Whether you’re packing towels, books, sunscreen, chilled drinks, or all of the above, the best beach bags will carry and protect all of your essentials. When choosing one, you’ll want to consider the bag's material, construction, and style.
Beach bags range in material, from lightweight mesh and nylon to super tough tarpaulin. While mesh and nylon may not be completely waterproof, they are both durable and water-resistant, making either material a great choice for those looking to relax by the water. However if you do engage in kayaking, hiking, or other rugged activities, a tarpaulin bag that's completely waterproof (and even floats on water) might be the most ideal.
Next, you’ll want to consider the bag’s construction — particularly the overall capacity as well as the amount of internal and exterior pockets. If you usually bring food or beverages, you’ll want to find a bag with a waterproof cooler built-in (two of my picks below check off that box).
An additional factor to consider is the style. While backpacks may be the most easiest and comfortable to carry, a single strap bag can be more sleek and stylish in design. It depends on your own preference, how much you actually pack for the beach, and what kind of straps work best for you.
I researched and put together a list of the best beach bags below. My picks range in style and size but all were designed to keep your items safe and dry so you can relax and enjoy the beach.
1. The Overall Best
What's great about it: Considering its cost, efficiency, and overall design, this OdyseaCo Oahu mesh beach bag is a great choice for most beach-goers. Made with a large, 29-inch opening, this bag can fit your towels and other belongings easily and comfortably. With one internal compartment and seven external compartments, it’s easy to organize smaller items, like sunscreen and sunglasses. Its mesh material is durable, breathable, and quick to dry — plus, the bag is designed with a waterproof bottom.
What fans say: "Love this BAG!!! Use this almost every weekend. If sand happens to get in (from used towels & toys) [it] sifts out easily. I love the extras as well, the pockets (even has a zipper pocket on the inside), the cell phone holder (water proof & even use it when we go stand up paddle boarding) & the carabiner clip. Fantastic value!!!"
2. The Best Beach Backpack
What's great about it: If you prefer a hands-free bag for the beach, this Roam packable backpack is lightweight and super dependable. Made of nylon that is water and tear-resistant, this backpack is also equipped with high-quality zippers for easy packing. To avoid extra pressure and stress on your back, it's designed with comfortable, mesh straps. This bag is portable, versatile, and can even be folded if need be. Construction-wise, it has one large main compartment and smaller compartments on the outside, including two pockets for water bottles.
What fans say: "Really like the size of this backpack! It was a little bigger than I thought it would be. It will work perfect for when you don't quite need a full size backpack like a short hike or a trip to the pool or beach. You could fit a change of clothes or a reasonable size beach towel easily. Smaller pockets for cell phone, keys etc. There is a mesh pocket on both sides for water bottles and the like. Would recommend for anyone in need of a small easy to carry backpack that fits everything you need!"
3. The Best Bag With A Detachable Cooler
What's great about it: If you’re usually bringing food and drinks to the beach, this LILICALL mesh beach tote bag has a cooler that can carry up to 12 cans, making it a convenient pick. The cooler itself is waterproof and completely detachable, allowing for easy access and the flexibility to leave it home when you don't need it. Designed with high-frequency welding technology, you can count on this cooler to keep your drinks and food at its original temperature. While only the cooler is waterproof, the bag overall is lightweight, made of durable mesh, and water-resistant. Just be sure not to turn the cooler over, as it could leak.
What fans say: "I love the detachable cooler. It can be used for food items, but it can be used for anything else, like makeup. It's a very pretty color and so breathable. No more sand in the bag, the mesh is great for keeping everything sand free. It's roomy and durable. I'll be using it all summer long."
4. The Most Stylish Bag
What's great about it: For those who prefer a more stylish look, this Cieovo beach bag is a great choice, with comfortable, faux leather handles and chic, black and white stripes. Efficient, durable, and perfectly sized, the exterior is constructed with tough Oxford fabric, while the interior features a waterproof nylon lining. This bag is able to hold plenty of items and even has an exterior pocket for easy access.
What fans say: "Perfect size. Held up well on beach vacation and also worked as cooler with [plastic] bags of ice. Perfect for our vacation."
5. The Most Cost-Effective
What's great about it: Both affordable and dependable, this OdyseaCo Aruba beach bag is able to carry four beach towels and can also secure keys, phones, and other valuables in its smaller compartments. Its mesh design resists odors while allowing damp clothes to easily dry, plus it comes with a cooler at the bottom so you can safely store your food and drinks (though, unlike the LILICALL pick, the cooler here is not detachable, making this bag a little less versatile). For just $9, it's a pretty great find.
What fans say: "Loved this bag for on the beach. It was super convenient. My [fiancé] and I were able to fit like 4 or 5 drinks and two small fruit containers in the cooler part super easily. Loved it!"
6. The Best Fully Waterproof Bag
What fans say: For those who engage in outdoor water sports and activities, this MARCHWAY floating waterproof dry bag is the perfect option. Made out of 500 denier tarpaulin, a material that is extremely durable, you won’t have to worry about it tearing or getting punctured. If placed in water, the bag will float while still keeping your items dry and protected. Compact, versatile, and portable, it's a great option, whether you're kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, or just hanging out on the beach. On top of that, it's available in many colors and ranges in size from 10 to 40 liter options, with a variety of strap styles.
What fans say: "This kept our stuff dry. Even while swimming in the ocean we carried towels and cell phones in the bag and nothing was wet."
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