Which brand is best for tote bags?

18 Apr.,2024


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As a fashion writer and a New Yorker, I can not live without my tote bags. They’re the only way you can schlep your laptop, wallet, makeup and ballet flats while still looking put together. But, there is a range of tote bags out there—from basic canvas to high-priced designer bags—and it’s hard to know which one has that right mix of capacity, durability, and style. If you’re looking for an upgrade, I handpicked a range of totes based on their exceptional quality, stunning design, unparalleled functionality, and rave customer reviews. Whether you are a student, a professional, or a traveler, you can find your perfect match among these top-tier tote bags. Keep reading to discover which one best suits your style.

What to consider when buying a tote bag


The durability and appearance of a bag are primarily affected by the material used to make it. Leather tote bags are known for their sophisticated look and long lifespan, although they may demand more maintenance than those constructed from canvas or fabric.


It is essential to look at the quality when considering a bag. Inspect the stitching, zippers, and handles of the bag. A good-quality bag should display neatly done, durable stitches, zippers that move smoothly, and strong handles.


The purpose of the tote bag is essential. Are you using it as an everyday bag or to carry items for special events? A tote bag for daily use should be practical and durable, while one for events can focus more on style.


Consider the purpose of your tote bag. Choose practical and durable for daily use or focus on style for events. Consider your style and regular activities. A leather tote has a classic look but might not fit your edgy, colorful style. A recycled nylon bag is an eco-friendly option, but it might not fit your office atmosphere if you’re looking for the best work bag for you. Ensure your bag makes you look good and feel good.


Choose a tote bag that meets your needs—after all, you’re going to be using it to tote other things. The bag must be durable enough to carry all your necessary items. If you intend to use it frequently, it needs to endure continual usage and damage.

Our top picks for the best tote bags

Best laptop tote bag: Leatherology Alex Laptop Work Bag

Best laptop tote bag

Leatherology Alex Laptop Work Bag

buy on Leatherology

This two-piece set is made of Italian leather with a microsuede lining to protect your laptop. An open back pocket fits folders or A4 paper, so your documents never get wrinkled. The matching laptop envelope sleeve feature will make you look like a boss in the boardroom. The double protection is excellent, too. This laptop tote is designed with one zippered pocket, two open wall pockets and an exterior back pocket that doubles as a trolley sleeve. Add a monogram or a guitar strap to make it even more personalized.


  • Materials: Leather
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Dimensions: 10.75" H x 17.75" W x 4.25" D
  • Weight: N/A
  • Price on Publish: $455

What we like:

  • The leather
  • The matching laptop sleeve

What we don't Like:

  • Some shoppers say the straps are too short

The bottom line

Tote your life in style with this luxe 2-piece set.

Get it here: Leatherology Alex Laptop Work Bag

Best affordable tote bag: Athleta All About Tote Bag

Best affordable tote bag

All About Tote Bag



This tote bag is an excellent choice for anyone who is looking for a combination of style and functionality. It is made from recycled, durable, water-repellent polyester, which makes it a sustainable option that is also built to last. The smooth and soft fabric gives it a sleek and modern look that will complement any outfit. The interior of the bag features a water bottle pocket, so you can stay hydrated while on the go, as well as a laptop sleeve that will keep your computer safe and secure. And the best part is that it is priced affordably, so you don't have to break the bank to enjoy its benefits.


  • Materials: Polyester and Recycled Polyester
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Dimensions: 13.5" H x 21" W x 6.25"D
  • Weight: N/A
  • Price on Publish: $79

What we like:

  • The pockets
  • Recycled material

What we don't Like:

  • Honestly, nothing!

The bottom line

A fantastic everyday tote that will last you a long time.

Get it here: Athleta All About Tote Bag

Best budget tote bag: Dreubea Women's Soft Faux Leather Tote Bag

Best budget tote bag

Dreubea Women's Soft Faux Leather Tote Shoulder Bag from, Big Capacity Tassel Handbag Blue



Coming in at just $14.99 is this Amazon favorite with over 6,000 Amazon reviews with an average 4-star rating. It’s made out of faux leather with a convenient magnet closure and tassel decoration. It has one main big pocket and a small side pocket. This bag is big enough to hold an iPad, charger, wallet, books, phone, keys and cosmetics. Best yet, it comes in dozens of colors. At this price point, you might as well grab two.


  • Materials: Faux Leather
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Dimensions: 11.4” H x 15.7” W x 4” D
  • Weight: .74 pounds
  • Price on Publish: $14.99

What we like:

  • Great price point
  • It comes in tons of colors

What we don't Like:

  • Some reviewers mention low durability

The bottom line

A great everyday tote at an even greater price.

Get it here: Dreubea Women's Soft Faux Leather Tote Bag

Best work tote bag: Hobo Bags Vida Tote

Best work tote bag

Vida Tote in Micro Pebbled Leather - Morning Dove Grey Tote Bag in Morning Dove Grey | Hobo®



Crafted to serve as the ideal tote, this Hobo Tote effortlessly fits into everyday life, delivering practicality, function and style. The leather is beautiful and high quality, with a contrasting interior as a nice touch. The straps are long enough to take on your morning commute, and the bag is firm enough to stand up on its own. A middle zippered compartment can keep your laptop or wallet safe, and the easily accessible slip pockets will keep your phone, sunglasses, and car keys handy.


