Fall yard cleanup often means you’ll go through a lot of bags to pack up and dispose of fallen leaves. But disposable bags can be wasteful. After all, you only get to use them once!
Fortunately, there are also reusable leaf bags available. These do a great job when you don’t plan to simply throw everything away. You’ll still be able to gather up the leaves and not worry about them blowing all over the yard. But you can also put them to use over and over!
Best Uses For Reusable Leaf Bags
Disposable leaf bags make a lot of sense if your goal is to just leave them on the curb for the trash man to carry away. But there are a lot of other ways to get rid of leaves, too.
Do you mulch or compost? A reusable leaf bag is great for storing the dead leaves until you can put them to use. They’re easy to carry to where you need them. From there, you can apply them or hold onto them until you’re ready to use them. You might plan on doing the mulching next week, for instance. Or perhaps you have too many leaves to add to your compost pile all at once.
Planning to burn the leaves? Reusable bags are a great receptacle for them. They’re much lighter than a trash can and easier to move about.
Hauling the leaves elsewhere? Whether you take your leaves to another part of your property or elsewhere, these lightweight, reusable bags make the task easier.
Saving them for Halloween or other fall decorations? Reusable leaf bags will keep them dry and out of the way. And when it’s time to pick them up again, you can use the same bags!
What To Look For
There are a few simple things to look for in reusable leaf bags.
You want to be sure to get a leaf bag that’s made of quality material so that it will hold up over time. You also want it to be easy to clean.
These bags aren’t designed for heavy-duty use. They’re not for hauling concrete or even large branches. However, you want something that won’t tear if you add some small twigs.
Polypropylene is the most common material we’ve seen, and it does the job well. Polyester coated with vinyl also does the job well.
The base of the bag is especially important. Some are solid plastic; others feature a double layer or a more durable material. Some even have drain holes to let any water escape.
Of course, handles come in handy to make it easy to move your reusable leaf bag. The best bags have handles that extend above the sides of the bag. This makes it easier to pick up. It also means the bag is less likely to block your vision!
Since leaf bags are often used for storage, you want to be able to close them. This helps keep out all sorts of problems. That may mean keeping them dry. But pests might also get in an uncovered bag – anything from bugs to mice might think those leaves would make a great bed!
Of course, the lid also prevents the leaves from blowing out of the bag. And none of us want to have to chase them down again!
The bag, handles, and lid all have to be held together by durable stitching if they’re going to last.
There are various size reusable bags available, ranging from about 25 gallons to over 70. Like regular bags, the size depends on how much you have to fill them. And of course, don’t forget you have to move them afterward!
Ease Of Storage
Finally, it’s important to think about what to do with your bags when you’re not using them. A good bag collapses easily. But it’ll also open and stand upright again without a problem.
The Best Disposable Leaf Bags
We’ve gone to the trouble of looking for the best reusable leaf bags to save you some time. Here are our recommendations:
This bag from Fiskars holds 30 gallons. It’s durable, collapses easily when you want it to, and quickly springs back into shape when you open it.
It’s constructed of polyester coated in vinyl.
Open, it measures 23 inches in diameter and 24 inches tall. The lid closes with a zipper
Collapsed, it’s just 3 inches thick. Button hooks hold it in place. Empty, it weighs 4.5 pounds.
The bottom is durable, although it’s not a hard surface. It holds up to use with leaves and grass just fine. It’s best not to drag it, though, as the edge tends to wear through.
Needless to say, you’ll likely want more than one bag to hold all the leaves that fall in your yard. Gardzen conveniently offers their bags in 3-, 6-, and 12-packs. Pictured is a 3-pack of their 32-gallon bags. At the link, you can find 72-gallon bags also as well as other packet sizes.
Their bags are polypropylene and water-repellant.
When open, they measure 18 inches square on the base and 29.5 inches tall.
The handles are double-stitched and hold up quite well.
Gardzen says the bags can hold up to 100 pounds. We didn’t test it to the limit, although it does seem that the bag itself can support that weight. However, we’d be a little worried if the handles will repeatedly support it. On the other hand, it’d be very awkward to try to carry 100 pounds in this type of bag, anyway.
They don’t have a lid, unfortunately. However, you can pull one handle through the other to “mostly” close the top. It’s not perfect but does help a little.
There’s also a handle near the base to help when you want to turn the bag over and dump out the contents.
This 40-gallon bag from Ryobi holds a lot of leaves and has tough sides and a strong base.
The biggest issue we saw with this is that the handle at the base of the unit isn’t attached well. It’s not reinforced, so it can tear away from the fabric a bit.
Open, it forms a cube about 22 inches on each side. The small strap and button hook will help you collapse it down to two inches.
There are also vented areas near the base for water and air to pass through.
This is the smallest bag we’re looking at – it only has a 26-gallon capacity. However, it’s great if you prefer something smaller, and it can hang with the big boys when it comes to toughness.
Eighteen inches in diameter, it’s 19.5 inches tall when open. And it collapses down to under an inch high for storage.
The bag is made of canvas cloth. It’s not waterproof but it’s very durable.
The lid zips shut to help keep pests out or to keep the debris in.
There’s no bottom handle, but this unit is small enough that it’s usually not a problem
This 30-gallon bag is made from Oxford cloth – yes, the same type of polyester used for Oxford dress shirts. It seems unusual, but it does hold up well under normal use.
It has a waterproof coating but is also breathable, so your leaves could dry out well in this.
Open, it’s 24.5 inches high. The diameter is 19.3 inches. The spring system works well to help it pop when you unhook the strap. Closed up, it’s just under 5 inches thick.
The handles are well put-together and reinforced. There’s a handle at the base to make it easier to turn over.
There’s a single, somewhat-large drainage hole in the bottom.
Sadly, there’s no lid with this and it doesn’t lend itself to folding the top over.
Reusable leaf bags are better for the environment and even more convenient for certain uses. Over time, they can save you money, too. Be sure to pick ones that are easy to open and close and made of quality materials!