Dopp kits are one of those things that are so ubiquitous it is hard to believe there was ever a time when they weren’t used by just about every guy. But, like everything else on this big blue marble, it has an origin. And a uniquely American one at that. The dopp kit was actually named after the man who invented it (or took credit for it, as some accounts of this story claim), William Doppelt. A German immigrant and leather goods designer, Doppelt not only created the first toiletry case, but he also helped popularize it.
Of course, like so many things in American material culture, the real driver behind the ubiquity of the dopp kit was the American Military. During the Second World War the dopp kit was issued to troops – and proved a helpful tool in carrying grooming essentials from base to base and beach to beach. Somewhat unsurprisingly, when the men who fought in WWII came home, they brought their dopp kits (or at least their preference for traveling with one) along with them.
Now we live in a period in time where guys are presented with a smorgasbord of possibilities when it comes to these convenient toiletry bags. And really, when it comes down to it, there isn’t all that much that differentiates one from another. They all serve the same basic function. As a result, your choice in a dopp kit is just as much about making a personal statement as it is about carrying your toiletries. And lucky for you, we’ve put together a list of the best dopp kits for you to choose from.
Topo Designs Dopp Kit
Whether you’re just going on an overnight business trip or are looking to pack light for a camping expedition, this dopp kit from Topo Designs is built to fit your minimalist travel needs. Made from a tough, water resistant 1000D Cordura exterior this triangular kit can easily fit into a backpack or stand tall in a hotel medicine cabinet. In addition to being just the right size, this American made kit also features a water-resistant cloth lining to make cleaning up a cinch.
Herschel Supply CO. Chapter Travel Kit
The same brand that made its name building capable but simple backpacks hits it out of the park with their dopp kit. It is made from a pure polyester fabric, features a striped nylon interior, and boasts a waterproof zipper along the main compartment.
Eagle Creek Wallaby Dopp Kit
For those who don’t like having to dig through dark, unorganized dopp kits in order to grab their shaver or solid cologne, this toiletry organizer from Eagle Creek is perfect. It features three organized compartments that fold out and can be hung up by a hook for easy access and is rounded out by a small shatter-proof mirror along with a hanging pouch that’s easily removed and packed separately.
MIS Mesh Toiletry Bag
More than just giving off a military vibe, this olive drab dopp kit from MIS features tough, 1000D Dupont Cordura that is engineered to stand up to tough use. The American made toiletry kit also features handles on both ends for easy carry, and a water resistant coating for keeping your gear safe and dry.
Aer Dopp Kit
This young, San Francisco-based company is best known for making great backpacks, but they’ve proved that they’re just as capable when it comes to making dopp kits. Just take a look at this gray toiletry kit from the team at Aer. It’s made from 1680D ballistic nylon, features waterproof YKK zippers along all three compartments, and has mesh pockets for easily organizing your grooming essentials.
Flight 001 Spacepak Toiletry Bag
Another great pick for those who like to keep their toiletries neat and organized while heading out on a trip. This simple dopp kit features two main compartments with mesh linings and zipper closures, while a top third compartment is equipped with a hook for hanging and one smaller zippered closure. To top it all off, the interior of the kit is made with a bright orange lining that makes it easy to see.
J.Crew Harwick Travel Kit
A simple, water repellent dopp kit made with the kind of care and attention you’d expect from J.Crew. Made from water resistant nylon and featuring internal organizing pockets in its main compartment, it is more than just good looking.
United By Blue Travel Case
When it comes to dopp kits, you don’t actually have to sacrifice style for functionality. This kit from United by Blue is the perfect example. It is made from a waxed canvas, features vegetable tanned leather accents and handles, boasts brass hardware, and has a spacious compartment for fitting all of your necessary toiletries.
DEFY Dopp Kit M35 Tarp
Most companies will make their dopp kits out of run-of-the-mill nylon. Defy, however, is not most companies. The American bag maker instead used a crazy-tough M35 Military truck tarp and lined it with a military-grade ripstop parachute liner. As a final touch, the brand threw on a small Horween leather carry loop for good measure.
Bradley Mountain Dopp Kit
When it comes to waxed canvas, California-based Bradley Mountain has a real gift when crafting carry items from the old-school material. Take, for example, this dopp kit of theirs. The American made kit features a heavy-duty brass zipper, leather handle and pull tab, as well as that characteristic canvas fabric.
Owen And Fred Stay Sharp Shaving Kit
For those who endeavor to go all black with their travel items, there’s this kit from American artisans Owen and Fred. Featuring a ballistic nylon lining, a heavy 18-ounce duck canvas exterior, and an easy-to-open big tooth zipper – it’s about as tough as they come.
