A well-packed travel toiletry bag can help transform you from suitcase schlepper into road warrior—not to mention it can help you avoid leaks from ruining your carefully chosen travel wardrobe.
Choosing the right size (especially if you’re a carry-on-only traveler), weight, and style of toiletry bag can make all the difference when it comes to packing just what you need for your trip. Here are a few things to consider, plus our top picks for the best toiletry bags to meet all your travel needs.
Best Clear Toiletry Bag for Carry-Ons
Instead of constantly throwing out quart-size bags to meet the TSA liquids rule, invest the Sea to Summit Travelling Light See Pouch, a reusable see-through pouch that won’t rip as you’re going through security, leaving you scrambling to find another quart-size bag for your return trip. This TSA-compliant bag is a light one ounce with a transparent front panel so security can easily see inside. Its water-resistant nylon fabric helps prevent any liquids from getting on your clothes or, worse, your electronics.
Best Toiletry Bag for Full-Size Bottles
If you have a lot to bring or always travel with full-size bottles, the eBags Pack-it-Flat Hanging Toiletry Kit for Travel helps keep things tidy and streamlined in your suitcase. Four separate compartments help you keep like items together (one compartment for toothbrush and related items, one for hair products, etc.). Several compartments are lined for liquids, and the overall nylon construction makes it easy to wipe down.
Best Washable Toiletry Bag
Since bottles can leak in-flight and it’s easy to pick up dirt and grime while on the road, it’s a good idea to look for bags you can throw into the wash, or at least bags you can easily wipe down once you’ve returned home. The Baggu Dopp Kit Toiletry Bag is made of a heavy-duty, machine washable nylon.
Best Hanging Toiletry Bag
Considering that counter space is limited in many hotel bathrooms, a bag with a built-in hook can be an instant space saver. The Victorinox Hanging Toiletry Kit is a sturdy option made with an antibacterial liner, preventing mildew- and mold-causing bacteria—and the odors that come with them. This is particularly helpful if your bag gets wet or if you plan to keep it in a humid bathroom.
Best Men’s Toiletry Bag
Coming in dozens of colors and patterns, the Herschel Chapter Travel Kit is the ideal option for men and women who like simplicity. The inside of the bag has a small mesh pocket for smaller items you don’t want to get lost among the other contents of the bag. An outside pocket gives you quick access to items you may reach for more frequently.
Best Waterproof Toiletry Bag
Made from tarpaulin, the LAND5CAPE Waterproof Tarpaulin Dopp Kitt travel toiletry bag is perfect if you’re the type of traveler that keeps your bag on the bathroom countertop. Not only does water slide off the tarpaulin, it’s also machine washable so you can remove any interior or exterior grime build-up. The interior comes with an adjustable divider, allowing you to customize the bag to your needs.
Best Lightweight Toiletry Bag
At just 2.8 ounces, the Sea to Summit Travelling Light Hanging travel toiletry bag is my go-to for every trip. It’s made with parachute-like “Ultra-Sil” material, it’s lined with lightweight mesh pockets, and it even has smaller-than-normal zippers. If you need to supersize, it also comes in a larger, but not much heavier, four-ounce version.
More from SmarterTravel:
- 11 Ways to Stay Organized While Traveling
- 15 Tiny Travel Products to Help You Stay Healthy on Vacation
- 7 Must-Have Travel Toiletries for Dry Winter Weather
Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2015. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.