Packing Heat: The Ultimate Guide To FTM Packers

The Ultimate Guide To Packers for FTM

Packing is a rite of passage for many FtM individuals because it affirms their identities and quashes feelings of gender dysphoria. However, the process of finding a comfortable and well-fitting packer can be intimidating to the uninitiated trans person.

This handy guide to packers and other packing gear (like stand-to-pee devices) aims to dispel the confusion around packing. Read on to find out everything the things you need to know, such as:

  • Exactly what packers are
  • The different kinds of packing gear
  • How to care for and clean your packer
  • How to choose the right product
  • Tips for wearing your packer in day-to-day life

What Is A Packer?

Packers are penis-shaped products designed to help trans men and gender non-conforming individuals “fill in” their crotch area while wearing clothes. Some trans folks make their own packers by stuffing their underwear with socks or foam, while others use high-quality realistic prosthetic penises from specialty retailers.

Types Of Packers

Packers can vary in rigidity, length, colour, and material – providing a comfortable fit for people of all shapes, skin tones, and gender identities. But despite the vast array of products available, most packers generally fall into two categories: the soft packer and the hard packer.

Soft Packers

Soft packers consist of everything from rolled-up socks and liquid-filled condoms to more specialized products like a soft prosthetic penis. Trans men and other gender-diverse people use soft packers to emulate an in-pants bulge to make them feel more affirmed in their day-to-day lives.

New York Toy Collective's Archer Packer is a great choice for anyone looking for a long-lasting, sterilizable, and hypoallergenic daily silicone packer. For folks just starting out, CalExotics' Packer Gear™ Packer is one of the most popular choices since it sits at a lower price point ($39) and has an ultra-life-like look and feel.

Archer Packer Small - urBasics

New York Toy Collective's Archer Packer

While soft packers generally can’t be used for penetrative sex, some can help the user pee standing up. These products are known as stand-to-pee or STP packers. Brazilian brand TransStore makes our favourite STP, The Packer + STP,  a silicone dual-function packer designed for volume and for comfortable standing urination.

Hard Packers

Hard packers, on the other hand, have earned the moniker “pack and play.” That’s because these realistic silicone products are usually more rigid than squishier alternatives and can be used for penetrative sex.

Hard packers typically contain an internal rod that helps the product retain its' shape during sex, but it can also be adjusted to emulate a soft, flaccid feel. These packers usually come at a higher price than their soft counterparts.

In this category, the Mr. Flex Pack 'n Play: 5in1 (4.7") and the T Rex Pack 'n Play: 5 in 1 (5.1") stand out because of their wide range in functionality. These packers from TransStore can be used for penetration (sex), as volume in underwear, as an STP, to pleasure the wearer during intercourse, and as a stroker. 

Mr. Flex Pack 'n Play: 5in1 (4.7") - urBasics

Practical Tips For Wearing A Packer

Size Is Important

The idea of having a massive penis may seem tempting, but the best fit is not dependent on size alone. Instead, we recommend focusing on what feels right for your body. After all, if a prosthetic is too large or too small, you’ll be less likely to feel affirmed wearing your new packer.

We recommend experimenting with different sizes at home by rolling up socks at different lengths, to get a better idea of what size suits you best. If you're able to travel to Toronto, we offer in-person fitting appointments where you can come in to browse and try on gender-affirming gear in a safe space.

Beware Of Material Allergies

So you’ve gotten your FtM prosthetic products, and you’re absolutely stoked to see how it’s going to look. But after a few hours, you start to see a bit of redness and maybe feel a little itchy. If this sounds like something that’s happened to you, then there may be something in your packer that’s setting off an allergic reaction – like rubber or latex.

Using your packer shouldn’t make you uncomfortable, and finding the right one is well worth the effort. That’s why many packing veterans and experienced trans folks recommend buying silicone packers. Silicone packers usually last longer than products made from other materials, and they can be boiled for sterilization.

When used and cared for properly, silicone rarely triggers allergic reactions and is less porous than other types of packing material. Silicone’s nonporous composition means no trapped bacteria and easy cleaning, so you don’t have to worry about infections.

