We’ve all had the hell of finally making it into our hotel late at night after a full day of travel only to find our conditioner has mysteriously exploded in transit. Cue spending the next half an hour wiping all that gooey mess off our best outfits with festoons of toilet paper and wondering what we’re going to wear the next day.
But there is a solution—not only does a wash bag keep all your toiletries in one place, but if the worst does happen and something spills, you can simply wipe the bag down and keep your clothes safe. So whether you only ever go away for a night or two on business or you take the whole family away for a fortnight each year, you need a wash bag that will stand the test. Here’s what to look out for.
- Durability: You want a wash bag that not only lasts and needs little care but that can also be cleaned easily. So look for soft, waterproof materials such as plastics, PVC blends, and polyester. If you’d prefer eco-friendly, cotton-based canvas not only looks good but can also usually be put in the washing machine if need be. And if you don’t mind paying a bit more, leather is also a great long-lasting option that can be wiped down.
- Size: There’s no point in buying a small wash bag if you can’t do without your whole bathroom for even one night. On the other hand, if you splash out on a large one with a hard shell and you’ve only got some soap and deodorant to go in it, they’re going to be rattling around and the whole thing will take up too much space. So think about how many toiletries you’re likely to take away and buy accordingly. If you go away a lot, it might be worth investing in several sizes so you’ve always got the right-sized travelling companion.
- Finer Details: While a single space is great for large or unusually shaped toiletries, compartments are handy for longer trips where you don’t need everything every day. Keep things you use daily in the main part with occasional-use items such as lip salve or aftersun zipped away. Alternatively each pocket could contain everything you need for a certain part of your routine, such as shaving or tweezing your eyebrows. See-through bags are also popular for people who like to be able to lay their hands on something immediately (they usually come in multipacks, as they don’t have compartments). Hanging wash bags are also a great idea—you pop them on the back of the door, open them up and have everything laid out before you.
Our Picks for the Best Wash Bags on Amazon
Top Pick Overall: Funnasting 3 in 1 Waterproof Toiletry Travel Bag
This model’s varying sizes give you flexibility, while the see-through sides make it easy to use. It’s simple to clean, too. iSmile California
Runner Up: Narwey Travel Hanging Toiletry Wash Bag
Over 30 Colours
This item is softly padded and easy to clean. Its multiple compartments and handy hook make it incredibly practical, too. tutata
Great for Long Vacations: Carttiya Large Toiletry Bag for Men and Women
Waterproof, sturdy, and simple to clean, this is an ideal item to transport. Inside are a hook for hanging and four handy compartments. Available in five colours.
Premium Pick: Water-Resistant PU Leather Toiletry Bag for Men
A clever design with a double zipper for easy access, water-resistant lining, and plenty of storage (including mesh pockets) to keep your toiletries in place. Elviros
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