Regular readers will remember that we reviewed Ultimate Guard’s Mini American Zip Folio aimed at X-Wing players before it was available in the country. Well, when it became available in Australia and Let’s Play Games Distribution sent us one to review I was left scratching my head as to what kind of coverage I could do for it. In the end, I decided to go with an unreasonable stress test I like to call ‘a test of ice and fire’. Well, it’s actually more like ‘a test of water and heat’ but just let me have this okay?
I want to first mention that since I’ve reviewed the folder, it’s been holding all my X-Wing upgrade and pilots cards. So far it has held up to regular wear and tear just fine and has been serving me very well. It is in fact probably one of my favorite card storage solutions right now. With that said, let’s destroy it!
My first plan was to expose the folder to the kind of heat one can get in a locked car on a hot and sunny day, for those instances where you forget your folder in the car. Unfortunately for me, Brisbane weather didn’t have a sunny day planned for the near future. If only there was a device created to apply constant heat to objects…
With that terrible plan in mind I filled my folders with destruction fodder in the form of extra conquest tokens and convinced my girlfriend that I would try not to burn the house down. Now, not having the patience to slowly ramp up the temperature and sit in front of the the oven for hours, I preheated it to 100^C and decided to put the folder in for half an hour.
Half an hour later!
As soon as I opened the oven, I could smell the telling scent of burning plastic and fabric. That being said, the folder held up surprisingly well. It’s warped and bent out of shape now but the contents are just fine. I was extra surprised to find the insides undamaged. I would have expected the plastic sleeves to be at least a little bit melted but other than being a little bit crumpled and loose, they were fine. Most importantly, the cards are good as new! So I guess the take away here is try not to leave your zip folio in a hot car because it will compromise its integrity like you’d expect. However, it does definitely fulfill its function in protecting your cards.
Next I decided to do the ever popular submerge test, which is just a fancy way of saying I am going to dunk it in water.
I quickly ran into a roadblock when I realised the damn thing floats. So I decided to remedy it the same way I solve all my problems, with something blunt and heavy, which in this nerdy household, took the form of a TARDIS bookend.
Now, the first thing I noticed was how quickly the water on the covers dried. These two pictures were taken less than 1 minutes after I pulled it out of the water and by this time the outsides were almost dry. The insides on the other hand…
It’s pretty clear that the Zip Folio is nowhere near water proof. However, the water resistance of the cover suggests to me that the folder should protect against that occasional drink spills on the table top. Just try not to drop it into a pool. Actually, considering it floats, you should be fine, especially if you managed to recover it somewhat quickly. So just don’t drop it into a pool and somehow hold it under for an extended amount of time. What I am trying to say here is that submerge tests are silly when you take into account the practicalities. While the cards were ultimately damaged, I was certainly happy with the performance it gave.
Of course, the purpose of this stress test was more intended to be humorous than damning and I maintain my initial assessment from the previous review that this folder is a great product.
You can purchase Ultimate Guard products such as this online at Good Games, or head over to the Ultimate Guard website for more information.