The 11 Best Large, Functional Bags That Are Life-Proof—But Still Gorgeous

Home Fashion The 11 Best Large, Functional Bags That Are Life-Proof—But Still Gorgeous
The 11 Best Large, Functional Bags That Are Life-Proof—But Still Gorgeous

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Tom Wambsgans may not approve, but everyone needs a large bag, even if it feels “ludicrously capacious” and what’s even in there? “Flat shoes for subway? [Your] lunch pail?” It’s monstrous, but it sure is practical.

You’ve probably seen the “What’s In My Bag” video format on YouTube where celebrities and influencers show the incredibly well-curated content of their designer handbags — never large bags! Piece by piece, they reveal the essentials they deem worthy of living in their Chanel Flap Bag rent-free. While they may be entertaining, I always find these videos incredibly unrelatable. My daily bag is a Longchamp Le Pliage tote and it serves as a portable storage unit for my work computer and every other miscellaneous item that doesn’t comfortably fit into my one-bedroom apartment.

I’d be embarrassed to reveal the contents of my bag (let alone to millions of people on the internet) but I’m not embarrassed to say I’m well-versed in the best large bags for daily life, work, travel and even beach vacations. If you’re in the market for a new tote that holds it all, you’re in the right place.

Best Large Bags for Work at a Glance

Best Overall: Kipling Art M Weekender, $129
Best Under $50: Guardung Oversized PU Leather Tote, $46
Best Boxy Tote Bag: A New Day Large Boxy Tote Handbag, $40
Best Classic Tote: Market by Monica Canvas Hero XL Tote, $130
Best Summer Bag: Madewell Handwoven Leather Tote, $188
Best Cool-Girl Bag: Clare V. Simple Tote, $450
Best Against Wear and Tear: Large Le Pliage Tote, $155
Best TikTok-Favorite Brand: Polène Cyme Tote, $520
Best Minimalist Style: Freja New York Linnea Tote Cappuccino, $318
Best Sale Bag: Sandro Kasbah Double S Bag, $275 (originally $475)
Best Vegan Leather Bag: Von Holzhausen The Large Shopper, $495

The first thing to know when shopping for a large bag is that not all spacious totes are created equal. Like searching for an apartment. it’s important to shop with a personal set of criteria for your ideal bag. Do you want an interior pocket, a zipper top or a multi-wear strap? Leather, faux leather or maybe a canvas material? There’s not one right answer so the choice is yours! Luckily, there are plenty of options on the market that meet multiple criteria.

If you’re planning on using this bag every day for years, it may be worth investing in a higher-quality piece like the bags from Polène. If you’re looking for a grocery or beach tote for the summer, an affordable choice from Zara will get the job done. No matter your budget, the 10 bags I’ve rounded up below are just as cute as they are spacious. Or as Tom says in Succession, ludicrously capacious.

What to Look for in a Large Bag for Work

What to shop for in a large bag for work depends on your personal work needs. If you need to lug your laptop to and from work every day, you might want to find a bag with a laptop sleeve or compartment. If you’re always losing your keys, using a bag that features a built-in key ring or fob will be helpful. Additionally, consider the amount of pockets you need. Keeping your credit card or Metro card in an outer pocket can make commuting and grabbing lunch way easier.

Last thing: Straps and handles. Try to make sure the straps and/or handles on the bag are durable and preferably plush or soft, so they don’t dig into your shoulders. If you need a large bag, chances are you’re carrying a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff = a heavy load. Be kind to your shoulders and back!

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