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Owner Review - Whizz Freedom - Kerri Larkin

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  • Kerri Larkin
    I m pleased to offer my second Owner Review for your consideration and hope it recommends itself to you. Kind Regards, Kerri Whiz Freedom: Female Urine
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 5, 2009
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      I'm pleased to offer my second Owner Review for your consideration and hope it recommends itself to you.

      Kind Regards,


      Whiz Freedom: Female Urine Director
      August 24, 2009
      NAME: Kerri Larkin
      EMAIL: kerrilarkin AT yahoo DOT com
      AGE: 48
      LOCATION: Sydney, Australia
      GENDER: F
      HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
      WEIGHT: 284 lb (129.00 kg)
      I've been a car-camper and bushwalker for thirty years. Mostly I do day hikes as my passion is photography, which means I walk very slowly! I've returned to walking after some years away due to injuries and I'm learning to use Ultralight gear (and my new hammock!). I've traveled most of eastern Australia, walking in landscapes as diverse as tropical rainforest, snow fields, beaches and deserts. My fortieth birthday was spent trekking in Nepal which was a truly life changing experience.
      Manufacturer: WhizBiz Pty Ltd
      Year of Manufacture: 2009
      Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE - "http://www.whizbiz.com.au">>
      MSRP: AUD $24.95
      Measured Weight: 0.5 oz (13 g)
      Length: 15 cm (6 in)
      Maximum Width: 9.5 cm (3.7 in)
      Other details: The Whiz Freedom is designed to help women with one of the difficulties of camping and bushwalking; urinating discreetly. This plastic funnel-like device channels and directs urine away without the need to undress, squat, hide behind trees, or any of the other contortions women employ to retain their dignity. The instructions are clear and detailed enough to allow success from the first use.
      Testing: I used the Whiz Freedom at home to get used to it, then on day walks, and at public toilets which either looked particularly unsanitary or had those freezing cold metal pedestals with no seat. I've used the product a couple of times a week for three months now.
      Urination. It's a topic we don't particularly like talking about, but it's close to the heart of all hiking women. So, for the sake of my fellow women hikers, I'll bite the bullet and bare all, so to speak.
      What's bad? My knees are not the strongest so many's the time I've ended up falling in a wet heap on the floor after trying to balance over a squat loo. Worse? I end up soaking my knickers and trousers as I lose the aiming battle in a half-squat. Worst of all? That night I finally managed a full squat, only to realise it was over a patch of Stinging Nettles.
      Or there's the usual scenario: 3 am, cold, wet, very dark and there's no way to sleep through the incessant call of  nature. Another common problem is having to wee in full daylight on a busy trail with no trees to hide behind. It seems no matter how secretive I am, or how far off the trail, someone (usually male) walks by every time I drop my trousers. So, it's fair to say I'd leap at the chance to do the blokey thing and let it all hang out whilst whistling out of tune. That's where the Whiz Freedom comes in. Known as a Urine Director, it makes it possible for girls to urinate fully clothed and standing up.
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1"  IMAGE CAPTION = "The spout directs the flow">>
      This nifty little device has proven easy to use and, once my confidence levels built, is reliable and safe. Since my first days of using the Freedom, I've only had one 'incident' where the funnel part caught on my knickers and became curled around rather than sitting flat. That resulted in a few stray drops of urine landing on my hand. Otherwise, a three-beer bladder has proven no challenge to the device. It doesn't seem to matter how fast or how slow I pass my water, the Freedom copes with it.
      Perhaps the hardest thing about using the Freedom is the psychological issue. Initially, I found it very hard to relax enough to actually let the flow start. There's a fear it's going to be messy, leaky and generally unpleasant, yet once I pushed through the fear I found it was none of those things. The company recommend using the Freedom in the shower for the first time to get a feel for it, which I did with no problem. As my confidence increased, so did my daring. Now I find it easy to use standing, fully dressed, and have only a moderate case of nerves each time!
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 5"  IMAGE CAPTION = "This way up! Even though it seems wrong.">>
      The Whiz Freedom is made of medical grade Thermo Plastic Elastomer (TPE) which has been impregnated (oops, poor choice of words!) with antimicrobial and antifungal agents to ensure safety. The TPE has a lovely soft feel, a bit like silicone, and does not feel cold against the skin. It's also safe to heat to 40 C (104F), so can be thrown in the washing machine on a cool or warm cycle to clean it. As the instructions suggest, I usually rinse it after each use. The TPE is hydrophobic, meaning it repels fluids, and a quick shake will have it virtually dry. Although urine is sterile, there's a psychological barrier about having contact with it, so I store my Freedom in a zip-lock bag between uses and give it a good wash when I can.
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 7"  IMAGE CAPTION = "The device is hydrophobic. A single shake removes most fluid">>
      One of the nifty things about the Freedom is that it all but eliminates the need for toilet paper, and I usually feel pretty dry after using it. I've found the best option is to wipe myself using the funnel part, just like using paper, give it a shake to dry and pop it back in its bag. So far, I've noticed no odour (either personal or on the Freedom) using this system. The instructions recommend using an antimicrobial handwash gel or wipe after using the Freedom.
      The only counterintuitive thing about using the device is it must be positioned upside down to what I would have expected. The soft, lilly-shaped part sits uppermost, is held close against the skin (it is used on the outside rather than inside) and once in place the only other important check is to make sure the spout is pointing down so gravity can take care of the flow.
      Initially I found it easiest to disrobe my nether region to use the Freedom. I found if I took my time to make sure everything was positioned correctly, there was no leakage. After practicing, I now feel comfortable simply unzipping, pushing my knickers aside and, well, going for it! As I mentioned above, when I first tried this I found the soft material caught against my knickers and curled one edge. That broke the seal and allowed a bit of bypass. Still, considering it was only a few drops, I'm very impressed with the device.
      When walking, I carry it in a zip-lock bag for convenience but the manufacturer's web site provides a list of Frequently Asked Questions suggesting it's safe to fold or roll the Freedom for short periods. That's handy when I need to inspect the back of a tree as it allows me to be discrete about what I'm doing rather than pulling out a very obvious funnel shape.
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 4"  IMAGE CAPTION = "I carry the Freedom in a "lunch" size bag.">>
      I haven't tried the Freedom in my hammock yet as I think it would be too hard to get the angles right, however, it's easy enough to stand next to the hammock and wee into a bottle (just like the boys do!) rather than have to trek off into the distance in the black of night. That also means I'm out of my cozy sleeping bag less time so I get less chilled, which means I can get back to sleep quicker.
      With a bit of practice I found it's possible to aim the Whiz fairly accurately, either into a toilet bowl or bucket, but out in the wilds the stream is directed well away from my boots and so far there's been no splashback effect unless the ground is very hard. When practicing Leave No Trace hiking and camping, it was easy enough to dig a small cat-hole and direct the stream into the hole.
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 6"  IMAGE CAPTION = "Okay, it's a bit bit for a cat hole but you get the idea.">>

