OBOW Light Travel Forum > Gear Review: Sea to Summit Utra-Sil Hanging Toiletry Kit (small)

I have to admit, the moment I found out about the Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Hanging Toiletry Kit, I only had one thing to say: "I want one".


Prior to buying this item, I was travelling with a 3-1-1 zip-loc, and an Eagle Creek quarter cube. This did the job well enough - it was small, light, and compact. However, there were several things I didn't like about this arrangement:
* I really wanted something I could hang up or clip to the towel rack, leaving the sink area free.
* The quarter cube held most things, but having a single compartment meant that finding little items (hair clips) became a bit of a treasure hunt.
* The quarter cube wasn't big enough to hold my sink stopper and wash cloth. Inevitably, I would end up leaving something behind (coming or going) because I couldn't put it in a single bag.

I saw the hanging toiletry kit as solving these 3 issues. It was big enough to hold everything, had compartments in it to separate stuff out, and it hung! Basically I was getting a bigger bag for the same weight.

When I first received the kit, I was a bit surprised. First off, the colors aren't what they appear to be in the photos. No big deal for me. But the navy color is almost black, and the grey panels are closer to charcoal. The Ultra-Sil material has a very strange feel to it - almost like wrapping paper. It crinkles like paper too - quite noisy when you handle it. It also has a bit of a sticky feel to it - hard to describe. It is also shiny, like it was wet. I really wondered at how durable it would be. As it turned out - just fine!

I chose the small kit because I want to keep things as compact as possible, The kit is 9 x 6 x 3 in., about 1-1/2 times the size as the Eagle Creek quarter cube. Yet it is the same weight. It has a slightly rounded shape to it, which means you are going to lose some internal volume. That said, the rounding of the corners makes the zipper usage very easy, as there are no sharp corners to get stuck on.

On the outside:
The kit has a carrying strap of light nylon ribbon material. Not really needed by me, as the kit is small enough just to pick up with one hand. This feature might be more useful on the larger version. There are rubber tabs on each side of the kit at the upper corners. They look like they could take mini-carabiners so you could clip the kit to the outside of something. I never used this feature. On the back side of the kit is a zippered compartment. It extends across the whole bag. I used this area to store my sink stopper and washcloth. There was room to spare.

On the inside:
The main compartment has a double zipper. Each zipper has pull cords on it, with plastic tabs. This makes it easy to grab. The main zipper extends the entire length of the kit, making it open up all the way.

Hidden in the lid is a pocket with the plastic hanger. The pocket is the size of the entire lid, and could probably be used to store more stuff. My hand could fit into the pocket opening, but I doubt a man's hand could. The hanger itself is on the small side. It isn't big enough to snap around a shower bar. It will, however, go around most towel racks. The lid also contains two stretchy mesh zippered compartments. One zipper is at the top, one half-way down the lid. Both go all the way across the lid, making access easy. I used these areas for storing hair clips, sewing kit, clothes line, and other itty bitty odds and ends.

The main section of the kit is divided into two compartments. It has a larger mesh front main compartment, with a smaller mesh front pocket area behind it. I used the pocket area for storing toothbrush (full size), shaver, and mini-mirror. There is a small fastex clip on an elastic that can be used to clip the front of the main compartment to the back. This might be needed on the larger kit to keep the compartment from gaping open and spilling its contents. On the smaller kit, it really wasn't needed. There was little to no gaping (or spillage of contents) when the kit was open in the hanging position. Due to the stretchy mesh, everything was visible but secure.

I found there were plenty of places that I could easily hang my kit. I was able to easily find and access the contents of the kit. The kit itself seems water resistant, but semi-permeable. That means that the contents eventually dry out, so you are not left with a gooey mess that you get in a fully waterproof bag.

In short, I'm happy with my choice. This kit is expensive, but it is on sale right now at several places.
November 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCindy H
Cindy, Could you tell me what the word "Ultra-sil. means? I,m not familiar with it. Thanks.
November 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMonte
Monte, I was going to ask the same question LOL

Wonderful, detailed review, Cindy! Much appreciated :)
November 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCoCoYoYo
Ultra-Sil is a nylon, polyurethane coated Siliconized Cordura. It is a form of silnylon.

