The Best Straw Bags to Take With You on Every Summer Adventure

Channel your inner Jane Birkin with the Terrain Leather Handle Market Tote.

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Fashion Straw Bag
Photo: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

It's a fact: a good straw bag is a summer staple. Whether you're headed to a tropical island or just running to your local farmer's market, there's no better companion than a straw bag. Often made from straw, raffia or rattan, these bags have been around for decades.

French singer Jane Birkin toted wicker baskets throughout the 1960s, turning straw bags into a summer mainstay. Stylist Victoria Barbara tells InStyle that it's all thanks to the bag's versatility. "If Birkin can don a shimmering black and gold cocktail dress at a Cannes fete with a straw bag on one arm and a tuxedo-clad date on another, anything goes," she explained. Although the premise of a classic straw bag has remained the same over the years, the styles available in 2022 are a little more fun and practical (think: bright colors, innovative designs and functional details).

There's a ton of straw bags out there — from bucket-shaped shoppers to extra-large totes — so weaving through the options can be a bit tricky. To help you out, I spoke with stylists and fellow editors, as well as used my own first hand experience to compile a list of the best straw bags. Because it exudes Birkin's cool-girl je ne sais quoi, the Terrain Leather Handle Market Tote should be at the top of your list.

Here are the best straw bags to take with you on all of your summer adventures.

Our Picks

Best Overall: Terrain Leather Handle Market Tote

Best Straw Bags
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Also available at Anthropologie

What We Love: Made with sustainable Moroccan date palm leaves, this bag is an eco-conscious choice.

What We Don't Love: The bag can get misshapen if it gets wet.

Of course, the ideal straw bag will feature a timeless look and last for years, even through standard wear and tear. Stylist Brittany Diego tells us to focus on the stitching and straps when considering a straw bag. "You want to aim for elevated materials, not just for practicality and functionality, but for an overall chic look that will stand up to the test of time," she says. And this market tote from Terrain checks all those boxes. Made from sustainable Moroccan date palm leaves and equipped with strong leather handles held together with heavy-duty white stitching, you'll never have to worry about this bag falling apart. Keep in mind: Palm leaves can get misshapen when wet, so if you need to clean the bag, we suggest spot-treating a small area and laying it out to dry in the sun.

Material: Palm, Leather | Colors: 1 | Dimensions: 14 H x 20 W x 5 D inches

Best Value: QTKJ Mini Semi-Circle Rattan Straw Handbag

Best Straw Bags
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What We Love: This handbag comes in a variety of seven fun colors.

What We Don't Love: Compared to the other options on this list, this one is much smaller.

A straw bag doesn't have to be giant — according to Diego, a small straw purse will still capture the essence of the coastal grandmother look but in a more polished way. "A slouchy, oversized tote or shopper screams beach day, but a structured style like a crossbody or handbag looks much more refined," she says.

I discovered this mini rattan purse on Amazon for less than $30. The rounded design includes a detachable crossbody strap and a rattan circle handle, giving you added versatility. And speaking of, the bag, which has an inner cotton lining that closes shut, comes in seven colors, ranging from classics like khaki and white to a poppier shades like tangerine and turquoise.

Material: Rattan, Straw | Number of Colors: 7 | Size: 6.29 L x 9.84 W inches

Best Splurge: Anine Bing XL Rio Tote

Best Straw Bags
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What We Love: This luxe tote has a flat, sturdy bottom, unlike many of the options on this list.

What We Don't Love: There are no zippers, snaps, or magnets to keep the bag closed.

To distinguish your bag from any run-of-the-mill beach tote, Diego says that details like embellishments, unique hardware, and dark finishes are key. With its minimalistic black leather straps, modern monogram and luxe woven seagrass body, the XL Rio Tote from Anine Bing belongs with heels as much as flip flops. After taking the bag (which was kindly gifted to me by the brand) on a weekend trip to the beach, I quickly learned just how many outfits it works with — a white button down, a cover up, a satin dress. And it complemented each one. The sleek black touches gave it a more elevated feel for nighttime, while the woven texture of the bag itself felt right for a boating day.

