RoadID vs 1BandID

>> Wednesday, March 14, 2012

So my blog has given away a few RoadIDs, and Pharmie and I both have one. Recently, my blog gave away some 1BandIDs (Pharmie and I ALSO both have one), and I mentioned how 1BandID differed from RoadID. Here's a bit from my 1BandID giveaway post:

When I first got an e-mail from Joe at 1BandID, I almost brushed it off. "Oh, another 'RoadID-like' product... is that really necessary?..." I thought.

But I read further. I actually read this part out loud to Pharmie because he made a good point - especially in this second paragraph:

I surely don’t need to give you the hard pitch about training with ID and helping your readers understand that too. However as you probably know, in the past the only things available were separately worn bracelets and dog tags. [...]

I've had other ID bracelets but too often I would forget to put them on before heading out for a run (once is too often). And then it dawned on me – why not design ID differently so it could securely attach and display ID on your watch, GPS or HR monitor the wearer doesn't have to think about another thing before he or she heads out the it's unforgettable.

That actually makes a lot of sense. A LOT. Pharmie and I both agreed that it IS different than a RoadID, and that the 1BandID idea of attaching to something you'll ALWAYS be using when you're out is great!

So, as I was doing that review / giveaway for 1BandID, someone from RoadID contacted me to remind me that they had a similar product that is NOT a bracelet like their "normal" RoadID:

A "normal" RoadID

RoadID has a "ShoeID," and they wanted to send me one to compare to the 1BandID.

1BandID that can fasten to gear you use on workouts

Photos of my 1BandID and ShoeID by RoadID:

My yellow 1BandID and my ShoeID from RoadID

Both "closed"

Both "open"

So I thought it would be appropriate to rate these different, popular IDs against each other. I'll use red text when RoadID wins, and blue text when 1BandID wins.

LEGIBILITY: They are both easy to read. They both offer up to 6 lines of text. But the RoadID is slightly clearer. The edges of the letters are a bit sharper, and it appears to be slightly higher contrast. +1 for RoadID.

DURABILITY (of the metal ID): 1BandID has a metal tag that is thicker than the RoadID. When I zoomed into this next image in Photoshop (the full-size version), I used the "ruler" tool and it told me the RoadID was 15 pixels thick and the 1BandID was 21 pixels. That means the metal in 1BandID is roughly 40% thicker. I imagine this would hold up better to abuse. +1 for 1BandID.

DURABILITY (of the engraving): A gentle swipe of your finger will tell you that the 1BandID has a "deeper" engraving. The RoadID DOES appear to be engraved, but it's very shallow. The 1BandID is cut deeper, and I bet this will hold up better over time. +1 for 1BandID.

DURABILITY (of the strap): I see no big difference. The RoadID is just a durable strap of velcro, and the 1BandID is velcro attached to a strong cloth band. However, the RoadID seems to be a little more rugged. This is a close call, but I'm giving +1 to RoadID.

EASE OF WEAR (on a shoe): 1BandID is shown on their website being very versatile, but the fact is that RoadID goes onto shoelaces much easier. It's what it's meant to do, and it does it well.+1 for RoadID.

EASE OF WEAR (on a watch, HR, or GPS band): 1BandID for sure. RoadID would be scratchy. The 1BandID is softer and meant to be in contact with skin. +1 for 1BandID.

OVERALL VERSATILITY: The ShoeID by RoadID is really meant for just shoes. I could see it being strapped to a bike shoe just fine as well. But the 1BandID has more flexibility. It doesn't attach to laces as easy as a RoadID, but it can attach to more things and still be comfortable because the velcro is attached to a softer piece of durable fabric. So ranking "overall versatility," I'd have to give +1 to 1BandID.

Wearing both the 1BandID on my watch band...

... and my RoadID (ShoeID) for a 12 mile run on Monday.

THOUGHTS ON WEARING THEM BOTH FOR 12 MILES: They're both "invisible" when you wear them as an athlete. I'm not saying they can't be seen... I'm saying that you can't feel that they are there. In fact, I had my 1BandID on my watch for hours afterward, and only realized I still had it on as it caught my eye in the shower. In this category, there's no winner or loser.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The reason I like the ShoeID (by RoadID) and the 1BandID is that you put them on your shoes or watch or GPS or whatever you always use for a workout, and you can FORGET ABOUT IT. It's always there. That's my only complaint about the "standard" RoadID that you wear on your wrist: I'm lazy and I don't always know where I put it last. #FirstWorldProblems

So between the RoadID (ShoeID) and the 1BandID, it's kind of a wash. If you were keeping score, the 1BandID won by 1 point (4 to 3). In my mind, it comes down to how you're going to wear an ID:

- If you only run, and if you always wear the same pair of running shoes, then the RoadID ShoeID is for you. It will always be strapped to your laces. Go with RoadID if you like going with the trusted company that's been around a while.

- If you road bike, mountain bike, run, etc, and you always put on the same watch, GPS, HR monitor, etc, then the 1BandID is for you. It will always be strapped to your watch / GPS band. Go with 1BandID if you like helping out the newer "start up" company.

