The first time I heard of female urination devices I laughed. A lot. To me it was novel, a gag, something that no one would ever use. As I got into hiking and I spoke with more women about the disadvantages of being a lady in the great outdoors. We mostly agreed on one thing: The fact that the world is not our toilet, like it seems to be for our male counterparts.
And so began my unexpected journey down a rabbit hole into the world of female urination devices. This is what I found.
LadyP, $19.90 RRP, case $11.90
Three items were sent out to me with this one. The actual device, which is pink, is made from super soft medical grade silicone, and looked like a cross between a funnel and a skinny penis. It came with a clear piece of extension tubing which is even longer than the actual device – when paired together, it seriously makes you wonder whose male reproductive organ they were channeling when making something so long!
And finally, a fabric cover with an odd little white tip and a carabiner so you can proudly clip your urination device to the outside of your pack — no doubt for a combination of ease of access, and I-am-woman, hear-me-roar feminism.
The shower test: The first time I went to test the device in the shower, I unpacked it all, then got distracted talking to my housemate and went to the bathroom normally before I had realized what I’d done. Fail.
To be honest, the experience wasn’t nearly as traumatic as I had expected. The shape of the top of the funnel fit flush against where it was meant to, the silicone was nice and soft, and there was very good ease of flow. Overall no slips or spills or any real effort to get it into place.
Shewee Extreme, $32.99 RRP
Probably the most famous of the female urination devices, the Shewee Extreme comes with an extension tube, as well as a plastic case that looks like an oversize toothbrush holder. It was also the only one that came with sanitizer — although no amount of Tetris will make the bottle fit in the case with the Shewee.
I did find it interesting that the information sheet also states urine is sterile on leaving the body. After a quick Google, I can now confirm that in a survival situation you can drink your urine on day one if you dilute it with water, and it can also be used to irrigate a flesh wound. Let’s hope it never comes to that.
The shower test: The length of just the Shewee without the extension pipe was not quite within my comfort zone so I pushed it on and lined the device up. It was very quickly apparent that either the proportions of the device are a little bit off, or I have suddenly become made aware that the, erm, distance between the venues of my number ones and twos is unusually short. Needless to say, having the head of the device pressing up against a hole that is not part of the task at hand was a reasonably uncomfortable feeling. As far as the actual usage went, it was unexpectedly easy, mess free and shook off afterwards very effectively.
pStyle, $16.30 RRP, case $16.30
This is the only one of the four that is not a fully rounded funnel, which doesn’t really bother me as I doubt that my pee will be doing loop-de-loops as it runs down the funnel, more so just a point of difference.
The best line of the instructions was most certainly “do a few kegels to fully empty the bladder” as I sat there and practiced my movements while reading. This one also has the most feminine shape of all of the devices, which I personally prefer.
The shower test: While I found the pStyle really easy to hold and not overly intrusive in your bits, the way that it sat against my body didn’t encourage the device to tilt downwards. This meant that the pee pooled towards the back of the device and I had to further tilt my body downwards at the end to get it to drain out. If I hadn’t noticed that it didn’t fully drain before I removed it, that would have resulted in urine all over my pyjamas. Not ideal.
Pibella Travel, $25 RRP
An additional slip of paper comes with the Pibella Travel: a waiver of liability, which really made me wonder what had happened during “abnormal use” of the device that lead to potential liability! I also giggled like the child I am when reading “insert Pibella tongue into the vagina” and their suggestions of practicing inserting it into your hand.
Moving along, this one was the most intimidating of all the devices I had to test — the area that you place against yourself is the smallest of all of the others and I was mildly concerned that I’d miss! I did appreciate that it came with a zip-lock plastic case to put it in afterwards, although this may not appeal to everyone.
The shower test: Size-wise, this one looks the most like it’s trying to channel the male autonom. After I got over the initial stage fright, it worked pretty well. I didn’t quite get why the longer bit of the nozzle is on the top and not the bottom, but it didn’t seem to make much difference overall. I also feel like this one would be the easiest to slot into a fly and use without dropping my pants than the other ones I’ve tried. Not that I hike in anything with a fly…
Based purely on superficial looks, I thought that my order of preference would be the LadyP, pStyle, Shewee, and then the Pibella. After reviewing however, the Pibella will be making its way into my hiking kit. Closely followed by the LadyP, although I’d have to find a less awkward-looking case!
I’d like to thank Shewee, LadyP, Pibella and pStyle for graciously sending me each of your samples for this review. Please note we were also sent the Pibella Comfort but chose not to include it in this review — although it would be very useful when doing overnight snow trips.