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Experiences with different brands of binders?

Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by I AM MEOW, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. I AM MEOW

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    From my past experiences looking up things about binders, and I can't seem find any negative reviews, which is great, but it makes it very hard to figure out which one to get. Which is kind of problematic for cheapskate like me whose entire wardrobe probably cost around $30-$50.
    What are you guys' experiences with binders? Which ones are harder to breathe in, better for exercising/swimming or being lazy and doing nothing in? Any tips for overweight guys and binding? Being overweight, should I even get a binder, or just try to make do with sports bras (Because overweight cis guys kind of have boobs)? Has anyone tried any binders and hated them/what are your favorite binders?
    I'm being very cautious because I'm about to spend the amount of money I've spent on my entire wardrobe on one article of clothing.
     
  2. Daydreamer1

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    This might be long, so sorry ahead of time. I own two binders (I occasionally borrow my partner's binder, so that's three that I've used). I'm a chubby guy, so finding the right fit for me was always a concern; especially since I'm broke and binders can be super expensive.

    #1 Loveboat Air Max Binder: This was my first real binder, and the process of getting it has me nervous as all hell. The home company is in Taiwan and their sizing system is different than how it is here in the US. They go by "asian sizes" and those are generally smaller than what we usually have. I will say that the support team was absolutely fantastic and sweet to work with, helping me triple check that the size I measured up to was what would be perfect for me. So if you do go with them, don't feel like you might be a burden if you have a lot of questions.

    Another plus with them is that they have binders in almost any form that you could ask for to cater to your needs. Are pullover binders not your thing and you'd rather have the option to consider velcro or zippers? You got it! Are you looking for something specific, like one that has plenty of ventilation but is also durable? They got that too! The only downside is that they can get expensive. My binder plus the shipping (I'm 2XL by their chart, so that was a bit more) came out to just under $90.

    Anyway, with the binder. At first, I was scared I went a little too big and that it wouldn't bind my properly. That was about three years ago, and it still does the job perfectly. It's not tight, but not loose either. It's so comfortable that I sometimes forget that I'm wearing it, and need to be reminded to take it off. The Air Max is awesome because the back is a mesh material, so it can help you to stay cool during the hot and muggy seasons--something that other binders have a hard time doing at times. The compression is in the chest, and the rest down is a soft material--so you're not feeling like you're being constricted all the time. It's like a tank top in a way, if it had some compression in the front. It's fantastic and it was money well spent.

    My Rating: 5/5. It's amazing, and I'd love to do business with them again in the future (especially if my binder ever starts to break down and needs to be replaced).

    #2) Underworks Swim Binder: I've had this one for a bit over a year, but never got to really utilize it until this summer.

    The compression is really nice, and I don't feel like I'm suffocating in it. Underworks binders have the tendency to be snug or tight, and whether or not it's tolerable or unbearable depends on the person. I've never really had much of a problem with this one, only that I feel like I can't wear it as much as I would my main binder without feeling a bit worn out after a while--so maybe two hours or so and I'm fine with taking it off (unless I'm swimming and able to keep my mind off of it, then longer).

    Getting in and out of it can be tough, but it's not impossible. The first time is the real pain in the ass though, but that's the case with a lot of binders until you break it in. A complaint that many have with Underworks is that their range of motion feels or is somewhat limited. For me, I didn't really have this problem. So it's a mixed bag.

    My Rating: 4/5. It's a damn fine binder, and I'd wear it as a backup if anything happens to my main binder--just not as long as I normally would.

    #3 Underworks Tri Top (983) Binder: I got this for my partner maybe two years ago, and he's loved it. He can only wear it so long due to some back issues he has, and he lets me use it now and then if mine is being washed or I can't find it right away. It helps too that we're in the same size.

    Being a chubby guy, the tri top binders always worried me. I had a similar DIY one when I was in high school (never do what I did) and I felt it rolling up a lot or digging into my sides. Compression wise, it's fantastic. It does the job as well as my primary one, or even a bit better. However, it has some issues (at least for me). My range of motion feels somewhat limited, and getting comfortable can be challenging. If I wear it too long, I can feel it dig into my armpits and that's not fun.

