Ideal Park Bags?

Looking for a new park bag and interested in what others like. How many go bagless? Backpack or smaller? What are your must haves? Best ways to carry your water bottle? I’m prioritizing comfort and practicality rather than appearance.

It depends on the day, my plans, who I’m with, and the forecast.

I love going bagless when I can. That would be on a day with zero chance for rain, short bursts of time in the parks (with return to resort in between).

But if it’s variable weather - starting out cool, getting warmer, chance of rain, maybe I want/need to change shoes, long periods of time in the park - I need a backpack. I prefer the Loungefly size these days even if it’s not Loungefly precisely. I often end up with one that’s a bit larger that I have, even if it’s not full

I don’t mind carrying my water bottle. If I have it in my hand I’m more likely to actually drink it Out of sight, out of mind.

1 Like

My best trick if it’s going to be a long day in the parks that may require clothing or shoe changes due to weather is to take a separate bag and park it in a locker. We usually stash a change of shoes, sweatshirts, etc. And hit the locker around dinner time to put away the sunscreen and pick up sweatshirts. It’s sooooo nice to change into new shoes after walking all day.

My park bag is an old Baggalini crossbody hobo bag. Room for two water bottles in the outer pockets and the bag itself holds a ton of stuff. Washable and water resistant. The new version is unfortunately smaller but my small water bottles still fit. Iprefer cross body because I can grab things as we are walking and I don’t have to take it off on most rides.

I always have water, lots of sunscreen, ponchos, hat, sunglasses, ears, maybe a small sweater, a snack, ibuprofen, and maybe moleskin or anti-chafing stick. I usually arrive to the park sipping from my refillable mug so I stash it when I’m done, too.

1 Like

While I like the 2 shoulder weight distribution a backpack gives, I hate how inconvenient it is to get something in or out of it. I’ve been using a sling bag instead. It gets a bit heavy by the end of the day being on one shoulder, but being able to swing it to my front and access the bag while still walking is worth it to me.

My 40oz hydroflask gets carabinered to the strap.

My current bag is a 10L size, but it’s a touch to small for me on rainy days when I need the raincoat. But I also carry a larger camera & extra lenses most days. If it wasn’t for the camera, I could easily get away with a smaller size

If I go bag-less, I thread a carabiner on my belt and clip the water bottle carabiner to that


The only bummer about this is how far I’m going to probably be away from the lockers when I need it. Or, if at Epcot, I’m probably entering at the front but exiting by IG.

I did forget to say that one thing I have to have with me is my eyeglass case. I did just switch to Pair Eyewear and so the magnetic sunglass toppers will be much easier to manage than a big case for my Oakleys (which I even lost once, RIP I miss you still).

If I have to carry something I like to have pants/dress/skirt/leggings with leg pockets. If that’s not good enough a running waist pack (such as a FitBelt) has worked well in the past :slight_smile:


I usually carry a Vera Bradley mini backpack. I wish I could go bag less but if I did I would probably lose my phone :joy:

Have you looked into a rapid strap for the camera? I couldn’t park tour without it! The cross body distributes the weight so well.

1 Like

I have a peak design strap for my camera, but it’s the thin one. I probably should upgrade to a wider one with padding

I have a capture clip on the outside of my bag that connects to the tripod plate. I usually hang the camera on the outside of the bag with that

But if there is a surprise rain shower, I like to make sure I have enough room to put the camera in the bag to keep it somewhat dry


When I’ve gone solo or just with my daughter, I’ve used a mini canvas backpack (from Amazon). It’s the perfect size and arrangement of pockets - one on the back (side that sits against your back) for your wallet, one on either side that are big enough for a plastic bottle of water or soda or a refillable water bottle - or umbrella, zipper pocket in front, a couple pockets inside. It has worked perfectly on several trips. When the whole family goes, I carry a lightweight nylon backpack that is a little larger but has the same features. For our trip coming up I am actually considering a small cooler backpack, but am worried it will get/be too heavy. I don’t plan to carry in much food but thought it could be nice to keep water, cooling towels, etc. cool and also be decently waterproof (for the stuff inside) in the event of rain.


