Kula Cloth Review

As someone that backpacks frequently, I’m always on the lookout for ways to lighten my pack and be more ecofriendly. When packing, the thing I hate most is my bathroom bag. Feminine hygiene in the backcountry is a learning process, and trust me, I’ve tried a lot of different options.

You’ve likely seen the ads or social media for Kula Cloth and wondered if it’s the miracle you’re looking for. I can honestly say that it’s a decent product, and an improvement on a pee rag. But, I don’t think it cuts out toilet paper completely.

Square piece of cloth with green and blue trees and red and blue tents with a small strap that has a snap. It is sitting on grass and fallen leaves.

Let’s get into how it works, the benefits, the things you need to know, and a few alternatives.

What is the Kula Cloth

At its heart, the Kula Cloth is a souped up pee rag. If cut a bandana up, or found random pieces of fabric to use as a pee rag, you know that they can smell over a weekend, and you have to really get it clean each night.

Kula (I’m gonna abbreviate it) is made from silver-infused fabrics that help stop the smell and prevent bacteria from growing. It’s thicker than a bandana and has a small strap with a snap so it easily hooks to your pack.

It’s made of thick fleece with a waterproof side that keeps your hands cleaner during multiple uses.

The Benefits of the Kula Cloth

Using a pee rag in general cuts down on the amount of toilet paper you will use. Hands down this is a plus. Both for your pack and the environment.

While a pee rag can get wet and smelly during the day, the Kula doesn’t. I know people will say a bandana strapped to your pack doesn’t smell because the sun sanitizes it, but my experience is that it smells by the end of the day.

The Kula only smelled if I really put it up to my nose (which yes, I did. I took one for the team to test it for you.)

It’s also made of thicker material than random fabric and has a waterproof side so your hand isn’t touching your pee during every use. While this makes it a little heavier than a piece of bandana, it’s worth it for the cleanliness factor.

Of course, another benefit is that you can toss it in the wash when you get home for a solid clean.

And a big bonus is that they come in fun fabrics.

Things To Know About the Kula Cloth

I’m going to preface this with – I live in the southeastern US where it’s muggy and nothing dries. I don’t care if you’re walking along a ridge with no trees in 90-degree weather and full sun. If it’s 80% relative humidity, nothing will dry.

This is key because it means, here in NC, your Kula Cloth is always going to be wet. So, it’s extremely important to wash it with soap each night. I know the website says you can rinse it, and I know people out there say they just rinse it, but I’m going on record as saying this does not work for everyone.

I tried just rinsing it on a couple of trips and was regretting life the next day (while walking funny).

Since I don’t usually carry soap with me, this was a bit of a downer.  Trying to meet it halfway, I bought the Sea to Summit soap leaves. Three of these in a bag of clean water wasn’t enough.

This was an 8 day trip and things weren’t looking good. Luckily, a fellow backpacker had camp suds which did the trick.  

While some people say they clean or rinse it in a stream, do not do that. One, this is not eco-friendly. You should bring bags and wash your items on land, far away from water. The soap is only biodegradable on land. This is an added inconvenience.

And two — there could be giardia in that water. If it’s not safe to drink, do you really want to be rubbing it around….”there”?

As I mentioned, here in the southeastern US, it doesn’t dry. I had it strapped on the back of my pack all day and it remained wet. The thicker fabric doesn’t help. But, I used it anyway since it was cleaned with soap the night before.

Would I Recommend the Kula Cloth?

Overall it’s a solid product and it does work. If you carry soap with you anyway, then it’s worth the effort. If you’re intrigued by pee rags but put off by the smell or repeatedly touching it, then this is a good option.

Even if you don’t bring soap, you can hike in on Friday using another option, switch to the Kula Cloth Saturday, and hike out using your other method. This still cuts down on toilet paper.

Square piece of cloth with green and blue trees and red and blue tents with a small strap that has a snap. It is sitting on grass and fallen leaves.

Other Options to Cut Back on TP

You can use multiple pee rags, or a female urinary device.

I’ve done three pee rags before.  I take scrap fabric (you can use a bandana, but my mom sews so I grabbed her remnants) and put a safety pin in one piece to hook to my pack. This is my Friday rag.

Saturday morning, I put the used rag in a sealed bag and pull out rag number 2. Sunday morning it goes in the used bag with the first one and I hike out with the third. 

It sounds like a lot of work, but it’s easy, the bag keeps the smell contained, and the three scraps of fabric are actually less weight than the Kula Cloth.

This doesn’t remove the issue of having to touch a thin piece of fabric with some urine on it throughout the day though.

Another favorite of mine is to pair the Kula Cloth or pee rag with a Female urinary device (FUD). I can pee standing and don’t have to wander 300 yards off trail for privacy.  I use my FUD, and do a quick wipe with the cloth.

When I use the FUD, I tend to have less drip so the pee rag stays drier.

Wrap Up: Kula Cloth Review

I believe the Kula Cloth is a good product and will work for a lot of people. Make sure you clean it with soap on multi day trips.

If taking multiple pee rags is too complicated, you don’t want to deal with the smell, or it’s a long trip, then the Kula Cloth is a great addition to your bathroom kit. I recommend bringing some toilet paper in case you can’t wash the Kula.

Whether you use it the entire trip or not, it will cut down on toilet paper and that’s the ultimate goal.

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