By Theresa Lawrence
March 04, 2012
theresa_newell AT yahoo DOT com
Sparwood, British Columbia, Canada
5' 8" (1.73 m)
130 lb (59.00 kg)
I have more than 15 years of backpacking experience. Day hikes and 2-3 day backpacking trips take place on most weekends throughout the year while longer trips are only occasional. I backpack predominantly in mountain terrain (Coast Range, Cascades and Canadian Rockies) with the goal of summiting peaks. Activities I use my gear with include mountaineering, ski touring, rock climbing, kayaking, biking, trail running, Search and Rescue and overseas travel. I like my gear to be reasonably light, convenient and simple to use though I would not claim to be a lightweight hiker.
|Image courtesy of Whiz Easy|
Manufacturer: Whiz Easy Ltd.
Year of Manufacture: 2011
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.whizeasy.com
MSRP: CAD $19.95
Listed Weight: 14 g (0.5 oz)
Length: 15.5 cm (6 in)
Whiz Easy is a device enabling women to urinate in a standing position without having to undress. Whiz Easy is made out of a latex-free flexible medical grade plastic called Thermo Plastic Elastomer (TPE), which gives it antibacterial and antifungal properties ensuring safe and hygienic use. Its shape and design promises that it wonít spill, drip or splash. It also has hydrophobic properties meaning it is water repellent and dries with a quick flick making it self-cleaning. Rinsing is not even needed; though it should be rinsed with water once at home and it can be thrown in the washing machine without damage up to temperatures of 40 C (104 F). This product is meant to be re-useable for multiple uses without washing and with no degradation to its hygienic properties.
I finally broke down and bought Whiz Easy this winter in hopes that it would make ski-touring trips more convenient and enjoyable. I have now used it on 4 ski-touring day trips and 2 cross-country ski trips in the South Canadian Rockies. I have also used it on a Search and Rescue practice during a nighttime drill using a headlamp and on an Avalanche Training Course. Weather conditions varied from mild to high winds and snow with temperatures down to -20 C (-4 F). The device was used while on skis or wearing hiking boots and wearing multiple base layers and ski pants.
Well I am impressed to say the least. Whiz Easy is exactly that - EASY! For years I have had to fight with locating discreet places, squatting in deep snow, freezing my behind or using nasty outhouses if available, with my husband saying Ďwhatís the big deal?í Finally I too can play in the backcountry and not wonder where on route is the next best place for a bit of privacy.
However to begin with, my first thought as I took it out of its packaging was ĎICK, am I really going to carry this pee smelling thing around with me in my pack?í Then I read the instructions and the idea of it seemed not so bad: antibacterial, hydrophobic, etc. and I thought ĎOK, this might work when Iím desperateí. The instructions were detailed, easy to read and straight forward with visual aids so that I couldnít possibly get this wrong. I was advised to practice first, like in the shower so that I donít have an oops! I did just that and was promptly cleared for an actual field test.
I packed my Whiz Easy inside a plastic Ziploc bag and stuffed it in the side compartment of my backpack where it tucked nicely out of the way. It proved to be very flexible, I could roll it and squish it into my hand so no one could see what I was holding and then it would pop back into its original shape.
My first trip was a ski-tour and I decided not to hold back on the pot of coffee before heading out, I thought I may as well give it a good test run. I arrived at the trailhead and already I had the urge to go, but instead of groaning and dreading the endeavor, I whipped out my Whiz Easy and was very excited for my first real test. The result was amazing, a little scary at first as I didnít want to ruin a whole ski day with pee in my pants, but my first test proved successful. It was simple to use, just unzip, pull my base layers out of the way (a bit awkward, but easily doable), hold it in position and voila! A couple flicks and washed with a bit of snow it was back in the Ziploc bag ready for the next use. I used it several times that day while keeping my skis on and I felt very confident in very little time. With the conditions being windy I made the useful observation ahead of time not to face into the wind. I believe this was the correct decision. With the conditions being cold I noted I was not able to effectively manage the device with gloves or mitts on. This was not bothersome as I was able to keep all my layers on and I didnít have to adjust my position from that of skiing. After reusing it several times over the course of the day, it stayed dry and odor free and didnít have the ICK factor I had associated with it the first time I saw it.
Whiz Easy came in really handy on an Avalanche Course, when the rest of the group was digging avalanche pits and there was no real sheltered area away from them, I just walked away from the group to some trees, faced away and no problem. This would have been a huge stressor of where to squat, but not with my Whiz Easy. Iíve also used it during a Search and Rescue practice at night using a headlamp. This was also very successful and saved me from accidentally squatting over something sharp or prickly that I didnít see in the dark. With the use of my headlamp, my hands were free and I was able to use it as if it were daylight. I havenít consciously tried to aim Whiz Easy, when in position gravity did all the work and it just seemed to land exactly where I was safe. I also used Whiz Easy in an outhouse on a cross-country ski trip using the same instructions as above. Standing over a toilet was really no different; I just had to remember to lift up the seat.
I have thrown Whiz Easy in the washing machine with the rest of my hiking clothes on a warm/cold setting; the results seemed fresh and clean and saved me from hand washing it wondering if Iím being thorough enough after a big trip.
I have only raving reviews for this product, which has changed my level of enjoyment in the backcountry to an all time high. I have no complaints as yet and donít anticipate any. I am looking forward to testing it for other activities like kayaking and rock climbing (I wouldnít need to take off my harness), as well as festivals with portable toilets and travelling abroad with pit-toilets, airplane, train and bus toilets.
Discreet and portable
Easy to use
Easy to wash
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.
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