Monday, October 1, 2012

Product Review: Road I.D. Wrist Elite (Interactive)

Have you ever noticed how good we tend to be at procrastinating on certain things?  We all tend to put off things that we know we should do but which have an unpleasant truth behind them, such as the possibility of something seriously bad happening, things like making a will or that appointment for a colonoscopy. That is how I have been with getting a Road I.D.  I have known for a long time that I really should have one, but it was just one of those things that I kept putting off.

That was in spite of the fact that there were some pretty clear indications that getting a Road I.D.  would be a good idea.  Even before my fall last summer and ruptured spleen, I had other cautionary stories that stressed the need for having some type of identification with me when I run. My daughter-in-law’s sister was hit by a car while running one morning.  She had no identification with her.  As she was in the hospital in a coma, law enforcement tried to identify her to notify family. They finally found her through visiting an apartment complex in the area, where someone knew there was a runner who lived there who was in the military. They checked her apartment and no one was home. They went to the base to see if anyone had not reported for duty. Through that piece of luck they were able to find someone to identify her.  

Then there was my own situation with the fall and ruptured spleen.  As I was walking on the trail, going into shock and bleeding internally, thankfully some hikers came by.  If I had collapsed on the trail, though, they might not have known who I was either.  I often run by myself, on roads and trails, and I often do not carry identification. Not smart, I know.  Every time I heard the Road I.D. ads during the Tour de France, I thought, “You know, you really should get one of these.”  Then fate stepped in. I was offered one to test for the blog. I jumped at the chance.

When I went to the Road I.D. site,, I read the story of the founding of the company and learned that the idea came from the same type of situation. The company founder, Edward Wimmer, a runner, had been knocked into a ditch by an SUV while training for his first marathon. He and his father Mike started the company in their basement a few months later. Their mission is “to save lives.”  

As I looked around the site I was surprised at the range of products available.  There are seven different types of IDs: three types of wrist IDs, ankle IDs, shoe IDs, and a dog tag type named in honor of Jim Fixx. They have even added a line of pet ID tags. They also have a range of reflective and lighted gear for runners and cyclists, as well as Road ID promotional items, such as cycling jerseys.  In case you are looking for a thoughtful gift for the runner or cyclist in your life, they also have Road ID gift cards. Prices on the items are very good, in my opinion. Most of the Road IDs are $19.99, with the slim being only $15.99, and the top of the line Wrist ID Elite, which I bought, topping out at $29.99. The Elite has an adjustable silicone band with a watch-style clasp that sets it apart from the other versions.

All of the different options come in a regular or interactive version. The regular version is just the basic engraved ID tag, which is in itself some solid peace of mind. The interactive version goes one step further.  It allows you to create an online “Emergency Response Profile” that includes important or relevant medical and contact information that you might want emergency responders to know, such as medical conditions, allergies, etc.  It is available to emergency responders either online or by telephone.  Rather than me trying to explain all the details, it is better just to watch the very informative video they have produced:

Initially I had some worries about security of having my information on my wrist like that. What if I lost the bracelet and someone accessed my information? After thinking about this for a while, though, I realized that there was actually less danger in that than carrying my purse around with me every day, which I do without even thinking. The site itself cautions you to treat the Road ID as you would any other type of ID and keep it secure. It also tells you what to do in the event that the ID is lost or stolen.  I also decided that the information I am putting in the profile is under my control and would mostly be medical and contact information that did not pose any real risk to my security. The potential benefits clearly outweighed the potential risks. I decided on the interactive version. The interactive version comes with a year of free monitoring. After that , the interactive service costs $9.99 per year.

The ordering process was easy. One nice feature is that a portion of all sales go to a charity of your choice. They have several to choose from, including Wounded Warrior, Livestrong, ASPCA, breast cancer, etc.  They also offer several colors for the band, but I went with basic black. The order confirmation arrived quickly, along with the tracking information for the shipment. 

When the ID arrived, inside the envelope was a separate pouch with a verification label, as well as a reminder to activate the ID at the site,which is where you go to set up the interactive profile. The set-up process is easy. The entire Road I.D. site is well designed and easy to navigate. As the video explained, the profile site has a series of questions, including things like vital statistics, blood type, allergies, medical conditions, medications, physician information, and insurance information, designed to help you give medical responders information that they may need to help you if you were unconscious. You supply as much or as little as you want to create the profile.  You are in control of the flow of information.  You can also edit the information whenever it is needed.

The Wrist I.D. Elite comes in a very nice little tin storage container. The band is adjustable so that you can get a customizable fit. The silicone band has little notches at the end that help you adjust the band. The directions are included, but the process involves trimming the ends of the silicone band until you get a good fit. The silicone band inserts into the clasp and with a clasp with teeth that holds it in place. This adjustment process allows you to get a really nice custom fit on the bracelet. You just trim the band, little by little, until you get a good fit.

I decided to wear the band on my right wrist, since my Garmin (which is kind of huge) is on my left wrist. I was already used to wearing my Endorphin Warrior training bracelet, so having a bracelet on that arm did not bother me. However, it may take someone not used to wearing something on that arm a day or so to get used to it. Once you do, you will not even notice it. It is lightweight and the good fit keeps it from sliding around.  

I thought the Wrist ID Elite looks pretty classy for a sport identification bracelet.  As I said, I had gone for the basic black. It looks very sleek with the silver plate.  

So, did I feel better wearing the Road I.D.?  Oddly enough, I did. I even wore it for my final Dances With Dirt Hell race. You can see it there in the picture with the buckle.

Cheap excuse to show off the buckle one more time :-)

Getting the Road I.D. is not a really big deal, but it is good to know that if I have an accident again, on the trails or on the roads, that medical responders would have information they needed if I could not speak for myself.  The price (about the same as one race entry or one cute running top) is well worth the peace of mind. 


  1. I've been putting off ordering one for years now. It's time to decide which model I want, and place that order!

  2. Order placed........with a band in every color! Thanks for the reminder that I needed to do this.


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