The 10 Best Bags for Carrying Art Supplies to Class

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Whether you are an art student, art teacher, designer, artist, crafter, or creator it means you often have to carry around art supplies, materials, and tools! I have fond memories of lugging around large canvases and bags filled with paint and brushes during my studies. As an art teacher, I am now often in the same position carrying art supplies to class!

It is absolutely essential that you choose an art supply carry bag that makes life easier for you and so I compiled a list of the best bags for carrying art supplies to class – from canvas portfolio bags to art supply bags on wheels.

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The 10 Best Bags for Carrying Art Supplies to Class

ZKOO Large Size Art Portfolio Tote

Best Art Portfolio Bag

This is a wonderful art portfolio bag that is durable and waterproof! This means you can carry it to class without worrying that your canvases and artwork may be damaged by rain . It also has two different size handles. You can carry it by hand using the short handles, or sling it over your shoulder using the the longer ones.

This portfolio bag is 24″ x 36″ and so it allows you to carry large-sized canvases, art, paper, or posters. It also zips closed and the zip is waterproof.

TOPDesign Multi-Functional Carrying Bag, Artist Tote Bag

Best Art Bag for Watercolor paint

This is a great multi-functional artists tote bag that comes with several compartments for storing paint, brushes, sketchbooks, and other art materials. It can also be used as an everyday art bag.

This is a very strong bag that is double lined inside and stands upright. It comes in several different patterns and colors and makes a great art supply tote bag for teachers!

ArtBin 6893AG 3 Art Supply Box

Best Art Carrying Case for Oil Paint

This is a great storage option for oil paints and supplies. The ArtBin 3 tray supply box is designed to store all of your arts and crafts supplies such as paint brushes, markers, paints, stamps, glues and more all in one place.

It has a quick access in-lid storage that can be used to store smaller items. The large open area in the bottom of the box allows for storage of bulkier supplies such as paint bottles, large stamp pads, scissors, glues, vinyl rolls, and other materials.

This ArtBin supply box is made from a hard plastic that is durable and resistant to wear and tear. The tip guard trays prevent the spillage of liquid-based art and craft supplies.

The 3-Tray Art Supply Box has a lockable latch that keeps the contents secure. It also features sturdy plastic handle for convenient transport, and a wide-opening lid for easy access to all of your supplies.

A3 Waterproof Canvas Carry Bag

Best Art Bag for Carrying a Canvas (Canvas art supply bag)

This canvas carry bag is ideal for smaller sized canvases and for carrying paint and brushes. It is made from durable, water-resistant fabric and comes in a range of colors.

Pro Art Pro Messenger Bag

Best Messenger Bag for Art Supplies

This messenger bag is a great everyday cross-body or over the shoulder carry bag. It can hold a wide range of art materials and a12″ x 15″ inch pad or canvas. This is ideal for students.

Transon Art Portfolio Case Artist Backpack Canvas Bag

Best Art Supply Back Pack

The Transon Art Portfolio Case is a heavy duty art supply bag. It is ideal for professional artist and students who need to carry large artwork. It has multi-function storage pockets for stretched canvas, canvas panels, paint brushes, drawing pads, pens, pencils, sketching papers, and other art supplies.

This art bag can be carried as a tote bag, as well as a back pack and is padded for comfort.

Large Art Caddy

Best Art Supply Caddy for Inside Use

This art caddy is a great storage solution for in studio or at home. It is not ideal for outdoor travel, but provides you easy access to your art supplies at home or in your art class.

Everything Mary Rolling Art & Craft Bag

Best Art Carrying Case with Wheels

This is my favorite art supply carry bag. It has multiple pockets and compartments for storing your paint, pens, ephemera, sketchbooks, and other art supplies. It is strong and durable and incredibly easy to use! It really is a great bag to organize and store your art supplies! Ideal for students, teachers, and creatives of all kinds!

U.S. Art Supply Grand Cayman Wood Table Sketchbox Easel

Best Portable Easel Art Supply Case

A lovely looking, wooden portable easel carry box. This is a great tool for en-Plein air painting and very useful for carrying your painting supplies. It has a lovely vintage, classic quality to it.

Transon Art Portfolio Case Artist

Best Bag for Art Supplies – Overall Winner

This art carry bag is definitely one of the best ones out there. It has several useful pockets and compartments to store art supplies, it has a pocket for a fold up easel and it can hold a large 18”x24” canvas, or sketchbook. Because of its high quality and ease of use I have chosen this as the overall best bag for carrying art supplies.

a brown backpack next to a set of watercolor paints and paint brushes
a woman carrying art supplies to class in a red bag
an artists green backpack with paintbrushes sticking out of the side

Tips for Choosing the Right Art Bag:

Art Materials

Consider what sort of art materials you want to be carrying around.

