16 Stylish Farmers Market Bags and Baskets

These totes (and backpacks!) are as practical as they are cute.

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April 05, 2021

I am not a morning person, but there's nothing better than an early Saturday morning at the farmers market. It's a great way to buy local produce in your area, explore another culture and new flavors when you travel or simply treat yourself to a bouquet of flowers just because it's the weekend. But toting around that haul can be a real struggle — especially with big leafy greens or delicate items like eggs and stone fruit. We've rounded up the best bags, backpacks, baskets and more to protect your groceries and even keep them organized. Take a look at our top picks below, from washable to insulated, and gear up for the summer market season in style.

BEST CANVAS MARKET BAGS

Those flimsy reusable grocery bags just can't handle the farmers market. I've had many a blowout Home Alone style — with heavy potatoes and melons. For a big produce haul, you need a sturdy canvas bag. Canvas is great because it's washable or easy to spot treat. Because canvas has more structure than mesh, canvas market bags often come with pockets and dividers. We love this blue canvas tote from Uncommon Goods. It features long and tall sections perfect for carrying leafy greens or a carton of eggs. And it even comes with a little strap on the side for toting a bouquet. Terrain has a similar design with a coated, faux leather base, and Food52 has an olive green canvas bag with the same dividers. It even has an insulated pouch for the middle section to store frozen and refrigerated goods. If you're looking for a bag that can be used at the farmers market and your own garden, this harvest bag from Uncommon Goods is seriously nifty. The bottom of the bag opens to easily dump gathered produce on a counter or bin.

BEST INSULATED MARKET BAGS

Some come to the market with a mission. They know exactly what they want and from which stall, and they're out of there before the parking lot even fills up. Chefs typically like to have their first pick of produce and will come first thing in the morning. But for others, it's more of a vibe. I like to leisurely walk the booths and people watch and grab a brunch bite and just take my time. If you're a meanderer, you need an insulated bag to keep your buys cool while you browse. I know YETI coolers are expensive, but the Hopper cooler bag series is worth every penny. The smallest, the Hopper 8, can store eight soda cans or a handful of artisanal cheeses and yogurt. However, if that's not in the budget, Business and Pleasure Co. has developed quite the cult following for their insulting picnic bags. The long, horizontal shape is perfect for egg cartons or berry trays. And this new insulated lunch bag from Calpak is the first I've seen with a draw-string closure. It's perfect for toting small bunches of greens or flowers as you can tighten the top to securely fit around your haul. For something hands-free, you need the Corkcicle insulated backpack. It takes the weight off your shoulders if you hate tote bags, and it also keeps your hands free for easily reaching produce, your wallet or holding a leash for dog-friendly markets.

BEST NET MARKET BAGS

While canvas and straw market bags are more sturdy, they don't pack well take up a lot of space. For travel — or just to keep on hand in the car — classic net bags are a must. The design first came from pieces of fishing nets but has evolved over the decades into cotton webbing or smaller synthetic mesh. I'm a fan of Baggu. Their regular nylon bags pack down into a little square, and I always toss one into my suitcase before any trip. The mesh Baggu packs down to the same size, but its recycled mesh material is breathable and better for hauling fresh produce and flowers. For a more traditional net bag, Food52's knit market bag comes in several colors. And over on Etsy, Laura of Waste Not Wants dyes net bags in a rainbow of cute colors using only plants as a dye.

BEST STRAW MARKET BAGS

While maybe not the most practical, there's nothing more iconic than a woven straw market basket. When not in use at the market, a straw bag can double as decor inside for blanket storage or outside for gardening tools. Terrain has several lovely basket bags — some with leather accents — but what really made me ooh and ahh is this straw backpack. How cute would this be for a post farmers market picnic? And I'm pretty sure my heart momentarily stopped when I saw this rattan rolling cart from Food52. It comes in two sizes: adults and kids.

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