Fjallraven Travel Toiletry Bag Review
The Fjallraven Travel Toiletry Bag is durable enough for many trips and has plenty of space, though we wish the hanging hook could swivel.
- Durable and well-constructed design
- Space to accommodate oddly-shaped gear
- Plenty of organizational options
- Won’t stand independently unless fully packed
- Fabric marks easily
- Gear doesn’t always stay in loops through travel
7.4 oz (209.8 g)
6.69 in x 10.2 in x 3.54 in (17 x 25.9 x 9 cm)
G-1000, Polyamide, Cotton, Polyethylene, Leather, YKK Zippers
One could argue that a good toiletry bag is one of the foundations of travel. After all, you have options for your luggage—from a travel backpack to a duffle bag or rolling luggage—but unless you plan to toss everything in a Ziploc bag, you’ll need something specific for your soap and other grooming supplies. And whether you call it a toiletry bag or a Dopp kit, it’s likely to be a smaller pouch with anywhere from a few to a dozen pockets that, hopefully, sports some sort of water resistance.
What kind of materials and what type of organization does your favorite offer? That’s where the best toiletry bag shines. Are you looking to toss everything willy-nilly into an open space and find joy digging to find your mascara, or do you prefer each bottle, tube, and brush to have a specific spot?
The Fjallraven Travel Toiletry Bag appears to walk the fine line between enough organization without going overboard. So how does that work out? Let’s take a look and see if it might be your next favorite travel companion.
If you’re a fan of Fjallraven, you’re likely familiar with its G-1000® HeavyDuty Eco material. The polyester-cotton blend is a staple of its Kanken line, and it’s featured on the Travel Toiletry Bag, as well. It has some pros, for sure: durability and water resistance. However, it also has some cons, namely the propensity for lint and hair to attract to it like they’ve been shot with Cupid’s arrow. It’s also not the type of fabric that is super easy to wipe off, like a shiny TPU or vinyl.
So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that our Travel Toiletry Bag is already spotting some light spots on its Dark Gray colorway that are likely the result of touching it with a bit of makeup or lotion or—actually, we’re not sure what. We only know a spot appeared pretty quickly, and there it stays. For a bag that will be in the same room as—and hold—light-colored pastes, powders, and creams, that’s not a great start. If you don’t like Dark Gray, you have another option—Navy—but that’s unlikely to be much better at hiding toothpaste splashes and bronzing powders.
Enough about what we don’t like about the exterior; let’s get to what we do like! The arctic fox on the front is made with “non-textile elements of animal origin.” That’s leather for those who don’t speak legalese. There are also leather accents beefing up the undersides of both side handles, which have webbing on top. It makes them very sturdy and comfortable to grasp as you pull them out of your travel bag. Plus, the caramel color of the leather accents contrasts pleasantly with both available color options.
On the back are a Swedish flag tab and “G-1000” embroidered in the bottom left corner. You know, in case your travel companion sees your toiletry bag and has.to.know what that awesome material is!!!
If they are asking, you can tell them the Fjallraven Travel Toiletry Bag also uses YKK zippers, so there are few questions about durability on that front either. Nothing’s worse than rushing to rope drop Walt Disney World and being unable to close the cheap zipper of your toiletry bag. Ask us how we know…
The zippers are the regular reverse coil variety, not waterproof or resistant, though a fabric welt conceals the one on the front compartment for aesthetics and to block splashes from the sink. Still, this isn’t a bag you can toss in the lake for an au natural bath with marine-friendly soap. Keep this baby sitting on the dock of the bay or the bathroom counter.
Speaking of sitting, it’s something that’s hit or miss with the Travel Toiletry Bag, depending on how new it is and what you have inside. This 3-liter bag, at least when it’s fairly new, tends to fall over if you don’t have it well packed. While it’s padded on the sides and bottom to help it stand, it takes time to eliminate the fold across the bottom created when it was squished in a box on its way to you. So if you’re buying it just in time for a trip, fill it up with soap, shampoo, brushes, razors, makeup, and more, and it will stand tall and erect like a good soldier courtesy of its wide base.
