Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Prudent Prepping: the Winbag

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping

I've had to open a car without the proper keys on occasion. That hasn't been a problem since I had the dealer make me extra copies, but it may be something I have to do in the future. The Winbag Inflatable Shim will help me do that without scratching paint or damaging door seals. Using it this way isn't exactly the manufacturer's  specified use, but it's close enough to the tool that tow companies use to get into cars for my purposes.
The Winbag is designed to lift cabinets, counters, windows and other items that will not need to be permanently shimmed after installation. This short video shows its intended use, but this short video shows my intended use! These are (as far as I can tell) identical items, with the same shape, size and inflation device. I have never seen the locksmith's model in real life, but I'm convinced of this from the pictures.

As the car video shows, the door needs to be wedged open a small amount to insert the bag and then the inflation bulb is squeezed like a blood pressure cuff.

From the Winbag website:
  • 300 LBS / 135 KILO force at your fingertips 
  • Gentle on surfaces leaving no scratches behind 
  • WINBAG® goes where we can’t! Tight spots and narrow locations 
  • As a “soft shim” against delicate surfaces

I didn't realize that an inflatable shim could be used to open a car door* until saw the Winbag on display in Home Depot. I don't own any lock picks or car entry tools, so after shimming (bagging?) a gap between the car door and frame, I plan on using a coat hanger or similar piece of wire.

(Sorry, I didn't try it out on my car, nor did any of my friends volunteer theirs!)

I have friends who are carpenters and cabinet guys who have used these as intended, and they have no complaints about the Winbag other other than every one of them wishing it was a little bit bigger in both  width and height.

*This post is in no manner an endorsement of breaking into cars!

The Takeaway
  • As usual for me, dual use items are staring me in the face. I just need to open my eyes and see them!

The Recap

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NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

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