If you haven’t ever owned an L.L. Bean Boat and Tote, this is your sign to order one! I have been a longstanding fan of this specific bag for years and my love affair with the brand only continues to get stronger.
The canvas bag was first introduced as an ice carrier in the 1940s, meant to be used as a way to move ice from a car to a chest. It was a quality made product back then, and it still holds up well through modern day use. I may or may not have used it to transport bottles of rosé on ice… 😉
The brand takes pride in the fact that the Boat and Tote has been tested to hold up to 500 pounds. The bags product description even states: “It’ll carry more than you can carry. We promise.” While I certainly don’t use the tote to lug around 500 pounds worth of necessities, I do appreciate that it’s made with quality that holds up well over time. A durable tote bag is a must-have in my book, whether you’re traveling, going to the dog park, or venturing out on a beach trip. It’s also BELOVED by my friends and colleagues in the fashion industry. And, I would be remiss if I did not shout out the new trend of entirely ironic Boat Totes! The embroidery tool is truly a creative canvas and I encourage you to have the most fun with yours!
Another big perk when it comes to this bag is that it’s under $40. It makes a useful and thoughtful holiday gift, and it’s affordable enough to own in multiple colors. Find my full L.L. Bean Boat and Tote review below.
I used to only carry the Boat and Tote bag with the short handles, but now I’m in love with the long handle style. There’s a four inch difference between the two handle lengths and I just find the longer version to so much more comfortable to throw over my shoulder when traveling. Both are great options though!
The Boat and Tote also comes in a small, medium, large, and extra large size so you can cater your bag selection to your specific needs. I love that it has a zip top closure so I don’t have to worry about anything slipping out.
I have one bag just for my dog Penny (it comes in handy during dog park runs!) monogrammed with “Penny 2 Go” and I have four for myself which all match and bear my new monogram! Because the bag comes in so many colors, owning several doesn’t feel like overkill. I have the black and camo styles for photo shoots, and the natural color (shown below) for everyday use and travel needs.
While these totes aren’t necessarily meant to be waterproof, I can vouch that they stay in good shape even if they do end up getting a little bit wet. Each bag is made with heavy-duty cotton canvas, complete with double-stitched seams that won’t rot or break over time.
Because they’re so well made, I wouldn’t be too worried about the Boat and Tote getting splashed a bit, however, if you’re looking for a truly waterproof bag, you might want to consider the L.L. Bean’s Wellie Tote.
If you’re wondering how to soften an L.L. Bean tote, you might think that throwing it in the washing machine is the answer. While that might do the trick, your bag will hold up better over time if you treat it more gently. Plus, it’s possible that the washing machine will change the texture of your canvas bag.
The brand recommends spot treating the canvas totes instead. Use something mild to get rid of stains and smudges, like water mixed with pure castile soap.
One of my favorite things about the L.L. Bean Boat and Tote bag is that you can monogram it. Adding a monogram gives it a much more personal touch. Some bags allow up to 10 characters of personalization, it just depends on the size you order.
I love to gift them with recipients initials for Christmas or birthdays. Some other ideas: Add your business name, your dog’s name, or a fun phrase like “dog mom” for a bit more personality.