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Reviews > Personal Hygiene > Bathroom Sundries > Tinkle Belle > Test Report by Alyssa Kimber

Tinkle Belle

Test Series by Alyssa Kimber

Tester Information
Name: Alyssa Kimber
Age: 25
Gender: Female
Height: 5' 10" (1.8 Meters)
Weight: 130 Pounds (59 Kilograms)
Email address: alyssakimber at hotmail dot com
City, Province, Country: Fernie, British Columbia, Canada

Backpacking Background: I started backpacking last year after moving from the prairies to the Kootenay region of British Columbia. I’m relatively new to backpacking but I have significant outdoors experience having enjoyed camping and day hiking for many years. My trip length is generally one to three nights and ranges from prairie hikes to mountainous terrain. I am a 3-season hiker at present but I plan on extending my trips into the winter season as I pick up more gear. My pack weight varies depending on the trip, but I tend to sacrifice weight savings for comfort.

Initial Report

June 13, 2018

Product Information & Specifications
Manufacturer: The Tinkle Belle
Year of manufacture: 2018
Manufacturer web site: https://thetinklebelle.com/
Manufacturer's listed measurements:
    Weight: 1.8 oz (50 g)
    Weight with case: 2.6 oz (75 g)
    Length, extended: 9.25 in (23.5 cm)
    Length, folded: 5.5 in (14 cm)
Actual Measurements:
    Weight: 1.8 oz (50 g)
    Weight with case: 2.7 oz (76.5 g)
    Length, extended: 9.0 in (23 cm)
    Length, folded: 5.5 in (14 cm)    
MSRP from web site: $25.00 USD

The Tinkle Belle and accessories arrived in good condition. The package included the Tinkle Belle, an instructional pamphlet, and a carry case (see photo below). The Tinkle Belle is grey and turquoise in color and the carry case is blue with a white pattern and white zipper. The carry case has a grey fabric loop sewn on the side to which a metal carabiner is attached. The carry case itself is fabric on the outside with an inside layer that feels smooth and water resistant (but does not claim to be). The Tinkle Belle is composed of a hard plastic outer shell and a grey rubber liner. The rubber liner extends from the plastic body in a "spout" shape. The rubber extension can be folded back towards the plastic body to allow for storage in the carry case. The plastic body has an "extreme comfort lip" which is shaped in a subtle "S" and claims to be anatomically shaped to the female form. The plastic body has two thumb rests extending from its sides which are to assist with proper placement and ease of use (see 2nd photo below). The pamphlet notes the Tinkle Belle is antimicrobial and hydrophobic.

All Contents

Thumb Rests

Reading the Instructions
The pamphlet contains a list of instructions for using the Tinkle Belle, broken down into 10 steps. The steps are well described and straight forward. They include: how to unfold the Tinkle Belle and position it, how to hold it, "wipe", and store it. The pamphlet also includes cleaning, care, and storage directions. The Tinkle Belle can be cleaned by rinsing with bottled water, wiping with a disinfecting wipe, tissue or just shake and store until hot water and soap are available. The Tinkle Belle is also top-rack dishwasher safe. The fabric carry case is machine washable. The Tinkle Belle must be folded for storage and because of this, the Tinkle Belle may have "memory" which can be corrected by moving the spout from side to side.

The Tinkle Belle appears as it does on their website. The website has the same instructional information as the pamphlet as well as a promotional video and a video that shows how the Tinkle Belle fits "your curves".

Trying It Out
I did a test run at home using my bathroom toilet and was impressed at how easy it was to use. I thought I might have trouble with "aiming" on my first try but it was surprisingly easy. The thumb rests and the instructions on hip placement were helpful. There was no splash associated with it and it was comfortable to use.

Initial Impressions
I was impressed at how easy the Tinkle Belle was to use and "aim". I was impressed that there was aboslutely no splash associated with it, which is really nice considering your hands are on the device. Using it and wiping with it was surprisingly comfortable. It was also easy to clean in my bathroom sink. I would have a few reservations just shaking it and stowing it away in the carry case after using it on the trail because I couldn't shake off every drop.

My only concern is how to use the Tinkle Belle without removing or pulling down clothing. The pamphlet and the website both claim you can use it fully clothed but I could see that getting messy quickly. I will try this out on my first hike with the Tinkle Belle this weekend!

Summary
The Tinkle Belle arrived as advertised and appeared in good condition. The included pamphlet was really helpful in getting started with my "trial run" as it provided detailed step-by-step instruction. The Tinkle Belle performed well on the trial run, being comfortable, clean and easy to use. My only concern is how to use the Tinkle Belle without removing or pulling down clothing.

Pros
1. Comfortable to use
2. No splash associated
3. Easy to clean

Cons
1. Not yet confident in using the Tinkle Belle without removing clothing

Long Term Report

October 23, 2018


During the field test period I have used the Tinkle Belle on 3 backpacking trips, 1 overnight car camping trip, and 3 day hikes. My trips were in mountainous terrain with vegetation typical of subalpine forest and alpine conditions. Elevations ranged from 3300 ft (1000 m) to 8000 ft (2400 m).

