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Shower Power: His and Hers Toiletry Bags and Accessories

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in Overland Journal’s Fall 2022 Issue.

Whether we’re living out of our vehicle, checking into an Airbnb, staying with friends, working on assignment, or are stationed at the Overland Journal headquarters, we move around a lot, so a multi-functional toiletry kit that can do anything and everything is essential. More eloquently referred to as the Dopp kit, these zippered receptacles were invented in the early 20th century by a German leathersmith named Charles Doppelt. Used by the military during the Second World War, modern kits have morphed into lightweight vessels, often made of waterproof material with plenty of pockets, the option to hang by hook or loop, and the ability to hold a lot of stuff without taking up too much space. While Dopp kits are unique to the individual, these are our favorite setups and accessories.

Hers: Cotopaxi Cada Día Nido Accessory Bag

Featuring punchy, bold colors and a do-good ethos, Cotopaxi stands out from the crowd. Named after the second-highest summit in Ecuador, the company is B-Corp and carbon neutral certified, donates 1 percent of revenues to support humanitarian organizations, and 94 percent of its products use repurposed, recycled, or responsible materials. Constructed from 100 percent recycled nylon, the Cada Día Nido accessory bag is no exception.

With three compartments to keep organized, the Cada Día maintains a relatively small footprint considering its 4-liter capacity. It could easily be jammed into a tightly packed travel bag and boasts enough space to store the daily essentials of a long-term overlander or weekend warrior. The front pocket houses an interior zipped section and enough room for travel-size shampoo and conditioner, a comb, and small brush. The middle cavity is the largest, while the rear benefits from three sub-pouches. All of my bells and whistles fit nicely into this bag, and if I were to swap out my full-size items, I could easily tote along my makeup collection, a travel face cloth, and some wipes.

The kit has robust stitching, and there is no catching while zipping around its corners. My only hang-up is it would benefit from a hook or loop in the middle interior compartment to suspend it when needed. Although there is a side carry handle, I try not to transport anything in bottles on their sides. But, overall, I’m very content with this Dopp kit, which has become a trusted daily companion wherever I may be.

$45 | cotopaxi.com

Matador FlatPak Soap Bar Case

Pros: Waterproof, doesn’t leak, keeps soap bars solid, and is three times lighter than your average soap case

Cons: Loop for a carabiner would be beneficial to hang the case when in use

$13 | matadorup.com

Lush Angels on Bare Skin Cleanser and Celestial Moisturizer

Pros: Gentle and calming, natural ingredients; both are great for dry, sensitive skin

Cons: Containers are bulky, and I’m often worried about the moisturizer leaking. The cleanser requires more water and is messier than your average product.

$30/moisturizer, $17/cleanser, | lushusa.com

Pure Potent Wow Lavender Essential Oil Roller


Pros: No need to dilute with a carrier oil, travel-friendly, helps calm skin irritations and bug bites, promotes relaxation and sleep

Cons: None so far

$14 | purepotentwow.com

His: Step 22 Tortoise Toiletry Bag


It was with the simple goal of “quality first” that founder Adam Wood started Step 22. The company’s ever-expanding line of products, ranging from tool rolls to camp kitchen gear, are innovative and stylish. Plus, as a 1% For The Planet member, Step 22 also focuses on conservation, with a portion of its profits helping endangered species around the globe.

Like its namesake, the Step 22 Tortoise toiletry bag has a protective outer shell of 1,000-denier water-repellent nylon, multi-level TreadWeave nylon, padded foam, and YKK zippers to shield your belongings from the abuse of hard travel. Inside, the Tortoise has a plethora of small pouches to keep your items organized, provides a clean workspace, or can hang free by using its integrated hook (keeping the Dopp kit above campsite bathroom floors or wet hostel countertops.)

The zippered hygiene pouch can be removed for short day trips or used for bulky items such as a rechargeable beard trimmer. If your five o’clock shadow is more like a 10 o’clock eclipse, you can use the integrated mirror to tidy up for happy hour on the beach or that remote Zoom meeting.

The key to this Dopp kit is that you can see all of your items at a glance when open. Twelve pockets and pouches leave room for anything you need for a weekend or year-long adventure. This organization does come at a price. The external dimensions of this kit are substantially larger than a simple toiletry pouch, but if you have the physical space, it’s well worth taking on your next adventure.

$70 | step22gear.com

Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap


Pros: Multi-use (dish soap, laundry detergent, shampoo, body wash), biodegradable, concentrated, multiple sizes and scents

Cons: Solidifies in cold temperatures; easily remedied by warming and shaking the bottle

$3 and up | drbronner.com

Conair Cordless Beard Trimmer


Pros: Rechargeable and lightweight; battery lasts for several shaves, making for easy and convenient last-minute cleanups in the side-view mirror

Cons: Build quality doesn’t inspire confidence

$35 | conair.com

Burt’s Bees Moisturizing Lip Balm


Pros: Natural ingredients, hydrates lips in dry environments, I can kiss my wife if I use it— maybe

Cons: No UV protection

$3-4 | burtsbees.com

Our No Compromise Clause: We carefully screen all contributors to ensure they are independent and impartial. We never have and never will accept advertorial, and we do not allow advertising to influence our product or destination reviews.

Read more: 2008 Toyota Tundra TRD Off-Road Staff Project Vehicle Introduction

Ashley Giordano completed a 48,800-kilometer overland journey from Canada to Argentina with her husband, Richard, in their well-loved but antiquated Toyota pickup. On the zig-zag route south, she hiked craggy peaks in the Andes, discovered diverse cultures in 15 different countries, and filled her tummy with spicy ceviche, Baja fish tacos, and Argentinian Malbec. As Senior Editor at Overland Journal, you can usually find Ashley buried in a pile of travel books, poring over maps, or writing about the unsung women of overlanding history. @desktoglory_ash