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Best beach bags for 2023, tried and tested

Hitting the beach? Then you’ll want to hit up our guide to the best beach bags before setting off to ensure you’ve got the perfect accessory to cart your books, suncream, snacks, drinks and games (and more!) down to the sand.

By Laura Cooke | Last updated May 25, 2023

Best beach bags

Heading to the coast on a sunny day is guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face. To keep them smiling, it’s well worth making sure you have all the right gear with you, including the essentials (beach towels, suncream) and stuff that’ll keep you and the family entertained (travel games, books, tablets, snacks). 

So it’s important to think about a suitable beach bag that’ll keep everything safe and dry, provide enough room to cart damp towels and swimwear home and ensure that you don’t take half the beach back with you. Luckily there are loads of options that combine practicality and style. 

From traditional straw and canvas bags to carriers that’ll fit all but the kitchen sink in, our list has it covered.

To keep you organised on the go, we've got handy guides to the best suitcases, the best cabin bags, the best kids' luggage, the best packing cubes, the best toiletry bags and the best bum bags, all featuring top product recommendations from Mumsnetters. 

Here are the best beach bags to buy in 2023.

Best beach bags: Editor's picks

Mia Tui Falmouth beach bag
Best overall

Mai Tui Falmouth Beach/Travel Bag

Buy now
Matalan leopard print beach bag
Best budget

Coral Pineapple Foil Beach Bag

Buy now
Longchamp Le Pliage tote bag
Best tote

Longchamp Le Pliage Original Large Shoulder Bag
John Lewis

Buy now

1. Best overall beach bag: Falmouth Beach/Travel Bag

Mia Tui Falmouth beach bag

Price: RRP £56 (holdall set) | Buy now from QVC

Key specs

Size: 38 x 55 x 16 cm | Material: Synthetic

What we love

  • Machine washable for easy cleaning
  • Water resistant
  • Available in a wide range of pretty prints

What to know

  • Big enough for all your beach essentials, but may not be big enough to fit the whole family’s gear in

What Mumsnet users say

“I've got a Mia Tui Falmouth travel bag which I take on the plane and round the pool/to the beach. It's really useful with lots of pockets which I don't normally like, and water resistant too. It also fits over my suitcase handles and on my shoulder really well” - IloveJudgeJudy

“The Mia Tui big totes are great for the airport and could easily be used for the beach”- sunisblinding

Our verdict

If you’re looking for a beach bag that’s roomy, practical, stylish and affordable, the Mia Tui Falmouth Beach/Travel Bag ticks all the boxes. Hidden inside this bag are two insulated bottle holders, one large and one small pocket, and there’s a large zipped pocket on the front, with a clip for your keys, and phone/pen pockets. The main compartment can be zipped up to keep all your items safe and secure. There’s even a pocket at the back which allows you to slip the bag over suitcase handles, making the Falmouth a great choice for the airport too.

The Falmouth is water resistant, so if it gets splashed, it’s not the end of the world. And if it gets grubby or sandy, it can be safely popped in the washing machine. With a wide range of bold colours, leaf prints and geometric patterns to choose from, there really is a Falmouth out there to suit everyone.

Read next: Looking for family holiday inspiration? Check out our guides to the best family-friendly destinations and hotels, as recommended by Mumsnetters

2. Best budget beach bag: Leopard Print Foil Beach Bag

Matalan leopard print beach bag

Price: RRP £10 | Buy now from Matalan

Key specs

Size: 37 x 52 x 17.5 cm | Material: Polyester

What we love

  • Zipped top keeps valuables safe
  • Stylish leopard print design

What to know

  • Not machine washable
  • Lack of pockets

What Mumsnet users say

“I saw some with zips in Matalan yesterday. Not sure how hard wearing etc but noticed the zip because it makes a pleasant change from a popper that does no good at all keeping everything in!” - Tryingtogetitright 

Our verdict

With a black and gold leopard print design, we’d recommend this stylish offering from Matalan.