[Wondering How to Find Your Art Style? Read this blog post!]


Are you looking to carry canvas sheets or hard board canvas? If you are carrying canvas sheets its important to choose a bag that will support the canvas and prevent it from getting folded or bent during your travels. If you are using a hard board canvas then it a good idea to have a bag with a compartment to keep your canvas separate from your other art materials.

Watercolor Paint

Watercolor paints come in a selection of tubes, or in a half pan tray set. They are usually quite compact and are easy to slip into a compartment in your carrying case – whether it is a messenger bag for art supplies, an art supply back pack or an art carrying case with wheels.    

Acrylic tubes

Acrylic tubes are also easy to slip into an art supply case – but it’s always important to make sure you have tightened the lids securely to prevent any leakages!

Pencils, pens and markers

Pencils, pens and markers can easily get damaged or their lose lids if they are thrown into the bottom of an art supply bag. It’s a great idea to have a separate pencil case that you can slip into your art supply bag. Some art supply bags come with a handy zipper pocket for storing your pens, pencils and markers.

Mixed media

Mixed media includes a huge variety of art mediums. For this reason it is important to have a art supply carrying case with several firm compartments to store different mediums in.


A very important factor in deciding what art supply carrying case to buy is size. You need to ask yourself what size art work will you be carrying around, and also what quantity of art supplies?

If you are carrying around A2 canvases, steel rulers, and pencils, for example, then a good quality A2 or A1 art portfolio bag would do the trick.

If you want to carry micron pens, graphite pencils, an A4 sketchbook, and some other smaller bits and pieces, then you could opt for an over the shoulder art supply messenger bag.


If you are carrying heavy art supplies then you need to choose a bag that is durable, strong and offers good shoulder or back support. It always important that your art carry bag is comfortable.

Type of Art Supply Carrying Bag

There are several different types of bags to choose from: backpacks, messenger bags, handheld bags, and more. Choose a style that is easy to use and easy to carry.

What sort of bag would best suit your needs? An art supply backpack is a great bag for when you are traveling and want to keep your art supplies safe. You can take this on a plane trip or when you are out hiking.

Because you are carrying it on your back, art supply backpacks can often hold more art materials than an over the shoulder art supply messenger bag.

That being said, an over the shoulder art supply messenger bag is a great for day-to-day art material access. I find using my art supply messenger bag invaluable for gallery visits (especially when you want to sketch the art on exhibition), en plein air painting, and whenever I do some urban sketching.

Protecting Art Supplies

Will it offer enough protection for your art supplies?

The most important factor of all in choosing your art supply bag is will it protect your art supplies? You need to consider if there is enough support and space to hold your materials and tools without squashing them or bending them.

Durability and Strength

Your art supply bag must be durable and long lasting. You really don’t want to be faced with a situation where your bag rips open or the strap snaps while you are out and about.


It always a good idea to choose a bag that is waterproof so that your art materials and tools are protected from rain, spilt coffee (this regularly happens to me), or other liquids.


Choose a bag with sufficient compartments for your needs. You can use your art supply bag as an all-in-one bag and keep your mobile phone, tablet and wallet in there together with your art supplies!

Zip or flap

Choosing a bag with a zip is helpful if you want to securely close your bag and make sure that nothing falls out. However, a flap is easy to use and you can easily flip it open and closed as you need it. This really comes down to personal preference.

Easy to Find Stuff

Choose an art supply bag designed in a way that makes it easy to find your supplies and tools. It’s a good idea to regularly go through your art bag and make sure you have thrown out anything you don’t need, and replace materials that are old or broken.

Attractive – Does it reflect you?

Along with all the practical considerations when choosing an art supply carry bag, think about what the aesthetic of the bag says about you. What is your artistic personality?

What goes in a travel art kit?

[Related Article: The Best Travel Sketchbooks for Creative Journeying]

An art travel kit is essentially a collection of art material, art supplies, and tools that you can easily carry along with you while you are traveling. Whether you are traveling on holiday abroad, or whether you are visiting a local destination for some nature inspiration, an art travel kit is a creative must-have for anyone who enjoys making art!

So what are some supplies you can put into your travel art kit?

Well, this largely depends on what sort of art medium you work in normally.

Things to Pack in Your Travel Art Kit

the ten best bags for carrying art supplies to class


I have had a lot of fun exploring and testing out the various art bag options! Hopefully, you can now make a more informed decision when choosing a bag for carrying your art supplies to class. If you found this article helpful, perhaps you would also like to explore the best Drawing Kits for 2021…

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