Full Disclosure: We own Groove Ring and are slightly biased :)
Although Groove Life doesn’t claim to have conceived the idea of the silicone ring, they do claim to have developed the only one that’s truly functional. Headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska and helmed by outdoor adventure guide, bush pilot and lodge owner, Peter Goodwin, Groove Life has been going strong since its wildly successful 2015 Kickstarter campaign.
Available in Men's Silicone Rings and Women's Silicone Rings, Groove comes in a variety of fun colors and, like most high-quality silicone rings on the market, is hypoallergic, nonconductive, heat-resistant and designed to safely stretch (or break) when necessary.
It all started when Peter, who had been unwittingly field-testing different silicone rings brands for years, began to get frustrated by what they all seemed to have in common: lackluster performance, poor design and worthless warranty/return policies.
"When active rings first came out, I loved the idea! I hadn’t imagined ever owning a band that would be able to handle my lifestyle, so I ordered one right away. . . and then another brand . . . and then another brand.”
So, true to form, Peter took matters into his own hands and hit the drawing board. Along the way, he assembled a small cast of visionaries to help him bring his dream to life: an engineer, a videographer/photographer, marketing/graphic design pros, an operations manager and an administrator.
In December of 2015, after 8 months of diligent work fine-tuning the design and perfecting the molds, Peter and his team were ready to take Groove Rings (as they were now called) to the next level, so they made the shrewd decision to try Kickstarter.
While Groove Ring it is the top-performing Silicone Ring on Kickstarter, having received $17,945 in pledges from 611 backers, which is $2,945 above its goal. Why did Groove Ring fare so well? The secret is in the name.
The GROOVES (what are they for?)
You may be wondering what types of major improvements Peter and his team could have possibly made to something as seemingly simple as a small silicone band, but don’t let its size fool you. Some big design and engineering go into every Groove Ring: (Groove America Series Seen Below)
Peter was first drawn to silicon rings because he liked showing his commitment to his wife and his family by wearing a wedding band (and that’s still his primary incentive), but working and planning as he did to create a product that was truly different, highly beneficial and of indisputably superior quality imbued his own Groove Ring with a whole new layer of meaning.
Peter’s ring remained a symbol of commitment, but he was now recognizing more than ever the importance of committing to oneself, whether in terms of achievement, fitness, relationships, parenthood, lifestyle, philanthropy, education, etc.
Every day Groove Life receives more emails from customers explaining what their Groove Ring symbolizes to them, how it keeps them focused and what they say when people ask about it. Almost all of them believe that telling others about a promise made, even to themselves, helps them to keep it.
Original and Thin Collections: A unisex ring made for the active person who needs a ring that will breathe and stand up to abuse. These were the original collections launched on Kickstarter by Groove in 2015.
Groove Custom: Need to customize your ring with a bible verse, shark tank symbol :), or your wife's beautiful face? No problem! Groove Custom has you covered
Groove Try ON: Don't know your size or want to try out silicone rings before you commit than Groove Tryon is for you.
Groove + Spartan Race: This partnership began in September of 2017 to design and promote the best silicone ring for obstacle course enthusiasts. Spartan Race, the leader in obstacle course racing chose Groove for its durability, breathability and lifetime warranty.
Breast Cancer: Groove has partnered with the National Breast Cancer Foundation to promote and bring awareness to breast cancer research. Select rings are engraved with a breast cancer ribbon and 20% off all ring sales from these rings go to the NBCF.
Groove Protector: The protector collection focusses on those who serve and protect us in our every day lives. Police and fireman are our modern day heros and Groove produced the Protector Collection to honor them and their families. Groove gives a portion of all ring sales to organizations benefiting those who have fallen in the line of duty.
Groove Camo: Groove has exclusively partnered with Mossy Oak and Kryptek camouflage companies to bring you the most advanced active rings to date. Groove worked tirelessly to produce a ring that would bond with the camo patterns and in June of 2017 finalized the process. Groove Camo is carried in Cabelas stores nationwide. (Launching 10/20/17)
Another Kickstarter alumnus, Salt Lake City-based Enso Rings was also founded in 2015, soon after good friends, Brighton Jones and Aaron Dalley met for lunch to catch up. The two had first connected in the fourth grade, 22 years earlier, and as they talked they began to find out how much they had in common as adults.