Give Yourself Time To Adjust

Here’s the truth about your first few days of packing: it won’t feel great right away. Just like any significant lifestyle change, it may take a little bit of time before packing starts to feel natural. For example, some trans folks wear their packers with a jockstrap for a more "natural" feel.

This is why we recommend taking it slow and first trying your packer at home before you wear it out. While in the comfort of your home, go through the motions of your day-to-day life to get a better feel for your product. This means trying to sit and stand, run, jump, or bend over while wearing your packer.

Remember: there’s no rush. Take your packer out for a spin only when you feel comfortable enough to do so.

Why Use Boxers or Harnesses? Using A Specialized Garment Makes A Difference

Some trans-focused manufacturers manufacture boxers meant to be used for soft packing, while others produce unobtrusive harnesses for hard packers. These undergarments and harnesses are usually constructed with firm support to keep your packer in place and stop any unwanted drifting on your body. This usually makes for a near-seamless transition between packing and play for hard packers, and a natural experience for folks that prefer to pack soft.

If you're more of a boxer person, consider something like the 2-1 Packing Boxers. The unique 2-layer design holds your soft packer or STP safely in place, with an inner pouch for easy wearing, a middle layer with an opening to accommodate the shaft and keep everything in place, and an outer pouch for easy access when you have to "go".

If, on the other hand, you feel more affirmed wearing a harness, we recommend trying something like TransStore's Easy Packing Strap, which is designed to be compatible with most packers in the market and can also be used with packer, STP or Pack-n-Play during sex.

Positioning Is Key

One of the main factors that can make or break the packing experience for trans folks is the positioning of their packer.

Positioning determines bulge shape and prominence – packing too high or low may look unnatural. This is especially important to trans folks who use an STP packer because this product usually results in a more pronounced, “boner-like” appearance.

Given this, there are two primary “poses” for positioning your packer or STP:

  • Packing Up: Packing up refers to the way trans folks might let their penises rest up against their hip flexors. However, packing in this way may reduce product visibility. Do note those who use STP packers will usually have to pack up to achieve realistic results.
  • Packing Down: Packing down refers to the practice of letting your packer rest directly above the scrotal area. Doing this means that even smaller packers can create a sizeable bulge while still being comfortable enough for daily use.

Hard Packing Requires A Bit More Preparation And Specialized Equipment

A hard “pack and play” product usually requires a bit more effort to ensure that everything’s in place and in working order. Newbie users may need a packing harness and specialized underwear to get the right fit. Otherwise, you may experience friction-based chafing and skin irritation.

Don't Use A Dildo Instead Of A Packer

Some trans folks who are new to packing may think of saving some cash by re-using sex toys as a replacement for realistic packers. However, not only will it look a little weird, but it also won’t give you a realistic bulge.

If cost is an issue, there are low-cost or free alternatives to purchasing high-quality packers. The lowest-cost packer we carry is the Bulge Packer, an ultra-lightweight packer that is soft to the touch, non-chaffing, and a great alternative for folks with silicone allergies. This $12 foam packer is designed to fit into pouch underwear, underwear with built-in separation, or in a packing pouch. 

Care And Cleaning

Whether you have a realistic silicone product or a firm plastic packer, it’s always best to keep your gear clean and well-maintained. However, it's important to remember that each product is made differently – the best way to clean one silicone product may be harmful to another packer.

The first step to keeping your packer clean and well-maintained is to know what it's made of.

Cleaning A Silicone Packer

Silicone FtM packers are suitable for even the most inexperienced folks because of their easy-to-clean, nonporous composition. Because these packers are designed to be relatively beginner-friendly, washing them with fragrance-free soap and water should be enough for day-to-day sanitation. However, some folks that want to keep their prosthetics squeaky clean can also boil their packers for that great good-as-new feeling.

For even better results, we recommend allowing your packer to air dry after sanitizing. This also preserves the colour of your product.

Cleaning A CyberSkin Packer

CyberSkin packers are the cheaper alternative to high-priced silicone prosthetics, but cleaning one may be a little more involved than with silicone packers.

