Useful travel items: GoToobs

I’m a big fan of GoToob travel bottles by Human Gear. I bought a three-pack of the large (88ml) size a number of years ago. I’ve honestly lost count of how many years ago but I’m fairly certain I took them to Lithuania in 2011 and I don’t think they were new then. So they last well.


GoToobs are little silicon tubes for transporting small amounts of thickish fluids – ailine amounts of essential toiletries. They’re perfect for things like shampoo and conditioner, shower gel, lotion and the sort of sun cream that you smear on rather than spray but they’re not so good for essential oils or thin liquids like serum, although I’ve heard this is more due to the silicon damaging the liquid than it leaking. I’ve never used them for anything like that so I can’t speak for it. I’ve never found the thick liquids leak, though, and although rumour is that they make liquids taste of silicon, I’ve never felt the need to drink my shampoo so I don’t know or care. The silicon is food-safe but I think I wouldn’t use them to transport anything edible.

They come in three sizes – 88ml, 55ml and 37ml, so all airline-approved and all with the volumes imprinted on the side of the bottle for proving the size to security staff and the 55ml version has a small but apparently unreliable sucker on it, to stick very temporarily to tiles. They’re made of a lovely thick squidgy silicon and have a wide neck and a plastic cap. The cap seems to be unreasonably tough – I’ve never so much as damaged one in all the years I’ve had them, let alone snapped the top off, which I can do in matter of days with a shampoo bottle.

A particularly cunning feature is that there’s a collar on the plastic cap that you can turn so that the little window shows what’s in it. There are two styles of collar. I have the old ones on my large tubes. A few suggestions for things you might store in them are engraved into the silicon itself, you turn the collar until the window is over your choice and then you just screw the cap on to the collar. The downside is when you’re screwing on the cap, the collar sometimes slips just a little, making it just a little less obvious what’s in there. However, on the new-style collars, there’s a ring built into the collar itself which you can click down, turn to the right label and click back into place. Once it’s clicked, it won’t move at all.

These days, they come mostly in multi-coloured three-packs – blue, green and clear or red, orange and clear. When I bought mine, they were all green and it can be very hard to tell what’s inside which one without the collar.

They’re quite expensive – as of today, a three-pack of the larges is £20 and a three-pack of smalls is £14. Despite me championing these things for years, my mother decided that was unreasonably expensive and spent £10 on a set of “reusable” pouches, which have never been reused and don’t look in much state to be reused after just one use. My GoToobs have paid for themselves many times over. In fact, I’ve enjoyed my large tubes so much that today I invested in a pack of small ones. Because my experience is that I use a lot of conditioner but not much shampoo; I always bring back my shampoo bottle half-full, so why not get the small bottles and take half the amount? Why take an extra 40ml, especially when you’re travelling on hand luggage only and every gram counts.

The wide necks make them easy to wash, although if you stick them on a shelf when you get back from a trip and don’t look at them again until the next trip, shampoo does tend to cake up a little bit in them after a while and an old toothbrush to give the insides a bit of a scrub with is helpful. It’s a very small negative point compared to everything else being positive.

They feel nice, they don’t mind being unceremoniously dropped into the bottle of the shower, they’re easy to squeeze, easy to fill, easy to clean and still going strong after more than five years. What’s not to like?

Disclaimer: I’ve not been given these, sponsored, paid or otherwise been incentivised to talk about these bottles. The day someone wants that from me is the day I screech in overexcited oversized letters that don’t even fit on the screen.