There aren’t many things better than waking up, seeing the sun beating down and planning a trip to the beach. Although decisions like this can be made on a whim, it pays to be prepared when hitting the coast. If you’re making a day of it, you’re going to need a decent beach outfit as well as a sturdy and spacious bag that can house your towels, clothes and a little bottle of something.
In its traditional form, the beach bag is a bigger, wider take on the tote. Materials like canvas, wicker or woven-textures make the bag robust enough to keep a good shape and battle any dirt that might be lingering between the grains of sand. Long gone are the days of using a plastic bag to hold all your beach gear – these 10 menswear brands have nailed sustainable alternatives that are practical and down-right stylish, too.
Best Beach Bag Brands
‘Classics, with a twist’ is the ethos over at J. Crew. That usually means the basics are going to be nailed but with room left for creativity. This is very much true in terms of its bags, with the brand offering up both familiar canvas styles as well as more elaborate printed designs that boast colourful striping and leather detailing.
The masters of minimalism, Cos deals in functional and modern takes on classics. So, don’t necessarily expect wicker or woven options here. Instead, look for alternative fabrics, like cotton or mesh, perfectly put together to accompany a neat minimalist beach look.
H&M’s slick younger brother boasts the same accessibility and simple designs as its style sibling, as well as the clinical, trend-led minimalism of (also H&M-owned) COS. If you’ve visited an Arket store, you’ll see everything organised by colour and when it comes to its bags, you can expect the same attention to detail. Heavy-woven fabric options are sure-fire winners here.
Ideally, you won’t even have to be thinking about wet weather on your beach day. Yet, there are plenty of benefits to a rainproof option from Danish outerwear experts Rains. Best known for its neat take on the anorak, the label has transferred that durable, hard-wearing material onto its bags too – its slick, streamlined tote is a winning option. And, if the heaven’s open unexpectedly, all your gear is safe and not sodden.
Created with stylish travellers in mind, Onia is your go-to spot for swimwear, warm weather clothing and of course, bags. The offering of the latter is particularly impressive – you’ll find spacious canvas totes, luxurious drawstring bags and mesh backpacks, all of which are ideal for a day at the beach. Try coordinating one with a pair of Onia’s swim shorts, or go for a contrasting colour for more of a seaside statement.
Copenhagen is a hub of design excellence (and not for from some excellent beaches), so we all know what to expect from Norse Projects. The Danish boutique has a minimal aesthetic at the heart of every piece and that doesn’t change for its beach offering either. Its bags are practical, spacious and design-conscious, keeping away from traditional wicker and maintaining a military edge with well-made cotton, block colour carriers.
You’ll do well to leave the house and not see a Herschel strapped to someone’s back these days and there’s good reason for that. The brand is known for creating bags that are robust and durable while remaining stylishly simple in design. Its totes offer up surprising versatility and come in different sizes fit for different needs. Go for a mid-volume tote, preferably structured, which’ll be both stylish and large enough to offer everything you need to storm the beaches.
Since its inception in 2007, Orlebar Brown has been setting the standard for high quality, tailored swim shorts, which the fashion industry has widely copied since. Before OB it was all baggy, printed board shorts, but the brand is also a dab hand at designing equally stylish, and practical, beach bags. Look out for the printed totes with images from the Slim Aarons archive, or the waterproof coated-canvas shoulder bags.
They say there are three certainties in life: death, taxes and the fact that Carhartt produces fine, hard-wearing workwear. Well, that’s what we heard, anyway. Those in the know will always have the brand high on their list because of its long-lasting reliability as well as an ability to make an instant visual impact. This rule applies for both its simple wide tote bags and more-structured canvas carriers that can go perfectly from street to sand.
San Francisco-based Baggu has made a name for itself recently, excelling in producing ethical, sustainable shopping bags that seemingly carry a car-load of food while also having the ability to fold away neatly into a little pouch. As much care has gone into its other types of bags too – its totes are made of thick cotton that lasts and come in a variety of colours to suit whatever your choice of outfit. The brand also boasts bigger, striped canvas options that not only epitomise ‘beach day’ but are super-practical too.
Outdoor specialist Patagonia has been leading the way for sustainability in fashion for some time, so when you buy a product from it, you know care and attention has gone into its creation. Also, its products are incredibly versatile – durable organic materials are widely used making them perfect for both trekking up a big hill and popping to the beach. Get you a bag that can do both.