Whether you’re going on a weekend getaway or a summer abroad, one thing is certain: you need a reliable way to carry and organize your personal essentials. When sifting through toiletry bags for travel, it can be hard to narrow down the option that’s best for you. (And the cheapest option is not usually a great idea in this case. Trust us. We may have a story involving toothpaste, a taxi cab, and a Mexican vaquero. Ask us later.)
So, what are important features to consider? Here are three:
One of the first things to consider when choosing your toiletry bag is the size. It’s tempting to purchase the most compact bag in order to save space -- or on the other hand, you may gravitate toward the largest, so you know you can pack every grooming product you own. Try to strike a balance. Consider your toiletry essentials; then look at toiletry bags that provide enough space for those, but will take up a manageable amount of room in your luggage or backpack.
The next consideration is how the toiletry bag is organized. Essentially, you will need to choose between a single compartment toiletry bag (also known as a Dopp kit) or a bag with multiple compartments. In the multiple compartments category, there are endless variations of size and number of pockets and pouches. Consider how you like to organize and access your grooming essentials. Do you want the simplicity of opening one compartment and having everything right there? Or do you prefer more specific organization, where different kinds of items can be accessed separately?
Accessibility also brings up the option of hanging toiletry bags for travel. These types of toiletry bags include a hook for hanging the kit in up in the bathroom for easy accessibility, as well as keeping items off of a potentially crowded bathroom sink.
As with the organization options, your choices of material are pretty much endless. Some travel sites recommend clear plastic for speeding through the security check at the airport. That can help -- as long as your toiletry bag is also one quart or less. Bear in mind, however, that you’ll be using your toiletry bag at your destination much more than at the airport security checkpoint (hopefully). We recommend choosing a toiletry bag for travel based on where you’ll be using it most.
With that in mind, what is your style? What will the conditions be when you’re using your toiletry bag? If you’ll be in the elements, consider a tech fabric or something more classically rugged like a waxed canvas toiletry bag. Not braving the great outdoors this time? Consider investing in a quality vintage leather Dopp kit for both its durability and style.
Wherever you’re going - and whatever you’re bringing with you -- if you take the time to find a well-made toiletry bag, it will be worth the investment, and it just may join you for a lifetime of travels.