Toiletry Bag Recommendation
November 21, 2022 11:11 AM   Subscribe

Do you have a toiletry bag that you don't hate? If so, please tell me about it.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow to Travel & Transportation (36 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
I've used the small Tom Bihn "Spiff Kit" for years and it's perfect for me and my toiletry needs. I am a very light packer, but it seems like they make a bigger one, too.
posted by 10ch at 11:46 AM on November 21, 2022 [2 favorites]


I like the LL Bean Personal Organizer; I use the small size.
posted by aramaic at 11:46 AM on November 21, 2022 [2 favorites]


I prefer an unstructured toiletry bag rather than something with a lot of pockets, so I like the Baggu Go Pouches. They're machine-washable and fold down flat.
posted by neushoorn at 11:47 AM on November 21, 2022


I have a large collection of bags (inveterate organizer) but the ones I use for toiletries are the clear plastic ones (nothing special, from Bed Bath and Beyond) because I want to see at a glance which ones hold what.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:55 AM on November 21, 2022


The CalPak Clear Cosmetics Case is my favorite. I love that I can see everything in it, but it is sturdier and larger than the cheap ones from Target, etc.
posted by shesbookish at 12:00 PM on November 21, 2022


Second Tom Bihn spiff kit.
posted by primethyme at 12:01 PM on November 21, 2022


I bought a Dopp kit because it seemed fancy and cool but upon arrival it felt enormous and I basically never use it. Instead I use this canvas Timberland toiletry bag. I picked it up off a clearance table in a Nordstrom Rack or something so I think it was even cheaper than listed there. It's small and sturdy and does just what I want. My liquids usually ride inside a 1 quart plastic bag inside it (just in case I have to pull them out for airport security) so I don't worry a whole lot about leaks.
posted by sigmagalator at 12:01 PM on November 21, 2022


This is expensive but I really like it- I prefer having everything organized and the mesh zippered pockets let you see everything at a glance.
posted by pinochiette at 12:01 PM on November 21, 2022


I'll tell you what: For years, I searched for a great toiletry kit. (Or Dopp bag or whatever you want to call it.) I could never escape the impression that each one I tried sucked, no matter how expensive. They created more hassles than they solved. Then I hit upon a cheap and ingenious solution: I use simple ziploc bags from the grocery store. Not kidding. I started using ziploc bags about a decade ago and have never gone back. Easy, quick, clear (so easy to spot stuff), and cheap.

In fact, ziploc bags have become my default travel organizer. Lots of other frequent travelers seem to do this same thing.
posted by jdroth at 12:02 PM on November 21, 2022 [13 favorites]


Ziploc bags, in a 2-gallon size, are also wonderful packing cubes.
posted by kevinbelt at 12:05 PM on November 21, 2022 [6 favorites]


We use the smaller of this pair of CLC totes for our kids' toiletries. It's great. Tough, lightweight, inexpensive, big enough to actually hold all the small and large bottles so we don't need to decant or buy travel versions of everything.
posted by hovey at 12:06 PM on November 21, 2022


Best answer: I have one of these. What I like is the two side pockets, one with waterproof liner. In addition, the straps on each side of the main compartment and that there is enough space for all my bits and pieces including a hair brush. It accommodates a lot of stuff but is still very compact when all zipped up.
posted by koahiatamadl at 12:06 PM on November 21, 2022 [2 favorites]


I got a roll-up one as a gift similar to this and I really like it but I’m an inveterate overpacker. I actually generally keep the liquids separate in a ziploc bag, so this is just for toothbrush, hairbrush and ties, jewelry, makeup etc.

What don’t you like about your current options?
posted by music for skeletons at 12:08 PM on November 21, 2022


I'm a big fan of the Muji Hanging Toiletry Case. Simple, durable, hangs up and is a little boxy so you can fit in your travel bottles. At just under $20, it has been my go-to travel accessories bag!
posted by ichimunki at 12:09 PM on November 21, 2022 [3 favorites]


I have a Goruck GR2 Field Pocket. It's great if you, you know, like Goruck stuff.
posted by so fucking future at 12:10 PM on November 21, 2022


I've used one of these from Cotopaxi for years. They're made out of repurposed windbreakers, and no two are alike.
posted by emelenjr at 12:15 PM on November 21, 2022 [1 favorite]


A high percentage of my travel (when I'm traveling) is by air so I usually just keep a Tom Bihn 3D Clear Organizer Cube filled with the liquid toiletries and the dry items in one of their flat organizer pouches.
posted by praemunire at 12:22 PM on November 21, 2022 [1 favorite]


I have one from Kickstarter called Tego Roll-and-go. It rolls up like a "tool roll", and the latest version is modular: only takes the sections you need with you. It rolls flat and hangs anywhere, different sized pockets fit just about everything.
posted by kschang at 12:26 PM on November 21, 2022 [1 favorite]


