No, these are not pants for making you go fast at 24-hour races. They’re pants that will absorb your period for up to 24 hours.
About once every 23 days (I know, it sucks, right?), I think ‘oh my god, these are so great, I must review them and tell everyone about them’. And then of course, I’m actually using them, which make photography tricky. So here we are, I’m finally remembering to write about them, so before I enter the ‘my boobs hurt, I hate the world, and a migraine is about to get me’ phase, let us proceed.
Cycling during your period can be tricky. Sanitary towels are a one way ticket to extreme discomfort, and even the string on a tampon can cause chafing. Perhaps you can’t or don’t want to use tampons, or a cup. And, as experience has taught me, ‘free bleeding’ into a padded chamois can result in an emergency pedal home if things are especially heavy. Sometimes you don’t want to have to announce to a group that you really need to go somewhere with a nice loo, please, because you have paraphernalia to attend to, and would they mind not doing that extra climb because, really, you’re in your pale shorts and soon the world is going to see why you’ve been trying not to sit down much for the last half hour, and you’d just really like to hit to loos soon, please? No, I don’t need a wild wee. Thank you, but I also don’t need a trowel. FOR GODS SAKES PEOPLE I’M ABOUT TO BLEED THROUGH MY SHORTS. Oh. That wasn’t awkward at all. People aren’t looking away…
For all that it shouldn’t be awkward, it often is – and it’s uncomfortable too. And inconvenient when you stain your favourite shorts/sheets/etc. I wondered then if the Modibodi underwear might prove a useful addition to my armoury. I’ve been testing the somewhat maximum strength ‘Sensual hi-waist bikini Maxi-24hours’ pants. These are actually a really flattering shape with a nice flat and comfortable lace trim – they’re nice to wear and don’t feel like the scuzzy old and saggy ‘period pants’ I might usually wear at this time of the month. (Everyone keeps their best pants for best, right?).
They’re made with a 95% Bamboo Viscose 5% Spandex outer and gusset made from merino wool, polyester, and polyamide. The central band of absorbent layer runs all the way from front to back, right up to the waist band. It’s designed to hold up to 50ml of liquid – which is about what 10 tampons would hold (apparently they also work for bladder leaks, but I’ve not tried testing them on a trampoline…).
Modibodi Sensual Hi-waist Bikini Maxi-24hours Pants In Use
Putting them on is really comfortable. There’s nothing scratchy, no bunching, and they Do. Not. Leak. They also don’t feel like you’re wearing a nappy. Once you’ve put them on you can forget you’ve got your period at all – there’s no need to figure out how many hours it is until you need to find a loo, or checking to see if you’ve soaked through. Just get on with your day. They will last you 24hours if you need to, but you’ll probably feel fresher if you swap into a clean pair at night. If you’re plagued by night time leaks, I’d recommend buying these just to sleep in – they’re so effective, and so comfortable. They just. Don’t. Leak. I got a test pair, bought another pair, and have bought two more pairs since. I’ve bought them for my teenage daughter too, and recommended them to friends. Honestly, they’re fab, and you need them in your life.
There are a couple of slight disadvantages with them. Firstly, you need to rinse them out with cold water when you take them off, before you put them in the washing machine. If you’re somewhere like a campsite with communal sinks, this can feel a little awkward – rinsing them out can have you feeling like Lady Macbeth, and it seems to go on for ever. And then you need to wash them properly before they dry. Failure to rinse and wash seems to result in the liner layer hardening, so if you can’t get to the washing machine straight away, be sure to rinse them out and then seal them up in a plastic bag so they don’t dry out before they’re clean.
The other problem is that they do take quite a while to dry, and you can’t tumble dry them, so you’ll need a few pairs to get through a period. Don’t expect to be able to wash them the night before and get up and put them on in the morning.
I would also admit that they’re a little warmer than a standard pair of pants, but they’re less sticky and uncomfortable on a hot day that a sanitary towel, so I’m not holding it against them.
However, for the physical comfort and mental security these provide, I think these are all obstacles worth overcoming and living with. No more worrying if you’re going to bleed into the sheets when you stay at your relative’s house. No more wondering if you’ve got time to go to the loo between classes, or meetings. No more wondering if you’re going to have to brave the loo on the train because otherwise you’ll spring a leak on the walk home.
From a cycling perspective, they’re no chamois – if you’re sitting and pedalling for a prolonged period of time then you’re going to get similar problems as you would in standard underwear. But for a short commute, evening lap, or even an uplift day, these are perfectly fine to ride in, and streets ahead of a sanitary towel (which much be the quickest route to abrasions short of sitting naked on a gravel saddle).
Where they’re really great though is for any active lifestyle where you’re out and about for up to 24 hours and don’t quite know when you’ll next see any facilities. The last thing you want on a bivvy night is to be worrying about bleeding into your sleeping bag, and with these you can just put them on and know you’re covered for 24 hours, even with the heaviest of flows.
Honestly, these have been one of the most transformative pieces of equipment I’ve added to my life in recent years. If you gave me the choice of having to give up running tubeless, or these pants, I think I’d be out there buying inner tubes. Finally, the only blood on my sheets is from the pedal strikes on my shins. After a lifetime of leaks, stained clothing and trying to time things right for the next available loo, I can finally forget about it all and get on with things. And hey, I’m getting older, so perhaps it won’t be too long before I’m testing their pee-holding power too. Worth every penny, but there are often discounts to be had via the friends referral scheme, so ask around before you buy.
|Product:||Sensual hi-waist bikini Maxi-24hours|
|Price:||£25 a pair|
|Tested:||by Hannah for 10 months|
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