The right toiletry bag can accommodate a variety of situations, from a week-long camping trip in the desert to a year-long adventure around the world.
Here are five little-known factors that could affect your choice of toiletry organizer and make a big difference in your travel experience:
1) Counter space — a toiletry bag that hangs is great for the unpredictable bathroom.
The bathroom is the wild card of travel. You never know what you're going to get. Not even when the hotel, BnB, or campsite mentions a "private bath" on the listing. (Surprise! It's a "shared bath.") Other establishments will show you a wide-angle picture of a large, sparkling clean bathroom. Then, when you arrive, you'll notice it's a tiny space with barely enough room to turn around, let alone lay out all your travel toiletries.
This is why a toiletry bag that hangs is so important. It obviates the need for more bathroom space on your journey. As a result, you can be prepared for whatever outhouse, water closet, or itty-bitty sink you might encounter on the road.
2) Construction — a premium toiletry bag is an investment that'll last for years.
A well-constructed toiletry bag is a worthwhile investment for any traveler, whether you're going on a short trip or a long journey.
A thoughtful design features a water-resistant material that's hardy enough to take a fall or tumble without scratching or ripping. It should also come with quality zippers and other sturdy closures, as these can protect your belongings from leaks and spills. Next, consider how easy it is to clean — both the interior and exterior — and whether the toiletry bag is TSA-compliant.
Last but not least, you'll want a smart pocket system for keeping all your travel toiletries organized and easy to find.
3) Capacity — choose a travel toiletry bag that's the right size for your needs.
Toiletry bags come in different shapes and sizes. Some are large enough to accommodate full-size toiletry bottles, hairbrushes, and curling irons. These are great for long-term travel. Others are medium-sized, perfect for those who are packing light yet wish to bring enough travel toiletries for the week. And then there are small toiletry bags designed for the minimalist traveler, who only packs the essentials and leaves the rest at home.
The size of your travel toiletry bag will be determined by how much you need to bring with you on your trip. Some backpackers will prioritize packing light to avoid excess strain on their shoulders and backs while other travelers will pack more in their carry-ons. So think about what toiletries you can't live without and what your travel bag will be. Then, choose a toiletry bag that's the right size to accommodate your type of travel.
4) Functionality — the right toiletry bag should adapt to your journey and be easy to use.
The right toiletry bag should be easy to open and close with one hand. (Because, let's face it, sometimes you'll be in a hurry and will need all the hands you can get!) A toiletry bag that hangs can help you "one hand" it if need be. And a toiletry organizer with multiple compartments can make it easier to find what you need when you need it.
Also, consider an adaptable toiletry organizer that can make room in your travel bag. For example, a toiletry bag that hangs from your backpack or fastens to your carry-on bag can make room for souvenirs, trinkets, and treasures you might want to bring home from your travels.
5) Travel toiletries at your destination — will you have access to shampoo, conditioner, and more when traveling?
One of the things travelers often forget to consider is whether they'll have access to travel-size toiletries at their destination. This is especially important for those who are traveling to remote or rural areas, where there might not be a convenience store nearby.
In such cases, it's best to pack your own travel toiletries, so you're not caught without shampoo or soap. But if you're staying somewhere near civilization and have time to replenish your products, then you can probably get away with packing light.
Gravel's Toiletry Bags for Every Travel Type
Mountain expedition? Check. Big-city weekend? Check. Gap year travel? Check check!
No matter where life takes you, we've got a toiletry bag (or travel organizer) that's perfect for your needs.
Choose from our selection of Explorer SLIM, PLUS, or MAX toiletry bags, each designed with a different type of travel in mind.
What factors do you consider when choosing the best travel toiletry bag for your needs? Let us know in the comments below!
For more travel tips and tricks, check out the rest of the Gravel Travels blog.