Seconding the lightweight nylon backpack. I use mine all the time: in the parks, as my personal item on flights, and just in daily life. It’s basically a part of me now.

1 Like

No one has mentioned shopping! I always buy stuff in the parks so I carry a backpack slightly larger than a loungefly and it weighs less. But it’s got enough room for a change of shoes, a poncho, a pocket on the side for my water bottle, and I use the pouch on the front for band-aids, ibruprofen, lip gloss, etc.

1 Like

I try keep shopping down to right before I’m looking to leave the park that way I don’t have to lug extra weight all day. But I also keep extra clips on my bag, I can just keep hooking more stuff on the straps

I really like my Osprey Daylite Plus. I had to buy just the regular Osprey Daylite for Universal due to the locker restrictions on rides. I prefer my Daylite Plus though and it has held up well.

1 Like

We usually go in February where the weather is variable all day, so I like to bring a bag so I can carry light layers. I prefer a bag that has side pockets for water bottle(s). For our last WDW trip I bought a sling style bag and it was fine for about half a day, then we both decided we didn’t find it comfortable. For our next trip (to DLR), I went back to a backpack.

My strong recommendation is to test out carrying the loaded bag at home to be sure you like it.

I’m a miminalist when it comes to the stuff I take in with me. These days I either carry a Lulu belt bag that I liberated from my niece (she made me carry it one too many times, and she has another one so it was a perfectly justified theft), or one of these crossbody water bottle holders with pocket:
images (3)

It depends on how hot it is and how much water I’ll need to drink.

If it’s going to rain I use this and carry a small towel:

1 Like

For the daytime in August with my kids I always bring my trusty Kavu I’ve used the same watermelon print Kavu bag since 2019. I can bring a water bottle, a mini first aid kit, phone, charging pack, ponchos, a few cliff bars, wallet, and still a little extra room. Not enough room for multiple water bottles and extra shoes though. We typically get free water at QS throughout the day, so I only bring 1 bottle for emergencies. I love the bag. Light-weight, good weight distribution, and holds a decent amount of stuff.

For evenings at the parks when it’s shady I just bring a small belt-bag. I used a mini loungefly on my adult-only trip in December and loved it. Would use it again, as it fit all my essentials. I think I could get all my ponchos in there too!

1 Like

I bought a backpack from Designer Park Company after hearing the small business owner on one of the Disney podcasts. A bit of a splurge but it has worked well for our last two trips. It’s great for Disney pins and ears.

1 Like

I have always gone with a two strap back pack but this year have decide on a sling bag I got off Amazon. I want to go light this trip. I will pack, two umbrellas, sunscreen on a carabiner, Mission Cool towels, compact cooling fans, a small towel, anti-bacterial wipes, deodorant, and a few first aid supplies (anti-blister bandages, aloe, bandaids etc.). Finally in the front pocket goes battery packs and charging cables. Water bottle goes in the mesh pocket on the side.

which one do you like best?

This is the only one I’ve had. I’m actually on my second one of these. The stitching for the main zipper on my first one started to come undone in the middle of a trip after 3+ years of almost everyday use. I was going to buy a backpack in the parks, but I couldn’t find any that I liked so I just had Amazon deliver another one of these to the resort.

This one is now about the same age and still in good condition (I try not to stuff it quite as full for flights as I used to). When the time comes, I’ll probably just buy another one.

1 Like

I bought this one for a trip to Alaska 7 years ago. I use it for local amusement park days here in PA. Super light, lots of room, and durable! Definitely recommend.

(I just don’t bring to Disney because I want cute Disney accessories when I’m there… though this will be first trip sans stroller, so… :grimacing: :woman_shrugging:t2:)