Upgraded Tote Bags

More than simple canvas, options of the classic shape that go above and beyond for work and play

The definition of a tote bag is loose—simply an open bag for carrying items—but is most often seen in canvas form. For a while, however, designers have taken up the challenge to making the essential accessory equally stylish and functional. Here we have selected five options that take the simple canvas bag to the next level.



This weekender-appropriate folded tote bag from Makr studio in Florida is made from Sunbrella material (half of which is recycled Sunbrella acrylic). Just like those striped awnings and patio umbrellas, the material makes for one tough, water-resistant and fade-proof bag. Available in eight different colorways. ($132)



The large Mesh Tote from NYC-based Ultraolive will stand up to any challenge, especially waves of water. Valuables can be tucked into one of the two waterproof side pockets, which also have YKK AquaGuard water-repellent zippers. ($95).



Known for their minimalism, design and craftsmanship, HÆRFEST’s (pronounced Harvest) modern bags are meant to age well. Their latest project, AE Project No. 6, is called “Folke” and, unusually for the brand, adds bold indigenous-inspired patterns to their classic designs. While most of the collection is already sold out, there’s still time to snag a two handle tote with colorful sides. ($325)



Miami-based accessories brand Miansai finally makes its first foray into bags this summer, one of which is the Lenox Tote. With a durable Italian bridle leather bottom and matching straps, the bag (crafted in Turkey) completes the put-together look for your morning commute. It’s also available in all black. ($485).


For something extra roomy yet still serious business, the made-in-Canada Cabin Tote Horween is, of course, made from genuine Horween leather from the historic Chicago tannery. The interior zip pocket is handy for keys, phone and other small objects. ($348)

Images courtesy of respective brands