I am forever on the lookout for the perfect travel tote, which truly is an elusive search.

For me, different types of travel require different bags: when I travel with my kids, the situation is different than when I travel solo for work, and traveling by plane requires a different tote than when I travel by car.

The Duluth Trading Company Oil Cloth Day Tote Bag wins in the ‘all-weather, rugged travel in the outdoors’ department.

This is my second time reviewing an oil cloth bag, and I absolutely love this feature.

The material feels so great, and I know that come rain or shine, I won’t have to worry about babying my bag.

It doesn’t show dirt or stains, and can be tossed onto a (dirty) car floor or hotel room floor and be fine.

The oil cloth is water repellent, and I’ll get my only complaint about this bag out of the way right up front: it doesn’t zip closed at the top.

Man, that’s a bummer.

When I travel, I really like being able to completely secure my stuff in my bag (especially in rain or snow). The day tote bag does have a nice magnetic closure at the top, but I’d love a zipper.

Otherwise, you DO get nifty zippers on the sides of the bag, which can expand it by a couple inches on each side, making the bag quite a bit more roomy when you need it to be.

I do love this feature, because it also means I can keep the tote streamlined when I don’t have much in it.

I dislike carrying a bulky bag when I don’t have extras like sweaters or jackets to stash.

There’s also an external cell phone sleeve, a nice touch for quick access, and a flapped pouch on the outside with another magnetic closure.

Inside, you get a zippered organizer pocket perfect for your wallet that includes a key fob (love that!), pen slots (never use that), and a bellowed pocket that I’ve used for small items like tissues, USB cords, and the like.

The handles are a good length for slipping over your shoulder, and at the top of them, you get nice leather grips, a touch that speaks to Duluth’s high quality standards in all their bags.

The actual size is 12.5″ x 5.5″ x 15″ (expanded), with an 11″ drop. The bag feels slightly heavy, due to the oil cloth, but I don’t mind this: it feels significant, and not flimsy.

When it’s on my shoulder, my extended arm reaches to the bottom of the bag, if that gives you a feel for the size (I’m average to petite in size).

Pick up the oil cloth day tote bag for $64 at Duluth Trading Company in in four colors: aubergine (plum color), burgundy, dark brown (which almost has a green tint), or navy.

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