Dopp kit, travel bag, travel kit, toiletry bag, toiletry kit.

The list of names goes on and on. Feel free to think of your own combinations.

Essentially, they all mean the same thing.

And what’s that?

A dopp kit is a small bag (for men) that you place your toiletries in, and you use it either when you travel or when you want to keep things organized in your bathroom.

Well, that was easy… Thank you Captain (Obvious)!

This summer, I had the chance to test my leather dopp kit’s capabilities at its capacity -along with my girlfriend’s patience.

If you’re subscribed to my newsletters, you already know that I took approximately three weeks off and travelled to three different countries in Europe. Hence, the big delay in writing something new for The Manliness Kit. I feel somewhat sorry for that…

Since I knew that I would be away from home for too long, this meant that I had to organise myself a lot better than I usually do for one or two-day trips.

This was a great challenge for my organization skills and for the durability of my dopp kit.

It was challenging since it was the first time that I had to fit all the toiletries that I’ll need in such a small space for such long time.

Did this work?

It actually did. But I did some compromises with the quantities and dimensions. More details to follow.

Why do you need a dopp kit/ toiletry bag/ travel bag/ etc …  you got the idea…

The question really is. Do you think that you don’t need a dopp kit?

Before I got my first dopp kit, I used to put all my toiletries in plastic bags when I was travelling and back to the cabinet when I was returning home.

Sure this works. But there are a few things that I didn’t like about that:

  1. My toiletries were completed disorganized and all over the place.
  2. Every now and then, I had broken and leaked shampoos and perfumes from being smashed in the luggage.

If you can live with that, then you’ll be fine and there’s no need for any dopp kit.

Depending on whether you’re travelling or not, you can determine what kind and size of dopp kit you need. That being said, let’s take it step by step.

While travelling

When you travel you need all the necessary toiletries to keep you from becoming a caveman. So instead of fitting everything that you have in your cabinet, you only put all the travel sized toiletries that you’re going to use for sure.

Extras have no place here.

So think about it: What makes a dopp kit ideal for you?

1. You need to take it with you

With this in mind, a dopp kit should be as compact as possible to fit in your luggage with enough space for the necessary toiletries.

2. Keep it simple

When you travel, you don’t need too much complexity. All you need, is to place all your toiletries inside and that’s it!. This way, you know where to find each one of them, at the condition that you left them in.

3. Reliable and Durable

You can select among vinyl, cloth or leather dopp kits.

Keep in mind however that this dopp kit is going to be tested under tough conditions. Some of these are water, leaked liquids, dust and last but not least, excessive pressure from when you try to fit everything in a tiny luggage.

For God’s sake, just get less things with you!!!

Keeping it at home

You can have a different toiletry bag for home-use as well.

That’s what I do.

Why bother reallocating things every time you need to go somewhere? Just get another dopp kit for travelling and you’re done with it.

You’re the man!

Since this dopp kit isn’t going anywhere and you want to have immediate access, you can consider one that is larger with more pockets or compartments.

This way you can also organise your things better. For example you can allocate certain pockets only for your shaving set, to fit your great safety razors or shaving brushes nicely.

The dopp kit that I have usually contains most of the things that don’t fit in the cabinet since I have some space limitation in my bathroom. Nevertheless, a decent size dopp kit, can make your mangrooming life simpler.

What do you put in a man’s dopp kit? Here’s my list

We already talked about why you need a dopp kit and more specifically, depending on whether you’re travelling or not.

Since many things that you put in for these two occasions (travelling or not) overlap, I’ll cover the kind of toiletries you should include when travelling.

For home use, it’s pretty straightforward. Just place anything that you want to store for future use. All the rest, put them in the cabinet.

So here’s the list of things that I put in my leather dopp kit when I travel. Or should I say, this is what’s inside my bag.

I put links to most of the products that I could find on amazon and I use, just in case you’re interested in purchasing the same.

I use small travel toiletry bottles for the below:

  • Shampoo. The one that I took with me was the Paul Mitchel, which is a shampoo and conditioner.
  • Conditioner. Didn’t take it on my last trip.
  • Face wash by Neutrogena. I was positively surprised since I haven’t used it before.
  • Perfume. Among others, I’ve been using this Kenzo (my last trip included) for the past 15 years

Shaving kit:

Hygiene:

  • Deodorant from Degree. That was tough to find since where I live is branded as Rexona.
  • Hand soap.
  • Toothbrush.
  • Toothpaste.
  • Floss.
  • Nail clippers.
  • Q-tips.
  • Wet wipes.

Rest of things that I put in my dopp kit:

You can also consider including things depending on your style and needs such as the below that I can think of:

  • Beard brush for your precious beard.
  • Precious beard oil to keep your beard as soft as a cat’s fur.
  • Electric shaver cause you got no time for wet shaving with all these nice tools.
  • Eyedrops.
  • Prescription meds along with copies of medicine prescriptions.
  • Small screwdriver. If you’re not MacGyver, you might need it.
  • Copy of the personal information page from my passport -You never know when/why you might want it.

Am I missing anything?

I hope the above gives you a good idea on why you might need a dopp kit (if you don’t have one already) and what you could potentially carry in it.

I completely understand that there are many guys that don’t find it particularly useful since they might not use as many grooming products as others (e.g. ME). A shampoo, soap and deodorant might be all they need for their trip. But I guess you’re not one of them since you’re reading up till now, am I right?

For some, a travel kit is an unnecessary item that adds weight and space in their luggage. For others, myself included, a travel organizer.

Let me know if there’s something else you put in a toiletry bag that I haven’t included in my list.

It would be great to know what you think.

So, what do you put in your dopp kit?

 

Image Courtesy: flickr.com/elonardo