Sail Bag Buying Guide: Find The Right Bag for You
Looking for the perfect sail bag for your next beach vacation or day out on the boat? This special guide helps take the guesswork out of your shopping experience.
The first decision you need to make is whether you prefer recycled sailcloth or new, clean sailcloth. Both have distinct advantages:
- An eco-friendly solution for those who love to re-use and upcycle.
- Each bag is crafted from a used sail that once traveled the waterways of the world. Your bag carries a certain mystique because who know where it has already journeyed?
- A real conversation-piece, each bag feels special and is one-of-a-kind showcasing the original sail stitching and markings.
Things to keep in mind about recycled sail material:
- A used sail will always have some amount of staining on it that cannot be removed with washing. While we wash each and every sail we receive to get it as clean as possible, there will always be some spots on it - some more than others. Many sailing enthusiasts say that's where these bags get all of their character and authenticity!
- Recycled sail bags will vary in terms of how soft they are or crinkly and stiff, based upon how much the sail was used. When sailcloth is manufactured it is coated with resin which makes it quite stiff. Resin helps the sail's performance - wind and water will whip right off of it. But, over time, resin breaks down making for a softer cloth.
- Some sail bag brands use recycled sailcloth to line their bags. While that is nice, we have to remember that no two recycled sails are the same. A well-loved, soft sail may not provide the best water-resistance. We take the worry out of that by lining all Salvaged Sails Recycled Sail Bags with a separate, water-resistant lining to provide the best overall protection.
- We've been selling sail bags for almost 10 years now and have learned that some customers really love the nautical look of a sailcloth bag, but prefer a pristine, clean white bag that has a soft hand.
- Seaworthy Sail Bags were created to provide a beautiful, new cloth bag in similar styles as recycled cloth bags, but without any of the guesswork - what you see is what you get. No spots, no stains, not surprises.
- Each bag is crafted from new sailcloth featuring a unique weave and finish to result in both water-resistance AND the nice, soft hand of a sun-kissed sail. For good measure, an interior water-resistant lining is included.
- New sail bags are very popular as wedding party gifts, corporate gifts, and for event planning as they are uniform in look (remember, no surprises), clean, and decidedly nautical. Plus, they are super easy to clean.
Frequency of Use
How often will you use your bag? Sail bags are the obvious choice for a day at the beach (sand just falls right off of them!) but great to use everyday as well. Be sure your bag can be easily cleaned if you are using it frequently.
The most popular bag type is the tote - it is roomy, with sturdy rope handles and fits quite a lot. The Medium Tote is perfect for everyday use - quick runs to the market (skip the plastic bags!), a day at the beach, and even for a school bag or airplane carry-on. The Large is great for those boat days where you need to pack several beach towels (I use mine every time we go out on the boat - it fits all 5 beach towels for my family, 2 sunscreens, my library book that MUST stay dry, phone, and even some extra clothes. Plus I never feel bad about stuffing wet towels in it at the end of the day). It also is great as a weekender bag or airplane carry-on. (Yes, both sizes work well on a plane. The Medium is great for your personal carry-on as it fits under the seat and the Large can go in the overhead bin).
The Crossbody sail bag is great for keeping your personal belongings close and safe. It is a replacement for your handbag.
Zippered wristlets are for those streamlined enough to need only a few essentials - license, credit card, phone - when they are on the go.
Wine totes - well, these are just plain fun. There are thousands of ways you can use these to make a very special housewarming, holiday, or hostess gift.
Zippers and Pockets
I highly recommend interior pockets on any bag, especially roomy ones. I loathe searching around and around a large bag for a small lipstick or phone. Zippers are essential if you use this bag for travel, and if you want to increase how protected your items are from water. Just be sure that your bag has a nice, sturdy rustproof zipper.
I hope this guides helps you understand the pros and cons of each type of sail material and bag style. Be sure to check our our complete line of Salvaged Sail Recycled Bags and Seaworthy Sails New Cloth Bags. Each one features the water-resistant lining, sturdy rope handles, interior pockets, and durable rust-proof zipper we always highly recommend. Bon voyage!