Eagle Creek UL Dopp Kit Bag – Goodbye Ziplocs!

Eagle Creek UL Dopp Kit Bag

Lately I’ve felt as though the quest for lightweight outdoor gear has taken all of the glamour and excitement out of backpacking and hiking. We’ve boiled it down to an exact science driven by weight reduction and peak performance. We have forced ourselves to live out of disposable packets like flimsy ziploc bags and drinking bottles. We aim for more miles in less time and at the minimal base weight, but I feel like we are missing the whole point of being where we are at that moment – outdoors in nature’s beauty.

Well I’m tired of it. I’m taking back my enjoyment of the journey. I’m picking gear that works great, is well made, and is enjoyable to look at, feel, and use. It’s time to slow down, enjoy the view and carry gear that stops making me feel like a darn hobo. Of course that doesn’t mean I’m going to go stupid heavy, (sorry Andrew Skurka, couldn’t resist) it simply means that a few extra grams here and there to allow for quality, durable gear is not going to kill me or ruin my enjoyment. Quite the opposite. In fact over the past two years I’ve trimmed over 40lbs off my body weight and increased strength and endurance so I figure that I have a big enough buffer to play with and can easily afford to add back some sensible gear weight. Here’s a perfect example.

Eagle Creek Ultralight Dopp Kit Bag

I’ve replaced my old nasty looking and well worn ziploc bag with an extremely well made, stylish ultralight Pack-It™ Specter Quick Trip dopp kit bag made by Eagle Creek. It weighs just 1oz and measures 10 inches x 4 inches x 5 inches. It has two external zippered pockets, one on either side of the massive (3 liter) main compartment.

The lightweight, water resistant silnylon ripstop that it is constructed from is slightly translucent which really helps in locating items inside the bag before unzipping it. There is a full width grab handle on the top of the bag and a small hang loop on the opposite end.

Eagle Creek UL Dopp Kit Bag

Eagle Creek UL Dopp Kit Bag

Eagle Creek UL Dopp Kit Bag

Eagle Creek UL Dopp Kit Bag

It is perfect for carrying all of my toiletries, basic first aid items, and emergency repair kit. And yes, that IS a full size toothbrush! I’ve been using this Eagle Creek ultralight dopp kit bag for several months now and have carried it with me for work, vacations, and on multiple hikes. It’s extremely well made, very well designed, and I get a strange kick out of the fact that I’ve made the switch to a real piece of gear that not only gets the job done efficiently, it looks and feels cool to use. And did I mention that it comes with Eagle Creek’s lifetime warrantee? Yeah a toiletry bag, who knew!

Eagle Creek UL Dopp Kit Bag

I’ll be taking a close look at the rest of my lightweight backpacking gear throughout the year to see where it makes sense to throw away the disposable items and replace them with high quality dependable gear that will last. If you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them.

Disclosure: Brian’s Backpacking Blog was provided with complimentary samples of several pieces of Eagle Creek gear as part of their gear testing and Ambassador program, but was under no obligation to publish a review of this item.

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  • Doc Rader

    I hear you. I go back on forth on going super minimalist, or buying stuff that is going to last. For the most part, I’ve tuned my set down so that I just don’t need as much–I’m more comfortable with less.

    And I’ll choose to spend the money on a quality piece of gear that is generally multi-purpose (rather than super niche items).

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      I hear you on all counts. Typically you have to spend a lot more money for quality, long lasting gear. So much so sometimes that the cheaper alternatives become attractive by default. For the price this is a great little bag.

      Then of course there’s the collector mindset. Not being able to have one of something because there is always a newer, more shiny version that others have and you want it. I’m as guilty as anyone, but I am working on getting better and trying to apply a tool mindset to my gear. If it gets the job done and I like what I have, then I don’t need another, slightly different one.

      Gear lust is an ongoing battle.

  • Knotty

    I’m in it for the smiles NOT the miles, so I’d rather have efficient and high quality pieces of kit that are a joy to use over saving a little more weight. This Eagle Creek bag looks to be way better than yet another Ziploc.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      For sure Knotty and I’m there with you. I’d love to get more miles but that’s okay. Not only are these little Eagle Creek dopp kit bags practical to use, they’re affordable and made by a company that has been around for years. In fact, Eagle Creek has a lot of new gear that has really impressed me. they’ve been listening to their customers, innovating, and improving.

