Last updated: 05/15/2020

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A toiletry bag, (sometimes called a “dopp kit”) is a must-have for the seasoned traveler. Do you know the etymological origin of the term “toiletry bag?” It is well known that many foreign words influence the English language, and in the eighteenth century the word “toiletry bag” was introduced in our country thanks to the rise of Parisian women’s fashion stemming from the French word “toilette” meaning “washing up, grooming”.

Regardless of the origin of the phrase, a toiletry bag is the most practical and item you can bring on a trip other than your passport, as we will see in this guide. Are you ready to learn more, so that you can choose the best toiletry bag for your future travels? Let’s go!

Key Facts

  • A toiletry bag guarantees that all your personal hygiene products are stored and transported together–conveniently, and safely.
  • Three fundamental characteristics of a good toiletry bag are: that it is made of rugged, waterproof material, that it is convenient to use and that it is easy to clean.
  • When purchasing a toiletry bag, you should consider certain buying criteria, such as the bag’s material, it’s design, and it’s functionality, among other features.

Our Selection: The Best Toiletry Bags on the U.S. Market

A toiletry bag is designed to store your personal hygiene products and/or cosmetic items when you travel. These accessories complement your other luggage and travel gear and are essentials if you love to travel. Here is a list of the best toiletry bags on the market today.

Best Hanging Toiletry Bag

Keep valuable surface space clear by using this hanging toiletry bag on your next trip. This bag is great for men and women, being available in black, polka-dots or even camouflage. The mesh pockets let you see inside easily.  The ratings are 4.7 out of 5 and it is made by famous brand Wayfarer. The swivel hook and other features make this the most “evolved” bag out there.

Best Transparent Toiletry Bag

This #1 Best Seller on Amazon has a 4.7 star rating and comes with 3 bags. You can fill this up, zip it, toss it in your bag and go.  At only $12.99 for all 3 bags, this is an excellent value. Measuring 7.7 x 5.9 x 2.5 inches, these bags are waterproof and will make packing for your next journey a breeze.

Best Large Capacity Toiletry Bag

This 5-star rated bag by Travolle is perfect for young families or pairs of travelers who want to combine their “stuff” in one bag for simplicity’s sake.  It has a hook for optional hanging and 17 compartments, meaning you can bring all your makeup, medicines and toiletries from home. The sturdy construction will make this a favorite travel companion of your family for years to come.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Toiletry Bags

Is it important for a toiletry bag to be waterproof? How many compartments should it have in order to be useful and practical? What is the optimal size for a toiletry bag? These and other questions are commonly asked by consumers who are considering buying a toiletry bag online. Therefore, we will attempt to answer any questions potential buyers may have in the paragraphs below.

A toiletry bag is a very useful accessory.
(Source: Patrick-Coddou/

What exactly is a toiletry bag and what are the advantages of owning one?

A toiletry bag is a travel accessory consisting of a closed container where cosmetic, grooming and medicinal items can be stored and transported in an organized and secure manner. These bags are very useful products with plenty of great features, for both men and women, as we will see below in the following list:

  • Hygiene. Being perfectly compartmentalized, toiletry bags guarantee that the liquids in your containers will not leak onto the rest of your luggage.
  • Organization. By being able to organize your toiletries, you will be sure to find them quickly during your travels, without having to search through compartments or dig around the bottom of a suitcase.
  • Accessibility. If you need medications and hygiene products in small quantities, you will be able to ensure that they are all quickly accessible. Thus, you will have everything you need readily available at all times.

What types of toiletry bags are available on the market?

There is currently a wide variety of toiletry bags on the market. You can find everything from a bag designed specifically for makeup, a bag designed for men, to a bag designed for a whole family. Here is a list of the most common toiletry bag types, the material used in their manufacture and some of their main characteristics.

  • Rigid Toiletry Bags. These types of bags are very robust and resistant. They are usually made as rigid cases, of polypropylene, ABS plastic or polycarbonate plastic.
  • Flexible or Semi-Rigid Toiletry Bags. These types of bags weigh less than rigid toiletry bags, but they are more susceptible to dents and bangs. Generally, they are made of fabric, polyester,  vinyl and leather.
  • Classic Toiletry Bags. These are the most common type of toiletry bags and their interiors are usually waterproof, two or three compartments to separate the products. Generally, they are made of polyester.
  • Hanging Toiletry Bags. These are more modern and include a practical hook to hang them up and quickly find everything you need. Generally, they are made of some type of man made material and zipper open for easy access to the contents while hanging up.
Trish McEvoyU.S.-American Make-Up Expert and CEO of the TrishMcEvoy Make-Up Company

“It is important to make sure that the makeup you store inside your toiletry bag is still good to use! All makeup products have a “best by …” date, the time after opening by which you should use them up or discard them.”

