Best Soap Kit For Travel
Or, NOT soap. Read on to find out what I mean. This is what I have found to be the best combination for my needs.
Introduction To The Best Soap Kit For Travel
Something that is increasingly important in our times is how people think about the products they use in their day to day lives. Personal hygiene products are really leading the way for this. Travel hygiene products should be no different, in my mind. Why should you care about using high quality, non-harsh or chemical-based products at home, but then throw that idea out the window when you travel? It doesn't make much sense really. You should be looking to take care of your body on the road with a product you feel good about and a company you can also feel good about.
Beyond that, you also want to make sure that you're being smart in how you carry these products. Today, I'm going to show you two products that I feel are the only two you really need to be taking with you when you travel for soap/shampoo needs. One of them, really isn't soap at all. Intrigued?
Matador FlatPak Soap Case Overview
The company that's known for making all sorts of packable goods, and got really famous for their packable backpacks, comes through with a pretty genius product on this one. The FlatPak Soap Case.
This thing goes beyond just being a plastic case you get at CVS to carry your soap in your bag. It saves space when not in use, and makes efficient use of space when it is in use. Material-wise, it's using a proprietary material, but from what I can gather in use and messing around with it, I'd think of it like the breathable material used to make outdoor company rain jackets. You know what I mean? Jackets that can stop the water from coming in, but still be breathable so excess moisture can get through as vapor.
What that means is you get a water proof bag to throw your soap into when you're on the go. No more showering before the next leg of your journey and having to figure out what to do with that wet bar of soap. No more plastic ziplock bag to get all messy and gross, or worse, lose in an environment that doesn't need any more plastic ziplock bags in it.
This fits a full size bar of soap, and allows you to put it in when wet. From there, the moisture can escape and in a few hours, your soap will be dry. Brilliant. The roll top also ensures that it's sealed up tight, and doesn't come undone in your toiletry case.
Priced at $12.99 USD, it's a very fair value for good tech that can be used indefinitely/forever.
100Senses Ultimate Body Bar Overview
The 100Senses Ultimate Body Bar is not soap. The company is very keen on making sure you know that. It's a bar that is designed for a total body experience. It's not just for your body. It's not just for your hair. Shaving? Oh it does that, too. I will come out and say it right away - this is definitely on the higher end of a product in terms of using it for travel. I get that. But, this is a good example of getting what you pay for. The scents are fairly "perfumy" out of the box - but you can get an unscented one! On-body, the scent is not over powering at all. Just be aware it will give off its scent in your toiletry bag or bathroom. There are worse things in the world however. I had the tea tree, and really dug that smell in-use.
What's the 100Senses Ultimate Body Bar all about? A lot it turns out. It claims a 5.5 pH balance to keep from being too harsh on your skin and hair's natural oils. It's biodegradable and not tested on animals. Its got a hell-of-a lather. I mean that. It's fantastic. Frankly, this is why it can be used to help you shave. I'm fully bearded, so I don't use it for that. But, face and legs for those that shave their legs can use it with ease, I'd imagine. Goes without saying, but there are no harsh chemicals in here.
The price is $26.00 USD - but don't balk at that. It's small batch, high quality materials, and frankly for travel, I'd think you'd only need to buy one per year. I'll get into this more later.
The 100Senses Ultimate Body Bar Review
The bar had high hopes to live up to, I won't lie about that. At that price? It should. But frankly, this thing backed it up. I used it at home (this was tested at the height of the global pandemic and traveling was not an option for me) for an entire month of regular shower use. It was my body bar and shampoo and beard cleaner during that entire time. While I can't back this up with science, my scalp never got itchy (which it can with other shampoo, something I didn't realize might be being caused by the product itself) and my skin did feel pretty nourished and not dried out. Same for my hair and beard (which believe it or not, are very sensitive to being stripped of their natural oils).
The other huge benefit to this - (and any dry shampoo bar) - is its travel friendliness! No more liquids! No more filling up little bottles! No more buying near-single use plastic travel size shampoos and body wash from pharmacies! Nowadays, there is absolutely no reason for us to be still using those things. A shampoo bar and body bar - or obviously, one that combines them both - is 100% easier to travel with. You can pack it anywhere. Don't need to take it out at security. And since most of those other products are all water based - the cost of use over time is WAY higher. You go through liquid shampoo and body wash WAY faster. These are all huge benefits for travel.
