Whether you are a compulsive plein air painter, a student commuting to art classes, or an artist who never likes to be apart from materials, a tote for your tools is a good investment. Sure, you can use a standard tote bag, but few are designed with multiple pockets that help you travel by keeping paint tubes and markers neatly organized. A great artist’s carrier will present specialized features while being comfortable and looking good; it should allow you to worry less about moving from place to place, so you can focus more on your art. Here are the best artist-friendly tote bags for effortless travel.
1. Royal & Langnickel Essentials Art Cargo Bag
The sturdy, utilitarian construction and organizational features of this bag make it a winning choice for us. Designed specifically for artists, Royal & Langnickel’s product offers an astounding amount of space and number of compartments to keep tools and more. There are zipper compartments of various sizes—the main one is large enough to hold sketchbooks, canvases, and paint palettes—and detachable pouches to organize individual brushes and writing utensils. Although this bag might appear cumbersome, it packs up very neatly, with double buckles for security, and the spread of pockets results in good weight distribution. Plus, the canvas exterior is lightweight and hardwearing, making this a bag you can carry daily.
2. Togood Large Storage Tote Bag
This structured bag can hold small- to medium-sized supplies, but it is especially handy for carrying markers and pens. Addicted illustrators and die-hard bullet journalers will appreciate the large-capacity pocket, which can hold more than 100 markers and comes complete with dividers, so you can sort pens by color or size. Your tools also stay upright, which means you can see their caps at a glance for fast selection. This bag also features zipper side pockets, a back pocket, and adjustable straps allowing you to wear it three ways.
3. Artist’s Loft Fundamentals Tote Bag
This bag is unfussy, stylish, and inexpensive. It’s an excellent option for artists who are hyper-organized and looking for a simple bag that will see them through any commute, whether to an interview or to the beach. The minimalist look also means it will match practically any outfit. Made of polyester, it features eight exterior pockets of varying sizes and one large, central well. Be aware that none of the compartments close, which you might consider either a liability or a convenience for quick access to materials.
4. ArtBin Sidekick Art & Craft Organizer
While admittedly not the most stylish carrier, ArtBin’s plastic tote is a practical and durable option that can store a lot of materials. Its translucent structure makes it easy to spot items at a glance, so you don’t have to waste time digging around for bits and bobs. Larger items can fit into the central catchall well, while smaller accessories can be placed in a removable tray beneath the lid. Don’t let the material fool you: This is a sturdy bin with robust latches and a resilient, well-attached handle; it can tolerate a few knocks in transit, while protecting your possessions.
5. Everything Mary Collapsible Rolling Craft Bag
The rolling bag has heavy baggage as the conventionally uncool option for young scholars, but they are really smart options for those who suffer from shoulder or back pain. In any case, this is an attractive and relatively refined one from Everything Mary. Made of a durable polyester, it offers a place for everything. Big items can slip into the main compartment, while less bulky supplies, like sketchbooks or palettes, can slide into one of eight additional storage spaces. We also like that this bag is fully collapsible, so it takes up little room itself.