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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Gear Review: Female Urination Devices

Women's equality takes on a whole new meaning with these seven contraptions.

by: Molly Loomis

PAGE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Blitz Specialty Funnel (Courtesy Photo)
Blitz Specialty Funnel (Courtesy Photo)
Lady J (Courtesy Photo)
Lady J (Courtesy Photo)
She Wee (Courtesy Photo)
She Wee (Courtesy Photo)
Whiz Freedom (Courtesy Photo)
Whiz Freedom (Courtesy Photo)
Travel Mate (Courtesy Photo)
Travel Mate (Courtesy Photo)
Go Girl (Courtesy Photo)
Go Girl (Courtesy Photo)
    Tags:

Hey girls: Have you ever been jealous that, unlike your male companions, you can’t pee standing up? Baring your bootie during inclement weather, or through multiple layers and a climbing harness can be a total pisser when trying to take one.

Full disclosure: This test started off as a joke. We’ve been barraged in recent months with press releases from companies who claim to have solved an age-old problem for women adventurers: How to pee standing up--without sacrificing cleanliness, frostbite, or time futzing with harness buckles while climbing big mountains. This blossoming category of gear seemed too comical to be true, but one female mountain guide, Molly Loomis of Exum Mountain Guides stepped up to the plate and agreed to dig deep into the world of “she-nises” (her words, not ours!) Over the course of six months, from desert canyons to the tops of snowy peaks, she and her team of three intrepid women mastered the art of peeing while standing. Here’s the scoop on the seven devices they tested, listed in order of performance.

Blitz Specialty Funnel

Forget about splashy marketing materials and girly shades of pink: For price and ease of use, this plastic funnel from the auto parts store can’t be beat. (Plus, a trip to the auto parts store will jumpstart your inner testosterone, which will come in handy when using these devices.) The wide mouth, angled cup and long funnel make doing your business a breeze. And the hard, plastic material means it’s easy to place and hold firm. Even through a harness, down pants, and multiple under layers, our testers were able to aim and fire in just seconds. Downer: It’s bulky to pack. $2; 1.3 oz.; blitzusa.com


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READERS COMMENTS

Star
PJ
Jun 25, 2014

I ordered the disposable Smartway from Smartway directly and they didn't put enough postage on it and so it came late and crumpled. I e-mailed them a pic of the envelope and they said they would send me a new one. I ordered it 5 weeks ahead of time b/c I needed it for an event. 3 weeks later, I still have not received the replacement despite numerous e-mails back and forth. I am not impressed with this company. I should have ordered one of the other brands through Amazon or a trusted company.

Star Star Star Star Star
Jamie Pillars
Feb 01, 2014

Hi All! I have the Go Girl, and I have tried a whole slew of funnels, straws, and other wilderness wizzing equipment. Just cuz equipMENt has MEN in it doesn't mean that us ladies can't stand up while we pee! I Love my go girl. It's a wonderfully form fitting around the labia with soft rubber and a smooth finish and a sleek style. I've never felt more at ease while peeing in the woods. I hate squatting, especially in the dark, you never know if a twig will find it's way up your hoo-hah. What if your headlamp is out of battery? Anyways, I'm rambling, but the moral of the story is this: go girl will revolutionize your urination practice the way the minutemen (and women) revolutionized america against the british!

Star Star Star Star Star
Pat
Feb 01, 2014

You missed one: the P-style. Easy to use, cheap, works as it should.

Star Star Star
shannon williams
Jan 14, 2014

Ive tried this new one called Smartway. Its much smaller, easier to use, waterproof and disposable! For any running, camping, or outdoors event it should be your first choice. Check it out at www.standthesmartway.com

Star Star Star Star Star
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Star Star Star
Mtn Hiker
Feb 02, 2013

Yep, I think we need an update on this article that includes (1) a picture of the Freshette, (2) inclusion of the Whizaway (which is medical-grade, hydrophobic and antibacterial, and a Goldilocks balance of rather stiff but quite foldable/packable), and (3) inclusion of the she-p, the pStyle, and any others that have come out since the original article. All together, now: "UPDATE!! UPDATE!!"

Star Star Star Star Star
Cindy
Jan 05, 2013

I've used the P style for 2 years. It's perfect for mosquitoe infested swamps and hunting in cold weather. Rigid plastic sneaks into heavy clothes and flow rate isn't a problem due to the trough design.

KC
Nov 25, 2012

You must have not read the instructions for the TravelMate. I have had one for years and it's the best. Unlike the others which fit on the outside of your body, the Travelmate fits snugly INSIDE the labia, so not a drop goes astray.