Location of Trip #1: Mount Arrowsmith near Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada
Length: Day trip
Distance: 6 km (4 miles)
Elevation Gain: 1000 m (3300 ft)
Day Pack Weight: 10 lb (4.5 kg)
Weather: Mostly sunny
Precipitation: None
Temperature: 20 C (68 F)

Location of Trip #2: Heikos Trail near Fernie, British Columbia, Canada
Length of Trip: 2 days, 1 night
Distance: 21 km (13 miles)
Elevation Gain: 4000 ft (1200 m)
Weather: Cloudy, stormy
Pack Weight: 25 lbs(11 kg)
Precipitation: Mix of heavy and light rain, hail at times
Temperature: 2 to 20 C (36 to 68 F)

Location of Trip #3: Window Mountain Lake near Blairmore, Alberta, Canada
Length: Day trip
Distance: 7 km (4.5 miles)
Day Pack Weight: 5 lb (2.3 kg)
Weather: Partly Cloudy
Precipitation: None
Temperature: 28 C (82 F)

Location of Trip #4: Top of the World Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada
Length: 2 days, 1 night
Distance: 28 km (17 miles)
Elevation Gain: 1300 m
Pack Weight: 30 lb (13 kg)
Day Pack Weight: 5 lb (2.3 kg)
Weather: Partly Cloudy
Precipitation: None
Temperature: 10 to 29 C (50 to 84 F)

Location of Trip #5: First Peak near Jaffray, British Columbia, Canada
Length: 1 day, 1 night
Distance: negligible - car camping
Weather: Partly Cloudy, thundershowers in evening
Precipitation: about 2 mm (0.1 in)
Temperature: 15 to 31 C (59 to 88 F)

Location of Trip #6: Ralph Lake, Height of the Rockies Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada
Length: 3 days, 2 nights
Distance: 22 km (14 miles)
Elevation Gain: 1350 m (4400 ft)
Pack Weight: 35 lbs (16 kg)
Day Pack Weight: 5 lb (2.3 kg)
Weather: Overcast and rainy
Precipitation: about 5 mm (0.2 in) plus scuff of snow
Temperature: about -5 to 18 C (23 to 64 F)

Location of Trip #7: Silver Spring Lakes near Elko, British Columbia, Canada
Length: Day trip
Distance: 4 km (2.5 miles)
Day Pack Weight: 5 lb (2.3 kg)
Weather: Sunny
Precipitation: None
Temperature: 10 C (50 F)

Performance in the Field

The Tinkle Belle is a piece of gear I never knew I needed! Now that I know what I was missing I will never go on a backpacking trip without it. I used the Tinkle Belle likely over fifteen times during the testing period. It took some getting used to because standing up to urinate does not feel natural for me and I found leaving my clothing up was especially disconcerting. The first few times I used the Tinkle Belle I was hesitant and cautious but quickly learned to trust it and it did not disappoint. The Tinkle Belle handled my business every time without overflowing or splashing myself/my hands. I used as instructed with pressure on the thumb holds and my hips tipped slightly forward. I think this instruction helped in "directing" the flow. Depending on the surface I was standing over, I did have to stand with my feet wide to avoid splashing my shoes. The first few times I used it I felt more comfortable with my clothing pulled down, as I was afraid of overflowing/dripping on it. Once I became comfortable with the device I actually found it quite easy to just unzip and go, no pulling down required. Being able to stand and urinate without removing clothing was so convenient and easy. The best part for me was not having to wander off trail to find a private location to go. With the Tinkle Belle I could go almost anywhere without feeling exposed! The device is relatively small and light and fits easily in a side pocket on my bag.

The Tinkle Belle was comfortable to use and I found wiping with the Tinkle Belle was pretty effective, although I usually used toilet paper also. I would clean the Tinkle Belle between trips by washing it in my sink at home with soap and water. The Tinkle Belle never had an odour or any uncleanly characteristics after use. The one downside to the Tinkle Belle is the "memory" of the rubber spout. The rubber spout has to be folded back on itself in order to fit in the carry case. When the Tinkle Belle is removed from the case, the rubber spout continues to retain the memory of the folded position. It helped somewhat to bend the spout a few times the other way in order to straighten out the spout but it would not fully straighten unless it was left out of the case for several days. The bent spout makes it trickier to "aim" but was not detrimental to using the device.

Summary

Pros
1. Easy to use and carry
2. No splash or overflow
3. Comfortable to use and wipe with
4. Can use without removing clothing
5. Easy to clean/care for
6. No odour after use

Cons
1. Retains "memory" after storing in the carry case

Thank you Tinkle Belle and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product. This concludes my report of the test.




Read more reviews of The Tinkle Belle gear
Read more gear reviews by Alyssa Kimber

Reviews > Personal Hygiene > Bathroom Sundries > Tinkle Belle > Test Report by Alyssa Kimber



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