  • Materials: Leather
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Dimensions: 11" H x 15.5" W x 4.5" D
  • Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Price on Publish: $258

What we like:

  • Gorgeous design
  • Zippered central compartment

What we don't Like:

  • Some say it runs heavy

The bottom line

The perfect work tote does exist! Grab this one with two open slots and a zippered central compartment made in gorgeous pebbled leather by HOBO Bags.

Get it here: Hobo Bags Vida Tote

Best everyday tote bag: Marc Jacobs The Tote Bag Leather Medium

Best everyday tote bag

MARC JACOBS The Leather Medium Tote Bag in Wolf Grey

Marc Jacobs




This Medium version of Marc Jacob’s beloved The Tote Bag now comes in a striking Barbie pink and aqua blue leather. This fan favorite is just big enough and has a top zip closure, cross body strap, two exterior slip pockets, one interior zippered pocket and one card slot. It's a perfectly compact bag that can be carried by the top handles or with the adjustable, removable crossbody strap for hands-free styling. If you’re not into bright colors, of course it comes in black, white, gray, tan, and denim print, among others.


  • Materials: 100% full grain leather
  • Capacity: 10.17 L
  • Dimensions: 11” H x 13” W x 6” D
  • Weight: 2.16 pounds
  • Price on Publish: $450

What we like:

  • A classic bag that fits every chapter of your life
  • Wide opening with zippered top

What we don't Like:

  • Wish it had a few more pockets

The bottom line

The iconic Marc Jacobs tote is 5-star rated for a reason.

Get it here: Marc Jacobs The Tote Bag Leather Medium

Best leather tote bag: Tory Burch Perry Leather Tote

This designer tote bag from Tory Burch is made of imported pebbled leather. It has a spacious and aesthetically pleasing appearance, with a functional interior that includes a zippered divider and metal feet for protection. The interior is designed with pockets to hold your phone and wallet, making it perfect for keeping your belongings organized. The tote is structured and spacious, with three interior compartments for enhanced organization. It features an open top and shoulder straps for comfortable and easy carrying.


  • Materials: Pebbled leather
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Dimensions: 11.5" H x 14" W x 4" D
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Price on Publish: $398

What we like:

  • Supple pebbled leather
  • Chic design

What we don't Like:

  • The elevated price point

The bottom line

Although this chic and modern tote bag is a bit more expensive, reviewers say its function and durability make up for it.

Get it here: Tory Burch Perry Leather Tote

Best luxury tote bag: Thom Browne Cotton Canvas Grosgrain Loop Tote

Best luxury tote bag

Thom Browne Cotton Canvas Grosgrain Loop Tote

buy on Thom Browne

This luxury tote from Thom Browne is perfect for weekends away or days on the go. The body is crafted from 100% cotton and 100% calf full-grain leather, sitting at the intersection of functionality and sophistication. It features a brass zipper closure and the signature Thom Browne striped grosgrain loop tab. The exterior vent pocket allows you to keep your quick necessities accessible, the entire zip top keeps your items secure, and the luxurious shoulder strap has five notches to ensure that it fits you perfectly.


  • Materials: Calf full-grain Italian leather and 100% cotton
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Dimensions: 12" H x 21.75" W x 8" D
  • Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Price on Publish: $1350

What we like:

  • High-quality Italian leather
  • Unisex design

What we don't Like:

  • It comes with a luxury price point

The bottom line

If you’re looking to splurge, go no further than this Thom Browne tote.

Get it here: Thom Browne Cotton Canvas Grosgrain Loop Tote

Best minimalist tote bag: Cuyana Classic Easy Tote

Best minimalist tote bag

Cuyana Classic Easy Tote

buy on Cuyana

This lightweight Cuyana tote is perfect for minimalists. It checks all the boxes for a work tote or carryall for errands, and its streamlined design whispers, “quiet luxury.” It can easily accommodate groceries, a laptop, your Stanley cup, a packed lunch, or your favorite Sunday goodies. Cuyana's clean and simple design allows this tote to be used in any environment.


  • Materials: Leather
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Dimensions: 12.3” H x 20.6” W x 5.1” D
  • Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Price on Publish: $268

What we like:

  • Minimalist design
  • Sturdy leather

What we don't Like:

  • Refilling can be difficult

The bottom line

A minimalist tote bag that whispers quiet luxury.

Get it here: Cuyana Classic Easy Tote

Best tote bag for travel: Calpak Haven Laptop Tote Bag

Best tote bag for travel

CALPAK Haven Laptop Tote Bag in Cabernet




Leave it to the leaders in travel, Calpak, to make an incredible laptop and travel tote. This bag is perfect for work, but also features a trolley sleeve so you can slide it right on your suitcase. The adjustable shoulder strap and removable laptop compartment make it a crossbody weekender in seconds. As one reviewer put it, "This bag is a MUST-HAVE.” Shopping tip: Calpak also made our lists for the best travel totes, best places to buy luggage online, and the best makeup bags.


  • Materials: Polyurethane and polyester
  • Capacity: 16 L
  • Dimensions: 12.5" H x 16" W x 5" D
  • Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Price on Publish: $180

What we like:

  • The versatile design can be a handheld, a shoulder bag or a crossbody bag
  • Trolley sleeve to fit on luggage
  • Detachable laptop compartment

What we don't Like:

  • It's a bit pricey, but reviewers say it’s worth it

The bottom line

A classic tote for a classic toter.

