Giant Rubber Twist-Ties

By STEPHEN REGENOLD

Like untold thousands of American inventors before him, Dan Martinson created something new after a bit of frustration at the limitations of a standard product he had sitting around the house. In Martinson’s case, it was bungee cords. “I found it very difficult to keep anything on the front of my ATV without a lot of hassle,” he said.

As an outdoorsman, he wanted a simple connection to tether gear on his ATV. He needed some of the same qualities of a bungee cord, though he envisioned a product a bit more rigid, flexible when bent, resistant to sun and water, grippy, and endlessly reusable on trip after trip outside.

GearTie in Package.jpg

GearTie reusable rubber twist-ties

The fruit of his thought process — and eventual investment in the machines to make an esoteric product — has birthed a company called GearTie LLC. It’s based in Medina, Minn., and what the company makes can only be described as giant twist-ties like what you get on a loaf of bread.

But instead of a paper covering and a breakable wire, the line of GearTie products includes multiple sizes of durable, rubber-coated wires. They twist, wrap, grip, and cinch onto bike frames, canoe paddles, skis, and sleeping bags rolled and packed away.

Martinson sums up the invention by calling it a “reusable rubber twist-tie.” GearTie products come in sizes from three inches to 32 inches in length. Their thickness increases with length, upping the amount of weight the ties can handle. Cost is $4.99 for a four-pack of the smallest ties, on up to just $6.99 for a pair of the biggies.

GearTie - ATV.jpg

GearTie - Boat Anchor.jpg

ATV with hunting gear tethered on rack; rope coiled and bound on boat anchor

I used Gear Ties all over the place this fall. The big ones — 18 inches and longer — are great for items in the garage and in the trunk of a car. I cinched a bulky kids’ sleeping bag in a tie on a camping trip. I fastened a pair of canoe paddles together to store them away.

The ties are strong and don’t easily kink or tangle. A rubbery surface grips on the item you’re cinching up, and it also grips back on itself when you twist them to make the connection stay.

No knots are required. Like a mini twist-tie on a bread bag, the GearTie products hold in place once twisted a few times around. Don’t expect to tie skis or a canoe to a roof rack. But for any number of common tasks, the Gear Ties holds strong.

GearTie - skis.jpg

Tie up the skis in one second

GearTie LLC makes its entire line in the USA. Even better, the company supports a Minnesota organization that employs people with disabilities to aid in the construction of the simple — yet patented! — GearTie product line.

Try ‘em out this fall and winter. At first your Gear Ties might lie around unused, a new item with no set place. But then you’ll need to tether some gear, steady a bike on a car rack, loop up a hose in the yard. . . trust me, the undiscovered uses will soon come.

—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com.

Posted by Chris Blanchard - 11/15/2010 11:29 PM

Innovative product, made in the USA, for 6 bucks. I’m sold.

the only question is: can I give these to everyone on my christmas gift list?

congrats dan for bringing these into existence (and GJ for letting me know)

Posted by Kristen Greenaway - 11/18/2010 08:31 AM

I’ve just ordered a stack for my Christmas list. Jennifer at Gear Tie recommends the 6” and 24” for across the range, and says they’re also looking into marketing a set of one of each of the lengths, which I’d definitely buy.

Posted by jpea - 11/18/2010 12:52 PM

this definitely seems like a great stocking stuffer / holiday gift – totally useful, and inexpensive

Posted by t.c. worley - 11/27/2010 09:55 PM

Just bought some of these in a range of sizes and they are awesome. Never thought I’d consider giving fancy twisty-ties to relatives, but I totally am. Hope you’re not reading this, Dad.

Posted by jamesw - 12/29/2010 08:57 AM

I use copper house wiring for the same purpose. 14 gauge, CAT5, 3-wire – electricians leave so many short chunks that are often thrown in the dumpster.

Posted by Bill - 07/06/2011 11:21 AM

I brought two of these on a trip to the Boundary Waters – they worked great for gear in the canoe (like tying the paddles in while portaging) – will be getting more for other tasks.

Posted by T.C. Worley - 07/12/2011 05:12 PM

My dad just called to get a link for these. He’s been using them at work (construction) for months and loves them. I’m really happy with mine as well. Pretty great product.

Posted by Trevor - 11/27/2012 05:50 PM

These really do work great, I bought some for myself then my brother and father; they both instantly found several uses for them. The best part is the price – very reasonable.

Posted by Bruce - 05/08/2013 11:08 PM

No hooks, always the right length. I find new uses for them all the time. I think they are great.

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