Market totes have evolved beyond a throwaway canvas bag. In recent years, these chic carryalls have gotten a much-needed makeover. Instead of just offering a roomy middle, modern market bags come with multiple pockets and compartments, perfect for stashing a laptop or notebook. They also come in spill-resistant fabric, just in case your groceries burst, and adjustable straps for maximized comfort.
Whether you prefer a classic like the L.L. Bean Boat and Tote or a “quiet luxury” investment piece like the Khaite Lotus Medium Raffia Shoulder Bag, there is an option out there for everyone. With the help of fashion experts, we rounded up 22 market totes at a variety of price points that are as practical as they are stylish.
Rothy’s The Lightweight Tote
Your first encounter with Rothy’s was most likely with their internet-viral flats. Turns out, the brand also makes bags, and the lightweight tote earned the top spot on our list thanks to its versatility. The inside is roomy enough to house your laptop during your commute or stow away groceries after a trip to the farmer’s market, and just in case something spills, the entire bag is machine washable. Plus, it’s billed to hold up to 150 pounds. In other words, your extensive notebook collection is no match for its sturdy straps. To top it off, it comes in 14 shades (one is reversible), so you are bound to find one to fit your style.
Price at time of publish: $179
Material: Fabric made from marine plastic and plastic bottles | Dimensions: 13.6 x 12.8 x 6.7 inches | Colors/Prints: Black Portobello, Black/Canvas Gingham +more
Baggu Standard Reusable Shopping Bag
These bags were initially created as a replacement for plastic grocery bags, carrying up to three times as much food in one—and the variety of bold colors and prints make them a cute fashion accessory as well. They’re packable, so they are easy to stow in your purse or suitcase when traveling. Buy them individually from their site or buy them in packs from Amazon.
Price at time of publish: $14
Material: Recycled ripstop nylon | Dimensions: 25.5 x 14.5 x 6 inches | Colors/Prints: Black, Pistachio, Pink Salt, Clouds +more
Khaite Lotus Medium Raffia Shoulder Bag
Yes, it's quite the splurge, but if you have the funds, this bag will quickly become one of your favorites. The raffia and leather mix is perhaps the most casual, but it also comes in black or brown suede and ivory leather. The scarf-inspired, slouchy shape feels effortless and easygoing and the circular bottom gives the bag much-needed shape (it won’t fall to one side once set down).
Price at time of publish: $1,850
Material: Raffia (100% Palm Fiber) and 100% calfskin | Dimensions: 22.44 x 19.7 x 17.32 inches | Colors: Natural Raffia/Black Leather, Caramel Suede, Black Suede, Ivory Leather +more
Chloe Woody Large Logo Canvas Tote Bag
If the Khaite option above is not your style, check out this tote from Chloe. It is a bit oversized (but not too much), so it can hold sunscreen and towels or a laptop, tablet, and planner. The leather straps securely hold the bag against your shoulder, and the logo-ed strips are not prominent without being gaudy.
Price at time of publish: $1,450
Material: 100% cotton (main); 100% leather (trim) | Dimensions: 10.5 x 9.5 x 5 inches | Colors: Black/Blue, White/Blue, White/Brown
L.L. Bean Boat and Tote
For many of us, the L.L. Bean Boat and Tote is what comes to mind when you think of market totes. It has earned its spot as a staple thanks to its heavy-duty material, practical design, and timeless look. It comes in four sizes ranging from small to extra-large. We featured the medium size because it carries a heavy load without looking too bulky.
Price at time of publish: $35 for Medium
Material: Cotton canvas | Dimensions: 10.5 x 9.5 x 5 inches | Colors: Black, Blue, Dark Green, Field Gold +more
Will and Atlas Chelsea Shopper Tote
Jute is a heavy-duty, durable fabric made from plants. The material is tough, so typically it is used to make carpets or furniture covers. It can also be used to make long-lasting market totes, and it is one of Katherine Berg’s, the founder and designer of Will and Atlas, favorite materials. “The best market bags are made from materials that are sustainable, lightweight, and durable,” she says. Jute checks all those boxes, and the handwoven Chelsea Shopper is cute to boot. We love the size of the original, but it also comes in a wider version for heavier loads.
Price at time of publish: $56
Material: Jute | Dimensions: 17 x 13 x 6 inches | Colors: Natural/Grey
Rag and Bone Cloud Tote
Stitch Fix lead stylist, Alicia Lloyd is a big Rag and Bone fan. “This is my splurge choice for tote bags. I love that it can fit all the essentials and the white color makes it a versatile choice for all seasons,” she says. Beyond that, she loves using it as a work bag or for last-minute errands. The puffy material is an unexpected detail that makes the bag look a little more elevated.
Price at time of publish: $495
Material: Sheepskin leather (outer); polyester and cotton (lining) | Dimensions: 17 x 13 x 6 inches | Colors: Natural/Grey
Best Give Back
FEED 10 Bag
Professional stylist and co-host of the Gaudy Positive show, Kat Eves references this bag as one of her go-to's. “In addition to being made with 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, this bag with a sweet message helps provide 10 school meals with every purchase, stretching its usefulness beyond your everyday errands,” she says.
