Diagram of the bendi-bag by Manfred Sauer

Bendi Catheter Bag (Manfred Sauer)

Bendi Bag, price upon request, Manfred Sauer

I used the bendi bag leg bag when I was more active as a wheelchair user, and stopped using it when I was functionally unable to use my chair. I recently restarted, and am reminded again how great it is.

Most catheter bags are designed and shaped for people walking. They fit tightly around the calf or thigh, and the goal is to prevent them falling down. They assume that the wearer will have no trouble finding somewhere to empty it, and generally don’t meet the needs of wheelchair users. When I found the bendi-bag for the first time, I was thrilled, because it ticked all my boxes.

It’s designed to be worn on a bent leg by someone sat down. This means that the weight of the bag hangs from a strap that goes above the knee, and the strap at the bottom of the calf simply holds it in place and against the body. This does mean more weight going through your leg to the chair cushion, and to the footrest, but this has never caused problems for me. The back of the bag is made with a flocking material to be soft against the leg, and the straps can be cut to length, to some extent. The bag is very long, stretching from above my knee right down to my ankle-bone, meaning a PA or carer can easily get the valve out from the bottom of my jeans in order to empty the bag.

While I often have problems with skinny jeans compressing catheter bags and limiting their size, I don’t struggle with that here. Instead, the bag is able to fill to about 80% of its full capacity, even in very skinny jeans (though this can make my two legs look very unevenly shaped.

The best thing about this bag is the capacity: 1,300 ml, or well over a litre. This is incredible, because it allows me to last a lot longer between bag emptying – and I don’t have to limit my fluid intake. Because the bag is so long, it doesn’t stick out nearly as much as you’d think for the capacity, and it just takes away the anxiety of when I’d next find an appropriate accessible toilet.

There are two capacities available, 700ml and 1300ml, and a variety of types of tap, tube length, and sterility. I choose the 1300ml capacity obviously, with the 35cm adjustable inlet tube (which can be cut to your desired length, then a connector fits into the tube to link it to your catheter), and sterile. If you’re prone to infections I definitely recommend sterility.

You can request a free sample. Try it and let me know what you think!