Croakies and Chums

Ugly? Perhaps. Nerdy? Probably. But Croakies (there are Chums too, but like Chapstick is to lip balm and Kleenex is to tissue, Croakies is the common name for eyeglass retainers) are extremely useful while in the outdoors, especially while skiing or traveling by watercraft. Both Croakies and Chums are made in the USA, cheap as can be and willl help make sure you don’t crush your sunglasses while sitting down for dinner. Seen that happen plenty of times. And for a little Croakies nostalgia:

In 1977 a local ski patrolman from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming, came up with an idea for an eyewear retainer that would grip his shades through all kinds of alpine adventures. Using an old wetsuit, some sharp scissors, and good old American ingenuity, he made the first pair of eyewear retainers.  The ingenious device was based on the design of a Chinese finger trap and it quickly became a hit with all of the patrollers!  Demand picked up quickly for the patrolman’s invention which was nameless at first.

Back in the seventies, the Jackson Hole ski patrol used the nickname “croakies” when they couldn’t think of a word (think “thingamajig”), but it finally stuck on the first neoprene eyewear retainer ever invented. 

Croakies headquarters are still in Jackson Hole, Wyoming with our production in Bozeman, Montana. Our inspiration remains the same – to create eyewear retainers and accessories that provide comfort, style, durability, and functionality to active people of all ages. With the addition of men’s and women’s belts into Croakies accessory line-up, Croakies now offers something for everyone.

Croakies products are sold by retailers throughout the United States and in over 30 countries around the world. They’ve even been used OUT of this world – Croakies became standard issue on the Space Shuttle in 1990.  

Do y’all use eyeglass retainers on the trail?


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6 Responses to Croakies and Chums

  1. Scott April 19, 2011 at 7:04 am #

    Yep, I have a pair of Chums going on 15 years.

  2. Brad April 19, 2011 at 8:12 am #

    A few summers back I was working a schooner and I made a pair using seine twine using “Chinese Staircase”. Still us them today.

  3. Robert April 19, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    I wear my Chums every day. Sure it looks dorky to some, but it has kept my nice sunglasses scratch free and always there when I need them. They are a must have.

  4. Brian April 20, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

    Religiously, but never flip them around so the croakies hang down. That’s the dreaded “frat necklace.”

  5. Randolph III April 21, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    Yeah, I finally got over the frat-dawg connotations and got me some Croakies (XL, black) that are a huge help in the outdoors and around town. If you’re ‘active’ and have invested in quality sunglasses, then Croakies are essential.

  6. P June 23, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    Chums has a similar story – the company was started by a river guide who didn’t want to lose his shades. One of their recent catalogs has great vintage shots…

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