May 7, 2008

the coffee test...

i posted earlier about some maps i had gotten from america rides maps. i'm really impressed by the detail contained in the map as well as the quality construction of the map.

in my post, i suggested chipping in the extra couple of bucks to get the waterproof map. to be honest, i hadn't actually tested the waterproof durability of the map. i based my comment on the quality material used in the map as well as the price. again, for eight bucks how can you go wrong??

the way i figured it, testing the waterproof-ability of the maps would come one day when i was riding, using the maps and it would start raining. it would be a good test to see how the maps hold up as well and manipulating the maps in the rain. funny how things work out...

i'd been ranting and raving to my neighbor about the maps and wanted to show them to him. on the way to his house, my wife's coffee spilled on the maps. what better time to test them out. both the waterproof and the non-waterproof versions got coffee, so i figured it was a heads up competition.

after noticing the spill, we used napkins to wipe the excess coffee off the maps. wiping the waterproof map was like wiping a piece of plastic. the coffee came off easily and didn't soak into the paper much. there was some staining, but i would expect that.

the non-waterproof map had to be wiped more carefully - blotting more than wiping. if we wiped the map too hard, some of the print started to come off. when we were more careful, we didn't have a problem getting the excess coffee off. more coffee soaked into the map, but not as much as i would have expected. since more coffee had soaked into the map than the waterproof one, it was obviously stained more.

we dried both maps on the dashboard of the car. after the maps were completely dry, they both folded up nicely. other than staining on the waterproof map, you would have never known it got wet. the non-waterproof map had more staining and was a little wrinkled - you could tell it had been wet. however, it is still very usable.

both maps fared well. if you were on a trip, you could probably get by with the non-waterproof map. it could take some water and still survive. but, if you ride, you're going to get wet. in those cases, you definitely want the waterproof map. and even if you don't plan on riding in the rain, you'll want the waterproof map for those mornings when you're planning your ride and your coffee or beverage of choice doesn't stay in the mug...

now that i've real-world tested the maps, i'm even more impressed. definitely a must-have for trips...