Most travelers pack toiletry bags, known in the US as Dopp kits, to organize their toiletries and prevent them from leaking into their luggage. We need much the same to hold the vast assortment of chargers, cables, dongles and other technological paraphernalia required to function in this day and age. Sadly, the state of quality design in tech dopp kits is sorely lacking at the moment.
My daily loadout includes:
- 12″ MacBook (2015 model)
- 29W Apple USB-C charger
- 2m Apple USB-C charging cable (the third version is the one you want)
- USB-C to Lightning cable
- USB-A to Lightning cable
- 10,000 mAh Xiaomi battery pack
- Etymotic ER-4SR in-ear monitors
When traveling I add:
- Apple USB Type-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter (the latest version with 4Kp60 and HDR support)
- Onkyo DP-X1 high-resolution audio player
- 4-port Anker USB charger
- 3 USB-A to Lightning cables (one for my iPhone, one for my iPad, one for my wife). The USB-A connectors add a surprising amount of bulk, I wish Anker would make a charger with some sort of built-in octopus cable and cable management.
- 2 USB-A to micro-USB cables
- 20,000 mAh Mophie Powerstation XXL USB-C Power Delivery battery pack (can be used to charge the MacBook or iPad Pro or expand their battery life). Much lighter and convenient than the Anker 26,800 mAh lead ingot it replaced.
- Ricoh Theta Z1 360° panoramic camera and TM-3 stick
- Novoflex Mikrostativ mini-tripod
- spare batteries for whatever camera I packed
- Watson travel camera battery charger and whatever interchangeable battery plates are needed
- Samsung T3 256GB USB SSD
- a 18650 flashlight (BLF FW3A or Zebralight SC600FcIV+) and Olight USB-powered 18650 battery charger
Muji hanging toiletry kit
I used this around 2008 when I got the first-generation MacBook Air, to hold its charger and the Sanho Hyperdrive, an early battery pack that had a MagSafe connector until Apple sicced their lawyers at them. It has room for the two and the video dongles, not much else.
Waterfield Design gear pouches
Waterfield Designs was one of the first companies to make iPod cases, and they later added a larger pouch to accommodate an iPod and a bunch of other accessories. They have padded neoprene pockets and are very well made, but the padding adds a tremenoud amount of bulks, and they are also quite large.
Unfortunately they seem to have discontinued these pouches and replaced them with new ones in waxed canvas and leather that might arguably look a little better, but are less practical.
Bond Travel Gear EDC organizer Escapade gear pouch
On paper this is an interesting option. Unfortunately it is quite stiff, which makes it hard to pack, and overengineered with too many small pockets that reduce the effective carrying capacity because there is too much stitching, webbing, zippers, padding and other organizational overhead for the actual contents.
Eagle Creek Etools Organizer Pro
This bag is quite large, it can hold a 10.5″ iPad Pro. The fabric is thin and pliant, and the pockets large. This is a much better option for me as I can put larger items like battery packs, calculators, music players and so on. If it were ever slightly larger, it would also be a great bag to carry necessities on a flight so you don’t have to rummage for them in the overhead bin.
It seems this pouch has been discontinued, but it is still readily available as new-old-stock with the usual retailers.
Triple Aught Design OP10
This tacticool pouch replete with mil-spec MOLLE attachments is better designed than the Bond, but still too small and with too many pockets and loops to maximize utility. It’s best used for those who want to carry an assortment of long thin objects like knives, tools, flashlights or cables. I would guesstimate the number of mall ninjas to operators owning this pouch is 10:1.
Incase Nylon accessory organizer
This organizer is recommended by The Wirecutter in their 2019 roundup. The fabric is thin and more flexible than overengineered ones in Cordura or ballistic nylon, which helps keep bulk down and increases the pockets’ carrying capacity. The assortment of pockets is very well designed, at least for my needs, and it’s near ideal for a flight (it won’t hold an iPad, though).
The Eagle Creek is the best option. It doesn’t add too much weight and maximizes carrying capacity to space. No one has yet solved the problem of organizing cables so they don’t devolve into a gordian knot, however.