KC
Nov 25, 2012

You must have not read the instructions for the TravelMate. I have had one for years and it's the best. Unlike the others which fit on the outside of your body, the Travelmate fits snugly INSIDE the labia, so not a drop goes astray.

Melanie
Oct 14, 2012

I just got the freshette for using on an 8 mile hike that I am doing in 2 weeks. I bought the freshette because it seemed to get the best reviews of all the FUDs, and it certainly lived up to my expectations. I had also read that one should practice in the tub or shower before putting it to use on the trail and it worked well the very first time I used it. I also practiced using it with an empty soda bottle. The extender tube worked great with the bottle. I need to practice using it sitting down for long trips in the car; I tried sitting down to use it (as if in a car, and it was really difficult.) I also tried using it when wearing unzipped jeans but that was really hard too( probably because my jeans were a bit tight?) It worked better for me when I was wearing elastic waisted jogging pants. With the jeans, the fly on my zipper didn't seem to go down far enough to put the freshette where it needed to be in order to do its job :-( but anyway, it didn't leak, and I was amazed at how I didn't need toilet paper like I do when I am sitting on the commode. Next I will practice with it sitting down and I will practice outside; because I've heard that its harder to make yourself pee if you feel like your exposing yourself to whomever might happen to pass by. Even though I haven't tried any of the other FUDs, the Freshette definitely gets my vote!

Melanie
Oct 14, 2012

I just got the freshette for using on an 8 mile hike that I am doing in 2 weeks. I bought the freshette because it seemed to get the best reviews of all the FUDs, and it certainly lived up to my expectations. I had also read that one should practice in the tub or shower before putting it to use on the trail and it worked well the very first time I used it. I also practiced using it with an empty soda bottle. The extender tube worked great with the bottle. I need to practice using it sitting down for long trips in the car; I tried sitting down to use it (as if in a car, and it was really difficult.) I also tried using it when wearing unzipped jeans but that was really hard too( probably because my jeans were a bit tight?) It worked better for me when I was wearing elastic waisted jogging pants. With the jeans, the fly on my zipper didn't seem to go down far enough to put the freshette where it needed to be in order to do its job :-( but anyway, it didn't leak, and I was amazed at how I didn't need toilet paper like I do when I am sitting on the commode. Next I will practice with it sitting down and I will practice outside; because I've heard that its harder to make yourself pee if you feel like your exposing yourself to whomever might happen to pass by. Even though I haven't tried any of the other FUDs, the Freshette definitely gets my vote!

TK
Mar 20, 2012

I've got 3: the Blitz funnel, the Go Girl, and the Freshette. The last is the best by far. Blitz, as the review stated, is foolproof but bulky. I keep it in the car. Go Girl is easy to carry but requires me to drop trou and there are too many spills for me to trust it. Freshette is the best of both worlds: no bulk, no spills.

Kim
Jan 04, 2012

I second the comment re the pStyle. Backpacker missed the best device to review. I have been using it for years hiking never had a spill or leak. It works great, you don't have to pull down your pants.

Meg
Nov 13, 2010

They missed more than one: the pStyle combines rigidity with packability and easy cleaning (just shake it off), and theoretically eliminates the need for toilet paper (though I admit to using a tiny bit to make sure there's no dampness left in any crevices.) Several colors, both "girly" and not, and no realistic limit on "flow-rate."

I can't say anything about ease-of-placement: I frankly don't even understand how this could possibly be an issue with ANY device. After 28 years of urination, I didn't have much trouble figuring out where I needed to put the thing on the first try.

Anonymous
May 26, 2010

I've used the Freshette, and I almost always have accidents with it. It doesn't seem to be able to handle the quantity of output without overflowing over the top--maybe I have to learn how to pee slower?

herman
May 25, 2010

No picture of the top pick? Odd! My wife has one and she has much the same to say about it as you do.

Corie
May 21, 2010

I have used the Freshette for two years with no "accidents" even without "practicing." I stay hydrated on the trail and don't have to wander forever trying to find a place to pee. It is QUICK & EASY! No more excuses. TRY IT!

For Chirstmas I put together "Pee Packs" for my girlfriends including Freshettes, biodegradable wipes, hand sanitizer, zip locks and trowel in a discreet carrying bag. They were so excited!

Jacqueline
May 20, 2010

I have the Whiz Freedom and love it. No more out in the pouring rain or heavy snow! I can now stay in the tent and use a pee bottle too!

Laura
May 20, 2010

You missed one!!!

How about Hands free Peeing!!??!?!?!

www.she-p.com

take a look at our happy girls page

http://she-p.com/reviews.html

the page is diving-centric, but we have a bunch of girls using them for skiing, snow-mobiling, long drives, 4-wheeling, climbing, hiking, etc...

Happily writing my name in the snow for >2 years!

-laura

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