Nursing/medical bags come in a variety of sizes, colors, designs and functional uses that can appeal to a wide range of nursing professionals.
While not every bag in this list is designed specifically for medical purposes their size, functionality and design make them ideal candidates for those in the nursing field; In fact almost any functional bag can be used as a medical nurse bag and there are a number of nurses who enjoy using brands such as Vera Bradley as their primary nursing bag.
To help make your search for a nursing bag easier we have put together our list of the top 10 medical bags & totes for nurses.
Each bag/tote has its own unique features that help it stand out from the bunch and can be used as a great nursing bag in the work place. These bags have been chosen because of their excellent build quality, functionality, design, average review rating and overall coolness factor.
1. Vera Bradley Large Duffel
The Vera Bradley Large Duffel Bag is a popular designer bag that offers plenty of storage space and comes in a wide variety of colors and designs that can match most outfits. The bag measures 11″ wide by 11″ high and is 22″ long with a 16″ should strap that is sewn from the bottom up to ensure plenty of space and durability.
If you are looking for a nursing bag that is fashionable, functional and durable than be sure to check out the Vera Bradley Large Duffel bag. This bag is also available in well over 50 different color/pattern variations for those who are interested in another style or color choice.
2. ADC Nylon Medical Bag
The ADC Nylon Medical Bag is an excellent medical bag for those in need of lots storage and compartment space to fit all of their medical equipment.
This utilitarian medical bag has a large main compartment space with 11 gusseted and 2 zippered interior pockets, as well as two additional exterior pockets for fast and easy accessibility of common items such PDA’s/smartphones, stethoscopes and bandage scissors.
To make carrying the bag easier two durable handles have been incorporated into the design along with a padded shoulder strap for those who prefer to remain hands free. For those who aren’t a fan of the color shown above the ADC Nylon Medical Bag comes in several different colors including black, navy and dark green.
3. Vera Bradley Vera Tote
If you like the Vera Bradley brand but prefer carrying a nice designer tote that offers plenty of storage space and compartment slots than you might want to give the Vera Bradley Vera Tote a try.
This tote is designed with six inside pockets and two additional outside pockets for easy compartmentalization, which makes it easy to sort out and keep track of the various items you need to carry with you.
The tote bag measures 19.25″ high by 14.75″ wide and has an 11″ strap drop for easy carrying. As with their large duffel bag the Vera Bradley Vera Tote comes in numerous colors and designs to match your mood and clothing.
4. EZ View Med Bag
The EZ View Med Bag designed by Hopkins Medical Products focuses on a simple yet functional design for their med bag. In terms of functionality this medical bag has 16 zippered EZ view pockets with 12 quick zip organizers.
It also has a separate container compartment and a durable strap for easily handling. The primary purpose of the bag is focused on utility and versatility, and does an excellent job of providing both.
5. Rothco Vintage Medic Bag w/ Cross
The Rothco Vintage Medic Bag is a simple bag that has a large main compartment and adjustable shoulder strap for easy carrying. Part of the bags allure is its vintage style medic design with a cross and flap cover elements. The bag comes in black, sage, olive and khaki colors to give it a more authentic vintage look.
If you’re looking for a bag that is simple and able to store various nursing items in a large main compartment space then you might like Rothco’s Vintage Medic Bag w/ Cross.
6. Oversized Tosca Tote Handbag Style 9201
The Oversized Tosca Tote Handbag is a stylish bag that offers plenty of room for storage. It has a large fully lined compartment space with interior zip and slip pockets that are perfect for carrying numerous items.
The bag also features dual carrying handles and a detachable shoulder strap for alternate carrying methods and styling. The Oversized Tosca Tote Handbag comes in a wide variety of colors such as black, burgundy, orange, olive green, tan and teal among others.
7. High Sierra Tank Messenger Bag
The High Sierra Tank Pack is a very popular messenger bag that comes in a wide variety of colors and designs. This bag is made of polyester material and has a quick release adjustable flap with a hook/loop closure.
The bag has several compartments including an accessory lid, mesh beverage compartment and cell phone pocket in addition to a primary compartment space to keep all of your necessary equipment.
8. Everest Deluxe Sporting Tote
Everest Deluxe Sporting Tote is a lightweight tote bag with a large zippered main compartment space and a separated padded zipper compartment located on the bottom of the tote bag.
