Best Toiletry Bag for Any Trip | Dopp Kit for Travel
Best Toiletry Bag for Any Trip | Dopp Kit for Travel

When heading out on a trip, whether for a few days or weeks, you’ll need somewhere to store your shampoo and soap. And while your travel backpack might come with a plethora of pockets where you can stash every comb, toothbrush, and lip balm, you may want to reach for a separate pouch to carry it all, whether you call it a Dopp kit or a toiletry bag.

What's the difference between the two? Not really anything but a trademark. Leatherworker Charles Doppelt patented the term in 1919 and began marketing his leather toiletry bags as such before landing a contract with the U.S. Army during World War II to provide every soldier with a Dopp Kit. The name stuck when the G.I. Joes came home since it was more appealing than “toilet bag,” though the terms can be used interchangeably.

History lesson over, we’ll misquote Shakespeare to point out that a bag to store your toiletries is essential no matter what you call it. We prefer putting a barrier between potentially-leaking liquids and smearing soaps and clothing, so we look for bags that will contain any messes and make it easy for you to find what you need while getting ready for the day’s adventures.

We’ve teamed up with REI to bring you this roundup since it’s a great place to start your search for gear, whether it’s clothing, a new bag, or other travel essentials. You can get even more from the store when you become an REI Co-op member, including an average of 10% back annually on eligible purchases, free shipping, and a generous return policy. Members also get access to the Re/Supply store, where you can choose from returned gear that’s been thoroughly inspected. Or, trade in your used items for other members to enjoy!

So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

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1. Matador FlatPak Zipper Toiletry Case

Best for: Relaxed Travelers

Matador FlatPak Zipper Toiletry Case Table

We can’t think of many worse things than rushing to repack on the last morning of vacation and arriving home to find our clothing damp because we didn’t remember to dry out our toiletry bottles after showering. If this has happened to you, avoid it next time with Matador’s FlatPak Zippered Toiletry Case.

If you’re familiar with Matador’s other FlatPak products, the Zippered Toiletry Case has the same dry-through technology that lets water evaporate through the fabric while the exterior stays dry. While the material is waterproof, the bag itself is not since some liquid could still sneak through the hole at the end of the zipper. However, it should contain most spills, and if you prefer a zipperless design, you can check out the rolltop Matador FlatPak Toiletry Case.

The 2.25-liter pouch has no internal organization, but that means you’ll have no problem tossing bottles of nearly any size inside—unless you’re trying to travel with a family-sized bottle of shampoo, that is. We tested this on a road trip, and if you don’t have to worry about 3-1-1 limits, it’s great to dump larger toiletries casually into the pouch—we prefer that there’s no built-in organization for this type of use case. When we need to follow TSA guidelines, we like that there’s plenty of room for every type of gel and lotion we want to bring, and we don’t need a separate bag for solids and other gear. Don’t worry if you don’t need to bring too much on a short trip, though. The toiletry bag’s gusseted design expands and contracts depending on what you’re packing, so you don’t need to switch to a smaller Dopp kit when traveling for a shorter time.

Why We Like It
  • You don’t have to worry about tossing your damp bottles back in the bag since they can dry through the material
  • The gusseted design is excellent, allowing the pouch’s size to expand and contract based on the items inside
What You Should Know
  • Air escapes through the zipper, so it’s not completely waterproof
  • There’s no internal organization
See Details & Buying Options
2. Nite Ize RunOff Waterproof Toiletry Bag
Nite Ize Runoff Waterproof Toiletry Bag

Many toiletry bags tout water resistance, but not all of them are so waterproof they can float off the side of your boat. The Nite Ize RunOff Waterproof Toiletry Bag can, though, so if you want to wash up in the lake with marine-friendly soap, go for it!

There’s no internal organization in this 3-liter toiletry bag, so it’s got enough space for full-size gear if you don’t have to worry about staying under the 3.4-ounce limit for TSA. The TPU material will keep liquids from escaping onto your other travel gear with help from the waterproof TRU Zip, so you don’t have to worry if your sunscreen bottle splits at the seam. That said, like many waterproof zippers, we find this one a bit stiff to work around the corners and its placement on the front of the bag limits accessibility. The silver lining is that it also stays put if you only undo it partway. There’s a large nylon loop at the end we use to hang the bag up in the hotel bathroom, and since it’s the same end where the zipper begins, it’s easy to open it part of the way to pull out shampoo before heading into the shower.

Oh, and if you want it to float, just blow a little air inside and zip it shut. Just be careful not to get your lips caught in the zipper—not that it’s ever happened to us!

