We’ve all struggled to carry two bales of hay or two five gallon buckets at once – wouldn’t it be nice to have a special handle to make those jobs easier? Well, look no further than the Griphook, invented by a Colorado man to do just that.

Rich Passarelli first had the idea of creating a helpful handle-with-a-hook in the early 80’s – when he was a teenager with a paper route and had to drag plastic bags filled with newspapers through the snow. The idea stayed with him, and 22 years later, Passarelli decided to make a comfortable, sturdy carrying device for his 81-year-old dad to assist him with carrying in groceries and taking out the trash.

After some tinkering in his garage, the first Griphook was born – a solid steel hook with a handle made of a PVC core wrapped in a thick foam.

Passarelli went on to found The Griphook & Company in 2005 and since has invented nine models of The Griphook in varying lengths and widths – among them are the Balehook which is designed specifically for lifting square bales with ease and the Buckethook which can hold a five gallon bucket of water, feed or seed. He boasts that the hooks can carry from 250 to 750 lbs.

Passarelli has received two patents and has seven pending on his products. The Griphook is carried by more than a dozen stores in Colorado and over 100 stores in Canada. It’s also available online.

Why does it work? Passarelli explains that when something heavy is designed to be carried by a thin handle – from wire on a plastic bucket or around a bale of hay to that flimsy hole in the top of a plastic grocery bag – the result is usually a wincing pain as the weight of the load cuts into your palm.

The Griphook replaces wimpy handles with a fat, sturdy, foam grip – plus disperses the weight. “It spreads the weight throughout the entire device,” Passarelli says.

While most of the Griphooks are being used by farmers and ranchers, Passarelli believes the special handle-with-a-hook can make just about anyone’s life easier – from carrying lots of groceries at one time or hanging heavy flower pots to helping arthritis sufferers or others with disabilities have more independence. Construction workers have also discovered The Drywall Griphook – a version that's 14 inches long used to carry sheets of drywall and other materials.

Retail price of the hooks is less than $10. For more information, contact Passarelli by phone at 720-327-7629 or visit his website where you can order them online.