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Hydropel alternatives
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Ankar Sheng
(Whiskyjack) - MLife

Locale: The Canadian Shield
Hydropel alternatives on 06/07/2010 23:32:01 MDT Print View

What are some good alternatives to hydropel? The stuff is quite expensive and doesn't seem very ubiquitous.

What properties make hydropel so good?

Jeffrey Kuchera

Locale: Great Lakes
Re: Hydropel Alternatives on 06/07/2010 23:45:58 MDT Print View

Not sure how it stacks up against hydropel but take a look at body glide

Phil Turner
Re. Hydropel alternatives on 06/08/2010 02:50:28 MDT Print View

I was recently introduced to the delight of Gehwol
Footcream Extra

- which acts as a barrier cream, followed by the Gewohl Refreshing cream in the evening. It feels a bit decadent, but a nice touch of luxury and it really does work. Plus the scent masks a multitude of unpleasant smells....

Edited by PhilT on 06/08/2010 02:51:11 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Hydropel alternatives on 06/08/2010 08:42:04 MDT Print View

AVON BASICS Silicone Glove Hand Cream

VWR SoftGUARD Extra-Strength Barrier Hand Cream

Edited by jshann on 06/08/2010 08:43:31 MDT.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Band-Aid on 06/08/2010 11:41:40 MDT Print View

Band-Aid makes an anti-friction ointment that comes in a tiny stick, like deodorant. (Or SportSlick.) It's pretty cheap, and I see it in grocery stores.

EDIT-- It's called Band Aid Friction Block, but it isn't as cheap as I had thought- $5/stick. Apparently Wal-Mart and CVS stock it.

Edited by acrosome on 06/08/2010 11:47:11 MDT.

Vince Contreras
(pillowthread) - F

Locale: like, in my head???
Band-Aid stick... on 06/08/2010 12:13:15 MDT Print View

I've used it, and it does have a slightly perfumed smell. Otherwise, it's slick as greased cat poo(!) on a hot tin roof.

Vince Contreras
(pillowthread) - F

Locale: like, in my head???
also... on 06/08/2010 12:16:44 MDT Print View

It's as long-lasting as any other stick I've tried, too, just more expensive as well...I think that's the "Band-Aid" mark-up. It works quite well, in my experience.

Ankar Sheng
(Whiskyjack) - MLife

Locale: The Canadian Shield
Re: Hydropel alternatives on 06/09/2010 02:28:16 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Do you think lanolin oil would work? It goes on quite thick.

I've never used any of these products before, but I'm starting to develop cracks from the last two particularly wet and sloppy hike. Either way, I'm gonna give this stuff a shot over the weekend seeing as I already have some. I'll report back.

p.s. What exactly am I looking for? lol. How long it keeps hydrophobic properties to keep the skin from saturating/drying out primarily?

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Hydropel Alternatives on 06/09/2010 02:41:25 MDT Print View

It's even easier, more accessible, and cheaper than all these: Vaseline. The original formula. Works marvelously. Keeps water out, reduces friction, moisturizes, and prevents chaffing.

Brian Barnes
(brianjbarnes) - M

Locale: Midwest
MYO Moisture Barrier on 06/09/2010 09:03:19 MDT Print View

It depends upon if you want an anti-friction/chaffing product or one that is also moisture barrier. Body Glide's active ingredient is allantoin which reduces friction but is less effective (IMO) than Hydropel at preventing maceration from hyperhydration of skin. Hydropel contains 30% dimethicone which is a silcone substance which both reduces friction and acts as a moisture barrier. Hydropel also contains 10% hydrophobic starch to minimize the greasy feeling of its petrolatum base.

I've considered trying to make my own antifriction/mositure barrier product (Hydropel-like ointment), but lack the willingness to invest in the bulk product at present (~$68 - this would make a pound). It would be ~ 50% cheaper than Hydropel ($4.04 versus $9.98 per ounce) to make versus buy. I also do not have a blender capable of heating its contents so I'd need to small batch this and mix the powders into the melted vasoline via spatula before cooling (read blender method below).

Ingredients (per ~3 one ounce containers):
30 grams dimethicone (i.e. dimethicone 350, aka polydimethylsiloxane, CAS Reg # 009006-65-9)
10 grams hydrophobic starch (i.e. Dry Flo)
60 grams petroleum jelly (i.e. Vasoline)

Dimethicone 350 $1.87/29g ($29.95/16oz = 0.0645$/gram

Dry Flo $1.17/29g ($18.79/16oz = 0.0405 $/gram

Petroleum jelly $0.35/29g ($9/26oz = 0.011936 $/gram - local source) - I could further reduce cost by buying in bulk and not locally.

