TEST SERIES BY ROBB PRATT
July 27, 2021
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unicornv007 AT yahoo.com
Canton, Michigan, USA
5' 10" (1.80 m)
165 lb (74.80 kg)
I backpacked sporadically growing up and rediscovered it back in 2011. Since then, I've taken several weekend trips a year. I also car camp with my family roughly a dozen nights a year when we use tents unless I can convince them I might snore and it would be better for all for me to use my hammock rig. I prefer a light pack (weight without food or water under 20 pounds / 9 kg). My backpacking stomping ground is northern Michigan that has small hills and I typically camp late spring, summer and early fall months.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
PHOOZY THERMAL CAPSULE XP-3
* Manufacturer: eXclaim IP, LLC
* Year of manufacture: 2020
* Website: Phoozy Site
* Weight as Delivered: 1.6 oz (51 g) for size Large
* Dimensions as Advertised:
.....Interior: 6.75 x 0.30 x 3.5 inches (17.5 x 0.75 x 8.9 cm)
.....Exterior: Not given
* Dimensions as Measured:
.....Interior: 6.75 x 0.30 x 3.5 inches (17.5 x 0.75 x 8.9 cm)
.....Exterior: 8.125 x 4.5 x 0.5 inches (20.6 x 11.4 x 1.3 cm)
* MSRP: USD 49.99
* Product description: The Phoozy is billed as "the ultimate thermal protection for your phone" but it is more than that. It includes:
.....Overheating Protection - made with 5 layers patented protection of Chromium Thermal Barrier which is basically the same stuff used in NASA spacesuit technology that will reflect the heat from the sun as well as providing insulation in cold conditions.
.....Floatation Protection - water resistant as well as light enough to float on water.
.....Drop Protection - exceeds military drop test standards (MIL STD 810G 516.6) by 2x. This standard, when broken down to its simplest elements, is a device must survive being dropped on every surface and corner from a height of 4 feet onto a hard surface.
.....The Phoozy also comes with a multi-point attachment system that allows it to be connected to backpacks, belts, carabiners, lanyards or even with Velcro-straps. While there are four different models, offering various levels of protection, I received the XP3 which also includes an internal stash pocket for credit cards, ID and money. The XP3 comes in nine different colors. I received the Marlin Blue from the Realtree Collection. The XP3 also comes in two different sizes. I received the large which was designated (using their online sizing chart) to fit my phone.
The packaging did a good job of showing the Phoozy XP3. The color in the printed picture (as well as the one online) matched perfectly to the actual Phoozy I received. I also found the pictures and descriptions which mentioned the level of protection for dropping, floatation, heat and cold to be very helpful. The back of the box also went into greater detail describing the benefits as well as the presence of an internal stash pocket.
Lastly, the package also opened like a book, letting me see the Phoozy before I removed it from the package.
As I do with everything I test, my number one pet peeve is poor stitching in the manufacturing phase. I am happy to state that after looking closely at the XP3 Phoozy, I was very pleased with the construction. All the stitching is very tight and meets cleanly at all the intersections. There were no loose or stray threads.
The external material feels smooth and is branded professionally in bold letters with "THERMAL CAPSULE XP-3" and "PHOOZY".
For the external dimensions, I was a bit surprised that it was bigger than I anticipated. That does not take back from its usefulness or its ability to be attached on my backpack. It just surprised me, and I was anticipating a smaller sleeve.
The actual Phoozy is opened easily by a pair of rubber tabs. The sealing is done inside with a long strip of Velcro at the top. I found a slight gap on either end but it's very difficult for me to determine if this would permit water (such as rain that dumps on me all day while I am hiking) to find a way down into the main body of the Phoozy but is something I will be looking into over the next few months, especially in April when Michigan hits the rainy season.
As for the internal dimensions, this caused me some initial heartache to measure. Rulers were just too difficult to use accurately. I did try multiple phones we had laying around but the trick I eventually settled on was cutting several pieces of cardboard to the dimensions provided by Phoozy. I was able to insert these into the main body without any problem.
The Thermal Capsule XP-3 Phoozy also comes with an internal pocket made of mesh that has a Velcro tab in it. I found this pocket to have a depth of 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) and a width of 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) which is perfect for a few credit cards and some bills.