It also has inner and outer pouches for carrying additional items and comes in plenty of colors including, black, khaki, burgundy, royal blue, hot pink, dark purple and torques plus a few other colors.
9. Nurse Mates Ultimate Nursing Bag
The Nurse Mates Ultimate Nursing Bag is a sturdy nursing bag with plenty of storage and compartment space for carrying most of your standard medical equipment.
This bag is made with water resistant fabric and heavy duty zippers to ensure long term use and easy clean-ability, and comes in a variety of solid colors and patterned designs that complement both male and female nurses as well as nursing students.
The Nurse Mates Ultimate Nursing Bag has dual handles and a detachable shoulder strap for accessible carrying options.
10. Authentic Pigment 14 oz. Pigment-Dyed Large Canvas Tote
The Authentic Pigment Snap-On Large Canvas Tote is made with 100% cotton canvas material and has easy to carry nylon webbing handles.
This bag has a large main compartment with a snap closure design for storing large items and a hanging inside zippered pocket as well as an exterior pocket for easy accessibility.
The Authentic Pigment Snap-On Large Canvas Tote comes in a variety of colors such as khaki green, denim, java, putty and poppy among others to match your preference and clothing.
What to look for when choosing a nursing bag
When it comes to choosing a good nursing bag or tote to carry all of your work/school items around there are several important factors to consider such as the size of the bag/tote, the durability and clean friendliness of the materials, maneuverability and comfort, and the overall design.
Depending on the items you plan on carrying around in your nursing bag/tote the size and compartment space of the bag will be extremely important.
The size of your nursing bag should largely be dependent on the items you plan on carrying.
If you pick a bag that is too small you’ll find yourself quickly filling up your bag with little or no room for all of your necessary items.
If you are worried about the bag being too small it is usually safer to go with one that might be slightly larger than you think you’ll need just to be safe.
You can also check with a colleague, coworker or nursing student to see which bag they recommend based on the items they carry in their bag.
Some of the items you might find yourself carrying in your nursing bag may include a planner, stethoscope, bandage/dressing scissors, thermometer, pulse oximeter, blood pressure monitor, batteries, medical tape, saline flushes, telemetry calipers, writing utensils, hand sanitizer/alcohol wipes and other cleanliness products, lotion, PDA, smarphone and/or tablet, snacks, water bottles, lunch and other essential/nonessential items.
Compartment space and pockets
In addition to choosing a nursing bag that is large enough to carry all of your basic medical equipment you may also want to choose one that offers various compartments and pockets so that you can easily sort out your items.
If you find a bag that you like but it lacks additional pockets/compartments you can also purchase several travel organizer bags to keep your items separate and organized.
Being able to handle and maneuver your bag easily is important since you’ll be carrying it daily.
A nursing bag/tote with a comfortable should strap or even a backpack can make it that much easier to carry your nursing items around without causing too much discomfort or getting in the way of you walking around.
The durability of your nursing bag is something you should definitely consider if you plan on using your bag for awhile.
Make sure that you choose a bag made with strong materials and a durable strap.
While it’s true that the price range for a decent medical bag can vary greatly based on its features and design, If you buy a bag/tote with a weak strap or poor design it can easily break if the bag gets too heavy and will end up costing you more money in replacements down the road, so spend a little extra cash (if you have to) and purchase a durable nursing bag.
Easy to clean materials
Picking a bag that has easy to clean material can be very important when working at a hospital or medical center as the bag is not only subject to getting dirty, as it can also collect germs and other nasty residuals.
In some cases you may not need to worry too much about the bag getting dirty if you take good care of it and keep it away from areas where it can attract dust, dirt and germs, however an easy to clean bag may be more useful if you are concerned with these sort of things.
Lastly, the design of the bag may be an important buying factor.
If you like to maintain a trendy and fashionable look both inside and outside the medical center than purchasing a nice designer nurse bag or tote is definitely an option, however make sure you keep in mind the other important aspects as well.
Buying a bag that looks nice but lacks functionality or durability may quickly lose its appeal in the workplace.
When shopping for a nursing bag be sure to keep these things in mind:
- Compartment space/pockets
- Easy to clean materials
Other Items and Accessories
In addition to or aside from purchasing a medical bag you may also want to think about alternatives or accessories that may be important in the workplace.
Some of these items may include travel organizers, shoe pouches, I.D. tags or if nursing bags and totes aren’t your thing maybe a highly functional backpack alternative.
