No matter where you live or what kind of home you’re in, laundry is a chore that always has to be done. Van life is about independence, freedom, and adventure, but even the most Insta-ready van dwellers still need a way to stow dirty clothes and get them to the laundry.
Picking out the best laundry bag isn’t crazy complicated, but there are a few factors you should keep in mind before doing so. Today we’re digging into the features to look for in laundry bags to help you find the best laundry bags for van life.
- #1 eBags Classic Packing Cubes: Overall Best Laundry Bags for Van Life
- #2 Homest Rip-Stop Drawstring Laundry Bags: Best Laundry Bag Set for Van Life
- #3 Handy Laundry Nylon Laundry Bag: Best Value Laundry Bag for Van Life
- #4 DuomiW Mesh Laundry Bag: Best Mesh Laundry Bag for Van Life
- #5 Handy Laundry Canvas Laundry Duffel: Best Heavy-Duty Laundry Bag for Van Life
Keep reading to find out what makes for a solid van laundry bag and to see our picks for the top 5 best laundry bags for van life and tiny living.
1. eBags Classic Packing Cubes: Overall Best Laundry Bags for Van Life – Link
Packing cubes on top of a list of laundry bags? Don’t run off yet, we think we’ve got a pretty compelling case to make that the eBags Classic Packing Cubes make just about the best possible laundry bag for van life you can find.
eBags is one of our favorite packing cube makers. The company’s bags are significantly more robust and more durable than the competition and hold a shocking amount of clothes in a very compact package.
eBags combine durable cloth panels with mesh openings to provide the best of both worlds for breathability and packability. They use robust double-sided zippers with thick corded zipper pulls that make it easy to pack them full to the gills without worrying about breakage.
We’ve used them to help organize totes and other clothing storage in vans and RVs, but it was basically an accident that caused us to start using one as a laundry bag. While packing up our first (unnamed, woefully rippable, and inadequate) laundry bag to take to the laundromat, one too-quick heave managed to rip the duffel-style carry strap right off the bag.
In our scramble to find a last-minute solution, we grabbed one of our empty large-size eBags and filled it with our laundry. To our intense surprise, we found the packing cube not only easily held a week’s laundry for one, but it was also more compact and more accessible to carry than our not-to-be-mentioned-again laundry bag.
The top-mounted nylon grab handle is more than capable of supporting a full load of clothes and the zipper held up beautifully even when pushed to the limit. Large eBags hold a significant amount of clothing, enough for a week’s laundry for one, but we also found that using multiple medium or large bags was great if we wanted to sort our laundry before stowing it.
The eBags Classic Packing Cubes aren’t technically built to be laundry bags, but in our experience, they do a better job of holding and transporting laundry in a van setting than any other purpose-built laundry bag out there.
Material: Nylon with Nylon Mesh
Dimensions: Varies Depending on Bag Size
Carry Type: Top-Mounted Handle
- Large eBags are sized just right for up to one week’s clothing for one person
- Squared shape stores better than traditional laundry bags in a van setting
- Extremely durable
- Top handle makes it easy to carry into laundromats and other laundry facilities
- Available in a range of sizes depending on your needs or desire to sort
- Not technically a laundry bag
- Pricey compared to most laundry bags
2. Homest Rip-Stop Drawstring Laundry Bags: Best Laundry Bag Set for Van Life – Link
The Homest Rip-Strop Drawstring Laundry Bags are a set of two laundry bags designed for use in compact spaces. They’re made from durable rip-stop nylon available in a huge range of colors and sized to hold a significant amount of laundry.
Each Homest bag measures 40 inches by 28 inches and is rated to hold up to three to four loads of laundry. They have an easy-pull drawstring closure that does a good job sealing up the top and a built-in carry strap along one side.
We’ll level with you, that’s way more laundry than you can realistically expect to have on hand in your van. There’s just not enough room in a van life setting to keep three to four loads of laundry around, particularly given you’ll also need to store all those clothes for regular use.
