About six months ago, I wrote about using sticky pads to secure all sorts of stuff from sliding off counters, the nav station, the table and so on. Then, in April, Debra Trottier aboard Star Light left a comment about an even better sticky pad called Tree Frog Pads.
Well, one thing led to another and pretty soon Mark Mahoney, the owner of the company, contacted me and offered to send some samples for me to try out.
Debra was right — these are even better sticky pads. I put one on a clipboard so that I could play with the angle and was astounded that my phone stayed stuck even upside-down (see the photo at the top of the article). I put that piece of ribbon there so you could see that yes, I really was holding it upside down! The Tree Frog Pads are way better than the other sticky pads — and while they cost a bit more than the others, they’re still not terribly expensive.
Debra’s note pretty well says it all: “They are more expensive than the regular sticky pads but have an extremely powerful grip. They also can be cut to size and have held wonderfully well even when we’ve been in stormy seas. A friend of mine used them on a passage to Hawaii from San Diego and said they were a life saver in the galley to hold plates, knives etc. from flying.”
I did a bunch of testing with “galley stuff” — and sure enough, knives and pans just didn’t slide at any sort of a “normal angle.” Actually, that angle in the photo is almost a total knockdown! Now, don’t think that I’m recommending just storing your knives on nothing more than a Tree Frog Pad — but it’s a good way to keep them from sliding off a counter (and maybe onto your foot?) while in use. Read more about knife storage.
A few notes:
- Cut the pad before removing the protective sheets from it — or put waxed paper on both sides. It’s so sticky that it’s hard to work with otherwise.
- Paper will stick to the pad so well that it’ll probably tear coming off. You can wet the residue and it’ll come right off. If any ink transferred, a little soap will take it off. (Want to know how I learned this??)
- Dirt and dust will get trapped on the pad and make it less effective. Rinsing with water will remove it and totally restore the pad. It’s not a chore at all!
- Debra reports that using a little soap does a great job of cleaning up the pad — but she warns not to use the soap with moisturizers or “soft hands” formulas. They’ll leave a residue on the pad that will make it less effective (hmm, wonder how she learned that??).
- I tested the pad on all sorts of surfaces and it never left a residue. It didn’t pull varnish off either — but if paint or varnish was loose or peeling, I’m betting it could pull some chips off.
- Smooth surfaces stick best — both as to what you’re putting the pad on and what you’re setting on the pad. The biggest test I had for the TreeFrogPad was to see if it would hold some exercise gear in place. I’ve had a nasty ankle injury and the only cardio work I can do is with an arm crank . . . but it was almost impossible to secure it in place. I cut one of the smallest pads in half and put a piece under two of the feet. The feet were ribbed and I still found that the unit would move as I used it. Then I twisted the feet so that a smooth side came into contact with the pad and it held totally steadily.
The TreeFrogPads are great for lots of stuff in the galley and on the table (if your plates have a smooth bottom, such as Corelle do, they won’t move when on a Tree Frog Pad). I stuck one under a cutting board to keep it in place, under a mixing bowl, set utensils on it and everything. I ended up with tons of uses and photos — way more than I could use here.
But really, they have lots of uses on a boat . . . although, as with anything, you’ll have to test just how far you can trust them with your own circumstances (some phones and cameras, for example, will stick better than others just because they have a larger flat surface).
- Cell phones
- Handheld GPS
- MP3 player
- iPads and other tablets
- Remote controls
- Other small electronics
- Pens and pencils
- Glasses — both sunglasses and a place to put regular glasses overnight
- Tools (great to set wrenches, pliers, etc. on while working anywhere — but particularly on deck to avoid things slipping through scupper holes — no guarantees, though!)
Tree Frog Pads come in three sizes:
- Large — 7″ x 9″ ($12.95 as I write this)
- Medium — 4″ x 4″ ($7.95)
- Small — 2″ x 4″ ($5.95)
Get them online exclusively at TreeFrogPad.com — if you order one, when you get to shipping you have a choice of UPS or “more carriers.” Choosing “more carriers” allows you to select USPS (regular mail), which is MUCH cheaper.