Shopping InStyle Picks We Tested 26 Toiletry Bags — These 7 Make Traveling a Breeze Bagsmart Hanging Toiletry Bag fits everything you need and then some By Emily Cieslak Emily Cieslak Instagram Website Emily Cieslak joined the Dotdash Meredith team in 2020, and more recently joined the InStyle team in 2022 as an Assistant Commerce Editor. She has worked in many sides of the fashion industry, empowering her to tackle fashion topics from an insider's angle. As an Assistant Commerce Editor, Emily combines her knowledge of retail and styling expertise when covering new trends and offering readers advice on how to shop for and style themselves. Her work has been published in Byrdie, Real Simple, The Knot, and Brides. Emily has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania. InStyle's editorial guidelines Published on August 17, 2022 @ 04:11PM Pin Share Tweet Email In This Article Expand Jump to a Section Our top picks Reviews Our Testing Process What to Keep in Mind Your Questions, Answered What Is InStyle Picks? In This Article We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission. Amazon and Lululemon If you’re anything like us at InStyle, half of the battle when it comes to packing for a vacation is figuring out how to take all of your beauty products. With the right toiletry bag, you can keep all your bottles and brushes organized without risking any spills or leaks. But not all bags are created equal. We’ve all had our fair share of bags that break after only a couple trips, don’t fit in our weekender, or are like a blackhole when digging around for that one lipstick. To find the best toiletry bags (and make sure you never experience one of the above scenarios again), we sent 26 bags to volunteers to test out in the real world. They packed the bags to the brims, stuck them in duffles and carry-ons, and roughened them up to see how they could withstand real wear and tear. After a few trips, we found that the Bagsmart Hanging Toiletry Bag held an impressive amount of products while remaining slim and lightweight, earning our best overall score. If you want to spend less time packing and more time racking up those air miles, check out the seven best toiletry bags, below. Our Top Picks Best Overall: BAGSMART Toiletry Bag with Hanging Hook at Amazon Jump to Review Best Value: WANDF Toiletry Bag at Amazon Jump to Review Best Splurge: Away Large Toiletry Bag at Awaytravel.com Jump to Review Best Waterproof: Dare to Roam Steward Dopp Kit at Amazon Jump to Review Best for Makeup: Bagsmart Toiletry Bag at Amazon Jump to Review Best Compact: Lululemon Patch Logo Travel Kit at Lululemon Jump to Review Best Hanging: Sea to Summit Hanging Toiletry Bag at REI Jump to Review Best Overall: BAGSMART Toiletry Bag with Hanging Hook 4.8 View On Amazon What We Like: Slim yet spacious, this bag carries everything you need and can be hung to keep counters decluttered. What We Don’t Like: The polyester material is more susceptible to stains. This bag looks like a little briefcase when it’s all zipped up, but it expands to so much more. It has four spacious compartments with straps to keep your bottles upright, and the clear, zippered sides let you conveniently see your items. The zippers are sturdy, too, so you don’t have to worry about them breaking. Our tester was impressed by how much the bag holds while still fitting into a weekender bag. “It’s slim and well-structured, so it can easily be placed on its side or on the bottom of a duffle,” they say. “No matter how much you pack, it won’t get bulky either.” Made from water-resistant polyester, the bag comes in six colors and two sizes. Plus it has a swivel hook which lets you hang the bag and see all the compartments at once — making it easy to set up your primping station anywhere. From the sturdy materials to the clever design, our tester considers this a great value for the price and would buy it herself. Price at time of publish: 19 Materials: Polyester | Size: 12.6 x 9.1 x 4.3 inches (Large) | Colors: 6 Best Value: WANDF Toiletry Bag 4.5 Amazon View On Amazon What We Like: This affordable bag can hold a ton of stuff while staying light.What We Don’t Like: We wish the main compartment had dividers for better organization. Don’t underestimate this affordable bag. While it may look small, our tester was shocked by how many items it can fit, joking that it could double as an overnight bag. Though the sheer amount of space is a big selling point, our tester did think that the middle compartment could benefit from some dividers rather than being one large pocket to hold bulky items. However, this isn’t a deal breaker because you can always use the two