Get it here: Calpak Haven Laptop Tote Bag

Best tote bag for men: Filson Tin Cloth Zipper Tote Bag

Best tote bag for men

Filson Tin Cloth Zipper Tote Bag

buy on Filson

The Filson Tin Cloth Tote Bag with Zipper is a reliable and durable bag for those who travel light and fast. Its tight weave is resistant to ripping and abrasion, and its nylon-lined interior and cotton-webbing handles provide added protection. A great alternative to duffel bags for men, the heavy-gauge metal zipper at the top guarantees years of unfailing service. It's the perfect companion for all your adventures, whether you're going on a weekend getaway or a day trip.


  • Materials: 100% cotton oil finish Tin Cloth, bridle leather and nylon
  • Capacity: 25 L
  • Dimensions:13.38” H x 14.625” L x 6” D
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Price on Publish: $175

What we like:

  • Comes in otter green, orange and camo
  • Lightweight

What we don't Like:

  • No crossbody strap

The bottom line

This tin-cloth zipper is durable, spacious, and has well-designed pockets.

Get it here: Filson Tin Cloth Zipper Tote Bag

Best large tote bag: Mansur Gavriel Everyday Soft Tote

Best large tote bag

Everyday Soft Tote - Black/Flamma



This leather tote bag is a popular choice for those who need plenty of space. It can hold a 16-inch MacBook, wallet, spare shoes, or a workout outfit with ease. It's one of the most spacious bags you'll find, and it comes with a matching leather pouch inside. This pouch is perfect for holding small essentials such as keys, credit cards, or AirPods.


  • Materials: 100% Italian Soft Calf Leather
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Dimensions: 11.8 H x 21.5 W x 9 D
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Price on Publish: $725

What we like:

  • Celebrity fave seen on Julianne Moore and Katie Holmes
  • Ability to be monogrammed

What we don't Like:

  • The price point

The bottom line

This fan favorite is made of gorgeous Italian leather and can hold all your things.

Get it here: Mansur Gavriel Everyday Soft Tote

Best wide tote bag: Midi Pyramid Tote Bag

Best wide tote bag

Midi Pyramid Tote Bag

buy on Kaai

Kaai bags have been having their moment as of late, and now we know why. They give the quality and aesthetic of more expensive designer bags, but at just a fraction of the cost. This wide-set tote bag features buttery leather in a variety of colors (there’s also a canvas version), two external pockets with magnetic closure, two inner openings for pens/lipgloss, one inner zippered pocket, two larger inner pockets, a water bottle holder and tech device closure in leather and velcro—literally everything you need.


  • Materials: 100% Italian cow leather
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Dimensions: 10.6” H x 13” W x 5.5” D
  • Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Price on Publish: $725

What we like:

  • Most compartments of any bag on this list
  • Wide opening with zippered top

What we don't Like:

  • The price point

The bottom line

This reviewer says it all: “Finally, a tote which recognizes the reality of a busy woman's life. The bag has a compartment for everything.”

Get it here: Midi Pyramid Tote Bag

Best patterned tote bag: MZ Wallace Medium Metro Tote Deluxe

Best patterned tote bag

MZ Wallace Medium Metro Tote Deluxe

buy on MZ Wallace

MZ Wallace is a fan favorite for totes, work bags for women, weekender bags for women and pouches, so we were so excited to see the Medium Metro Tote Deluxe with fun fabrics. It comes in four different seasonal patterns (the Autumn Geo is giving Goyard vibes) and can accommodate a laptop up to 13 inches. Features include a zip-top closure, five exterior pockets and reinforced padded nylon handles. It also includes natural leather protective feet and MZ Wallace’s signature red leather edging. The interior has six pockets, a detachable pouch, and a key ring strap. Add an adjustable guitar strap and a luggage sleeve, and you've just about described the perfect tote bag.


  • Materials: Recycled nylon and leather
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Dimensions: 12.70” H x 11.6” W × 9.4” D
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Price on Publish: $275

What we like:

  • Tons of pockets
  • Seasonal pattern releases

What we don't Like:

  • Some say the straps slip

The bottom line

Show off your style with this large and lightweight tote bag with tons of pockets that comes in a variety of patterns.

Get it here: MZ Wallace Medium Metro Tote Deluxe

Best quality tote bag: Brahmin Cami Croc Embossed Leather Satchel

Best quality tote bag

Brahmin Cami Croc Embossed Leather Satchel in Paradise Pink at Nordstrom



The signature croc-embossed leather and gleaming hardware on this Brahmin top handle show off its quality and structured style. With a spacious interior, zip top closure and detachable crossbody strap, this bag is versatile enough to use as an evening bag and big enough to carry your water bottle and iPad. More than two dozen skilled artisans and over 100 steps are required to produce each handbag. The protective metal feet are a nice touch, too.


  • Materials: Croc-embossed leather
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Dimensions: 8″ H x 10.25″ W x 5″ D
  • Weight: 2.1 lbs
  • Price on Publish: $325

What we like:

  • Stunning high-quality embossed leather
  • Small enough to be a handbag

What we don't Like:

  • Some report it’s a little too stiff

The bottom line

One reviewer nailed it: “I love my new Cami handbag. The bag shape is the perfect size—not too big, not too small.”

