If you’re finally getting yourself a real-deal Dopp kit for your toiletries — or just want to replace one that’s gotten funky from wear and dried-up toothpaste — it’s ideal to find something that’s primed for travel, roomy enough to fit all the essentials, and stylish. In pursuit of the best options, we surveyed 19 frequent travelers, men’s grooming experts, and generally stylish guys on the Dopp kits and toiletry bags they rely on to carry their precious products. Since it’s that time of year when many are pondering what to get the hard-to-shop-for men in their lives, we might also point out that any of these would make great holiday gifts, too.
Best Dopp kits with handles
This Topo Designs option with a handle is a favorite of travelers and skin-care fiends like Understood.org creative production lead Thomas Pardee and Evan Shinn, one-half of the skin-care podcast and memes account Dewy Dudes. Both of them call out the sporty color-blocking and unconventional silhouette, like Pardee, who carries this to work as part of his gym kit, and notes that “the triangular shape is deceptively roomy and sits upright on any surface without spilling or tipping over.” He also likes that the soft-shell exterior is flexible enough to squish into even the most cramped corner of your bag. Beyond its shape, Shinn adds, “the real magic lies in its loop handle, which makes it easy to hang in places without counter-height surfaces.”
If you’re always cramped for space in your carry-on, you might want an expandable toiletry kit with a compact shape like this Briggs & Riley kit. The other half of Dewy Dudes, Emilio Quezada, recommends it as “one of the best investment items I’ve purchased in my young adult life thus far.” He appreciates the compact expandable design and the exterior zip pocket, “which provides more than enough room to pack all my heavy hitters and ‘once a week’ products.” He adds that “the washable interior takes the stress out of inevitable spills, and all black nylon exterior will always be in style.”
Best hanging Dopp kits
Nick Greene, a lifestyle guru and co-author of the upcoming book $9 Therapy: Semi-Capitalist Solutions to Your Emotional Problems, told us he’s had this “sturdy” hanging Dopp from Muji for a while and it gets the job done. “I’m all about the right containers for the right things and this has all these great pouches and straps. It unfolds like a mini garment bag and has a little hanger so you can keep your stuff out of the sink. It makes you feel grown without busting your bank.”
Barron Cuadro, founding editor of Effortless Gent, is another fan of hanging Dopps. He told us he’s been “using and loving” this kit from Aer. He’s especially into how it “fully opens so you can see everything inside,” and like the Muji above, it has a “hidden hook so you can hang it to save counter space while keeping everything accessible.” According to Cuadro, it’s “super compact” when all zipped up, but “it still manages to fit all your necessities.” And since it’s made from ballistic nylon, it’s “crazy durable and super easy to clean.”
Best waterproof Dopp kit
Sometimes you need something with extra weatherproofing, especially if you’re taking it camping or on water. Matt Kays, a vice-president at PR Consulting, relies on two of these Patagonias — one for travel, and another as a wet bag for holding his things when he goes to the beach for its rip-stop-proof, practically indestructible exterior. “It’s Patagonia, so obviously it’s a very extreme and very waterproof kit — nothing gets in or out,” he says.
Best canvas Dopp kits
Canvas Dopp kits are very popular because the thick material is durable and affordable. This one comes recommended by Tim Melideo who runs menswear website Stay Classic. He likes the unique diagonal zipper and the fact that it “opens up wide” to make it easier to access everything inside. “It’s hard to get to your stuff with some kits because they don’t open enough,” he says. It’s also designed to have a wide and flat bottom once fully unzipped, so it’s compact in your suitcase but nice and roomy once set on a counter. It’s only $15, but the olive canvas, vegan leather trim, and brass zipper give it a premium look.
Philip Sault, owner of menswear store Sault New England in Boston, is partial to “unconstructed canvas” Dopp kits because they’re very forgiving. “They can fit into any bag and make it through the wash if anything opens up during travel,” he says. “Travel is stressful enough” already, he says. “Keep it simple and easy with your Dopp kit.” Sault uses the option from Steele. It’s American-made and constructed from a rugged khaki-colored duck canvas, featuring heavy-duty zippers, a leather strap, and a nylon camo lining. It should be able to handle pretty much anything.
