The 8 Best Toiletry Bags of 2023, According to Frequent Fliers
The best toiletry bag is a smart traveler's secret packing weapon.
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Packing toiletries is an art. You may not realize how many bottles of products you use on a daily basis until it’s time to travel. Then in the midst of packing, you’re faced with a mountain of haircare items, cosmetics, skincare serums, body washes, contact solutions, sunscreens and fragrances.
Shoving them straight into your suitcase is a mistake no traveler ever makes twice, as they inevitably end up leaking. Having your favorite luggage set ruined by shampoo is probably the last thing you want. The solution, of course, is not to skimp on toiletries but to buy a toiletry bag.
Not just any toiletry bag will do—find the one that best fits your needs, and they vary quite a bit in terms of size, materials, organizational options and features. When shopping, notice how toiletry bags remain categorized by gender (men’s toiletry bags and toiletry bags for women), though most are unisex. If you’re a frequent traveler, you’ll want a few different types of toiletry bags on hand, as the number of products you pack may change per trip.
“While I use one larger toiletry bag for road trips, so I can fit larger bottles and makeup in one place, I prefer a TSA-approved sturdy, clear plastic toiletry bag when I fly,” says publisher and editor of WanderWithWonder.com, Susan Lanier-Graham, who has flown almost 700,000 miles and clocked more than 1,600 hours in planes over the last five years.
Best Toiletry Bags
- Best overall: BagSmart Toiletry Bag
- Best hanging: Scout Beauty Burrito
- Best budget: Hanging Dopp Kit Toiletry Bag
- Best splurge: Briggs & Riley Rhapsody Hanging Toiletry Kit
- Best for sustainability: Wearwell Ted Travel Case
- Best for organizations: 42Travel Hanging Toiletry Bag
- Most TSA-friendly: Packism Toiletry Bag
- Best water-resistant: Meridian The To-Go Bag
Best overall toiletry bag
BagSmart Toiletry Bag
It’s impossible to overlook a travel toiletry bag with over 42,000 ratings, averaging 4.8 stars. The BagSmart toiletry bag has four separate compartments for easy organization, offers elastic straps to keep bottles upright and has a 360-degree swivel hook for maximum versatility. Learn more about why shoppers love it.
- Water-resistant material with transparent sides
- Comes in medium and large sizes
- Available in 10 colors
- 42,000 Amazon ratings and a 4.8-star average
- Available on Amazon and Bagsmart
- All three panels must fully unfold to access belongings
Best hanging toiletry bag
Scout Beauty Burrito
Since the bathroom counter and faucet area are one of the dirtiest spots in every hotel room, it’s not a bad idea to choose a toiletry bag that hangs. However, the hook is not the only reason Chantae Reden, travel writer and founder of ocean adventures website The Salt Sirens, is obsessed with her Scout Beauty Burrito.
“I’ve traveled to over 40 countries, usually with just my carry-on. I’m often staying in small spaces, like sailboats and campervans, so I need a functional, organized and lightweight toiletry bag,” says Reden. “The Beauty Burrito rolls into a compact toiletry bag and easily stows away and unfurls to hang on a wall. Clear pouches make everything easy to spot, and a main zippered compartment holds larger items. Packing and unpacking take just seconds, thanks to the elastic band. The thick water-resistant material prevents any unfortunate spills from leaking onto clothes.”
- Sturdy hanging hook
- Secure elastic band closure
- Patterns with personality make this an enticing travel bag for women
- Available on Amazon and Scout Bags
- May not be large enough for bigger bottles
Best budget toiletry bag
Hanging Dopp Kit Toiletry Bag
If you’re more interested in spending money on the actual trip and not gearing up for it, then check out this budget-friendly toiletry bag. It won’t take up much space for most luggage brands, won’t cost more than an Alexander Hamilton and has various compartments for separating essentials. Not keeping toiletries well contained is one of the suitcase-packing mistakes that could ruin a vacation, and even an inexpensive option could save the trip.
- Less than $10
- Comes in 14 colors
- Internal mesh pockets
- 6,000 Amazon ratings and a 4.6-star average
- At 9.5 inches long, it may not hold larger products
Best splurge toiletry bag
Briggs & Riley Rhapsody Hanging Toiletry Kit
I’ve traveled to 35 countries, and my Briggs & Riley luggage has stood the test of time. The brand’s dependability, durability, functionality and style are second-to-none. So, imagine my delight when discovering that the hanging toiletry kit is just as amazing as my beloved carry-on spinner and Rhapsody Essential Tote.
This chic trifold toiletry bag features three compartments (including one that’s moisture-resistant) durable handles, a full-zip closure and a hook to save space on often-crowded hotel bathroom counters.
