Courtesy of Matador

Welcome back to Travel Non-Essentials, where T+L editors Mark Orwoll and Nikki Ekstein sound off on a different breed of travel product—sometimes ingenious, sometimes just plain odd. Today: The Droplet.

October 06, 2015

What It Does: The Droplet ($14.99) is an ultra-compact dry bag that keeps wet items separated from other belongings. Orwoll and Ekstein check it out to decide if it’s a must-have, or just a nice-to-have.

NE: Basically this looks like a tote bag that is stored in a teardrop-shaped plastic container…

MO: With a key ring on it. So you could actually use the Droplet to hold your keys.

NE: It reminds me of the little rubber booties people put on dogs’ paws so they don’t get hurt in the snow.

MO: So now I’ve removed the Droplet bag from its container. Here it is…

NE: I think the idea here is that you can put your wet bathing suit in it.

MO: They say it’s completely waterproof. If you want to put a wet bathing suit in here to keep it separate from everything else in your suitcase because it didn’t dry overnight on the towel rack, well, that’s what this does.

NE: It’s a watertight tote. It’s quite small. It’s not very big. It won’t fit that many things in it.

MO: What would you say, that it’s as big as an open handkerchief? Maybe not even that big.

[Editor’s Note: The bag is 10.5 inches long by 9 inches wide and has a 3-liter capacity.]

NE: You certainly couldn’t put a pair of shoes in here.

MO: No, no, no. I would say underwear, a bathing suit, something small like that.

NE: Maybe your gym clothes… You know, I’m not so sure about this, Mark. The closure isn’t exactly watertight. It’s just a drawstring closure. It just stays closed from tension. I don’t know that I would trust that, personally. I’ve seen much better versions of this concept where a little bag comes out of a tiny little container and that’s easy to shove into your purse. I’d rather have something with a zip-lock. In fact, I would just rather use a Ziploc freezer bag that I already have in my kitchen. And a freezer bag would be twice the size of this.

MO: And when you fold a Ziploc bag flat it’s not like it’s taking up a lot of room. So I’m not sure that this little Droplet container with the keychain is saving you any sort of space.

NE: Exactly. And this is a little time consuming trying to roll the bag back into the container. [Nikki struggles to fit the bag back into the container.]  Hmm, this is a little bit of a puzzle…

MO: Don’t break a nail!

NE: Not as easy as you would think. I mean, it’s happening, but… There you go!

MO: Well, it’s certainly not something that I would need.

NE: Great concept, not-so-great execution.

MO: IF you had it, you might use it and it would do the trick, but it’s not what I would call a must-have by any means.

VERDICT: A nice-to-have.

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