netted pockets on the side to wrangle smaller items. She also loved how lightweight and flexible the water-resistant nylon is. “Because this is super lightweight, portable, and soft, it can be stuffed down to fit anywhere if it's not full or it can be overstuffed (which is especially great for overpackers, like me).” Price at time of publish: $9 Materials: Nylon | Size: 9.5 x 4 x 5.9 inches (Large) | Colors: 12 Best Splurge: Away Large Toiletry Bag 4.8 Away View On Awaytravel.com What We Like: This large bag offers ample space and organization so you can fit every item you could possibly need.What We Don’t Like: You can’t open the bag all the way. Staying organized when traveling with a lot of stuff is challenging, but this large bag makes it easy. It has special pockets to hold all kinds of items from makeup brushes to shampoo bottles. “I used mostly bigger items, such as makeup brushes, foundation, and a compact mirror, and there was still tons of room to insert more,” says our tester. You also don’t have to worry about getting this bag wet as the nylon is water-resistant, and you can easily wipe down any stains on the inside. Coming from the expert travel brand Away, the bag has a one year warranty or you can return it in the first 100 days. If you travel frequently or simply take a lot of stuff with you, you’ll want to invest in this high-performance bag. “This bag is perfect for anyone who needs extra organization,” says our tester. “You’ll never have to worry about your items becoming disorganized or having little to no space to fit everything.” Price at time of publish: $75 Materials: Nylon | Size: 10.2 x 3.7 x 5.9 inches | Colors: 7 Best Waterproof: Dare to Roam Steward Dopp Kit 4.8 Amazon View On Amazon View On Daretoroam.com What We Like: With antimicrobial fabric, this bag resists bacteria, mildew, and mold. What We Don’t Like: It’s not very compact when it’s full. If you often pack a still-damp toothbrush or makeup sponge, you’ll want a bag that can withstand a splash here and there. Not only is the nylon fabric water-resistant, but it’s also antimicrobial to prevent mold and mildew from forming. Our tester also loved all the pockets, saying it’s the perfect design for long trips. “The bag is incredibly roomy because it's so expandable with side clips and adjustable webbing straps,” they say. “I fit all of my toiletries in the bag, plus a good amount of extra makeup.” Founded by Ciara, Dare to Roam makes all its products with a commitment to fair wages and donates three percent of sales to the Why Not You Foundation, making this purchase a little sweeter. Price at time of publish: $48 Materials: Nylon | Size: 14.09 x 9.84 x 1.5 inches | Colors: 5 Best for Makeup: Bagsmart Toiletry Bag 5 Amazon View On Amazon What We Like: The three pockets let you access all your makeup and brushes without taking everything out.What We Don’t Like: There’s only a side handle rather than a top one. While this bag is made for toiletries in general, the design really lends itself to holding all of your makeup and brushes. The main compartment has elastic strips to hold bottles upright so your foundation won’t spill mid-trip; there’s a waterproof compartment that is great for wipes or anything that can leak; and there’s a pocket that’s perfect for holding all of your brushes together. When you open all three pockets you have access to all of your makeup, brushes, and wipes without having to take anything out — no wonder our tester gave it a perfect score. “The material is classic, the zippers are easy to zip, and the compartment with the waterproof coating is very handy and easy to clean,” they say. Price at time of publish: $20 Materials: PU Leather | Size: 14.09 x 7.76 x 2.44 inches | Colors: 4 Best Compact: Lululemon Patch Logo Travel Kit 4.9 Lululemon View On Lululemon What We Like: This no-fuss design holds what you need without being cumbersome.What We Don’t Like: If you’re looking for a bag with plenty of pockets, skip this one. As celebrity makeup artist Courtney Housner points out, the more pockets you have, the more likely you are to overpack. Whether you’re looking for a sleek design for a short trip or simply want to restrain yourself, this minimalistic bag from Lululemen is a good choice. There’s only one main compartment with smaller pockets on the inside to hold items upright. You also get a clear pouch that Housner says is perfect for packing in your purse when you want to use things on the fly during your trip. Despite the compact size, our tester was able to hold everything she needed for a weekend trip and was impressed with the quality of the materials. “It's a great overall toiletry bag