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How often does one get possessive of a toiletry kit because he or she likes it so much? Not that often, but Sea to Summit’s Traveling Light kits proved a different story. We tried both of the sizes available, the small and the large (we’re not sure what happened to a medium) for about six months. After moving our stuff into them before a couple of business trips, we realized these were some of the coolest things since…well…pick your fave coolest thing. Yup, really. Think sliced bread.
Our female tester, of course, got the large one (6 liters, 10 inches by 9 inches by 4 inches), and she was skeptical that the stuff in her previous bag would fit into it. But the bag was like a tiny car with all those clowns climbing out. Where did they come from? Or, in this case, where did it all go? Our male tester found his bottles and other travel toiletry needs fit quite compactly into the small bag (3 liters, 9 inches by 6 inches by 3 inches).
What we liked:
>> The bags are super light (large, 4 ounces; small, 2.8 ounces) and made with durable siliconized Cordura nylon, which is used to make lightweight backpacks and other technical gear.
>> They aren’t one gargantuan vacuum of a black hole where tubes, bottles and brushes can disappear, but rather have various pockets and mesh pouches so you can divide and conquer better.
>> When you fold it out to hang up, all of the goods in the thin mesh pockets are somewhat visible, with the main compartment being an open pouch for the stuff you access most often. No unzipping and zipping repeatedly to find something. A thin strap prevents the larger pouch from gaping open, and you can unclip the strap to access stuff (although there is never really a need to).
>> The hook is kept from flapping around or catching on anything with a little pouch it tucks into.
>> Although it increased the weight a bit, we could easily clip a carabiner or other travel add-ons to the inside strap, or pin something to the mesh, knowing the item would stay put and could be found later.
>> A small loop handle on the outside made it easy to carry back-and-forth as needed.
What we wished for:
>> One waterproof compartment, perhaps lined in some way, to keep any leaking gooey stuff in one place (and our male tester did have a icky explosion on one trip). There is one exterior zip pocket on both sizes of bags that could easily be waterproofed. As an alternative, if the company didn’t want to add the weight of that feature, making a leakproof bag available that is made to fit exactly the size of the zip pockets would be ideal. (We added our own leak-proof, zip-close bags.)
The bags accompanied us on road trips and plane trips, during a stay in a luxury hotel, while cabin camping and even floor-surfing trips. In all cases, they served us nicely, whether we hung them in a bathroom for the duration of our stay, or carried the kits back-and-forth between our room and the bathroom. Actually, we became quite attached to these new travel companions, and while we don’t usually get protective of such things, we’ve gotta admit we’re kind of crazy about these things.
Now don’t you dare touch my toiletry kit.
SNEWS® Rating: 4.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Suggested retail: $34.95 (small), $39.95 (large)
For more information:www.seatosummit.com