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Reviews > Personal Hygiene > Bathroom Sundries > GoGirl GoGirl > Test Report by Pamela Wyant

GOGIRL FEMALE URINARY DEVICE

Initial Report - October 14, 2009
Field Report - January 5, 2010
Long Term Report - March 2, 2010

GoGirl and accessories

Tester Information:

Name:  Pam Wyant
Age:  52
Gender:  Female
Height:  5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight:  170 lb (77 kg)

E-mail address:  pamwyant(at)yahoo(dot)com
Location:  Western West Virginia, U.S.A.


Backpacking Background:

I enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including backpacking,
day-hiking, car camping, and canoeing.  Most of my excursions
are confined to weekends, although I try to fit in at least one
longer backpacking trip each year, and have started section
hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT), accruing a little over 300 mi
(483 km) so far.  My style varies with the activity, but since
becoming a lightweight backpacker, I've noticed I tend to pack
somewhat minimally even on trips where I have more space.
Still, I don't like to sacrifice warmth, comfort, or safety.


Initial Report - October 14, 2009


GoGirl and packaging 

Product Information:

Manufacturer:  GoGirl
Year of manufacture:  2009


Advertised Weight:  n/a
Measured Weight:  44 g (1.55 oz) as packaged
    30 g (1.06 oz) device only
    12 g (0.42 oz) packing tube
    2 g (.07) plastic storage bag
    2 g (.07) provided toilet tissue

Approx. length:  6.5" (16.5 cm)
Approx. width:  2.25" (6 cm)
Approx. depth:  5" (12.5 cm)

MSRP:  $6.99 US

Website:  www.go-girl.com



Product Description:

View from topThe GoGirl is a female urinary device designed to make it easy for women to urinate while standing up.  It is funnel-like in appearance, with a  curved shape at the top to fit snugly against the body in the appropriate area, and a small rectangular opening in the narrow end to direct the urine away from the body.  It is made from medical-grade silicone, which is very pliable and soft when pressed, yet holds its shape well.  GoGirl calls the color 'lavender', but it is more of a rose color to me.  The device has raised words printed on it that include the GoGirl name on one side, "Do Not Flush" on the other side.  It also has the word 'up' printed on both sides on the shorter curved edge, which is a good reminder on which way to position the device when using it.

The device fits into a small plastic tube with a slide-in end cap, which was sealed when it arrived.  The GoGirl was wrapped in a small piece of toilet tissue and had a plastic storage bag wrapped around it and held in place with a sticker seal.  An instructional pamphlet and a letter with additional tips on using the GoGirl were shipped with the GoGirl.  Information on the benefits of the GoGirl and how to use it is also available on the manufacturer website.  The GoGirl is very much as I expected it would be after pre-viewing the website before the item shipped.

Preliminary Impressions:

When I opened the shipping envelope containing the GoGirl, I was pretty surprised by how small the carry tube was.  Once I broke the seal and removed the cap I noted how neatly (and tightly) it was packaged.  The thought went through my mind "if I take this out of the tube, I bet I never get it back in".  I decided to remove it very carefully so I could see how it was folded up to get it in the small tube.  It was easy to pull the GoGirl out, as the plastic baggie was folded and neatly wrapped around it with a sticker seal holding it closed.  So far, so good.  Once I removed the seal, the GoGirl sprang to life, so to speak, and very quickly popped out into shape.  There was no way I could observe how it was packed, so I was a little concerned about getting it re-folded and in the tube again.

After inspecting it and reading the directions, I naturally had to give it a try.  It was nice and dark out, and I live out in the country with no close neighbors, so I decided I would try it outside.  I debated on whether to remove my pants entirely before trying it, but decided I would give it a 'go' by just dropping them a bit.  The directions show very well how to position the device, and while initially a little awkward, the fit is pretty intuitive if it is held properly.  I was a little nervous, but I really had to 'go', so I just relaxed and let nature take over.  Apparently I was holding the device just a little too loosely, as I lost a few drops of urine out of the top part of the funnel, but when I pressed it a little more firmly in place, there was no more leaking.  It was a really weird feeling not to be squatting, but the GoGirl worked very well to direct everything away from my clothing, body, and most importantly, my shoes.

After rinsing it well, I let it dry overnight, and was happy to find I could easily roll it, wrap the plastic bag around it, and re-insert it in the tube the next morning.  I like how small the package is - it easily fit into a small cosmetic case of odds and ends that I carry in my purse, so I will be able to discreetly take it with me anywhere I carry a purse, fanny pack, or backpack.

After the first trial, I next tried the GoGirl indoors.  Happily, I was able to seal it properly to start with, and had great results aiming in the right spot.  I didn't even dribble at the beginning or end.  Which makes me wonder, why can't guys do the same?  One of life's great mysteries I guess.