It doesn’t come with loads of fancy accessories or pockets, favouring instead a sling-it-all-in approach. But the top of the bag is zipped closed, meaning that everything stays put. The rope handles are sturdy and shouldn’t let you down, but the bag itself is wipe-clean only, so if the bag gets grubby, you can’t throw it in the washing machine for a quick freshen up. 

3. Best tote beach bag: Longchamp Le Pliage Original Large Shoulder Bag

Longchamp Le Pliage tote bag

Price: RRP £100 | Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

Key specs

Size: 46 x 30 cm | Material: Nylon

What we love

  • The perfect blend of stylish and practical
  • Lightweight

What to know

  • You may feel £100 is a bit steep for a bag that is going to be dragged around the beach - but many Mumsnetters say it’s worth the price tag

What Mumsnet users say

“I was convinced by the ladies here to buy a Longchamp Le Pliage last summer, and it has been rather a brilliant purchase - top zip, folds up small for storage/packing in suitcase if you don't want to use it at the airport. Fits tonnes of crap in it for the beach, looks more expensive than it is. Will be used again this summer” - OrdinarySnowflake

“I use a Longchamp Le Pliage. Saw plenty of other people using these as beach bags on Mykonos too” - countdowntonap

Our verdict

This distinctive bag has multiple uses but it works really well as a beach bag and is ideal for taking on holiday. The lightweight nylon canvas means it won’t take up too much room in your suitcase as opposed to a straw bag, and the zip means it stops sand from getting on your things.

It comes in navy blue and black, which is great if you’re going for a chic look, but if you’re looking to make a statement, Le Pliage is also available in hot pink and lime green. To clean, just use a wet cloth.

4. Best waterproof beach bag: ITIWIT Waterproof Dry Bag 30L

ITIWIT Waterproof Dry Bag 30L in navy blue

Price: RRP £37 | Buy now from Decathlon

Key specs

Size: 30 litres | Material: Polyvinyl Chloride

What we love

  • Splash proof
  • Grab handle and backpack straps for easy carrying

What to know

  • Not a traditional stylish beach bag

What Mumsnet users say

“The best thing for the beach is a roll top dry bag designed for water sports. One of those is not going to be on the cover of Vogue though” - reefedsail

Our verdict

If your idea of a beach trip involves something a little more high-octane than reading this summer’s bestsellers in the dunes, then the ITIWIT Waterproof Dry Bag is a practical, no-nonsense alternative to summery tote bags.

This 30-litre dry bag with carry straps will protect your belongings from splashes when kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding or light sailing. But even if you’re taking everything at a more relaxed pace, the ITIWIT has rucksack straps, making it easier to carry all your beach essentials than a traditional shoulder bag. Sure it probably won’t win you any style points, but at least everything will be dry, so who’s the real winner?

5. Best large beach bag for families: Rex London Green On Blue Spotlight Jumbo Storage Bag

Rex London Green On Blue Spotlight Jumbo Storage Bag

Price: RRP £6 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Size: 55 × 28 × 48 cm | Material: Plastic

What we love

  • Great for carting around the whole family’s beach essentials
  • Available in bold colours and patterns
  • Budget-friendly price
  • Made from 90% recycled bottles

What to know

  • If you like to pack light, you may want to look elsewhere

What Mumsnet users say

“I like these as they zip up” - Fivemoreminutes1 

Our verdict

If you’re not fussed about designer labels or fiddly pockets and are just looking for one whacking great zipped bag to accommodate everything the whole family needs for a day at the beach, then this is the bag for you.

Strong but lightweight, the Rex London Green On Blue Spotlight Jumbo Storage Bag can be folded down when not in use and any dirt or muck can be simply wiped off. Although it is meant for storing bedding, clothing, laundry and the like, Mumsnetters swear by these jumbo bags for ferrying all the family beach essentials.