    A life hack of sorts for preventing binders from rolling up is to tuck it into your pants and/or using a belt to keep it down. With tri top binders, that doesn't really help or work. But, wearing a tank top underneath it can help give it more to grip onto and help make things smoother. I feel like I have a smaller torso than the average person, so maybe that's why I've had some issues.

    My Rating: 3/5. It's not a bad binder, just not very suitable for me personally.

    ----

    I've heard GC2B is fantastic, and is about the same cost as an Underworks binder. I might explore them eventually, but I'm not sure. T-Kingdom is also a thing too, however; their binders can be expensive, they run small, and I've heard at least once that someone has broken a rib from them. So be careful and do research before investing.

    Also, here's two big no-nos to remember: Never wear a binder while exercising and never double up on binders. Binders can restrict your breathing, and being active can put more pressure on your lungs, and doubling up puts you at greater risk for injury. I know a guy on youtube who said he would double up on binders to keep him extra flat, and he then made a video sometime after saying he broke a rib from his extreme method of binding. So don't do either of those. If you absolutely need to bind while working out, sports bras are less harsh on you and your body.
     
  3. Oddsocks

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    I've worked my way through quite a few binders over the years, so I'll chip in on my opinions on them all!

    T-Kingdom 801 Binder:

    The 801 was my first binder, and so far I've owned two of them. I'm a massive clothing claustrophobe and freak out if I feel stuck inside something, so a zip-up binder is something I naturally gravitated towards. In that respect, I love the 801. I have never had a simpler binder to get into or out of!

    BUT. But, but, but. It feels like it's made for the smaller-chested...which I am not. The binding panels feel small, and it's hard to make things not look vaguely lumpy no matter how I adjust it. While it does its job decently enough under baggy clothes or layers, wearing anything even close to tight is out of the picture. It doesn't have much give in the fabric, which always concerns me with a binder. While mine are comfortable enough to breathe in, I'm fairly sure I've always bought a size up from what I 'should' and a 'properly-fitting' one might not be so comfortable.

    While it's otherwise comfortable to wear, the bottom of the binder (where the zip ends, in particular) can chafe if it decides to roll up or tuck itself under. It probably wouldn't be like that for taller folks, though - I'm 5 foot nothing and so it aligns perfectly with where my body bends when I lean forwards.

    My Rating - 3 out of 5. I want to love it, but I can't, and that sucks because with modifications to the compression aspect and fabric choices it could have been my favourite binder. I'm sure there are better zip-up binders out there.

    Underworks Tri-Top Binder:

    I've not fit into my Tri-Top since college, but I remember it well enough to review! It used to be the one I always wore, on account of compressing amazingly - I cannot fault it on that at all, I doubt I've had a binder since that's got me as flat as my Tri-Top did.

    However, I do echo Daydreamer1's sentiments - Underworks binders fit tight, aren't that comfortable, chafe in the pits, and are prone to rolling up. They're awkward as all hell to get into and out of, because of how tight they are.

    But do they do a great job? Yes. So many yesses. So if you prioritise function over comfort, I'd rec the Tri-Top.

    My Rating - 3 and 3/4 out of 5. Does an amazing job at binding, but not the comfiest.

    Underworks Double Front Binder:

    Ah, the Double Front, my old frenemy. I can mainly just repeat what I said about the Tri-Top: great compression, buncha comfort downsides...except triple the downsides.

    Nobody should have to suffer the Double Front rolling up. It literally hurts if it manages to escape being tucked into your boxers and roll in on itself. Getting into and out of it was...an experience. Not a good experience. I do not recommend the Double Front. I quit wearing it the moment I purchased an alternative.

    (Although, for a person as short as me, it practically doubled as a hip slimmer. So there's a teeny tiny plus among all the dislike for this thing.)