What are the most important features to look for when shopping for a toiletry bag?

If you have an upcoming trip, first of all, relax. It is essential that you do not panic and that you organize your accessories so that you do not end up making any unnecessary purchases while on the road. A toiletry bag should have three essential features: it must be made of a strong material so that it can withstand the rigors of travel and protect the containers inside. It should be easy to use, and it should be made of a waterproof material.

Shopping Criteria

If you have arrived here, it is because you are already planning buy a new toiletry bag. Therefore, you may benefit from a list of shopping criteria for toiletry bags. Here we offer you a few essential purchasing criteria so that you can buy the most suitable bag for your needs.

Type of Toiletry Bag

In the previous section we noted that that there are different types of toiletry bags, although the range is so wide that we have summarized only the most popular types. If you plan to travel by to a hotel or a place where space is limited, you may want to buy a toiletry bag designed especially for hanging up, like the one in our list.

Additionally, when you are packing for travel, you also need to to comply with the requirements of the airlines and government regulations, and some toiletry bags even include removable zip-top bags for bottles of liquids, so that you can easily extract them if requested by the authorities at the airport. Look for these details when you are choosing your bag.


Practicality, or functionality, is a key feature when choosing a toiletry bag. It is important that you take into account the distribution of space so that it can hold all of your favorite products, but is not too big, either. Also, you should consider whether or not you need a hanging hook on your bag.

You should look at the number of compartments the toiletry bag has as well. The more, the better, unless your products are few, but large. By planning ahead, you can perfectly organize your bag and place different containers in separate compartments.


The material of which a toiletry bag is made is important. You should make sure, above all, that the bag is waterproof. This will prevent liquids from leaking out onto your clothes and electronics in case of unforeseen breakage or leaks within the toiletry bag. Also, you should be sure that the material, whether soft or rigid, is easy to clean. Without a doubt, this something you will appreciate down the road.

Rick StevesAmerican Travel Writer and Personality

“Rather than carry a whole trip’s supply of toiletries, take enough to get started and look forward to running out of toothpaste in Bulgaria.”


The design is also important unless you really like boring, but functional travel gear. On the market today, there are hundreds of varieties and sizes to choose from, but you must choose the one that best suits your personal needs, and your personality. In fact, there are many styles available, as we summarize in the following list:

  • “Vintage” You already know that vintage is in fashion. If you enjoy vintage-style things, choose one of these designs that combine modernity with tradition and functionality.
  • Transparent. These are great because you can see your products without having to open the bag. They are usually plastic or mesh and are also often very economical.
  • Classic. A toiletry bag is called a “classic” bag when it only includes only two or three compartments. They are not very practical for everyone, but some people still prefer this style.
  • Colorful. You can also choose a toiletry bag in a printed pattern or one that is very colorful. There are toiletry bags with different motifs, usually made with fabrics such as canvas. Be sure they are waterproof and that they protect the items inside sufficiently as well as looking good.
  • Monochromatic. For those who prefer classic styles, you can usually find a monochromatic toiletry bag that will match their suitcases.If this is the kind you prefer, just don’t forget to make sure they have the features you need, such as being waterproof and having the number of compartments you need.

Opinions and Ratings of Users

Although this guide attempts to provide the most up-to-the-minute information about each and every product, there is always the possibility that time has elapsed since this writing and there may be new opinions and reviews available for you to consult. Always check you the latest reviews of any product you are considering buying. The more information you have, the better.

The manufacturing materials of a toiletry bag are also important.
(Source: NejroN: 53533018/


As you have seen throughout this article, there are many styles of toiletry bags, but the most important thing is that it is practical, resistant and waterproof and it suits your own personal preferences. If you are going to travel by plane, it is always convenient to choose one has a removable, zip-top, plastic “liquids bag,” so that you can move through security screening quickly and easily.

It is a good idea to shop carefully, using the purchase criteria described herein before choosing which toiletry bag to buy, so that once you are on your trip, the bag will be a help and not a problem.  be sure to consider what kind of toiletry bag suits your specific needs depending on what you want to bring with you, you  personal style, etc.

Finally, if you enjoyed this article, please leave us a comment below or share on social media so that your travel-loving friends can benefit from this information as well. Bon Voyage!

(Source of Featured Image: NejroN: 53533018/

Why you can trust me?

Paige Dygbert Professional Writer
With a background in such diverse areas as law, business, translation, art, teaching and even childcare, I bring broad general knowledge and direct, yet friendly style to my articles. I love helping people to choose the best possible option there is on the market and is a great platform to do so.