While researchers all over the world were scrambling to come up with grant-worthy ideas for the Gates Foundations' Next Generation Condom, a class at the University of Oregon took a different direction. Under the guidance of Kiersten Muenchinger, director of the Product Design Program, and John Park, instructor of digital arts, students closely studied products that are already out there. The students tested 70 different condoms on 20 attributes they thought were important including speed, lubrication, taste, and, of course, material strength.
The results weren't all that surprising. "No one condom out there was hitting all marks on every test that we did," says Muenchinger. In fact, the condoms that performed the best ranked in the top 10 on only nine of the twenty attributes. Although no one condom could do it all, merely getting familiar with the products had an impact on the students. "The more everyone worked on this, the more they developed a sense of what they liked in a condom and what they didn't like in a condom," says Muenchinger. Until the there's a revolution in condom technology, you'll have to put in your own efforts to figure out what you prefer. If you don't know where to start, here are the condoms that did best in University of Oregon's tests.
The Winner: Kimono Thin
The Kimono Thin condom is made from premium natural latex using what Kimono calls "state-of-the-art Japanese technology." Whatever that means, it seems to be working, as this is vegan-friendly, paraben and glycerin free condom beat out its 69 competitors (including 3 other Kimono-brand condoms) in this texture test.