Which clear tote bag is the best?
Heading to a festival, stadium, or airport? You already know that security checkpoints can be time-consuming, especially when your bag is pulled aside for a thorough inspection. To keep things running smoothly, invest in a clear tote bag for your next event or excursion.
Clear tote bags have grown in popularity as more and more venues adopt stringent bag policies. In some venues, especially stadiums, the only bags allowed are indeed clear ones. While they lack the curb appeal of your regular handbag or carry-on, provided they’re stadium-approved, you’ll be permitted entry to concerts and events without a hitch.
To find the right clear tote bag for your next event or trip — or one of the many other situations in which they’re required or appropriate — give this buying guide a read. We’ll introduce you to various styles and features of these bags, plus we’re including a few of our top choices at the end. Our favorite clear tote, the Bagail Clear Bag, is stadium approved.
What to know before you buy clear tote bags
Popular uses for clear tote bags
Because swim gear is usually still wet when it’s time to leave the pool or beach, many people invest in clear tote bags for swimwear and towels. Once wet swim gear is removed, simply let your clear bag sit open for a couple of hours to dry or wipe it down with paper towels.
Retail associate use
Staff in retail stores are often limited by policies to using clear tote bags. This combats theft, as it’s much harder to sneak merchandise out of the store in a transparent bag. Clear bags also expedite bag checks at the end of shifts, which means the associate is able to head home sooner.
Travel or event use
It’s common for stadiums and festival venues to have strict rules on what is allowed into the area. Clear tote bags, namely those that measure 12 x 6 x 16 inches, meet bag requirements provided they’re entirely clear. And while travelers aren’t required to use clear tote bags, many agree that using them speeds up security checks.
What to look for in quality clear tote bags
The vast majority of clear tote bags are made from PVC or plastic that is half a millimeter thick. Not only are these bags durable enough to withstand considerable use, they’re also waterproof, fairly stain-resistant, and easy-to-clean.
To help clear tote bags maintain their structure, each side features reinforced seams. The thread used is typically high-tensile, meaning it resists tearing or breaking under pressure. Seams on some bags are further reinforced with nylon webbing or canvas.
Clear tote bags that are designed to be more stylish or functional typically have fabric panels. Popular materials for these include canvas, polyester, nylon, faux leather, and Oxford cloth. While these designs won’t meet bag restrictions at venues, they’re ideal for casual use at the beach or for travel.
Clear tote bags have either double shoulder straps or adjustable crossbody straps. Shoulder straps are often preferred for larger clear totes, often used as beach bags, whereas crossbody straps are preferred for smaller totes that are carried around for a prolonged time, like at concerts.
How much you can expect to spend on clear tote bags
On a budget? You’ll have no problem finding plenty of clear tote bags for less than $10 — but they’re usually lower quality. Mid-range clear totes, on the other hand, cost closer to $20 and offer much better construction. Premium designs cost $30 and up, and they’ll last through several years of use.
Clear tote bags FAQ
How do I know whether a clear tote bag is stadium-approved?
A. Stadium-approved bags measure 12 x 6 x 16 inches and are entirely clear, with the exception of their straps. Some clear tote bags will advertise whether they meet guidelines set forth by the venues and sports organizations. Other bags won’t specifically advertise that they’re stadium-approved, so you’ll need to compare the bag to the most current guidelines for a definitive answer. It’s always best to check the bag policy of the event before you leave the house, so you’re not surprised and inconvenienced at the door.
Do clear tote bags have pockets or compartments?
A. Only some of them do. Smaller clear tote bags tend to consist of just one large compartment, though medium and larger totes may have a few outer pockets or compartments.
What are the best clear tote bags to buy?
Top clear tote bag
Our take: Spacious and durable tote that meets the tournament guidelines for bags.
What we like: Extra-long adjustable shoulder strap. Can hold a few water bottles and sandwiches. Constructed with thick, strong vinyl.
What we dislike: Has a powerful plastic smell when first opened.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top clear tote bag for the money
Our take: Security-friendly clear tote that has a few choices of strap color.
What we like: Made with tear-resistant, heavy-duty PVC. Zippers open and close smoothly.
What we dislike: Lacks an outer pocket, which many consumers would have liked.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Our take: Classic oversized tote that remains popular for its impressive durability.
What we like: Can support a heavy load due to its canvas bottom. Convenient outside pocket.
What we dislike: Occasional quality issues with the zipper and stitching.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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