    My rating: 2 out of 5. A great binder, but at what cost to personal comfort?

    gc2b Tank-Top Binder:

    My personal recommendation! Out of all the binders I've owned, my gc2b tanks are my favourites, easily. The binding power is almost, so very almost on par with Underworks, and such a small increment less compression in comparison can be totally forgiven because comfort.

    Most of the fabric is stretchy, swimsuit-esque material, apart from the front binding panel which is a tougher, non-stretchy material similar to what I'm used to from Underworks. It's the easiest to breathe in of any binder I've owned because of this - the back panel itself is made of the stretch fabric so it has plenty of give for breathing.

    The binding panel is only in the front - the rest of the binder's length is more of the same fabric I've been going on about. While it can and will roll/bunch up if not tucked into something, because it's not stiff or tight material it's not uncomfortable. The binder itself is pretty easy to get on and off as long as it's in the right size.

    The only real downside to the gc2b tank, in my opinion, is the build quality - they don't feel the sturdiest and the stitching in the shoulders looks a bit weak, although I've had mine for three-quarters of a year and they're going strong. I've heard reports of stitching coming undone, though (but nothing people haven't been able to fix by hand). I literally can't come up with something else to dislike. I love my gc2b binders.

    However, I would say that the short gc2b binders are a little less reliable. I bought a short in the same size as my tank binders, and discovered that it fit significantly tighter and didn't have as much give. I'm hoping I just accidentally got supplied a Small, and that this isn't just a sizing thing! So don't apply my review to the short binders, I can't speak for those. (I've been tempted to cut the lower portion off of one of my tank binders to create a DIY short binder instead.)

    My review - 5 out of 5 (is 5/5 allowed?) Couldn't plug them more enthusiastically. Comfy, good at binding, best binders I've ever owned.

    Bonus Review - Ancient Fish King (otherwise known as any of those $10 binders you see on Ebay all the time with a name like 'Lesbian Tomboy Chest Binder Words Words Words Words'):

    Do not bother with Ancient Fish King or anyone like them. There is basically no point. Every AFK binder I've owned has been horrendous, either in 'I'm pretty sure this is literally unsafe' lack of give, or in a 'Well, this fell apart after being worn maybe five times' sort of a way.

    I thought their strapless binders looked neat (I wear a lot of feminine necklines and like the idea of not having my binder straps on show!) only to discover that they were the opposite of neat. Disconcertingly stretchless material that I struggled to breathe in, awkward line of hook-and-eyes to do it up that are uncomfortable however you position it, and it didn't even bind well. Your average boob tube would have done about the same job. (What do you mean I sound bitter? I am bitter!)

    The only decent (and safe-feeling) binder I purchased from them compressed wonderfully, but had a row of uncomfortable elastic straps along the inside, which broke and rendered it useless after a few wears. Which is a shame, because it was quite a nice binder while it lasted!

    $10 Ebay binders are always going to feel as cheap as they cost, sadly. I suffered them so you don't have to.

    My rating - 1 out of 5, would be 0 if one of them hadn't been actually kind of okay.

    ------

    So yeah, that's my binder experiences! I can't give any tips specifically for overweight binding because over the years I've been binding my size has only ranged from tiny twig to moderately chubby - if I'd worked out the gender thing a few years earlier I might have had some advice for you, but alas! Hopefully there'll be some guys arrive at the thread to offer their experiences in that area though. :slight_smile:
     
  4. Trypto

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    I own three binders so far.

    My first one was that strapless 5$ AFK Binder from ebay that Oddsocks already mentioned ... I can only advise to stay away from those things. They're horrible in every possible way. I wore it with bra straps after a while because it starts sliding down after a few minutes already and trying to pull it up every five minutes without anyone noticing is really hard and annoying. It was extremely uncomfortable and didn't bind well. Not stretchy at all and I'm pretty sure if I had worn it a few weeks longer my ribs would have been broken or something. I wore it way to long anyway, almost a year I think. The last month or something I started wearing it not anymore because I had real problems with breathing and my chest hurt even when I wasn't wearing it. I don't want anybody to suffer like I did, please, don't even think about getting one of those. I'm so glad my mom broke it accidently and bought me a proper one then. 0.5/5 rating for that.

