Between TSA rules, and the possibility of leakage ruining your clothing, traveling with liquids can be a hassle. But it doesn’t have to be so difficult. With a couple smart purchases, you’ll be breezing through TSA lines, and arriving leak free.
Here’s the best travel bottles –leak proof and unbreakable– for 2018.
Click on the images below to see info and shop, or scroll down for more details:
Best Travel Bottles Quick Comparison Chart
Our list is short and sweet, because silicone is generally the way to go with travel size bottles:
|Bottle||Material||Meets TSA 3.4oz rule for carry-ons||Leak Proof|
Kitdine Silicone Travel Bottles
Acrodo Leak Proof Bottles
HAL Travel Cosmetic Containers
Juvitus Travel Jars
|BPA Free Plastic||Yes||Yes|
When it comes to keeping your liquids secure, don’t waste your time with plastic travel containers. Silicone makes the best travel bottles: they’re unbreakable — and when designed well, are leak proof.
Humangear makes the original high quality silicone travel size bottle.
Their 3 pack of travel bottles won’t leak, are easy to squeeze and refill, AND have handy suction cups to stick on the shower wall. They also have useful labels built into the base, so you don’t have to guess which one is shampoo and which is soap.
Kitdine’s travel bottles are a cheaper option if you’re thinking about Humangear’s bottles. We’ve used these on countless trips, and they’ve held up just as well as Humangear’s version, putting them up there with some of the best travel bottles available.
They offer the same features; they’re unbreakable, leak proof, and have labels and suction cups.
Another great silicone option, Acrodo’s travel bottles feature handy loops at the top for hanging.
As with the other silicone travel bottles, they’re leak proof, easy to squeeze, refill and clean, and have built in labeling, all of the features we look for in the best travel bottles.
For travel with thicker liquids like lotion and hair gel, consider using Humangear’s Gotubbs. They come in .4oz and 2oz sizes, so you don’t have to bring along more than what you really need.
Gotubbs are also great for packing small items like vitamins, jewelry, or anything else you don’t want to lose track of.
They don’t have as tight of a seal as bottles, so we don’t necessarily recommend packing thinner liquids in these–however, we’ve never had an issue with them leaking.
HAL’s travel containers are similar to the Gotubb, only made of silicone, so they’re unbreakable.
However, because they’re silicone and more squeezable, we only recommend these for very thick liquids that won’t leak out of the jar if it’s squeezed in transit. They’re great for pills and other small items.
If you have lotions you’d like to bring along, but are afraid silicone will leak, Juvitus Travel Jars are a great option. They’re made out of BPA-Free plastic, and include spatulas for dispensing your product without contaminating it with your fingers.
After searching for ages, buying and discarding a dozen travel cosmetic bags, we finally discovered the Victorinox Muse.
It’s a bit of a hidden gem, because it doesn’t seem to be tagged or titled in a way that makes it easy to find when searching on Amazon.
If you’re a very light packer, this isn’t for you, but for those who need to pack skincare and cosmetics, plus shampoo and conditioner, there’s plenty of room.
Why use a travel bottle?
There are many reasons to use a travel bottle, including:
TSA size rules for liquids. Travel bottles ensure that you stay within those limitations.
Travel bottles save room. Even if you’re checking a bag and don’t need to worry about TSA size rules, travel size bottles ensure you don’t pack more than you need– and have plenty of room left for souvenirs!
Good travel bottles won’t leak. While you normal shampoo bottle probably isn’t designed to be leak-proof, good travel bottles are! All it takes is one leaky bottle to ruin your clothing, so we think travel bottles are a great investment.
What are TSA’s Liquid Requirements?
The TSA says: “You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item.”
Medications and food for infants and children are excluded from these limitations.
They’re sticklers about these rules (I’ve had them harass me about lip balm that I didn’t think to remove from my purse and put in the quart size bag!). The 3.4 oz rule means that if you try to bring a 6oz container that’s half full, it’s against the rules and will be confiscated.
Many items that you wouldn’t think of as liquids still fall under this rule. This can include items like lipgloss and toothpaste.
And if you have more 3.4 oz containers than will fit in ONE quart size bag, you’re similarly out of luck. Take a look at your liquid cosmetics and toiletries, and you’ll see how easy it is to fill up a quart size bag, even with travel sizes. Every bit of space counts! We recommend taking travel sizes when possible, and have a great roundup of travel size makeup to help you pack light.
What will happen if I bring too many liquids with me?
There’s no limit to liquids if you’re checking a bag, so you only need to be concerned about what’s in your carry-on.
If you get to the TSA line, and are told that you have too many liquids, or your bottles are too large, you’ll be give a couple options:
The first is for TSA to take the offending items and throw them away. As long as your liquids weren’t something dangerous, you should be free to continue on your way– minus your favorite shampoo or sunscreen.
The second option is to leave the line, go back to the airline counter, and check your bag. At $25+ to check a bag, this isn’t always worth it, but you may want to consider checking your carry-on if your large liquids are expensive or can’t be found at your destination.
Finally, some airports have post offices or UPS branches. You may be able to leave the security line to mail your liquids back home, or to your final destination. You can then return to security with your carry-on, minus the offending liquids.
How can I get around TSA’s liquid rules?
While we don’t recommend trying to sneak through liquids that exceed the rules, there are some things you can do to maximize your packing while still following the rules:
One option is to take advantage of your travel companion’s liquid allowance. If your husband or boyfriend doesn’t need to travel with many liquids, you can transfer some of your items to his quart size baggie.
Alternately, you can arrange to share certain items with your traveling companion, cutting down on the liquids you need to bring.
You should also think about avoiding liquids when there’s a solid version available. Sub powder foundation for liquid (I’m a fan of Stila’s Illuminating powder foundation), lipstick for lip gloss, and even think about trying out a solid shampoo bar!
Will a travel size bottle last for my entire trip?
You might be concerned about using travel size bottles because you’re wondering if the small sizes will last for an entire trip. This really depends on how long you’ll be gone.
When it comes to things like shampoo and body lotion, a 3.4 oz bottle should be plenty for a one week trip, and you’ll need much less of items like face wash and face lotion.
Longer trips often call for a checked bag, and in that case, there’s nothing wrong with packing larger sizes of items you know you’ll use more of. Just leave room for souvenirs!
How can I pack liquids so that they won’t leak?
Beyond using leak proof travel bottles, it’s always a good idea to keep your liquids in a separate pouch or compartment of your toiletry bag.
The same quart size bag that you need to use for liquids in your carry-on, can help to contain any leaks, so long as you’re using a quality bag with a good seal.