Self-care is a must, and for a woman of my age, that means a lot of products. From my beloved Vitamin C serum and face scrub to eye cream, lotion and sunscreen, my personal care routine is, in a word, robust.
And, when I’m traveling, my collection gets more extensive. I need contact solution, toothpaste, Aquaphor, body lotion, shampoo and conditioner, not to mention aloe vera for sunny vacations. Rounding up all this product for a trip is chaotic and unsightly — I’m used to throwing half-used containers in my suitcase alongside travel-sized options and transparent drug-store holders. All in all, it’s a hot mess.
My travel nightmare of throwing everything in a bag and hoping for the best is why Cadence Capsules piqued my interest. The Capsules are a system of buildable, customizable, refillable and leakproof magnetic containers that were designed to keep your personal care products in order. Cadence Capsules advocate for less waste (adios, single-use plastics!), while also providing an organized way to harness all your stuff. And each Capsule is pretty, too, especially when several are magnetically clustered together in a honeycomb shape.
The Capsules were dreamed up by Cadence founder Steph Hon and meant to fill a void in the market when it came to organizational solutions. “It was between traveling to work, camping trips and workout classes that I first noticed the consumer need for a well-designed and quality organization solution that is supportive of both their environment and their modern multiplicity as athlete, urbanite and individual with a personal care routine,” she tells CNN Underscored.
A former home organizer for celebrities, Hon brought that background to the table when she set out to create Cadence. In her quest to do so, she spent three years and went through more than 200 prototypes before landing on the Capsule’s current look. “I knew that in order to create something better, I had to completely reimagine what already existed,” she explains. “With persistence, attention to detail and with the right engineers, we created Cadence Capsules — a buildable system to fit everyone’s unique routine.”
But are the Cadence Capsules worth the splurge for a set of organizational containers? We thought so.
What we loved about them
Cadence Capsules are meant to hold your essentials — from the aforementioned daily products to vitamins, rings, hair ties and more — in a way that is organized, aesthetically pleasing, planet-friendly and ultra-durable. Like, seriously durable. The brand tried dropping a Capsule from a two-story building and it didn’t crack, but instead, it bounced.
Each Capsule boasts a soft hexagonal shape, a wide opening and a rounded floor, all of which makes for easy filling and scooping out. In other words, there are no tough angles to get that last drop of moisturizer from a hard-to-reach corner.
Each of the Capsules is about 1.8 inches tall and 1.5 inches wide, so even when grouped as a set of six, they don’t take up much room. In fact, you can fit up to 15 Capsules in a quart-sized bag. The Capsules were also designed with sustainability in mind, a point we admire. They’re made from 20% recycled ocean-bound plastic and 30% excess manufacturing material. Plus, since they’re multi-use, you can more easily avoid wasteful single-use plastics on your travels.
Breaking each Capsule down, there’s a base, watertight lid and removable Tile that denotes what’s in each Capsule. Perhaps the best part of all is that each Capsule component is fully magnetic and can cling to one another, ensuring you’ll never lose any pieces. Plus, since they’re magnetic, you can mold them into different shapes to fit in any kind of nook or crevice in your favorite carry-on bag. And after testing the Capsules for more than a month, I can attest that these little suckers are total pros at storing all my stuff, from pills to oils.
During my testing, I found that each Capsule is truly airtight and waterproof. If you were to accidentally drop one in the toilet, for example, your vitamins would stay dry inside thanks to the lid’s industrial-tight seal. The Capsules are also TSA-compliant, BPA-free, top-rack dishwasher-friendly and — wait for it — 100% non-leaching, non-absorbing and chemically resistant. In other words, your face cream won’t absorb any yucky ingredients from the Capsules, and nor will the Capsules retain any ingredients from your face cream. And fear not, I found that my credit cards and computers worked just fine after being around the Capsules’ magnets.
Product efficacy aside, Capsule has another major selling point: customization. In addition to 40 predefined “Tiles,” which are what Cadence calls the Capsule topper labels for hair gel, body wash, hand cream and more, you can also create your own Tiles for an extra $3. So, you can customize what exactly you want each of your Capsules to be labeled. One line of text on a Tile can fit up to 12 characters, and two lines of text can fit up to 11 characters each. Or, you can select icons to go on your Tiles instead of text. And because the Tiles are removable, you can swap them between Capsules. Cadence sells Tiles individually ($4 each, plus an additional $3 if you want to customize the text on the Tile) or in bundles of three ($11, plus an additional $3 for customization), allowing for even more personalized containers.
We also love that you can mix and match Capsule colors to create your very own unique honeycomb, using every color of Cadence’s rainbow — from eucalyptus green and Pacific blue to purple, pink, black and cream. On each Capsule, you’ll have the option to pick both what color you want the container and the Tile to be. We love this customization option, allowing anyone to create their perfect look, whether it’s a uniform color throughout or a mix-and-match mashup. Plus, if you’re ever short on Capsules, you can purchase one individually to add to your collection.
All in all, I found that the Cadence Capsule system has been super handy not only when traveling, but also in my daily life. For example, when I recently went on a day trip to do some shopping, have dinner and see a show, I threw my hand cream, Aquaphor and Advil Capsules into my purse — all of which clung to each thanks to the magnetic pull. Whereas beforehand I would have had pills in a single-use plastic baggie and half-empty tubes floating in my purse, the Capsules were tidy, efficient and — I really can’t say this enough — super pretty to look at.
What we didn’t love about them
While we loved most things about the Capsules, there is one downside. In our testing, we found the product’s main drawback to be its size. Per the Cadence website, each Capsule can accommodate one to two weeks’ worth of skincare staples, two (or more) weeks’ worth of serum, two to three days’ worth of haircare or 17 tablet pills. While they’ll hold more of some products than others, for some, you won’t have enough space on a longer trip. So, the Capsules tend to be better for shorter trips — especially when it comes to shampoo and conditioner.
Additionally, the Capsules aren’t exactly the most affordable storage product on the market. The price per Capsule can be a bit tough to swallow — at $14 to $17 each — but purchasing a bundle helps bring the cost down. However, we think the cost is justified when you consider how convenient the Capsules truly are. If you’re willing to splurge on your travel wardrobe, the Capsules are a fantastic option to keep your belongings organized and leak-free.
The bottom line
Similar to packing cubes for my clothes, Cadence Capsules — whether as a single Capsule, a pack of six or a pack of 12 — have brought a zen-like peace of mind to my packing routine. Ultimately, if you care about the planet and, like me, you have a robust arsenal of personal products to take on the road with you, this woman-owned brand is worth trying out.