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Reviews > Personal Hygiene > Bathroom Sundries > pStyle > Owner Review by Katie Montovan


pStyle

Picture from www.thepstyle.com/

Owner Review by Kathryn Montovan
August 14, 2012

Tester Information

Name: Kathryn Montovan

Biography:

I have been backpacking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing and winter camping for over 10 years. My excursions are mostly weekend and occasionally weeklong backpacking and kayaking trips in the wooded and often wet, rolling terrain of western New York. I usually tarp camp with a small to large group and love to cook fun and delicious foods on my trips. In general, I strive for a compact and light pack but value well-made and durable gear over ultralight items.

E-Mail: sull0294(at)gmail(dot)com
Age: 29
Location: Groton, New York USA
Gender: F
Height: 5' 5" (1.65 m)
Weight: 150 lb (68 kg)

Product Information

Manufacturer:

pStyle

Year of Manufacture:

2011
Manufacturer's Website: www.thepstyle.com
MSRP US$ 12.00
Advertised Weight: None
Measured Weight: 0.6 oz (17 g)
Dimensions: 7.25" x 2.9" (18 x 5 cm)
Available Colors: blue, clear, green, purple, orange and pink

Product image
The pStyle with its packaging

Product Description:

The pStyle is a stand to pee (stp) device for women that does not require undressing. It is a uniquely shaped funnel made out of hard plastic that directs the urine away from the body. It is one piece of smooth, hard plastic which means that it does not fold and retains its shape around clothing layers. It does not come with a carrying case, but the company does offer an optional fabric case for $12.00 US.

The instructions that come with the pStyle are: “Place the pStyle so the widest part is between your legs, centered under your urethra, and pressed firmly upward. Tilt the open end slightly down, relax, and pee. Bend your knees a little and pull the pStyle slowly forward with firm upward pressure to remove the remaining drops. Shake, wash with soap and hot water, and store in a secure place.”

Owner Review:


I have had the pStyle for approximately 6 months and have used it on 6 weekend trips, a 5-day canoe trip and many day outings. These trips have involved backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, and hiking. Temperatures have ranged from 45 – 100 F (7 – 38 C) and I have encountered both sunny and rainy conditions. I spent most of the time in the field at sites and on trails without bathroom facilities. My clothing has included lightweight hiking clothes, multiple layers for cold and rainy conditions, tight jeans, a climbing harness, and a wetsuit and paddling gear.  

Initial trial runs:

The instructions recommend practicing technique in the shower first, and that loose pants make the pStyle easier to use. Maybe I am gutsy, but I decided that the pStyle looked straightforward enough to skip the shower step and go straight to a first try with my pants well out of the way. I carefully placed the pStyle and it worked flawlessly. Next, I tried using it while wearing loose shorts. Again, I was amazed at how easy it was to use. The firm upward pressure while removing the pStyle also did a surprisingly good job in place of toilet paper.
IMAGE 2
The pStyle in my hand for size comparison.


Since the first two tries went so perfectly I jumped straight to the ultimate at-home test: using the pStyle discretely with tight jeans. I simply opened the zipper and slipped the pStyle through the opening. It worked flawlessly.


Field Use:

The pStyle performed just as well in the field as in my house. I kept it wrapped in a bandanna in the outside pocket of my pack. The first time I used it in the field I was amazed to see how far from my feet the stream hit. What a relief after years of squatting and trying to find the right position and location so that my feet don't get splashed or end up in a puddle. After I used it, I shook any remaining droplets off the pStyle, dried and wrapped it with the bandanna and put it back in my pack. I am not prone to infections and have had no problems with this level of cleaning.

While teaching a backcountry cooking class, I enjoyed the luxury of walking a short distance from the group and ducking behind a tree to pee discretely while remaining within earshot of my students. In the night I even felt confident enough to use it with my headlamp off and everything went well. On this trip the other female instructors had pee-rags that they kept on the outside of their packs. This was a new concept to me, but has been working well for me in combination with the pStyle. I use the bandanna to dry off the pStyle and then place the bandanna on the outside of my pack to dry in the sun.

Multiple layers: I did find that it was difficult to use through multiple layers that don't have flies. On one overnight I was wearing two layers of long underwear and a pair of elastic waistband rain pants. I had some difficulty negotiating around all of the layers with so many elastic waistbands. If the future when I buy gear, I may start watching for long underwear and rain pants with built in flies to make this easier, but the pStyle worked despite the challenge and the inconvenience was minimal.