Why We Like It
  • You can protect your small toiletries in a waterproof pouch, keeping them dry and containing any spills from getting on your clothing
  • The zipper stays put, so you can access gear while it’s hanging without other items falling out
What You Should Know
  • The zipper is slow to get around corners, and smudges show
  • TPU materials are a little noisy
See Details & Buying Options
3. Green Guru Upcycled Sleep Pad Travel Kit

Best for: Sustainable Travelers

Green Guru Upcycled Sleep Pad Travel Kit Review

If you like adopting shelter pets and feel like you’re saving books from feeling rejected when you pick them up at the secondhand store, this might be the best toiletry bag for you. The note attached to the Upcycled Sleep Pad Travel Kit tells the sweet story of a sleeping pad that can no longer hold air taken in by REI and paired up with its bicycle tube and climbing rope friends to be given new life as your toiletry bag. Aww!

True to its roots, this toiletry bag feels super sturdy, especially on the underside where it rests on salvaged rubber bicycle tube material. We have no worries when we plop this down next to a wet sink, that’s for sure. The handle is the same material, so it’s easy to grab from your travel backpack and hang on a hook in the bathroom. The pre-loved sleeping pad material on the top and inside is bright and cheery, and we’ve never had an issue with it getting mixed up with our travel companion’s gear.

Although there’s no organization inside the Travel Kit, there is a lot of space. We can fit a variety of travel-sized bottles, a hairbrush, toothbrush and paste, makeup, and more in here, and the 10-inch length will even accommodate some full-size bottles when we head out on a camping trip instead of carrying it on an airplane. It’s great that we can pull the salvaged rope zipper pull open partway while it’s hanging to get gear at the top or lie it flat to dive in and find toothpaste tabs. Either way, the colorful liner makes it easy to find what you’re looking for.

Why We Like It
  • Made from repurposed sleeping pads, tire tubes, and climbing rope salvaged from REI, you can feel good about the sustainability of this kit
  • It packs down small when not in use
What You Should Know
  • Since it’s all repurposed materials, you can’t choose the colorway, so you may want to pass if bright colors aren’t your thing
  • The zipper doesn’t feel as durable as the rest of kit
See Full Review & Buying Options
4. Gravel Explorer MINI Toiletry Bag
Gravel Explore MINI Toiletry Bag Review

The best toiletry bag for a short trip isn’t always the biggest, which is why we’re reaching for the Gravel Explorer MINI Toiletry Bag when we want to get away for a day or three. It’s a Pack Hacker Pick , so not only do we recommend this bag to our friends, it’s what we pack, too. The 1-liter capacity is enough space for the small bottles of toiletries you’ll need, and it has two compartments so you can keep your toothbrush separate from bottles that could sit on the counter of a strange bathroom or have soapy residue from the shower. However, we have to mention that the back-to-back layout means only one side can be accessed at a time.

On the toothbrush side, the fabric is a thinner water-resistant shell, both inside and out, which is great for containing the dampness that occurs when you want to brush before catching a morning flight home. Both regular- and travel-sized toothbrushes and toothpaste fit inside, although you’ll have to take the head off an electric toothbrush if that’s how you roll.

Gravel uses its QuarryPoly—a water-repellant, scratch-resistant, easy-to-clean material— for the main compartment, which has enough room for deodorant, lotion, face wash, eye drops, and a travel razer. If you don’t already own refillable toiletry bottles, the Gravel Soft 3 oz Liquid Bottles are compatible with the Explorer MINI, but other containers work well, too.

A silicone strap makes it easy to hang up the pouch at your accommodations, and it’s always nice when you can save space around a small hotel sink. It's easy to pack, too, since its size and shape fit perfectly in the odd spaces left near the top of your travel backpack or in the long space next to telescoping handles inside rolling luggage.

Why We Like It
  • You can hang this up in the hotel bathroom, or off the outside of your travel backpack, for easy access to your gear
  • The adjustable strap is easy to loop onto bars and racks
What You Should Know
  • If you open both zippers at once, accessing gear on one side can lead to your gear spilling out on the other
  • The compartments eat into each other’s space
See Full Review & Buying Options
5. Aer Travel Kit 2

Best for: Professional Travelers

Aer Travel Kit 2 Review

We loved the durable materials, internal organization, and hanging hook of the original Aer Travel Kit , and unlike some movie sequels, we think the second iteration is even better. The main compartment layout and the way it can hang from the built-in hook remains, which is great for getting it off of tiny hotel sinks. Aer also kept the kangaroo-style shelf design, elastic loops, zippered mesh pocket, and toothbrush slots. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

Changes include adding an extra toothbrush pocket on the outside of the kit. We like standing up our toothbrush to dry without sacrificing a towel to protect the head from germs on the countertop, and now our travel companion’s brush is safe, too. When we fly solo, it does the same for your razor—although you won’t want to leave either one there when you fly home. Instead, slide it in a horizontal garage in the main compartment. There’s also a beefier carry handle, but it’s rougher feeling than the seatbelt-like one on the original Travel Kit. We do prefer the softer material of the original, but considering the secondary purpose of the handle, the difference is only minimal.

