Remember those T-shirts vacation T-shirts once so popular? "My mom and dad went to Hawaii, and all I got was this stupid T-shirt."
I went to the Denver National Quilt Festival, and all I bought was fabric for a dress, fabric for a bandana and this supposedly amazing heating pad I thought I could tote along during Ride the Rockies.
The sales people rushed to get me to try out the long-lasting and refreshing heat of the Click It Hot Cold heating pad. ("Oh, look, you're even holding your back! You have back pain! You are so ready for this heating pad!") It took me about 15 seconds of test drive (sitting on a heated Click It) to decide this was about the best invention ever.
You click a little metal coin inside the gel pad, and within seconds, the gel contents crystallize and radiate the most luscious heat, perfect for an achy back or rusty hips.
The sales people didn't bother to tell me until after swiping my credit card this heating pad has to be boiled in water to be reset. For a lot longer than the two full minutes they claimed. And then fully cooled before it will work again. If you didn't boil it long enough the first time, you have to boil it again and wait all over again to make sure it doesn't partially crystallize again.
Not so efficient, in my opinion.
Before I got home from the Denver National Quilt Festival, I was trying to make the best of what seemed like a really stupid purchase. I thought perhaps the Click It might work if I poured a cup of hot water over the bag. I was reasonably sure I would be able to get hot water each evening of Ride the Rockies. I could just pay for a cup of hot water from any coffee vender, I thought.
Nope. The Click It must be boiled. Two minutes, they say, but my experience is more like 20 minutes, perhaps because I'm at altitude. The Click It must be fully immersed the entire two to 20 minutes. Pouring a cup of super hot water on it doesn't reset the product.
The heat the Click It produces once it's been reset is awesome. The heat lasts far longer than my homemade bean bags, corn bags and rice bags I nuke in the microwave for two minutes before using. The Click It also doesn't smell like Mexican food, popped corn or morning cereal. Not so sure that's a plus or a minus, but it's the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Click It has no odor.
This little blue gel pad didn't accompany me on Ride the Rockies. Had I known about the reset process ahead of paying for it, I doubt I would have bought it. I don't use it very often because it is so difficult to reset at altitude. The Click It is just too inconvenient, and, in my opinion, requires too much electricity to reset. Nuking my homemade bean bag is faster.
You know the old saying: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. In the case of the Click It, definitely so.
During Ride the Rockies, we happened upon a new (to me) heating pad called TheraPearl while looking for bag balm. I bought the sports pack size, at roughly a third of the price of the Click It Hot Cold pad, and have been using it on my back for a while now.
Just like my homemade bean bags, corn bags and rice bags, this little gem may be heated in the microwave, but only 30 seconds for this little miracle.
The TheraPearl is made of blue gel beads or pearls and is lightweight and compact. Not that it matters, but it's pretty to look at and fun to roll in my fingers when I'm not using it on my back, sort of like the packing air bubbles my brothers and sisters and I liked to play with when we were bored about 30 or 40 years ago. The TheraPearl literally feels like moving pearls around inside a firm bag.
It doesn't hold its heat as long as the Click It, but it's better than my homemade bags because it doesn't smell, and just like the Click It, the heat seems to be consistent across the pad. It's much more portable than the Click It or my homemade bags, and it can be frozen as well as heated.
I wish I'd found one of these before I bought the Click It. It would have saved me about $30, and I would have had it every night of Ride the Rockies.
On the bright side, I'm set for next year's ride, if we decide to throw our hats in the lottery!