So, while the one-off price might sound high for this, it's replacing a LOT of other cumulative costs over the course of a year. Based on my usage, relegating this to a travel-use-only item, and if you're not a full-time traveler but still a fairly regular traveler, I'd be comfortable saying this could last you all year. Especially since maybe only certain situations need your own cleansing bar (high end hotels have very nice products these days). But for hostels, low end hotels, airbnb's that might not supply anything or have bargain basement stuff, etc. This is a game changer. What's more, if you want to make it last even longer, cut it in half. Smaller footprint, and really no reason why you need an entire bar on every trip. Add up the cost of all the shampoos, conditioners, body washes, soap bars, liquids containers, etc. - it's not actually expensive. It just looks that way up front.
I don't really have any negatives to this bar. If you were looking to use a shampoo bar anyway (and you should be), you might as well get a bar that's an all-in-one. Maybe just reiterate again that the smell on mine was quite perfumey out of the box, so consider the non-scented if that's something that bothers you or you're worried about your rep with the other grizzled travelers on the road.
The Matador FlatPak Soap Case Review
This portion is going to be short. The FlatPak soap case performed like a champ. For a half-bar of soap, it was totally dry within a couple of hours, and no moisture leaked out into my toiletry bag during tests. The bag is pretty small, so it adds almost nothing in terms of volume and weight. Fits easily into a toiletry bag or - again - anywhere in your bag. Since this is a solid, you can put it anywhere you want. Where ever it fits. And I'm going to keep mentioning this: the case gets you on the road to no more liquids and no more short-use plastic bottles.
There's no real negative I see other than it's another product for you to buy. And, I get that line of thinking, I really do. But considering I don't see why this can't be a lifetime product for you under normal conditions, $12.99 USD is a price point where it's not really a hindrance for the majority. Value ≠ cost every time. It's not always linear.
Here it is packed with a well used half bar of the 100Senses bar, and next to a Galaxy S9 for a size comparison.
OK, so are there other options here? Of course there are. Considering the topic of this article, I won't say they are better alternatives, but they are out there. The first and closest competitor to the Matador FlatPak soap case is probably the eZ-Pouch from JR Liggett. It's made of water resistant canvas, and has a sort of 50's camping vibe look to it. Maybe even old military/adventurer look. I prefer the styling of the FlatPak, and feel the synthetic material will do its job better (it's also air tight in the seal) - but this might be something you dig to fit in your kit. The other option is always the old plastic soap container from CVS or Amazon. Lastly, and what I'd recommend if you're going to use a container - is a metal one. Some kind of soap tin. Many natural bars come with one that you can re-use. Oars and Alps and Lush come to mind. But there are a million choices on Amazon.
Final Thoughts On The Best Soap Kit For Travel.
Even if it's NOT soap. Hey, gotta help them stay on brand. And to be clear, it really isn't.
So why go through all this trouble for a kit like this? As mentioned already but summarizing - for one, this is going to cut down on the number of "things" you're traveling with. A utility bar like this replaces shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shave cream, beard wash, etc. That's a massive increase in your efficiency for packing and real time usage. You just don't need all that stuff. Further, it cuts down on single use plastic items like the travel sized things from pharmacies. I know those are convenient, but again small ripples lead to big waves. You need to start somewhere. Lastly, because we're not dealing with liquids here, you don't have to worry about stuffing either of these in your toiletry kit. It's a solid. It can go anywhere. And the Matador FlatPak soap case allows you to do that for real. Anywhere in your bag will be safe.
For the bar - I have to come out and say that honestly, our bodies are all different. What's the best brand for some people may not be the best brand for all. But, I would highly recommend this one to try and if it works, stick with it! But, use which ever works best for you.
The FlatPak is a no brainer to me. The 100Senses Ultimate Body Bar is my recommendation, but feel free to put whatever utility bar or shampoo bar (you can still wash with a shampoo bar) that you are loyal to here. The solid vs. liquid change will do you good in the long run. We go through water based products MUCH faster.
They both sell directly from their website, so hop on over and consider giving these guys your business:
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