Get it here: Brahmin Cami Croc Embossed Leather Satchel

Best grocery tote bag: Baggu Cloud Bag

Best grocery tote bag

Baggu Cloud Bag

buy on Baggu



This lightweight tote bag from the trendy brand BAGGU has a sporty look to help you lug your lunch. It comes with a zip-top design and a zippered interior pouch. The padded handles provide comfort for those long commutes and looks much more stylish than a rolling duffel bag and lighter than a leather duffel bag. The tote is crafted from sturdy nylon and recycled materials that can withstand wear and tear without quickly ripping or tearing. It can be efficiently folded and kept in a small pouch for effortless storage.


  • Materials: Recycled heavyweight nylon
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Dimensions: 12.75" H × 13.75" W × 8" D
  • Weight: 1.25 pounds
  • Price on Publish: $52

What we like:

  • Great price
  • Tons of colors

What we don't Like:

  • We wish there were more zippers

The bottom line

The perfect, flexible tote bag to lug your mangoes home.

Get it here: Baggu Cloud Bag

Best lightweight tote bag

Boat and Tote, Zip-Top Mauve Reg, Canvas/Nylon L.L.Bean

L.L. Bean


The Boat and Tote from L.L. Bean is arguably the most famous tote because it's lightweight, durable, and versatile enough with a zip-top design. This makes it ideal for your daily commute or running multiple errands in one day. The Boat and Tote comes in a wide range of colors and is made from durable canvas material, which has established it as a must-have item in the American wardrobe. Of course, you can monogram it, too.


  • Materials: Canvas
  • Capacity: 17 L
  • Dimensions: 12" H x 13" W x 6" D
  • Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Price on Publish: $44.95

What we like:

  • Iconic size and shape
  • Rings in at under $50

What we don't Like:

  • Shorter straps

The bottom line

Join the thousands of boat and tote lovers with this strong contender for bag of the century.

Get it here: L.L Bean Boat-and-Tote With a Zip-Top

Best adjustable tote bag: Carhartt Convertible Backpack Tote Bag

Best adjustable tote bag

Carhartt Convertible Backpack Tote Bag

buy on dungarees



The Carhartt Convertible Backpack Tote is a versatile bag that combines the functionality of a tote and a backpack. Constructed from durable 600 denier polyester and treated with Rain Defender water repellent, this bag is designed to withstand wear and tear. The main compartment of the bag is generously sized and is secured with a zipper. The compartment features a padded sleeve that can accommodate a 15-inch laptop and two additional pockets to organize your belongings. The bag can be carried as a tote or worn as a backpack, thanks to its adjustable straps. Additionally, the bag has two exterior slash pockets and one exterior zippered pocket, providing ample space for your essentials.


  • Materials: Cotton canvas
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Dimensions: 13” H X 17” W X 4” D
  • Weight: 1.35 pounds
  • Price on Publish: $69.99

What we like:

  • Convertibility to a backpack
  • Great assortment of colors

What we don't Like:

  • Canvas finish is best for casual environments

The bottom line

Get the best of both worlds with this Carhartt Backpack Tote.

Get it here: Carhartt Convertible Backpack Tote Bag

How to maintain and clean tote bags

Always follow the manufacturer's instructions to clean your tote bag. To hand wash fabric tote bags, fill a sink with cold water and mild detergent, then gently swish the tote bag and let it soak for 10-15 minutes. For nylon tote bags, machine wash them on a delicate cycle with cold water and mild detergent, then air dry. Leather tote bags require spot cleaning with a damp cloth and leather cleaner.

What are the different types of tote bags?

Tote bags are a versatile and eco-friendly accessory that comes in various colors, sizes, and materials. They have an open top and two handles, making them larger than most purses. Tote bags usually come in two styles: open top or zippered compartment/top. The style you choose depends on your lifestyle. If you are a city commuter, you might prefer the zip top for added security, while parents might like the accessibility of an open top. A hybrid version with a zippered compartment is also available for those who want both security and accessibility. Tote bags are perfect for shopping and can be personalized to match any style.

How I selected the best tote bags

To ensure that I provide the best recommendations possible, we scoured the internet for the latest and greatest fashion finds. I used a combination of factors, including product reviews, sales numbers, star rankings, and best-seller lists to identify the top tote bags for you to choose from. I also considered the following:


A good tote isn’t just stylish, it can handle daily use and transporting whatever you need on the go. I looked at durable materials (like leather, water-repellent polyester, cotton canvas, etc.), along with the quality of closures and stitching.

Capacity and versatility

Pockets, compartments, and even extras like included laptop sleeves help expand your storage options. I also looked for features like adjustable straps, and straps you can swap out or reposition.


Everyone has a different opinion on the fashionability factor of a bag. That said, I did focus on a range of styles, from classic tailored totes to on-trend contemporary designs.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Are tote bags in style?

Tote bags have been a sought-after accessory for many years, but in recent times, they have become a fashionable trend. Nowadays, people incorporate these bags into their daily outfits. Despite tote bags' previous popularity, their significance has gradually declined over time.

How much weight can tote bags carry?

Tote bags are notorious for their strength. Most are made to hold up to 10 pounds, but many have a capacity of 75-100 pounds. Leather duffel bags and weekender bags for women might hold more weight, while smaller tote bags and crossbody bags tend to hold less.

What is high-quality tote bag material?

Tote bags can be created in many different materials, sizes, and shapes to accommodate various items. The best fabric options are durable ones such as leather, canvas, denim, and thick nylon.

