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10 Unexpected Ways to Use Your Boat and Tote

We asked our employees how they use these endlessly versatile, nearly indestructible totes. Their answers, just like the bags themselves, were one-of-a-kind.

4 Min. Read | Product Use & Care

Whether its canvas is still factory crisp or bears the scars of a life well lived, the legendary Boat and Tote® – introduced in 1944 as the Bean’s Ice Carrier and still handstitched in Maine today – just keeps carrying on. We reached out to the biggest Boat and Tote fans we know – L.L.Bean employees – to learn some of the more unexpected ways they use these totes-of-all-trades. Here are ten of our favorite responses.

1. Do It For the ‘Gram | Tote Tip by Keith T.

Monograms aren’t just for names and initials anymore. Choose a monogram to show off your personality – make a statement, have some fun, get creative with it. It’s what makes this tote the absolute G.O.A.T. You know, Greatest of All Totes.

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Custom monograms come in 48 colors and 15 styles!

2. The Hardwood Hauler | Tote Tip by Stacie S.

If you have a fireplace or woodstove, our biggest Boat and Tote is one of the easiest ways to bring firewood into your home. You won’t have to worry about balancing awkward armfuls of wood – or leaving a messy trail of debris behind.

3. Give a Better Gift Bag | Tote Tip by Allison G.

When giving a gift, instead of using a ton of tissue paper that will go to waste, put it in a Boat and Tote they’ll use forever. And with the right monogram – a special date, a silly nickname, or an inside joke – the gift bag itself becomes the best gift of all.

4. The Laundry Helper | Tote Tip by Christine B.

Give every person in your household their very own XL Boat and Tote to make laundry day a breeze. They’re big enough to hold a whole hamper’s worth of wash, and durable enough to toss down the stairs (especially the zip-top version).

5. Customize Your Canvas | Tote Tip by Desiree L.

With so many Boat and Tote options to choose from, you can really go wild with customization. Grab a classic canvas version and add your own designs with paint or markers. Or use metallic markers on an all-black tote to stand in for a guestbook at a wedding or special event.

6. Make a Roadside Rescue Kit | Tote Tip by Beth C.

When going on an adventure, it’s always smart to bring some backup just in case things don’t go quite as planned. Boat and Totes are the perfect car trunk accessory for stowing everything you need in an emergency, like a first-aid kit, jumper cables, towels, water, headlamps, and snacks.

7. Picnic Perfection | Tote Tip by Pauline B.

We love a good picnic, and Boat and Totes are surprisingly good for carrying organizing trays, containers, and even ice packs – plus plenty of snacks, beverages, and other goodies.

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While not traditional Boat and Totes, we also carry several insulated totes that can stand in for a cooler, keeping everything chilled until you're ready to chow down.

8. Get Your Beach On | Tote Tip by Julie M.

You can’t go to a New England beach without spotting a Boat and Tote beside every blanket. That’s because sand and wet towels are no match for their heavy canvas build, and their long handles make them easy to throw over your shoulder and go.

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Go long (or short). Boat & Tote handles comes in two lengths!

9. Add Some Organizers | Tote Tip by Whitney A.

It’s no secret that Boat and Totes make great work bags, holding laptops, notebooks, and other everyday office items with ease. If you want to get extra organized, toss in a few Boat and Tote Zip Pouches to contain clutter like a pro, using them to stash headphones, charging cables, pens, pencils, and more.

10. The Frequent Flyer | Tote Tip by Jeff D.

Want a reliable and durable bag for flying? Choose a Zip-Top Boat and Tote in place of a suitcase. They come in the perfect carry-on sizes, while the heavy-duty canvas and stiff sides keep your carefully packed clothes, accessories, and other delicate items from shifting in transit. Safe travels!

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Choose from four sizes, from Small to Extra Large – just enough for your stuff!

Now that we’ve revealed some of our best Boat and Tote tricks, let’s hear about yours! Visit Dear L.L.Bean to submit a story about how your tote has helped you over the years.

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