Price at time of publish: $28
Material: 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton | Dimensions: 17.25 x 14 x 5.5 inches | Colors: White, Blush, Plum, Berry, Teal +more
Brother Vellies Hydra Woven Bag
Net totes are a much chicer take on single-use plastic bags. If you are looking for a higher-end option, Eves recommends this option from Brother Vellies. “This bag combines it-girl style with the form and function you need for a trip to the farmer’s market,” she says, “Leather straps give it the strength you need, while a hand-carved wooden clasp gives it the designer edge over your everyday market bag.”
Price at time of publish: $325
Material: Cotton woven mesh; leather (straps) | Dimensions: 17.25 x 14 x 5.5 inches | Colors: Mocha
Best Net Runner-Up
Graf Lantz Ami Cotton Net Market Tote
If you would rather not splurge on a netted bag, this option from Graf Lantz is much more affordable and provides a similar look. Available in eight different shades, this reusable option has an interior pocket roomy enough to hold your wallet or keys, or it can also be used to hold the entirety of the net when rolled up.
Price at time of publish: $19
Material: 100% cotton | Dimensions: 15 x 17 inches | Colors: Orange, Dijon, Sea, Thistle +more
ABLE Mamuye Classic Tote
This is a go-to choice for a classic look. While this tote bag is perfect for a work bag or weekend accessory, it is spacious enough to bring as your catch-all for errands. Plus: The adjustable strap makes it easy to carry.
Price at time of publish: $190
Material: 100% leather | Dimensions: 14 x 16 x 6 inches | Colors: Cognac, Caramel, Pale Blush, Black +more
Clare V x Every Mother Counts Jumbo Tote
Created in partnership with Every Mother Counts, 30 percent of proceeds from this tote go to the organization dedicated to improving maternal care. The different length straps allow you to wear it as a handbag or over your shoulder. Wear yourself or gift to someone you love - like your mom.
Price at time of publish: $65
Material: 100% cotton canvas | Dimensions: 23 x 17 x 6.5 inches | Colors/Prints: Natural w/ Passer le Filet, Maman Je T'aime
Best For Work
Cuyana System Tote
Another leather option, this tote is a little more dressed up. Sure, it can tote your groceries from point A to point B, but it’s even better at keeping all of your items separated and organized. The shorter strap can hang right on top of your shoulder and the longer strap keeps this bag around your hips. If you like, you can add different pockets or sleeves for better compartmentalization.
Price at time of publish: $278 for 13-inch
Material: Fabric made from leather | Dimensions: 10 x 17.25 x 5 inches for 13-inch | Colors: Black, Caramel, Cappuccino, Stone, Dark Olive +more
Gunes Swim Striped Tote
Designed by an Australian mother and daughter duo, this printed tote is made from entirely recycled nylon, so you can feel good as well as look good when wearing it. Keep this bag by your side on pool days, and excess splashes from your swim will dry off quickly.
Price at time of publish: $90
Material: Recycled nylon | Dimensions: 17.75 x 13.75 x 7.5 inches | Colors: Brown Blue, Orange Brown, Maroon
J.Crew Woven Straw Market Tote
Straw totes are popular in the summer for their natural look and feel. In some bags, the material can be quite flimsy. Not the case with this option from J.Crew, the revamped design ensures that this will last multiple seasons. Plus, it comes with three different colored straps, so you can customize your bag.
Price at time of publish: $118
Material: Straw | Dimensions: 13.5 x 21.25 x 5 inches (opening) | Colors: Metallic Gold, Ivory, Natural Straw
Baggu Cloud Tote
Eves is a fan of the Cloud bag for its zip-top enclosure because it provides an “extra bit of security.” This bag functions as an overnight, laptop, or whatever bag. “Because it’s made of recycled heavyweight nylon, it’s machine washable,” she says. Not only is it super easy to care for and clean, but it is also lightweight, so it won’t weigh down on your shoulder.
Price at time of publish: $56
Material: Recycled heavyweight nylon | Dimensions: 13 x 21 (top) inches with a 9.5-inch handle drop | Colors: Avocado, Taupe, Clouds +more
Paravel Large Cabana Tote
The Large Cabana Tote earned its spot on this list for its versatility. It functions as an overnight bag, beach bag, grocery tote, or work bag. The limited color selection complements both a bikini and a blazer. Plus, the material is spill-proof. Best of all, you can customize this bag with your initials or fun saying for a small extra charge. But get it fast, this style has already sold out five times.
Price at time of publish: $185
Material: Fabric made from canvas and trim made from leather | Dimensions: 23.75 x 14.5 x 7.5 inches | Colors: Shandy, Paloma, Marlin, Domino Black
Best For the Beach
Madewell The Transport Tote Straw Edition
While this bag may look like some of the other netted options on this list, this one has a much sturdier construction thanks to the inner lining. It also prevents your SPF lip balm and hair clips from slipping through. We love the Retro Pink shade for its poppy take on pink, but if it is too out there for you, it is also available in a more neutral tone.
