They have a tendency to escape their containers and spread all over your gear. Airport goons confiscate them with kleptomaniacal glee. They occasionally decide to re-enforce the TSA’s fears by exploding due to air pressure. They always seem to come in bulky and horribly designed containers. Containers that are useless for re-use.
Liquids are, in short, the least packable and least portable of all nomadic necessities.
…But what if they could be harnessed?
What if your liquids could travel the world with you leak free, TSA-immune, and in excellently designed reusable containers that always dispense the right amount?
These squishy little silicone tubes, playfully named GoToobs (I know, I pronounce them “GooToobs” in my head too), endeavor to accomplish this.
Designed with the globe trotting nomad in mind by Chris Miksovsky and his team at humangear, the GoToob aims to simply and quietly perform exactly as it should throughout every adventure.
If you’ve ever tried holding water in your cupped hands, or tried travelling with a disposable shampoo bottle, then you know this is no easy feat.
So how do the GoToobs measure up to their deceptively complex purpose?
Let’s take a look.
What GoToobs By humangear Are Made To Do:
On the homepage for GoToobs, humangear claims that they’re…
- Will never leak. “A special ‘no-drip’ valve helps the cap stay clean”
- Durable. “made from soft yet rugged silicone.”
- Don’t contaminate contents. “they’re food-safe (FDA), and they’re 100% BPA-free and PC-free.”
- Stick to a wall…kinda. “a handy suction cup that can briefly attach to walls”
- Allowed to be carried on to airplanes. “All GoToobs are approved for airline carry-on”
- Dispense all types of liquid easily. “easy to squeeze, and it dispenses the product right away”
- Easily cleaned. “A large opening mean’s it’s easy to fill and clean your GoToob”
- Easily refillable. “A large opening mean’s it’s easy to fill and clean your GoToob”
- Won’t slip when wet. They don’t claim this, but it’s important for something you’ll use in the shower.
- Make it easy to tell contents apart at a glance. Has a ID window to list the contents.
Do GoToobs Do What They’re Made To Do?
TL:DR at the bottom
This is one of the most important features of any container. If the contents can get outside of the container on their own, then it’s not ‘containing’ anything, is it?
There are two points of leakage in any container: the cap & the body.
Built into the GoToob cap you’ll find four leak-stopping fail-safes…
- The first, the screw on cap, is tight and snug enough that even the runniest of liquids can make no escape.
- Second, the flap-opening that separates the contents of the GoToob from the world. Just like in the old Gatorade bottles, these flaps only let the contents through if some pressure is applied to squeeze the tube. Thereby ensuring that whatever’s inside won’t just slowly dribble out. This, of course, only works when the cap is open and therefore not holding the flaps closed.
- Third comes the hinged lid, with two anti-leak fail-safes built into the inside of it’s cover: One the holds down the flap-opening so it doesn’t open by accident. One to separate that flap area from that of the rest of the lid (so that, if the flap did leak, it would be contained in one small portion of the lid surrounding the flap instead of the whole lid). If liquid escapes those two the lid has two small gaps at the hinge and so will only partially help contain less viscous substances.
- Fourth, the plastic part connected to the silicone body that allows the rest of the cap to screw on and off. The cool thing is that this part isn’t even a factor for leaking: the silicone body is designed to go under this connecting part the and then flare out on top of it.
As for the body, the whole of it is made of two pieces of silicone that have been seamlessly molded into one unbroken pouch. There is no place for a leak to occur.
This silicone pouch is fairly expandable and almost completely flatten-able, so it will endure being squished in your bag and expanding/contracting with altitude pressure without a problem. It’s even freezable (down to -40°C), and so can handle the size changes of contents as they go between solid and liquid states.
Don’t Contaminate Contents?
It can create some weird effects with certain contents, though…
Some things will become more or less viscous if left in the GoToob for more than a few months. Not a big deal.
Other things, however, can have real chemical reactions, changing the chemical state of the contents and/or the silicone pouch.
humangear has created a non-comprehensive list of things you should avoid putting in your GoToob:
- Salicylic Acid (most often used in acne treatments).
- Hair serums and treatments, including shampoos and conditioners designed to add shine or luster to hair. Products with Argan Oil (like Moroccan Hair oil) are definitely not recommended.
- Silicone-based lubricants.
- DEET-based insect repellent.
- Hydrogen Peroxide.