without too many bells and whistles,” she says. Price at time of publish: $48 Materials: Nylon and polyester | Size: 9.3 x 3.1 x 6.3 inches | Colors: 3 Best Hanging: Sea to Summit Hanging Toiletry Bag REI View On REI What We Like: You can hang all your products (even larger ones) without weighing the bag down.What We Don’t Like: The design is more functional than fashionable. The ability to hang up your toiletry bag can save you a lot of space, and, for that reason, this design really stands out. “This is a great hanging bag because you can store different sized products inside without feeling like you're weighing the bag down,” says our tester. It features one main compartment with a divider, two interior zippered mesh pockets, and an exterior zippered pocket. There’s also a detachable mirror that’s a lifesaver on camping trips. Despite how much the bag can hold, our tester says it’s easy to carry and is easily packable. “The material is pretty thin, but it’s strong enough to resist tears and feels lightweight,” they say. Price at time of publish: 47 Materials: Nylon | Size: 10 x 9 x 4 inches (Large) | Colors: 3 Our Testing Process To start our testing process, we looked at product reviews and spoke to experts to find the most promising toiletry bags. After narrowing down our list to 26 items, we sent them home with six volunteers to put them through a real-world test. Our tester’s packed each bag with their toiletries to see how much they could hold, wore them around in a weekender bag, and roughened the bags up to see how well the materials and zippers stood up to some wear and tear. Using a scale of one to five, they scored the bags on capacity, design, portability, and overall value. We calculated the scores and rounded up the seven best toiletry bags of 2022. What to Keep in Mind Materials Since there’s a good chance your toiletry bag will get wet on your trip, it’s important to pick a waterproof material.“I always use a nylon toiletry bag,” says Housner. “It’s waterproof, and if you’re like me, you pack at the last minute when your toothbrush is still wet and your travel-size products are still wet from the shower.” Besides nylon, other materials like polyester, PU leather, plastic, and waxed canvas resist water as well. You also want to consider how easy it will be to clean the bag, both on the inside and outside. Look for materials that you can easily wipe down like nylon, PU leather, and plastic. It can be harder to remove stains from canvas, especially when in a light shade. Pockets It’s a given that you want a bag with different sized pockets to organize your products and keep them secure. Yet there is such a thing as having too many pockets, in which case you’ll spend more time searching for each item than you do actually getting ready. “When looking for a new bag, look for something that's going to force you to consolidate,” says Housner. “Rule of thumb, the larger the pockets, the more you’ll add. I suggest looking for bags with three large pockets max.” If you need more pockets, look for a compact design that will stay slim even when you pack it to the brim. Size & Shape As you can see from this list, bags range in size and can be soft or structured. Think about where you will be keeping the bag — like in your carry-on or weekend bag — and how much space you have for it to take up. Your Questions, Answered How do I keep my toiletry bag organized? As both a hairstylist and makeup artist, Housner knows all about traveling with a ton of products and has a tip or two about staying organized. “I like to categorize things in my toiletry bag. Skin stuff stays with skin. Hair stays with hair and so on. I also like to pack them in the order in which I will use them,” says Housner. “If you’re worried about something spilling, especially due to the fluctuation of pressure when flying, you can either tape down the lid or put the product in a mini nylon bag or ziploc for added protection,” she adds. Does my toiletry bag have to be clear? Though a clear bag can expedite the screening process, the TSA actually doesn’t require your bag to be clear on flights. You just have to make sure that all your liquids in your carry-on are less than 3.4 ounces. What Is InStyle Picks? Did you notice the InStyle Picks seal of approval at the top of this story? That means our team of testers has reviewed every product on this list using a unique methodology to ensure it’s really worth your time, money, and attention. We may get samples for free to try but we never promise positive (or any!) coverage in exchange. Put simply: InStyle Picks are products we love, and we’ve put them to the test to be sure you will too.