A dopp kit is a perfect travel companion that is essential in keeping all your toiletries organized.
Beyond simply organizing your grooming products, a dopp kit should also resist mold, have plenty of storage options or easy organization, and be in a compact size.
Not only will we review some of the most popular and highly rated toiletry bags currently on the market, but we will also go over a few key considerations that you should think about when making a purchase, essential care instructions so your dopp kit will last you for years, and answer a few common questions that came up during our research (like where the heck did the name dopp kit come from?).
Let’s get started:
Table of Contents
A Few Considerations Before Buying a Dopp Kit
When it comes to selecting a dopp kit, you can quickly get overwhelmed given all the choices available.
From fabrics, compartments, pockets, and dimensions, selecting the right dopp kit is actually pretty complicated.
Here’s a few things you should take a minute or two to think about before making your purchase:
Dopp kits come in a few different materials which include the following:
- Waxed Canvas
- Nylon (aka Ballistic Nylon)
Here’s a bit on each material and how they differ from one another:
Leather dopp kits both look great and are durable.
However, as is the case for all quality leather goods, having it get wet can cause the leather to lose its natural oils and become brittle and dry (source). Of course, given that dopp kits are used in bathrooms, moisture is always a concern here. Therefore, if you opt with the leather dopp kit, be sure to keep it off the bathroom counter so it doesn’t get water-logged or suffer any light damage.
Leather dopp kits, with proper care, should be able to last a lifetime.
A popular alternative to leather is vinyl. While some men may scoff at the idea of using vinyl, it has several benefits.
First and foremost, vinyl is going to be waterproof, therefore if you let your dopp kit rest in a puddle on your bathroom counter, its likely not going to be a very big deal.
In addition, vinyl is a relatively cheaper fabric when compared to the leather dopp kits out there. Therefore, you can still look extremely stylish while enjoying all the great benefits of vinyl and save a few bucks along the way.
The most popular material among the environmental and animal conscious men is going to be cloth.
Relatively lightweight for occasional weekend excursion, a cloth dopp kit won’t have nearly as much structure when compared to some of the more rigid materials – making it a bit harder to stay organized.
However, one advantage of a cloth dopp kit is its ability to get cleaned. Should it get wet or moldy, cloth can be tossed into a washer and dryer making it like new again.
A strong and durable material that is both waterproof and environmentally friendly, waxed canvas is a sought-after fabric choice for those men who want a bit more from their dopp kit.
Originally popular in the mid-1900s, waxed canvas became popular with sailors in England due to its waterproof nature (source) – making it the perfect material for a toiletry bag.
Very similar to vinyl, nylon is another material favored by companies. The non-absorption fiber is great in humid or wet environments and will naturally resist mold.
Secondly, this material is extremely durable making it great for heavy use – particularly for those that use a dopp kit daily when going to a gym.
If you like to travel light and only pack the essentials, you likely don’t need that many compartments.
Therefore, a single pouch dopp kit will likely serve you well.
However, if you are traveling for an extended period of time and want to have back stock of additional toiletries, then a roomy dopp kit with several pockets and compartments will probably be better for you.
When all is said and done, it largely comes down to personal preference.
If you aren’t sure, then a medium-sized leather dopp kit with a just a few storage areas makes for a happy medium.
If you plan on always using your dopp kit in wet conditions (gym bathroom, shower, camping, etc.) then a waterproof dopp kit may be the right choice for you.
We found that waterproof dopp kits come in several different varieties. While some companies may claim their bag is waterproof as the fabric will resist water (mostly those made from waxed canvas or nylon), some companies do make bags that can be fully submerged in water and still keep your toiletries dry.
If you fall into the latter category and want your toiletries to remain dry if the dopp kit is brought into a shower or sudden rainstorm, then we recommend going with a dopp kit made for camping purposes.
However, if such extreme conditions aren’t expected, then any one of the materials outlined above should be good enough.
The price you should expect to pay for a new dopp kit can vary. With some costing as low as $20 to others well above $100, this is truly a purchase that must be thought about before making.
If you want a family heirloom, then a top grain leather dopp kit might make sense. However, if you are in your 20s and just looking for something to bring with you on business trips and nothing more, then expect to pay about $50.
Cheap dopp kits are good for a few uses but based on our research they tend to break down rather quickly (especially along the zipper lining).
