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Tim Leffel

Professional Travel Expert

Toiletry Bags

In the old days, toiletry kits were “shaving kits” for men and “cosmetic kits” for women, with both being basically a rectangular or circular bag with one main compartment. Both were fine if you had plenty of counter or vanity space in your hotel room, but not if you got a tiny pedestal sink or a bare-bones bath in a budget hotel.

If you’re confident you’ll have nice marble vanities everywhere you travel, you can still find plenty of very nice toiletry kits that stick to the old model, with the best ones featured here. For many people, however, the compact, super-organized hanging kits are going to be a better bet, whether made of nylon or soft leather.

Just be advised that if you are carrying on your bag, you might want to stick with one of the simple totes we featured in our Fly Through Airport Security Items rundown. Otherwise you’ll need to carry a second cosmetic case: a quart-sized Ziploc bag.

Best Toiletry Bags by Tim Leffel

The Best You Can Get

  • Eagle Creek Wallaby Trip Kit

    Tim says: Eagle Creek was the first to really popularize the hanging toiletry kit, then moved beyond backpackers to get it into the hands of other travelers. This lightweight bag is only about a foot long and three inches wide when packed, but contains multiple pockets and compartments for a year’s worth of toiletries.

    The included tuck-away handle swivels and the included mirror can be removed when needed. A removable zippered wet pocket is great for bottles that could leak, while a mesh one allows the toothbrush and razor to dry out.

    • Improved version of the original that started a trend
    • Compact, but full of pockets
    • Included mirror and breathable mesh pocket
  • Tumi Alpha Hanging Leather Travel Kit

    Tim says: Think of this Tumi model as the grown up version of the hanging toiletry kits long popular with adventurous travelers. This expanding leather kit is made from rich, glove-tanned leather and offers great versatility. It hangs from virtually any fixture or can sit on the counter.

    It features two exterior end pockets, a carrying handle on one end, and a central compartment with lots of zip pockets and elastic hoops. A great choice for the discerning traveler who may not always have enough hotel counter space.

    • Convenience coupled with rich leather
    • Can hang from its hook or sit on a counter
    • Handle on the top makes it easy to carry
  • Rimowa Topas Aluminum Beauty Case

    Tim says: If you are an actress or supermodel traveling with high-end makeup that retails for more than some outfits, a nylon or leather case that stuffs into a suitcase might not be a good match. Rimowa makes a line of hard shell cases that keep the valuable liquids and brushes locked away.

    The aluminum and magnesium casing will withstand most bangs and bumps, keeping those hand-blown French glass perfume bottles intact. The construction will also stand up to high humidity and extreme temperature changes. Four rubber pads protect the bottom and a fold-down handle on the top makes it easy to carry along.

    • Heavy duty aluminum and magnesium
    • Combination lock to keep contents secure
    • 5-year warranty
  • Baggallini Travel Kitt

    Tim says: This versatile and fashionable travel kit from Baggallini can expand and contract to according to how much it’s holding and is roomy enough for full size toiletries. Elastic straps hold the bottles upright and in place, the zippered bottom compartment comes with a removable mesh pouch. The black nylon exterior and contrasting stain-resistant lining are both easy to keep clean.

    With the ability to carry full bottles when needed or scale back to trial size when stuffing in a weekend carry-on, this one bag will work for a wide variety of trips.

    • Can contract or expand to fit contents
    • Removable mesh pocket for wet items
    • Zippered outside compartment for items needed quickly
  • JanSport Shower Abode II

    Tim says: This lightweight hanging toiletry bag from JanSport proves that small innovations can make a huge difference sometimes. The defining difference here is that the hook on the top can be removed and reattached to a removable flap holding three bottles for the shower. Voila - a hanging shower caddy!

    It’s also easy to clean on the outside and the inside is fully lined with coated, spill-resistant nylon. Unlike most other kits, it comes packed with screw-top plastic bottles, a soap dish, and a toothbrush holder. With four colors to choose from, this kit is both stylish and functional.

    • Part of the bag converts to a shower caddy
    • Spill-resistant interior and easy-to-clean exterior
    • Bottles, soap dish, and toothbrush holder included

You will be happy with any of these

  • Victorinox Mobilizer NXT 4.0 Hanging Travel Kit

    Tim says: The makers of the Swiss Army Knife offer up a bag that does plenty too, going beyond the usual hanging kit style with two extra side pockets. The standard hanging hook at the top keeps things handy when counter space is scarce, while multiple pockets and flaps keep everything organized.

    This bag adds a few new twists though, including separate outside pockets on each side for those who carry a lot of make-up or other items. The inner lining has an antibacterial coating, plus there’s a handle on top to make it easier to carry when stuffed.

    • Two extra side pockets for more capacity
    • Antibacterial coating on the lining
    • Comes in khaki, black, or red
  • Mulholland Brothers Deerskin Collapsible Shave Kit

    Tim says: For those who demand a luxurious feel even when grabbing their deodorant and toothpaste, this American-made deerskin leather kit is a great fit. Crafted of supple leather and lined with water-resistant Italian linen, it looks great on top a bathroom vanity at the Four Seasons.

    Because of the extra-long zipper closure, the kit opens wide for easy loading and unloading. When not in use, or when barely filled, the whole case collapses to nearly flat.

    • Rich deerskin leather
    • Quality American-made construction
    • Collapses flat when not filled
  • T-Tech Move Port Hanging Travel Kit

    Tim says: This vertical T-tech kit from Tumi is aimed at a younger and hipper crowd than the company’s usual luggage lines, with a more modern and sleek design. (But in the usual staid Tumi color choices of black and almost black.)

    The shape and large zip-around opening allow you to pack taller bottles than with most cosmetic kits while still keeping them upright when using the hanging hook. It is equipped with two elastic organizer straps, a mesh divider, and mesh zip pocket, with a water-resistant lining throughout the interior.

    • Vertical design holds tall bottles
    • Only 10.5 inches long
    • 3-year warranty
  • Andiamo Valoroso Deluxe Toiletry Kit

    Tim says: The Valoroso toiletry bag was introduced in 1980 and is still popular today for its rugged construction and ten-year warranty. It looks like a miniature suitcase, with a handle on the top, an open interior section, and flap pockets along the inside. Another pocket on the top keeps other items separate.

    A removable organizer keeps the frequently used items close at hand while the others can be stored away in a closet.

    • Classic style for when space isn’t tight
    • Built to last, with 10-year warranty
    • Removable pouch for frequently needed items
  • Eagle Creek Pack-it Cruiser

    Tim says: This toiletry kit is for those travelers who can’t leave home without half their medicine cabinet and make-up drawer. Despite being made of nylon, it weighs over a pound and has 450 cubic inches (7.4 liters) of capacity.

    It has three interior zippered pockets, an organizer panel for bottles, two large zippered pockets on the sides, and a water-repellent lining. Like the smaller Eagle Creek models, it comes with a removable mirror and stow-away swivel hook for hanging. If you can’t bear to pack light when it comes to toiletries, this will keep all your goodies in their place.

    • High-capacity hanging toiletry kit
    • Five total storage pockets plus bottle flaps
    • Available in 5 colors

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