I’m going to buck a trend here and say that getting older, by and large, does not suck as much as I was led to believe. I’m 32 and while half of my readers will be saying something akin to, “Old? That’s not old! I’m old! That young sapling is talking foolishness again!”, it’s nevertheless the oldest I’ve ever personally been. Sure, my body is complaining about something or other just about every day, but at least I don’t have pimples anymore (see my review of Matte for Men products for details).
However, knee pain has brought me to a halt on more than once and I am happy to say that I might have found a solution for this with the Moji Knee wrap. OK, it’s an ice pack, but it’s a cool one.
I’m not at all sure when my knee pain started. I can remember falling down from the pain while doing stairs in the 8th grade, but can’t be much more precise than that.
I’m not all that active as a rule. In the past I have medaled in the 25-foot Walk to the Fridge and the 200-foot Get the Mail, the upshot being that I haven’t had much use for a particularly functioning knee. Recently, however I’ve been training for a rather long bike ride and have been feeling the pain in more than just my sit bones. An hour of medium difficulty riding can make me want to take a whole bottle of Advil – and being 32, I know that’s just not wise.
I can honestly say that I’ve only tried icing my knee a few times in the past with varying levels of success. Mostly, the funky shape of the knee makes it very hard to get good coverage unless you go with the old trick of using a bag of frozen peas. This works, with the bonus that you may then eat the peas, but still prevents you from doing anything but lying back and icing.
The Moji Knee has changed my views on icing all together. As you can see from the picture above, the Moji Knee wraps around your leg with full coverage and support, much the same as a compression brace. There are other knee braces that do this, but those that I tried in preparing this review were nowhere near as comfortable as the Moji Knee.
Have a free glamor shot courtesy of Moji’s marketing folks:
The cellular structure of the cold pack allows it to bend and conform to your knee without expanding in strange ways or pinching. Velcro on the back of the pack holds it securely in place and at no point during my testing did I find that it had slipped or come loose in any way.
While in use, I found that the pack stayed cold for about 25 minutes. The key here is that those 25 minutes were spent being active. I tested riding my bike on my indoor trainer at full speed for 20 minutes while wearing the Moji Knee and found that my mobility was about 80% of what it would be without anything at all. This is the key to what makes this such a great product and I can honestly say that I have no reservations recommending it to anyone. The Moji Knee is a steal at $89.97.
The Moji Back Pain Relief System (Hereafter, Moji Back or I’ll cramp up from unnecessary typing.)
The Moji Back is a bit simpler than the Moji Knee. Chuck an ice pack on to its Velcro-covered surface, wrap it around you, and ice away. There have been hundreds of products over the years that have served the same purpose, so why get into this crowded market when the Moji Knee should clearly be Moji’s focus?
I can see a couple of reasons. First off, they have made the most comfortable solution I’ve found yet and secondly, they threw a curve ball at me just as I was posting my review that changed everything which I will detail below.
I am blessedly free from back pain most of the time but my girlfriend is sadly not. She works a 12-hour day like everyone else and while most of us can count on at least some consistency in our daily routine, she cannot. She might be at one desk or one across the building. She might be in this chair or that one. She travels all around the country for work and as we all know, one cannot count on a hotel bed to be comfortable. Sometimes “squarish” is about the nicest adjective we can come up with.
The Moji Back is very useful to her when she’s at home. The hour or so needed to properly chill the ice pack is a bit of a wrench but you can’t argue with thermodynamics (or can you…) On the road, however, dodgy access to freezers and the heavy weight of the pack can make it difficult to impossible to use the product.
I talked to Moji, and was told that the Moji Back – what I was initially sent – is now The Moji Back Pain Relief System! What makes it a “system” you might ask? It is the cunning addition of a heating pad element. Have you ever been walking through the mall and been accosted by someone selling something off a cart?* If you have, you might have seen carts selling microwavable heating… things. To call these odd shaped things pads is a stretch. (This reminds me of the episode of “The Vicar of Dibley” wherein Alice is making things to sell at the village faire and comes back with vaguely elephant-shaped, cloth monstrosities filled with cooked pasta. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know why it was worth interrupting an otherwise concise and well written review.)
Where was… Oh. Yes. Those things in the mall filled with what feels like little beads or something? Well the Moji Back heating pads are just like that. Nuke it for a minute thirty and out comes an absolutely wonderful, perfectly-sized heating pad that affixes in place of the cold pack when needed.
The Moji Back and Knee products are not one size fits all! To ensure proper fit and pressure, each product comes in small, medium and large sizes with the Moji Knee also having an XL size. One issue here is that while you can buy the hot and cold inserts individually, you cannot buy the sized wraps except in a package with the inserts. (This means that if you’re an XL type man with a M type wife, it’s likely cheaper to get a divorce and remarry a larger person than to try to remedy the situation through Moji.) The Moji Back Pain Relief System costs $149.97 and includes one wrap and one of each insert.
*For reference, my preferred method of dealing with people who ask me things such as, “Can I ask you a question?” when obviously trying to get me to try some hand cream or, “Do you need a cell phone?” is to set a horrified look on my face as if I’ve just seen someone murdered and say, “Oh God, No.” This works every single time.