Away Hanging Toiletry Bag Review
The Hanging Toiletry Bag from Away has some unique features we appreciate in a stylish package, although we wish the available space were easier to use.
- Clear bag unsnaps for TSA
- External pocket convenient for daily pills
- Hanging feature keeps counters clear
- Hook gets in the way of rezipping mesh pouch
- Hairbrush gets caught in mesh pockets
- Liquids pouch eats into bag capacity
13 oz (368.5 g)
9.6 in x 3.74 in x 6.6 in (24.4 x 9.5 x 16.8 cm)
Nylon, YKK Zippers
The Hanging Toiletry Bag from Away has some unique features we appreciate, like a way to keep our liquids separate for sailing swiftly through the TSA line. The stylish package is something we looked forward to testing.
While it seems like a toiletry bag should be pretty straightforward, Away scatters a few bells and whistles throughout this bag to set it apart from a more basic kit. Let’s find out how it performs.
Materials & Aesthetic
Out of the box, we like the look of The Hanging Toiletry Bag from Away. It has simple, clean lines. Everything is understated, from the low-profile handle, which has a vegan leather feel, to the hidden back slip pocket.
The rectangular 3L bag stays upright nicely, thanks to a deep base. After a period of use, we find the sides begin to cave in on their own when there isn’t a lot inside to provide structure. We’ll get to that later, but it impacts the bag’s aesthetics.
A tiny metallic logo with Away’s brand name is located in the bottom right corner of the front of the bag. When we say tiny, we mean tiny! It’s ¼-inch high by ¾-inch wide. It gives the pouch an understated look, and that’s fine—we don’t need splashy logos in a toiletry bag.
The Away name is also printed on the metal zipper pulls for both the external and internal zippers. The zippers themselves are YKK and function well. The main zipper is double-sided and cuts the bag neatly in half, extending all but 8 inches of the circumference of the toiletry bag. That allows it to lay flat when completely unzipped; we’ll get to why that’s important shortly.
The bag itself is made of water-resistant nylon and available, as of the time of this writing, in Black, Coast (blue), Green, and Petal (pink). We have the Green and enjoy the deep forest shade. At first, we thought the color would hide a lot of stains, but, as it turns out, bathroom stains are mostly lighter (toothpaste, lotion, makeup), so they stick out. Luckily, the somewhat textured nylon fabric is easy to clean, and in a month of testing, we haven’t had any marks we couldn’t wipe off easily.
Inside, Away says the coated black interior nylon fabric is spillproof. Liquids are easy to wipe off the surface, and it seems to be staying clean, even when holding makeup and accouterments (brushes, pads, etc.), face lotion, and sunscreen, which we’ve seen stain other bags.
A central feature of this bag is the hanging hook—Away put it in the name, after all. The small metal hook is on a swivel at the top of the bag’s interior, so it can turn whichever way you need to hang it. It works well and, at 2 inches high with a 1 ¼-inch width, it’s easy to hang on a shower curtain rod, a shower hook, or a hook on the back of a hotel room door. That’s great for keeping it off an already cluttered bathroom counter, and it keeps all of our items within easy access at all times—although we worry about leaving it behind one day. Make sure to check behind all doors when leaving your hotel or Airbnb! The Hanging Toiletry Bag could be an expensive mistake to leave behind.
Now, let’s see how The Hanging Toiletry Bag from Away works in the real world.
Useage and Features
On the back of Away’s The Hanging Toiletry Bag is an exterior zipper pocket that spans the back panel. Thin items fit here, and it’s a good place for things like medications that you may need access to while traveling. Nothing very thick fits here; for example, you can slide in a comb, but a brush may be harder to stash. Pill bottles, contact lens cases, and other such items are an excellent fit for this easy-access pocket.
A nice feature for Away to include in The Hanging Toiletry Bag is the quart-sized, clear bag for liquids or small items attached inside. Unzip it to find this sturdy plastic bag with a zippered top snapped to the front of the bag’s interior. The top inch-and-a-half of this bag is the same pleather-type fabric as the carry handle, and on one side are two small grommets.
They snap into a 5.5-by-2-inch piece of nylon attached to the bag so the clear pouch can stay part of the hanging system but unsnap so you can be ready to toss them in a bin when passing through the security line at the airport. It’s a thoughtful feature—you don’t have to purchase a separate bag for your liquids—just be sure to leave room for the clear bag when you’re packing at home. Even though you’ll likely want to stash it in an easy-to-access pocket for the trip through the airport, you don’t want to get through TSA only to realize you overstuffed The Hanging Toiletry Bag and can’t squish your liquids back inside.
The remainder of the bag’s interior is divided into separate mesh compartments. The top is a large mesh pocket spanning the backside of the pouch. It zips closed with an unbranded zipper to hold things you don’t want running loose, like toothbrushes, makeup brushes, and other small items.
On the opposite side of the bag are two mesh pockets that split the front side. These have elasticized openings facing the bag’s center to work with the hanging design. However, when we zip the bag, these pockets open upside down, leaving a 2-inch gap between them and the center of the bag. We haven’t had any problems with items spilling out of here, though we wouldn’t recommend tucking anything tiny in these pouches, like ear plugs or lip balm, or you risk them falling out of the mesh pocket while en route.
With a depth of nearly 4 inches, it seems like this bag should have all kinds of room. It is 3L, after all. In practice, we must be conscious of how we use the pouches to make the most of the space. When packing items in the mesh pockets on either side, and filling the liquids pouch full of travel toiletries, there’s not much extra room left. With the bag unzipping completely flat, stuffing things in the top can cause a spill when you reopen the bag upon arrival.
Since the bottom is divided into two pockets, our hairbrushes, makeup brushes, toothbrushes, and other potentially-longer items are fighting for space in the top pocket. Travel-sized gear comes in handy here, as does a toothbrush holder, since there’s no dedicated slot or “garage” to slide it in where what goes in your mouth won’t interact with everything else.
We also find that, since each pocket is mesh, a hairbrush gets caught in nearly everything in this bag. Mesh is breathable to help things dry out, so that’s great, but we wish we didn’t have to worry so much about catching it every time we want to neaten a stray hair. Some testers found a use for the mesh, however—clip earrings to it for safekeeping overnight or while showering.
Now back to the “hanging” part of The Hanging Toiletry Bag. The hook attaches along the outer seam of the inside of the bag at the top. On the bottom, the liquids bag snaps into a piece of nylon similarly attached. Doing so causes the nylon at the top and bottom of the bag to bend outward after hanging the bag for an extended period. When we repack the bag for the return trip, we find that it causes the top of the sides to slump from the continued bend in the top and bottom of the bag. Not a big deal by any means, but it does impact the stylish look the bag had when we first opened it up.
All in all, while we like The Hanging Toiletry Bag from Away, it takes some time to find the best way to use it to its fullest potential.
- Love the included clear, removable pouch for travel-size liquids
- Grab handle has a soft, luxurious feel
- We think it seems sturdy and easy to clean
- Dark colors show stains, though the material is easy to clean
- Hangs anywhere easily
- Long-term hanging causes edges to bend
- Clear bag snaps in easily