I again rinsed the GoGirl, and was able to wipe most of the few remaining drops of water out with a single facial tissue.  Only a few small drops remained in the narrow end.  Although GoGirl recommends cleaning the device with soap and water (or washing it in the dishwasher!), that isn't very practical on the trail and would be a little weird in a public restroom.  I think wiping it out when I am public places or on the trail, and washing it with soap and water in camp or at home will be the most practical way to keep it clean. 

As I anticipate testing this device over the next couple of months, one thought that comes to mind is when using it in a public restroom, I will be facing the 'wrong' direction in ladies rooms.  I wonder if this will create a reaction from other ladies that might be in adjacent stalls.  I guess time (and use) will tell.

Summary:

The GoGirl is a neat and discreet product that I hope will allow me a little more privacy when I find myself needing a potty break on the trail, and will definitely be a little more sanitary when using a public restroom.  I am impressed with how light it is, how small it packs, and how well it works.

Small and discreet as packaged

Things I like:

Very light
Packs small
Easy to use
Hopefully will solve the problem of how to pee discretely along the side of the trail.

Things of concern:

Making sure I position it properly and keep it sealed against me when in use!
(Although this does seem to be going well so far)



Field Report - January 5, 2010

Field Locations and Conditions:

Unfortunately a couple of bouts of extended illness prevented me from taking the GoGirl on a backpacking trip, but I have taken it on several day hikes and have made good use of it in several public restrooms.

In October I used it on a hike of approximately 4 miles (6.5 km) in the Charles Fork Lake area in central West Virginia, with temperatures running around 70 F (21 C).

I have also used the GoGirl on three hikes on a nature trail near one of our local schools, hiking about 3 miles (5 km) each time.  Temperatures ranged from around 50-70 F (10-21 C). 

I took it on a day hike in the Kanawha State Forest of around 4 miles (6.5 km), but did not need to use it.  The temperature was around 40 F (5 C). 

I also used it on two snowy day hikes in the Monongahela National Forest in the mountains of eastern West Virginia.  The first hike was around 4 miles (6.5 km) and the second around 3 miles (5 km).  Snow was around 4-12 in (10-30 cm) deep and temperatures were chilly, in the 20 F (-7 C) range.

I have also used the GoGirl about a dozen or so times in public restrooms in various convenience stores and retailers.

Use and conclusions:

This has been a good time of year to test the GoGirl, since most of the areas I hike are primarily deciduous forest, which don't have much cover once the leaves have fallen.  For the most part, I've been able to loosen my pants and drop them a bit in the front and keep my backside covered while using the GoGirl.  However, I do have a couple of pairs of pants that just won't cooperate with that method and I've ended up having to drop them down further in order to properly position the Go Girl.  This negates the primary benefit for me of using the Go Girl outdoors - discretion.  With most of my pants though, I like that I can urinate discretely even in areas that don't have a good spot to hide.  The Go Girl seems to work particularly well with pants with a gusseted crotch or those made of a stretchy material.

Even better than using the Go Girl outdoors, has been using it in public restrooms that aren't very clean.  This has been particularly handy over the holiday season when stores are busier and don't seem to have as much time to devote to cleaning restrooms.  Or perhaps a lot more careless people are out shopping at that time of year.  Anyway, I've found the GoGirl has been handy many times when confronted with a seat that someone else has tinkled all over - no need to wipe up someone else's mess before I can use the toilet.

The packaging of the GoGirl is very compact, and I've found it fits even in the small pockets on the pack I am currently testing.  It also fits well inside a small zippered pouch filled with odds and ends I may need that I keep in my purse.  This has made it very discreet to have on hand without exposing it when I'm digging for my wallet at a checkout counter.

Using the GoGirl is a little different than 'going' naturally though.  Since the urine is funneled through a relatively small opening (without the force behind a natural stream), the Go Girl is still dribbling for a second or two after I'm finished, so I've found it important to remember not to pull it away too fast.  I've also found that I have more drops of urine to wipe off me when I've finished.  Since it's important to keep the device sealed, I can only theorize that this is due to urine backing up a bit in the device and wetting the body hair growing in that area.

Cleaning up after using the GoGirl is also a bit more of a nuisance than going naturally.  I've found it a little awkward at times, because I don't want to pull the GoGirl completely away before I've wiped as my pants are in much closer proximity to any clinging drops of urine (of which, as noted above, there are more), but it's a little awkward to wipe with the GoGirl positioned under the area.  And then it's a bit of a juggling act to handle the used tissue, the GoGirl, and the packaging it will go back in, as I try to wipe it out and put it away while keeping my pants from falling down before I have a free hand to zip them up.  This isn't as much of an issue in a public restroom as I can place the packaging on top of a toilet paper dispenser or in the top of my unzipped purse, and it doesn't matter if my pants fall down in a private bathroom stall, but I don't have the luxury of convenient hooks, shelves, or privacy doors in the woods.