High Sierra Swerve Pack
If you’re a professional nurse or a student and you’re not interested in most of the nursing bags out on the market than you may want to go with a stylish, yet versatile backpack.
The High Sierra Swerve Pack is a durable backpack that offers lots of compartment space and organization options.
In addition to holding all of your basic equipment the High Sierra Swerve Pack can also house a 15″ inch notebook and has a side compartment for storing beverages.
This backpack is an excellent option for nurses that want the storage space and functionality of a nursing bag, but don’t want to carry around a typical bag or tote.
Travel Accessories Organizer Bags
Travel accessory organizer bags are a great way to keep multiple items organized and separated from one another, especially when using a bag or tote that has limited compartment space or pockets.
Organizer bags are also a great way to keep your nursing bag/tote clean and will make searching for things much faster and easier.
With travel accessory organizer bags you can fill up multiple accessory bags and only bring the ones you need with you to work while keeping the others stored away at home until you need them.
Luggage Tags, Business Card Holder, Travel ID Bag Tag
If you work in a large medical facility and find yourself constantly moving around or losing your bag it may be a good idea to purchase an inexpensive yet invaluable ID bag tag that can help others identify who the bag belongs to.
If you ever end up leaving your bag somewhere or lose it you’ll stand a much better chance of recovering it by having your identification tag on it.
Having an extra pair of shoes on hand can be very useful when working long shifts as you may want to switch into another pair of shoes for comfort or certain medical conditions.
eBags Shoe Sleeves makes it easy by allowing you to carry an extra pair of shoes around without messing up your nursing shoes or dirtying the nursing bag you carry them in.
These shoe sleeves come with an easy release to make it easy to put your shoes in the bag and take them out, and is made of soft durable fabric for easy storage.
5 Tips for buying the best medical bag or tote
If you are interested in purchasing a medical bag and feel a bit hung up on making a decision try following these 5 tips to help you decide on which bag to buy.
1) Identify your needs
The first step in finding your ideal bag is to identify what your primary need is.
Are you looking for a medical bag with plenty of pockets and compartments to carry all of your nursing gear or are you looking for bag that has one or two primary storage compartments for books and a stethoscope.
Also think about what size bag you might need to fit all your future equipment into.
Create a list of everything you bring to work/school and everything you think you may need to carry in the future and see how much space those items will take up in order to help you decide what size bag you’ll need.
Lastly, make sure your bag is made of fabric that is easy to clean and won’t collect too much dirt or germs.
While no bag is impervious to getting dirty by having an easy to clean bag you save yourself the headache of using harsh materials or spending additional money to get it cleaned.
2) Choose a bag that’s easy to carry
Part of choosing a medical bag should include how you plan on carrying the bag and what method will be most comfortable for you.
If the bag is light enough a hand held tote bag may be a good choice, but as the weight goes up and the bag gets bigger you may want to look for a bag that has a shoulder strap or sling design.
If you need a bag to carry a lot of heavy items or you don’t mind the design then a roller backpack may an appropriate choice.
In fact almost any suitable carrying bag can be purposed as a nurse/medical bag, even a diaper bag.
3) Make sure it’s durable
Durability will play a vital role in ensuring your bag will stand the test of time.
The longer you plan on using your bag and the heavier the items you carry in it are the more important it will be to choose a bag that is made of highly durable materials.
Also make sure that the bag you choose has durable straps otherwise they can break and make your bag utterly useless.
4) Think about your wardrobe
If fashion is your thing then you’ll definitely want to go with a nursing bag that goes with your wardrobe.
You’ll either want to choose solid basic colors that go with most clothing choices or choose a bag that has various color patterns that can blend in with many different colors of clothing.
Being fashionable is great but remember to focus on your bags functionality and durability.
Choosing a bag that looks good but doesn’t function in the workplace will likely end up sitting in a room collecting dust, or end up as an after work bag, which is not what you purchased it for; or is it?
5) Ask other nurses what they use and why
Finally, if you’ve tried everything you can think of to pick a nursing bag and still haven’t been able to make a decision try asking your colleagues what bags they use and why they like them.
Alternatively you can choose several different bags that you like and ask your fellow nurses which one they like best and why in order to narrow down your decision.
Either way it is a great way to gain some perspective on purchasing a nursing bag that you may not have thought of yourself.