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Toiletry bags are a must-have when it comes to travel. Whether you’re just not a fan of the toiletry products hotels offer, or you prefer to use body and hair care products you know you can trust, toiletry bags tend to make life (and storage) a lot easier.
And when it comes to spills and mishaps, toiletry bags can even be a lifesaver for your electronics and other personal items. Nothing is worse than opening your luggage and realizing your toothpaste or the cap to your lotion has busted open – and toiletry bags can offer that separation any other bag can’t.
If you’re a newbie to the toiletry bag game, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve curated a list of the best toiletry bags of 2022.
Top PicksEditor’s choice: Carhartt Legacy Travel Kit
Toiletry bags are pretty simple in concept, but you need to take a lot of things into consideration when picking one.
The $20 Carhartt Legacy travel kit is a great option for those on a budget.
The bag itself has lots of room thanks to its wide shape, letting you fit larger objects and items like makeup boxes and kits. The bag is also made of polyester – so you can trust it’s durable!
With all the bumps and falls that can occur during travel, durability is a must when it comes to choosing a toiletry bag.
Plenty of room
Easy to carry
Only two colors to choose from
Most color options: Herschel Chapter Toiletry Kit
If you prefer your toiletry bags to have that little pop of personality, the Herschel Chapter toiletry kit is the perfect pick.
This toiletry bag is perfect for those who want to express their creativity.
Striking and colorful, the Herschel Chapter offers a wide range of colors and patterns to choose from. While it's durable and well-made, the bag may be a little too small for some users – so this can be a problem if you’ve got a lot of things to bring.
Plenty of colorful designs
Not a lot of room
Most affordable: Bumkins TSA Approved Toiletry Bag
A toiletry bag can seem like a luxury for the budget traveler. After all, many people simply wrap their toiletries in plastic bags and call it a day.
A toiletry bag can prevent you from spending unnecessary money on replacement bags.
Starting at just $13.95, these Bumkins toiletry bags come in sets of three (perfect for those who like a little variety). They're easy to organize and you can place general toiletries in the larger bag and other items such as toothbrushes and toothpaste in the smaller ones.
Do note, however, that these bags aren't very wide – so even the smallest of products will cause the bag to bulge.
Comes in sets of three
Prone to bulging
Best for men: Nautica Men's Top Zip Travel Kit
Toiletry bags aren’t just for women and if you want a travel kit that’s for more than just toiletries, this Nautica bag set is what you’re looking for!
With this Nautica pick, users can even store smaller clothing items.
Available in three different colors, this one is just that perfect balance between classic and modern, making it a perfect fit for young adults looking to step up their travel game. If you’re looking to gift a friend or that special someone in your life, the Nautica Men's Top Zip Travel Kit is a great option because it excels in both quality and design.
Cool and casual aesthetic
Colors don’t really stand out well
Easiest to use: Amazon Basics Hanging Toiletry Bag
This one also comes with a multi-use strap.
This bag can be hung on those hooks you find in most hotel rooms, freeing up space in your bathroom.
Sold under the Amazon Basics label, this toiletry bag is reasonably priced. And while some may say a lower price range means a cheaper or short-lasting product, Amazon Basics champions creating quality toiletry bags that won’t break the bank while sustaining the test of time.
Lots of space
Design and materials don’t look great
How to buy a quality toiletry bag: a buying guide
When traveling, you should always have a toiletry bag handy. As effective as they are great space savers, a quality toiletry bag can save you from dealing with that all too familiar messy clean-up process that comes with busted open body care products.
Toiletry bags can also save you from experiencing the rush of forgetting where you placed your toothbrush or other hygiene products. Instead of trying to remember if you tucked your products under your clothes, or if you actually left your hair conditioner at home, you can simply unzip your toiletry bag and have an immediate count of your items.
Because of this, toiletry bags are especially useful for those who tend to forget important items during traveling.
What are toiletry bags?
While you can get a bit of a hint from the name alone, the exact definition isn’t as straightforward as it seems.
Generally speaking, toiletry refers to items and articles used in cleaning and maintaining one’s body. This includes but is not limited to toothbrushes, toothpaste and shampoo.
