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What is a Tote?

You must be quite familiar with it due to its rapidly gaining popularity, as many people are trying to make eco-friendly choices by ditching their single-purpose plastic bags for more climate-friendly multipurpose ones. 

However, making environmentally-safe choices doesn't necessarily mean you have to compromise on style. Totes are not only sturdy and spacious but also come in a variety of fun, fashionable designs and different materials, suitable for different situations. Stay with us and we'll help figure out all the options available for you in the market.

What is a Tote Bag?

What is a Tote Bag


Tote bags are big, rectangular flat bags. They are mostly made of cloth and are able to carry heavier items than compared to other types of bags, which means you don't have to switch between different bags when you are doing different activities.

Tote bags typically have two handles on each side of the bag, are open from the top and have one big compartment. They are also commonly known as market bags, carryalls or tote sacks.

Tote bags are usually designed without any rigid structure. This allows them to be folded, which makes them easy to carry around without any inconvenience and be able to accommodate objects of any shape.

What Are Tote Bags Used For?

What Are Tote Bags Used For

Tote bags are flexible, which means they can be used for many different purposes. Common usage for totes bags are as a:

1. Shopping bag: 

You can use tote bags as a replacement for shopping bags. It is one of the most common uses of them, because of this fact tote bags are also called shopper tote bags.

2. School bag:

Tote bags are ideal as a school bag because of their size and durability, which means you can carry all your books and other necessary large items in them.

3. Beach or Weekend Bag:

Totes are perfect to use when you are going on a trip because of their large capacity. They are roomy enough to hold several items, are durable and come in a variety of fun and funky designs.

4. Everyday Bag:

Totes are also perfect to use as an extra everyday bag. You can use them to carry your large daily essentials that wouldn't fit in your pocket or handbag, such as a water bottle or umbrella. You can also keep one folded in your smaller main bag for those times when you’ll need some extra space.

5. Diaper Bag:

Totes can be used as diaper bags as well. These spacious bags can be used to carry diapers, toys and other numerous essentials for your baby.

6. Laptop Bag:

If you just do not want to bother with a laptop bag, you can use a tote bag as a substitute for a laptop bag for short distances.

7. Handbag:

You can use a tote bag as a handbag, there are many stylish tote bags available that look similar to handbags.

Common Handle Lengths of Totes?

Common Handle Lengths of Totes

Tote handles can be found in a variety of different lengths, especially since they make totes more comfortable to use. Depending on an individual tote bag's design, handles can be found in a variety of lengths. 

The handles on a tote bag are usually more than five inches long, making them comfortable to hold by hand, over the elbow or carry on your shoulder in a snug fit. There are also many bags with handles that are sized to just fit one hand through, but plenty of tote bags are designed to have a long strap attached to them, along with the short handles, giving you the option to either drape it on your shoulder straight or wear it diagonally across your chest.

Are tote bags waterproof? 

Some totes bags are waterproof and some are not. If you are looking for a bag that can be used in the rain, it is best to find a tote bag that specifically says it is water-resistant, but you can also consider the bag's material when purchasing to make sure it has some level of water resistance.

Different Types of Tote Bag materials, and Their Pros and Cons? 

Different Types of Tote Bag materials, and Their Pros and Cons?

1. Polypropylene

It's a waterproof material that is durable and lightweight. Even though bags made of this material are perfect for wet environments they aren't biodegradable and can only be hand-washed.

2. Cotton

An eco-friendly material that is made using natural resources and is biodegradable. However, cotton-made tote bags are not as durable as other materials and can get stained quite easily.

3. Polyester

A man-made material that is durable and water-resistant. Tote bags made from polyester are also wrinkle-resistant but not biodegradable or washable by machine.

4. Canvas

This material is made using natural fibers, is stretchable, durable and bag made from using canvas can be washed by machine. These totes are also durable but can be a bit costly.

5. Nylon

This material is water-resistant, lightweight, flexible and durable, but isn’t biodegradable and sometimes cannot be washed by machine. You’ll have to check the bag’s instructions to be sure.

6. Jute

This beautiful material is naturally made, biodegradable and affordable, but not water-resistant. It can be easily stained by water and oil-based products. 

7. PVC

This material is durable and unique from others due to its see-through properties but bags made from PVC crease easily and can only be spot-cleaned.

8. Polyurethane

This material is water-resistant, affordable and durable, used as an alternative of natural leather; but this material isn't biodegradable and bags made using it need to be stored properly or else they can get cracks and their shape can get ruined.

Oh! and by the way, if you're a hard-core natural leather fan, don't worry, tote bags are available in that luxurious material too. In fact, Vintage Leather Gear has this classic leather tote bag available in two different colors; black and grey. Furthermore, it has perfect-sized leather handles and a removable shoulder strap; also an Inner zipper pocket to keep small essentials safe.

So, be sure to check out the 'Surprise Tote', made from premium full-grain aniline-dyed leather with organic cotton lining.


Overall, tote bags are the perfect multipurpose accessory for carrying your everyday essentials and they come in a variety of styles and materials. When making a purchase consider the different types of materials, the pros and cons of each material and how you will be using the tote bag. With so many options to choose from, there is a perfect tote bag for everyone.

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