Which travel toiletry bag is best?
Road trips, weekend getaways and international journeys are exciting, but packing for them isn’t. If you’re stressed at the sheer multitude of hygiene products you need to pack, invest in a travel toiletry bag to stay organized.
Travel toiletry bags have compartments and pockets to secure essentials while you’re in transit. Some styles have high levels of organization, whereas others have spacious dump-bag designs.
If you’re partial to a classic design, the Vetellii Classic Leather Toiletry Bag is our top choice for its fine craftsmanship.
What to know before you buy a travel toiletry bag
Travel toiletry bags come in several sizes, and most of them have compact designs that fit inside a carry-on or checked baggage. Smaller bags hold a limited number of items, which usually include cosmetics or travel-size hygiene products. Larger toiletry bags, on the other hand, may hold several full-size bottles as well as electric razors, brushes and beauty tools.
Classic toiletry bags are rectangular and have spacious main compartments. Certain styles have additional compartments, expandable designs or internal organization. However, some of these bags are rigid and bulky.
Hanging toiletry bags have a loop or hook to hang on doorknobs or racks. They’re convenient for bathrooms with limited counter space. While compact, some hanging toiletry bags are flimsy and become lumpy when filled to capacity.
Makeup bags are soft totes with several compartments and pockets to hold cosmetics, hygiene products and makeup tools. They’re larger than most toiletry bags, but there are some smaller styles on the market. One of their pitfalls, however, is that they tend to be heavy when filled.
Tips for packing travel toiletry bags
Make a list of essentials. Stick to the basics before you add other products, like specialty skincare products.
To optimize space, forgo full-size bottles and use TSA-approved travel bottles, which hold up to 3.4 ounces of liquid. For more information, visit the BestReviews buying guide on TSA-approved travel bottles.
Make sure all bottles and containers are tightly closed. Otherwise, you may end up with a spill if loose caps come off in transit.
Remember to pack a couple of first-aid essentials such as adhesive bandages, over-the-counter medication and cotton swabs.
What to look for in a quality travel toiletry bag
Synthetic: Many travel toiletry bags are made with synthetic materials like nylon or polyester. These materials are lightweight and flexible, plus they fit easily in tight spaces. Synthetic bags are easy to spot clean.
Waterproof: It’s common for toiletry bags to have waterproof linings, which may minimize stains and damage from leaking products. Other bags have water-repellent shells that cause liquid to bead off the surface.
Leather and suede: Leather and suede travel toiletry bags have fine construction and are known for their durability and curb appeal. They hold up well to the demands of heavy travel, but they should be treated with leather or suede products to stay clean and maintain their finishes.
Mesh: Internal compartments in toiletry bags are often made of mesh. It’s flexible and breathable, and its sheer construction keeps products visible.
The shape of a travel toiletry bag may impact how easily it fits inside your luggage. Classic toiletry bags often have bulky shapes, but they’re streamlined and slip easily around other items. Slender rectangular bags are ideal for fitting into tighter spaces. Travel toiletry bags with flexible designs, like drawstring bags, can be manipulated to fit into most areas.
How much you can expect to spend on travel toiletry bags
Basic travel toiletry bags with limited organization cost $15 or less. Styles with several compartments are $20-$40. High-end travel toiletry bags made of leather or suede, many of which are made by premium travel brands, can be $50-$150.
Travel toiletry bag FAQ
Do you need to buy a travel toiletry bag?
A. It’s not necessary, but many experienced travelers say a good toiletry bag is a solid investment in stress-free packing. However, if you need one in a pinch, you can pack toiletries in resealable quart or gallon-sized plastic bags.
Should you pack toiletries in your carry-on or checked baggage?
A. It depends on the size. If you’re packing full-size bottles, you’ll need to place the toiletry bag in your checked bag. If you’re bringing smaller bottles and items that meet TSA requirements, you can pack them in your carry-on.
What’s the best travel toiletry bag to buy?
Top travel toiletry bag
What you need to know: A classic design, this luxury toiletry bag is spacious enough to fit an electric razor and several full-size toiletries.
What you’ll love: The upper compartment has a dome design that accommodates bulky items. The full-length lower compartment is suitable for hair supplies and toothbrushes. The bag is fully lined with leak-resistant material. Given its fine construction, this bag makes a popular gift.
What you should consider: Because it’s leather, it requires leather care products to maintain its finish.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top travel toiletry bag for the money
What you need to know: While it’s a compact design, this toiletry bag holds up to a dozen products and plenty of beauty tools.
What you’ll love: The high level of organization in this bag keeps items separated to prevent them from jostling around in transit. Side compartments have pockets for makeup brushes, razors and toothbrushes. The bag has a water-resistant finish.
What you should consider: Some users felt it’s too small if you intend to travel with more than a handful of full-size bottles.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: A larger option, this tote-style toiletry bag holds many products and comes with a TSA-approved cosmetic bag.
What you’ll love: Transparent compartments make it simple to locate items. The compartments are also lined with elastic detail to secure bottles. Because it’s rectangular, the organizer fits easily in carry-on and checked luggage.
What you should consider: When filled to capacity, the bag may be too heavy to hang.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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