TEST SERIES BY JERRY ADAMS
INITIAL REPORT - August 24, 2011
FIELD REPORT - November 14, 2011
LONG TERM REPORT - January 16, 2012
Portland, Oregon, USA
6' 1" (1.85 m)
190 lb (86.20 kg)
I started hiking about 45 years ago. My first backpack was 40 years ago. I currently try to do one backpack trip of 1 to 5 nights every month (which can be tricky in the winter). Mostly I stay around Mount Hood, Columbia Gorge, Mount Adams, Goat Rocks, and the Olympic Peninsula. In recent years I have shifted to lightweight - my pack weight without food and water is about 15 lb (7 kg). I make a lot of my own gear - silnylon tarp-tent, bivy, synthetic bag, simple bag style pack.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Year of Manufacture: 2011
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.lunatecgear.com
MSRP: Trekr US$8.00, Scrubr US$5.75
Listed Weight: Trekr 0.3 oz (9 g), Scrubr 0.25 oz (7.5 g)
Measured Weight: Trekr 0.3 oz (9 g), Scrubr 0.2 oz (6 g)
Size: Trekr 10.6in x 10.6in (27cm x 27cm), Scrubr 7.9in x 7.9in (20cm x 20cm)
The Lunatec Trekr and Scrubr are towels intended for traveling including hiking and backpacking. The Trekr is intended for washing myself and the Scrubr is intended for washing dishes. The Scrubr is also advertised as usable at home.
The Trekr is 100% nylon, blue, loosely woven so it can be easily seen through, a little coarse and rough compared to a cotton towel but soft compared to the Scrubr. Lunatec says it's "good for exfoliating skin, washing off dirt and bug juice, dries wicked quick, odor resistant, and never needs washing because it rinses out every time you use it". There's a standard hem around the perimeter to hide the raw edge of the fabric - folded over twice and sewn with a straight stitch. There's a black elastic loop in the corner for hanging:
I first thought it was knit, where there is just one fiber that is formed into a bunch of interlocking loops, but on closer inspection I see it's woven where one set of fibers goes sideways in rows and another set of fibers goes vertically in columns. The fibers aren't straight like in normal woven fabric but are sort of curly which makes it look like a knit fabric:
The Scrubr is 60% nylon and 40% polyester, yellow, loosely woven so it can be easily seen through, quite coarse and rough. When I look at it closely, there are yellow and white fibers - the yellow must be nylon because there are more of them and the white must be polyester. Lunatec says it's "good for scrubbing dirt off dishes, will drip dry in minutes, is odor resistant, and easily rinses free of debris". There's a standard hem around the perimeter to hide the raw edge of the fabric - folded over twice and sewn with a straight stitch. There's a black elastic loop in the corner for hanging:
Like the Trekr, the fabric is a normal weave with the fibers sort of curly which makes it look like a knit fabric:
The Trekr and Scrubr are both made in China.
The Trekr and Scrubr appear to be very nice towels - very small and lightweight which I think is good for backpacking.
They came with a written sheet with good specs and user information.
I tried using the Trekr to dry off, but it's not very effective at that. It did it a little, but that doesn't seem to be its intended use.
I got both of them wet and shook them out. They were still a little damp. I hung them up and noticed some more water dripping off. They're both very quick drying, as advertised.
The Trekr and Scrubr are very lightweight towels for traveling including backpacking. The Trekr is for washing my body and the Scrubr is for washing dishes.
They're both small and quick drying. They're for cleaning, not drying off.
To be honest, I'm a little skeptical about the need for these. I just wash off my face and hands with water. I wash my pot with water and my hand. But, I'll try these out on a number of backpacking trips and see how they work. Maybe I'll become a believer. When my face is covered with "bug juice" and dust it may well be much more effective getting the dirt off than just using hands and water. By the end of each trip, there is often a little bit of burned food residue on the bottom of my pot which I currently just ignore - maybe the Scrubr will eliminate this. Since they weigh so little, they don't need to deliver much utility to be worth it.
I'll report back my field test results in about two months.
Thanks to Lunatec and BackpackGearTest.org for letting me test these.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
August 25, 2011 - 5 night backpack around Mount Hood in North Central Oregon. Temperature up to about 75 F (24 C). The trail was somewhat dusty and I used sunscreen. I used the Scrubr after every breakfast and the Trekr a couple times.
Sept 27 - Oct 2, 2011 - trip around Three Sisters in Central Oregon, 35 to 75 F (2 to 24 C), 46 miles (74 km), 7000 feet (2100 m) elevation gain. 7 nights total. The trail was somewhat dusty and I used sunscreen on my face. I used the Scrubr after most breakfasts and the Trekr a couple times.
Oct 12 - 19, 2011 - North side of Mount Hood in North Central Oregon, 35 to 65 F (2 to 18 C), 30 miles (48 km), 5000 feet (1500 m) elevation gain. 6 nights total. I didn't use sunscreen and my face didn't get dusty, but I did use the Trekr a number of times to wash my hands. I used the Scrubr twice.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
Like I said in the Initial Report, I started out somewhat skeptical about the need for the Scrubr and Trekr.
