I love tote bags. They help you pack all the stuff you need. They aren’t exactly small so that you could only put in your mobile phone in it and aren’t too big too, so that you couldn’t carry them around with you. They are the perfect size – made for you – if that’s how you feel.
When I first bought myself a tote bag, I wasn’t looking for one. I stumbled across it, and while I did have to pay in a few hundred dollars, it’s been around five years with it, and I would love to have it with me for another five.
Tote bags are the reason women don’t carry five kinds of different handbags with them – they do the work of all of them. Plus they are the most convenient shopping bags on earth; along with being environment-friendly (they prevent use of plastic).
So you are sold out on the idea of getting a tote bag, but with the variety in sizes, how do you choose which one is best for you?
Is a Tote Bag Right For You?
How do you plan to use your tote bag? Do you want to take it to parties or to your office? Here is why you would find a tote bag right for you.
Tote bags are relatively large bags with a single or double handle that goes over the shoulder. A duffel bag is cylindrical in shape and traditionally has a drawstring closing over the top.
Tote bags make perfect day bags. They are very spacious and can accommodate all the things you might need in a day. A tote can also be used a laptop bag. It can easily fit in small to medium size laptops. Apart from that, it is often used as a shopping bag. This is quite an environmental friendly function, as this reduces the usage of plastic bags.
Tote bags come in a variety of materials, everything from canvas to denim to khadi. The cleaning procedure should be the way that particular kind of material is cleaned. Tote bags are meant for everyday usage and as such do not present too much of a maintenance challenge.
Tote bags are generally spotted with women, though some styles of totes have been explored for men too – but they are not very widely used. Tote bags are so popular with women because women tend to carry a lot of stuff with them – a bottle of water, a notebook laptop, maybe an umbrella, a bit of makeup and other things.
Tote bags can be chosen on the basis of what purpose you are mostly going to use it for. Here is a handy guide that tells you how to gauge which size is the best for you. Here, tote bags have been divided in the simplest way possible. Each size is accompanied by what can easily fit into that size of bag. Based on approximations of what all you carry, find out which tote bag size you need.
How big: Hold up the corners of your father’s formal shirt – the space in the middle? That is the average size of a small tote bag.
Ideal for: College going people.
What to carry: Three or four books, a packet of crisps, random assortment of make-up.
How big: Long enough from your armpit to your waist, when hung from the shoulder with the shoulder strap done up really short and tight.
Ideal for: Office-going women.
What to carry: Makeup kit, notebook laptop, laptop charger, a change of clothes for the evening, a clutch.
How big: Imagine the biggest bag you can. That.
Ideal for: All the office stuff mentioned above plus a whole evening of shopping.
What to carry: As much as you can shop, notebook laptop, a bottle of water, food, make-up, wallet.
Get a duffel bag, seriously.
Best Travel Tote Bags You Can Find
You would find a host of popular companies offering tote bags. I like the Vera Bradley ones. You would also find ones from Tumi, Briggs, Riley and Delsey. Ikea, Everest and Gemline are some other popular brands.
Normally, they can cost you as less as $10. However, if you’re looking to buy a good one, be prepared to spend a couple hundred dollars. Designer tote bags cost a lot more. A Louis Vitton bag cat set you back by as much as $10,000.
I recently reviewed the Briggs and Riley Baseline Tote to use for carry-on luggage in a long 8 hour flight. In terms of practicability, this tote hits the spot. It is large and yet light-weight, making it easy to carry around. The wide bottom gives it stability when kept down vertically, and the many pockets make it ideal for air travel.
I could easily fit my important documents, my laptop and even a novel into it! I’m looking forward to trying out other Briggs and Riley items; they use excellent quality material and skillful craftsmanship.
Delsey totes tend to be very easy to carry and perfect for hauling around a load of carry-on luggage, a feature that is especially noteworthy to someone who travels with young, perpetually-hungry kids who always want a distraction in the form of a toy.
The specialty of this particular tote, however, is that you can fill it up as much as you want; you never have to carry it! In long journeys, it is compact enough to stow comfortably under one’s seats. No more back aches for me.
4. K. SLADE TOTE – The spacious bag
This brand has impressed me with how spacious and durable its bags are. While maintaining a design that is pleasing to the eye, these natural leather totes are just what you need to keep all your necessities close. The Indigo Ikat tote was worth every penny; the handwoven ikat fabric along with the contrasting natural leather made a graceful pair.
I was able to suitably organize my luggage too – the three inner pockets and roomy interior comes in very handy in this regard. The handles are smooth and well-balanced, allowing the bag to be carried with ease. I would certainly recommend this product and brand.
I could not be any happier with the Tumi Voyageur Q-Tote. Having ordered it online, I was a bit skeptical about how this bag would suit my requirements, but it met the mark splendidly. Chic, elegant and sophisticated, this tote is the perfect style statement.
All the Tumi products which I own have a very fashionable look while still being ideal for traveling; the Q-Tote is probably my favorite of the lot. I am in love with the leather trim and carry handles. The interior design is ingenious with separate pockets for phones and pens, zipper compartments, external slip pockets and a zipper that facilitates an over-the-handle hold for carrying the tote on a suitcase.
6. WESTCOTT TOTE – A Look You’ll Fall For
I’d been on the lookout for a long time for a good quality, non-leather tote. This was an item that eluded me until I discovered Westcott – a line of beautifully designed vegan handbags. My Gogo tote is made entirely of lightweight cotton and linen, and yet boasts of a very strong and hard-wearing canvas.
The rich gold coating, striped piping and matching gold top work lend it a classy look. It is just what I needed for a business trip, perfect to stow away all your valuables and essentials during the journey. Westcott has certainly proven itself worthy of my admiration.
The style and colors could hold their very own appeal, and the room inside might accommodate any must-have purchase you care to name — but the best carry-on tote for international travel is only as good as your destination.
It is designed to hold all the things I need without being weighed down and bulky. The weight of this bag is a little over two pounds. Being able to use the lightweight luggage will help me move quickly on foot to and from my locations.
This Delsey Montmartre+ tote bag is well known for its French sophistication. It is a tote bag that is considered fancy and a must have item. It was created and designed with faux leather, and the interior of the tote bag has a very deluxe and soft-touch to it.