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4 Of The BEST Cheaper Alternatives To Thirty One Utility Totes

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My kids and I have had summer pool passes since they were toddlers. It’s a lot of fun, but getting kids to the pool is HARD.

Have you ever tried to carry 4 towels, snacks & drinks for the day, swim goggles, AND flip-flops?

Do you ever see those moms who have it all together at the pool? They’re dressed in a sunhat and flowing cover-up dress and carrying one of those rectangular totes full of healthy snacks.

I’m there giving the put-together moms the suspicious side-eye behind my Dollar Store sunglasses. Meanwhile, my pretzels are getting crushed under the towels in my Target bag.

Cheaper 31 Utility Totes

If you figure out how to make a trip to the pool with kids look effortless, please let me know! In the meantime, I was wondering about those handy utility tote bags that I spotted around the pool.

Most of those totes I saw are Thirty-One Gifts Large Utility Totes. But, like many MLM products, their prices are absurd.

Thankfully, it turns out there are plenty of less expensive alternatives!

Best Quality
CleverMade Collapsible LUXE Tote, Heather Gray/Black - 30L...
N. Gil All Purpose Open Top 23" Classic Extra Large Utility...
MDM Large Utility Tote Bag, Organizer, Laundry Bag"Navy Blue...
Lowest Price
Household Essentials Canvas Utility Tote with Handles,...
CleverMade Collapsible LUXE Tote, Heather Gray/Black - 30L...
N. Gil All Purpose Open Top 23" Classic Extra Large Utility...
MDM Large Utility Tote Bag, Organizer, Laundry Bag"Navy Blue...
Household Essentials Canvas Utility Tote with Handles,...
Wire Frame?
Reinforced Bottom?
Exterior Pockets?
$39.99
$36.99
Price not available
$18.00
-
-
-
Best Quality
CleverMade Collapsible LUXE Tote, Heather Gray/Black - 30L...
CleverMade Collapsible LUXE Tote, Heather Gray/Black - 30L...
Wire Frame?
Reinforced Bottom?
Exterior Pockets?
$39.99
N. Gil All Purpose Open Top 23" Classic Extra Large Utility...
N. Gil All Purpose Open Top 23" Classic Extra Large Utility...
Wire Frame?
Reinforced Bottom?
Exterior Pockets?
$36.99
-
MDM Large Utility Tote Bag, Organizer, Laundry Bag"Navy Blue...
MDM Large Utility Tote Bag, Organizer, Laundry Bag"Navy Blue...
Wire Frame?
Reinforced Bottom?
Exterior Pockets?
Price not available
-
Lowest Price
Household Essentials Canvas Utility Tote with Handles,...
Household Essentials Canvas Utility Tote with Handles,...
Wire Frame?
Reinforced Bottom?
Exterior Pockets?
$18.00
-

What Are Thirty-One Gifts Utility Totes?

Thirty-One Gifts (aka 31 Gifts) is a multi-level marketing company that sells mostly bags. They mostly sell through home sales parties, and I’ve written before about why I think you should avoid home sales parties.

Thirty-One Gifts most popular item is the Large Utility Tote. It is a very large rectangle bag that has a wire frame around the top. It is very popular because they’re great for a variety of uses like:

  • Going to the beach or pool
  • Carrying groceries
  • Storing items in closets
  • Organizing items in car trunks

Thirty-One Utility Tote: Regular Vs Deluxe

Thirty-One offers two varieties of the utility tote: regular and deluxe.

Large Utility Tote:

  • Cost: $35
  • Size: 11.75”H x 21.5”L x 10”D
  • Made of polyester
  • 2 shoulder straps
  • Wire around the top of the bag
  • Holds up to 50 lbs


Deluxe Utility Tote:

  • Cost: $50
  • Size: 11.75”H x 21.5”L x 12.625”D (slightly wider than the regular)
  • 2 shoulder carry straps
  • Made of heavier polyester than the regular
  • Wire around the top of the bag
  • Holds up to 60 lbs
  • 3 exterior side pockets
  • Reinforced bottom
  • 2 Side handles

There are a number of accessories for the utility totes available (on a limited-time-only basis to create a feeling of scarcity):

  • Stand Tall Insert allows the Large Utility Tote to stand tall with a stiff bottom and sides. Cost: $35
  • Pocket-A-Tote is an add-on external pocket for the Large Utility Tote. Cost: $10
  • Top-A-Tote is a lid that can go on the totes. Cost: $10

I believe these accessories just make an already over-priced bag, even more absurdly priced.