Inside The Toiletry Bag
So you want to pack this bad boy up. How easy is it to do so, and what can you fit inside? Quite a bit, so let’s take a look.
As we mentioned briefly above, there is one outside pocket. It spans the height and width of the front of the bag, yet its shallowness can’t accommodate very bulky gear. If you wear such things, it’s a great place for lip balm, chapstick, makeup palettes, and makeup brushes. If you don’t wear such things, use it for travel tissues, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and maybe cough drops instead. Anything slender gear you may need to grab en route to your destination works well here.
The Travel Toiletry Bag is designed to work with the Fjallraven Travel Pack and fits nicely into the backpack’s front pocket while standing, so you can simply open that compartment and unzip the front pocket of the toiletry bag if you need to moisturize on the train from Paris to Amsterdam. Of course, it likely works with any other travel backpack, duffle, tote, or luggage you already own, too.
The main compartment opens across the top via a one-way zipper that runs from handle to handle. We like this horseshoe-style opening because it really lets you get a good look at your gear, whether it’s neatly stored in a pocket or has fallen to the bottom of the kit.
The interior lining is washable polyamide, so it’s easier to wipe clean of soap scum and spilled shampoo than the outside. A hook is at the top of the back panel so you can hang it up and get it off the hotel room counter when space is tight.
However, the 1-inch hook faces the left side of the bag. It does not swivel, so while it’s good to hang on a hook on the backside of a door, for example, it doesn’t do as great on shower rods or towel bars for two reasons: first, because it’s not wide enough to get around most bars, and, second, because then the right side of the bag juts out at you instead of the front. Unless the bar protrudes well away from the wall and is oriented so you can stand beside it instead of in front of it, this annoyingly places the side of the bag front and center instead of the front. So we were excited, then disappointed, and then didn’t bother utilizing this feature.
Below the hook are four slip pockets of various sizes. On the right is a larger pocket about the size of a soap container, then to its left is a medium-sized slot that holds bottles, and then there are two skinnier slots. The first can accommodate a travel toothbrush, depending on its height, and the second is ever-so-slightly skinnier. We stuck tweezers in here, but slim makeup brushes for eye shadow or brows would also work.
On the opposite side, along the front panel, is a large zippered pocket that mirrors that on the exterior. In the same fashion, it’s as tall and wide as the front panel but shallow, so it’s a good spot for small gear you don’t need access to until you reach your destination, yet you don’t want rolling around the bottom of the toiletry bag. Pins, pills, swabs, and razors fit nicely inside, and then you don’t have to worry about hitting them as you rummage through the remainder of the bag.
Against the two sides of the Travel Toiletry Bag are sets of three elastic loops. They’re large enough to fit slender bottles, slim travel hairbrush handles, or broader travel toothbrushes than fit in the fabric slot along the back. You’ll want to pick gear that places some tension on the elastic, however, since skinnier items fall out as the bag jostles around while you travel. Also, anything you put here must be short enough to end below the zipper, or you won’t be able to close the bag. When you reach your destination, you can leave the bag open and stand your toothbrush to dry in the elastic instead of laying it on a questionably-clean counter.
The remaining space is then open for interpretation. If you pack a separate 3-1-1 bag of liquids, it will fit neatly in the center, ready to be pulled out as you make your way through security. There’s also enough room to lay a full-size hairbrush or two if you like having them handy for a blowout.
So despite the fabric and hanging hook annoyances, we think the Fjallraven Travel Toiletry Bag could be a great pick for your next trip. It has organizational features that lay flat against the sides of the bag if you don’t need them and still allow for some open space in the middle for bulky or oddly-shaped gear if you do use them. And it all comes together in a pleasing, easy-to-pack bag durable enough to last for years.
- Very spacious
- Love the leather arctic fox icon on the front
- Interested to see how hook performs on bag that doesn’t open fully clamshell
- Light stains show on dark colorway
- Hangs best on a hook, not a rod
- Easy to grab from a bag thanks to large carry handles