Product Review: TerraCycle Eco-friendly Toiletry Case

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TerraCycle eco-friendly toiletry case being tested

The Upcycled Tent Dopp Kit is made from all upcycled materials, except the zipper. It is light-weight and compact, and has the feel of a tent, since it is made from ‘the reclaimed fabric discarded in the manufacture of tents.’ The manufacturer of the bag, TerraCycle, is one of the United States leader’s in the concept of upcycling- taking useless or unused material and converting them into useful products.

This little bag has a lot going for it. First, and most-important is it’s eco-friendly origins, coming from all upcycled materials, a cause almost everyone can get behind. The bags weight is a second strong feature- I have had tried many dopp kits in my travels, and this is by far the most lightweight. It is so lightweight, that I was concerned about it durability, so I decided to put it through some tests. I tried overloading it and dropping it to see if any of the seams or fabric would rip- and it passed with flying colors. I took it to the gym with me and allowed it to get comprehensively wet while I was showing, and true to it’s tent material, it held up nicely (better than many of the cheap tents I’ve bought!) It’s third very attractive feature is it’s capacity. When I pulled it out of the envelope, my first reaction was that there was no way this little bag would hold what i would need it to for an extended trip. In the process of my over-stuffing experiment, I was shocked at how much it actually took to fill the bag.

There were a few small downsides to the bag. The first was that when the bag is not filled to capacity, I found that it was opening quite a bit. this was only a minor inconvenience, since nothing falls out since everything is zipped in. The only other thing I would have like to see different about the bag would for it to have a clip to hang the bag from while in shared bathrooms- like hostels or campgrounds. The clip used for holding the bag closed can be used for this purpose, but it isn’t always stable and the stability depends on the weight of the bag and the surface that you are trying to hang the bag from.

Overall, I really like this little bag and am excited to use it on my upcoming trip to New Zealand. It’s slimline weight will certainly help in meeting those pesky luggage weight restrictions imposed by airlines now. I love that it is ‘green’ and going to a country like New Zealand where conservation is a high priority, it seems like a perfect match. As I am going for a month, I am excited to find a bag that will hold all of my needs for that extended period.

The Upcycled Tent Dopp Kit retails for $38.00, very competitively priced with non-upcycled bags, which is all the more reason to chose it. The bag is available in the Uncommon Goods catalog or website. Terracycle also makes a tote bag and a lunch sack from similarly upcycled materials.

Disclosure: A free TerraCycle toiletry case was provided with the expectation that the reader would provide an honest review.

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by Erik Smith

Erik's parents fostered a love of traveling that started with long family road trips during the summer months. His first international trip was a family jaunt to Europe at age 14. Since 2003, he has been trying to visit all the National Park units in the lower 48 states, currently standing at 304 of 350 visited. In 2010, he took a one year break from his National Park quest to visit Israel (with side trips to Jordan & Egypt) for the month of May, on a tour inspired by The Amateur Traveler. His blog is at http://onmyfeetorinmymind.blogspot.com. Twitter:@eriksmithdotcom

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