Men's leather dopp kits are essential for any grown up man, business traveler, or guy interested in personal style.  Though… it’s often an afterthought and I’m incredibly fascinated with guys very interested in design, style and travel, often overlooking this key piece, opting instead for cheap, junky and ugly dopp kits or toiletry bags they might have received as gifts from grandma or picked up at an off price fashion outlet for a “bargain”.  There is true value in a good dopp kit and here’s why.


Let’s establish the basics first.   The dopp kit, wash bag, toiletry kit, or whatever you might call it, is incredibly useful and important for anyone travelling, ensuring your cologne, toothpaste, and shaving cream stay inside without sneaking out all over your clothes.   It holds your things together in a water resistant package.  It keeps things organized, and travelling without one is very difficult.  It is crucial.  Unless of course you just use a plastic grocery bag, but then this article isn’t for you anyway.   Many guys stop here, only focused on dopp kit functionality, and don’t move any further into design, quality, etc...  Thinking to themselves something like, “well it’s only going to get toothpaste all over it… why do I need something nice.  It’s a waste.”  So wrong.


As for the design, most guys are familiar with the traditional shape featuring a flat base and a zipper down the middle and a slightly rounded top.  This design has been used forever, starting with your dad, your grandpa, and I’m sure back to the middle ages, the dark ages.   It’s a familiar staple of the traditional man, offering plenty of space for those large cans of Barbisol shave cream, and brut cologne.  Occasionally you might see a more modern, pouch style, version, but probably 90% of dopp kits sold today feature the traditional style.  Many guys are content with this design because it’s familiar, but it’s dated.


The construction and materials are usually made from functional, but cheap materials.  Cheap zipper, leather, and lining.  For most manufacturers, as long as the kit is functional, Ie.  Waterproof with a handle, that’s all that matters and they are churned out in mass quantity overseas, relabeled for whatever brand wants to sell them, and sold for hefty margins.


Now for a little scenario.  For the guy planning a romantic getaway with his significant other to the brand new 5 star hotel in the city.  He’s thought of everything, the hotel, dinner reservations, new head to toe wardrobe, the haircut.. He looks great, smells great, and has a strong sense of style.   They check in, get to the room and it’s beautiful.  A true 5 star, luxury experience.  The bathroom is huge and detailed in beautiful marble, steam shower, etc.. They are absolutely thrilled to be together.  They start to unpack.  He hangs up his clothes, puts away everything else, and then pulls out his ratty old nylon toiletry bag, coated with toothpaste, rusting zipper, and sets it on the fine marble countertop.  His personal style was just reduced to that one piece, to an afterthought.


Yes, of course that example is slightly exaggerated, but you get the picture.  For many of us, the dopp kit is often an afterthought with no value given outside of its purely functional role.   But, It’s an essential tool for the modern man concerned with any sense of personal style, and should be treated with the same respect as his duffel, briefcase, suit, shoes, etc. 


To resolve this clear disparity, the dopp was in desperate need of a total redesign for modern use.


First.  A new shape.  The traditional style dopp shape is incredibly annoying and ugly.  The zipper in the middle with quasi self-closing sides make it difficult to keep open and find what you need, and the rounded center makes it difficult to pack efficiently.  Sticking with a love of minimalism and modernism, it was redesigned with a rectangular shape and flat top.  This design sits flat and when open provides easy access to everything inside.  The size was decreased to fit just enough stuff, as many dopp kits are monstrosities and an absolute waste of space in your weekender fitting a very limited overhead carryon space.


Second.  The Materials.  Nothing but the best.  The exterior and zipper pull is made of a buttery soft, vegetable tanned, Horween leather, from the world famous Chicago tannery.  The zippers are beautiful custom Swiss Riri, known for their smooth movement and durability.  The water resistant lining, the lynchpin of functionality on any dopp kit, is a rugged water resistant aviator satin.  The fabric you often see on the exterior of aviator bomber jackets popular today.   Yes, this fabric, normally used on jackets to protect against wind, rain, and snow is used on the inside protecting all your stuff.   A thin foam is used to provide structure in the walls and handle, while also providing a level of protection for your contents. 


Third.  Construction.   Continuing the focus on small batch production, they are manufactured in a small run of 24 units, ensuring focus on construction and quality control.  Each dopp kit is made in downtown Los Angeles by master leather craftsman, using traditional techniques like hand skived leather and hand turned edges, providing attention to detail where many leather manufacturers avoid spending time and money.


The NATELUNDSTROM.US mens leather dopp kit features:


Our Leather Dopp Kit Features:

  • Modern, Rectangular Design
  • Vegetable Tanned, World Famous Horween Leather
  • Swiss Riri Zippers with Leather Zipper Pull
  • Water Resistant Aviator Satin Lining
  • Handcrafted in Los Angeles in Small 24 Unit Batches


It’s time to upgrade grandpa’s dopp kit, and choose a dopp to bring your style full circle, so next time you check into that hotel or go on that business trip it won’t be an afterthought.