      According to the manufacturer's web site, clinical trial were conducted using over 1,400 women and the results indicate anyone can use the device regardless of age or shape. In fact, the Freedom has been used in the Himalayas, the Arctic and the Antarctic, all places where dropping ones trousers could be seriously uncomfortable. It's been issued to female officer cadets at Australia's Duntroon Military College as well as Sandhurst in the UK.
      With the optional latex extender piece (which I didn't buy) it is reportedly possible to use the Freedom while laying in bed but extra care is needed to ensure the flow will go downhill rather than up. That may be a great idea for those rainy trips.
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 8"  IMAGE CAPTION = "Is she, or isn't she? No one will know with the Freedom!">>

      For someone like me who has trouble squatting, who want to be more discrete, or who simply want more control of their urine, the Whiz Freedom is ideal. After three months of use I have found the product easy to use, reliable, odour free and easy to clean. It has improved my enjoyment of The Outdoors enormously and has a permenant place in my hiking kit now. I would heartily recommend all women give it a try.
      Easy to use
      Very light
      Good instructions
      Removes the need for toilet paper
      Very discrete
      Soft against the skin
      Can be hard to overcome years of conditioning and trust the device
      Softness of the material means it can become folded if tangled in clothing
      Kerri Larkin
      kerrilarkin AT yahoo DOT com
      This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
      Copyright 2009.  All rights reserved.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • chcoa
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 11, 2009
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        Thanks for your Owner's Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an Edit Moderator soon. If you are new to BackpackGearTest.org, welcome to the community! The Editors will work with you, within their own time constraints, to get your first two Owner Reviews approved and upload in a timely manner. Do not worry if nothing happens with it for several days. All our Editors are volunteers and your report will be subject to an official edit within fourteen days. If you have not had a response from an Edit Moderator via the Yahoo Groups list within this timeframe, please let me know directly at jdeben(at)hotmail.com

        To assist in this process, if this is your first Owner Review we ask that you post only ONE Owner Review for edit at a time. Our experience is that it is more efficient for both the Editors and
        yourself, if you post your first review, have it edited, approved and uploaded before you post your second and subsequent reviews.

        Once your first two Owner Reviews have been approved and you have submitted your Tester Agreement you will be eligible to start applying for Tests. If you'd like more assistance or guidance with the process you can request a mentor by sending an email to Jenn K., the mentor coordinator, at mentor (at) backpackgeartest.org.

        You may receive edits or comments from other members of the group. These edits and comments, while not official, should be considered carefully, and if you find them substantial, revise and re-post your review. Incorporating member edits and re-submitting to the list
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        Additionally, it is important for you to monitor the Yahoo Groups list to keep track of the progress of your Owner Review. Once an Editor has taken your OR and made the necessary edits they will post their comments to the list with EDIT in the subject line. Once you have incorporated these edits into your review please use REPOST in the subject line. When your OR has been approved by the Editor they will use APPROVED in the subject line.

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      • rayestrella1
        Hello Kerri, Thank you for your Owner Review, your initial edits will follow. They will take the following format; EDIT: must be changed Edit: should be
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 12, 2009
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          Hello Kerri,

          Thank you for your Owner Review, your initial edits will follow. They will take the following format;

          EDIT: must be changed
          Edit: should be changed but will be left to your discretion
          Comment: just that or something to think about

          When you have made the changes please repost here with REPOST added to the subject line. You can add an HTML version to the test folder too. Please give me a link or the name of it so I can find it.


          *** The company recommend using the Freedom in the shower for the first time

          EDIT: recommends

          *** It's also safe to heat to 40 C (104F),

          EDIT: need a space after 104

          *** The soft, lilly-shaped part sits uppermost,

          EDIT: I believe you mean "lily-like" as in the flower.

          ***According to the manufacturer's web site, clinical trial were conducted

          EDIT: clinical "trials"
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