Courtesy of Fjällräven
Courtesy of Fjällräven
Your toiletry bag probably goes on every trip you do, so it needs to be more than simply durable and practical—it should also look really good too.
Any seasoned traveler knows that a good toiletry bag is essential. Not only does it reduce the chances that your favorite travel-size shampoo bottle will explode all over your luggage, but it also keeps you organized. And—pro tip—if you keep your toiletry bag packed (or at least prepped) with your reusable, travel-size bottles filled with the products you use, you’ll be ready to dash out the door on a new adventure at a moment’s notice.
But no one toiletry bag works best for everyone. Like suitcases, toiletry bags and dopp kits should suit your needs and style. You might want a smaller bag for a shorter trip. Or you might have a lot of things to organize and need a larger bag. Hate the TSA hassle at security? You might prefer a clear, TSA-approved version. Here, we’ve gathered the best toiletry bags and dopp kits, tried and tested by AFAR travel editors.
Buy now: $60, backcountry.com
With the clean lines and earthy colors you’d expect from Fjällräven, this toiletry bag is one of our favorites. Its rectangular shape is designed to fit seamlessly into most of the brand’s duffels and backpacks, but even if you are toting a different brand of luggage, the Fjällräven Travel Toiletry Bag is an excellent travel companion.
The exterior is simple, with only two slim profile handles on either side, a top zip, and an external pocket. Its large main compartment houses zippered internal pockets and several open pockets. There’s a stowaway hook that can be used to hang the kit in your hotel bathroom, and the padded sides, which protect the contents, allow the bag to stand freely on a countertop.
Made of Fjällräven’s G-1000 Eco material, a dense blend of recycled polyester and organic cotton, with leather details (including that iconic fox logo), this three-liter kit was built to last.
Buy now: $30, amazon.com
A minimalist’s dream, the Baggu Dopp Kit is perfect for travelers who would rather not fuss with organizing their things. The simple pouch is 8.5 inches long and 4.5 inches on its short sides; it is made of thin but durable nylon that comes in a range of colorful prints and trendy solids.
It zips open at the top and there’s a loop at one end for carrying and hanging. The main compartment is extremely roomy—the sort of space that accommodates far more than you think it will. If you’re not the kind of person who prefers to toss everything into one place, zip, and go, the bag does have three interior pockets, one of which has a zip top. Best of all? It’s machine washable.
Buy now: $30, matadorup.com
Matador’s FlatPak Zipper Toiletry Case is an ideal choice for minimalists, outdoor adventurers, and ultra-light packers. At 9.5 inches wide and 6.75 inches tall, this lightweight, 2.25-liter pouch has a simple, single-compartment design with plenty of space to fit all of your toiletries. At the same time, its flexible nylon material lets you fold it to a smaller size if it’s not full to the brim.
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A flat bottom allows the bag to stand up on the bathroom counter, while its water- and leak-proof material prevent unwanted disasters. Even so, the material is breathable enough to let water evaporate through it and allow damp toothbrushes and containers to dry en route. Although the lack of organizational features might not be for everyone, this simple, well-made bag is ideal for those who don’t necessarily bring a lot when they travel—a minimalist’s dream.
Buy now: $51, amazon.com
A classic hanging dopp kit, the Thule Subterra Toiletry Bag has a trifold design. Unfurl the bag and you’ll find one slip pocket and three see-through zippered pockets, one of which is water resistant to contain spills. When you’re packing it away, the bottom two sections zipper together and the top flap folds down and hooks into a fastener to create a slim profile that won’t take up much room in a suitcase—empty, the bag measures 10.2 inches long by 7.1 inches wide and is only 1.6 inches deep.
Like many of Thule’s designs, the Subterra Toiletry bag is business on the outside, party on the inside: the nylon exterior is a dark gray while the interior is lined with a bright, almost neon yellow.
Buy now: $120, cuyana.com
Sleek and chic, Cuyana’s Leather Travel Case Set is an elegant pair of Argentine pebbled leather pouches. Designed in San Francisco, the large case, which measures 12 inches long by 7 inches high, is designed for toiletries, and the hand-sized smaller case (8 inches by 5 inches) is perfect for makeup, jewelry, or other little accessories.
We particularly love the slim profile of these two cases; even the larger one is only 3.5 inches wide at its base, so neither seems to take up much space in a standard suitcase. The interiors of both are simple with a pocket and synthetic lining. Want to opt for something even more special? Add a monogram.
