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By now you know skipping plastic bags at the grocery store is an easy way to cut down on everyday waste and help do your part to save the planet. So what are the best reusable shopping bags to buy instead? There are a few different factors to consider when you’re shopping for a reusable tote, including how much one can hold and how easy and comfortable it is to haul groceries and other items. The best bags work beyond grocery store runs, too, and can store both lightweight and heavier gear. Here’s how to pick the best ones and our go-to recommendations, from a durable, water-resistant YETI Carryall bag to insulated tote bags and more.
What Are the Best Reusable Shopping Bags?
In order to make sure you actually use them, reusable shopping bags should be as convenient, sturdy and portable as the disposable bags you can find at the store. Here’s a simple checklist of features to watch for when you’re picking out your own.
Capacity: How much can they hold? How many come in one set? How much room you’ll need of course depends on the size of your household and your average grocery run, but we like to see sets of at least three bags equal in size or larger than your standard brown paper bag.
Portability: Especially for those who walk to the store, we like bags that fold up into pocket-sized pouches or can be easily carried in another tote. Structured grocery carriers, which are designed to stand up on their own, should fold for easy storage and travel.
Structure: While they can sometimes be a little more difficult to carry, structured and reinforced carriers won’t spill when you’re in the car. Other extras we like to see include insulation for refrigerated items or built-in pockets and holders to help organize smaller items. No matter what type of bag you get, it’s worth looking for bags made with durable fabric.
1. BeeGreen Reusable Tote Bags
For the price, you can’t go wrong with this set of bags. These large, sturdy totes come in a pack of five, and can hold up to 50 pounds of groceries, equal to two or three conventional totes, according to the manufacturer. Other features we like include the wide range of color options available, and that they can be folded up into a pocket-sized pouch.
2. YETI Camino Carryall 35 Tote Bag
YETI makes one of the greatest coolers you can buy, but it also designed an essential tote bag that you can use for groceries, beach days and your work commutes. You can shut it to make sure none of your produce falls out in the back of your car while you’re driving home, and it also includes an interior pocket that zips closed for keys or your phone. Meanwhile, a water-resistant bottom section means you don’t have to worry about how to clean up any unexpected spills. We like how it’s sturdy enough to stand up and place on the ground. One of our other favorite features about the Carryall is the sturdy carrying strap that makes transporting heavier jars, cans and other items easier. Like YETI’s other products, the Carryall is designed to be more durable than some reusable bags and shouldn’t rip after multiple uses. It’s available in five colors.
3. Canvas Grocery Shopping Bags with Handles
Need something you can easily clean? We love these canvas totes, which are made of organic cotton and come in a set of three. They are the same size as a standard paper bag, so there’s plenty of room, and even come with side pockets for organizational purposes.
4. NZ Home XL Insulated Shopping Bags
If you really want to up the ante on reinforced grocery bags, we’d like to point you in the direction of this pair of insulated and zippered totes, which not only carry up to 45 pounds of groceries, but also help to keep cold items cold until you get home. They are easily wiped clean, and fold down when not in use.