That said, there’s no reason you have to fill the Homest bags up to the brim every time. That’s particularly true given that the strap doesn’t seem like it would last long if you were lugging three to four loads worth of laundry around on a regular basis.
Given the Homest’s affordable price point and overall excellent build quality, we still think they represent a solid option for those in vans, RVs, or even tiny homes.
All in all, the Homest Rip-Stop Drawstring Laundry Bags offer a great way to store your laundry in between washes. They’re a little too spacious to fill all the way in a van, but overall they offer solid performance in a wide range of colors.
Material: Rip-Stop Nylon
Dimensions: 40” x 28”
Carry Type: Shoulder Strap
- Lightweight and easy to stow when not in use
- Made from durable ripstop nylon
- Drawstring top closes securely
- Comes in a set of two for easier laundry sorting
- Carry straps seem less than secure
- Too large to fill all the way up in a van
3. Handy Laundry Nylon Laundry Bag: Best Value Laundry Bag for Van Life – Link
The Handy Laundry Nylon Laundry Bag is a value-priced yet value-packed nylon laundry bag. It’s extremely basic, little more than a drawstring nylon sack, but for all that it gets the job done reliably and well.
The Handy Laundry Bag is made from durable and rip-resistant nylon with a drawstring closure on top. It’s rated to hold up to three loads of laundry or around 60 lbs.
That’s a lot of laundry. Honestly more laundry than most van dwellers will have on hand at any one point, but we think that’s alright.
The Handy Laundry Bag works just as well a third or half full as it does loaded to the brim (arguably even better, as its lack of a carry strap would make 60 lbs hard to handle). In our testing, we found the nylon to be reasonably durable.
That’s particularly true given the Handy Laundry Bag’s price. It’s well under $10 per bag, a downright steal.
If you’re looking for a no-nonsense and affordably priced way to stow and carry your laundry in a van, the Handy Laundry Nylon Laundry Bag will get the job done.
Dimensions: 32” x 22”
Carry Type: No Carry Strap
- Very affordable
- Drawstring closes tightly
- Nylon stands up well to regular use
- Available in a wide range of colors
- No carry strap
4. DuomiW Mesh Laundry Bag: Best Mesh Laundry Bag for Van Life – Link
The DuomiW Mesh Laundry Bag is a large-capacity mesh sack designed to hold a substantial amount of laundry. It comes in a set of two, each made from black nylon mesh.
The DuomiW measures 36 inches by 24 inches and closes at the top with a rope drawstring. It lacks a carry strap, but we found it very easy to grasp the bunched-up mesh near the drawstring to carry it.
DuomiW claims you can fit three to four loads of laundry in each bag. Honestly, though, we wouldn’t want to try filling it that much. The mesh is sturdy enough, but with close to 50lbs of clothes in it, we think you’d likely wear the bag out sooner rather than later.
We found the sweet spot to be about half full. That gives you plenty of extra sack to hold onto as a makeshift carry strap and has the added benefit of taking up less space in your van.
That’s especially true if you want to keep a spare around. When not in use the DuomiW folds up into a truly tiny square easy to store just about anywhere.
Is the DuomiW perfect?
No, definitely not.
But it is a reasonably priced and acceptably durable mesh laundry bag that holds enough clothes for a van setting. If you’re partial to mesh laundry bags, you could do much worse than the DuomiW Mesh Laundry Bag.
Material: Nylon Mesh
Dimensions: 36” x 24”
Carry Type: No Carry Strap
- Lightweight and reasonably durable
- Very affordable
- Drawstring top moves easily and closes securely
- No carry strap
- Mesh will wear out eventually
5. Handy Laundry Canvas Laundry Duffel: Best Heavy-Duty Laundry Bag for Van Life – Link
The Handy Laundry Canvas Laundry Duffel is a heavy-duty canvas laundry bag. It’s made from thicker and more durable canvas with sturdily stitched seams and strong carry handles.
The Handy Laundry Duffel measures 28 inches by 14 inches and closes at the top with a corded drawstring. It looks like an old-school sea bag, right down to the single broad strap on one side.
