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How Much Stuff Can You Fill In 15” x 15” Tote Bag?

by Abstra Styleon April 24, 2018

We know what you’re thinking. A canvas tote bag measuring just 15-inches by 15-inches (38 cm x 38 cm) is far too small to carry much of anything, right? Well, as it turns out, you would be underestimating the sheer volume of items that you can store, carry and keep safe in that space. 


We’re not suggesting you stuff it to overflowing, either. But let’s take a look at what can go inside one. But before we can do that, we need to discuss your specific needs. One of the most interesting things about a reusable canvas tote bag is that it can be used by many different kinds of people in many different ways.

Abstra Canvas Print Abstract Tote

What we are saying is that there are a lot of ways to use a canvas tote than just for hauling groceries or the mail home after a full day at the office or on errands.

So let’s explore what four different kinds of people would likely use their tote bag for.


Short Vacation or Business Trip


Okay. You are off on an adventure. Two or three days away from home and you’ll be refreshed and rested. You have waited for months for these dates to arrive and now that they are here, you are in the packing phase. In your luggage, you have chosen to take your canvas tote bag as carry-on.



Because of that, you have carefully selected the items you will need to access the most for placement in your tote. They include the following:

  • Passport/Airline Tickets
  • A Guide Book
  • A Map
  • A Pocketbook
  • A Bottle of Water
  • A Camera
  • A Snack


Even with these items inside the 15" x 15" space, there is room for more and the tote is not heavy or awkward to carry either by the handles or slung over a shoulder. 


For A Day On The Job


You are an employee who works 9 to 5, 5 and sometimes six days a week. You have created a routine that runs from the moment you wake up until you get back home in the evening. As a result, you use your canvas tote bag very differently than some others would.



Because you consider it part of your work wardrobe, you take it everywhere you need it about work. That’s why it contains office supplies and additional things. Your tote would include:

  • Documents, Files
  • Laptop Computer
  • Mobile Phone
  • Wallet
  • Small grocery items picked up on the way home

Work-From-Home Entrepreneur


You are creative. You are one of those fortunate individuals who has managed to step away from the world of working for someone else. You are working for yourself. No more daily commutes to the office.



You now just have to walk into your study or spare room or coffee table and open your laptop to be at work. Everything is handy and simple. However, you still need to carry things from one part of your home or apartment to another. Your tote may include:

  • Gym Gear (you have to exercise, right?)
  • Rolled up Yoga Mat
  • Wallet (for those trips to the coffee shop)
  • Light T-Shirt/Jacket (for when you decide to take a walk in the neighborhood)
  • Pens/Pencils/Notepads (for when inspiration strikes)
  • 8” Notebook (for staying connected when away from your home office)
  • Charger

Special Use (Mothers/Students/Other)


Well, you know, if you didn’t fall under any of the previous three categories, then you will most definitely fit this final ‘catch-all’ grouping. You may be a young mother or a student or just someone who likes to carry items in something other than a backpack.



The 15" x 15" canvas tote is perfect for these individuals simply because there is more than enough space inside one to hold all the things you may need for an afternoon or the whole day. Your tote will include:

  • Baby Items (diapers/wipes/change of clothes)
  • School Items (books/writing instruments/lunch/small musical instruments)
  • Everyday Items (mobile phone/laptop/books/water/wallet/make-up)

But What About The Weight?


This is an excellent question. We’ve probably made it very clear to you that you can carry a lot of different things in a 15" x 15" canvas tote. We’ve discussed in earlier blog posts how sturdy a canvas tote is in comparison to many other types of totes.

We’ve even discussed how durable the construction of a canvas tote is. With all of this additional information, you must be thinking that you will be able to carry a relatively large load of items in the 15" x 15" space. While that is true, you have to consider the weight of all of those things and your health.


What Does My Health Have To Do With A Tote Bag?


While it is tempting to stuff a lot into a canvas tote bag, there are a couple of questions to consider before you get to that point. How far are you going to be carrying the filled tote? How are you going to carry that filled tote? We toss these at you because even if you fill your tote to capacity (11 pounds or 10 liters), that is a heavy load to carry for a long distance.



Sure, if you can’t use the handles for long, you can sling the tote over your shoulder, but this is where your health becomes a concern. Carrying a heavy load of any kind by hand or over your shoulder can cause your muscle strain. You may even hurt your neck and back muscles in addition to your arm and shoulder muscles. This will affect your health.

Although we construct our canvas tote bags to be strong and durable, we also want you to use them properly. That means staying safe. If you carry a heavy load for a long period, you not only risk muscle strain, but you may risk other injuries as well. Trips and falls can result from spills. If you use your Tote wisely, you’ll get a lot of use out of it. Stay safe.

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