Whether its for a vacation, business trip, gym, camping, or any other occasion, finding the right dopp kit for you comes down to your use case.
Buying a camping dopp kit when making business trips all the time may not make sense as business dopp kits are often larger and feature several compartments whereas a camping dopp kit is rather minimalist and will often have a smaller compartment and less (if any) pockets.
When selecting a dopp kit, find one that meets the needs that you plan on using it, rather than trying to make one dopp kit work for a completely different purpose.
Depending on the material of the dopp kit that you go with will dictate the care instructions. Leather dopp kits need to be cared for in a completely different manner than one made of cloth.
Before you make your purchase, see if you can find the care instructions and all that is involved.
Dopp kits come in many different sizes. From one that can store a few essential toiletries to those that are large and can be hung over the top of a door.
You know your grooming regimen better than anyone else.
Think about what you like to pack when on the road and make sure that your new dopp kit can accommodate those needs.
7 Best Dopp Kits of 2020 Reviewed
From leather to canvas, one compartment to many, here is a list of some of the best dopp kits for men that you can buy with just a few clicks of the mouse:
1. Best For Light Travel / Weekend Use: iBlue Canvas Dopp Kit
If you are looking for a no nonsense dopp kit, this dopp kit may make a fine choice. Constructed from waxed canvas, this lightweight dopp kit is great for short/overnight trips and can pack just the essentials.
We want to make sure that we stress the size of this dopp kit compared to the others featured in this post. This dopp kit is small, but gets the job done. It’s not a bag that you would want to take with you on an extended vacation or overseas trip. Size aside, this dopp is water repellent.
The upside of this particular dopp kit comes with the competitive price tag. It’s a sub $20 dopp kit that features just a single zippered storage area for both quick access and packing. Regarding the design, overall its a bit of a mixed bag. It’s leather clad logo on both the inside and outside seem a hair too big, but the oversized handle placed on the outside end is great for strapping onto a backpack or suitcase.
This dopp kit does come in a few different color choices – army green, khaki, and grey. Definitely worth checking out if you are on a budget and only have shorter trips planned.
- It’s incredibly affordable
- Great for overnight or weekend trips
- Water repellent design
- Not designed for life
- Great for those who have only a few items
- Could use more pockets
What You Need To Know
2. Best Leather Travel Dopp Kit: Brooks Brothers Leather Toiletry Case
Of all the dopp kits that are featured, this is by and far the Rolls Royce of dopp kits. This no holds barred dopp kit by Brooks Brothers emits elegance and class. Crafted from genuine leather in Italy, this is the pinnacle of all the toiletry kits on the market.
With its two compartment yet compact design, the Brooks Brothers bag will help to ensure that your toiletries stay separated. Whether you want to organize it by morning and night time use or shaving and showering, this bag should be able to suit your needs. With the two compartment design, this dopp kit can work with a variety of scenarios. Whether you are going on an extended vacation or simply heading off to an overnight trip – it should work well.
Unlike some of the lower end dopp kits on the market, the Brooks Brothers embossed logo on the side of the kit compliments the overall design nicely. This is a bag that you would pass down from one generation to another.
- It’s an elegant bag that is a fashion statement
- Stylish and simple design is no-frills
- Extremely expensive
What You Need To Know
3. Best For General Use: Vetelli Leather Toiletry Bag
This beautifully crafted dopp kit from Vetelli features two compartments in a PU leather (more on this in a minute) clad design for easy access of your toiletries. It’s over-sized steel zippers allow you to get your personal items rather easily from the bag, even if your hands were covered in shaving cream.
In addition to its beautiful PU leather shell, inside the Vetelli bag is a waterproof nylon lining that will prevent any sort of seepage, both inside and out. Therefore if you have an accidental spill of your favorite aftershave balm while in transit, you won’t have a wonderfully smelling mess that you will have to clean up.
As an added bonus Vetelli also includes two plastic travel containers that adhere to the latest TSA liquid restriction standards. Each plastic container can hold 2oz worth of liquids (or about a weeks worth of shampoo).
What we love most about this product beyond the design is that it includes a lifetime warranty. Therefore if the threads along the seams begin to fray or simply the bag itself loses its integrity, you have the peace of mind and can have it easily replaced by Vetelli.
