Gigantic twist ties

I picked up four of these at my local container store, not knowing exactly how I’d use them, but guessing they’d come in handy. Within 48 hours I’d already used them twice-once to secure the barrel of my telescope to its collapsed tripod for easy transport to a remote location, and then to stabilize a table and chairs in the back of my car for a trip across town-both times with great success. These giant, rubberized “twist-ties” were much more efficient and easier to use than a bungee cord in both cases.

Gear-ties offer several advantages over bungees in particular. First, they provide “point-to-point” stability, rather than “tie-down” or “net-like” attachment. For example, when moving dining room furniture in the back of my car, I was able to use four Griptwists to connect the legs of chairs to each other, etc., at critical points, so that the entire mass (i.e., of one table and four chairs) was stabilized from within, rather than essentially trying to “net” or “wrap” the mass together from the outside, with bungee cords. Second, with bungee cords, there’s always a certain amount of “give,” unless you stretch them to their maximum, which isn’t always practical; bungeed objects will often move a bit more than you want them to. Third, if you do stretch bungee cords to their maximum, they exert great pressure on the object being contained. I wouldn’t have wanted to use bungees around the barrel of my telescope, for example. The Griptwists remain as tight (but only as tight) as you tie them, with no inherent potential energy to give or take along their own length like elastic bands. This brings to mind a fourth benefit: no danger of “snapback” when it’s time to unload or unpack.

Some things will always have to be netted down, and sometimes the stretchiness of bungees provides a benefit in and of itself (like the ability to squeeze one more last-minute object under the cords, without having to repack). Moreover, from the outside to the extent they lack handy points where a Griptwist could be employed (e.g., a couch, a canoe, a stack of luggage or boxes). But for temporarily affixing one object to another in a point-to-point fashion, with stability, I see more everyday utility in the Griptwist.

-- Adam Zaner 08/26/21

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