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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.