Now regarding the inclusion of PU Leather, its important to understand that this isn’t 100% genuine leather. Instead PU leather is a hybrid of a leather backing with a polyurethane (plastic) surface. This polyurethane coating makes the bag resistant to water and much easier to clean as opposed to genuine leather.
- Beautiful style that will wear nicely
- Tough zipper should withstand wear
- Large opening provides easy access to toiletries
- Makes a great gift
- Tough to clean
What You Need To Know
4. Best Classic Toiletry Kit: Herschel Supply Co. Chapter Travel Kit
This classic and clean looking toiletry kit by Herschel Supply Co. is a terrific bag that gets the job done. This dopp kit is a unique hybrid of being both fashionable while also affordable. With its nylon lining, the kit itself has a pretty durable shell that should withstand being shuffled around within your luggage.
One amazing part for this toiletry kit is the storage – making it great for short or mid-length trips. If you are traveling overseas for a month, chances are that this dopp kit should do a great job serving you well for the first couple of weeks.
Regarding compartments, the Chapter travel kit is a bit limited. On the inside there is a mesh that is affixed to the side that can help to separate your toiletries. However, should one spring a leak, the mesh will easily allow fluids to pass through. Therefore this simply doesn’t offer the same protection as other toiletry kits on the market- especially ones like the Vetelli or Brooks Brothers that offer a completely separate compartments – so proceed with caution.
In addition to the mesh netting on the inside of the kit, along the side of the Chapter bag is a small pocket – ideal for your shaving kit or other products that you don’t want bouncing around with the rest of your gear.
If you are in the market for an animal-free bag then you will have to skip on this one unfortunately. This bag doe use leather for the zipper pull for the side pouch instead you should check out the Timbuk2 toiletry bag. However, the remaining parts of the bag are absent of any leather.
Lastly, this bag comes in a few different color options including black, gray, navy, royal blue, and more.
- Classic toiletry kit by Herschel
- Nylon lining is water resistant
- Ideal for medium length trips
- Unisex colors make it great for men and women
- Easy to wash
- Mesh pockets won’t contain spills
- May have trouble fitting full-sized bottles
What You Need To Know
5. Best Hanging Toiletry Kit: Tumi Alpha 2 Hanging Travel Kit
Made from both ballistic nylon and leather, this ultra-durable hanging toiletry kit is the ultimate travel bag to store your essential supplies. With a ton of mesh pockets, compartments, elastic loops and more, you can keep all your small items neatly organized when away from home.
But what sets this toiletry bag apart from the many others featured on our list is the hanging hook.
The rubber tipped metal hook can easily latch on to doors allowing you to easily access all your goods.
To keep everything together, Tumi relies on their proprietary Omega Closure System which protects the zipper from being damaged or ripped – an important feature especially when traveling.
The versatility of this hanging kit is second to none – making it perfect for both business travelers and those who have long trips planned.
While it commands a much higher price than most, we think its well worth the cost given the performance (especially with the durable nylon exterior).
- Several pockets keep all your supplies organized
- Can be used either by hanging or setting on a flat surface
- Durable exterior will withstand abuse
- It’s a premium bag that demands a premium price
What You Need To Know
This genuine leather toiletry bag by AmeriLeather is definitely a serious contender to be one of the best dopp kits for men. With its several compartments and construction, its no wonder that its one of the best selling dopp kits.
First and foremost, the outside material for this dopp kit is indeed genuine leather, not PU leather like the Vetelli dopp kit we reviewed earlier. While this bag is constructed in China, AmeriLeather does state that the leather for this bag was sourced in both EU and USA. Whats unique about this dopp kit that we didn’t see in many of the others reviewed is its metal beam reinforced body. Therefore when setting this dopp kit on your bathroom counter, it will effectively always remain up straight and have an open top for extremely easy access of your toiletries.
Another smart move by the manufacturer on this dopp kit was that the leather bottom of the bag does have rather wide rubber feet that will keep the bag slightly elevated to avoid those counter puddles.
Now if there was a sticking point on the construction of this bag, it would definitely have to be with the zipper. It’s a plastic zipper that may fail after prolonged use.
When it comes to storage, this bag has 3 major areas, the large main compartment coupled by a side and bottom pocket. The side pocket is primarily for smaller items such as floss or razor blades whereas the bottom compartment will be great for tweezers, shaving cream tubes, and other similarly shaped objects.
