It’s time to get your hands on some reusable shopping bags, New Yorkers! The statewide ban on single use plastic bags is set to go into effect on March 1st, 2020. Every retail establishment that pays a sales tax, from grocery to clothing stores, will be switching to paper bags. More likely than not, they’ll be charging 5 cents for those bags. So instead of getting flustered at the checkout counter (should you just spring for the extra 5 cent bag or can you carry a carton of milk for five blocks?), come prepared with a reusable shopping bag!
But with so many great reusable shopping bags out there, how do you find the one that’s right for you? For New Yorkers who walk everywhere (except the places they take the subway), portability and convenience are key. We want the bags that zip up and fit in our purses when we’re not using them. The bags that don’t tear from the hustle and bustle of NYC streets. The bags that say: “I’m prepared, I’m environmentally conscious, and yes, I’m a New Yorker.” With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a list of the best reusable shopping bags that, like you, are ready to take on the big city.
Find the best reusable shopping bag that works for you!
Best Produce Bag: Net Zero Double Handle Cotton Net Market Tote Bag
If you’re a frequent produce shopper, check out Net Zero’s Double Handle Cotton Net Market Tote Bag. The double strap design means this bag effectively functions as both handbag and over-the-shoulder bag for when it gets heavier. The straps themselves are 100% cotton and are very durable. You can fill the bag with cans, and it still won’t break (although it won’t look as aesthetic as it does filled with fruit). The mesh style is not necessarily the best pick for comprehensive grocery shopping. However, it is perfect for a trip to the farmer’s market or a romantic stroll down the produce aisle!
Best Collapsable Bag: BeeGreen Basic Reusable Grocery Bags
The adorable patterns aren’t the best part of the BeeGreen Basic Reusable Grocery Bags (although they’re close). These bags fold up into an integrated square pouch, meaning they’re easy to carry around in your purse or pocket. Then, when you’re ready to do your grocery shopping, unfold and fill them with as much as you can. (The reinforced stitching means they’re able to carry up to 50 lbs!) The BeeGreen bags are so compact, you can keep one with you at all times. That way, if you decide to make a spur of the moment stop at the supermarket, you’re always prepared.
Price: $14.55 for pack of five
Best Fashionable Bag: Verloop Knits Gossamer Reversible Bag
This bag from Verloop is made of gorgeous iridescent gossamer and comes in a rainbow of fun colors. It’ll catch the sunlight as easily as it’ll catch all your friends’ attention. It won’t necessarily hold as much as other reusable shopping bags, but what it lacks in volume, it makes up for in style. Straight from Verloop’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection, this is a bag that’s definitely high in fashion. And, if you’re passionate about mindfully created, innovative products, it’s worth checking out the rest of Verloop’s line. Who knows? You might find a gorgeous gossamer scarf to match your reusable bag!
Best Lightweight Bag: Standard Baggu
The Standard Baggu is kind of like your bread and butter when it comes to reusable shopping bags. It’s super basic and lightweight. Why do we like it? Because it comes in endless fun colors and prints, from red tartan to the Charlie Brown squad. Why do we love it? Because it’s made of 40% recycled nylon sourced from pre-consumer waste. The Standard Baggu holds 2-3 shopping bags (or 50 lbs.) worth of stuff, but it also comes in a Baby Baggu size and a Big Baggu size. Then, it folds up into a mini 5” by 5” pouch, so you can keep it with you at all times!
Best "Big Shop" Bag: Lotus Trolley Bags
You won’t want to carry the Lotus Trolley Bags around with you every day, but they’re perfect for that once-a-week “big shop.” If you know you’re about to load up on groceries, then the Lotus Bags conveniently spread across the cart accordion-style in an innovative patented design. One bag is insulated, one comes with a special container for eggs, one with a special pocket for produce. (But if you’re looking for more produce pockets, check out the Lotus produce bags, which come in a set of nine!) When you’re ready to take your shopping out of the trolley, the rods slide out and you can pick up the bags from their side handles. The bags themselves are eco-friendly and machine washable. This purchase really takes convenience to a whole new level.
Price: $35.99 for pack of four
Best Portable Bag: BagPodz Reusable Bags
BagPodz are absolutely the best way to carry around a ton of reusable bags at the same time. While many reusable bags collapse into their own pouches, BagPodz conveniently hold together ten reusable bags. When you hit the register, just keep taking out as many as you need to fit all your groceries. The pouch itself zips up and has a clip on the back so you can attach it to your shopping trolley (or your belt loop, if you prefer). BagPodz are also sustainably produced, making your shopping experience eco-friendly from start to finish.Price: 34.95 for pack of ten
Best Heavy-Duty Bag: Colony Co. Grocery Bag
If you’re someone who prefers paper bags to plastic, then the Colony Co. Grocery Bag is your reusable version of that. You’re unlikely to find a more tough or heavy duty reusable shopping bag on the market. It’s made of waxed canvas, giving it a cool industrial look, and reinforced with high quality stitching. It won’t roll up into a pouch as small as some other reusable bags, but it is easily foldable. And if you ever need to set down your grocery bags, this is one that definitely won’t topple over.
Best Over-the-Shoulder Bag: Flip & Tumble 24/7 Bag
The 24/7 bag is compact and colorful. And if you’re looking for a bag that sits comfortably over your shoulder, this is the one. The felt patch underneath the strap makes it comfortable on your shoulder and keeps it from slipping. The 27/4 bag won’t carry as much weight as some other reusable bags (it holds up to 35 lbs), but it does roll up into an exceptionally small (3”) ball. The 24/7 bag could definitely become your go-to reusable shopping bag, and you can pick it up in every color, from coral to peacock, to match your every outfit!
Best Versatile Bag: Clevermade Snapbasket
The Clevermade SnapBasket will serve you well in grocery shopping, but it’s also just an investment for life. Use it as a gym bag, a laundry bag or even an overnight bag. The “snap” refers to the fact that it conveniently collapses into a flat slab, making it easy to store or pack away. This is definitely a bag that can carry a heavy load, with strong vegan leather handles and a capacity of 30 liters. And, if you’re using it as a purse, it has a built in zipper pocket to store your valuables.
Best Multi-Pocket Bag: CapaBunga Market Tote
The CapaBunga Market Tote is a surefire way to make sure your eggs aren’t cracked, your peaches aren’t bruised, and your groceries aren’t falling out if you set the bag down. The bag is made up of various compartments specifically designed to fit different types of groceries. If you love staying organized, then this could be the bag for you. It even comes with an outside strap for attaching a bouquet of flowers. While it’s not the ideal bag to keep with you at all times, it’s the perfect way to transport some delicate groceries or pack up a weekend picnic!