Go Big Or Go Home Carrying A Million Bags: State Bags Douglass Tote Review

In the middle of a crowded street fair, something caught my eye. It was shiny and gold and emitted an air of class and cool. I had to get a closer look at the backpack this woman was wearing. I picked up my pace and as I got closer, I was able to make out the label: State Bags.


I never heard of this brand before, but made a mental note to look it up on Instagram as soon as I got home.

Turns out State Bags isn’t just a brand that looks good, it does good. From the website:

“For every State bag purchased, we’ll support American children and families in need … in the ways they need it most. Our giving initiatives include donating fully-packed backpacks at our signature bag drop rallies, fueling #WhatDoWeTellTheKids activations and special projects with partner charities and schools in which we so deeply believe.”

I was sold.

But my dilemma… which bag should I buy?

Although I really, really loved the gold Kane backpack, I had to be honest with myself about making that purchase. I already have a few backpacks and my biggest problem with them is that they aren’t big enough to hold everything I need. I use one as a diaper bag sometimes. Would I want this backpack as a diaper bag or personal bag? If I was using it as my personal bag, I would want a tote.


And then, of course, I found the Graham gold tote. It doesn’t have drink pockets like I prefer, but that can easily be fixed with a diaper bag insert. It features a zipper, which is a huge bonus.  I would surely have gotten this bag except for one thing- I just splurged on an MZ Wallace Soho Tote during their recent sale. And I love, love, love it. In my journey to be a saver, not a spender, I had to tell myself that I will get this bag in the future, just not now because I already just got a bag I love.

I settled for admiring my gold tote online like every day, waiting for a sale.


The sale came sooner than expected. While my gold bag wasn’t marked down, I did see that mega huge Douglass totes were half price. I have been searching for a sturdy, light weight ultra-large tote for packing up beach towels, change of clothes  and snacks for day trips. I wanted something easy on my shoulders, large and colorful. My heart always gravitated towards the MZ Wallace Large Metro Tote, but in my experience, the MZ Wallace quilted bags are poor quality, with fabric ripping and stitching coming undone (Google reviews confirm it’s not just me). So I won’t get any more MZ Wallace quilted bags, but the sleek nylon ones are great. I’ll write another review on that topic, but I’m taking you along on my bag buying thought process!

Back to the State Bags on sale. The Douglass Tote. I actually got all three polyester canvas colors that were on sale (and still paid less than the price of a large MZ Wallace tote). One for each of my kids and my husband to use on our upcoming vacation and also day trips. When the bags arrived, I was more than pleased with my purchase. They are actually so huge, I don’t even need three. Two would probably cover all our needs. But as I like to be ultra-organized, I already found ways to use them. For instance, on a recent pool day, I used one bag to hold all our towels (easily fit four towels and still had room in one bag!) and another for a change of clothes for everyone. The best part is that post-pool, I had one dedicated bag just for wet towels and clothes.


I’m really pleased with the State Bags quality and aesthetics.  You can even personalize them with initials, cute patches and hearts. They are going to be great for when we need to pack a lot of things and go on day trips. Or for the holidays when we need to throw a bunch of gifts into a bag. We won’t have to lug a ton of smaller bags, we will have a neater car with larger bags that fit all.

State Bags just dropped new designs and have the metallic backpacks in more colors and even bigger sizes. There’s a gold metallic State Bag in my future for sure. I just need to figure out which one is best for my journeys.

Lesson learned from this post: Keep your eye on fashion when you’re out and about because you might just discover a new brand you love. Also, stock up on bags you love when they are on sale, so you have them when you need them!


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