Is the tote bag still in style?

Totes with high-fashion appeal have gained popularity lately. The trend for oversized bags has been seen on the runway by major brands like Marc Jacobs, Saint Laurent, Mansur Gavriel and Dior, who offer us luxurious alternatives to the structureless cotton totes we've gotten as promotional items.

Are canvas or cotton tote bags better?

Both materials are great for tote bags. Weigh your preferences (thicker fabrics will be more durable, but also add more weight) to choose the right bag for you.

Totes are one of the most essential travel items you can own—the best tote bags are endlessly versatile and tend to have room for everything you could need while in transit. For some travelers, a sturdy leather tote is a no-brainer personal item for flights: It's bigger than most purses, so you can more easily fit a laptop, water bottle, and all other plane accessories inside. For others, an easy-to-fold cotton option might be the item you break out mid-trip for a visit to the beach or farmers market.

Whatever your style, a tote bag you love is a must-have piece of luggage, and we're here to help you find the right one. Below, we've pulled together the best tote bags to travel with—from value buys to investment bags you'll get compliments on for years to come—starting with the ones Condé Nast Traveler editors and contributors are carrying these days.

This article has been updated with new information since its original publish date.

Editors' picks

Cos Oversized Quilted crossbody

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that I’ve used this bag every single day since I bought it. I love the quilted design but the real selling point for me was the size; not only can I carry my daily essentials, but I’ve actually used this as a weekender. I enjoy that it looks cool and slouchy when there’s not a lot in it, but even when I over fill it—which I do, regularly—the quilted strap doesn’t dig into my shoulder or slip off constantly. It also has numerous handy compartments; an inside large pocket, an inside zippered pocket, and two more zippered pockets on the outside that are cleverly hidden. To me, this bag is perfect. —Abigail Malbon, global audience development manager


at Cos

Baggu Nylon shoulder bag

Baggu’s Nylon shoulder bag is more durable than its canvas tote bags but equally as stylish. It’s slightly slouchy, slightly structured, and comes in the signature Baggu colors and patterns. The adjustable quilted shoulder strap allows for a crossbody fit, a must-have for me when I’m commuting into the office or walking longer distances (nobody needs their laptop sliding off their shoulder onto the sidewalk). The zip closure and interior pockets are handy for organizing miscellaneous goodies and preventing spillage. Plus, the lightweight material can easily be flattened to fit into my suitcase. I find myself continuously reaching for this multipurpose tote on my way to the gym, office, farmers market, and airport. —Hannah Towey, associate editor


at Amazon


at Baggu

Vera Bradley Vera tote bag

Sentimentality may cloud my vision, for the tote in my possession belongs to my late grandmother. And when I tell you I was complimented frequently for it while in Italy, I mean I felt I needed to use the bag to beat back admirers waxing: “Wow, is Vera Bradley back?”; “Is it reversible?!”; “The textiles are so beautiful.” I often caught myself fantasizing about dumping it upside down to perform a “What’s in my bag” for nobody in particular—so capacious is the tote that I was needlessly carrying multiple novels within and rarely remembered to leave my toiletry kit on the hotel bathroom counter where it belonged. Handy pockets ringing the interior are just icing, and would have kept my passport safely inside had I ever been moved to act on the aforementioned dumping. —Charlie Hobbs, associate editor


at Amazon



at Vera Bradley

Junes The Everyday Tote

I have always traveled with some type of packable tote bag. I need it for snack runs at local markets; for souvenir shopping without all the wasteful plastic and paper bags; and especially if I run out of room to get all my souvenirs home in my carry-on. This Junes bag is my favorite, because even though it’s slightly bigger than a nylon packable shopper bag, I love being able to see what’s inside—plus, the two bottle pockets are great for carrying water around, or just separating out important items like my phone or keys to the Airbnb. I love the bright colors they come in, and the brand values (namely, the bags are made of recycled plastic, in partnership with an all-women sewing co-op in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico). —Megan Spurrell, senior editor


at Junes

Beekman 1802 Baby Goat Tote 2023

My gym is 10 blocks from my apartment, so I try to make the trek count. On my way back, I like to stop by the grocery store and pet supply shop, or grab a bouquet of flowers from the deli. This huge, floppy tote fits all my workout stuff with lots of room to spare for incidentals, and I love the bright color and cute goat print. —Alexandra Sanidad, research director


at Beekman

Dragon Diffusion Japan Tote

I love a tote—the size, the shape, the casual ease, the practicality—but the canvas variety that I seem to amass gets dirty so quickly. And, let’s be honest, the logos most sport aren’t always the look I’m going for. I recently splurged on this woven leather tote bag. It was pricey—in the range of what I’d pay for a handbag—but I love that it’s handcrafted (no two are alike) by leather artisans. It’s gorgeous and I plan to use it as an everyday bag. Because of the quality of the leather, it will patina beautifully and get better with age. Plus, it comes with a little St. Christopher medal; he’s the patron saint of travelers, which of course felt like a sign that it was the tote for me. —Rebecca Misner, senior features editor


at Dragon Diffusion

Tumi Georgica Jodys tote

I’ve gotten so many compliments on this bag since I started using it on my commute to work last fall. I have the eggplant color, which is a beautiful purple-brownish hue; the leather material is truly buttery soft. It’s smaller than my other work bag (a medium-sized Telfar), but still fits all my essentials—a laptop and charger, planner, Kindle Paperwhite, small toiletry bag, sunglasses, wallet, phone, etc.—and I’ve been appreciating the more streamlined look. I like that there is a key leash and interior compartments (both slip sleeves and a zippered compartment) to keep my belongings organized. The tote doesn’t zip closed, but there is a magnetic button closure that keeps items inside secure. My only slight critique: I wouldn’t mind the straps being a tad thicker, especially when the bag is really full. —Madison Flager, senior commerce editor


at Nordstrom


at Tumi

MZ Wallace Medium Metro Tote Deluxe

This bag is all about the pockets. No tote has ever kept me quite as organized as this one from MZ Wallace, a brand known for its signature quilted bags. It offers six interior pockets, five exterior pockets, and a detachable pouch, giving me a dedicated space for all of my essentials plus a whole lot more. I’m always impressed at how much this thing fits; an umbrella, my 13-inch laptop, a full change of clothes, and my lunch. The Medium Metro tote features ultra-soft shoulder straps, making it a go-to for commutes to the office and as a spacious personal item on flights. My favorite thing about this bag is how lightweight it feels even when full—it never digs into my shoulders or hurts my arms. More features that make this roomy tote a smart choice for travelers: a luggage sleeve, protective feet, and a detachable and adjustable crossbody strap. It looks so sleek in black, but it’s also available in over a dozen colors, including red, bright yellow, moss, blue, and white. —Meaghan Kenny, associate commerce editor


at Nordstrom


at MZ Wallace

Madewell Medium Transport tote

Madewell's classic leather tote bag is one of the brand's bestsellers—and it's easy to see why. The thin but sturdy body is made of leather with a lightly waxed finish, so the bag can both fold beneath the seat in front of you and stand up on its own. It has top handles as well as an adjustable shoulder strap. This tote doesn't have a zip closure along the top, but there is an inner pocket perfect for storing valuables (and the large outer pocket is perfect for items you want to take in and out often, like sunglasses). The bag comes in several sizes, but I love how the medium easily converts from a work bag (most laptops can fit inside) to a casual purse you can use every day. —M.S.


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Pond LA Transform Air tote

This is by far the most functional tote bag I’ve ever used. Whether I’m commuting to the office, heading on a day trip, or going to the airport, I never worry about fitting everything I need (and more). The Transform tote keeps my 15" laptop secure in its own compartment, fits my large reusable water bottle in a side pocket, has protective feet at the bottom so my bag doesn’t touch the ground, and has multiple other pockets for keeping small essentials like my sunglasses, wallet, and earbuds organized. The feature that really sets this tote bag apart from others I’ve used in the past? It can be easily adjusted and worn four different ways depending on what’s on your travel itinerary: It can be worn as a shoulder bag using its handles, as a classic tote bag using the longer adjustable strap, or as a backpack; plus, it fits right on top of your luggage, thanks to the trolley sleeve. —M.K.

Read a full review here.



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Vince Camuto Orla canvas tote

This is my go-to statement tote. Vince Camuto’s bags have special, unique patterns that make them the ultimate statement piece. I usually gravitate toward this one on weekends when I know I’ll be moving around the city and can’t pinpoint one specific atmosphere. The open design allows me to fit my laptop, a change of shoes, a small toiletry bag, and my wallet with ease. Even better, with a flat bottom, I never have to worry about my belongings toppling out, no matter if my bag is filled to the brim or light as a feather. —Paris Wilson, commerce producer


at Amazon


at Vince Camuto

Standard Baggu tote

I use this Baggu tote all the time—it's often smushed into my purse or fanny pack when running errands in New York City, and gets tossed into my suitcase on nearly every vacation. It folds up into roughly the size of a deck of cards, but when unfolded, holds a ton; you could put a new stack of books in there or a small load of groceries from a local farmers market. It's great for a day at the beach too, since the material dries quickly and won't be ruined by a wet bathing suit and towel. —M.F.


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at Amazon (set of three)

Lux & Nyx Origami large tote

Lux & Nyx is a small, woman-owned business that makes a range of stylish and functional bags (backpacks, crossbody, clutches), but it’s the Origami Tote that’s the clear winner for travelers. It comes in three different sizes, and the large (15"L x 11.5”H x 6.5”W) is the perfect personal item companion for frequent fliers. The bag is roomy, and the interior construction makes organization easy. The padded laptop sleeve fits my 13-inch computer as well as my 11-inch iPad and even a paperback book. On the opposite side of the bag, two interior pockets are great for smaller items like keys, a portable charger, or a wallet—things you don’t want getting lost in the deep main compartment. There’s another small interior side pocket for your water bottle, too. Both sides of the exterior have a crossed, origami design (hence the name!), and the bottom of one pocket can be unzipped to convert into a trolley sleeve. The bag only comes in one color, black, but there is an option to select silver or gold hardware. —Patrice J. Williams, contributor


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at Amazon

Cuyana Easy tote

Cuyana's ethos centers on owning fewer, more high quality things, and this pebbled leather bag is the perfect example of the only tote you'll ever need. A go-to of associate commerce editor Meaghan Kenny's, it's made of beautiful Italian leather with a microsuede interior, and comes in a handful of neutrals that'll go with everything. It's soft and malleable when you need it to be and fits plenty of essentials. And though the bag comes with just one interior pocket, the brand sells an organization insert that has four pockets, and will ensure you can always find what you need, right when you need it. (Prefer a zipper? You're in luck.)


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Splurge-worthy totes

Medium Dior Book tote

The Book Tote is a Dior classic that's been revamped several times over the years. This iteration of the embossed tote with the macro-cannage motif gives it an almost quilted appearance. In true Dior fashion, the bag has a bit of bling with two gold-finish metal “Dior” charms on one of the handles. The bag comes with a detachable strap so it can be worn as a crossbody or shoulder bag.


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Bao Bao Issey Miyake Prism Frost tote

If you’re looking for a statement tote, look no further. The eye-catching design has a likeness to origami and comes in a range of crisp pastels. It features adjustable handles that can be shortened or lengthened and one main compartment is closed by a zipper.


at Saks Fifth Avenue


at Bloomingdale's

Prada Large Symbole tote

The Prada triangle is recognizable and so chic as it's laid out as an embroidered pattern onto the large tote. The bag comes in four contrasting colors that offer an elevated look to the more minimalistic design. It's made from the brand's iconic Saffiano leather and has a removable leather keychain on the exterior.


at Saks Fifth Avenue


at Prada

Altuzarra Watermill Large Straw tote bag

Woven from natural palm leaf with a spacious silhouette, this straw tote has vegan leather trim, hand-stitched detailing, and slim braided top handles. The colorful Watermill straw tote brings an elevated, playful look to any beach day with more than enough space for a book, towel, and water bottle.


at Neiman Marcus


at Nordstrom

Christian Louboutin Cabata East-West leather tote bag

There is little hesitation when choosing this Christian Louboutin tote bag. Its 12" x 19" dimensions mean you don’t have to sacrifice any of your essentials. The bottom of the bag is made of rubber so you can have some peace of mind when you inevitably need to place it on the floor, in the back of the car, or underneath the seat in front of you on a plane. And with a small wristlet attached, you can keep necessities close if you choose to throw the tote in an overhead bin or trunk.


at Neiman Marcus


at Saks Fifth Avenue

Louis Vuitton OnTheGo tote

A more subdued version of the classic Louis Vuitton monogram, the OnThe Go tote adds a chic, sleek spin to any travel outfit. The Twin Toron top handles and two shoulder straps offer extra versatility and comfort.


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Business trip–friendly totes

SteamLine Luggage The Navigator tote

This is the first tote bag the popular luggage brand, SteamLine, has released. Though new to the tote game, SteamLine has crafted an incredibly roomy carry-all with a structured silhouette made from plant-based canvas and metal-free leather. If you're mixing a bit of business with pleasure, it’s an ideal choice for family travel; it’s spacious, deep, and can store Kindles, gaming systems, coloring books, and diapers inside. The detachable pouch alone can easily fit up to six passports.


at SteamLine Luggage

Leatherology Kress XL tote

This sleek, sophisticated tote bag has plenty of room, with a deep, wide interior and side gussets that give you even more interior space. The bottom of the bag is outfitted with metal feet, allowing the bag to stand on its own and keep the fine leather surface protected. Want to customize it? Leatherology will monogram the bag, if you like. Seen here in camel, the classic tote is also available in versatile neutrals including dawn, navy blue, and black onyx.


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Tory Burch Perry leather tote

Say hello to your new business trip tote. This elegant bag is made of leather with a fully lined interior. There are two open compartments and one zip compartment. And if you're looking for both function and form, know that the contrasting luggage tag is an eye-catching addition. Shop the tote in black, tan, gray heron, calendula, shell pink, and brilliant red. (And, if you prefer a more petite bag, the Perry tote comes in a smaller version, as well.)


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at Tory Burch

Leatherology Uptown vertical Tote

For straightforward, luxurious leather pieces—all of which you can customize with monogramming and a hearty selection of color options—Leatherology is the place to go. Though the brand makes several larger totes (including zippered options), the vertical bag is a standout. The full-grain leather tote is incredibly versatile so you can use it from day to night. Plus, it's perfect for those who want something more compact: It'll fit your laptop, but maybe not your reusable water bottle, umbrella, and stack of in-flight reading materials.


at Leatherology

Cuyana System tote

This gorgeous tote is made of pebbled Italian leather—the kind you just want to run your hand over again and again. It’s got several compartments and pockets, snaps closed, and has lateral ties for additional security. It comes in five core colors, plus rotating seasonal hues. In addition to choosing your color, you can also choose between two sizes so you get the bag that best suits your needs. As for the name, the tote is called the “system” tote because it's made to pair with Cuyana's add-on accessories, including interior flap bags, additional inserts, and a laptop sleeve. These add-on components can be used interchangeably with other Cuyana bags, including satchels, crossbody bags, and more.


at Cuyana

Delsey Chatelet Air 2.0 tote bag

Renowned French brand Delsey made this tote with travelers who love to shop in mind. It can easily be folded up in your suitcase or carry-on, so won’t have to limit the number of souvenirs you bring back. Made from recycled water bottles and vegan leather, this bag will come with you on vacation for years to come.



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at Amazon

Packable totes

YLYYHH Leather tote bag

A packable tote is a must-have when traveling, but landing one as cute as this leather tote is hard to find. The large triangular bag is made from durable faux leather and has a soft velvet interior. It can easily be folded and stored in a carry-on or backpack and won’t take up noticeable space. The slouchy bag is the perfect minimalist design that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. The tote comes with a slim pouch that holds smaller necessities like a passport, lip balm or sunglasses.


at Amazon

Lo and Sons Catalina Deluxe Tote

The Catalina Deluxe tote can be many things: a gym bag, diaper bag, or beach bag to name a few. Highlights of this popular tote include a separate shoe compartment, trolley sleeve, and long adjustable straps.



at Lo and Sons

Calpak Luka Expandable Laptop tote

Just when I think I’ve run out of room, I haven’t. The expandable bottom of this Calpak laptop tote adds an extra four inches, allowing me to add last-minute essentials or souvenirs mid-trip. Like all products in the brand’s Luka collection, it’s made of a lightweight, ultra-soft, puffy exterior that makes carrying its handle easy. The material is also easy to clean—simply wipe away dirt or spills without a worry. Inside, there’s a padded 15" laptop sleeve, multiple side pockets, and a zippered section to keep smaller items organized. Another feature I love: There’s a zippered pocket on the outside that keeps my phone or passport secure, while still being easy to access. It’s a great tote for commuters and thanks to its luggage trolley sleeve, an ideal carry-on bag for travelers. —M.K.


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Bellroy Tokyo tote

Finally, everything has a place. With this Bellroy tote, you can avoid the dreaded rummaging around moments by utilizing all six pockets and the laptop sleeve found inside. The water-resistant, woven material folds up easily too, making this space saver a travel essential.


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at Bellroy

L.L. Bean Boat and Tote

Most people who grew up on the East Coast know the Boat and Tote—it's an L.L. Bean classic that's been around for decades. (Some have even described it as more of a household object than a bag, noting how much of a mainstay its become, and not just with the boat-loving crowd it was initially geared toward.) And what's not to like? These totes are spacious, the design is classic, and they start at $25, maxing out at $40, depending on which size you go for. The open-top option is great for day trips when you might have beach towels poking out the top, but the zip-top version will hold up best on longer hauls (or if you're traveling with kids who might be prone to tipping the whole thing over). This tote comes in a natural canvas color, with the option to monogram and customize the color on the straps.


at L.L. Bean

The North Face Borealis tote

With the option of being carried as a backpack or tote, the Borealis tote is a go-to for outdoor adventures. The interior houses a laptop sleeve while the exterior offers two deep water bottle pockets; store drinks, umbrellas, or even a small tripod in there. The durable, water-repellent finish seals the deal for this tote.


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at Amazon

Longchamp Large Le Pliage tote

Some of the best tote bags serve as a solid backup when you don't want to use your everyday purse or backpack. This minimalist leather and nylon tote from Longchamp comes in several neutral colors. Since it's water-resistant, it's a great bag to bring along if you suspect inclement weather. But the best part about this bag? You can fold it up into a tiny square and snap it closed, making it an easy choice to toss into your checked luggage.


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at Longchamp

Will & Atlas Paris stripe jute tote

This extra-large tote is big enough to house all your daily essentials and then some. The handmade bag features a cotton lining, one zipped pocket, and one wall pocket, which makes it easy to organize your belongings within. The bag, which is handmade in Bangladesh, is Fair Trade-Certified, too.


at Will & Atlas

Everyday totes

Augustnoa The Everyday Tote

The Augustnoa tote makes a difference in your life and for the earth; Each bag has been upcycled from 12 cotton shirts to craft the canvas exterior, plus six plastic bottles for the expansive lining. It features two adjustable shoulder straps, a slim laptop pocket, interior water bottle holders, a luggage sleeve for seamless suitcase attachment, and a convenient key leash.


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Modern Picnic The Tote

Modern Picnic is known for its chic lunch bags that look like handbags. The Tote is made from vegan leather that is incredibly easy to spot clean. It features a removable insulated pouch that keeps your food cool and separated from the rest of your essentials.


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Terra Thread Executive Work tote

With a 15-liter capacity, the Executive Work tote is large enough to fit all of your office essentials. Inside you’ll find a laptop compartment and a water bottle pocket while the exterior has a zippered pocket and double drop-in pockets on the back.


at Made Trade


at Terra Thread

Baggu Duck Bag

The classic canvas tote can be carried in hand or over the shoulder with its 40-inch adjustable straps. It has taped seams in the interior to help combat spills and everyday wear and tear.


at Amazon


at Baggu

Peak Design Everyday Tote

Peak Design recently revamped its Everyday Tote, but kept the clean aesthetics. Its thoughtful functionality protects, organizes, and offers quick access to your everyday essentials. Made from an 100 percent recycled weatherproof shell, unexpected showers won’t automatically ruin your commute. Another perk: You’re able to customize the storage inside with stretchy internal FlexFold dividers.


at Peak Design

Rag & Bone Logan leather tote

Rag & Bone creates timeless pieces that are built to last, and this Logan leather tote is no exception. Made from imported pebbled leather, the bag is incredibly soft and spacious, with a height of 15 inches and a width of 22 inches. Although roomy, the size doesn’t limit its versatility—the bag is equipped with two sets of handles so it can be carried both over the shoulder or on your forearm.


at Nordstrom


at Saks Fifth Avenue

Which brand is best for tote bags?

41 Best Tote Bags for Commuting, Beach Trips, and Souvenir Shopping

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