    So, now my first proper binder. I actually wanted to get a gc2b half binder or an underworks tri top. But since I live in Europe I thought it was too risky because I couldn't have sent it back if it didn't fit and that would have been a waste of over 40$. So I decided to buy a binder made in Europe that I could send back if it didn't fit. So I found this company called danaë and they're in the Netherlands. I bought their 'trans-vormer 104 sport with zipper' binder because I have rather small breasts. It's a bit expensive with 53€ (that's about 58$ I guess?) but I like it. It's really easy to get into it and it's stretchy and the material is okay. It looks a bit uncomfortable but it isn't at all. Also I really like about it that it has a huge neckhole, which means the straps are never showing, even with t-shirts that have a wider cut. I don't notice it, it doesn't hurt at all. But also the binding effect isn't the best I've ever seen. But not bad either. I don't know how it works for bigger chested people, I think if you have a bigger chest it would be better to choose another binder. But for me it's okay, and I'd rate it with 3.5/5.

    Lately I couldn't resist. I was just so curious about gc2b binders because I read only good things about them. So I decided to buy a gc2b half binder. I've been wearing it the last two weeks. It's really comfortable and binds well. It binds a bit better than my zipper but it's also a lot harder to get in. But that's okay, it was only the first two times where it was quite hard to get in and out of it. I really like that it doesn't give that much of a 'uniboob' than the other two binders I've worn. It looks great with a shirt over it and I'm very happy with it and would recommend it! Only thing I dislike about it is that the straps are almost always showing because the neckhole is so small. I don't even wear shirts with wide neckholes but it almost always shows and that pisses me off a bit. It makes me feel a bit dysphoric so I decided to wear my zipper with the shirts that have a bit of a wider neckhole. But despite of the small neckhole it's a really great binder and I think about buying the tank-top gc2b binder too. Would give it a 4/5 to 4.5/5 rating.

    I also still sometimes think about getting an underworks binder but I've read so many negative things about it, I don't think I'll ever buy one. But I'm curious if I could actually be flatter than with my gc2b binder. I'm already pretty flat but it feels like I could be a bit flatter. Especially when wearing a backpack you can kind of see a bit of my chest but maybe I'm just too nervous about all that. I don't know if that's maybe normal. Whatever. Other people don't seem to notice it and sometimes I pass despite my girly face and being short so ... Can't be as bad as I think it is.

    Okay, that was long enough. Hope I could help anyone and please bind safely y'all. No tape or bandages or cheap ebay binders ok? You really don't want a broken rib or just pain and trouble with breathing. It's not worth it.

    ~ Chris
     
  5. I AM MEOW

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    Thanks for the replies, I'll probably end up getting one of the gc2b binders.
     
  6. Ames

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    Its so funny that all of us here are so different. You guys talkig about binders, I am the opposite I like boobs and wearing bras. I wore breast forms since I was young in one form or another, trying to experience what it was like to have breasts. Finally I had mine enlarged, its goingon 2 years in December and while I luv my results and happy I had them done I can see at times why you would complain about them.
     
  7. Lacybi

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    I agree, this thread was exactly what I was looking for. I was leaning towards gc2b but now I'm pretty certain. Well that is, if I can buy one without my parents knowing or they let me buy one. They're 'meh' about my gender so I'm hesitant in saying anything. Meanwhile I think I'm going to go with Penney's €3 sports bras.
     
  8. Daydreamer1

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    Let's hope we can keep this active, so others can find it easier. I'm sure it will help out a lot more people!

    I might get my partner a GC2b binder soon since the one he has just disappeared one day and we don't know where it went. So if that ever happens, I'll see if he can do a review of it for all of you.
     
  9. GhostCake

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    Ohh- this thread is quite interesting-
    Definitely gonna follow these reviews for a while before deciding on one.

    I do have a question though.
    Are they usually shipping worldwide or does that entirely depend on the shop where you order your binder?
     
  10. BradThePug

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    I've had a few different types binders from a few different companies.