For the most part, when I've used the GoGirl in the woods or in restrooms with stalls, I've simply wiped out any clinging droplets and wash it later at home with soap and water.  After my last cold weather hikes though, I simply tucked it inside the provided plastic baggie without wiping it (along with the used tissue), and regretfully I didn't get around to unpacking it for several days.  The baggie and device definitely had a nasty odor when I finally got around to unpacking them, but surprisingly the case did not.  I cleaned everything up well with soap and water, and happily the odor immediately dissipated.

Getting the GoGirl back into the tube is sometimes a bit of a nuisance as the device wants to spring back into shape even when it is rolled inside the baggie, and I have to hold it tightly and force it in sometimes.  At some point I may try simply using a zipper seal bag to carry it, but I do like how compact (and discreet) it is when stored in the tube.

So far the device and tube still look like new.  Not surprisingly the baggie is getting a little worn looking, but is still serviceable so far.    

Summary:

The GoGirl has both advantages and disadvantages over Mother Nature's setup for female urination.  I really like the discretion it allows, but have found clean-up a bit of a nuisance.  Overall though, the device provides a good solution for relief when there is a lack of privacy or a concern with sitting on a public restroom seat.

Likes:

Discreet when privacy is lacking
Sanitary solution for public restrooms
Packs small
Light

Dislikes:

Clean up can be a bit of a juggling act, particularly in the woods

Long Term Report - March 2, 2010

Field Locations and Conditions:

I used the GoGirl on two hikes on a nature trail near one of our local schools, hiking about 3 miles (5 km) each time.  Temperatures ranged from 25 to 35 F (-4 to 2 C).

I also used it around 4 additional times in public rest rooms.

Unfortunately, the GoGirl was inside a cosmetic bag that I lost from my purse around the first of February, and although I plan to purchase another one in the near future, the loss ended my testing earlier than I would have liked.

Use and conclusions:

As I did during prior testing, I found I have enjoyed the novelty of testing the GoGirl.  It's really nice to have on hand in the woods during the 'bare tree' season, as it makes needing to urinate a bit more discreet than having to pull my pants down around my ankles.  It works really well with loose fitting fleece pants or hiking pants with a gusseted crotch, although having a base layer on in addition to the hiking pants makes the logistics a little more difficult.  With tighter fitting pants, I do have to drop them down around mid-thigh, but at least not as far as I would have to without the GoGirl.

The GoGirl is excellent in public restrooms that don't look like they've been cleaned in a while.  I no longer have to choose between wiping up someone else's mess before I can sit on the seat or hovering uncomfortably above the seat while trying to avoid having my pants brush against it.  The GoGirl gives me the freedom to stand back from the mess and comfortably do my business.

I have not experienced any problems keeping the GoGirl in the proper position and have not had any leakage during this part of the test.  As before, about the only downside I found in using the GoGirl is that it isn't always convenient to clean it up to store it.  The baggie helps a lot in public restrooms, since I can tuck it in the baggie and shove it in the tube before leaving the stall, and leave cleanup for later at home.  That way I'm not rinsing it out in the sink that others are washing their hands in, and getting strange stares.  

Getting the device rolled up properly and into the baggie and then the tube seemed to always take a bit of manipulation.  On the trail it can really be a bit of a juggling act to put the GoGirl away, particularly when the trail is wet and messy and I don't want to just drop it on the ground until I get my pants adjusted.  Still the added discretion is worth a bit of juggling, particularly in areas where big rocks or other privacy screens are hard to find.

I was able to use the provided baggie during the entire test period (well, at least until I lost it), but it was getting worn & I expect I would have been replacing it after a few more uses.  The tube was holding up very well, and I expect it would have continued functioning for quite some time.  When I purchase my replacement, I expect that for backpacking trips I might try just packing it in a ZipLock bag that I could stuff in the hipbelt pocket of my pack, and leaving the tube at home.

Summary:

I found the GoGirl a very useful item to allow a bit more discretion when I need to urinate while on the trail, particularly in areas where privacy may be lacking.  It's also very useful when faced with a nasty mess in a public restroom.  I plan to replace the one I lost in the near future, and expect to take it on many backpacking and hiking trips, particularly in the 'bare tree' seasons.  I'm actually thinking of ordering a second one, so that I can leave one in my 'essentials kit' that I keep in my backpack even between trips, and one in my purse for use in public restrooms.

Likes:

Light & small
Improves discretion during 'bare tree' season or other times when privacy is lacking
Sanitary solution for messy public restrooms

Dislikes:

Cleaning it up & putting it away is not as convenient or discreet as using it

This concludes the test.  

Thanks to GoGirl and BackpackGearTest.org
for the opportunity to test the GoGirl female urinary device.




Read more reviews of FemMed Inc. gear
Read more gear reviews by Pamela Wyant

Reviews > Personal Hygiene > Bathroom Sundries > GoGirl GoGirl > Test Report by Pamela Wyant



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