Why Everyone Needs A “Mom” Bag In Their Arsenal

You remember this handbag: it sat in the car between the driver and passenger seat, always by your mom’s side as she chauffeured you to school on her way to work, or made the pilgrimage to the pizzeria after soccer practice with you and your three best friends in the backseat. It wasn’t huge, but it was big enough to hold a wealth of necessities for everyone in your family, and it was equipped with seemingly endless pockets and dividers to keep everything organized. Tissues, bandages, peanut butter crackers, a bottle of water, extra socks, Chapstick, sunglasses, disinfectant, Mad Libs — the solution to every problem was contained in that (roughly) 11" x 14" vessel. Your mom set the bar high for this item: it had to be easy to clean, in a color that complemented everything in her wardrobe, with a strap long enough to sling over her shoulder with ease. It also had to have a secure closure to keep all of her precious essentials safely in place.
Now, years later, your mom is still rocking that multi-purpose purse, and you’re starting to understand why. A medium-sized shopper replete with compartments for all of the things you lug — laptop, phone charger, change of shoes, dry shampoo, hot sauce — and a construction sturdy enough to withstand being shoved under things — desks, airplane seats, cubicles, and barstools — is the holy grail of handbags, and you find yourself eyeing your mom’s carryall and wondering where you can score one for yourself. So if you’re looking to cop your own “mom bag” this spring — or if you’re planning on helping your mom upgrade hers in the next few months — look no further, because we’ve rounded up the ones that are totes the best.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

More from Fashion

R29 Original Series