NOMATIC Toiletry Bag 2.0 Small Review
The company has now been around long enough to move beyond their Kickstarter-smashing original bag, come up with some accessories, and even iterate on those. Let's take a look at their newest, improved version of the NOMATIC toiletry bag (as of May 2019).
Introduction To The Nomatic Toiletry Bag 2.0 Small
NOMATIC, by now, is no stranger to the backpack/bag/travel accessories game. It's come a long way from it's first Kickstarter projects (which was one of the most successful ever by the way). Since that first pack they've expanded in to a bigger version, a travel bag, and of course all the different accessories for brand loyal customers to buy. One of those now being some highly organizational toiletry bags.
Of course it's highly organizational. What else should we expect from NOMATIC?
I recently reviewed another Kickstarter brand's toiletry bag, and I loved it. So, NOMATIC will have it's work cut out for itself here. (My Gravel Explorer Slim Toiletry Bag review)
So I'll look at how it's made, how it's shaped, and how it's laid out. Shall we proceed?
This is my review of the NOMATIC Toiletry Bag 2.0 Small. This kit was purchased with my own money and researched on my own time, I've had no interaction with the company. The opinions in this review are my own and it is not sponsored in any way.
NOMATIC Toiletry Bag 2.0 Small Overview
Well if you told me that in a period of 2 months I'd be writing 2 different reviews for toiletry bags while the entire world was on a near-no travel lockdown, I'd say you were most likely out of your tree.
But here we are!
NOMATIC is back for their improved version of the humble toiletry bag. This one promises to shore up some of the design flaws, improve on construction, etc. The usual. Now I did not have the original so I cannot compare it to that. That said, this is a well stocked bag, if I may say so. (Wait a second, who am I asking that to? I can say whatever I want here. Why do we use that expression when writing our own stuff? Philosophy for another time).
Like the Gravel Explorer Slim (more on that in a bit) it opens in clam-shell style.
In this case however, the hinge is lengthwise, so it's a little different. Overall, the bag is taller and skinnier in width. Comparison picture here.
The bag retails on their site for $49.99 USD but regularly sees price cuts below $35.00.
Additional Toiletry Bag 2.0 Features
While not as much going on inside the NOMATIC Toiletry Bag 2.0 as in the Gravel, it's still got some great organization. So we'll cover that here.
The material itself is VERY similar, but in this case it seems to be less "grippy". By that I mean it seems to grab a hold of particles and dust less - they can be swiped off much easier. Inside you've got some of what seem to be water proof covers and pockets, and nothing leaked in my testing. The inside pockets are also very robust in their material choices. No skimping on any of this stuff. There are nice sealed zippers as you'd expect on the bag opening.
Pockets wise, there are less, with three internal and one external toothbrush pocket (I always like that feature, the toothbrush specific pocket). One inside pocket is full length and can hold all your large things (I used it as my soap kit pocket). The other two are split into two non-even sizes so you can decide what to categorize them as. One clever bit on these two, is that there is a divider in the middle that you can choose to keep up, or put down and turn them into one long pocket. Similar to how some travel bags roll with the inside compartment. Clever. That does mean that these won't be waterproof against each other though - keep that in mind.
These two pockets also have their own internal volume. I actually like this. What I mean by that is that they almost rise up, and utilize more of the internal space vs. the cover being tight against the bag material. Mostly, the stuff you put into bags is 3D. It helps when the pockets are, too.
Lastly this does come with a hook for you to hang it up, and the hardware for that is nice. I don't use a hook, so the fact that this is removable is a nice touch. I removed it straight away.
Build quality, material choice, and layout is all good on this bag. Pretty straight forward. I think the toothbrush specific pocket is great to have, and now want this in any toiletry bag I get.
The decision for the Nomatic toiletry bag 2.0 to have inside pockets with "volume" is another great touch. I think this is something that's a nicer addition than the Gravel bag.
