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Tips on choosing a family beach bag

Posted by Shell Grayston.
First Published Aug 2013; updated May 2023.

If you're taking the family to the beach, you need a decent beach bag. Here's what to look for.

Off to the beach this summer? Then you need a bag to carry all your kit down to the beach.

When our kids were babies, we used to hang all the many bags on the pushchair to take down to the beach. We could hardly move, so it was a very slow process getting down to the beach. The phrase a packed horse springs to mind!

If you have a big family or you're one of those people who takes everything but the kitchen sink with you, then you could get the kids to help carry a few bits. They are usually more willing to do this if it’s their own gear they are carrying. Our youngest loves carrying his picnic in his bag!!

If your push chair looks like this, you need a beach bag

Taking one big bag that sits on your shoulder with all those essential beach items in is easier than lots of different bags, especially if you have young children walking with you that need close supervision.

So here are our thoughts on what to look for when buying a beach bag:

  1. Wide straps. A bag with wide straps is much more comfortable to carry than a bag with thin straps that dig into your shoulder ( not very pleasant if you have a sunburn ). Wide straps tend to sit on the shoulder better as well.
  2. Roomy and strong. The things you take in your beach bag are often bulky items, i.e. towels, change of clothes, so you need a bag big enough and strong to take all this gear. It’s also easier to find things and get things in and out if the bag has plenty of space.
  3. Pockets.  A bag with pockets is great for storing those important items and gadgets like keys, phones etc that you want to store separately and keep away from sandy and wet things. They are also much easier and quicker to find if they are in a side pocket and not having to rummage through your bag to find things.
  4. Easy to clean. Beach bags are going to get mucky with sand and water. So a bag that is easy to clean and wipe down will help your bag clean and lasting longer.
  5. Bright and bold. Going to the beach is a fun family fun thing, so choose a bag that is colourful and bold to match the occasion!

A large beach bag

My Chosen Beach Bag

This beach bag ticked all the boxes of what we were looking for in a beach bag.

  • Large - you can easily fit beach towels and other gear in
  • Pockets - small items are easy to get to without having to rummage through your bag
  • Wide straps - much more comfortable to wear
  • Easy to clean - the straightforward design is easy to clean and wipeable
  • Bright - a cheerful bag for the beach!
Additional storage pouch

Love this extra storage pocket. It's easy to get out without having to rummage through the bag.