On the back of the Phoozy is a small strap, sewn vertically into the material. It has three different loop holes. The middle one is the largest, at nearly 2 inches (5.1 cm). The top and bottom appear to be the same size and would permit straps of 1.25 inch (3.2 cm). I found my normal, everyday belt that I wear fits easily into the middle loop. It barely fits through the top or bottom loops.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
There are very little instructions, other than making sure I do not leave it in a car for greater than three hours in either hot or cold weather. I was not able to find a definition of what hot or cold weather is, but despite what my wife sometimes says, I have a decent sense of judgment. Other than that, it was very obvious how to use the Phoozy.
TRYING IT OUT
My initial trial was very straight forward. The first and most important thing was to see if it would fit my cellphone. With a soft, protective case, my phone is 6.5 x 3.25 x 0.4 inches (16.5 x 8.3 x 1.0 cm) in size. Although my Motorola Z4 phone (with the protective case) was slightly larger than the thickness dimension recommended for the Large XP3 Phoozy, I had no problem getting my phone to fit in smoothly. I was also able to easily close the Velcro at the top.
I tried removing and putting the phone back in several times. It was always easy although I did occasionally hit the wallet pocket which meant my phone did not seat correctly. Once I put the wallet pocket Velcro in place, this no longer happened.
My son, known for fumbling things, has a Moto Z-Play cellphone with an Otterbox protective cover fits inside but is much more snug. The dimensions on that phone and case are 6.5 x 3.3 x 0.5 (16.5 x 8.4 x 1.3cm).
As for the wallet sleeve, I found I could fit 6 cards and $9 (no judgment there, that is all I had in my wallet) and still close the tab. My phone still fit in and the tabs still closed but was much more difficult. I also struggled to remove the phone, cards and money. I reduced this down to my normal backpacking load of 3 cards (credit card, driver license and insurance card) and 2 bills (a pair of twenties). That worked perfectly and I had no problems getting my phone in or out.
I did find I have to be careful removing the cards. If I turned the cards slightly, they would get stuck on the edges of the pocket and take a little more finagling to remove.
|My Phone Next to my Phoozy|
|My Phone Going Into My Phoozy|
|My Phone Inside and Sealed|
Overall, I love the look of my Phoozy Thermal Capsule XP-3. It also feels incredibly soft. It is very well crafted, light weight and holds my phone and important wallet materials without any problem. I am looking forward to testing it over the next few months to see how it handles the outdoors when I am both camping and backpacking.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
* Weekend Camping 5/28/2021 to 5/30/2021 - Private Property at Lake, Michigan USA. The temperature ranged from 37 to 60F (3 to 16C). For this weekend, I slept in a hammock with the Phoozy XP3 (and my phone) placed in the peak shelf of the hammock. I took several shorter hikes throughout the weekend with distances of roughly 2 miles (3.2 km) each. While I did not carry a backpack, the Phoozy was strung to my waist using a belt.
* Overnight Camping 4/23/2021 to 4/25/2021 - Cole Canoe Base in Alger, Michigan USA. The temperature ranged from 40 to 60F (4 to 16C). For this weekend, I slept in a hammock with the Phoozy XP3 (and my phone) placed in the peak shelf of my hammock. No measurable hiking was done but I was outside the entire time and had my phone in the Phoozy when not in use. The Phoozy was usually located on the inside pocket of my rain jacket (which I was using as a wind breaker)
* Weekend Camping 4/16/2021 to 4/18/2021 - Kensington Metropark in Milford, Michigan USA. The temperature was 35 to 55F (2 to 13C) with mostly sunshine during the day. I camped in a tent for the duration of the weekend and took a 5 mile (8 km) hike with a backpack loaded to 31 lbs. (14.1 kg). The Phoozy XP3 (and my phone in Airplane mode) were placed in the side pocket of the tent at night or strapped to my backpack while hiking. During the daytime, I carried it loosely inside my rain jacket.
* Day Hike 4/5/2021 - Maybury State Park in Northville, Michigan USA - The temperature was 45F (7C) with light rain for the duration of the hike. Total hiking distance was 5 miles (8 km) over mostly dirty terrain and I carried a pack weighing 22 lbs. (10 kg). The Phoozy (and my phone) was strapped to my backpack.
* Day Hike - 4/6/2021 - Kensington Metropark in Milford, Michigan USA. The temperature was close to 90F (32.2C) with a lot of sunshine. This was only a hike, but it was over 15 miles (24.1 km) and I had a fanny pack loaded to 7 lbs. (3.2 kg). The Phoozy XP3 (and my phone) were connected to the strap of the fanny pack.
