Product Review: TRC Silicone Collapsible Travel Lather Bowl
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TRC silicone collapsible travel lather bowl
Parker badger travel brush, brushed aluminum case
Taylor of Old Bond Street cream, Lime Zest, sample
I was skeptical about this little silicone travel bowl. I've been DE shaving now for only a few months, and have struggled to build lather at home, let alone while in travel mode. I have naturally hard water from a well, so I figured that might be part of my lather struggles, but I decided for this test, we'd go with water straight out of my tap; in travel mode you don't get to be picky.
Parker makes more in the way of travel products than many companies. I love the design of their travel brush. It's a small badger with very little backbone but it's soft, and it tucks away perfectly into a case which has holes at the bottom for air flow. I used this brush, pre-soaked for about ten minutes in warm tap water. The brush is still in break-in mode, so this was a great test.
I am a frequent traveler, living in Alaska. I am traveling more often now than ever. I need lightweight, compact, yet quality items. I wanted to always have an appropriate, non-breakable, sustainable container I could build up a lather in, so I decided to grab a collapsible silicone lather bowl from TRC. Its best feature is its collapsible and unbreakable nature. It folds into a flat little disc that weighs almost nothing--and you could use it for tons of stuff, a dog water bowl or a coffee cup in a pinch--it's silicone which is heat resistant, more sustainable than plastic and more durable, too. I love items for travel that have more than one use, so this bowl scores on the versatility scale. I was also skeptical about its small size, but it is more than big enough for anyone who intends to shave more than just a face, because it has plenty of depth. It has room for real lather development and accumulation.
I used TOBS lime zest cream for my test. As a person shaving (how many times the surface area of a man's face? Fun fact to find out) I have made a couple conclusions about DE shaving and traveling: cream is where it's at. It's just a little easier to develop a strong lather super quickly with a quality cream, which I'd never experienced until I dug into the wonderful world of DE shaving. Also, tubes of cream travel well, or a small amount can fit into a portable travel container and provide plenty for a two-week trip.
The Silicone Collapsible Travel Bowl:
The bowl comes with a plastic tab at the top, which has a small carabiner attached to it, easy to hang anywhere. The tab is where I put my thumb. I have small hands, but the bowl felt like it fit pretty securely this way. The nubs on the bottom looked pretty aggressive. I wasn't sure how it would feel and work. I smeared a liberal amount in the bottom of the bowl, between 2-3 nubs. The bowl had a couple of drops of water, and I didn't squeeze any out of the Parker brush. Lather developed instantaneously; I had to add more water almost immediately. I added drops of water a couple more times, and swirled, with little to no pressure on the brush, and a bowl FULL of creamy lather developed. This was more than enough to shave 2 legs and 2 armpits, ATG, one pass, but you could have gotten at least a 2nd pass out of the lather I created. The silicone didn't feel like it was "grabbing" or tugging the brush at all, even right from the beginning; it seemed smooth, and the nubs didn't appear to be a problem--they may be the source of the instant lather, who knows? I would give this item a 5 star/5 rating for functionality, design, and performance. I am going to pick up a couple more because they have advantages as compared with traditional ceramic or even stainless lather bowls;
1. Collapsible--super portable, easy to clean
3. Unbreakable--for anyone who shaves in a bath or shaves more surface area--this is important for lots of reasons, as you move around your lather bowl in the bathroom
4. Light weight--for older people, people with small hands or arthritic hands, injuries--this bowl is easier to hang onto than most ceramic bowls and mugs I've used (but I would note that if there could be any additional texturing or place for gripping, (non-plastic) that would be the only improvement I could suggest)
5. Brush--does not bang around and get damaged on the silicone as it can on ceramics, marble, stainless--the "classier" stuff
In short there's a lot to like about this great bowl! Absolutely a winner of an accessory for DE shaving while traveling.
Prince of Wales Island, Alaska
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