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: Squeeze Pod travel amenities.
What It Does: Squeeze Pod single-use toiletries are leak-proof, TSA carry-on compliant, and come in various weekend-getaway kits ($12.99). Orwoll and Ekstein check them out to decide if they’re a must-have, or just a nice-to-have.
MO: They’re leak-proof. You have to snap open the end of the pod. This one is the…
NE: …Toilet Odor Eliminator…
MO: I want to talk about that in a minute.
NE: I want to see the shampoo pod. Here it is. [Nikki tears open the paper packaging to expose two pods of shampoo.] It’s a lot of packaging. A little wasteful.
MO: The pod is a teardrop-shape plastic container.
NE: Almost like an espresso pod.
MO: Exactly! You don’t need scissors to open them. You just snap the end and it opens easily. Then you squeeze the liquid out of there. It is only one shot.
NE: I’m looking at the shampoo pod, and it says it point-two ounces per pod. I have very long hair, Mark. This is not going to cut it for me.
MO: So use two.
NE: But then it doesn’t last the two days it promises. I’m just putting that out there. You don’t have that problem.
MO: But I have thick hair. I used the shampoo and conditioner pods this morning, and there was plenty. You can run your fingers through my hair, Nikki. My hair feels pretty good.
NE: I’ll take your word for it.
MO: Well, I’m glad we got these because I’m leaving for Europe for two weeks.. I’ll be staying on a houseboat in Amsterdam and in a 600-year-old merchant house in Bruges that we rented through homeaway.com. A lot of these owner-rental places either don’t have or aren’t allowed to have certain amenities like toiletries or they’ll have to register as a hotel or B&B. So I’m taking some of the Squeeze Pods, including shaving cream, for just that reason.
NE: That’s a perfect-use case. For me, personally, I’m a hotel junkie, so I like to stay at nice hotels—hey, I’m a Travel + Leisure editor!—and I like to collect the bath amenities from nice hotels. So I never have the need to stock up on travel-size bath amenities. I generally already have a lot just sitting around in my house. I’d rather pack some of the C.O. Bigelow swag from my most recent hotel stay.
MO: But anything with a screw top could come loose and spill. These Squeeze Pods are leak–proof. You’d actually have to puncture one of these things for it to leak accidentally. They’re vegan and PETA-certified cruelty-free products.
NE: And I do appreciate that the shampoo and conditioner are sulphate-free. That’s hard to find, so that’s really great.
MO: This particular weekend kit also has moisturizing lotion and facial cleanser along with the shampoo, conditioner, and shaving cream. This kit also comes with three natural toilet-odor eliminators. The promotional material suggests you might want to use these if you’re sharing tight quarters with someone, like, say, a vacation-rental cabin with your in-laws. You crack it open, pour it into the toilet before you use it, and the bathroom remains pleasant smelling. Nothing wrong with that! [Mark cracks open one of the odor eliminators.]
NE: Wow, you smell that?! It smells good. Very fresh.
MO: I used one this morning and it actually works.
MO: I love the whole Squeeze Pod concept. Small enough to fit in your kit bag, the rights size for the TSA, they’re not going to leak all over, and they’re cheap. You get a whole weekend-away kit for $12.99.
NE: You don’t have to shop for all the individual components. It’s all there waiting for you when you need it. Very clever. Not for me personally, but there’s definitely a market for this.
VERDICT: A travel must-have (for those who don’t liberate high-end amenities from their luxury-hotel stays).