When to use toiletry bags
When you’d rather not use hotel toiletries
When spending the night at a hotel, your room will usually have enough toiletries to last you a few days or, at the very least, one night. If you’re staying for extended periods of time, the hotel will occasionally provide you with extra amenities.
More often than not, hotel shampoo and soap are perfectly usable. In other circumstances, however, you may be met with some pretty mediocre products. And in certain scenarios, you may even find yourself dealing with a completely negative experience, like a rash or brittle hair, after giving these amenities a try – and the last thing you want is to worry about how to fix a new problem on top of figuring out where to buy a replacement!
Depending on your situation, you may not be able to access a beauty supply store or pharmacy. And when it comes to business trips, you may even find yourself in a situation where your travel budget doesn’t offer much leeway to fix your mistake.
This is why storing your toiletries in your luggage or purse will naturally increase your risk of encountering annoying spills or completely wasted products. Wasted product is wasted money, and with the built-in pockets toiletry bags often offer, you can save yourself from entering an otherwise avoidable scenario.
When you want to use your own products
While some people are fine with using just about any product they’re given, others prefer to use the same brand regularly. This can be due to a variety of factors, like how a certain conditioner interacts with their hair or how their favorite body cleanser leaves their skin feeling after use.
Things you can store in a toiletry bag
Of course, toiletry bags are named as such because you can store toiletries in them. The form and convenience of a bag that size make it the ideal place to store your sensitive and fragile toiletries.
You can place your shirts, pants and shorts directly inside your luggage – but that’s because they’re big enough to be easily spotted when opened. For smaller clothing items, like underwear or bras, you can save extra space by placing these items in a toiletry bag.
Doing this may even save you extra time while getting ready because you’ll know exactly where everything is.
Handkerchiefs and socks
While you’re at it, consider adding your handkerchiefs and socks inside the toiletry bag, too. Hankies are great to have inside your toiletry bag because they’re easy to fold and lose shape if loosely placed inside a luggage bag.
For socks, it’s more about convenience than anything else. Even if the socks jumble and mix up inside the toiletry bag during your travels, you can be certain that every pair is inside the bag, making the search a lot easier than it would be having to look through an entire luggage bag.
Types of toiletry bags
Flat toiletry bags
Flat toiletry bags are just that: toiletry bags with no width to them. They’re essentially just like pockets, and you can fit anything inside as long as the bag can handle it. The main advantage of flat toiletry bags is that they’re usually cheaper than wider ones, which is helpful if you’re on a tight budget. The downside to flat designs, however, is that the bag easily bulges whenever you put something like a bottle inside.
Wide toiletry bags
Wide toiletry bags can store larger and bulkier items inside without bulging. They’re handy when you want to store bottles of your favorite lotions or entire tubes of toothpaste. They can also be used to store undergarments and other small pieces of clothing. The main drawback is that these designs take up more space and cost more – so unless you can find room for them in your luggage bag, consider getting something smaller instead.
People also asked
Q: When should I use toiletry bags?
A: Toiletry bags are best used when you want to bring your own toothbrush, toothpaste and other items along your travels. Even if you’re going out on a local business trip, using a toiletry bag can save you from cleaning your more important items that are otherwise stored in your handbag.
Another plus? Even if you don’t use a toiletry bag for body care or makeup products, it can be a great storage place for smaller clothing items (like socks, underwear, or bras) that can become lost in your larger luggage bags.
Q: Are toiletry bags safe?
A: Toiletry bags are smell and designed to carry small items. If you’re concerned about products or items being crushed during travel, consider purchasing a toiletry bag with extra padding.
A good buying practice is to visualize what exactly you plan to store in your toiletry bag prior to purchasing. While not every traveling experience will be the same, or call for the same products, having a general idea can save you the headache of realizing your toiletry bag is too small – or, worse, that your bag offers too little width for those bigger items.
Q: Are toiletry bags worth it?
A: If you travel often and want to bring your own toiletries in the future, then you can get a lot of good use out of a toiletry bag. While having one would mean carrying a little extra baggage around, you can always rest assured knowing your products won’t pose a possible interference to your electronics.
Toiletry bags can also elevate your storage game. The space it would take to store body care products in your other luggage bags can be used for other items – allowing you to potentially bring backup outfits on your trip.
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