BULLFROG QUICK GEL SUNBLOCK
BY MIKE CURRY
July 14, 2007
5' 11" (1.80 m)
205 lb (93.00 kg)
I've been backpacking, climbing, ski-packing, bushwhacking, and
snowshoeing throughout the mountains of Oregon and Washington for
the last 25 years. I'm an all-season, all terrain, off-trail kind
of guy, but these days (having small kids) most of my trips run on
the shorter side of things, and tend to be in the temperate
rainforest. While I've carried packs (with winter climbing gear) in
excess of 70 pounds (32 kilos), the older I get the more minimalist
Manufacturer: Chattem, Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.chattem.com
MSRP: None listed
Listed Weight: 5 fl oz (148 ml)
Other Details: Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is 36
I have used BullFrog Quick Gel Sunblock on dozens of backpacking trips over the past 5 years. Most of the trips I have used it on have been in higher elevation (for around my locale) open country, where I'm likely to have the sun beating down on me. Elevations have typically ranged from 3,000 ft (914 m) to 6,000 ft (1829 m), and temperatures are usually 70-100 F (21-38 C) when I use this product.
I am a person that sweats a lot, so I need a sunscreen that won't just run off me when the sweat starts pouring. I've tried a number over the years, with mixed results. BullFrog Quick Gel Sunblock is the one I go to when I know I'm going to be more than 4-5 hours in the sun and it's hot enough to make me sweat profusely. It is the most waterproof and sweatproof sunscreen I have found.
BullFrog Quick Gel Sunblock is an oily-textured lotion (I wouldn't exactly call it a gel) with a slight grittiness to it. It has an unusual, though not unpleasant, aroma that reminds me somewhat of the bug spray my mom used to douse me with as a kid while car-camping. I feel a little nostalgic every time I put it on.
The instructions for use with this product are very straightforward: "Apply evenly and liberally onto dry skin before sun exposure. Rub gel in quickly & completely - then go for it! Reapply after toweling off. BullFrog washes off with soap and water."
My method of application varies slightly from this. I use a small amount, spread it around, wait a minute, rub it in more, and repeat until it no longer feels sticky. Then I reapply immediately in the same manner. I laugh when I look at the bottle where it says, "dries instantly." In my experience BullFrog Quick Gel Sunblock never really "dries," it just becomes less sticky. After applying, I feel a sticky/oily residue until I wash it off. Things like dry fir needles will typically stick to my skin with almost as much tenacity as a post-it note to a desk. Rubbing it in more can reduce the stickiness, but the oily sensation never really goes away. It isn't a sensation I like, but I like it a whole lot more than a sunburn.
So if BullFrog Quick Gel Sunblock is oily, gritty, sticky, and never really dries, why do I use it? Simple, it works under circumstances other products won't.
BullFrog Quick Gel Sunblock not only can stand up to my sweat, but it will take all the stream or river fords I can find in stride. Swims in alpine lakes don't reduce its effectiveness, either. Sure, there are drawbacks, but once I apply BullFrog Quick Gel Sunblock I don't have to worry about sunburn. Dirt and duff sticking to me, yes. Oily, sticky skin, absolutely. Sunburn, nope.
I actually began using BullFrog products not for backpacking, but rather while working as a Scuba instructor in the early 1990's. I can honestly say that even in Central America, getting in and out of the water dozens of times a day, and in the baking sun at 105 F (41 C) I've never had to reapply a BullFrog product before the sun set. My good experiences with it there carried over to my backpacking, where it has served me equally well.
While there are other products I prefer if I'm not going to be in the sun all day, BullFrog Quick Gel Sunblock is what I use when I need reliable all-day protection from the sun. I usually repackage it into a smaller container to save weight, and carry only what I anticipate needing for the environment I'm in and the clothing I'm wearing.
I am always very careful to wash this stuff off with soap and water before turning into my sleeping bag. The stickiness factor, combined with its dust-magnet properties, make it tough for me to sleep (and messy!) if I don't wash it off. Soap is an absolute requirement to remove the product, so I carry soap and wash it off before turning in for the night.
THINGS I LIKE
*Single application each day
*Incredible water and sweat resistance
*High sun protection factor (SPF 36)
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
*Oily feeling and residual stickiness on skin
*Gritty feeling while applying
*Having things stick to me (pine and fir needles, dirt, etc.)
Mike Curry - thefishguyAThotmailDOTcom
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
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