One note: The bag doesn't close, but because it's so deep, you don't run the risk of your valuables falling out. And, best of all, the bag has a flat bottom that helps it stand up when you set it down.

Material: Woven seagrass, Leather | Number of Colors: 1 | Size: 16.1 L x 19.3 W inches

Best Tote: Eileen Fisher x Mar Y Sol Beach Tote

Best Straw Bags
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What We Love: Purchasing this tote supports artisans in Madagascar and promotes environmental conservation.

What We Don't Love: The snap closure isn't as sturdy as we would like.

Designed with a roomy interior to carry all of your essentials, the Mar Y Sol bag, which comes in classic raffia, brown, and black, deserves a place on your shoulder no matter the situation. Although the bag itself is somewhat large, the strong rounded handles ensure a comfortable fit, even when it's chock full of items. It isn't lined nor does it come with a sturdy closure. But that's nothing to worry about, since the bag has a flat bottom that ensures it stands up on its own. According to the brand, the sale of this bag supports artisans and their families gaining economic independence in Madagascar, preserves traditional craft and promotes environmental conservation. Between the bag's high-quality material and the brand's emphasis on sustainability, you'll want to pick up a tote in every color.

Material: Raffia | Number of Colors: 3 | Size: 13 H x 22 W inches

Best Shopper: Mango Raffia Shopper Bag

Best Straw Bags
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What We Love: The bag's flexible material makes it easy to pack.

What We Don't Love: We wish it had a lining.

Between the openwork design and unexpected shades like bubblegum pink and forest green, this raffia shopper bag can take you anywhere, from the farmer's market to date night. The double handle ensures the knit-like bag has a firm grip on your shoulder while still remaining comfortable and chafe-free. The bag itself is fairly large, leaving the right amount of space for flowers, bottles of wine, or a change of clothes. It's worth noting, though, that there is no lining, so you'll be able to see right through the bag.

Material: Raffia | Number of Colors: 3 | Size: 21.65 L x 5.51 W x 21.65 H, inches

Best Crossbody: Club Monaco Raffia Convertible Crossbody Bag

Best Straw Bags
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What We Love: You get the aesthetic of a straw bag with the functionality of a compact crossbody.

What We Don't Love: We wish the crossbody strap was thicker.

The Club Monaco Raffia Convertible Crossbody Bag is a must for someone who's always juggling a million things thanks to the hands-free (albeit stylish) experience it offers. The pouch has enough room for a phone, wallet and keys. As far as functionality goes, this one can't be beat. It comes with a sewn-in canvas lining that ensures privacy, and when you want to change it up, the leather strap can be tucked inside the purse and converted into a handbag.

Material: Raffia, Leather | Number of Colors: 1 | Size: 7.75 H x 7.75 W x 2.625 D, inches

Best Bucket: AAKS Tia Raffia Bucket Bag

Best Straw Bags
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Also available at AAKS

What We Love: The colored raffia bags are ethically-made in Ghana by female artisans.

What We Don't Love: The hand-dyed raffia material might require a pro's help with stain removal.

Masterfully crafted in Ghana, AAKS bags prove that not only is weaving an art form, but it can be a sustainable alternative for the fashion world. The brand — a Black- and women-owned business that employs over 80 percent female artisans and ensures fair pay — crafts each uniquely shaped design from raffia palm trees, which are native to the tropical areas in Africa, and distinctively decorates every one in bright colors. The result: high-quality, ethically-made bags. This bucket bag has a spacious interior that's complete with a linen lining and drawstring closure, to carry all of your essentials.

Material: Woven raffia | Number of Colors: 1 | Size: 9.84 H x 12.6 W, inches

Best For Work: Rag & Bone Revival Summer City Tote

What We Love: The light brush gold details and leather siding works well with professional attire.

What We Don't Love: It only comes in green.