Aaron noticed that Brighton was wearing a wooden wedding band and the conversation soon turned to the difficulties faced by active people who like to wear rings. Since both friends are the athletic sort with a passion for outdoor pursuits, both had gone through more than one band, with Brighton even sustaining a serious ring-related finger injury.
By the time lunch was over, they’d agreed it was up to them to create a safe, functional alternative to traditional bands.
Safety Meets Style
Enso Ring’s Kickstarter campaign was a smash success, with the company garnering $15,324 in pledges from 343 backers, for a total of $2,176 above goal. Like most high-quality active rings, Enso’s are hypoallergenic, nonconductive, heat-resistant and made to stretch or break upon expansion.
Made from a single piece of silicon, Enso Rings currently features three distinct Collections: Infinity, Ultralite and Womens Stackables, which are ultrathin bands that come if a variety of 12 stylish colors for mixing and matching.
The Symbolism Behind Enso
In the Zen school of Buddhism, Enso (otherwise known as the Circle of Enlightenment or the Infinity Circle) is a circle that’s drawn or brushed, by hand, in one or two spontaneous strokes. Enso symbolizes strength, unity, enlightenment, single-mindedness, personal development, simplicity, cooperation and many more of human beings’ nobler aspects.
In harmony with these qualities, Enso has committed to making the world a better place by donating a portion of each ring sold to “organizations around the globe that are working to solve problems like hunger, poverty, disease, and protecting our planet.”
Much like Enso Rings, Qalo was founded by two buddies with a problem in common. It was 2012 when Ted Baker and KC Holiday had their lifechanging conversation about active lifestyles, wedding rings and major frustration. Both Ted and KC loved their wives dearly, but their wedding bands were getting in the way of rock climbing, working out, surfing, etc.
So in 2013, they did something about it and started Qalo, (an acronym for Quality-Athletics-Love-Outdoors) in Orange, CA. Like most high-quality silicone rings, Qalo’s are hypoallergenic, nonconductive, heat-resistant and made to stretch or break upon expansion.
A Mix of Fun and Philanthropy
Qalo’s designers are perhaps the busiest in the field, since their site features more collections and a greater variety of colors than most. However, not all of their creative stylings are just for looks:
Give Back Rings – Qalo partners with nonprofit organizations to design distinctive rings that let customers “wear their support,” while donating a percentage of each ring purchase to the specific cause it represents.
Thin Line Collection – These rings are specifically designed to be worn by and to show support for police officers, firefighters, and EMS personnel. A percentage of each sale goes to one of the following: National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial Fund, National Fallen Firefighters Fund, 24-7 Commitment and National EMS Memorial Foundation.
Other collections include: Step Edge & Laurel, Rings for Adventurers, U.S. Army, Q2X, Pearlescent and Athletic (Perforated).
Qalo offers a 1-year warranty on all damaged or broken rings, as well 30-day return and 60-day exchange policies.
Not only does Qalo embrace altruism, but it advocates for commitment to making quality products, living a healthy life, loving one’s family and spending as much time as possible in the great outdoors. And they hope their rings will have similar meaning to everyone who wears them.
To help them spread the word about Qalo life, the company has teamed up with 12 “Ambassadors” that do a great job at exemplifying Qalo’s philosophy; including Olympic gold medalist, Ashton Eaton; race car driver, Graham Rahal; and professional surfer, Shane Dorian.
Honestly, if you lead an active lifestyle, have a dangerous job, work with your hands, are planning a vacation, etc., a silicone ring really is worth the investment. Of course, saving fingers is the top priority of any active ring, but it’s also nice to be able to lose a wedding band without being sick to your stomach.
And then there’s the fact that men and women who’ve been previously unable to wear a symbol of commitment (to any number of wonderful things) can now safely and proudly do so, thanks to these fine companies.
We hope the comparisons we’ve provided you here will serve you well in your choice. Now go forth and be active! Be healthy! Be committed! But most of all, be safe!
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