* Backpacking Trip 6/11/2021 to 6/12/2021 - Proud Lake Recreational Area in Wixom, Michigan USA. The temperature was 60 to 85F (15.6 to 29.4C) with some rain overnight and an overall hot, muggy feeling. I camped in a tent for the night and we hiked 6 miles (9.7 km) with a backpack loaded to 38 lbs. (17.2 kg). The Phoozy XP3 (and my phone) were strapped to my backpack shoulder strap. Overnight, the Phoozy (and my phone in Airplane mode) were tossed in the loft of my tent.
* Backpacking Trip 7/11/2021 to 7/22/2021 - Philmont Scout Camp in Cimarron, New Mexico, USA for 11 days / 10 nights. Temperature ranged from 50F to 85F (10 to 29C). It only rained twice during the whole trip (once while eating dinner and once while hiking) and the total rain amount was insignificant. The terrain was a combination of compacted dirt and rock. The rocks ranged in size from large enough to hop across while at higher elevation, they were smaller, fist-sized, loose slates that resulted in a lot of scrambling. My pack weight at its lowest was 35 lbs. (15.9 kg) and at its highest, over 50 lbs. (22.7 kg) depending on quantity of food and water being carried. While the whole trip was only 60 miles (96.6 km), with an average of 5.5 miles (8.9 km) per day, we had several long days that had over 10 miles (16 km) and had a lot of elevation gained / lost each day. The most elevation change in a day was 2,800 ft (853 m) and our actual elevation was between 6,500 ft and 12,441 ft (1,981 and 3,792 m).
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
After an initial rough start due to a leg injury, I was finally able to get out and do some hiking and camping as the weather improved. I was also able to test the function and usability of the Phoozy XP3 in keeping my phone safe from the various mishaps I occasionally experience while hiking.
In early April, I was finally able to see my parents in person (COVID kept us all on lockdown and away from each other). We celebrated with a nice dinner and of course, showing off the Phoozy XP3. While they are older - in their upper 70's - they still love to go out on the lake at their cottage yet always worry about getting stranded on the boat if the motor dies yet are nervous about taking a phone with them in case they drop it either on the rocks or in the water. As they are also known to fumble things, they were interested in the impact protection. After showing them the Phoozy XP3, the first thing we did was load it up with my old phone (I'm trusting but that not that trusting) and play catch with it for a while in the kitchen and garage. We must have dropped that phone about dozen times, sometimes on corner, sometimes on the front or back - yet my old Motorola Droid Turbo 2 never experienced a screen crack.
I was able to test the water protection several times. First off, I took a nice long hike in light rain. While I was worried about water running down into the Phoozy XP3 from the top, I never experienced any water inside after several hours hiking.
|Phoozy XP3 Strapped to My Pack|
Visiting my parent's cottage over Memorial weekend, we also took out the boat but before getting into it, we threw the Phoozy XP3 (with my cellphone inside) into the lake right next to the boat and waited a whole 60 seconds before fishing it out. That was a pretty long minute, but afterward, the phone still worked and had no water on it or inside the Phoozy XP3. Furthermore, the bright blue Phoozy XP3 was easy to spot and floated quite nicely in the water.
Several times, I was able to camp out overnight, both in my hammock and in a small tent. While I won't get into the comparison of the two (my wife has banned that topic when I meet new friends of hers), I found the Phoozy XP3 fit in both quite easily. For the hammock, it did not fit in the ridgeline organizer vertically as it was too big, but it fit in the organizer horizontality as well as in the peak shelf quite easily. For the tent, I found it was also too large / heavy for the side pockets and I was afraid I would roll onto it, catch it and tear the side pocket on the tent. Instead, after I added the gear loft to the tent, I tossed it up there and it fit just fine suspended and was easy to find in the middle of the night to check the time.
I had several tests which I performed during March and April. While I was only able to run one test below freezing, in each case I placed my current cellphone in the Phoozy and left it in Airplane mode either overnight or for several hours during the daytime in my car. For overnight, it usually lost about 5-6 percent over an 8 hour period. For the car, I lost only a few percent over 3 hours but the temperature was well below freezing. I also tested it in hot weather but never for more than an hour out on the deck in the sun. For that test, it didn't even lose 1% but I could feel the phone getting warmer so I did not run that experiment longer. In neither the hot or cold environments, did my phone lose function, reset or overheat. It is important to note that my phone is only about 4 months old so the battery is still very new.
Lastly, I have an old clip-on rechargeable light. I love that little light - it weighs practically nothing and has a great battery life. The only problem with it, is the battery discharges quickly in cold weather. I generally have to keep it on my body to prevent that from happening overnight. I placed it into the Phoozy along with my Cellphone in cold weather and in the morning, the light still worked.