As for organization, a slim front pocket is great for anything you need to grab while you’re traveling, like tissues or wet wipes, while the rear compartment is roomier for a first-aid kit, makeup compacts, or anything else you want.

The main compartment has a super stretchy mesh pocket in its top half for tiny travel accessories and a slip pocket that hides the hanging hook. On the bottom, you can vertically slide travel-size bottles in elastic loops in one pouch, although they’re not very grippy for smaller bottles. While the elastic loops could seem overkill, they keep everything in place, even when you’re running to catch a train.

Why We Like It
  • From a hanging hook to a toothbrush garage, this kit has features that come together for a great user experience
  • It has spacious, shelf-like organization
What You Should Know
  • Internal elastic loops struggle to store a range of toiletry bottle sizes
  • It tends to swing around its hinged hook
See Full Review & Buying Options
6. Bellroy Toiletry Kit

Best for: Full-time Travelers

Bellroy Toiletry Kit In Bathroom

Keep everything organized in a sleek-looking package when you reach for the Bellroy Dopp Kit. The polyester and nylon materials are water-resistant. We’re digging this water-resistance, particularly on the interior, as it helps you keep everything spic and span. And you don’t have to worry about ruining your bag when packing away your wet toiletries post-shower. However, the logo and zipper pull are leather, which looks great but may not be for you if you’re avoiding animal products. The leather has been tanned under Leather Working Group environmental protocols, though, so that’s a good shout, although the rounded edges can make it tricky to pack in some spaces.

But enough about the outside; we like the equally luxurious mesh pockets inside where you can slide a few bottles or your contact lens case to make it easier to find later. It also has a unique magnetic toothbrush sleeve that snaps your dental gear out of the way after you’ve polished your pearly whites. During the day, we like to leave the sleeve open to let the head of our brush dry, and it also works well for a razor if you want to toss your toothbrush elsewhere.

If you have a lot of differently-shaped bottles and tubes, you might think this is the best Dopp kit since the remaining space is open for interpretation. While the minimal organization won’t be enough for those who like everything to have a specific place, we find it pretty perfect.

Why We Like It
  • A super sophisticated Dopp kit that has just the right amount of organization without taking up too much space
  • The toothbrush sleeve is a game-changer
What You Should Know
  • It has leather accents, so it may not be for you if you avoid animal products
  • Toiletries may get jumbled when you hang it up
See Full Review & Buying Options
7. L.L.Bean Personal Organizer Toiletry Bag

Best for: Frugal Travelers

L.L.Bean Personal Organizer Toiletry Bag Review

There are enough pockets and pouches on the L.L.Bean Personal Organizer Toiletry Bag to help you sort all your travel toiletries, plus some of your friend’s. However, you'll have to remember where you put everything (which we find difficult when we’re getting ready for a red-eye flight home!). Each side has a zipper pocket that includes small mesh pockets and elastic loops, which we use for toothbrushes or razors. We find the front pocket better for short and slim gear because taller items make it more challenging to close the main compartment.

When you unzip this toiletry bag, you’ll find a large swivel hook you can use to hang the bag from a towel rack or a hook, and since the nylon packcloth exterior is water-resistant, it doesn’t matter if you splash it accidentally. Two pockets at the top are plasticky to contain liquids, so we use them for shampoo, makeup, and sunscreen. The top one is clear so you can see what’s inside, and we like that there’s a mirror that attaches to it with a hook-and-loop fastener. It comes in handy when we need to get ready outside the bathroom, and since it’s removable, you can use it to check the back of your hair. The one pocket underneath is more barrel-shaped to take advantage of available space when you zip the bag shut.

The main area has space for taller bottles in two mesh pockets and a removable shower caddy to bring the essentials with you. It includes its own hook so we can hang our soap and shampoo in the shower if there are no available shelves in the hostel or Airbnb. The material dries quickly, so you can repack it into the Personal Organizer Toiletry Bag in the evening to be ready for the next day.