Heimplanet Monolith Dopp Kit
Out of all of the dopp kits that feature hanging systems, this may be the best. Made by the same company that revolutionized tent technology in the mid-aughts, this toiletries kit features three fold-out compartments with elastic strips for organizing and a shatterproof mirror. To top it all off, it’s made from two different types of laminated nylon that make the whole kit water resistant.
Whipping Post Dopp Kit
When it comes to leather goods, Whipping Post is one of only a handful that knows how to do it right. Take, for example, their dopp kit – made from a high quality vegetable tanned leather, features an internal pocket for loose items, and snap-down ends on either side of the zipper for compact storage.
Alchemy Equipment AEL015 Dopp Kit
Made from a 900D black waxed Kodra, this kit is more than tough enough to stand up to whatever type of travel you have in mind. Along with being rugged, this dopp kit also offers up a great deal of organization thanks to its internal dividers and elastic mesh pockets.
Tumi Alpha Split Travel Kit
This dopp kit from Tumi is just about as advanced as they come. It features an open-book design with three zippered compartments that all boast a clear window so you know what you’re reaching for, along with a smart design complete with an anti-microbial lining that fights odor and a snap-strap on the exterior for hanging your kit from a towel bar. As far as ruggedness goes – this kit has it covered. Thanks to its FXT ballistic nylon exterior it’ll be good to go wherever, whenever.
Lexdray Dubai Travel Case
This dopp kit from Lexdray features a unique hanging mechanism. Rather than using an exterior hook or a fold-out compartment – it instead comes with a pair of hooks that can be unzipped from the center of the kit when it is fully folded out. In addition to this cool feature, the travel case boasts a high quality nylon exterior, waterproof construction, and organized zipper compartments on the interior.
Filson Travel Kit
Filson has been around longer than the dopp kits themselves. So, it is fair to say that they’ve had some time to perfect the craft. This particular toiletry case is made from a twill fabric, features a nylon interior, leather accents, and boasts two external and two internal pockets for organized carry. And of course, it is made right here in the states.
Billykirk No. 257 Carryall Dopp Kit
Looking more like an old-school doctor’s bag than a modern dopp kit this piece from Billykirk most definitely stands out from the rest. The exterior of the American made toiletry case is cut from from a super heavy 20 ounce waxed canvas and features leather along the bottom and top strap. The interior also has a metal loop and a pouch for organizational purposes.
Want Les Essentials Kenyatta Dopp Kit
Here’s a luxurious dopp kit featuring interior slots for organizing toiletries as well as a snap and zip pocket for special items. For easy cleaning, the cotton dopp kit also features a YKK excella Bi-color zipper that opens wide to reveal a removable nylon interior.
Killspencer Dopp/Folio 2.0
Out of all of the dopp kits on the list, this is definitely among the most versatile. Made with premium full-grain leather and featuring pull-the-dot button snaps, it can either fold down to a structured dopp kit, or unfurl to be used as a portfolio large enough to fit an iPad or 11-inch Macbook Air. Additionally, the interior is lined with a waterproof tarpaulin and has a small pocket for storing notes or business cards as well.
Hardgraft Refresh Dopp Kit
Leave it to UK-based Hardgraft to be one of the only makers out there to try and re-think the dopp kit and succeed with flying colors. This cylindrical leather and wool fabric toiletries kit has a wide-mouth opening that makes it easy to grab your grooming gear and a wipe-clean lining for easy maintenance. Oh yeah, it also looks amazing.
Bosca Old Leather Dopp Kit
Bosca has been making dopp kits for just about as long as they’ve been around. This one is built with hand-stained Italian leather and features both a washable zip-out lining and a nickel zipper for a touch of added luxury.
Shinola Frame Leather Travel Kit
Here’s a large, hinged zip-top dopp kit from Detroit’s own Shinola. The handsome, blacked out leather toiletries kit features a heavy canvas lining for protecting the fine leather from blemishes, and Shinola’s understated lettering along the zipper.
Brooks Brothers Leather Travel Toiletry Case
Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, Brooks Brothers kept it classic with this incredibly fine leather travel toiletry case. This handsome pick from the stalwart prep brand features a fine leather exterior, a canvas interior, and two zippered compartments that open up via brass zippers.
J.W. Hulme CO. Travel Kit
If you are looking to not only get a finely crafted dopp kit, but an heirloom piece to pass on to your kids – this travel kit from J.W. Hulme Co. is the ticket. The impressive toiletries kit is made right here in the U.S. with full grain leather, a brass zipper, and a hinged metal opening. When purchasing, buyers also have the opportunity to include a complimentary monogram if they so choose.
15 Grooming Essentials For Men
So now you’ve got your own dopp kit…now what are you putting in it? Get some ideas from our rundown of grooming essentials for men.