BACKPACKING / CARRYING / PICTURES
This is where the Phoozy XP3 shined the most for me. Using a couple of carabineers, I was able to clip the Phoozy XP3 to the front of my backpack. I found the Phoozy XP3 incredibly easy to open, grab my cellphone, take a few pictures and slide the phone back into the Phoozy. I was able to manipulate it open and closed using some thin, lightweight gloves with ease. As my phone has gesture functions enabled, this made using it even easier. I never even had to remove my gloves, struggle with a zipper or a pants pocket to use. I did struggle though getting the Phoozy XP3 attached and removed from the backpack with the carabineers.
For the long Philmont trip, I instead used Velcro straps to attach the Phoozy to my backpack. The main pocket of the Phoozy contained my cellphone (to be used as my camera for the trip) while the smaller pocket inside had a single credit card and my ID along with some cash to spend at some of the camps.
During this trek, I found the Phoozy XP3 incredibly helpful for taking pictures - and wow, does Philmont have a lot of great photo opportunities, I took over 400 pictures. Anyway, much like my earlier trials, I continued to find it very easy to flip open the Phoozy XP3, remove my cellphone, perform the camera gesture, take a picture and put the cellphone back inside, all with one hand. I did this while horseback riding, river fording or even while hiking with eleven other people on the trail (i.e., stopping to fiddle with a camera for a picture was occasionally not an option).
Yes, I'm gushing a bit there about its usefulness as a camera-aid, but on a trip where there will be lot of opportunities to take pictures, this really streamlined the process for me and I found myself taking more pictures and capturing some of those rare, special moments because of how quickly I could get to my camera.
The Velcro straps also made it very easy to disconnect the Phoozy from my backpack and stuff it (the Phoozy, obviously not my backpack) into one of the huge cargo pockets on either the pants or shorts I was wearing that day. This let me grab my valuables and head into a store easy without pawing around in my pack looking for money.
Lastly, I did a day hike with some of the scouts (they wanted to work on their hiking merit badge) prior to the Philmont trip. For this hike, we hiked for 15 miles (24.1 km). As I wasn't carrying a pack, but I did want to bring water (it was really hot that day), I used a fanny pack that had a pair of water bottle holders. I was able to slide the Phoozy XP3 onto the strap of the fanny pack and that worked fantastic.
In all of these cases, I was able to easily grab my cellphone, take a picture and put it back with almost no effort. The Phoozy XP3 also never interfered with my hiking style or pace.
1. Rain protection - I was able to bring my phone along in the rain and even toss it into a lake without frying the electronics.
2. Impact protection - I was able to drop my phone multiple times without damaging it.
3. Visibility - I really liked the color. It was easy to find my phone in my shelter as well as when I set it down on a picnic table or somewhere else
4. Battery saver - While I never measured exactly how much battery I lost without using it, I feel like it did a nice job of saving a few percent overnight, especially in cold weather camping. I also did find that my old rechargeable headlamp did not lose its charge in cold weather when placed inside the Phoozy XP3.
5. Ease of Use - this really was easy to use and is worth noting how handy and fast it is to grab my phone and put it back in place when I'm done.
1. Size - having run the "how many things fit in there" test, it's sized correctly but it just is a bit bigger than I would normally expect to use.
2. Strap - the strap on the back has three small loops on it. The top and bottom are sized perfectly for Velcro straps or carabineers but the middle strap is a bit small for some of my wider belts.
I have enjoyed using my Phoozy XP3 over the last few months. it is especially easy to keep it strapped to the outside of my backpack and pull my phone out at a moment's notice and take a picture. I have also been able to use it to easily find WHERE I put my phone down - provided it is first placed in the Phoozy.
It stores inside my shelter (either Hammock or Tent) incredibly easy and I didn't feel like I had to wear my electronics next to my body overnight to keep them from discharging.
I also really appreciated the rain and impact protection.
I greatly enjoyed bringing the Phoozy XP3 along on a long, picturesque backpacking trip. It really excelled at giving me quick and easy access to snap photos, especially when combined with a cellphone that had a camera-on gesture feature.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2021. All rights reserved.
While I'm likely to leave the Phoozy XP3 at home for a short (low picture option) trip where I'm looking to save weight, I definitely will be bringing it on longer trips where I know I'm going to be taking lots of pictures and maybe even stopping in stores along the way.
This concludes my Report. Thank you to both BackpackGearTest.org and eXclaim IP for allowing me to test the PHOOZY THERMAL CAPSULE XP-3.
Read more reviews of eXclaimIP gear
Read more gear reviews by Robb Pratt