is as vast and colorful as this. And half of the fun is in choosing a style that complements your swimwear. Match it to your tankini top or your swim skirt for a fresh and coordinated look.
Looking at printed beach bags? Summer’s best clothing features every color of the rainbow, so you never have to worry about clashing. That’s not an issue when it’s warm outside — you’ve got your pick of all the blues, pinks, yellows, greens, oranges, and beyond. Mix and match to create fresh looks that channel your inner style maven, or pick up a few different bags. Maybe you have a tried-and-true solid-colored suit that you wear to the community pool with the kids. That might call for a vibrant bag for a little pop of contrast.
The bottom line? Don’t be afraid to have some fun and step outside of your comfort zone! That’s what summer is all about, after all, and you can trust that your beach bag will serve you well so long as it’s sturdy, well made, and spacious enough to hold all of your essentials.