- If you lie somewhere between those 2 points, then take what I've given you and make the right choice for you. (I'm a good example: I do more than just run, so I want this ID to not just be strapped to my running shoes. BUT, I don't wear a HR monitor or a GPS [I only wear the watch that I wear 24/7], and I don't always want an ID on my watch when I'm not working out.)


Here's 1BandID's website, and you can find them on Facebook.

Here's RoadID's ShoeID, and you can find RoadID on Facebook.


Kelley 6:47 AM, March 14, 2012  

Hi Steve and product but as an EMT I'm going to warn users that I personally would never look at someone's watch to find an ID (just like I would never look at someone's shoe). We're taught to look for a medic alert type bracelet or a dog tag necklace (so even the RoadID bracelet might not be noticed although more likely than something on a watch or shoe).

Also, in an emergency where you have injuries to your extremities an EMT is very likely to quickly remove your shoes or cut off your watch without even a thought and then you are without the ID. Also, I've certainly seen horrific accidents where people were blown out of their shoes and they were just left on the side of the road while the patient was transported (of course even a bracelet or necklace can get lost due to a serious impact).

While any ID is better than none, I really recommend going for something more along the lines of the wrist/dog tag version, especially if you have any medical condition and need that to be known pronto (it's horrible if your loved ones don't know where you are but not as critical). It's your best bet when the rescue personnel have the adrenalin running and we just go on automatic with our training.

Kat 7:14 AM, March 14, 2012  

I came to make the points that Kelley already made quite well. A second vote for wearing ID and making sure it is suited to serve the function it was designed to serve.

Steve Stenzel 7:42 AM, March 14, 2012  

Kelley (and Kat), those are good points! I hadn't thought about it in those terms before. Something to be aware of!

Greg 8:53 AM, March 14, 2012  

I have a Road ID and love it. Why, it fits and does not seem to bother me while I work out. When I travel across the country for work, it is nice to know that if I drop on a run, they will have an idea on who I am.

I had a Road ID on for an Oly this past summer and for whatever reason, I lost mine during the swim. When I mentioned this to the Company, they insisted that this should never happen, if strapped correctly, and made good. They sent me a brand new one, free of charge and free of shipping.

It is nice to know that a Company is so supportive of their own product!

gene @boutdrz 2:07 PM, March 14, 2012  

i used to wear my RoadID all the time. ALL the time. Then one day, while at a water park, it came off as i plummeted into a pool. I was able to recover it, but wanted something a bit different.
I heard about 1BandID through a twitter conversation, looked them up, and have been a fan ever since. I wear mine on my watch, which i wear ALL the time. It almost never comes off my body.
As a runner, i'll wear my watch in addition to my garmin for training runs, but during races i don't wear the watch. I figure that the info i write on the back of my bib will suffice...
My mom walks a lot, and I got her a 1BandID for Christmas. she wears it on her shoes and hasn't had any troubles yet.

Do i think that one is better than the other? kinda, but ultimately either one is better than none.


Steve Stenzel 2:40 PM, March 14, 2012  

Greg and Gene, thanks for your thoughts! I love hearing what other people do about IDs, and what their experience has been with them. Thanks for commenting!

T 6:34 PM, March 14, 2012  

i have a roadid (wrist elite). i don't wear it all the time - only when i go work out/race ... and when i got married to add in a piece of my racing self to the day.

since i first got it, i've forgotten it for maybe ... two? workouts and even then i think it was only one bike ride (and i always bring my driver's license when i ride anyway). i think the difference between us is i ALWAYS stick it in the same place when i'm done working out and back at home - on the box it came in, on the dresser. that way i know it won't get lost.

the only time i pretty much wear it constantly is when i travel just so i won't lose it.

Unknown 8:27 PM, March 14, 2012  

I don't think I would like the bandId. I have really small wrists, and I personally don't think I have the space to wrap that around my watch band anywhere that I could leave it without having to adjust it every time I put my watch on or off. Also, I hate when my watch band gets stanky, and that would add to it, I think. I use the ankle ID, and am pretty good at keeping track of it. I am wanting to get the rubberized version (like a lifestrong bracelet) so I can just wear it all the time and it won't get funkified due to being cloth. I am sure it may break eventually.

Michael 9:52 AM, March 15, 2012  

Thanks for the review Steve. Both products are neat, but I've grown used to carrying ID with me in a waist pouch myself. I started this while riding my bike exclusively for exercise (and using my iPhone with RunKeeper to track mileage).

I photocopied the front and back of my driver's license and medical insurance card, folded up a $20 bill, and put it in a zip-lock bag that goes in one of the zippered compartments.

When I started running, I still used RunKeeper on the phone, and was used to the waist pack, so just continued with it. I do every walk, run, and bike ride with it. I would personally argue that the waist pack might be one of the first places an EMT would look...but since I'm not one, what would I know.

Have a great day !

Anonymous,  10:44 AM, March 16, 2012  

I came to make the same statement Kelly made. Just wanted to get my comment in that I agree with her. I am not an EMT, but have friend that is, and he pretty much told me the same thing Kelly stated.

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