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Gear Up for the Outdoors: The Best Camping Tote Bags and Other Essentials

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Going camping can be a wonderful way to connect with nature and reconnect with yourself. There is nothing like an escape from the urban jungle to the heart of nature, where you are only surrounded by peace and quiet.

While many new timers are concerned about the element of comfort when camping, this condition can be met. It all comes down to having the right gear. Beyond a tent and a sound sleeping bag, camping bags are another essential that are often overlooked. However, these will allow you to bring along all your belongings. Also, if you select a fitting model, this will help you carry your load in comfort. 

What to Look for in Camping Bags?

girl with camping backpack


When looking for camping tote bags, there are several aspects to consider. This easy guide should help you select the right products that will elevate your camping experience.  

Strong Fabric

When you go camping, you need a set of reliable bags that will safely carry your essentials. Polyester is a fabric commonly used for camping bags. While this might not be the most eco-friendly option, it is one of the most durable and versatile fabrics. What is more, it is not pretentious and is easy to clean. 

Natural fabrics like cotton and canvas might be eco-friendly, but their downside is maintenance. When spending a long time in nature, your belongings can (and will) become dirty. Canvas and especially cotton require more attention for the cleaning process. Before you jump to action, make sure to follow up on our easy guide on How To Machine Wash a Canvas Tote Bag.

Spacious Storage Space

Whether we are talking about a camping backpack, tote bag, or cooler, it should be spacious. You need at least one main compartment where you can store larger items. Zippered closures are also important. 

On one hand, these will keep your belongings safe and prevent them from falling out when you are not paying attention. At the same time, it also helps prevent unwanted creepy crawlies from entering your bag. In nature, you will be surrounded by many insects, some of which will manifest curiosity and perhaps even interest towards you. 

Ergonomic Design

One spacious compartment is a great start, but it is not enough. The best camping tote bag should have plenty of pockets both inside and on the exterior to help you distribute your belongings. The additional interior storage compartments help you tuck away items you wish to keep extra safe. While the exterior ones offer easy access to select essentials.


When camping, you are exposed to the fury of the elements. However, there are ways to protect your bags and belongings both from heatwaves and rain. If you carry food with you, it is a good idea to place these in a cooler, even if you have canned goods and other preserved food. This will ensure that everything stays fresh even in hot weather. 

Despite the forecast, it is best to be prepared for rainy weather. Therefore, try to look for camping tote bags that are waterproof. If you really like a design that is not water-resistant, this is no reason to give up on it. You can take the task into your own hands and learn how to waterproof a canvas bag by reading our easy guide.

Easy to Clean

Camping bags will get dirty. That is a fact that you must accept. However, there are ways to ensure that stains will be easier to handle. For starters, something as simple as color will go a long way. When shopping for camping bags, look for items that come in dark colors or in a print. Although these will get just as dirty as light-colored plain bags, the stains at least will not show up so easily. 

As for washability, certain fabrics make the task easy. This is one of the main advantages of polyester. However, if you opt for natural textiles, washing these can be a trickier task that requires more research. Always look for a small tag inside the bag, as this can have some priceless tips on how to care for the product.

The Best Camping Totes and Bags

1. Cooler Camping Tote Bag

red camping cooler bag

When going camping, a cooler tote bag is a must-have. Its size and design make it perfect for a six-pack. The hard vinyl backing offers more durability and helps drinks stay fresh for a longer time. 

What is more, it is easy to carry thanks to an adjustable shoulder strap. A front zippered pocket allows you to store some extra items and keep them at hand. Since this compartment is separated from the main storage space, your items will not become wet. 

2. Camping Gear Sling Backpack

Cool Sling Pack Backpack with 15" Laptop Sleeve

If there is one word that can sum up this sling backpack, that’s versatility. Made from strong polyester, the bag is also reinforced with stitching at stress points. This is a backpack built to last. There are two large main storage compartments where you can place the bulkier items. As for the rest, you can distribute these between the five zippered pockets. 

A laptop sleeve provides the perfect shelter for your gadget while traveling. You can also use the space for a sketchbook if you are a passionate artist (or other items). A side pocket is designed for holding the water bottle. While the liquid will not stay as cold as in a cooler, it will be easy to reach whenever you want to take a sip. 

The adjustable shoulder strap ensures that the sling backpack can be comfortably worn by anyone. What is more, you can further customize the bag with detachable shoulder pads and a cell phone pocket.

3. Camo Print Camping Backpack

 camo print backpack

When you go camping, you need a reliable backpack where you can store your essentials. The camo print perfectly blends with your surroundings. It also has a practical role, as dirt will not show up on the fabric easily. The polyester canvas is a friendly textile that is very easy to clean when needed.

Padded shoulder straps ensure that you carry the camping gear backpack in comfort, regardless of how full you pack it. What is more, the back side also has air mesh padded panels to help ease pressure and alleviate back pain that tends to set in over long distances. A sternum chest strap further helps with weight distribution.  

The main compartment holds a separate laptop sleeve if you wish to take with you select gadgets. This sleeve has extra padding for additional protection to your belongings. A further detail is that the front zippered pocket has a key clip. A hydration port located at the top can help you stay hydrated during your travel experience. 

4. Large Thermo Insulated Camping Tote Bag

large thermo insulated tote bag

This large camping cooler tote bag is a great addition to your setup. It allows you to carry a considerable amount of food and keep it fresh. The cooler will help maintain the temperature of the food. Our bag is made from non-woven polypropylene with thermal insulation. A zippered closure ensures that the temperature inside stays constant and is protected from external influences. 

If you are going on a camping trip for a longer period, having sufficient food supplies to last for the entire period can be a challenge. However, the problem can be easily solved with a Thermo insulated bag. The only downside is that you will have an extra luggage to carry. Yet, the reward of having a fresh supply of food with you is worth the trouble.

Depending on your needs, the tote can keep the food either warm or cold. It all comes down to the initial temperature the products had when placed inside. If you are taking food you wish to last for a long time, it is recommended to keep it under cool conditions. However, it can be great to have a bag to keep some foods warm. 

For example, you can start by packing a hot meal before setting off for the adventure. Also, you can use the bag to store leftover cooked food prepared at the campsite. However, this would imply that you either use a Thermo tote and alternate between cold and hot food or take two designated bags with you. We recommend the latter option. 

5. Dual Squeeze Hydration Pack

dual pack hydration pack

This heavy-duty waist pack can be a great addition to your camping set. While this should not be your biggest concern when preparing for your first camping experience, it can be a later addition to your gear. 

The adjustable and padded belt makes the bag easy to wrap around your waist. Adjust it until you feel the fit is right. The padding at the back ensures that the strap will not cut into your back and cause any discomfort.

Although relatively small, the waist pack is well designed. The multiple pockets are distributed strategically and fit a surprising number of items. What is more, the squeeze bottles can also be added to your order if you opt for them. This is a great way to distribute weight instead of having everything weigh down your back. 

6. Bottle Holder for Camping

Another great extension to your camping gear, this bottle holder can help you stay hydrated during your hikes. The product is available in several dark colors. Therefore, it can easily match with the rest of your camping gear and outfits as well. 

The camping bottle holder is made from polyester, making it durable and also easy to clean. What is more, the product is well insulated, which allows the liquid to stay at a constant temperature. An adjustable belt strap allows you to tie it around your waist. The squeeze bottle you see in the image above is available upon request.

The Best Bags for the Great Outdoors

Planning for a camping trip is part of the experience. Having the right camping tote bags for your needs allows you to pack for the coming adventure based on your liking. Hiking, camping, and other outdoor adventures should not be stripped of comfort; rather it should be integrated. Having a well-designed ergonomic backpack will help you carry all your essentials in comfort and style.