If you bought a regular tote, a top, an insert, and a pocket, you’d be spending $90 for a polyester tote bag! That’s just crazy!

Cheaper Alternatives to Thirty-One Utility Totes

There are MANY cheaper alternatives to the Thirty-One Gifts Large Utility Totes.

In fact, I’ve heard that you can get a Mainstays brand tote in the laundry aisle of Walmart for $9.77 that has the features of the deluxe.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a link because it’s an in-store only item. Check it out if you’re in Walmart sometime, though.

Thankfully, there are also a number of great alternatives at Amazon.com. I have checked all of these listings on Fake Spot to ensure that the reviews are real, not fake.

Some people might call these totes Thirty-One Utility Tote dupes or knock-offs, but they are just other brands of a similar tote bag concept.

Household Essentials Vs Thirty-One Utility Tote

The Household Essential Krush Canvas Utility Tote is similar to the regular Thirty-One Large Utility Tote. Key features:

  • Size: 13″ x 12″ x 22″
  • Material: Canvas with coated vinyl inside
  • Wire on top of bag
  • No reinforced bottom
  • Less than half the price of a Thirty-One Large Utility Tote
Sale
Household Essentials Canvas Utility Tote with Handles,...
  • This canvas utility tote offers a classic bag to carry and store nearly anything, whether it be groceries, blankets, hobby supplies or laundry.
  • Made of durable canvas with a water-resistant vinyl lining and double handles.
  • Use to store or carry a variety of different items confidently and with style.
  • Attractive design and large capacity give this item a wide range of utility.
  • 13” H x 22” W x 11” D

Cheaper 31 Utility Totes

N. Gil Vs Thirty-One Utility Tote

The N. Gil All Purpose Open Top 23″ Classic Extra Large Utility Tote is most comparable to the Thirty-One Deluxe Utility Tote.

The main difference is that the N. Gil bag doesn’t have side handles, but it does have a wire frame that makes it stand up when empty.

Reviewers mentioned that the ability to stand up when empty made this tote better than the Thirty-One version.

  • Size: 23″L x 10″H x 10″W
  • Material: Water resistant vinyl
  • Includes a collapsible wire frame that holds the sides up
  • 2 carry handles (no side handles)
  • Front open pocket, 2 side mesh pockets, and a mini pocket
  • Prices vary by color, but are around half of the price of a Thirty-One Deluxe Utility Tote
N. Gil All Purpose Open Top 23" Classic Extra Large Utility...
  • New Pattern in 2017 Fall. Cute multi purpose classic utility tote bag. Collapse when not used.
  • Constructed with water resistant nylon canvas material. Push down metal bars and velcro to maintain the shape of the bag. Open basket style.
  • Size of the bag is 23 x 10 x 10. Extra large size classic open top utility tote bag. Can be used as shopping bag (warehouse clubs), overnight, weekender bag, beach bag, storage basket, craft bag, closet and shelf organizer basket and more!
  • Haul your teacher stuff, groceries, sand toys, beach towels, or camping gear on the go. Open top makes it easier to throw and pick up things in the bag. Convenient front open pocket, side mesh pockets, and mini open pocket for small items.
  • Double carrying handles. Handle drop approximately 13". Monogram Ready (Monogram sold Separately). Great gift idea for your friends and family.

MDM Vs Thirty-One Utility Tote

The MDM Large Utility Tote Bag has been touted as being higher quality than the Thirty-One Gifts totes.

It is most similar to the regular Thirty-One Large Utility Tote, but with an additional feature of a rigid bottom.

  • Size: 21″L x 9 5/8″W X 12″H (a little smaller than Thirty-One)
  • Material: PVC-Coated Polyester
  • Frame on top of bag
  • Features a rigid bottom
  • Reviewers said it felt like higher-quality than Thirty-One
  • No pockets
  • Not available in as many colors & prints as the other brands
  • Close in price to the Thirty-One regular Large Utility Tote, but for higher quality. Less expensive than the Thirty-One deluxe tote.
MDM Large Utility Tote Bag, Organizer, Laundry Bag"Navy Blue...
  • Perfect for the laundry.
  • Comfortable and useful for camping or beach days
  • Multipurpose organizer for home and garage.
  • Size: L21" x W9 5/8" X H12" (inch)
  • MDM Tote Bag features a rigid base

CleverMade SnapBasket Vs Thirty-One Utility Tote

The CleveerMade SnapBasket is similar to the Thirty-One Large Utility Tote, but a bit more “high end” feeling. It has a stylish look with faux-leather accents.

  • Size: 18.5″L x 11.75″W x 11.5″H (a bit smaller than a 31 Utility Tote)
  • Material: Heavy-duty canvas with faux-leather trim
  • Frame on top of bag
  • Features a rigid bottom
  • Interior zippered pocket for keys, etc
CleverMade Collapsible LUXE Tote, Heather Gray/Black - 30L...
  • VERSATILE - Pop the utility tote up and use it as an organizer for work accessories, toss in containers of food and a blanket for a picnic at the beach or park, or keep in the car and use as your new go to grocery bag
  • COLLAPSIBLE - The foldable design makes these the perfect travel tote, laundry holder, or gift for a teacher. Simply collapse the tote down when not in use and stow just about anywhere
  • REUSABLE - These baskets are a great solution for shopping as well as at home storage. Say goodbye to flimsy paper and plastic bags that just end up in the trash.
  • EASY CARRY - Two long straps make this large bag comfortable for one handed toting as you go about your day. The inside zipper pocket is perfect for holding your valuables while you run errands
  • DIMENSIONS - 30L SnapBasket 18"L x 11.5"W x 11.25"H when open and folds flat to less than 2" When collapsed - total weight is 1. 25 lbs. and the carry capacity is 30 lbs.

Cheaper Utility Totes: What Did I Choose?

While I didn’t have the money to buy a bag right away, I put the MDM Utility tote on my Christmas list. I got it as a gift and I LOVE it. I think it’s similar or higher quality than the 31 bags I’ve seen.

I didn’t figure out the secrets to being the put-together pool mom, but at least my pretzels won’t get crushed!

Cheaper Utility Totes

More Cheaper Alternatives to Your Favorite Brands

If you enjoyed this post, you might like to read some of my other cheaper alternatives posts to save even more money!

Have You Tried Any Thirty-One Gifts Dupes?

Have you tried any of these utility tote bags? I’ve love to hear your experiences in the comments below!

Do you love Thirty-One Gifts utility totes, but they're hurting your budget? You can have great bags and save money too! Check out these awesome cheaper utility totes. #savemoney #frugal #thirtyone #bags

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Amy Scott

Friday 5th of October 2018

I am SO glad I found your site! I like Thirty -One and have purchased a couple items from them. Although I like the items they do seem a bit flimsy for the very expensive price you pay. Also, I was never impressed with the way my shipments would arrive….the boxes would always look like they have been kicked around a warehouse a few times! I was actually even considering becoming a consultant for this company but as I said I’m so thankful to have found your page. I absolutely LOVE Amazon, it is my go to and I am going to check out some of the totes, bags, etc there. THANK YOU!!!

Cindy

Friday 5th of October 2018

I hope you like them as much as I do!

Aubrey

Thursday 10th of May 2018

I came across your article today and I would like to know if you personlly have used both versions, the cheap and Thirty One? I’ve been with the company 6 years now and have to say every penny I’ve spent has been worth it. I still have the first two Large a Utility Totes I bought 6 years ago and use them. Just because it’s cheaper that doesn’t mean it is better. Thirty Ones products actually hold up pretty well. I admit like any other company we do have some problems from time to time but they are good at helping customers fix these issues. You have a 90 day warrrenty and sometimes even after that they help. Can you honestly say this about stuff you buy from a retail stores or online at EBay?

I would love to know what you think of them.

Aubrey

Kathy heller

Monday 24th of December 2018

where can I buy the older versions of the page utility totes for carry casseroles etc to and from . I need one that stays open.

Natalie

Friday 17th of August 2018

Aubrey – I have two 31 Utility Totes, two bags from Amazon and one from Walmart. The bags from Amazon are cheaper than 31 bags but are every bit as good in terms of quality. Further, the Walmart bag cost the least but, in my opinion, is the best bag. The only downside is there aren’t many fabric choices. Also, I had another 31 bag that I bought as a work bag, it was expensive and it fell apart. I do like the 31 bags (I think the fabric is pretty) but I would rather save money.

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