Turtlebacks?  What the heck are those?

I didn’t know either until the company contacted me and asked me to do a review.  At first, I declined. I told them that I only reviewed products that related to life with JA, since this was a blog about Juvenile Arthritis. They told me that was ok and if I tweeted and posted on my personal sites, that was good enough. So I thought “What the heck?” and had them send me a few.*

Little did I know that in time, I would see that this really was a good fit for JA families (and not in the way you would think) but I digress. Let me tell you a little about the Turtlebacks.

According to the Turtleback website:

“Turtlebacks are all-terrain drink holders that prevent drink spills and dirty drink bottoms at the beach, picnics, camping, tailgating and everywhere else.  Turtlebacks are MADE IN THE USAfrom recycled, food grade material and are dishwasher safe.

After spilling his drink at a picnic, Turtlebacks inventor Ryan Housely sketched an idea for an all-terrain drink holder.  Ryan partnered with friend and fellow entrepreneur Randy Williams to help develop the idea.  The team launched Turtlebacks in 2012 and now you can find these little drink savers everywhere, including Amazon, Publix and Bed Bath & Beyond.”

Nifty, right? but what does that have to do with JA? Well, nothing… at first glance.


After I received my pretty turquoise set, I started trying them out as promised. Honestly at first I didn’t think I would use them that much. It was just one more thing to pack up for the beach or baseball field. I was wrong. They didn’t take up much room, and they kept my drink clean on the outside and stable on uneven terrain. They were great corner weights for our beach blankets/towels when placed on the sand because the design allows the turtleback to dig in and hold things securely, especially when we added a bottled water or other beverage.

When beach and baseball season were over, I realized that I could  still use my turtlebacks! At the time I was renting a condo that came furnished, and included the ever dreaded glass tabletops. When it was just us at the house, we used them instead of coasters, and we never, ever had a water rings or condensation that had to be wiped up. When company would come over, my glass still looked great! This would be a plus for any family, but especially a JA family who has less time to spare!

The real JA application came when one of my sons was experiencing a flare, and he was dealing with swollen and stiff fingers. The turtlebacks were the perfect size for him to keep on his dresser, and collect small things like change, paperclips, school ID, etc. Not only did it keep things neater and tidier (bonus!) it made it easier for him to manage the small things that were difficult to pick up from a flat surface, like change, business cards or gift cards. If you or your child has dealt with stiff or swollen hands, you know exactly what I mean. The Turtlebacks are very lightweight, which makes it easy to pick it up and dump the contents into your hand. Things like the ID and cards stayed upright, making them easy to grasp. We found that using them as holders for these type of  items was a good way to get double duty from a product meant for something else, and still let him keep his independence. Using something we already had in a creative way, allowed him to accomplish this routine activity when JA limited his normal functions. Pretty cool, right?

If you would like your own set of Turtlebacks, you can find them here at Amazon (affiliate link) Also, check out their Facebook page, because they occasionally run sales! I love that they use recycled material and are made in the USA too.

Even if you don’t think that Turtlebacks are for you, I hope that our Turtleback story inspires you to take a look at things you already have in your home and creatively repurpose them to solve some of your JA dilemmas. If you have done this already, I would love to hear about it in the comment section!  What have been some of your creative solutions for making life with JA easier?


*I did not receive any monetary contribution for this review. I did receive the product free of charge for my honest opinion, but was not required to post a review on this site.

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  1. Awesome! I want one 😀

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