10 Best Lightweight Tote Bags for Schlepping Outdoor Gear
Our top picks for stylish, and functional carryalls for hauling goods to and from the campsite, beach, farmer's market, and more
The name says it all. Simply designed, spacious, and pretty damn stylish, nothing beats a tote bag when all you need is a way to tote a bunch of stuff from A to B.
Heading to the beach? Going camping? Meeting with friends in the local park or at the climbing gym? Our advice for all: bring a tote. Preferably one of the following.
The North Face x Christopher Raeburn Tote Bag
The North Face is a staple, so it’s no surprise that when coupled with fashion designer—and noted outdoor enthusiast— Chrisopher Raeburn the results were pretty epic. Made from material salvaged from old TNF tents, the upcycled TNF x Raeburn Tote ($120) is visually striking, useful, and packs down into a small stuff sack for easy storage when not in use.
LL Bean Everyday Lightweight Tote
Riffing on LL Bean’s classic design that’s been hauling gear for 70 years now, the Everyday Lightweight Tote ($34) is made with a ripstop 600D poly outer and polyurethane interior and double-layer bottom for water repellency and added durability. LL Bean’s throwback Katahdin graphic logo embellishes the bag and a zip-top closure ensures all your goods stay put, whether it’s banging around in the trunk or an overhead bin.
And Wander X-Pac 45L Tote
Founded by former Issey Miyake designers, And Wander has long been one of our favorite Japanese outdoor lifestyle brands, and the sizable 45L X-Pac Tote ($259) is a perfect example of why. Designed with X-Pac sail cloth—a material that’s hyper-lightweight but strong and durable, even in extreme weather conditions—with a mesh exterior and multiple carrying points, it’s versatile, reinforced, and would be as at home on city streets as in the woods.
Snow Peak 28L Active Mesh 2Way Shoulder Bag
Likely the best known Japanese outdoors brand—at least stateside, in Japan they’ve been the “original outdoor lifestyle creator” since 1958—Snow Peak never disappoints. Made of lightweight polyester mesh, the clever Active Mesh 2Way Shoulder Bag ($58) is easy to carry and can fit all of your day’s baggage, wherever you’re headed.
Best Made Co Limited Edition Badge Tote
The Limited Edition Badge Tote ($498) wears felt-backed badges from elevated outdoors lifestyle brand Best Made, known best for making well-designed, and well-crafted products (axes, in particular). The functionality is as catchy and unique as the design of the bag. Made in the USA with heavy-duty 18 oz weather-proofed canvas with a brass zipper top closure, this tote will survive all adventures, and only get better looking with time.
Pacific Tote Co Big Sur Zippered Tote
A real classic. Made in the USA of durable duck canvas with an oversized, yet classic design, the Big Sur Tote ($120) by California-based Pacific Tote Company is heavy-duty, spacious and with its bright color options, is perfect for summer days at the beach (and tough to lose).
Montbell Mesh Tote
Made of urethane-dipped nylon mesh with a reinforced poly base, the aptly named Mesh Tote($62) from low-key Japanese outdoor outfitter Montbell is designed to transport wet gear while allowing it to dry. Simple and straightforward, the large tote is perfect for hauling wet and sandy surf gear, and really just about anything else. Plus, the see-through mesh allows for easy access to essentials and a draw cord closure keeps everything in order.
Battenwear Mesh Tote
The ideal tote for always having on hand, the Mesh Tote ($60) by NYC-based Battenwear collapses and zips away into it’s own small zippered pocket, making it perfect for stashing when not in use. We’ll let your own imagination fill in its many uses.
D'emploi Raw Cotton Beach Bag
Made by hand in NYC by fellow Brooklyn-based D’emploi, the Raw Cotton Beach Bag ($148) is exactly what you think of when you think beach tote. The reinforced design features bottom grommets for drainage (of water or sand), a removable paracord keychain that acts as closure (and floats, and glows in the dark!) and a quick access hanging inner pouch for essentials.
Hydro Flask 35L Insulated Tote
Available this coming fall, the all new Insulated Tote from Oregon’s Hydro Flask is an exciting new product we recently spotted at Outdoor Retailer. The double-duty tote features light insulation that will keep contents hot or cold for up to four hours, making it ideal for hauling food and drinks to the park or beach for a picnic, or for getting perishable groceries home from the market. It also works for hauling regular gear too, of course, thanks to an easy to clean and durable, waterproof exterior.