TEST SERIES BY TIM TESSIER
February 27, 2007
6' 2" (1.88 m)
215 lb (97.50 kg)
Backpacking Background: I hiked as a child with my father and started hiking with my now 15 year old son 7 years ago. We now routinely take 20 mile weekend hikes (2 nights) approximately once a month year round. Additionally, we take one, 5 - 7 day extended trip each summer. Most of our hiking is done in North Carolina, southern Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia. We go regardless of weather so we have experience in all types of conditions. We do not tend to travel very light, with a typical pack weight of 25 lb (11.3 kg) exclusive of food.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: When I Grow Up Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.snotspotvail.com
Listed Weight: Not listed in any manufacturer publication
Measured Weight: 1 oz (28 kg)
Other details: There are three versions of the Snot Spot. The Hand Spot designed to be used with a bare hand or thin glove liner. The Glove Spot designed to be used with thick winter gloves. The Mitten Spot, which I do not have for testing, is designed to be used with thick winter mittens.
The Hand Spot is soft microfleece that has been sewn, roughly into the shape of a thong. There is a loop, approximately 4" (102 mm) in circumference at the narrow end of the triangle which fits snugly around the finger to hold the Snot Spot in place. There are two hook and loop tabs at the wide end, 10" (254 mm) tip-to-tip, that fit around the wrist for an adjustable fit. The Glove Spot is the same general design with two major differences. It is larger, with an approximately 5" (127 mm) loop to fit over a thick winter glove and, the wrist section is sewn into a loop, approximately 12" (305 mm) in circumference, rather than having the tabs. The lack of hook and loop tabs makes it more difficult to put on. Once on, however, it seems to stay in place on my gloves.
|Hand Spot/Glove Spot|
The packaging is a model of simplicity. The product is tightly rolled and wrapped with a simple paper wrapper. The rolled product and its wrapper are then inserted into a simple Ziploc style plastic bag. The packaging is minimalist yet effective.
The product seems to be of very high quality. The seams are straight and seem to be very well sewn. The hook and loop tabs are straight and are stitched tightly all the way around, not glued on. This attention to detail speaks very highly of the overall product quality.
The microfiber fleece used is of a very high quality. It is very soft on both the hand and the nose. The black color is probably ideal for the glove spot, designed to fit over gloves. However, for the hand spot I would probably prefer a less noticeable, more flesh-colored option. Inexplicably, an alabaster color option is available for both the Glove Spot and Mitten Spot but not the Hand Spot.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
Due to the simplicity of the product there is very little requirement for detailed directions. On the paper wrapper there is a simple diagram of a hand wearing the Snot Spot. It is clear to see the proper way to wear the product. There is a tag sewn onto the hem of the product which bears the product logo on one side and washing directions on the other. I tried to look at this product as if I had no idea what it was for, as if I had received it as a gift. I must be honest, I would have welcomed something in the packaging that would give me a clue as to what was its intended use was.
TRYING IT OUT
My initial use of the Hand Spot was on a four mile walk on a sunny 30 F (-1 C) day. The product fit comfortably over my hand and the tabs held it firmly in place around my wrist while I was holding a dog leash with the same hand. After the first five minutes I honestly forgot that it was there until I needed it. The fleece is comfortable, stretchy, and lightweight. When used I noticed that the fleece is quite soft and comfortable on my nose.
Usage does leave a streak that can be seen in the sunlight. However, when it dries I simply rubbed the back of the Snot Spot with my other hand and it seemed to flake off and mostly disappear. This would be important if I were in a public place such as a ski area lift line.
We have a number of trips planned this winter/spring into the mountains of western NC and southern VA. These will include a number of trips into high elevations where we are sure to encounter below freezing temperatures and inclement weather. As we will routinely be carrying packs long distances the exertion, combined with the cold, wet, and high elevation will result in opportunities to fully test the Snot Spot.
My initial impression is that this is a well thought out, useful product that is also well made. I look forward to thoroughly testing it in a variety of conditions.
This concludes my Initial Report. The Field Report will be amended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information.
April 30, 2007
During the last sixty days we (my son and I) have been on three overnight camping trips and have taken the Snot Spot and Hand Spot on each. These trips have been in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at elevations ranging from 2500 ft. (762 m) elevation to approximately 4500 ft. (1372 m).
Weather has been typical for the southern mountains with night time temperatures as low as 25 F (-4 C) and daytime highs around 45 F (7 C). One trip was rainy, giving us the opportunity to test the products in wet weather.
The Glove Spot was used in conjunction with a pair of heavy suede gloves and also with a pair of REI Thermo Glove/Mittens. The Glove/Mittens were used in "glove mode" with the Glove Spot. The Glove Spot was of sufficient size to fit over the flipped down mitten fabric when being used in this way, and actually kept the mittens folded down and secure.
Initially I was concerned that the lack of a hook and loop fastener would allow the wrist portion to slide up. However, during several hours and miles of use I never had this occur.
During a day of hiking on a cold and rainy day, using trekking poles, the Glove Spot became completely saturated. This made it uncomfortable to use, however, it still served it's purpose.
As the days would get warmer I would remove the gloves and switch to the Hand Spot. The Hand Spot would stay firmly where I wanted it to be, thanks to the hook and loop fasteners around the wrist. After just a few minutes of wear I would generally forget that it was there, until I needed it. The Hand Spot would become obviously used by the end of the day, but when I took my hand and vigorously rubbed the back of it the streaks left by usage disappeared.
The fabric remained soft and pliable throughout. Not once, even when I had a cold, was my nose chafed, or made uncomfortable by use of this product.
Obviously we washed both the Hand Spot and Glove Spot after each trip. We would just throw them in the washing machine and dryer along with a load of dark clothes. Both items look like brand new, even after several wash cycles. They are not fading, nor have they stretched or shrunk in the wash.
I have found both the Hand Spot and Glove Spot to be useful and well thought-out products. While they are certainly not a necessity they do provide an increased level of comfort while in the field, and truly provide an increased level of cleanliness and comfort.
Things I like:
1. The convenience of having a cloth always handy when you need it.
2. The soft fabric makes it extremely comfortable to use.
3. The comfortable fit makes me soon forget I am even wearing it.
Things I'm not crazy about:
1. The Hand Spot is only available in black. I would prefer a less obvious color.
2. The Glove Spot is hard to get on, though it stays in place once on. It would be improved by addition of the same type of tabs that the Hand Spot has.
July 8, 2007
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
Throughout the summer months we have continued to use the Snot Spot regularly. I say "we" because my 16 year old son tries to lay claim to it every time. We have found this to be a useful product, much the same way a hydration system is in a pack. When I need to wipe my nose I don't have to stop and pull out a handkerchief or bandanna. I simply wipe my nose on the back of my hand and keep walking.
We have washed this product many, many times now and can report that there is no shrinking, stretching, fading, pilling, or any other negative effects evident from this. The product essentially looks like it did the day it arrived from the manufacturer.
This is, in my opinion, one of those hidden gems among the thousands of products available for backpackers. It weighs nothing, it helps you hike with comfort and efficiency, and it's a truly unique and imaginative product.
Read more gear reviews by Tim Tessier