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Totes Vs. Shoulder Bags: Which One Is The Right Fit For You?

Custom shoulder bags and tote bags are rapidly gaining popularity nowadays. Several major businesses have already recognized their potential. Because they do not want to miss out on this opportunity, they provide branded bags to consumers. This way, they can attract attention from the public and increase brand awareness.

However, finding the right bag may be challenging for smaller, newer brands. To choose a custom bag that matches your brand well, you must consider what you’re using the bag for.

So, which one should you choose? A tote bag for space or a shoulder bag for comfort? Make the best decision by going through this detailed blog of ours!

What Is A Tote Bag?

If you’re not already familiar with the term, a tote bag is a large bag with an opening at the top. Essentially, it refers to any bag with no fasteners other than the handles on either side.

A tote bag’s primary function is to act as a convenient carry-all for the products you sell. They are commonly referred to as “shopping totes”. This bag is perfect for keeping in your store so clients can take the shop-bought items home.

Since tote bags are durable and comfortable, customers can use them in many ways. From food in a grocery store to the latest trends in a clothing store, there is nothing people can’t use this bag for.

You will find many different tote bag designs in the market. For example, a canvas tote bag is any tote made from robust fabric woven from either linen or cotton.

What Is A Shoulder Bag?

A purse or handbag with at least one strap long enough to go over a person’s shoulder is a shoulder bag. The straps are safely reinforced on good-quality shoulder bags. Therefore, no matter how much you tug on them, they do not come off.

The purpose of a strap is so people can drape it over their shoulders. This allows the user to carry the bag without using their hands. The wearers can either sling it across their body with their heads in between or carry them on one shoulder. The bag’s weight is much more evenly distributed across the body when slung across.

A couple of well-known shoulder bag designs are crossbody bags, barrels, and hobos. Bigger shoulder bags are handy when customers carry heavy items like electronics.

Differences Between A Tote And A Shoulder Bag

Do you need a tote bag for your brand? Or is a shoulder bag more fitting for what you sell? When debating between the two, you should consider a couple of key differences. Let’s examine how tote bags and shoulder bags differ from each other.


The simplest way to tell a shoulder bag from a tote is by the straps. You may wonder why totes don’t come under shoulder bags considering they have a strap too. This is because there is a difference in the number of straps. A shoulder bag typically has one, whereas a tote bag usually has two.

Although the appearance of the straps may not seem important, the function matters a lot. A tote bag opens far broader and more conveniently than a shoulder bag. Why? Because it has an extra strap on the side and the bag is usually a lot bigger.

So, before purchasing any new bags for your brand, consider the type of products you sell at your store. If you have bulkier items, go for a tote bag. If not, a shoulder bag is the way to go.

difference in the number of straps


When we talk about interior organization, shoulder bags take the lead. They offer many more options than tote bags. A shoulder bag almost always has internal pockets, both with zips and without. This is efficient because you can make use of the space and put small items for the client here.

On the other hand, a tote bag simply has one large open space for carrying everything. They offer a vast, roomy interior for more oversized items.


Whether you go for a tote bag or a shoulder bag, the list of materials and fabrics is endless. The only real distinction is that reusable materials are more prevalent in tote bags.

Although there aren’t many differences here, you should pick a sturdy material for both bags. If you’re using these bags for promotion, customers will use them frequently. Therefore, you should ensure that the materials used on them will last.

Leather and canvas are two of our favorite fabrics for shoulder bags and totes. Both materials are timeless, strong, and practical. Although they cost a bit more than others, they will showcase your brand in a great light.


Shoulder bags come in a variety of sizes – from small to large. The smaller shoulder bags are usually designed to hold smaller items. Customers can easily carry these under their arms!

If your brand is looking for compact designs, opt for small shoulder bags. You can keep small items like keychains, pens, and edible gifts in here to give away. It will also store all your customers’ stuff and won’t weigh them down like a tote bag.

Tote bags, on the other hand, are roomy and can hold many items at the same time. Due to their larger size, they offer additional space, and you can use them for several purposes.

Tote bags are a great choice whether you want to pack some heavy groceries or use them for brand awareness! Go through the many varieties of these bags before purchasing the one you need.


Another factor to keep in mind before deciding on either bag is price. You should consider your budget if you want to buy in bulk for promotional reasons.

Tote bags are typically more affordable than shoulder bags. This makes them a more cost-effective choice. Conversely, shoulder bags may be a bit more expensive, but that’s a given! They are much higher in quality and have a longer lifespan.

Before setting your mind on a specific bag, you should get a quote from a reputable bag manufacturer. Tote bags are still a trendy alternative if you feel the price of shoulder bags is out of your range.

Finding Customized Bags At Wholesale Prices

AvecoBaggie offers bags that hang from the shoulder in various designs and materials. Using our custom solutions, you can create your own models with ease. From the bag shape down to the color, you name it; we’ll make it!

There are also no compromises when it comes to the logos and marketing messages you want to print. Whether you wish for transfer print, silk print labels, or embroidery – AvecoBaggie has options for everyone!


Now that you’ve learned everything about both bags, it’s time to choose the one that best works for your brand. To summarize, a tote bag is a wonderful option if your company wants to sell larger goods. However, a shoulder bag is your best bet if you seek a smaller, more secure bag.

Your customers can keep tiny, lightweight things using this.

Whatever bag you decide on, be careful to pick one that complements your brand’s style and financial situation.

We’re always excited to hear from our customers. Fill out this form and we’ll get in touch with you soon!

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