It enables some of my worst overpacking habits, but I have used and liked various iterations of this Eagle Creek toiletry bag for years. It hangs, lots of pockets for organization, and it fits tons of stuff.
posted by fancypants at 12:31 PM on November 21, 2022


I’ve become obsessed with Matador’s dry-thru/waterproof bags.
posted by asimplemouse at 12:46 PM on November 21, 2022


I use these. One can hold quite a bit but the size/structure keeps me from overpacking. I use them for travel as well as storing/organizing my extras.
posted by sm1tten at 12:49 PM on November 21, 2022 [1 favorite]


Seconding ichimunki; that MUJI bag has worked well for me for trips as short as a weekend and as long as a month. I've had it since 2009 and it's holding up perfectly.
posted by minervous at 1:09 PM on November 21, 2022


I use a mesh bag that came with a pair of climbing shoes. Key: it has no shape of its own, it's pretty flat, and it's the right size. Also, see through and goes into the washer.

Here's a selection of sizes for $10
posted by Dashy at 1:27 PM on November 21, 2022


I have a nice LLBean one with pockets & zipper & flaps -- but I also have the canvas drawstring sack that my mom hand-sewed at Camp Widjiwagen in like 1959 or something. I use them about 50/50.

And now that we are still jamming our three-ounce travel-size containers into one zip-loc baggie, I end up with that by default.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:42 PM on November 21, 2022


Yes, I used whatever was handy at the time, which turned out to be something I made myself from some pretty dumpstered upholstery fabric and a zipper. I have another one, it came from a free pile. Bags are a dime a dozen; anything more or less the right size will do.

Also, I don't have much toiletries stuff, so I have the contents memorized, and it doesn't matter that it's not see-through.
posted by aniola at 1:47 PM on November 21, 2022


I'm fond of this one that packs flat. It takes up so little room in my suitcase!
posted by zoetrope at 2:01 PM on November 21, 2022 [1 favorite]


Since people are talking plastic ziploc bags - I highly recommend those clear plastic zip bags that cheap curtains sometimes come in. I haven’t had anyone at airport security complain when I’m pretending it’s a normal ziploc bag.
I also really like my super lightweight single compartment mesh Eagle Creek bag although I acknowledge that it’s basically just a mesh ziploc with a little more shape.
posted by crime online at 2:03 PM on November 21, 2022 [1 favorite]


We have a stash of the free cosmetics bags they give you when Clinique is running a sale on stuff. They make great toiletry bags.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:09 PM on November 21, 2022 [1 favorite]


I use Aer's backpack and toiletry bag when travelling. Lightweight, clean design, and lots of pockets.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:19 PM on November 21, 2022


I use a Dopp kit from Topo Designs (these days, with a quart Ziploc inside it)--it's nice to be able to get all your stuff set up like home when you're in a hotel bathroom, and it's nice to be able to easily pack it up and put it away when you're in a shared space or someone else's home.
posted by box at 3:47 PM on November 21, 2022


I picked up this Sonia Kashuk "makeup organizer" set from Target, and it is perfect for travel for me. I've used it as intended (nesting the smaller bags inside the large clear one), and I've also used the large clear one to hold too-big-or-too-numerous-for-carry-on toiletry items and put it in my checked baggage while putting the smaller bags in my carry-on backpack or shoulderbag.
posted by erst at 5:09 PM on November 21, 2022


Seconding the Topo Designs dopp kit. It doesn't have any interior pockets, which I actually like (ADHD brain wants all my items visible at all times). It holds a surprising amount of stuff, stands up on the counter by itself, is easy to clean, and is not bulky so you can cram it into whatever corner of your bag it fits in. I do usually keep my liquids in a ziploc bag inside of it just for ease of airport security.
posted by sparkling at 6:17 PM on November 21, 2022


Seconding the Cotopaxi dopp kit. It’s the perfect size and has enough structure to stand on its own without being too rigid and it fits more than you’d think.
posted by anotheraccount at 7:26 PM on November 21, 2022 [1 favorite]


I have a mesh bag that was a promo from some cosmetic something. When I’m flying, I put it in a lg. ziplock bag in case of leaks. I like that it dries out well and it’s sort of see through.
posted by theora55 at 6:56 AM on November 22, 2022


N-thing Tom Bihn's spiff kit! I use the larger size and can live out of that bag (toiletry-wise, at least) for a few weeks!
posted by Stephanie Duy at 5:53 PM on November 23, 2022


Response by poster: I have one of these. What I like is the two side pockets, one with waterproof liner. In addition, the straps on each side of the main compartment and that there is enough space for all my bits and pieces including a hair brush. It accommodates a lot of stuff but is still very compact when all zipped up.
posted by koahiatamadl


I ended up getting one of these, just used it on a week away, and absolutely love it. They come in two sizes - I ended up purchasing both and using the larger of the two. I kept the smaller one - I can imagine it being the right size on a 1-2 day trip.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 7:29 AM on November 28, 2022


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