A huge thank you to my sponsor, Defender Ring, for supplying the free product to help me write this post today!
One is too many.
No one should have to fear going out for a run, to the mall, around the block, etc. There is no reason we should have to fear going out and about but yet here we are. While this doesn’t just effect women we unfortunately make up a high percentage of the statistics. As poll done by Runner's World Magazine showed 60% of women have been harassed while running. Let that sink in for just a second….that means 6 out 10 women have been harassed just for going out to run.
Ya’ll know I am a safety lover—I don’t park near vans, I have a tracker on me for my runs at all time and I always carry my phone with me. Even with all that I am always searching for something else to make me feel that little bit safer on my runs and beyond.
That’s why when the people at Defender Ring reached out to me to do a review on their product I immediately was on board. I am naturally a HUGE ring fan, it’s my go to accessory and I love to throw one on to add a little sparkle. Defender Ring creates beautiful rings that double as a self dense tool in times of need. They have many different styles, blade types, as well as colors to choose from. Making a simple accessory a weapon that could make the difference in the worst case scenario.
The brand was originally inspired to create their rings after following the stories of Karina Vetrano and Vanessa Marcotte, who were attacked and killed in broad daylight while jogging. Wanting to empower and protect other women, the thought of Defender Ring was born. A simple but effective idea to take something easily worn at all times and used within a moments notice should a situation arise. Fashionable, functional and effective.
The brand offers 3 different self defense rings: The open point, the minimalist and the maximalist. There is a choice for every personal style out there to make sure that you feel comfortable wearing it on the run as well as running errands. Ranging from $45-$139 it's a quality product without completely breaking the bank.
For this review I received the Open Point Ring (double point) as well as my choice of the Maximalist Ring to test out---I picked the Rose Ring because not only is it my favorite flower but also low key loved how sweet and innocent it looked. It perfectly exemplified my personality---sweet on the outside but feisty on the inside ;)
Open Point Ring
I decided to test the Open Point Ring for my running adventures. As you can see in the pictures the points are fully exposed and with having my kid around all the time I knew I wouldn’t be able to wear it around her (That’s where the maximalist ring comes in!). Per the instructions any of the rings should be worn on your middle or index finger. For testing purposes I did try it on my ring finger to see what it felt like but quickly realized why that is not recommended. If you put your hand in a fist and try to punch/slash you naturally drive with the top part of your fist so you will get the most impact with the ring on the two suggested fingers vs your ring finger which basically doesn’t even begin to touch.
Caution: these rings have a distinct point and even grazing your skin with the point will having you going OUCH.
I liked using the Open Point ring for running because there was no prep needed, I could just easily use it if needed. I am pretty aware when I am out logging miles but it was nice to know I had some form of weapon handy if someone were to try to grab me. I would simply punch, slash and go. There was no need to be afraid of hitting myself since my arms stay parallel the entire time (nod to proper running form right there). While light contact you won’t cut or puncture yourself, trust me even light pressure makes you aware of the existence of something sharp and if used with actual effort it would make anyone jump back and yelp. For some reason I couldn't find a willing volunteer to specifically test THAT portion out but I am very confident of the pain it would inflict.
The Maximalist Ring:
While beautiful, I did find it a bit too heavy to log a lot of miles with. I preferred to wear this ring during day to day outings, when I was on mom duty, or any other non physical activity. To anyone on the outside it looked like a pretty ring that flawlessly went with any outfit---cuz fashion does count 😏---but underneath it was protection at my finger tips. If needed there wasn't going to be any fumbling with my keys, digging in my purse or much lag time. All I had to do was unscrew the top and deploy. I liked the fact that the maximalist ring could be thrown on and not even be detected to anyone (friend or foe). Especially with a kid around it's imperative to have something for protection that they have a less likely chance of hurting themselves with, which we ALL know they eventually will grab it and say "Ooooo what's this??".
Another added bonus of the defense point not being exposed is that there is a better chance of an attacker not taking away a non-descriptive ring since without prior knowledge no one would assume it to be anything else. Yes, it's not a fun thought to have but it has merit and is worth noting!
The Zip Tie Challenge
The maximalist ring comes with two different blade options---serrated or straight. I explicitly wanted to go with the serrated blade as I knew it would inflict the most damage as well as collect DNA if deployed. The other plus for me is seeing on the site that it is advertised as being able to cut through zip ties and ropes. Not one to take anything at face value though I tested it for myself and it did NOT disappoint. Even though nothing is full proof I found it pretty simple when I tested it out to get through the barriers of zip ties. Below I pictured the two zip ties I used, one pretty light and the other noticeably thicker. While most of the time you will probably be bound by your wrist I recreated it on my kitchen cabinet for safety (yes, I'm aware in a dire situation I wouldn't have a choice but for testing I wasn't going to risk actually puncturing myself.
It's imperative that you read the instructions on how to properly cut through the zip tie. I didn't and bent the top of my ring (whoops!) After reading the instructions I placed the middle of the serrated blade in the middle of the zip tie and made a few quick notches to start my sawing point. Then with decent force I started to saw back and forth while periodically giving a few bigger notch movements. For the thinner zip tie pictured it took about 1:30 min to break through with sawing along, the thicker tie took roughly 3:30 min to get through. I will be honest, it is not easy, it takes effort and patience but it's something that could potentially save your life and allow you to get away. You would have to get creative to use the blade to free your hands if they are bound but again, it's SOMETHING! No lie, this one feature alone made me love this product even more---The joy I got when it cut through the zip tie was equivalent to a kid on Christmas.
While these rings aren’t a trade off for self defense classes or skills its one more piece of the puzzle to feel safer and more in control of uncontrollable instances. Coming in various colors, styles and price points make it tangible for all of us!
Interested in checking it out for yourself? Visit Defender Ring and use code runningschmidt for 10% off!