Why We Like It
  • It has lots of granular organization that takes advantage of all the available space and a removable shower caddy
  • We can fit enough gear for several days
What You Should Know
  • It can be hard to zip down the front flap if you pack something tall inside
  • The organizer struggles to stand upright on a countertop
See Full Review & Buying Options
8. Osprey Ultralight Roll Organizer
Osprey Ultralight Roll Organizer Review

If you’re looking for a way to keep your gear under wraps, why not opt for a kit with all the benefits of a burrito but better internal organization? While this isn’t the best toiletry bag if you need a dedicated 3-1-1 bag, we like to use it to hold solids, tools, and everything else we need to get ready in the morning on a trip. We think the folding concept is a neat way to stow a ton of gear inside a small package, and the diamond ripstop nylon, YKK buckles, and zippers are really durable. Everything looks just as great as they did the day we got it, even after a few week’s worth of use.

The inside is broken up into three larger sections and one small area, with a hook at the top we use to hang it on the back of the bathroom door. The top mesh pocket includes a mirror, and both it and the middle pocket have gussets to fit more oblong-shaped items like facial or hair care products or a larger razor with a charging cable. Below the middle pocket are two small stretchy mesh pockets that zip closed and are the perfect size for smaller items like travel toothpaste or cotton swabs. The lowest pocket is the largest. It's the same 40D nylon ripstop as the exterior, so it’s more water-resistant and works for more liquid-like toiletries, though it’s not waterproof.

Why We Like It
  • The four separate pockets give you a lot of places to store and organize gear
  • The tri-fold is easy to open and close, even when fully packed
What You Should Know
  • Hanging hook doesn’t have a clip to hold it in place
  • The materials aren’t waterproof, so liquids can seep through
See Full Review & Buying Options
9. Aer Dopp Kit 3
Aer Dopp Kit 3 Handle

If you’re looking for the best Dopp kit and love Aer’s aesthetic, why not go with one from your favorite brand? We don’t think you’ll be disappointed because this one has a slimmer design that fits nicely into a small daypack or your favorite travel backpack. While the overhead clearance is a little low, forcing you to squeeze taller travel-sized toiletries inside, the capacity feels otherwise the same from the second iteration.

The Dopp Kit 3 ditches the front compartment, however, in favor of a clamshell design that keeps most of your toiletries at a glance and within easy reach. The front pocket has a self-locking YKK zipper that we like to use to leave a small opening for a toothbrush to dry out. It’s also great for wet wipes, tweezers, cotton swabs, and hair pins. Inside the main compartment, we use the wide pocket at the back for toiletry bottles, two elastic loops for a comb and razor, and a small zippered (non-mesh) pocket for tiny travel accessories. The zippered mesh pocket at the front is perfect for everything else, from containers of cream to nail clippers and other tools. Overall, we find it a great layout for weekend and week-long trips, depending on how much gear you need to bring.

Why We Like It
  • Its balanced capacity feels right for trips lasting from a few days to a week
  • The slim profile is easy to squeeze into tightly-packed bags
What You Should Know
  • Some capacity has been cut from the previous version
  • The elastic loops are too big for a standard toothbrush
See Full Review & Buying Options
10. TOM BIHN 3D Organizer Cube
Tom Bihn 3D Organizer Cube Review

When you’re getting ready to hop on a flight and want to pave the way for a smooth experience at TSA, you’ll want the best toiletry bag to get your gear through security. We like the clear design of the TOM BIHN 3D Organizer Cube for that, and also because it’s easier to find what you need to grab when bleary-eyed in the morning. It has a slim design that’s excellent for minimalist packing, although the relatively small size does mean you’re limited to 1 liter’s worth of travel-sized bottles. You’ll likely have to find another place for longer toothbrushes and standard-size hairbrushes, too. That said, we’ve been able to get all of our toiletries—even non-liquids—into this thing for a long weekend trip, so it ultimately comes down to how many products your routine requires.

On the other hand, the transparent urethane is easy to clean in case of spills and is thicker than a zip-top bag. It’s surrounded by ballistic nylon that you can get in various colors if you prefer to match your travel backpack. And unlike something you get at the grocery store, it has a hook to hang on the towel rod or a hook, which we find super convenient in hotels with tiny bathroom sinks. Plus, there are O-rings on each side, so you can attach a shoulder strap to carry it to the campground or hostel bathroom or to connect it to other TOM BIHN bags.

Why We Like It
  • The slim design makes it great for minimalist packing
  • You don’t need a separate 3-1-1 bag to go through TSA
What You Should Know
  • Everyone can see all of your gear (and stains) inside
  • It’s not large enough for longer toothbrushes, so you have to use one that’s travel size
See Full Review & Buying Options
11. Away Small Toiletry Bag
Away Small Toiletry Bag Usage 1

Style isn’t always something we prioritize in a toiletry bag, but when renting an Airbnb with friends, it’s nice to have something you don’t mind other people seeing. It’s small and stylish enough to carry around, and the leather carry handle is comfortable enough to do so. But it’s not just a pretty face; the nylon material holds up well against splashes and spills, so it’s OK to set it down on a damp counter.

