Best Tote Bags in NZ (Our Top Picks)


Tote bags are the perfect style of bag for just about anything; no matter if they are made out of leather or canvas. Whether you are running errands, going to class or work with your laptop, partying over the weekend, or shopping for your next read, totes can “totes” handle whatever you have going on in your life – every day of the week. The tote will quickly become your best friend, simply by hanging off of your shoulder, allowing you to carry books, pens, a laptop, and a whole outfit change. If you don’t have one, this is your sign to get one!

Here’s a list of our favourite tote bags available in New Zealand:

Best Designer Tote:

Jeanne d’ArcWomen’s Leather Tote

Our verdict:

If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, look no further than this exquisite tote. We love the unique look and feel of this tote bag, it’s stunning – hand made, stylish, and a convenient medium size that will fit essential items. This bag is perfect for busy ladies on the go who need a reliable and stylish bag to keep their belongings safe.

Get a taste of European craftsmanship right here in New Zealand!

Plus it ships from Auckland, with a next day dispatch and a 12 month warranty.

Available to buy here

Best Everyday Tote

Leather Tote Bag – Caterina

Our verdict:

We’re in love with this leather tote bag from a local New Zealand brand called Capolavoro, which in Italian means Masterpiece and this tote is a testament of their brand. It’s made from genuine leather and it’s been vegetable tanned to give it that smooth delicious gradient of honey brown, it’s soft and yet durable and big enough to fit all your essentials and even your laptop! This is definitely one of our favourites.

Made in Italy

Bonus that it ships from Auckland, with a next day dispatch and a 12 month warranty.

Available to buy here

The “blank canvas” of bags

If you’re looking for a blank canvas-type handbag that can handle it all, the tote bag will be a good choice for you. Now, all that you have to figure out in this bag search is the approximate colour you’d like, what price range suits you, what style of tote bag, and you should think about the shoulder strap style, as well as its potential length. Here, we’re going to help you narrow down potential tote bag brands to a singular brand that will have the bag for you for your ideal price point.

Final bag shopping advice

When buying the perfect handbag, one that you are going to love and carry for a long time, we would even go as far as checking their availability in a real, physical shop or store. True bag shopping, in our eyes, is a search that’s done best in person, where you can feel the bag and see how it sits on your shoulder.

Online shopping is also something we deeply enjoy – don’t get us wrong. Placing the handbag in your cart, hitting checkout and order sometimes doesn’t bring the big “bag high” that we crave when searching for accessories.

Let’s go over some of the best New Zealand tote bags under the sun.

The “baddie” tote bag(s)

When looking for a tote bag – Auckland is where you will find some of the best brands. The Poi Room has beautiful Auckland tote bags. If you have the time, sign up for their email to get a discount code that you will be able to use when you’re in the store. This goes for all brands mentioned. However, not all brands offer a code of this sort, but it’s one of those things that you should always double-check. You can take this handbag with you on your nights out during the weekend or have it with you over the week, as it’s spacious yet cool at the same time.

No matter what date it is, you will see someone carrying around the iconic and spacious Michael Kors medium tote bag. Michael Kors can be easily spotted thanks to their recognizable logo that you’ll also see as soon as you enter any shop of theirs. Michael Kors is one of those brands that can support you in your search for any bag, let alone tote bags. Sort by price and look for the right style for you.

High-end totes

We all love cheap things, but sometimes paying the high price for a high-quality item is the best way to go. If you also view life like this, you may want to checkout Yu Mei bags. Particularly the style called “Braidy Bag“. Be warned, sometimes they sell out quickly or become quickly low on inventory. Sign up for their email and save yourself a trip to the shop on a “low” date and get a percentage knocked off of the perfect tote for you!

If you are in search of a more unique style of tote, you may want to check out Maryam Nassir Zadeh and her “birthday bags“. Their collections are usually in one colour (tan tends to be sort of the “theme” of the brand), and they add that special “oomph” to your style. However, these handbags are a bit more expensive. If you shop on the LYST website, you can get a discount via email and even keep up with any and all new collections. If they are all out of the tote bag of your dreams, subscribe and get notified about the new date of their collection drop. The tote handbags that this brand offers are usually made from a sturdier material than canvas; most often from leather. This means that you will be able to wear this handbag day in and day out, for years and years. The price here is a true sign of perfect quality and durability.

Cheaper options

If Michael Kors is “too basic” for you and Yu Mei or Maryam Nassir Zadeh too expensive, then you might like Rains and their tote bags. We adore their classic black tote since you can wear it everywhere, day or night. It has interior pockets and a removable/adjustable cross-body strap. You won’t need a discount code for this shop, since the price of their tote bags is around 50 dollars.

We personally love it when a brand does its best to be environmentally conscious by using materials such as canvas or other recycled materials when creating their totes. Waves Vintage, a brand native to Auckland, does this, so support them by adding a tote to your cart. Our personal favorites are the zebra waves shopper as well as the canvas striped tote bags. For thirty dollars, you’ll have a recognizable style hanging from your shoulder while running errands.

Which one did you add to your cart?

Discount code or not, now you have a good view of what the New Zealand tote bag market is like. Whether you are looking for a simple, canvas tote bag or a bag with a brand logo – we have you covered. The only question that is left is: “Which shop are you going to visit?”.

Hopefully, we have narrowed down the search for the best tote bag for you.

Which style or brand speaks to you? Be sure to tell us which cute tote you added to your cart!