- Slim silhouette with self-repairing zippers
- Made with soft, yet durable, micro-weave nylon fabric
- Hidden hook to hang up
- Pricey, but includes an unconditional lifetime guarantee
- Only available in black
Best sustainable toiletry bag
Wearwell Ted Travel Case
Made with recycled organic cotton and eco-leather, the Wearwell Ted Travel Case is designed for the minimalist traveler who pays attention to their carbon footprint. Choose the small or large travel toiletry bag, depending on your needs and packing tendencies. Either way, the sophisticated pinstripe design remains a treat to the eyes.
- Made with eco-friendly materials
- The brand donates 1% of each sale to environmental organizations
- Comes in two sizes and both have a carrying handle
- Some users may need more interior pockets
Best toiletry bag for organization
42 Travel Hanging Toiletry Bag
You want organization? The 42 Travel Hanging Toiletry Bag has nearly 3,000 ratings, averaging 4.7 stars on Amazon and 17—yes, count them, 17—compartments. That makes all the difference in staying sane while packing and traveling.
“I travel a lot and was trying to find an affordable travel bag that was not poorly made,” writes verified purchaser Olivia. “I’ve been really happy with this purchase and the quality of the bag.”
- 17 compartments guarantee a well-organized bag
- Large enough to hold standard shampoo bottles
- Durable construction and water-resistant
- 2,900 Amazon ratings and a 4.7-star average
- Only available in black
Best TSA-friendly design
Packism Clear Toiletry Bag
Hate digging around in a dark toiletry bag for a product? Switch to Packism’s Clear Toiletry Bag. Sure, it’ll take some of the mystery out of your unmentionables, but the convenience is worth it.
“This keeps everything handy without risking spills, has ample room for those 3-ounce bottles and is much more reliable than a 1-quart plastic baggie that tears partway through a trip,” says Lanier-Graham. “It’s easy to keep the plastic bag in my carry-on, quickly pull it out through security and repack it without missing a beat. For me, the balance between functionality, ease going through TSA and not having to check a bag makes this the only option for flying.”
After all, every avid traveler knows that doing anything to avoid getting your luggage flagged by TSA is worth the effort.
- Quart size follows the TSA 3-1-1 rule
- Crystal-clear design makes it easy to find things
- Three-pack is a fantastic value
- 16,000 Amazon ratings and a 4.6-star average
- Bags are quite stiff, restricting flexibility with products
Best water-resistant toiletry bag
Meridian The To-Go Bag
Whether heading into the great outdoors to a favorite travel destination in Canada or are prone to dropping the toiletry bag in the hotel bathroom sink, The To-Go Bag from Meridian has you covered. How do they do it? With a water-resistant waxed canvas exterior and a water-resistant nylon interior. Plus, the metal zipper ensures everything stays closed up tightly.
- 100% water-resistant waxed canvas exterior
- 100% water-resistant nylon interior
- Two interior mesh pocks
- No additional colors or sizes
What to consider when buying the best toiletry bag
When shopping for the best toiletry bag, there are several factors to consider to ensure choosing the best one for your needs:
- Size and capacity: Consider how much you need to pack in the toiletry bag, including items such as full-size products, razors and other personal care items. Look for a bag that accommodates everything needed for a trip, whether it’s a work trip or for personal reasons.
- Material and durability: Choose a bag made from durable material, such as nylon, leather or canvas. These are more likely to withstand wear or tear, spills and the occasional bump or drop.
- Organization: Look for a toiletry bag that has multiple compartments, making it accessible and easy to see where all of the items are.
- Portability: Consider the ease of transporting the toiletry bag. Opt for one with handles, a hook to hang or with a detachable shoulder strap.
- Price: Determine a budget when looking for a toiletry bag that works for your needs. There are countless options available in every price range, from high-end designer bags to budget-friendly picks. Never turn down a good travel accessory or luggage deal whenever possible.
How we found the best toiletry bag
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
Do toiletry bags have to be clear?
In general, toiletry bags do not have to be clear, although some airlines or airports may require clear bags for certain items or for security reasons. Call ahead to confirm before picking a toiletry bag. Clear bags are common options for carry-on luggage to comply with TSA regulations, which require liquids and gels to sit in a quart-sized clear plastic bag.
However, if you’re not traveling by air or do not need to comply with those regulations, choose a toiletry bag in whatever size or material you prefer.
What fabric is best for a toiletry bag?
Nylon is a popular choice because it is lightweight, durable and easy to clean. It’s also water-resistant, making it an ideal option for carrying liquids. Canvas is generally heavier than nylon, but a durable option. Leather toiletry bags are stylish and durable, but may require more care and maintenance. Polyester and mesh and both lightweight materials to consider as well.
What size bag do I need for carry-on toiletries?
The TSA requires that all liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes live in a quart-sized clear plastic bag and that each individual container inside the bag does not exceed 3.4 ounces. A toiletry bag that is at least 7.5 x 5.5 inches in size and 1.8 inches in depth should be able to hold a quart-sized plastic bag. Most toiletry bags in the market will note if they’re TSA-friendly or not, making it much easier to shop for the best toiletry bags.