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.
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.
Ready for a new toiletry bag? Pick your poison from our list of best toiletry bags below.
Price: From $35
Direct-to-consumer retailer Everlane is easily one of our favourites here at DMARGE and is fast becoming a brand loved by customers the world over. Why? Everlane produces incredibly well-made essentials, is transparent with the pricing structure, and uses sustainable materials wherever possible and ethical production methods.
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.
Price: From $16
Gymshark is a perfect example of what a brand can achieve when it launches at just the right time. Taking clear advantage of the social media boom and the rise of influencers, Gymshark has quickly become one of the leading names in gym clothing and accessories.
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.
Price: From $40
German-based luggage specialist Horizn Studios was the first to include a removable charging function in its suitcases, recognising the changing digital landscape and the rise of digital nomads. The company, therefore, understands modern travellers and designs products to better assist them.
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.
Price: From $34
It’s a fair call for you to want your toiletry bag to look as good as it performs, and one of our favourite brands for delivering superb minimalist style is RAINS. The Swedish brand found global fame for its range of suitably stylish waterproof rain jackets, that ooze cool. Chief among the reasons for their popularity is the matte-effect waterproof fabric.
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.
Price: From $38
Kelly Slater’s Outerknown brand is one that champions sustainability, ethical production methods and getting out in the open to explore our great planet.
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.
Price: From $28
Canadian athleisure wear specialist Lululemon isn’t just in the game of yoga clothing but, like Gymshark, caters to all fitness fanatics who need a complete kit for all their gym and fitness needs.
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.
Price: From $55
Making their stylish mark on the world one piece at a time is Saturdays NYC. The New York based clothier produces some of the coolest clothing of the moment, channelling a unique design aesthetic that has been responsible for the brand seeing significant growth.
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.
Price: From $18
Mystery Ranch has been in the business of making packs and bags for over forty years, although it started life as a company responsible for repairing the damage inflicted to the gear of other brands. After noticing common Achilles heels in backpack design, Mystery Ranch set out to develop products that didn’t suffer the same fate.
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.
Price: From $39
Bellroy is an Australian company that makes “considered carry goods”. By that, the company means it creates thoughtfully designed products that offer you everything you could need from a bag, pouch or wallet, in terms of size and internal organisation options.
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.
Price: From $34
Denver, Colorado-based Topo Designs produces packs, bags and apparel that can withstand the rigours of outdoor living and adrenaline junkie lifestyles, but are designed in a way that wouldn’t look out of place in a city environment. The company started life in 2008 and is the brainchild of friends Jedd and Mark: Jedd was the brains behind the design while Mark was tasked with finding manufacturers.
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.
Price: From $50
Peak Design found its feet on crowdfunding site Kickstarter in 2011 after founder Peter Dering decided to develop his own DSLR camera carry bag (now known as Capture). It proved successful and since then Peak Design has gone from strength to strength creating everyday carry bags to “keep your gear organized, protected, and accessible”.
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.
Price: From $95
Billykirk is an American company through and through. It designs and manufactures its products in the good old US of A and puts a heavy focus on making products of higher quality, even if it means they can’t be churned out in a similar way to ‘fast fashion’ brands. Many of its products are made from leather deliberately so that they patina over time.
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.
Price: From $65
Filson has been in the game of manufacturing outdoor-focused apparel and luggage for guys and gals since 1897. The company has its own ‘look’ and favours waxed canvas across its entire luggage range.
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.
Price: From $156
If you’re going to be investing in a toiletry bag that will travel countless miles with you, you may want to consider getting something of the leather persuasion, for its durability and patina effect that will naturally occur over time. One of the best providers of luxury leather goods is Harber London.
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.
Price: From $49
Aer is a company that wants to revolutionise everything to do with travel bags, whether it be a bag for an overseas trip or something smaller just to take to the gym. Founded in 2014 and made possible thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign, the American company puts thoughtful consideration into everything it makes.
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.
WANT Les Essentiels
Price: From $175
Despite its French-sounding name, WANT Les Essentials actually hails from Montreal, in French-speaking Quebec, Canada. The company produces a full range of men’s and women’s clothing, footwear and accessories, all of which are made from sustainable fabrics and produced in ethical ways.
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.
Price: From $75
Troubadour was founded by two friends-turned-colleagues who felt there was space in the market for a travel bag that would look as much at home in the boardroom as it did in the great outdoors. Not only did it have to have the right look, but it had to be made from tough, rugged materials. That methodology has been carried over to the rest of the company’s expanded range.
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.
Price: From $192
Mismo is a Danish brand founded in 2006, although the name is Spanish, the fabrics used are Italian and products are made in Turkey. Multi-cultural, then. Design is unmistakably Danish, however, offering the perfect blend of minimalist design and genuinely useful features. Mismo is now regarded as one of the very finest Scandinavian accessories labels.
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.