- Sterile products (Note: Even though sterile products may be fully compatible with silicone, GoToobs are not sterilized. Therefore, we don’t recommend GoToobs for use with fluids where sterilization may be an issue, such as contact lens solution. This includes liquid or semi-liquid prescription medications.).
- Caustic, corrosive, or flammable products.
humangear also advises that “It is a good idea when using any product in a GoToob for the first time either to test a small amount overnight or to pack the GoToob in a leak proof bag for protection”.
They posit that, if any reaction is likely to occur, it will usually make itself known overnight. Among things worth testing, they list …
- Personal lubricants (non-silicone based).
- Liquid sweeteners (especially Stevia).
- Essential oils.
- Sunscreen and tanning lotions.
- Skin conditioning oil formulations.
- Castille soap. (note: I’ve tested Dr. Bronner’s myself for over a month. No problems at all.)
This can seem like a bigger problem than it actually is. Most things that you would want to carry can be put in the GoToob. The only thing here that will effect most nomads is that you can’t us it to carry alcohol-containing liquids (some perfumes, mouth washes, vodka tonics to go, etc.)
Will Stick to a Wall…Kinda?
Due to the type of silicone it’s made of, the suction cup will only keep it’s suction for a quite limited amount of time. There are countless reports of it suddenly becoming unstuck and falling to the floor, often cracking the cap on impact. The 2 oz GoToob comes with a suction cup to attach it to a wall. It’s an alright idea, but it fails in practice.
If this does happen, humangear will send you a new cap in the mail for free if you let them know.
However, the mere fact that this does happen makes it a useless feature that just results in making the 2 oz GoToob needlessly more bulky and cumbersome.
Even if it did work, I’d rather not have it. Worst case scenario, if there isn’t a shelf in the shower, I can just put my GoToob on floor. No biggie.
Allowed On Airplanes?
Yup, the size and make of GoToobs is 100% TSA approved. Legally, the TSA and most other airport security forces can’t confiscate this.
If they try to, you can always empty it out and at least save the tube. And humangear has been known to replace confiscated GoToobs if you let them know what happened.
Dispense All Types of Liquid Easily.
One of the things that most fascinates and delights me about GoToobs is that they are better at dispensing their contents than just about every other container I’ve ever used…including the containers the contents come in!
It is built so that the cap is also the base, making gravity keep your contents close to the opening.
They dispense toothpaste more cleanly and evenly than the toothpaste tube. Dr. Bronner’s soap comes out without any of the spillover and annoying metering out that the default bottle gives you. Oils dispense wayy better than any oil bottle has ever been able to achieve. It dispenses coffee-to-go better than any to-go energy drink bottle. It’s even excellent as a mini-water-gun! Just about the only thing it can’t beat here is the mist-style output of a bug-spray bottle.
There is a learning curve, however. Since the flap requires pressure to open up, that pressure will build up a bit before the contents actually come out. Which means that less viscous contents (water, Dr. Bronner’s soap, oil) will come out in a quick projectile stream. Often, you’ll get more of it than you wanted.
The solution here isn’t to apply less pressure, as then the flap simply won’t open. The trick is to apply that pressure very quickly. You’ll want to release the pressure almost before you realize that the liquid is coming out. Try this a few times and you’ll quickly get a sense for exactly how long to squeeze to get the amount you want.
Another downside is for more viscous liquids like toothpaste. As the GoToob can not be rolled up like a toothpaste tube, you’ll start having trouble building enough pressure to dispense once you’re at about 1/3rd capacity. The only fix here is to either fill it up again when it reaches this point, or to take off the cap and dip your brush into it. This isn’t ideal, but the wide opening beneath the cap is big enough that it’s easy and not too much of a pain.
A benefit of the wide opening and the complete disassemble-ability is that it’s very easy to clean: You can just run it under a tap, using your finger to to tease out anything that doesn’t come out on it’s own for a quick clean. Or take it apart in 10 seconds to clean all the parts of it.
They’re even completely dishwasher safe, so you can throw all the parts in the dishwasher (top shelf only) and have them come out immaculate.
The GoToob has a nice wide opening with a 2 cm diameter. That’s wide enough that you can pour almost any of the less viscous liquids in there without any danger of spillover.
When putting in something that is more viscous, like toothpaste, you may have to pause periodically and tap the GoToob against a wall to get the contents to the bottom, as they can sometimes glob up near the top of it and form a bit of a barrier.
Won’t Slip When Wet
These little things have a strange, almost fuzzy feeling to them. I can’t describe it, but I love how it feels on my hands.
