Product Review: Groove Life Silicone Wedding Rings

Todays post is a product review. I periodically provide unbiased product reviews for companies that ask for my feedback. As someone that builds products for a living, I find this really interesting and it also serves the benefit of helping my readers find good products and manufacturers improve what they have created.


Today I’ll be taking a look at Groove Life silicone rings. An alternative to metal wedding bands that works well for active individuals. There are a number of companies that make these, but this particular brand has a few unique features that make it stand out.

For some background, I am pretty a pretty active & outdoorsy individual: surfer, bike commuter, marathoner, backpacker, certified stand up paddle instructor, Ironman, & rock climber. I never wore any jewelry or a watch before getting married, and so since tying the knot, wearing a ring has been troublesome for me.

In my first years of marriage I found I would take it off for most activities because:

  • I found the weight and firmness annoying
  • it would place my fingers weird or cut off circulation during activities where my hands were holding something like bike handlebars or hiking poles
  • I sometimes get swollen fingers while running which was really uncomfortable
  • while working with wood or fixing surfboards my ring has nicked a piece and damaged it before
  • during swimming and surfing where I’m in cold water, my fingers contract and I already lost one ring this way
  • I was worried about injuries that can happen from a wedding band, like ring avulsion (Google that at your own risk – its nasty)

Because of all of those reasons, I end up taking my ring off a lot – more than once a day. That means I sometimes misplace it and more often than that forget to put it back on and end up going a while without wearing my ring. I was at the point where I was considering getting a tattoo wedding band, so that I could always ‘have my ring on’ but not have to worry about the above concerns.

That was when I heard about these silicone wedding bands. I knew this was going to be a good fit for me. Three years later I haven’t looked back. Now I just hop in the water to surf without thinking about my ring. I was 10ft up on a boulder wall recently when someone called attention to my wedding band, worried that I should have removed it before climbing – I let them know it was silicone (I had forgotten I was even wearing it until they mentioned it). Basically I just don’t think about it, and never take it off, which is exactly what I want.

The only real decision is which brand of ring to get – it seems like there are hundreds on the market. So how to decide?

My Experience

Since getting married, I’ve tried on close to 20 rings and worn about a half dozen different rings for at least a few months (I had trouble deciding on a material at first). This includes three silicone rings that I’ve worn for at least a few months each. So, I have a decent feel for the options available.

The four big things I’ve found make a difference for me are; weight, profile & design & durability. Lets go through them.

Weight

There is very little weight to silicone rings, the material just isn’t that heavy. If you’re comparing them to metal rings, it about 1/3 of the weight of gold or tungsten and similar in weight to titanium.

I’ve found I like a lighter ring. I previously worn tungsten for a while and eventually got annoyed with the weight.

Groove Life rings aren’t really differentiated here from other silicone rings, they’re all good in terms of weight.

Profile

Photo by: https://www.iconicjewelry.com/education/ring/design-guide/

There are a bunch of different ways to shape a ring and what you chose will make a difference in how your fingers sit and how it feels on your hand. A thicker ring will push your fingers apart and certain shapes will create pressure points.

With silicone rings, the profile comes with some extra tradeoffs compared to metal rings. The thinner the ring, the less durable it will be but the more comfortable it will be. The Groove Life ring is on the thinner side, but not the thinnest ring on the market. That means it is pretty comfortable, but durability could be a concern, I’m not worried about durability in this case though because of their warranty though, which I’ll get to in a moment.

I’ve found that I like the comfort fit profile, which is an oval like shape without any hard edges. The Groove life ring is generally a comfort fit profile, but a little bit flatter on the inside, which in my experience has been fine.

One unique thing about these rings is the groove on the inside that is marketed as creating airflow. I’m not sure that the groove is defined enough to actually do that, but I have enjoyed the extra texture it created which I feel keeps the ring in place in situations where I’m in water. I do agree with the claim that it helps reduce dampness though. The other rings I’ve worn trapped in moisture which didn’t bother the ring, but did bother my skin. With the Groove Life ring, water collects in the groove and escapes shortly thereafter, which means the ring isn’t holding in a bunch of dampness. I’ve even flipped it inside out to see the little balls of water in the groove, pretty cool.

Design

What a ring looks like is important to some people. Most metal rings come with some sort of pattern or texture. Some even have embedded stones or engravings.

Silicone rings offer similar levels of customization, but in different ways. There are a wide range of color & pattern options as well as engravings or prints.

I like things simple, so I picked a basic dark gray ring – though I do kind of dig the blue highlight in the middle, even though no one ever sees it.

As you can see on their website (and below), there are really a lot of design options if that is what you’re into. Lots of bold colors and patterns to chose from.

They even have some college designs if you want to rock your alma mater or favorite sports team.

Durability

When I first switched to silicone rings, I worried about longevity. I remember having a LIVESTRONG bracelet back in the day that eventually snapped. Turns out my concerns were somewhat justified, my first ring lasted two years before getting a small tear that eventually grew until it fell off.  That ring was less expensive, so I figured a lifetime’s worth of rings would cost ~$140, which was worth it to me.

Groove Life took things even further though by creating a lifetime warranty. From their site: “If your ring gets damaged, cut, stretched, stuck in nuclear waste, eaten by a fish, or even LOST we will replace it!” I intent to put this to the test and am super excited they’re standing behind their product like that.

The ring I got is actually two pieces of silicone of different colors that are joined together (glued or melted). I was a bit concerned about that at first, but with the warranty I feel great.

