Convatec ActiveLife with Durahesive Plus Skin Barrier

acttive lifeEase of cleaning after emptying: This bag comes with what is called a tail closure clip. This clip functions similarly to Velcro push to close systems in that it is what is preventing the bag from opening. The clip is positive, secure and easy to open during cleanings. Only 1 tail closure is provided per box so I would recommend keeping them in case you lose one. How would you lose one? While emptying the bag. I had to be super careful so as not to drop it in the toilet. I wouldn’t want to go fishing after it so having the piece of mind of extra clips is worth having. If you are not used to these tail clips it does take some mental adjustment because it does not seem like a secure closure system but it does get the job done. Unfortunately cleaning this bag is difficult as compared to Hollister, Coloplast and even other Convatec offerings. Since the tail has no reinforced plastic in it there is nothing providing structure that can be used to help you open the bag. It is literally like trying to separate a wet stuck together plastic bag. A difficult task especially if you are trying to keep your hands as clean as possible. The only way I could somewhat quickly clean the bag was folding a piece of TP over the mouth and pressing out whatever was left in the tail into that TP. I repeated this several times before I could even open the bag.

Protrusion from abdomen: This bag is super low profile and light weight. I could hardly feel that it was there and even when full with gas it was already so close to begin with I couldn’t even tell with a T-shirt on. The Active life definitely would fulfil the role of a low profile bag if that is your main concern.

The clip used to close off the tail. Save these!!

The clip used to close off the tail. Save these!!

Quality of adhesive: The ActiveLife series has two types of adhesive systems. I used the Durahesive Plus skin barrier but there is also a Stomahesive skin barrier. They market the Durhesive as “the product choice for ileostomies and urostomies” while the Stomahesive “provides high-quality protection for colostomies”. The Durahesive barrier was fantastic. I used it with a Hollister wafer and it attached onto a large area of my abdomen and didn’t go anywhere. This bag had no problem handling my wound draining on it constantly, showering and exercising daily. One of the top adhesive systems I have used, I was very impressed.

Quality of construction: Super light-weight but it does make noise under your shirt. It has that plastic bag kind of feel and sound. The sound could easily be mitigated with some sort of maternity band to hold the bag in place but I don’t use these. I would think that the tail should have some sort of reinforcement so that cleanings can be performed more easily however this may diminish the lightweight aspect of the bag. One thing that did bother me was that as I would perspire during exercise, the bag tended to stick to my skin and then naturally as I moved it would peel off. This gave the sensation of the bag being pulled off my skin and I was always touching it to make sure it was still there. I would recommend using a bag cover to prevent this if you are exercising.

Gives you an idea of how flat this bag is. I was impressed with that aspect of the bag

Gives you an idea of how flat this bag is. I was impressed with that aspect of the bag

Ease of drying: This bag dried rapidly after showers. I would wrap up in the towel and after walking to my bedroom it would be dry. It whisks away water and to dry all it needs is dabbing from a towel.

Number of days per bag: I went 7 days with this bag, changed due to odor. I credit the quality of adhesive.

Perceived weight when full: This bag has quite a large attachment point to the skin which makes it carry very easily when full. It outperformed many two piece systems I have used in this area.

Who I would envision liking the bag: Swimmers, athletes and anyone who favors a really low profile bag. I will add the caveat that you must be willing to spend a bit more time then you may be used to while emptying the bag. When looking at a super lightweight, fast changing bag like this you have to consider where they are cutting weight and for this bag weight is cut from the tail (making the emptying challenging) and the materials of the bag (which make some noise, but also whisks water away). If this doesn’t bother you give it a try!


I used transparent

I used transparent

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