I used the Scrubr after half of my breakfasts. In the past, I have had a problem that over the course of a trip, food residue accumulates on the bottom of the pot because I just wash it with my finger. I think it was less of a problem when I first got the pot and the coating was better. Using the Scrubr I don't have this problem, my pot had no gunk at the end of the trip. I think this might be a product I'll make part of my cook kit.
I used the Trekr a couple times. After a day of hiking in dust and wearing sunscreen, my face and hands get a little grimy. When I camped next to a stream I used the Trekr to wash my hands and face. It seemed to work well. The only problem is that when I'm backpacking I'm not that particular about keeping clean. So what that there's a little grime on my face? If I was more particular, I think I'd value the Trekr more.
Another thing is that using a wash cloth at home it's handy that it absorbs water, then I clean off with the damp wash cloth. The Trekr, on the other hand, doesn't get damp so it doesn't work like that. I splash some water on my face and then use the Trekr. It would work better if it got damp, but for backpacking I don't want to have a damp towel to dry off.
Both the Scrubr and Trekr dried quickly as advertised. The elastic loops were handy to hang them to dry. In just a few minutes they were only slightly damp and I could have put them in my pack, but I let them dry for an hour:
|Trekr and Scrubr|
On my backpack on the North side of Mount Hood, I had sort of given up on the usefulness of the Trekr, but I had been walking through an area that had been burned and my hands got black from burned wood. The Trekr worked really good to clean off my hands, so now I've changed my mind some.
Both the Scrubr and Trekr work as advertised - the Scrubr cleaned the gunk off my pot and the Trekr cleaned my face and hands. The Scrubr has a rough texture that worked for pot cleaning and the Trekr is somewhat rough to get off grime but not so rough as to be uncomfortable. They are both lightweight and quick drying. I like the elastic loop on the corner which allowed me to put it on a tree to dry.
For me, the Scrubr was more useful and will probably become part of my cook kit, but the Trekr is less useful just because I'm not that worried about having clean face and hands - this is a backpacking trip isn't it? I'm not supposed to be clean. And, it seems like to wash off my face it should be damp, but the Trekr doesn't absorb water and get damp.
I'll use both of these, especially the Scrubr on a couple more trips during the Long Term test period. Look forward to my report in about two months.
Thanks to Lunatec and BackpackingGearTest.org for letting me test this.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Nov 23 to 29, 2011 - 26 mile (42 km) 2 night backpack and 4 night car camp on the Deschutes River in North Central Oregon. 1000 feet (300 m) elevation gain. (30 to 50 F (-1 to 10 C). Used the Scrubr once, not the Trekr.
Dec 12 to 17, 2011 - 5 night car camp with day hikes in Zigzag area of Mount Hood in North central Oregon. 20 to 40 F (-7 to 4 C). Didn't use either towel.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I took both towels on two trips during the Long Term Report period, but didn't use them hardly at all. I tried to use them more to do a good test of these products, but maybe the fact I didn't use them more shows how useful I find them to be. I did do a better test during the Field Report Period.
I didn't use the Trekr at all. In the winter it's so cold I just can't bear to get my face all wet. Also, it's not dusty and I don't wear insect repellent so my face doesn't get dirty so I don't need to clean off with the Trekr.
I used the Scruber once on the first trip but not on the second trip. It does a very good job of cleaning gunk off my pot, but if I'm careful and don't leave the burner on too high I can just clean it off with my finger.
My summary is pretty much the same as from the Field Report Period.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.
Both the Scrubr and Trekr work as advertised - the Scrubr cleaned the gunk off my pot and the Trekr cleaned my face and hands. The Scrubr has a rough texture that worked for pot cleaning and the Trekr is somewhat rough to get off grime but not so rough as to be uncomfortable against my skin. They are both lightweight and quick drying. I like the elastic loop on the corner which allowed me to put it on a tree to dry.
For me, the Scrubr was more useful and will probably become part of my cook kit. Maybe I'll cut off a smaller piece to make it lighter and smaller and put it in my cook pot when I pack it. Normally, I can just clean my pot with my finger, but if I accidentally leave on the burner too long and scorch the bottom, the Scrubr is great for cleaning it. It's nice that it uses no chemicals or detergent to pollute streams or lakes.
The Trekr is less useful just because I'm not that worried about having clean face and hands - this is a backpacking trip isn't it? I'm not supposed to be clean. And, it seems like to wash off my face the towel should get damp, but the Trekr doesn't work that way, it doesn't absorb water at all. Also, during cold weather I don't like to put cold water on my face.
On one trip I got my hands black with wood ash a couple times and the Trekr cleaned them off really well, without any chemicals that could pollute a stream, so it made me appreciate the Trekr more.
In the future, I may carry both the Scrubr and Trekr with me on backpacks. Even though I don't need them very often, especially the Trekr, occasionally they are useful and they weigh so little that they don't have to be used that often to make sense.
Thanks to Lunatec and BackpackGearTest.org for letting me test these.
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