This TSA-approved toiletry zipper bag is better than a 1-qt ziplock bag

Originally published at:

I am semi-serious when I say someone should just make a transparent plastic bag with, I dunno, like 6 or 8 compartments, which can be filled directly with various hygiene goos. You’d have something like ziploc openings along one side for filling, and nozzles along the opposite side for squirting.

I find it really tedious messing with all those tiny bottles while travelling, so that when you’re packing you have to go find them all and rinse them off and dry them; it would be easier to just carry one bag around the bathroom squirting out goo as needed, then fling it in your luggage when the authorities start closing in.


In the dozens of times I’ve flown since 9/11 I’ve never put toiletries in a bag (clear or otherwise) of any kind and it’s not once been an issue.

Edit: I’m talking carry on. I just throw the stuff in the backpack. Ain’t nobody cares.


Or just stick with the ziplock bag, which costs about a dime and after a few trips replace it with a new one.


True. One customer on Amazon asked if the a dress could be packed neatly into the bag. One Answer: “Unless it’s for a Barbie doll, no.”

BTW: I have a Nalgene TSA-approved travel kit bag, same size as the one in the article and with a carabiner for hanging. 16 bucks, but it comes with six leakproof plastic bottles (for liquid transference). Even the bag is leakproof. (Nalgene makes high quality laboratory equipment and supplies, so when they say ‘leakproof’, I believe it.)


What if this is actually the true endgame of TSA security theater?

  1. Fondle all the passengers
  2. ???
  3. Profit!

A doubled-up freezer Zip-Loc will do just dandy, thanks. No sale.


I’m assuming these are for when you only bring a carry-on? IDK, I’m the opposite of a frequent flyer.

Oh, Doctor Floyd!


Fixed that broken link for you.

1 Like

The $10 bag Mark is linking to isn’t even leakproof, nor remotely designed to be. It has a regular zipper, not something water sealed. Kind of disappointing in a recommendation. I’d want the $10 bag to work better than a 10 cent one, more than just being “bigger”. Same goes for the Nalgene bag. It’s better looking than Mark’s, but the Amazon reviews on it are decidedly mixed.

I have Nalgene bottles, but I’ve found them to be disappointing. They aren’t really leakproof in my experience (one of the reasons that Mark’s non-water sealed bag is not for me). On an airplane the cabin pressure is the equivalent of around 6,000 feet of altitude, creating a significant pressure differential in the bottles during the flight. It doesn’t seem like they are tested for for leaks at that level of pressure:

[emphasis added]

Pressure at sea level is 14.7 PSI. Airline cabin pressure is between 11 and 12 PSI, for a delta of up to 3.7, significantly more pressure differential than “leakproof” Nalgene bottles are tested for.


Yeah. It’s technically still required that liquids/gels be in a transparent bag (and I comply with that) but it’s never actually an issue in practice. I also usually bring a toothpaste tube that is marked as 4oz, it’s been confiscated once out of a few dozen flights. I don’t bring full ones, so the actual quantity of toothpaste is less than the 3oz limit when it goes through the scanner (which, in theory, I could demonstrate using Archimedes’ displacement method, but I somehow doubt the TSA would buy that…)

And before anyone asks, yes, the luggage compartment is pressurized to the same pressure as the passenger cabin. This is necessary for structural reasons. It’s very hard to make a pressure vessel with sharp corners, and much easier to make one that’s rounded - that’s why pressurized gas tanks are cylindrical and rounded at the ends. Pressurizing the hold strengthens the airframe, whereas keeping it at a different pressure from the passenger cabin would weaken it.

Unfortunately, that argument also doesn’t work on airline personnel when they insist I deflate my bike tires before I check my bike in for a flight…

I guess this all speaks to the need for better basic science education.


I honestly fail to see why one would need so much stuff. A small bottle of body wash, in case a hotel doesn’t provide toiletries. Done.

1 Like

Please don’t use this outside of the US. I hate being delayed by people who turn up with bags like this.

1 Like

Face cream, suntan lotion, toothpaste, lip balm. That’s before you get into makeup products.


Even if you subscribe to the theory that not using moisturiser, conditioner or dedicated face detergent makes you Lewis & Clark (rather than just someone with needlessly papyrus-like skin), you might still want to use deodorant, toothpaste, sunblock, insect repellent, lube, etc.


Exactly. $10 is ridiculous for what amounts to a bionic Ziploc.

1 Like

It’s very much still an issue traveling out of the UK, and typically in. The very first reminder question a queue-wrangler will ask is “any liquids?”.
To paraphrase johnnyFresh, please don’t leave liquids in your main carry-on through UK Security - they’ll be spotted on the x-ray, then your bag will be manually searched and re- x-ray’d, which won’t only delay you.

I have a clear pouch like this one, but occasionally it’ll be rejected (before x-ray, so if it happens, I’m not really delaying others. :wink: ) and I or a Security operative will have to transfer the contents to a standard ziplock. Putting the zipper bag inside a ziplock has been accepted.

Ha! You’re not allowing for UK airports, which will monetise everything. Admittedly not recently, people who forget to bring one have been offered ziplock bags for £1 each, or 2 for £1 if the airport was running an ‘offer’.
None has been so bold as to reject a normal ziplock in favour of an identical but official one, but it wouldn’t surprise me…

On about 80% on the flights I’ve been on, security has asked us to pull the plastic bag out of our luggage so it can be scanned separately. They do however have bags at security so if you don’t have one, you can pop your liquids in them then.

No, not really. Not for a couple of days, at least. Though I’ll grant sun blocker, that’s something I keep forgetting, as I live quite north of the Canadian border, wear hats and long pants and avoid the sun in general. And tooth paste. I mean that I forgot about that, nit that I avoid it. While i keep a toiletry case packed, including charging cables and medicamentation, it’s just some shampoo and tooth paste, which I may need right away. However, I think I haven’t had a hotel which didn’t offer the basics, many even have moisturizer. When we rent an apartment or house, we usually have to shop anyway.

Regarding moisturizer: I can assure you that I don’t have Papyrus-like skin, though my wife would probably object if I’d offered to cuddle to prove it.

1 Like