Travel Tuesday: Away Hanging Toiletry Bag Review
As a frequent (or frequent enough) traveler, you quickly learn that investing in the right luggage can make a big difference to your experience. Not only do you want something that will hold up to the impacts of travel but can also hold all of your essentials in an organized manner. However, it occurs to me that, while items such as suitcases, backpacks, and duffle bags are often discussed in this context, the ultra-important toiletry bag often goes overlooked.
Up until fairly recently, my wife and I used the same toiletry bag for years. While this did the job, it was a bit bulky and was starting to show its age. So, looking for a replacement, we decided to order the Hanging Toiletry Bag from Away. Having taken this packing assistant on several trips now, do I think it’s worth the premium price it fetches? Let’s take a closer look at this item and what it offers.
Away Hanging Toiletry Bag: The Features and More
The size and basic layout
Compared to our previous bag, the Away Hanging Toiletry Bag seems lower profile. According to the Away site, it offers 3 liters of capacity, weighs 13 ounces, and measures, 9.6″ x 3.74″ x 6.6″. Also unlike our last bag, this one has a zipper in the middle to reveal two main sides, each with mesh pockets — one large, zipping pocket on the top and two open ones on the bottom. Additionally, a zipper on the back of the bag offers extra storage for flatter items.
The exterior and interior
Like my Away Zip Backpack, the exterior of this toiletry bag is made of nylon. Not only does this make it feel nice but it’s also fairly water resistant. Meanwhile, the bag also features a “coated spill-proof interior.” Luckily, I haven’t had to figure out exactly what that means, but I like the sound of it.
The hanging element
As the name implies, one aspect of the Away Hanging Toiletry Bag that stands out is the built-in hook. Once you open the bag, you’ll see a metal hook (attached to a leather loop) on the top half. This allows you to easily hang the bag in a closet or from a towel rack, giving you better access to all of your items.
Honestly, you might be surprised how helpful this feature is. Also, even though the hook is on the interior, the bag lays flat enough that the angle of the hang isn’t as awkward as you might expect. All in all, I love this element of the bag and I’m glad we went with this model.
Another aspect of the bag I truly appreciate is the included pouch, which is perfect for your “3-1-1” liquids. First, the bag is clear, so it fits the TSA requirements. Second, it detaches from the rest of the bag, so you can store it in an easier-to-access part of your suitcase while going through security but then return it to its home after. Third, the bag’s plastic is thick, making it feel securely leakproof. And last but not least, the pouch’s flat-bottom design allows it to stand up on its own. Plus, when it’s not sitting nicely on the counter, it can also hang from the rest of your bag when attached.
For what’s worth, they do sell a set of these pouches separately and I’d almost consider buying them… except that they are $45. Speaking of price…
So here’s the thing: the Away Hanging Toiletry Bag is on the pricey side. Currently, the bag comes at a cost of $75. For context, Away also sells a 2.3 liter Small Toiletry Bag for $55 and a 3.6 liter Large Toiletry Bag for the same $75 price.
Admittedly, I personally wouldn’t have considered paying this much for a toiletry bag if it weren’t for the fact that was I able to cash in some of the Away credit I’d earned from referrals. As for why I went with this one over the other options, I liked the medium size as well as the hanging feature. Overall, I’m happy with my choice between the three, but could see why others might go with one of the alternate two.
Final Thoughts on the Away Hanging Toiletry Bag
With our former toiletry bag ready for retirement, the Away option was a nice upgrade to our travel lineup. Between the detachable and free-standing plastic 3-1-1 bag and the titular hanging element, the Hanging Toiletry Bag has made life on the road in hotel rooms that much easier. The design of the bag also gives us plenty of room for all of our items while also fitting nicely into our suitcases.
Alas, $75 still seems pretty steep to me, making this hard to recommend. Then again, with similar options still fetching around $40, perhaps it’s not as much of a stretch as I’m imagining — especially for something that feels high quality.
Ultimately, if you’re in the market for a new toiletry bag and are looking for something that will help you keep organized while traveling, then I do think this is a good option. Although you are paying a premium, the convenience that it can bring to your travels may well be worth it.