Choose the Most Useful Waterproof Toiletry Bag for Travel

Tips 4 Trips

I have been travelling since I was a child.  Back then we caravanned around Australia which meant that showering involved a trek to the ablution block an using a cubical that was usually wet.  It was the same when I backpacked around Europe in the hostel ablutions – how I would have loved not to have to put my toiletry bag onto the splash left behind by somebody else. 

These days my travel style has altered, no longer a singleton I travel as a family to hotels or cabin stays at holiday parks.  I now need an extra-large family size toiletry bag.  However, on occasion my son goes on camp or has as sleepover and he wants a separate smaller kids toiletry bag.  Then let’s not forget when we fly (or well we use to – thanks 2020) and some items need to be taken on-board the flight, so we need to have an approved TSA toiletry bag.

As you can see the how you use your toiletry bag is going to affect what type of bag is best for you.  So, let’s delve into the most useful waterproof toiletry bags for travel that currently available.

In this article You Will Discover The Best Toiletry Bag Options


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A selection of waterproof toiletry bags for women, men and kids
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Women’s Toiletry Bags

So I’m going to start where I need the most help finding the best toiletry bag for women. 

Now I’m looking for something that will hold the basics like toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, deodorant plus travel size version of my favourite skincare range (which I have created using refillable travel containers*).  I also take a little bit of makeup, not a lot as I don’t wear much, but just the basics of lipstick, mascara, eyeliner and blush.  Then of course let’s not forget the bulky items like moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner and hairbrushes.

You may find having all of this in one bag is the answer or it has just become too big, bulk and heavy.  It really depends on:

  • Your style of travel
  • Space and weight within your luggage

So let’s look at all the options for women’s toiletry bags for travel.

Extra Large Toiletry Bag

These days I tend to stay in either hotels or holiday cabins where a bathroom is part of accommodation.  I no longer have to worry about carting my toiletries a distance and I can keep them dry on the vanity bench.

Therefore, I would prefer a large toiletry bag* so that everything is in one place.

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Women’s Hanging Toiletry Bag

However, when I was younger, I use to camp and go caravanning for holidays.  Showers in the ablution blocks consisted of a wooden bench behind a half wall with a couple of hooks above, sometimes there was a hook on the door.  Unless you were the first person in the shower the entire area was usually wet.  Back in those days I would hang my clothes on the hooks, towel over the door and try to squeeze my toiletry bag into a dry corner (remember you have to take the bag back to your tent/caravan and put it away in your luggage – so it’s better if it is not wet on the outside) then I would take out what I needed to use.

I would have really appreciated a hanging toiletry bag to prevent having to place my bag on the wet shower benches.  These days there are lots of options for hanging toiletry bags* big and small.

Toiletry Bag for Backpacking

Then in my 20’s and 30’s, I went backpacking a lot.  There is an art to packing a backpack and squeezing all your things into such a small space, let alone finding those things when you want them.  Of course, packing cells make it so much easier.   Yet you still need a dedicated waterproof one for your toiletries.  I really like the look of the Sea to Summit lightweight toiletry bag* as it is not rigged and can be mould into limited space in your backpack.

Travel Make-up Bag

Whilst I don’t take a lot of makeup when I travel doesn’t mean that you won’t.  The extra-large toiletry bag may fit your makeup in or you make prefer to have a separate make up bag.

You could purchase a set of toiletry bags or go with a smaller toiletry bag and a dedicated travel makeup bag*.

Learn what toiletries to take on holiday with the

Men’s Toiletry Bags

Now my husband seems very happy with his toiletry/shaving bag.  He uses a twin leather men’s toiletry bag.  Men don’t tend to take as many toiletries as we women; toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, shaving cream, shaver or electric shaver, aftershave, hair cream and comb.

So if you’re looking for a men’s shaving bag for a gift* consider quality, practicality and one that it is waterproof.  Again, don’t forget to consider how they will be using the toiletry kit during their trip.

Men’s Hanging Toiletry Bag

Men will have the same issues in the ablution blocks as women with trying to keep everything dry in the shower cubical.  I quite like the look of this hanging bag* as it has separate detachable sections for general toiletries and shaving.

Backpacking Toiletry Bag for Men

As an alternative to the Sea to Summit bag, I mention in the women’s section this nylon waterproof men’s toiletry bag* is traditional in design, yet soft to mould into space with the backpack.

Toiletry Bags for Kids

Kids often need their own toiletry bag as well with their own age-appropriate shampoo, shower gel and toothpaste.  Having their items separate is handy when as a family you visit the ablution block, and they are showering in their own cubical.  However, the bag doesn’t need to be as large as an adult.  You can get some really cute, small toiletry bags*.

Top Trip Tip: It is also handy to have a kid’s toiletry bag for camp or sleepovers 

Extra Large Toiletry Bags (Family Size)

Then at other times when you travel as a family it is just easier to have everything in a family size toiletry bag.  You share the toothpaste, shower gel and shampoo. 

If you are sharing bathroom items you may want to pack full-size toiletries, so you will need a bag that is big enough to hold the larger bottles*, has compartments to divide everything up neatly. Eg hubbies shaving equipment, your make-up, and keeping the toothbrushes organised.  Because you are going to have everything in one bag choose one that has clear compartments* so you will be able to see and access each item easily.

Now, remember that as everything is in one bag it will be heavy.  Choose a bag that has handles and shoulder straps* to make it easy to trek to the ablution block.

Top Trip Tip: Having separate kits for each person can create more luggage to carry

TSA Toiletry Bags

Now we are going to look at the opposite of an extra-large toiletry bag and consider what you need if you are packing into hand luggage. 

When you fly your hand luggage must meet certain security standards and that specifically relates to your toiletry items.  As you pass through the security check point you must remove the bag for it to be scanned. 

The official guidelines to meet TSA toiletry bag regulations include:

  • A clear bag about 20cm x 20cm about 1L (1quart size measuring 6x9in)
  • All liquids and aerosols intended to be hand luggage must be stored in this bag
  • Each individual bottle can be no greater than 100ml (3.4oz)

You can just fill a clear ziplock bag with your items or purchase a regulation size PVC waterproof bag* that you can continue to use as your toiletry bag on your travels.  Some of these TSA toiletry bags also come with containers* so that you can decanter your products at home to meet the regulations.

Discover what else to take on-board your flight with the

As you can see there is no one size fits all when it comes to finding the best toiletry bag for you.  Personally, I’m going with a large toiletry bag for the family.  But my son also has a separate one for camps and sleepovers, while my husband will keep using his for his shaving kit.

Which will you choose? 

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Sally-Ann
Hi, I'm a Perth born and bred travel tips blogger/writer with 20+ years experience in airlines, hospitality and tourism. I love sharing my travel lessons learned to help you plan for your travel dream with my travel tips for trips. Please follow along to receive all my travel planning tips, packing lists and destination inspirations.
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