    My first binder was the underworks tri-top half length binder.

    I loved this binder. I bought a few of them and they lasted me for a long time. They are a good cheap and safe starter binder. After some time, I wanted to explore my options with different kinds of binders. Also, since I had gained weight since being on T, I found that my tri-tops were becoming too small.

    The second binder that I bought was from lesloveboat. It was the air-max pull over binder.

    This one took some getting used to. I think that it may have been too large for me at first, since it did not bind very well. I kept ahold of it and wore it occasionally. Once I had gained weight, this actually became one of my primary binders. It's nice because it is not nearly as warm as the underworks binder is.

    My third binder was also from lesloveboat. It is the airmax velcro binder.

    This is nice because it allows you to adjust the amount of compression. It also is cooler since it has a mesh back. I don't like to wear this one with t-shirts though, because the velcro gets caught in the t-shirt. So, this is a bit annoying.

    The last binder that I have bought is the half-length one from GC2B. I love this binder, it is comfortable and it is affordable. I have not had any problems with this binder so far. It fits well with all of my clothing. These are tight when you first get them though. I had to have my partner help me take it on and off for the first few days that I wore it.
     
  11. Ronin

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    GC2b is a good choice. I'm not a fan of Underworks at all. I really dislike how they treat Canadians. I know it's a strong word, but loathe might be the word. You're fine if you're in the States, but don't bother if you live anywhere else, especially Canada. Shipping costs are very high, don't forget that there is an exchange rate as well. I ended up with two XS of the same binder with 2 different sizes, one of which I couldn't even get into (I did follow the sizing chart and was right in the middle of XS at the time). There was a 3 inch or so difference in the amount of fabric in the circumference. That was unacceptable to me as that is a huge difference when it comes to binding material. They got back to me a couple times and then stopped e-mailing me back. Two binders at the time with shipping and exchange ended up costing me nearly $100 Canadian. How our dollar stands right now, a single tri-top with standard shipping will cost you $67. If I wanted to exchange them? I'd have to pay shipping to send them back and make a whole new order. Which would again cost me exorbitant amounts of shipping. Right now, just to "exchange" would cost you maybe $50 Canadian. And then to have the elastic in the one that fit me go to shreds after I accidentally put it in the dryer once on a normal setting. Nope nope nope. *breeeeathhhee*

    Again, if you live in the USA, you'll be okay.

    Now, I don't know how GC2 is for international customer service, but I got a regular GC2 (not their GC2b one) tank and was very happy with it. If only I could find it now...

    And I second Oddsocks' review on the Ebay binders. If the binder is cheap - don't bother. That stuff is dangerous.

    ---------- Post added 7th Jan 2016 at 04:29 PM ----------

    Just to clarify, don't get me wrong, I know and understand that shipping is expensive and all and from a business POV it's necessary, but it's very painful on my end. The fact that they wouldn't help me with what I consider a faulty product just kinda tipped it over in my mind. Part of the reason it stung so much was because I had no income at that point and had just enough to get the binders. The way it made me felt would not be entirely PC to say here.
     
    #11 Ronin, Jan 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2016
  12. DreamerBoy17

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    My only binder is a GC2B one, and I totally recommend it. I have the half binder and I love it. It's comfy and binds very well. Someone said something about the stitching in the back coming out. Unfortunately, this happened to me after maybe a month or two of having it. I'm not sure if I was too rough with it or what, but it was fixable by hand and it doesn't affect the binding quality. But that's the only complaint I have. Otherwise, it is fantastic.
     
  13. GenderSciFi

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    I think Danae is alright for what you can easily get in Europe, too. Though the less stretchy front material of Underworks and GC2B binders seems a bit more convincing.
    I own a Danae binder with velcro in the front, though, that's completely useless. I thought it would be cool to get into, but the main downside is that the velcro panels peel off eac other at the edges, which looks weird, and just in general, there's too much of a lump in the front.
     
  14. Trypto

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    I rated my gc2b and my danae binder three months ago, but I'd change it a bit.