6. Best straw beach bag: M&S Straw Striped Tote Bag

M&S Straw Striped Tote Bag

Price: RRP £45 | Buy now from M&S

Key specs

Size: 7 x 13 x 18 cm | Material: Straw, cotton lining and polyurethane trim

What we love

  • Stylish and elegant
  • Handy drawstring top for easy fastening

What to know

  • Not one of the bigger bags on our list

What Mumsnet users say

“… a couple of straw totes look very stylish, otherwise get yourself a French basket from Etsy or Ebay” - windmill26

Our verdict

If you’re looking for a traditional but on-trend straw bag, this beauty could be just right for you. The simple-but-stylish design will turn heads but it’s still practical and big enough to fit most of your essential items in. Plus, it's a total dupe of Loewe's iconic basket bag that would otherwise set you back £450. 

Inside is a pure cotton lining that can be fastened quickly and securely with a drawstring. There's also an internal zip pocket for squirrelling away smaller items, plus a handy external slip pocket that matches the bag handles. So chic. 

7. Best cotton beach bag: Accessorize Metallic Large Beach Bag

Accessorize metallic large beach bag

Price: RRP £30 | Buy now from Accessorize

Key specs

Size: 55 x 37 cm | Material: Cotton lining and polyester

What we love

  • Pretty design
  • Lightweight

What to know

  • No pockets - just one big main compartment

What Mumsnet users say

“Mine’s large with a zip, shoulder straps & very light to carry, pale with a rose gold pattern, it was about £25 from Accessorize last year - they have a very similar one this year.” - tierraJ

Our verdict

This sizeable tote bag has plenty of space for all the beach essentials, with a zip sealing up the main compartment to make sure everything stays in while the sand stays out.

The botanical pattern in shiny foiled fabric means this bag adds a touch of effortless glamour to all beach outfits. The bag is wipe-clean only though, so you need to take extra care to ensure your bag stays sparkling white.

How to buy the best beach bag

From trendy woven straw bags that'll stand out in your pictures, to waterproof bags with lots of pockets and zippers, there’s a beach bag out there to meet your needs. But there are a few things to consider before making a purchase.

Size. How much do you want to carry in your bag? Is it just for you or are you the one that ends up carrying everyone else’s worldly goods? Also, will you be using it to travel with or packing it away in a suitcase? Make sure to check the dimensions and the number of compartments or pockets before you buy. Secondly, is it just for a regular trip to the beach or will you be taking it on a boat trip and therefore might need something more hard wearing? If it’s the latter, think about buying a waterproof beach bag. When it comes to style, that’s a personal choice and with so many variations, you’ll have fun browsing.

What is the best material for a beach bag?

Sturdy fabrics such as canvas, denim and twill are best for beach bags. Since many beach bags seldom require cleaning, novelty drapery and upholstery fabrics can be fun choices too. Faux leather vinyl and nylon are more durable options.

What is the best beach bag to buy

The Mia Tui Falmouth Beach/Travel Bag has got everything going for it. A spacious interior with plenty of pockets means the Falmouth is highly practical, while the gorgeous pattern choice means you will be the envy of the whole beach. It’s even machine washable - hurray!

How we choose our recommendations

We’ve thoroughly researched the best beach bags you can buy this season including tried-and-tested experiences from a wide range of honest, trusted sources. Here’s how we narrowed it down to our top picks.

Mumsnet community       

When it comes to stylish and practical beach bags, Mumsnetters know a trusty carrier when they see (and use) one.

We first assessed all the recommendations from the Mumsnet community, getting feedback on the best beach bags they have personally used, reviewed and rated, including their favourite models, and must-have additional features. We also considered the reasons why Mumsnetters would avoid certain beach bags.

Expert opinions

We know that choosing the right beach bag takes a lot of thought and consideration, so we made sure our recommendations were well received within the bags and luggage industry, rated or recommended by travel experts and industry leaders.

Trusted consumer reviews

Finally, we scrutinised honest customer reviews on retailer sites such as Amazon and John Lewis to get wider consumer opinions on the products on our shortlist. Through this research, we were able to weigh up the best beach bags for a variety of needs and gain a greater understanding of the pros and cons of each.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.

Mumsnet carries some affiliate marketing links, so if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale.