underscored beach carry on bags lead

Packing for a trip is never easy — especially if you tend to overpack. A quick way to justify bringing a few extra things, however, is by investing in multipurpose items that ultimately save you space. Case in point: your carry-on bag.

If you’re headed somewhere warm that requires a pool or beach bag, consider finding one hero tote that’s versatile enough to also function as a carry-on on your travel days. The checklist for such a bag includes lots of zippers and pockets, made of sand- or water-friendly materials and, of course, some serious design swagger. (Think: removable straps, trolley sleeves for easy transport and sustainable fabrics.)

Thankfully, there is a slew of options that will transport you from security to the shore in no time. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite options that will help you to save on space without sacrificing bringing your essentials. And the best part is all that space you just freed up in your luggage — time to throw in a few extra jackets and dresses.

Armed with six exterior pockets, an interior zipped pocket and a zip-top closure, this Scout Bag will serve you well on travel and beach days alike. Featuring a stable, burst-proof bottom that ensures the bag can stand upright on its own, this tote also has two handle lengths and is made from the brand’s intrinsic fabric that is not only lightweight but also waterproof and repels sand. Plus, it comes in 13 patterns that are perfect for taking straight to the beach.

Let us count the ways we love this collab! Marrying Steele’s century-long history of making quality bags with Mark & Graham’s penchant for fun colors and monogramming, this tote is perpetually topping our list of faves. Waterproof and tear-resistant, the vinyl-coated nylon bag comes in three sizes and 12 colorways, has an interior pocket and has bottom grommets for shaking out sand and dirt. Want some more protection for your belongings during those travel days? The brand also offers a version with a zip-top enclosure.

If you’re a Yeti devotee, fear not, the brand has a multifunctional bag for you. Perfect for boat days, road trips and everything in between, the Camino 35 is an open-top tote that allows for easy access but also has a hook closure for securing your items. Featuring a water- and puncture-proof shell, the tote can stand upright on its own and has retractable inner pockets for water bottles, phones and more, not to mention an interior zipper pocket. We also love the exterior grid system where you can latch a speaker or anything with a carabiner for easy transport.

Target for the win. We love the breathable mesh design of this Shade & Shore handbag — perfect for shaking off sand and airport terminal debris — and the zip-top closure. Available in three colors, the bag also has an outer pocket for your water bottle and an interior pocket for corralling your travel necessities.

Stylish and practical, this boxy tote from swim brand Gunes is the ideal choice when transitioning from plane to beach chair. We love the secure, zippered top and that the roomy bag is made from porous woven nylon, ensuring sand isn't going to do any damage. We’re also not mad at that preppy pattern.

Sometimes classic canvas is just what the doctor ordered, and the beloved Boat and Tote from L.L.Bean, which originally debuted in 1944, fits the bill. Boasting more than 4,000 positive reviews, the bag is handcrafted in Maine and has double-stitched seams, a heavy-duty canvas shell and reinforced handles — all of which is to say that it’s super durable. We love the zip-top closure, the fact that it comes in four sizes and eight colorways and can be monogrammed for an extra $8. Oh, and you can choose between regular and long handles — perfect for any traveler.

If canvas isn’t your thing — but the classic Boat and Tote look is — consider L.L.Bean’s Everyday Lightweight Tote, which is similar in design but much lighter, thanks to its nylon construction. Comprising an exterior open pocket and an interior zipped pocket with a key hook, the bag can also fold flat, taking up barely any room when packed, and is available in four colors and three sizes.

We’d be remiss to not include Beis’ genius Towel Tote on our list because, well, it’s genius. While it may look like a regular ol’ tote, this one actually unravels to become your pool (or beach) terrycloth towel and comes with an accompanying inflatable pillow. Available in two colorways, the tote has three interior pockets and a Velcro closure.

Long known for its indestructible water bottles, Hydro Flask is also the maker of some seriously smart insulated totes. (Yep, also known as coolers!) Available in three sizes and four colorways, the zip-top Insulated Tote can stand upright on its own or fold flat, features a coated fabric that is waterproof and has a zippered outer pocket for storing all the things. The best part is that it will also keep your lunch and drinks nice and cool.

Away knows a thing or two about travel accessories, and all that insight is alive and well in the brand’s Packable Carryall. Lightweight and water-resistant, the bag comes in four colorways and features a trolley sleeve, a zip-top closure and an interior zippered pouch. The most thoughtful detail, however, is that the bag can fold into the included zippered pouch, which can also be used as a catchall for your lip balm, gum and phone.

If you want a bag that can do it all, look no further than the L*Space Voyager. Part sleek tote, part high-functioning cooler, the bag’s wicker-inspired basketweave is full of texture that can easily be wiped down, thanks to its faux leather fabric. In addition to a detachable crossbody strap — which is super helpful for hands-free travel days — the bag also comes with a removable aluminum cooler sleeve that can keep your beach beverages nice and chilled.

There’s a lot to love about this roomy bag from Baggu. For one, it’s made from recycled nylon and has a zip-top closure. In addition to an interior zipped pocket, it’s also got a detachable interior pouch that's the perfect place to stash travel and pool accessories. Available in two colors, the bag also folds flat, taking up little to no room in your luggage when it's not in use.

A longtime New England favorite, Sea Bags are hand-sewn in Portland, Maine, and crafted from recycled sail cloth. As such, the water-resistant bags are chock-full of seafaring heritage — but they’re also ultra durable and great for beach and travel days alike. We love the Chebeague, which has handsome leather details on its handles, interior pockets and a zip-top closure.

Cute and affordable, this nylon zip-top bag is big enough to function as a weekender, but it can also fold flat when not in use. We love the removable crossbody strap, the pockets galore (including a zipped option on the interior) and the collegiate-inspired “beach” letter patches.

We’re huge fans of Dagne Dover’s signature neoprene bags, but when it comes to carry-on/beach options, the Jemi Tote is perfection. Lightweight and easy to clean, the Jemi is made from recycled water bottles and comes chock-full of travel bling like a 16-inch laptop sleeve, a key leash, two D rings, a luggage sleeve and five interior and exterior pockets. Love the puff but prefer a backpack? The Walker is your answer.

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