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 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.

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.

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.

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