Backpacking: On two backpacking trips I have had the pleasure of realizing I needed to pee, and instead of watching for a good place, removing my pack, hiking into the woods, peeing and returning (often at least a 5 minute endeavor), I was able to reach back into the outside pocket of me pack, pull out the pstyle, step a little ways off the trail, pee, dry off the pStyle, stick it back in my pack and get back on the trail in less than a minute.

Kayaking: For kayaking, this was a great tool for addressing the problem of highly layered kayaking gear. This gear forms a complex layering system that is a frustrating obstacle as I dance my way into the woods or to the latrine. First there is my hat, then my life-jacket, then my tow-belt, then my paddling gloves, then my splash-top, then my spray skirt, then my wetsuit, then whatever layers I might have under the wetsuit. The pStyle does not allow me to skip all of the layers, but it does make removing the final few unnecessary. Some wetsuits, and most drysuits have a relief zipper that, in combination with the pStyle, would put an end to the whole dance. I am thinking about  adding one to my wetsuit for this purpose.  Also, while kayaking I am often on islands with less cover than I would like. On my last kayaking trip we had lunch on an island without bathroom facilities and with very little tree or bush cover. It was impossible to find a place out of sight from the water or the other people on the island, but with the pStyle I was able to duck behind a tree and no one even knew what I was doing.

Climbing harnesses: The other main area that I could see the pStyle being invaluable is for climbing. There are times while climbing when it is not safe to remove a harness to pee. If this device is able to work through a climbing harness and climbing clothes it could make my climbing adventures more enjoyable and safe.  I have not gone on a climbing trip since I bought the pStyle, but decided to test it out with my gear and see how it would work around my climbing clothes and harness. I wore climbing pants with a zipper and put on my harness as I would if I were climbing. It took me a minute to figure out how to undo the zipper around the harness, and to decide which loop to stick the pStyle through, but once I sorted it out, it worked just fine. I do not think I could use it if I was hanging on the rope, but could definitely use it while roped in on a ledge without ever having to put myself in danger by removing my harness. I think that it would also work with elastic waistband climbing pants but would want to test it before I went climbing in them.

Tight jeans tip: I found that it was helpful to press down firmly on the pStyle just outside the opening of my jeans and to bend my knees to help the pStyle point downward. This was a useful technique in general but especially important when I was wearing tight jeans.

Performance: It has worked flawlessly for me. I have not gotten wet once with this stand to pee device and it is by far the easiest that I have tried to get positioned and to use. The hard plastic makes it possible to use it discreetly without removing any of my normal layers, even when wearing tight fitting clothing. Elastic waistbands present a small challenge, but even with multiple waistbands I was able to use it without mishap and without removing any of the layers. I also appreciate that the pStyle is long enough that the stream lands far from my feet.

Durability: The pStyle is made out of a solid plastic that holds its shape well. I have stuffed it into pockets and packs without it bending or breaking. So far I have had no problems with the pStyle retaining odors and find it to be really easy to clean between uses and after trips. After trips I often toss it in the washing machine with all of my trip clothes and it comes out clean and ready for the next trip. It gets so clean that I am not uncomfortable handling it or having other people stumble upon it while in my bathroom.


What I like:
1) Does not require any undressing
2) Easy to clean and sanitize
3) Works for me every time

What I didn't like:
1) Too long to carry in a pants pocket but fits well in my raincoat pocket and outside pack pocket
2) The hard plastic is not as comfortable as the silicone stand to pee devices, but well worth the 0% failure rate that I have experienced with it.

Summary:

I love the pStyle. It has eliminated uncomfortable hikes in areas where there was not enough cover to squat by allowing me to walk a little ways off the trail, turn my back, and pee against a tree without exposing myself. I am particularly fond of the simplicity of the device and the fact that I can count on it to work for me without fail. It even works with my kayaking gear and climbing harness. The pStyle is not compact enough for me to carry it in my purse all the time, but it is now a standard item in my daypack, backpack, kayak, and bike pannier. I have also started giving the pStyle as a surprise gift to female camping companions (including my mother) and wish that it had been around 10 years ago when I started camping and hiking.

 



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Reviews > Personal Hygiene > Bathroom Sundries > pStyle > Owner Review by Katie Montovan



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