The organization here is also good. It's not quite as parsed out as the Gravel bag, but the Toiletry Bag 2.0 is still no slouch here. I found plenty of organization for my needs, and plenty of space for all my stuff - and that includes a glass jar for my toothpaste tabs in here (stop using plastic toothpaste). The bag was never "over stuffed" and bulky.
Finally, I like the shape. It plays nicely with packing cubes and because it's long and slim, it fits perfectly against the side or bottom of your travel bag, while not taking up too much internal volume in the bag itself. Similarly, it will fit lengthwise in most quick-grab pockets as well.
Not really bad, per se. But, the large internal pocket I almost found too big. I guess if you're into bringing full size deodorant, and even clippers/a shaver for the guys, then that's useful. But I think it was a missed opp for one more bit of org. I also think the toothbrush pocket was a bit small. The NOMATIC Toiletry Bag 2.0 fits a standard brush fine, but nothing else. It might fit a Quip, but it it would not fit my normal electric brush. Something to consider if again, you like to bring your regular, full size items with you.
NOMATIC Toiletry Bag 2.0 Small vs. The Field
Similar feedback here to other high quality, well thought out toiletry bags.
This is much more "tech" oriented than the usual dopp kits that are just a standard pouch. (Like one I personally own and use a lot, the Cotopaxi Del Dia dopp kit which I like for the unique color ways and for the company's mission). Fashion, organization, planned shape, etc. it's much more interested in fitting into your lifestyle and bag choices than being same old same old. And I think it succeeds at being that modern choice.
I mentioned already, but the Gravel Explorer Slim is the closest competitor here. In fact I feel they are almost cut from the same cloth (nearly literally). The Gravel is a bit more hyper-organizational focused, and the NOMATIC is a bit more open ended. But they are close in style and function. I've got a fully packed NOMATIC Toiletry Bag 2.0 with a Gravel Explorer Slim (unpacked) on top of it for a size comparison in the pictures below).
I also had the Sea To Summit light toiletry kit for many many years. This one is good too if you want one that can't remove the hook, is more ultra-light in materials, and outdoorsy vs. travel tech looking. I beat it up and it never broke down. Ultimately, it was just a hanging pouch and I didn't think it really had the best organization for me.
The Improvement Requests for the NOMATIC Toiletry Bag 2.0
I suppose I can pick a few nits here on this well designed bag. For one, I'd like a little more room in the toothbrush pocket. Either to stick my toothpaste bits in there, or to be able to fit a full sized electric. The Gravel bag had enough room for this.
I would also consider changing the large pocket just a bit. Maybe take a quarter of the volume to make as a 4th pocket.
For the other side, the divider is cool, and I'd suggest to keep it, but maybe find a way to make this zippered or sealed to ensure waterproofing between the two. Not a necessity and I understand the degree of difficulty that introduces from an engineering perspective, but it would allow for more options and personalization in how someone uses the pockets in the bag.
Final Thoughts On My NOMATIC Toiletry Bag 2.0 Small Review
NOMATIC, as a company, is kind of all grown up. And in this case I think that's a good thing. Accessories are a natural expansion point for a new company making travel bags, and when you take the design chops NOMATIC has (they are great at designing functionality) it typically ends up in a good way.
The Toiletry Bag 2.0 allows you to pick something minimal, but also something unique in the toiletry bag world. It's material is top notch, the organizational features are well thought out, and the shape is great for packing with other packing cubes.
When you want something more than a typical pouch style, this is your top choice I think. If ultimately you want the MOST organization possible in a still-minimal package, then I think you want to check out the Gravel Explorer Slim. But for me this was more than enough, and I liked the long shape better. Materials and build quality were a wash however, they are both awesome and kind of bullet proof in their construction.
I can definitely recommend the NOMATIC Toiletry Bag 2.0 for your travels, especially if you're already part of the NOMATIC ecosystem and loyal to the brand. It's a great addition to your kit either way.
They sell directly from their website so hop on over:
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