The Duffel’s size is darn near perfect for van life. It holds up to two loads of laundry, perfect for one to two people’s clothes, and doesn’t take up too much space while doing it.
Its sturdy construction makes it a good fit for van life. It’s more than capable of handling frequent trips to the laundromat slung over a shoulder.
We found the drawstring to be a little stiffer at first use than with many nylon laundry bags, but on pulling it through a few times it loosened up nicely.
If you’re looking for a strong and durable laundry bag for your van, look no further than the Handy Laundry Canvas Laundry Duffel.
Material: Cotton Canvas
Dimensions: 28” x 14”
Carry Type: Shoulder Strap
- Made from durable canvas for longevity
- Carry strap makes carrying your laundry easy
- Sized well for use in a van
- Heavier and stiffer than many other laundry bags
Van Life Laundry Bag Buying Guide
Picking out a laundry bag comes down to the combination of a few key factors with some personal preferences mixed in. The essentials to keep in mind are the size of the bag, material and durability, the bag type, and its carry options.
Size is the one truly critical factor when it comes to choosing a laundry bag for van life. Let’s face it, vans don’t have a lot of space for anything but the essentials. Your wardrobe in a van is going to be significantly smaller and more multipurpose than in a traditional home or even something like a tiny home.
The best laundry bags for van life are substantially smaller than you’re probably used to. Think of a small to medium duffel bag or even a reusable grocery bag size.
That might not seem like a ton of room, but it’s plenty to hold a week’s worth of worn clothes for one or several days worth for two.
Remember that you’ll mostly be doing your laundry in a laundromat, campground, or similar shared laundry facility. You want to be able to move your laundry bag around quickly and easily.
We recommend you stick with smaller laundry bags as a way to encourage you to minimize your wardrobe. By keeping your clothes to the essentials and washing as frequently as required you won’t wind up with a big, cumbersome bag of laundry to deal with.
Material and Durability
Most laundry bags aren’t getting packed over rough country or otherwise put through their paces in any serious way. That said, it’s important to look for bags made from materials that meet your needs and that are durable enough to stand up to regular use over the long term.
The majority of laundry bags on the market today are made from one of three materials. These are:
- Solid Nylon/Polyester
Nylon/Polyester laundry bags are one of the most common options out there and include a truly vast range of options. You can get nylon
Canvas laundry bags have been around for a long time, and with good reason. They’re inexpensive, durable, and do a great job keeping your clothes from getting dirty or soiled inside the bag while you’re on your way to a laundromat.
They’re a big heavier than most other varieties, but not in a way that’s noticeable to most. You can get canvas laundry bags in a vast range of colors and patterns, too, which is great if you want to spice up your laundry routine.
Mesh laundry bags are usually the least expensive option out there. They’re made from various materials in a mesh pattern, extremely lightweight, and can sometimes double as wash bags for delicates.
They aren’t without downsides, though. Most importantly, a mesh laundry bag lets your dirty laundry air out inside your van with virtually no barrier. That’s not much of a problem in a traditional home, but in a van setting you can get a pretty ripe aroma going if you aren’t careful.
In our experience, mesh laundry bags aren’t as durable as canvas or nylon/polyester bags. The mesh loops are prone to ripping and letting your clothes slip out.
Bag Type and Carry Options
Gone are the days when your only laundry bag option were hampers or a gunny sack. You can now easily find high-quality laundry backpacks, slings, duffels, and all sorts of other bags for laundry.
There are pros and cons to every type of bag, but generally, we recommend you stick with laundry bags that offer sturdy carry straps that are sealable. By that we mean you should be able to zip or drawstring your bag closed securely so you can carry your clothes around easier.
A backpack isn’t a bad choice if you’re going for a larger laundry bag. It takes the load off your hands and is less cumbersome than a duffel-style bag.
One bag type that we think works exceptionally well for van life laundry purposes are packing cubes. Medium and large size packing cubes can hold a substantial amount of clothing and take up a lot less space than traditional laundry bags.
Even better, you can compress your dirty laundry in packing cubes to minimize the impact on your living space and easily carry them into a laundromat when ready to wash.