Moving to the main compartment, you should be able to easily fit in full sized products and won’t feel pressured to make a last minute trip to the drugstore to pick up their miniature counterparts.
Whats more is that AmeriLeather reinforced this dopp kit with a double-stitched nylon inner which will contain any incidental spills.
- Great toiletry kit that offers a ton of space
- Features 3 main storage areas
- Nylon inner lining contains spills
- Plastic zip closure a bit flimsy
What You Need To Know
7. Best Toiletry Bag For Camping: The North Face Base Camp Travel Bag
Whether you are going camping or to the gym, the Base Camp Travel Kit by The North Face can be perfect for either occasion.
Relying on a tough ballistic nylon and backed by a lifetime warranty, this travel kit can withstand a ton of abuse.
While the intent on this bag is for camping, what so many men loved about the bag was that it includes a simple hook for easy hanging along with a compact mirror – perfect for men who want to use their shaving kit while on the go.
Unlike other bags that were a bit small, the Base Camp Travel kit offers up a ton of space making it easy to fit in all your favorite accessories.
With two handles on either end of the bag, its extremely easy to carry or strap on to your backpack or luggage.
- Roomy interior will hold plenty of grooming supplies
- Trusted brand known for rugged gear
- Double handles and hook may it easy to carry
- More compartments may be preferred by some
What You Need To Know
How To Get The Most From Your New Dopp Kit
When it comes to caring for your new dopp kit here are a few tips you should follow:
1. Don’t Store It in The Bathroom
While this may seem very contrary to its intended purpose, pooling water underneath your dopp kit not only will break down the material over time but will also foster mold growth. So be sure to store it elsewhere in order to prevent this from happening.
2. Follow the Care Instructions
Every material should be cared for differently. When it comes to your new toiletry bag, be sure to give the care instructions a quick read and follow suit. This will allow your new toiletry kit to last for years not months.
3. Don’t Over Pack Your Bag
One of the first things that gets ruined on many toiletry bags is the zipper.
This is largely due to both neglect and packing too many things in your bag.
So, when you are packing for a trip, be smart and opt for the travel sized products when possible.
Not only will you save space and weight, but you will also prevent over packing your bag and ultimately breaking your zipper.
4. Removable Dividers Should Be Cleaned
Many bags may feature removable dividers or sections of the bag for easy cleaning, if you decided to get a bag with this feature, be sure to take advantage of it.
Not only will it keep your bag looking great for years, but it will also smell much better when packing – especially if you had any mold buildup.
Common Questions About Dopp Kits
During our research we came across many of the same questions by those looking to buy a new toiletry bag, therefore we wanted to share with you some of our findings should any of them currently be on your mind:
Why is it called a dopp kit?
According to this pretty interesting Wikipedia article, the dopp kit get actually gets its name from the 20th century leather craftsman Charles Doppelt. However, Mr. Doppelt didn’t actually design the bag himself, in fact his nephew, Jerome Harris was the craftsman and also worked at the same company as Charles Doppelt (the more you know!).
Thus the name Dopp Kit was born. While we won’t drone on about the individual details regarding the legal battle of the actual name – let’s just say this – a dopp kit and a toiletry bag are often categorized as the same thing. Although the original dopp name still lives on today since Buxton bought the rights to it in 1979.
Toiletry bag vs. dopp kit – what’s the difference?
Both toiletry bags and dopp kits are the same thing.
As we eluded to earlier, dopp kits were named after Charles Doppelt and is largely a localization issue.
For instance, most people in the United States refer to such items as toiletry bags, whereas those in Europe like to refer to them as dopp kits. Therefore when searching for the right one for you, don’t expect any functional differences between the two product names.
So What Dopp Kit Will Be The Best One For You?
As you can see there are a variety of options when selecting a dopp kit. The best dopp kit on the market doesn’t necessarily have to cost over $200, nor does it need to come in leather. When you are trying to decide on one, its important to select based on what will fit your lifestyle. If your a college student, then a nylon tactical dopp kit like the one offered by Ralph Lauren might make a fine choice.
However, if you have a few extra bucks to spare and want it to be a heirloom that you pass down to your son, then a leather dopp kit such as the one offered by Cole Hann or Brooks Brothers will serve you for years to come.
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