- Caraa Sport
- Toiletries pose a unique packing problem – they’re easily buried in your luggage and can take up way too much space if you’re not careful.
- I’ve been hunting for the ideal toiletry bag for travel, and I’ve finally found The One.
- The Caraa Travel Kit ($95) kept my beauty and shower products and jewelry organized for almost a full month of travel this summer.
- A water-resistant nylon material and a network of roomy pockets make this a practical yet chic option.
I’m a terrible packer. I’m the person who forgets something on every trip because I never make a list and always shove small items into random empty pockets of space in my suitcase. But when gearing up for almost a full month of travel this summer, I realized my usual strategy of complete disorganization just wasn’t going to cut it.
Luckily, the bag experts at Caraa must’ve sensed my desperation because they sent me the brand’s Travel Kit in the nick of time. I was able to bring it on three trips to various locations in the month of July, including Nantucket, Massachusetts, and upstate New York.
Caraa, helmed by designers Carmen Chen Wu and Aaron Luo, is known for luxurious, multipurpose durable handbags, duffels, and backpacks designed to work for every facet of your life. The Caraa Travel Kit is couched in the brand’s signature puffy waterproof nylon, which makes it a little bulky (it weighs about 1 pound when empty) but also resistant to moisture and other travel-related wear and tear. I didn’t suffer any major spills while traveling, but I did get eyeshadow on the interior that, once wiped clean with a damp cloth, didn’t leave a trace behind.
The pouch is difficult to fit in my smaller weekend duffel because of its size (4 inches high, 9 inches wide, 6 inches deep), but it does have a vegan leather top-handle for carrying separately. The bag’s vegan leather trim also helps it maintain its bubble-esque structure that echoes the shape of Caraa’s larger bags. I have the Travel Kit in blush, which I think is chic and a little bit different, but it also comes in black.
I was able to comfortably fit a mix of travel- and full-size toiletries, makeup, and skin-care, plus extras like a Macbook charger, in the Travel Kit. It also has two large compartments, a clear jewelry window, an interior mesh pouch, and an exterior zipper pocket. The main body of the bag is good for bulkier items, and it’s where I stored travel-size shampoo, conditioner, and hair styling products; a full-size facial sunscreen; and eye cream, face powder, two large makeup brushes, a few sheet masks, and a small tube of moisturizer. With all of that, I still had some extra wiggle room.
Although the mesh pocket inside looks small, it easily fits my makeup essentials (I mostly travel with Glossier concealer, a couple single eye shadows, two or three blushes, cream highlighter, mascara, and two or three lipsticks). The top compartment holds items that I remove upon arrival at my destination, like my Quip toothbrush in its plastic travel case, a full-size tube of toothpaste, and lip balm. This could also be a good place to store items you might need to access on the go like medications or chargers. Since it doesn’t unzip as wide as the center compartment, I’d avoid stashing anything that might spill and make a huge mess because it will be harder to clean out, though the material is water- and stain-resistant like the rest of the bag.
Two zipper pouches (12 inches high, 15 inches wide) are also included and are made of easy-to-clean nylon. They can be used to protect shoes or wet clothes inside your suitcase. I also find them ideal for consolidating loose items like socks and underwear that tend to get lost at the bottom of my luggage.
Con to consider
My only real complaint about this toiletry bag is that the jewelry pouch is narrow and sits flat on the bottom of the top compartment, making it hard to actually fit your hand inside. I sort of have to shake the pieces toward the opening and use two fingers to pinch whichever item I’m trying to fish out. But I don’t travel with more than four or five pieces of jewelry at a time, so this isn’t a huge negative for me.
Shape calls the Caraa Travel Kit the best makeup bag for long-term travel, and I’m inclined to agree. Though the price is high, there’s so much space in this bag. Plus it’s so well-organized and easy to open that you don’t even have to completely unpack your toiletries once you reach your destination, which sure makes packing up to leave a breeze. This bag is a must-have for anyone who just can’t leave those five shades of lipstick and four sheet masks at home.
Pros: Multiple roomy pockets, water-resistant, easy to clean, vegan
Cons: Pricey, bulky