Five Uses of the ChaWel:
2) NECK PILLOW
3) CHANGING ROOM
4) SLEEPING BAG LINER/SLEEPING BAG
There you have it. five uses. Now the blanket one is a BIT generic, but the hidden pocket that a ChaWel possesses has me sold. I was just having an email volley with a colleague about traveling abroad and bringing your camera to the beach. Some ideas were to bury your valuables and then cover the spot with a blanket (hard to do very discreetly and could be messy) and put things into a paper bag and have a gross piece of trash like a ketsup-sodden napkin atop it, making cons less likely to mess with your "trash." This little pocket is pretty well hidden, mesh-lined and is big enough to hold a point and shoot type camera, Iphone, passports, etc. Genius.
The other part of the ChaWel that is just AMAZING. I cannot even gush enough good things about the ease of use of the changing room. True Changing-Room Horror Story: I was a a waterpark in the family changing room with my husband and our small son. The stalls were roomy and secure, but open-air near the ceiling. Just as I have removed my top entirely, I look over and a very tall man is standing in the stall next to us. His entire head is above the stall wall. Eek! So, naturally, my noticing him leads him to look over and notice me. A ChaWel would have easily come to my rescue and saved me the embarrassment and saved that poor man from seeing me topless.
You just slip the ChaWel length-wise over your head and pop your head through the top hole. It's wearable and roomy and eliminates even the most modest individual from feeling self-conscious while changing. I LOVE this thing. For the beach, the gym, even hunting camp!! I bet you were all wondering when I was going to tie this magnificent piece of gear into field uses, right?
Well, the ChaWel is awesome because it is multi-functional. Whether hunting or traveling (or sometimes traveling to hunt) it is essential to pack light. I now have (in fitting blaze orange, a color often used by hunters) a sleeping bag that is good enough warmth for a few nights in the cabin, a towel that dries quickly, and a changing room, since often times I'm the only girl in camp! This can even be used as a survival aid in a hunting pack for backcountry trips--imagine your packable space blanket being paired with this highly packable ChaWel and how warm you could stay if you needed to? You'd be high-vis as well!
I was also surprised to find a mesh carry sack and a fleece sleep mask--how cool! I love little add-ons that companies include to make their product and the customer experience just a little better!
Above are all of the PROS to the ChaWel. The ONLY few CONS that I have are below, and some are merely ideas on improvement. All in all, I absolutely LOVE this thing!
- I LOVE that the ChaWel was designed in Canada, I just wish it were not made in China. I know that it's hard to get away from that, but I LOVE the quality of items manufactured in the US and Canada and find myself supporting them more.
- Another or slightly larger pocket existing pocket would make the ChaWel even better (for a larger camera.)
- More colors (to appeal to a larger crowd)
- Maybe a wearable option (similar to a "Snuggie" to make a 6th use!)
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**Disclosure: ChaWel sent me a complimentary towel to try and to facilitate this review. I was compensated in no other way and my opinions are 100% honest and are my own. Thanks ChaWel!**