1 ounce jar - $0.65/jar - local source

Mixing directions:
a. Melt petroleum jelly and heat to approximately 160°F.
b. Put required weight of melted petroleum jelly into blender
c. Set blender to low speed, add hydrophobic starch to the melted petroleum jelly slowly to avoid formation of clumps
d. When starch is well mixed add dimethicone and continue agitation at low speed.
e. Adjust to full speed of the blender, mix for approximately three minutes, making sure temperature does not exceed 175°F.
f. Reduce speed to low and allow to cool
g. Pour mixture into 1 ounce jars (available at pharmacy) prior to solidification

Edited by brianjbarnes on 06/09/2010 09:07:15 MDT.

Brian Green
(bfgreen) - F

Locale: Charlotte, NC
Hydropel vs. BodyGlide Liquified Powder on 07/21/2011 17:54:58 MDT Print View

There has been a lot of discussion on the differences between BodyGlide anti-chafe solid stickand Hydropel the lotion. The two are quite different in purpose and chemical composition. However, there is another product made by BodyGlide that, as far as I know, isn't as well known or talked about in comparison to Hydropel - but it should be. It's called BodyGlide Liquified Powder and it is a very different product than the anti-chafe solid stick. It's main active ingredient is dimethicone, which is a silicone-based substance that both reduces friction and acts as a moisture barrier. It's also the main active ingredient of Hydropel. The two other active ingredients in BodyGlide LP are aluminum starch (to minimize greasiness) and a petrolatum base (or petroleum jelly). These just happen to also be the two other main ingredients in Hydropel.

BodyGlide Liquified Powder

So, if a 1.6 fl oz tube of BodyGlide Liquified Powder only costs $8 at REI, why then does a 2.0 fl oz tube of Hydropel cost $20? Is the hype driving up the price or is Hydropel, with almost identical ingredients to BodyGlide LP, really a superior product? I'm going to do a side by side (or foot by foot) test of the two products during my upcoming trip to Mt. Whitney - I can't wait to see how the two products stack up against one another. More:

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Hydropel vs. BodyGlide Liquified Powder on 07/21/2011 18:05:36 MDT Print View

I've been using (as necessary, which isn't often, thankfully) the liquified Body Glide and really like it. Does what I need it to do, which is eliminate chafing between my thighs when hiking on hot, humid days. Hasn't failed me yet.

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Looks good for feet... on 07/21/2011 19:36:28 MDT Print View

But I like compression shorts for the inner thighs. Absolutely no problems with them. When I'm done with the trail, its as if I'd never been there. They are so much better than the REI boxer briefs I used in the past. I've never had a problem with my feet and therefore haven't tried this product.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
hydropel on 07/21/2011 19:45:20 MDT Print View

hydropel works as advertised, but it is terribly expensive- when my stash is gone, I'll give the body glide liquified powder a try

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Hype? on 07/21/2011 19:56:53 MDT Print View

I've never used Hydropel or Bodyglide, but coming from a background of ultracycling and running marathons and greater, Vaseline works fine; thighs armpits, nipples, crack, between the toes, whatever. It's been used by countless distance athletes far better than I for a very long time. Zinc oxide works great too. If it simply comes to preventing chafing (macerated feet from perpetual wetness might be a different story), I say skip the hype of bodyglide and hydropel and save your money.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Hydropel alternatives" on 07/21/2011 20:21:47 MDT Print View

Alternatives to the fancy pants Hydropel and Bodyglide sticks: Craig mentioned, proven, hydrophobic, inexpensive, and readily currently in your medicine cabinet.

Desitin or Boudreaux's Butt Paste.... yep, baby diaper butt cream, gentle enough for a baby, strong enough for a hiker.

Udderly Smooth Original or Chamois Creme.... used on cows udders and other milkable creatures, keeps them moo tatas happy, should keep hiker butts happy.

Bag Balm.... cheap, proven, works for livestock, readily available. Used by runners and cyclists forever, should work for walking.

Desenex CREAM.... yes, the anti-fungal cream, works magic on baby diaper rash....not sure why, also works for preventing chafe.

Chamois lined compression shorts.... if it's really that bad then get something to prevent it.

*Just realized people were looking for solutions on their feet....oops. I have no idea if the above items work on feet... probably do, someone test them.

Edited by Eugeneius on 07/21/2011 20:33:54 MDT.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
feet on 07/21/2011 20:23:50 MDT Print View

I use it solely :) on my soles, fortunately haven't had chaffing problems- my best test was in the Gila (NM) where we made over a 100 stream crossings in two days- feet were wet for ~ 10 hrs/day and not so much as a hot spot

I only a use a very small layer of the stuff (in the mornings) so a little goes a long way (I repackage into one of those small flip top containers)

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Hydropel vs. BodyGlide Liquified Powder on 07/21/2011 20:27:37 MDT Print View

So find out what percentage dimethicone..if bodyglide will tell you.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Hydropel alternatives" on 07/21/2011 20:43:57 MDT Print View

Got Blisters? Andy Jones Wilkins 5th Place Finish, Hardrock 100 Mile, 2009

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: "Hydropel alternatives" on 07/21/2011 20:50:10 MDT Print View

His feet look more like maceration with skin separation from continually wet feet not allowed to dry trench foot might cause.