With classic details like circle grommets and metal hardware, the Revival Summer City Tote is an updated version of the brand's popular Revival Tote. It features wrap-around leather and straw front panels, making it a must-have if you'll be schlepping all your WFH items to an office this summer. Plus, with a detachable crossbody strap and interior leather pouch, you can customize it to your liking while still keeping your valuables secured. Unlike other work bags, this Rag & Bone option isn't very structured. But, not in a bad way. In fact, it moves with you and rests on your shoulder comfortably (thanks to elongated straps), even if you're carrying a 16 inch laptop and an extra pair of shoes. If we could change anything about this bag, it would be to make it available in more color options.

Material: Paper straw, leather | Number of Colors: 1 | Size: H 14.5 H, 26 W and 7.75 D inches

Best Picnic: Hat Attack Straw Cooler Tote

Best Straw Bags
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What We Love: This bag has an insulated interior to keep snacks and beverages cool.

What We Don't Love: It can be a little heavy.

Forget everything you remember about your childhood lunchbox — The Straw Cooler Tote from Hat Attack proves you're never too old for a pre-packed, homemade boxed lunch. Between the chic vegan leather and wicker exterior and the insulated interior, this bag completely reinvents the traditional lunchbox and makes packing your lunch actually feel fashionable.

It's also ideal for impromptu summer picnics. I filled the bag (which the brand kindly gifted me) with all the fixings for a charcuterie board — cheese, cured meats, fruit and veggies — and brought it with me for an afternoon in the park. Even after the time it took me to walk to the park, find a spot and lay down a picnic blanket, the perishables (and two cans of wine) stayed cool in the bag. To solidify its status as the perfect picnic companion, the luncher also comes with an interior pocket to hold a set of forks, knives and spoons.

Material: Corn straw, Aluminum | Number of Colors: 1 | Size: 14.5 x 11, inches

Best For Travel: Hat Attack ​Traveler Bag

Best Straw Bags
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Also available at Shopbop and Revolve

What We Love: The crosshatch details double as a hat holder.

What We Don't Love: The material unravels if treated poorly.

Don't have a packable sun hat? The Traveler Bag from Hat Attack makes it easy to bring a sun hat with you everywhere this summer. Complete with a built-in spot for your favorite hat, this raffia bag is a great option for travel. It rolls up when you're not using it, but is big enough to fit everything you need for a beach day — from a book to a change of clothes to a big towel. After being kindly gifted the bag, I fell in love with how sturdy the raffia material felt, while still being comfortable enough when sitting on my shoulder. One thing to note: the material can unravel a bit if you rough it up (like I accidentally did), so be gentle with it.

Material: Raffia straw | Number of Colors: 1 | Size: 20 H x 14 W, inches

What to Keep in Mind

Material

When shopping for a straw bag, remember that the material matters — especially if you want your bag to last. To pick the right material, Diego suggests aiming for strong, durable options like raffia and rattan, both of which are made from types of palm leaves. With that said, it's important to know what your bag is made of in order to find out how to properly clean it and care for it. For example, bags made with raffia straw should be spot cleaned with a damp cloth and then left to dry in the sun to prevent mold growth.

Style

To pick the style best for you, stylist Makeda Saggau-Sackey tells us to consider the function of the bag first. "Choose a large tote if you tend to carry a lot of things in your bag," she says. "If you want something more elegant, look for bags with luxe elements. Colorful straw bags in fun shapes make accessorizing fun." She notes that while minimalism is having a moment, an oversized bag definitely makes a statement — especially if you add pops of color, a fun fringe and embellishments into the mix.

Details

According to Diego, if you're seeking a bag to take you beyond beach days, look for bags with metal hardware and quality closures, like twist-locks or magnetic snaps, and dark finishes. She says that clues like the stitching of the lining can signify that it's high quality. If the seams look strong and wound tightly, chances are the bag will be more durable than one with loose stitching.

Your Questions, Answered

How can you style a straw bag?

According to Diego, you can style a straw bag to elevate an outfit by keeping three things top of mind: size, structure and color. "It's all about how the overall outfit is put together; for example, a black straw crossbody with a blazer and tailored shorts is a much different feel than a brown straw tote with a dress," she says. "But, some styles can be worn with anything from a classic, flowy summer dress to a traditionally professional piece like a blazer and trousers."

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