10 best women's wash bags to keep all your toiletries in check
Stylish, spacious, practical and waterproof – whatever your plans are this summer be prepared with a handy travel carrier
Suitcase aside, a wash bag is one of the most important parts of your travel kit. Get it wrong and your toiletries are impossible to find, strewn across multiple airport-issued plastic bags or worse, leaking.
Get it right, and you become one of those people who can breeze through airports and hotels effortlessly.
The perfect wash bag should be wipe-clean, durable and thoughtfully designed, so that you can get to items at the bottom as easily as those in the top.
Size will vary according to your own personal needs, but at the very least, they should be able to carry a deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrush, as well as well as a few skin and hair products.
From here on, personal preferences take over. Those who regularly travel with hand luggage only will prefer a transparent wash bag, while those with a tendency towards the chaotic may prefer the kind that unravels into a hanging organiser.
Luckily, there are a number of brands that have turned wash bag design into a science. Here, we put the best to the test.
Away the dopp kit: £45, Away
The travel brand that sparked a 9,000 person wait list for its backpack has done it again with this wash bag. Made from hardy waterproof Nylon, it features several zippered pockets so you can store your toothpaste separately from your make-up, as well as zippered outer pockets and a handle. We found it pretty hard to fault.
Cult Beauty medium travel make-up bag: £18, Cult Beauty
Trust a beauty company to come up with one of the best wash bags out there. This roomy case unzips on three sides, so it’s easy to pack, as well as find what you want. It’s transparent, making it airport security scanner-friendly, and one of the most affordable options out there.
H&M wash bag: £14.99, H&M
This roomy faux leather offering from H&M is perfect for those who struggle to pack light. It has three separate zipped compartments, each with a transparent panel making it easy to organise and find your products. It comes in four understated colours, and the price is hard to beat.
Lululemon out of range kit: £38, Lululemon
Designed for regular gym-goers, Lululemon’s out of range wash bag has a rigid frame so it stays open while you’re rummaging for stuff inside. Sections are labelled to make organisation easy, like loops for make-up brushes, a removable transparent pouch and a zipped section for “items of importance”.
Anya Hindmarch in-flight case: £195, Anya Hindmarch
This was the most luxurious of all the wash bags we tested, as well as the most expensive. It’s on the compact side, but is beautifully designed and made, with zips on both sides and two compartments; a deep one for “take off”, and a shallow one with elastic for pencils and brushes for “touch down”. The clear plastic makes it ideal for hand luggage, plus the leather trim and tassels come in a rainbow of colours.
Noome large hanging wash bag: £25, Noome
This British brand only makes wash bags and has really mastered the art. Ideal for the over-packer, it can accommodate full-size beauty products, while the array of mesh and transparent pockets means that there’s a dedicated space for every item in your beauty arsenal. It has a metal hook for hanging and a handle and double zip for travelling.
Bando getaway ruffle toiletry bag: £22, Bando
It was the ruffle trim that first caught our eye on this wash bag, but it’s more than a pretty case. The zip opens on three sides to reveal two separate compartments, one with a zippered pocket with a PVC window. The centre divider has a mesh pocket, and there’s an extra pocket on the outside too. It’s wipe-clean and comes in several different prints.
House of Hackney palmeral travel wash bag: £85, House of Hackney
We love House of Hackney’s cushions and wallpapers, and the brand’s accessories range means you can travel with them too. This generously sized wash bag in the palmeral print will satisfy the most enthusiastic beauty junkies, and still look good on the bathroom counter. It unzips on three sizes with a pocket in the lid for smaller items.
Elvis & Kresse large wash bag: £65, Elvis & Kresse
Made from decommissioned hoses once used by the London Fire Brigade, this luxe wash bag is stylish, hardy and will win you major sustainability points. Better still, the company donates 50 per cent of the profits from its fire hose collection to The Fire Fighters Charity. The outer fabric is obviously waterproof, and the inside is lined with waste parachute silk. You can even have it personalised with your initials.
Tumi madina cosmetic: £175, Tumi
This roll-up wash bag from Tumi’s Voyageur collection is pricey, but really intelligently designed. There are three transparent pockets, the largest of which has dividers, so you can see exactly what’s inside each one, plus a detachable nylon pouch. It has a metal hanger so it can be hung vertically and a leather-trimmed handle for when it’s zipped up.
The verdict: Women’s wash bags
Your personal needs will dictate which wash bag is best for you: The over-packer will appreciate Noome’s generous proportions, while the style-conscious might be more inclined towards House of Hackney. For us, the Away dopp kit has the triple-threat of quality design and affordability, making it the top choice.
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