For a more affordable “everyday grab-and-go Dopp,” Sage Disch, founder of men’s sock company Ace & Everett, likes this simple canvas kit in “moody Nantucket Red.” It’s made in the USA and like the Goodfellow & Co model above, it employs a diagonal zipper for easier access.
Instagrammer Ryan Cascarano posts daily fashion and style tips for his over 15,000 followers, and he told us his favorite Dopp is this waxed canvas model from J. Stark. It’s all about the materials, he says. “Waxed canvas is beautiful and really ages well with use, and because it’s mostly waterproof and seam-sealed, if something happens to break or leak, it won’t get on any of your belongings.” According to Cascarano, the size on this one is just right. “It’s the perfect volume,” he says. “Keeps you from overpacking while still having enough space for what you really need.” And he also appreciates the “little details” like the Horween leather pull tab and antique brass zippers that “really make this that much more unique than what your buddy might be traveling with.”
Here’s a Dopp kit that we’ve recommended many times over, especially for gifts, because it checks off all the boxes of style and utility, with a not terribly steep price point. It’s a favorite of beauty consultant David Pirrotta, the founder of beauty emporium Materiae, who keeps this one in rotation when he travels because it’s easy to pack in a weekender bag and compact enough to “squish into any tough spot.” Former Strategist deputy editor Jason Chen also owns it and loves that it’s made with organic cotton and has a lined interior with removable nylon for cleaning up “the inevitable toothpaste mess.” He also likes the “nifty little pockets on the side for keeping a few aspirin or Zyrtec handy” and the unsnappable sides for expanded storage. “Most crucially, I’m not embarrassed to pull it out when I’m on vacation with friends either,” says Chen.
Best ecofriendly Dopp kit
If you care about your environmental footprint, you might want to invest in one of these affordable Alchemy Goods Dopp kits that are “upcycled” from old car tires. It’s a favorite of Mike Shim, a software-development manager at Amazon, for “keeping all spills contained when your SPF decides to pop open mid-flight,” and he notes that it’s also super-durable and handsome — “all the things you need a Dopp kit to be” plus actually ecofriendly. It’s also the Dopp kit that our senior editor Anthony Rotunno relies on for travel because it’s roomy enough to stuff in all his mini-bottles and has an easily washable interior.
There’s also a mini-version available here.
Best leather Dopp kits
You can’t write a story on Dopp kits without mentioning the original Dopp model that gave these kits their moniker. Investment banker Tsz Hin Kwok says he’s used this one “pretty much daily” for the past few years because it’s longer than most other kits (but still portable). “It can hold a lot, even longer items like a hairbrush.” And the price is right. “I couldn’t justify spending $100 plus on what is ultimately a bag that spends all of its time in another bag, pressed up against my shoes and dirty gym clothes.”
For a very special Dopp kit, Ace & Everett’s Disch recommends this handmade green leather option from Frank Clegg Leatherworks. He thinks it’s worth the splurge for the “elevated, old-school feel” along with the “magnificent leather.” It’s very simple and classic, and, if properly taken care of, truly built to last.
Best designer Dopp kit
“I’m all about a Dopp kit that is internally lined with nylon, is easy to clean, and most importantly waterproof for an easy clean up of any spills or leaks, which happens to me often,” says Pirrotta. Here’s one that he finds easily packable for travel, if you’re willing to splurge. It has dual compartments for separating liquids from tools and toothbrushes.
Best lay-flat Dopp kit
To more easily pick out your tiny tweezers and contact lenses in the shuffle, you might want something that can lie flat. Here’s a zip-around toiletry kit from Victorinox that does just that. Leen Bergmann — the co-founder of men’s grooming brand Reuzel — has cycled through many kits in his day, but he loves to keep the Victorinox in his bathroom because of its many compartments and dividers.
Best multi-compartment Dopp kit
If you tend to have trouble editing, you might want a kit with multiple compartments. Here’s one that Reuzel’s Bert Rietveld owns and loves so much that he says, “I’ll probably keep it for the rest of my life.” It has multiple zippered, translucent sections for storing toiletries plus a cutaway section for holding bigger items like hair dryers and brushes. “Holds everything I need and it’s really durable,” he adds.
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