Buy now: $34, topodesigns.com
Think outside the box with the Topo Designs Dopp Kit. We love this bag’s unusual triangular shape almost as much as we love the bright primary colors and color combos. The 11-inch-long bag is made of Cordura fabric and lined with a nylon pack cloth liner, which is easy to wipe clean. The unique shape allows this unpadded, lightweight dopp kit to sit upright on a counter, but it still squishes into even the most disorganized bags.
There’s a handle on one end and the zip through the middle of one side opens a simple, three-liter compartment free of internal pockets, so if you’re an “everything in its place” kind of a person, this might not be the bag for you. Otherwise, it’s fun, it’s geometric, it’s the perfect “stuff” bag.
Buy now: $60, peakdesign.com
Peak Designs has created a line of backpacks with a modular system of packing cubes and pouches, including this wash pouch or the tech pouch for organizing cords and chargers, which travelers can switch out based on their needs. And all parts of the system fit together beautifully in Peak’s backpacks. But even on its own, the 10.2-inch-long, 6-inch-wide Peak Design Wash Pouch is worth shouting about.
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Made of 100 percent recycled nylon treated with durable water-repellent treatment and a waterproof zipper, this toiletry bag can stand up to spills inside and out. The accordion-style opening reveals two main compartments lined with silicone-coated mesh pockets and a zippered internal pocket. The compartments are separated by a magnetic toothbrush holder that protects your toothbrush while allowing it to air.
An aluminum hang hook tucks into a side pocket, although because this doesn’t unfurl flat, we rarely hang it. The outside features a low-profile grab handle and an external zippered pouch perfect for storing a razor so you won’t get nicked digging around inside the bag.
Buy now: $88, truffleco.com
It is time to seriously upgrade your TSA-approved Ziploc. The Clarity Jetset Case from Truffle is the approved one-quart size, and its clear plastic panels—made of biodegradable, solvent-free TPU—let agents get a good look at your things without you having to unzip your toiletry bag.
The beautiful, textured Saffiano leather trim and leather zipper pulls come in five colors and give the efficient, practical design an elevated, stylish look. The small size (7.5 inches long, 5.2 inches wide, and 2 inches deep) fits perfectly into any suitcase, carry-on, or shoulder bag. But we really love this case’s simple, flip-up lid, which makes our toiletries feel more like precious items rather than a jumble of stuff.
Buy now: $30, byhumankind.com
For the eco-warriors, this fresh-looking, dual compartment Dopp Kit from By Humankind helps save the Earth: The water-resistant polyester fabric is made from 1.7 postconsumer recycled plastic bottles. The two zippered inner compartments have mesh dividers, allowing for maximum air flow, in case you had to pack damp bottles in a rush. And if anything spills, this bag is machine washable.
At 9.5 inches long, 6 inches wide, and 4 inches deep, it will hold all the refillable toiletry bottles you need for a weeklong trip. If you want to go the extra mile to reduce plastic use, you can even get By Humankind’s travel kit, which includes the brand’s plastic-free bar shampoo, conditioner, and soap, as well as its mouthwash, toothpaste, and cotton swabs. Best of all? This whole company is carbon neutral and offsets the emissions from its supply chains, production, office space, and fulfillment.
Buy now: $25, llbean.com
L.L. Bean’s Personal Organizer Toiletry Bag has been a customer favorite for years. It has over 1,000 five-star reviews on the L.L. Bean website alone. Available in four colors and three sizes, the small, three-liter size is perfect for solo travelers, no matter how long they are on the road, and the bigger bags—a six-liter medium size and a nine-liter large size—are great for families.
Water-resistant, abrasion-resistant fabric keeps water from seeping in and spills from leaking out, which is what you want in a durable, reliable toiletry kit. But what people really love are the organization options. The hinged design of the hanging bag creates an almost shelf-like situation, with the main compartment hanging down, and side pockets that zip open to display their contents. There is a mirror at the top of the bag and two plastic zippered pockets for bottles.
There’s even a little removable “shower caddy” section with mesh pockets for your shampoo, conditioner, and soap and its own little hook. Thanks to its quality and versatility, this is the kind of bag you’ll keep for a long time.
This story was originally published online on May 17, 2020; it was updated on May 28, 2021, to include current information.
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