It has enough space for a weekend trip, and the organization makes it easy to find what you need. An exterior slip pocket is perfect for wipes, tissues, and cotton swabs, and the bag opens up completely clamshell so you can see all your gear at once. On the top half of the Small Toiletry Bag is a see-through zippered compartment that we loaded with travel bottles of liquid soap, shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste. We can fit four travel bottles inside, and seeing them side by side is rather satisfying. On the bottom half is a mesh-covered compartment where you can dump all make-up tools and tubes of concealers, lotions, sunscreens, and ointments. While there is a fair amount of depth to both halves of the main compartment, travel-sized tubes and canisters still work best if you want to maximize all of the available space, and we’re happy to report that the black interior liner does a good job of hiding stains if a bottle opens en route.

Why We Like It
  • The deep pockets are well-suited for storage
  • It’s well-structured with a water-resistant outer shell
What You Should Know
  • There’s no option to hang it up to save counter space
  • The slip pocket is only suited for small, thin items
See Full Review & Buying Options
12. Topo Designs Dopp Kit
Topo Designs Dopp Kit Tech Pouch

Sometimes, the best Dopp kit is simply the one that won’t tip over on the counter and fall into the sink. When that’s what you’re looking for, we recommend the Topo Designs Dopp Kit because its triangular base helps it to stand upright wherever you set it down. Its spacious interior will fit plenty of stuff, although it lacks interior pockets to keep it organized. It has the rugged vibe we know and love from Topo Designs, with a tough 1000D CORDURA® fabric exterior and a 400D coated nylon Packcloth liner. It’s held closed with a YKK No. 5 zipper, which is beefy enough for peace of mind but not as huge as on some other Topo bags. As always, we like the paracord pull on the end because it makes it easy to zip it closed. Plus, it’s bright red, so it’s easy to spot even if you’re getting ready in the dark.

Inside is a cavernous space lined with bright yellow fabric. We have no trouble spotting bobby pins on the bottom of the bag or finding our favorite lip balm inside the nearly-neon interior. That’s good because, without internal organization, you have to dig through your gear to find what you’re looking for. While we would’ve appreciated a pocket or two, the pouch’s triangular shape, easy access, and overall durability mean it’s still a solid pouch that should serve you well for years while still looking brand new.

Why We Like It
  • It stands on its own, so it won’t fall off the sink counter
  • The durable materials still look as great as the day we bought it
What You Should Know
  • There’s no interior organization, so you’ll have to dig through your gear
  • It’s larger than other Dopp kits, which is a plus or a minus depending on your perspective
See Full Review & Buying Options
13. Peak Design Small Wash Pouch
Peak Design Small Wash Pouch Plant

If you’re looking for a hanging Dopp kit with shelf-like organization and a small footprint, the Peak Design Small Wash Pouch is the best toiletry bag for you. It has features similar to its larger sibling, the Wash Pouch, but in a 1-liter design. It has accordion-like, rubbery mesh partitions in an X-shape that help organize our gear into different areas to keep our solid lotion separate from our shampoo and conditioner and slide in a razor where it won't touch our travel toothbrush and paste. The dividers serve as shelving when you use the hook to hang it up, but because the sections are not very deep, you’ll have to be careful not to bump it while it hangs, or your gear can fall out.

It has a triangular side profile, with more room at the bottom than the top, similar to other standing pouches, all wrapped up with 200D nylon coated with a DWR to ward off most stains and splashes. It’s easy to open with the grippy pull on the Zoom zipper, and the hook stows away in a slip pocket until you need it. However, it can slip out if you overpack the bag. When carrying it into the bathroom, a small piece of overhanging fabric acts as a de facto handle. While it takes a little getting used to, we really liked it once we did.

Why We Like It
  • The wide access through the gusseted opening makes it easy to find your gear
  • We love the option to hang it up off the counter
What You Should Know
  • Be careful not to overstuff it when it's hanging or you’ll find it hard to rezip
  • It wobbles when standing if packed tightly
See Full Review & Buying Options

So whether you prefer plentiful organization or extra open space, we think you’ll find the best toiletry bag for you somewhere on this list. You may be heading to visit a new city or take in the sweeping vistas of a national park, but no matter where you travel, check out REI before packing. Members get great perks like free shipping and great deals on gear! Special thanks to them for sponsoring this post. Happy travels!

You can also check out this video for more toiletry bag ideas!

February 28, 2023

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