  • Barb

    I like the way the Eagle Creek bags keep things sorted. Also, the bags slide against each other, making packing much easier. My packing is in a dry bag for a boat instead of a back pack, so an ounce here and there doesn’t matter.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      The organizational aspect of these bags is an enormous plus in my opinion. I didn’t mention that specifically, but the fact that I can put groupings of items in separate pockets and know where they are is a differentiator for me. I’m OCD (hard to believe I know) and find it hard to throw all my stuff into one bag and have to search around inside for something. It’s inefficient and really annoying. I get a lot of benefits from this 1oz little bag.

  • Joslyn Bloodworth

    Love it! I find gear and the tinkering that it inevitably brings with it, fun so I’m still going to have fun my way by getting pack weights for certain trips as low as I can go, but I think it’s good, healthy even, to step back from that and just take the gear you want without regard to the weight, even if it’s just once in a while.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Exactly Joslyn! I’m not throwing the weight consideration out the window, I’m just re-evaluating the weight savings I want to make and where I want to carry a little extra for the sake of having the gear I *enjoy* using. Meh – it’s not rocket science (and I still love the technical challenge of hacking gear for weight) I just don’t care to be THE lightest or to spend more and more money on gear in the continual pursuit of ultralight. #sensibleweight <– that's the ticket!

      • Joslyn Bloodworth

        Yeah, I’ve come to the conclusion that once I have everything I need and I like the way all my gear performs, I’m going to stop buying. Once I’m under 10lbs for three season and have everything I need I’m not going to actively buy more. If I get things as gifts or save up my spending money that’s one thing but at some point the endless pursuit of gear has to stop and the endless pursuit of trails has to start!

  • http://theultimatehang.com/ Derek Hansen

    Kudos. This has been my (secret) mantra for a few years. My ditty bag has been a repurposed nylon stuff sack from Adventure Medical Gear Bivvy Sack. I think most UL proponents have said it in this way, but I’ll repeat: find what works best for you and stick with it. There are a lot of great tips and techniques out there to save weight, etc., but sometimes that extra ounce here or there makes the difference for you. I stopped obsessing about weight a few years ago and found a happy medium, and I’ve been okay bringing a few luxury items on occasion (e.g., a lightweight folding saw) when it worked with the trip. I’m also in the sustainability camp, so finding ways to cut recurring waste, like using a ditty bag from Eagle Creek, makes long-term sense.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Thanks Derek. I’ll confess – this didn’t happen today, this month, this year, or even the year before. I’ve been secretly making these types of changes for quite some time and I’m okay with it. I just suddenly reached breaking point and had to get it off my chest.

      It may be old hat to some, common sense to others, and sacrilege to many, but I’m okay with it. I’ve always had a deep love of quality equipment and gear built to last. I love the idea of handing gear down through the generations and finding what was once old to be new again. And gear that is worn and can still be fixed and given a new lease of life – that just seems sadly lacking in this world of disposable everything and not just in UL hiking or backpacking.

      Funny, you always struck me as exactly that sort of person and it’s great to hear you say it here. Great minds eh? On an unrelated note I have been playing with my #LoopAliens and need to share some information about them with the folks here. Would it be alright with you if I share some of your videos?

      • http://theultimatehang.com/ Derek Hansen

        Thanks Brian. Yes, please use the videos I they are helpful, and the illustrations too. I have been playing with another way to hook them up recently that’s been working well that I should probably share soon.

  • Mike

    How could gear take the excitement out of backpacking, unless you’re more interested in gear than in backpacking? I think your statement is quite a bit overblown for most people…and I realize you’re speaking for yourself, but I just can’t fathom what you’re saying. It’s good you’re making a conscious change in approach, but who were you trying to impress before, if you weren’t happy with how you were backpacking?