CyberSkin packers are more porous and, therefore, more likely to trap dirt and bacteria. We recommend dusting used products with cornstarch after drying – this will maintain its colour and help you avoid the sticky post-wash feeling.

What You Need To Know About Post-Wash Dusting

Whether you’re new to packing or a certified packer veteran, you’ve probably had a used packer stick to just about everything. That’s why we recommend dusting your piece with cornstarch after every wash!

Many trans folks swear by this technique because of two things: it’s a great way to make the overall packing experience more comfortable AND make a used packer feel new again. The sticky feeling of silicone on your pelvic area will be a thing of the past!

Choosing A Packer

Trans folks in North America have a unique problem when trying to find the best-fitting packer: there is an overwhelming amount of options available for purchase. Packers are available in nearly every skin colour and made from various materials to suit everyone.

But how do you find a good packer that suits your needs? We recommend asking yourself the following questions when trying to find the perfect match:

  • How big do I want my packer to be?
  • I have any latex or rubber allergies?
  • Do I want an STP packer or pack and play product?
  • What’s my ideal price range?

Our Top Packing Picks

The search for the perfect packer can be time (and money!) consuming, but checking out reviews can help speed the process along. Luckily, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. Read on for our top packing picks to please every trans folk.

The New and Superb Beginner-Friendly Option: The Tantus

Tantus’ On the Go Packer is made out of 100% Premium Silicone, is a fair-priced option that caters to packing newbies. This is a quality packer with a natural feel and look with a sufficient grip on the back to stay put during extended wear and easy to clean. The Tantus sits at a higher price point than the classic newbie packer, Mr Limpy, which is made of CyberSkin and requires more maintenance to keep it fresh.

On the Go Packer - urBasics

We recommend pairing this packer with tighter clothing like jeans or dress pants to get the best possible fit.

For The Classic Silhouette: New York Toy Collective’s Archer

Made in the United States, the New York Toy Collective’s Archer is the quintessential soft silicone packer used by thousands of trans folks in North America. Unlike other options you’ll find on your packer search, the Archer comes in almost every skin tone plus fun colours like blue, purple, and gold.

Archer Packer Adult - urBasics

Despite its otherworldly colour options, the Archer is a low-profile packer designed to sit comfortably in your pants while still allowing you to feel free and breezy. The only downside is that  trans folks looking for a hyper-realistic packer might be turned off by its simplistic and extra-smooth construction.

For Realistic Packing: California Exotics Packer

One step up, the California Exotics silicone packer has a veiny appearance that gives it a realistic look. This silicone packer is also made in several sizes (4” and 5” shaft) and colours that suit various body types and skin tones.

Packer Gear™ Packer - urBasics

Despite its relatively large size, keeping it in place is a non-issue when pairing it with packing-focused garments. That means these bad boys can go anywhere with you without the risk of falling out.

For your realistic handmade Packer: Banana Prosthetics

The search for a realistic packer is over, these packers are handmade right here in Canada with world world-clas-class quality. Banana Prosthetics’ packers are made of medical-grade Silicone and come in 5 different skin tones. They are known for being durable, flexible and comfortable. This is our newest addition to the collection and we are very pleased.

For Top Of the Line Look & Functionality: TransStores' 5-1 Pack 'n Play line

Like we mentioned before, if you're looking for a packer that can do it all, the Mr. Flex Pack 'n Play: 5in1 (4.7") and the T Rex Pack 'n Play: 5 in 1 (5.1") are our go-to choice. These packers come in 5 different shades and can be used for penetration (sex), as volume in underwear, as an STP, to pleasure the wearer during intercourse, and as a stroker. 

 T Rex Pack 'n Play: 5 in 1 (5.1 inches) - urBasics

Fact: Packing helps many trans guys and gender non-conforming folks feel more like themselves. However, finding the perfect one to address your needs and lifestyle can be complicated, even if you’re a packing veteran. Luckily, we’ve got products to suit everyone!


Questions? We are happy to chat! Write to us at