Conclusion

The Groove Life ring wins my pick. It is comfortable, available in a wide range of designs and the warranty is standalone. I look forward to wearing this ring and recommending it to anyone looking to make the switch to a silicone ring.

2018 Focus: Half Year Update

With the start of a new year, I take the time to set my focus for the coming year. I believe that by being selective about where I direct my energy, I can achieve results that are exponentially greater than if I split that energy across many different goals.

I detailed my 2018 focus here (read that first if you want more context). Here is how I’m progressing.

2018 Theme: First Principles Lifestyle

Similar to my update from last quarter – I feel like this theme remains very relevant to our effort for the year, even if I haven’t made much progress on the specific named items below. Having decided on where to live, and now evaluating how we want our family to earn an income, has brought us back again and again to first principles.

2018 Challenge: Profile 12 Families (w/ Kids) Living Intentionally Different

No progress.

I feel bad about this but it just hasn’t ever been the most important thing on my list during a working block, nor has it seemed fun during a free block. Something to think about in creating future challenges. I think my physical challenges worked so well because they inherently were fun and also got me away from my computer, which I already spend enough time in front of to earn an income.

2018 Habit: Daily Devotions

For Q2 my bar raised from 3 days a week to 4. Because of that I regressed to only hitting 7 of the 13 weeks, as opposed to 9 in Q1. But, because the bar was higher, I actually hit 37 days in the quarter which is more than the 33 from Q1. So while I didn’t keep pace with the increase in my goal, I did objectively increase.

Of note, on no week did I complete more than the goal of 4, meaning, once again, things will get more difficult this upcoming quarter when the goal increases to 5 per week.

One thing I noticed this quarter was that on 3 of my 6 missed weeks, it was apparent before Saturday that I would miss the week, there simply weren’t enough days left to get to 4. In those weeks I still could have gotten one or two more days in, but I did not. This is one of the negative aspects of the weekly goal format, but I still think I like it better than the yearly average approach I took to this type of habit previously.

I am concerned that as the number of the goal increases to five and eventually six, it is going to become apparent even earlier in the week, in some cases, that I will miss. In order to counteract this, I am also going to look at the raw quarterly total, so that I have some incentive to keep up the habit at the end of the week on weeks that won’t be able to hit the goal.

On the qualitative side, I started tracking whether I had my devotion time in the morning or evening each day. On 70%+ of the days I was able to do it in the morning – thanks largely to my youngest waking up early. I got in the habit of spending that time before the older children wake up this way which goes well with a note I shared in my last quarter update that I find the morning a much more effective time than the evening to have this devotion time.

2018 Exemplar: John Muir

Very little progress here. I started reading a biography on Muir, ran a race that crossed through a state park named after him and took advantage of camping, with my boys, in a National Park that his efforts helped create.

I had to return biography to the library on account of hitting the maximum renewal limit of ‘how is it taking you this long to read this book – weeks’. I’m next on the list to get it again though, hopefully I’m a bit faster this time.

Sabbath Year – After Twelve Months – Immediate Thoughts After Concluding

I suppose the contrast between the last day of the sabbath year and the first day of the next year doesn’t have to be so stark. In this case it was.

I found myself solo-parenting four children in a house I had moved into less than one week before. Most of our things were still in boxes and the upstairs bedrooms were hot and bright as daylight lasts until 10pm in Seattle during the summer. So we pitched tents in the basement and had a campout.

Between settling into a new house, working and parenting, there isn’t much room for anything else these days. This might be the new normal.

In retrospect, we should probably mark the start and end of sabbath years with a big celebration of sorts. A feast or bonfire maybe. I’ll write that idea down for next time.

I will do some deeper reflecting soon, but I wanted to pause and capture our immediate feelings right now before they slip away.

Before the sabbath year started I described wanting to “enter the next six year period like a coiled spring, planted on a firm foundation, pointed towards the priorities our family values the most.”

My wife and I agree that we feel coiled yet exhausted – if that makes any sense. Neither of us has a lot of extra energy right now, but we do feel excited to begin a new chapter – unfortunately the first months of that are extra hard, as any transition is. I feel especially coiled as I’ve been cutting back and saying no to a lot of things (maybe slower than I planned in some cases – it took me 10 months to stop my running training) and now I feel ready to take on some big new challenges. Those challenges are likely going to look a lot different than the type of challenges I took on over the past seven years though.

We both feel planted on a firm foundation. Our core values haven’t changed, but in a funny way, the stress of this year has forced us to get better at certain skills that help keep the foundation stable. I’ve been working on establishing better habits to ground myself and keep spiritually, mentally and physically healthy. My wife and I have been working on communicating better – not that we weren’t pretty good at communicating before, but the challenge is a lot harder when you have to do all of your communication in 30 second bursts or a few minutes in the evening when you’re both exhausted. We both feel like we’re sitting on a more firm foundation now that we’ve decided on a long term location. That means we can now make decisions with that in mind – be those buying a house, getting a new job, changing hobbies, investing deeper in certain relationships, adjusting our lifestyle, etc.

We both feel relatively pointed but not super specifically. I’ve been wrestling for a few years with what I want my calling in life to be and I had hoped I would be closer to understanding that. I don’t feel that I am, but I do feel like I have enough for the next year. Perhaps that is all I will ever get – that might be ok. My wife feels similarly in that she can’t really think about what things will look like five years from now, but she is 100% certain that tomorrow will bring mouths to feed, diapers to change, lessons to teach and laundry to wash.