Those familiar with cordura know that it is pretty rugged stuff, but it isn't waterproof. By coating the very thin cordura, you get the ruggedness of cordura, with additional water resistance. The coating also makes it stronger, so you can go thinner (and lighter) on the fabric.

Needless to say, this kind of process is expensive.
November 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCindy H
BTW...FYI...Cordura is a brand name.
November 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFrank II
I have their Day Pack:


made from Ultra-Sil, and have discussed it previously. Very lightweight, compresses to almost nothing, but the shoulder straps are plus-minus. It's nice to have along when you don't think you'll need a pack, but having one might be useful. In Florence, I used it to hold some shirts I bought.

I have ended up getting an Osprey that carries better, their Daylite, though a further alternative might be the REI Flash-18.
November 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlan B
Great review Cindy. Thank you.
November 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLarry
Check out Equinox's version:

Cheaper ($20) and made in the USA.
I use mine for organizing little electronic items (SD cards, adapters, etc.).
November 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSH
Instead of starting a new thread, I just wanted to add my experience with the Sea to Summit small toiletry bag and the Equinox toiletry bag over the past couple of years.

At first I thought I was going to love the Sea to Summit small toiletry bag because it was lightweight, hanging and most importantly a horizontal bag. It seemed at the time, the perfect replacement for my early-90s discontinued Eagle Creek XS hanging wash bag. I'm allergic to a lot of the fragrances added to many products and carry prescription stuff as well as tested-by-me non-itchy non-rash inducing creams and shampoos decanted into 1-oz and 0.5-oz containers, so I tend to have more bottles than the average person (approximately 3/4 of a 3-1-1 bag).

The main issue I have with the Sea to Summit toiletry bag here is that it has one large compartment with no gusseted pockets along the back to hold bottles upright and in place. Combine this with the fact that the sides are curved, bottles on the sides will slide towards the middle (actually *fall* towards to middle). So after pulling out a bottle or two, the rest of the bottles in the toiletry bag have fallen over on their sides and there is a pile of jumbled bottles in place of what was previously nicely organized bottles :( So this bag really isn't suited to organizing lots of little bottles like I have, but for someone who has a few larger bottles that doesn't mind digging around for bottles on their sides.

The Equinox toiletry bag is at the other organizational extreme. It is also lightweight and horizontal but extremely limited as to what can be put in there. The pockets are not deeply gusseted and seem to be sized for the smaller sizes of the usual camping toiletries such as Campsuds and Ben's 100. For example, the lower right mesh pocket can hold approximately a few 1-oz bottles or a deodorant crystal or a single lush shampoo bar in its tin. However the main design flaw with the Equinox bag is that there is no zipper on the mesh pockets on the upper panel. Things in those pockets tend to eject themselves out of the bag when the bag is opened. These upper pockets are shallow and not gusseted and the velcro closure provided doesn't close over travel packs of q-tips or travel sized mini-deodorant. Use of the upper pockets is limited to something short and squat or bandaids and blister pack pills for the velcro to be able to close. So when this bag is fully loaded, due to the limitations of its interior pockets, there is a lot of unused space when the bag is closed.

My main peeve with looking for a replacement wash bag for the past 5 years is that toiletry bags are not designed for the one-bagger or even the light packer. The smallest hanging ones are narrow and tall (vertical for 1 or 2 full sized bottles) instead of horizontal for smaller 3-1-1 compliant bottles. Plus there are very few small hanging toiletry bags to begin with.
July 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertcl
My hanging toiletry kit is from LL Bean: the smallest one. I've had it about 8 years or so, and i love it! I won't review every detail, but I will say that for the money it has preformed in all situations. The hanger fits over everything I can think of. It has a small mesh removable shower caddy with a shower nozzle hook to hang it in the shower. Only 2 compartments there, but shampoo and body wash works for me. (put a few drops of conditioner in your shampoo to save space). There are about 4 sizes of these kits available, and they are durable and priced right.
July 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuzicruzi