The humble toiletry bag is no longer a hidden part of the male wardrobe. You can thank the NBA stars for that, as they have turned the once-purely-functional little carry bag into a bonafide style statement. The real question is: why?
The rise of toiletry bags
Whether you call it a toiletry bag, a shaving kit or a Dopp kit, these small bags dedicated to your manly possessions have begun to catch on in recent years thanks to the downsizing of electronic devices and slimming down of wallets. This movement has all but relinquished the need for cumbersome messenger bags when something like a man clutch with a built-in handle will suffice. It’s also the same reason why things like fanny packs are also popular with guys these days.
What to put in toiletry bags
Tradition dictates that toiletry bags are a man’s central location for grooming essentials like shavers, creams, moisturisers, hair products, toothbrushes and any other essentials you may use to polish up abroad. These days men are foregoing that definition and throwing in their non-essential grooming items like keys, phones and wallets instead. The choice is essentially yours, but we suggest you don’t mix the two categories unless you want hair gel in your wallet.
Features of the best toiletry bags
They might not be seen as much as a regular bag but make no mistake there’s an art in picking the right one. Our advice is to always choose lean, durable and compact toiletry bags. Given they’re going to accompany you on your greatest adventures, it’s important to buy quality toiletry bags wherever possible. That’s not to say the cheaper ones need to be ruled out. If they look good and you’re just using them as a casual day Dopp kit to get around town, the non-leather fabric or polyester ones are just fine. If you intend to make them a part of your outfit, go for the higher-end ones which present as well as they function.
Speaking of function, look for toiletry bags with internal compartments which makes finding your possessions easier. The last thing you’ll want is your keyring grinding up against your $1,000 phone. Also, pay attention to the zipper quality. If it isn’t smooth and feels cheap then forgo it. A broken toiletry bag is the last thing you need to worry about when travelling.
Best Toiletry Bags FAQs
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Ready for a new toiletry bag? Pick your poison from our list of best toiletry bags below.
The ReNew Catch-All Case will happily gobble up a surprising amount of stuff. Whether it be toiletries or other small essentials, the toiletry bag has a number of interior pockets, is available in a selection of colours, and can be adjusted into various modes to accommodate your travel needs.
Understanding that some guys need to shower and change at the gym before heading off to work, the company has its own basic yet functional range of toiletry bags. Rocking a singular large interior compartment and one exterior pocket, Gymshark's wash bag is an easy place to throw in all your creams and washes. A rubber base fends off water and its low price means you can happily throw it around without worrying about damaging it.
Horizn Studios has a couple of toiletry bags and even a tech accessories pouch and we feel the Kōenji Wash Bag Large is the best of the bunch. Made from a water-resistant and tough ballistic nylon, this toiletry bag has a large main compartment with mesh pockets and a separate zippered pocket, and the lining is waterproof too, just in case you fall foul to any nasty spills.
RAINS has employed ingenuity and applied that same fabric to a range of other products, such as toiletry bags. The small model has a single internal compartment with a separate internal sleeve, and that iconic RAINS waterproof fabric is wrapped around the entire shell.
The brand's zip pouch can be used for a multitude of uses, whether it be toiletries or other accessories. Made with Japanese bag specialist New Life Project, Outerknown's pouch is water-repellent, made from recycled materials and provides plenty of space in two separated compartments.
That was the inspiration from the Command The Day Kit, a 5L toiletry bag that's made from a water-resistant fabric and rocks a large internal compartment with a separate zippered pocket for keeping smaller items away from your body wash and shampoo.
The company's Chaz Dopp Kit rocks a large internal compartment, dual zippers and a leather carry handle. You'll be filling this toiletry bag with high-end grooming products in no time.
That mentality has gone into the Zoid Bag, a basic toiletry bag that employs a trapezoidal shape to help offer the greatest possible internal space while maintaining a low profile. It’s made from a couple of lightweight yet durable nylon fabrics, while reliable YKK zippers ensure you will always be able to access whatever you choose to store inside.
That mantra is exemplified beautifully in the Dopp Kit. From the outside, it looks like any other toiletry bag on the market, but unzip it and you’re presented with a hidden storage compartment (for a toothbrush), two pouches (for smaller toiletry items) as well as a larger main space for your bigger bottles and products. Factor in waterproof surfaces and you’ve got one of the best toiletry bags on the market.
The company’s Dopp Kit employs a familiar trapezoid structure but is offered in quirky colour schemes, including its signature grid pattern. It’s waterproof both inside and out, rocks YKK zippers and has a handy carry handle so you can hang this toiletry bag up in the shower.
The company’s Wash Pouch will easily hold all of your essential toiletries, playing host to multiple internal mesh pockets, a magnetically-sealed toothbrush pocket, an external razor pocket and a hook that can be stowed away. All surfaces are waterproof and can be turned inside out for easy cleaning.
The company is all too aware that you may have toiletries that are larger than travel size, so the No.477 Carryall bag is ideal. Made from a combination of waxed canvas and full-grain leather, the 477 is relatively simple in terms of the fact it offers you one large space, but considering it’s waterproof and incredibly durable, this toiletry bag will last you for years.
Having said that, the Nylon Ripstop Travel Pack is made from, you guessed it, nylon. While it might not have the same heavy-duty look as waxed canvas, Filson’s has opted for Cordura ripstop nylon which is equally as tough. It’s also lightweight (ideal for travelling) and a clamshell opening design means you can hang this toiletry bag up in the shower and gain instant access to the products inside.
The British company handcrafts all its leather goods in Spain, such as the Tech Dopp Kit that, as the name suggests, is designed to carry your tech accessories such as a mouse, charger and a notepad. Several organised pockets and hoops give you space to store everything neatly, and a magnetic, detachable keychain makes it a doddle to find your house and car keys.
The Travel Kit is a good example, not only is it made from a highly-durable 1680D Cordura nylon, but it offers up plenty of internal organisational pockets and straps, so everything you need to take away with you has a place (including a dedicated external storage area for your toothbrush). A hideaway hanging hook and water-resistant interior mean you can safely hang this toiletry bag up in the shower, too.
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The Kenyatta Dopp Kit is large enough to house your essential travel toiletries, with internal pockets to keep them safe and secure. The interior lining can be removed entirely for easy cleaning and the outer nylon fabric is water-resistant; however, if you’re feeling particularly fancy, you can have it in leather instead.
The Adventure Sidekick Wash Bag is made from tough nylon fabric, with subtle leather accents giving it a more premium look and a waterproof interior lining that will keep it protected against shampoo spillages. Troubadour is so confident the Wash Bag will last you that it provides a complimentary five-year guarantee.
The Moonlight Double Dopp Kit is named as such due to the fact it offers not one, but two compartments for storing toiletries (along with a side pocket for your toothbrush) and is made from a combination of water-repellant nylon and leather, giving a two-tone finish.