    The gc2b half binder still gets 4.5/5, it's a great binder. I recently even recommended it. I almost wear it everyday now, it never caused problems. The only thing that still bothers me a bit is the small neckhole, but oh well. It was my first pull over binder and I was kinda scared that I would get stuck and panic or something. But it went really well, I always got it on and off without help. But if you are 'new' to this kind of binders ... Don't put them on directly after showering. I still sometimes forget that and even after drying my back it's still extremely hard to get into it, it hurts then and I almost get stuck. I still think about getting a second one, but I still can't decide if I should go for the half binder again or the tank top. I never owned a tank top binder, I'm not sure if they are ok for me, does anyone have the gc2b full length binder here and wants to review it? And I got my half binder in white because I'm always scared you could see something under a shirt... Turned out that this wasn't my best decision, since white straps showing are way more annoying and noticeable. And you don't see it under shirts, so I'd get a darker color.

    The Danae binder sounded better in my rating than it actually is, I'd re-rate it with 2.5/5 to 3/5. And that only counts for me. I'm not wearing it often anymore since I got my gc2b binder and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. It just isn't worth that much money. It's pretty much like a regular sports bra. But it's good for days when I'm a little bit sick or have my period because it doesn't put much pressure on the chest and I don't even have a normal sports bra. But yeah, like I said, I wouldn't buy it again.

    Shipping is always what makes me pretty nervous, in my opinion it's risky to order one when you don't have much money and don't live in the US. But I risked it and would/will do it again. Just be extremely careful.

    ~ Chris
     
  15. Oddsocks

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  16. paris

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    I don't have a good experience with gc2b binder. It binds well but the side seams started to unravel quite a lot within the first few uses. I can still use it but for the price I expected the quality to be better. I googled for it and learned I wasn't the only one with the same problem. The other thing is that I ordered one half and one tank binder in the same size but in reality their chest size varies so I'm able to put on only one of them. The company is now longer on the market though so it's possible their quality improved.
     
  17. Athexant

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    I would just like to give a big thank you to everyone here for writing reviews and keeping this thread active. I really want to start binding my chest once I leave for college, so I was unsure of what binder I wanted to get. I'm now completely sold on the gc2b Tank-Top Binder. I've always been a bit apprehensive about binding, but now, I feel like I'm ready to start.
     
  18. Trypto

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    Oh, now I feel a little dumb, haha. Must've totally forgotten that one, I definitely read it when you made that post. Thanks!
    But doesn't it get hot in there, even with that comfy material? And isn't it hard to keep it down? I mean when you bend over or something I could imagine that it can be really annoying. And you mentioned that it could maybe have a little different sizing...
    I'm also not sure how easy it would be to put on and off, but I guess you learn that quickly. Well, I think I'm going to stick with the half binder for now, but it does sound like a nice binder. Gc2b binders are just great.
     
  19. Oddsocks

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    Haha, it's okay, my post was long as hell so it was probably easy to miss it in between all my lengthy review rambles, haha.

    While I can't speak for wear in hot weather (I tend to opt for sports bras during the summer), I find wearing gc2b binders to be less warm than a lot of my others. I tuck my tank-top binder into my boxers and that keeps it down fine. :slight_smile: It's not like Underworks' long binders that roll up every 5 seconds and dig in - once I've tucked it in, it tends to stay in and not cause me any bother.

    gc2b are great, though, I have to agree. After years of T-Kingdom and Underworks, it's great to have found binders that are genuinely comfortable while still being effective. Before now it's seemed like you had to choose one or the other, haha.
     
    #19 Oddsocks, Jan 9, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2016
  20. Trypto

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    Okay that sounds manageable, I just heard the roll up problems from Underworks I guess.
    I struggled a bit at first taking the half binder off but then I found a good way, it's pretty similar. Before I got it I already prepared myself to get stuck because I'm not that flexible, but luckily I didn't have to ask someone to free me. Yeah, I actually wanted to get a second gc2b and couldn't decide, haha. Thanks again for your helpful advice btw, and the tutorial is cute :slight_smile: