It's a big packing world out there. For someone new to packing, familiarizing yourself with all of the options can seem a tad overwhelming. To simplify things for you, we've broken down the basic types to help you choose which kind of packer is right for you. If you're a complete packer novice, you may want to check out our intro article: What is a Packer? first.
Soft packers are prosthetics used for the sole purpose of creating a bulge in your pants. They are not firm enough for any kind of penetration and without modification are not usable as a Stand-to-Pee device (STP).
Soft packers come in myriad varieties: different shapes, sizes, tones and degrees of detail. However, with regards to material makeup, there are generally only two types of soft packer: those made of elastomer/thermal gel and those made of silicone.
Companies that produce the first variety (elastomer/thermal gel) often have their own proprietary compounds and thus have their own trademarked brand names such as "Cyberskin," "Softskin," and "SuperSkin."
Because elastomer soft packers are generally made with some amount of mineral oil, we do not recommend wearing one for long stretches of time without a barrier between your skin and your packer. We love packing underwear, but there are also packing pouches that you can affix to any underwear. Check out the packing pouch from New York Toy Collective:
Silicone packers are, by nature, firmer and less stretchy than their elastomer counterparts. While this certainly changes the tactile experience of a packer, silicone packers can be fully sterilized by boiling or running through your dishwasher, so they are much easier to keep clean. They are also much more durable. If cared for properly, a good silicone packer can last a lifetime and be a worthwhile long-term investment.
The silicone packers we carry on our site are made of premium platinum-based silicone that is hypoallergenic, non-toxic and free of phthalates. These are fully safe for long-term contact with your skin and therefore can be worn with a packing strap or any pouch-style underwear.
For those strapped for cash, or with a strong DIY ethic, making your own packer might be your best bet. Stuffing your underwear with socks is always an easy and accessible option, however, those looking to create a bulge that would pass a squeeze test will want to go the condom filled with hair gel or gak route. Here is our favorite video on DIY packing.
How you position a soft packer in your pants is entirely a question of personal preference. The first time I ever went to have a pair of suit pants tailored, my tailor asked me if I "dressed left or dressed right." Completely befuddled, I later learned that cis men generally position the shaft of their junk on the same side every day and traditional tailors will add a bit of room in the crotch for whichever side that is. Smaller packers, such as the Extra Small Mr. Limpy are compact enough to position straight down inside packing underwear.
Though some FTMs successfully use STPs on their first try, most transguys report that using an STP generally takes a bit of practice. We recommend trying out your new STP in the shower - with the shower off so you can clearly determine whether or not that liquid on the back of your legs is your urine and not water from the shower head.
For my personal journey, it took several weeks of practice before I was finally able to know exactly how I needed to stand and position an STP against my body. I'll admit that I jumped the gun and tried to use my STP in my bathroom at home before I was fully ready and ended up with a LOT of pee all over the floor. More than once.
If, after several attempts, you still aren't having success with your STP, it's possible that the shape of the bowl just isn't right for the unique way your body is contoured. It's also possible that your flow is too strong for the specific configuration of your STP and you may want to try another.
For more tips on how to successfully use an STP, check out our article 11 Essential STP Packer Tips.
If you suspect that you have a strong stream, we recommend starting with an STP that has a large bowl, such as the Emisil Compact STP, or one that has a wide hole in the shaft, such as New York Toy Collective's Sam STP.
PACK N PLAY'S / 2 IN 1'S / 3 IN 1'S
Pack N' Plays (also called 2 in 1's) and 3 in 1's are multifunctional packers. The "play" in a Pack N Play refers to using your packer for penetration. The "3" in 3 in 1, refers to the three P's: packing, peeing and playing.
Many Pack N' Plays have a bendable, semi-hard rod inside them that it can be positioned up and out of the way when packing, and out and ready for action when playing.
Note that for a packer to function as both a packer and a plaything, you will have to make certain compensations in hardness and size. It can be uncomfortable, not to mention incredibly conspicuous, to have a large, hard packer in your pants all day long. Because of this, packers meant for both activities are often smaller than the toys one normally uses for playing. Also, because they are a bit softer, we recommend using lots of lube during play time.
3 in 1s tend to be standard issue STPs with an additional insertable rod for play. Sam the STP is one of this variety. Like the Sam itself, the insert for Sam is made from 100% silicone.
Have a question about packers that we haven't answered here? Drop a note in the comments!