Price at time of publish: $98
Material: Straw | Dimensions: 13.75 x 14 x 6.25 inches | Colors: Retro Pink, Desert Dune
Humble Hilo Raffia Tapered Tote
Raffia is a popular material for market totes. It keeps the accessory casual, and it is easy to manipulate into different designs and colors. This one in particular is designed and handmade in Madagascar. Not only does this bag complement your summer look, but each purchase helps support the artisans who created it.
Price at time of publish: $98 for petite
Material: Raffia | Dimensions: 8 x 11 x 8 inches for petite | Colors: Black
Best for Groceries
Bellroy Market Tote Bag
Market totes have evolved to extend beyond just carrying groceries from place to place. This basic, unisex bag has multiple pockets and compartments, so you can store your items without crushing important yet fragile items like eggs.
Price at time of publish: $39
Material: Polyester | Dimensions: 16.5 x 13.25 x 8.5 inches | Colors: Black, Ranger Green
Deco Denim Patchwork Jacquard Tote Bag
An all-time favorite for stylist, Eves, this Deco Denim bag collects compliments whenever she wears them. “It’s twice the size of a regular tote and it’s got style for days, but it’s also constructed well, so it can handle whatever I throw in,” she says. Designed by Sarah Mattes in San Francisco and made in Los Angeles, her products are ethically made and sustainably sourced, so you can feel good about purchasing.
Price at time of publish: $85
Material: 100% cotton | Dimensions: 24 x 18 inches | Colors: Patchwork
Best Dust Bag
Sarep + Rose Slender Kenya Tote
This exquisitely lined full-grain leather tote, which Robin Sirleaf founded in Kenya, can become a staple for your regular wardrobe. Reflecting the earth tones of African fashion, this tote features a zip-top closure, canvas-lined leather, and thick straps for durability. Using highly durable, long-lasting materials, the founder works with people outside of traditional channels of opportunity and economic inclusion to create jobs for the community.
Price at time of publish: $180 (originally $265)
Material: 100% full grain leather | Dimensions: 13 x 15 x 4.5 inches | Colors: Olive Green
For an elevated yet accessible market tote, the Rothy’s Lightweight Tote is both fashionable and pragmatic. It’s machine washable, can hold up to 150 pounds, and comes in 14 colorways. It is designed to carry everything from groceries to tablets, so you can keep it by your side all day. It is reasonably priced, but if you are looking for a more wallet-friendly option, the Baggu Standard Baggu is under $20 and also comes in a variety of colors and prints. Plus, it’s available on Amazon for easy purchasing.
Meet the Expert
- Alicia Lloyd has been the Stitch Fix lead stylist for over five years. She’s an expert in everything from luxury to affordable accessories.
- Professional stylist and co-host of the Gaudy Positive show, Kat Eves has an eye for items that are ethically made, trendy, and functional.
What to Look for in Market Bags
When searching for the right market tote, stylist Alicia Lloyd recommends her clients have an intended use in mind. If their primary use will be picking up groceries or going to the farmer’s market, she would suggest going for a canvas or straw material to provide some durability. Whereas for clients looking for something lightweight, she would recommend a woven bag because they can fit a surprising amount of items with ease. Natural materials like canvas, mesh, straw, and raffia are ideal as they are easy to clean and durable.
“Shoppers are leaning into what Stitch Fix has deemed the “beachcomber” trend,” says Lloyd, “which is incorporating vacation-inspired items into everyday wear.” She suggests finding something that you don’t mind getting a little worn or dirty.
Every market tote requires a different level of care. Cloth bags (made from canvas, denim, or polyester) can usually be thrown in the washing machine. On the other hand, straw and raffia bags are spot cleaned. Market totes made from expensive materials like leather or suede may have to be professionally cleaned. Always check the tag for detailed instructions on how to care for your particular item.
When should you carry a market bag?
Market totes are no longer limited to just the grocery store. “Some clients prefer a tote for work, others might pack theirs with workout apparel for the gym and some for a weekend run to the farmer’s market,” Eves says.
Does it make sense to splurge on a market tote? If so, when should you splurge?
The most important factor to consider when choosing a market tote is deciding how much you are going to wear that piece. “In 2023, Stitch Fix found 90% of clients opting for quality over quantity and prioritizing trend-proof items,” Lloyd says. “If you’re leaning toward a leather market tote, this might be well worth the splurge as it will last you for years to come. On the other hand, a woven tote is a trend-forward choice but may offer less durability in the long run.”
Why Trust Byrdie
Anneke Knot is a full-time freelance writer. She has over five years of experience reporting on fashion and beauty. Her work has appeared on sites like InStyle, People, and Real Simple. To find the best market totes, she interviewed fashion experts for their professional recommendations, tested options from popular brands, read reviews, and had multiple individuals test available options.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find enough market bags from Black-owned and/or Black-founded businesses to meet this percentage. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will evaluate the product ASAP.