Whatever it is, it keeps them grippy no matter how wet.
Make It Easy to Tell Contents Apart at a Glance
There is a surprising abundance of ways to tell your GoToobs and their contents apart.
First, and perhaps most useful, is that the silicone comes in five different colors. If you just remember that, say, the red one is for soap, the green for toothpaste, and the clear is for massage oil, then you’ll usually be good to go.
Second, the GoToobs are very translucent, meaning that you can see the amount and color of the contents inside, making it even easier to tell them apart.
The third, however, is the one single unnecessary and therefore non-ideal feature designed into every GoToob (the suction cup being only for the 2 oz): the labeling-wheel-thing on the lid.
They engineered the bottom part of the lid with two layers, one turn-able, with a hole it, and one with different labels embossed in it. So you can turn it to select a label for what is inside.
This is useless. The above two features make is to that you’ll almost never need to read a label, and the complexity of this feature add a whole unnecessary piece and some bulkiness to the tube.
And, to somewhat add onto the non-usefulness, the labels themselves are embossed in the same non-intrusive way as the humangear logo. The same color as the background, which means they’re very hard to read unless you’re in good light and looking quite closely.
It’s not a huge deal though, and it’s discreet enough that if you don’t use the label feature you’ll probably never even notice it’s there.
GoToobs require almost zero maintenance. They can be cleaned just by running them under the tap or putting them in a dishwasher, and there’s nothing that requires replacing or upkeep.
The silicone body is almost completely flattenable, quite expandable, and resistant to piercing.
It almost definitely won’t be damaged unless you put in any reactive substances.
They are machine washable and can withstand temperatures as low as -40°C and as high as 190°C.
The weakest point is the cap hinges, which have been known to break apart.
This is a pretty minor inconvenience if it happens (you can just take it off and on instead of unhinging it), and GoToob’s lifetime warranty will replace the cap at no charge if you let them know.
In fact, humangear’s reputation with their warranty is excellent. If any of their products fail, humangear is known to be very upstanding and generous with sending free replacements.
“At humangear, we obsess over our products and constantly strive to make them amazing. And we stand behind them once they leave our doors. We are proud to offer a lifetime warranty on everything we make.
Wouldn’t it be great if every company did this? We think it would probably lead to a lot less cheap junk in the world and a lot more smiling people.”
Weight, Size, and Noticeability: 5/5
They weigh very little, come in 1.25 oz, 2 oz, and 3 oz, and are easy to pack.
They never leak and are quite small, so you won’t notice them until you want them.
The design might be a bit improved by changing the shape to something more packing-friendly, like a rectangle…but that’s really not an issue.
They are a touch expensive at $15.99 for a pack of three.
However, with a lifetime warranty that has a reputation for being honest and easy, and the benefit of never having to worry about a spill again, I say it’s well worth the price.
Design & Aesthetics: 5/5
These little things are the best designed liquid-containers for minimalist nomads that I’ve yet encountered. They have a playful and friendly vibe to them. The silicon has an uber soft, almost fuzzy quality to it’s surface. I can’t describe it, but it just feels excellent to touch and squish.
The humangear logo is discreetly embossed on the cap in a tiny and friendly font.
I feel a bit warm inside whenever I hold one in my hands.
humangear has managed to solve a problem that has been plaguing nomads since the dawn of time: transporting liquids.
The GoToob is the leak-free, travel friendly, versatile and, somehow, cute way for you to carry your soaps, oils, toothpaste, food, and whatever other liquids you’re bringing around the world.
- They will never leak.
- They’re TSA approved and allowed on planes.
- The contents are easy to tell apart at a glance.
- They’re easy to fill and to clean.
- The usually dispense their contents better than the content’s original container.
- They are excellently packable.
Unlike most of the other excellent nomad gear out there, they don’t have a strong cult following around them. They’re loved by nomads, gym goers, and even soldiers… yet everyone is surprisingly quiet about it. It kinda fits their gentle and discreetly excellent design and business philosophy.
Once you’ve bought your GoToobs, you’ll never have to buy another travel container again. Even if you do manage to break them, humangear’s lifetime warranty will usually replace them.
These, I feel confident in saying, are the best liquid containers for nomads ever created.
TL:DR: GoToobs don’t ever leak, don’t break, weight very little, can carry most liquids you’ll want, dispense nicely, feel good, and don’t get confiscated by TSA. If you break them, humangear will replace them for free.