    Personally, I hate buying gear. I don’t use ziplocs because they’re light…I use them because it saves me time & money going to buy something else instead. I love using a compactor bag as a packliner instead of wasting money on a pricey pack cover. My absolute favorite piece of gear that I own is my fancy feast stove. I love pulling out my stove when I’m backpacking with a buddy and telling him I spent less than $1 on it, compared to his that cost 50x more. I fully acknowledge my approach is different from many (especially the gear heads), but I don’t care. It works for me and I’m happy with it.

    I don’t enjoy using any gear…I enjoy walking in the woods and in the mountains.

    Why would anyone ever do it any other way than the one that makes you happy?

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Mike, in the same way you don’t care about your approach being different, I don’t care what you think about mine. I REALLY do enjoy using a well crafted piece of gear, it’s satisfying (to me). I also love just being outdoors and enjoying the scenery, but what I don’t like are ziploc bags that break, or leak, or rip. I don’t enjoy that one little bit.

      So I’ve upgraded and I’m happy that it’s one less thing to deal with (or stop not enjoying?). I also like that I can use this little dopp kit bag for other things outside of just backpacking.

      I’m glad you love your fancy feast stove, although I couldn’t tell if it was the inefficient, slow boil times that you like or the opportunity to brag about how cheap it is and make your friend feel bad. I love my my Jetboil Sol Ti which will let me enjoy a hot meal or cuppa joe in a minute and half and with just one click of the ignition switch – less fiddling with flimsy crap and more time enjoying… ah!

      I guess my point was that I’m removing the things that I am not happy with so that I can be more happy with the way I am doing it.

      • Mike

        You may have missed my point. All I’m saying is that my enjoyment of the outdoors isn’t influenced by gear. Quick or slow boil times, leaky ziplock bags, or whatever….these things aren’t the reason I go outside, nor do they mean I have a good or bad trip.

        The point is, there is no right or wrong way to do it. Everyone should do it the way they like best.

  • JJ_Mathes

    Brian I started using the EG Specter Quarter Cube about this time last year and never looked back. I carry my small gear items in it, headlamp, first-aid, personal hygiene, personal meds, earplugs, iPod and whatnot. It’s the only bag I need inside the tent and I know where EVERYTHING is in the tent or in the pack…organized. Over the past year I’ve moved to simple and compact with an emphasis on compact. I’ve never bothered with weighing the Quarter Cube, I don’t need to, it simply works that well.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      I know exactly how you feel. I have some of the Eagle Creek Specter cubes too, in various sizes. The marketing and r&d departments of Brian’s Backpacking Blog worked tirelessly for the past few months in collaboration with EG to come up with the new custom green color – so I’m glad you liked it. Somehow my custom logo and url didn’t ever appear on all the green Specter bags as they were supposed to, but oh well ;)

      • JJ_Mathes

        You’re so well known worldwide you’re beyond logos, green is enough, but you really should give orange a try. :-) BTW I see we both made the same type EG….EC it’s so EZ.

  • http://sticksblog.com/ Chad “Stick” Poindexter

    Love this post! Good one…

    And the little bag looks nice too. Keith was using one on our previous hike I believe… looks interesting. I don’t know how much I will get back from my REI dividend this year, I don’t think it will be near this much, but I think I know what I will put it towards! :)

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Just trying to put some class and quality back into my gear. I love this little Dopp Kit bag.

  • Sam E

    Does anyone else custom make bags to fit their gear? I just finished a project I’d been working on for several weekend to hold my survival kit. I find the process of designing the kit that’s right for me and then making the perfect storage very rewarding. And yep, those are the cool straw ointment packets Brian showed us how to make. Two color straws for neosporin and some anti itch cream.

  • Andy Jacobs

    I have an Eagle Creek Pack-It Spectre Compression Cube Set as well as a Pack-It Spectre Garment Folder, both from the same family as this Dopp Kit and they are fantastic. So thin and lightweight that they help me pack things into my GORUCK GR1 for carry-on-only travel on short trips.

    On that subject Brian, have you ever used this Dopp Kit on a flight where you had carry-on only? I am wondering how well it works when you are required to have your liquids in a Ziploc bag for TSA checks and you have to get the Ziplock into and out of the Dopp Kit. Just curious if you’ve run into this.