Choosing a paracord or a parachute cord could be confusing; some users have detailed complex needs, while others have few preferences, like having it in their favorite color. But there’s more to choosing paracord than color. Get a quality paracord 100ft spool at wholesale when you’re ready to buy.
Choosing the best parachute cord depends on what you want it for. A light paracord will serve the purpose if you wish for light duties. But you must get a sturdy one to support heavy or higher loads.
What’s a paracord?
A parachute cord was initially designed for suspension lines of parachutes. They are made of solid nylon material. Civilians can use them during an adventure or military units during activities because of their strength-to-weight ratio.
Sadly, the market is flooded with regular polyester ropes used as paracords yet to meet the parachute cord criteria. A paracord should have a braided sheath with various interwoven strands in it.
You should differentiate regular braided cordage from authentic paracord for your safety. A typical polyester or nylon rope can’t match the versatility of a paracord. Since your life is at stake, you must know how to differentiate between a commercial and military-grade parachute cord.
Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Paracord
Most people use paracords in the wilderness for survival, making fishing lines, game traps, holding branches together to make shelter, etc. whatever you are using it for, you should consider these tips before choosing.
Strength and Durability
How you will use your paracord is dictated by its strength and durability. Its strength is determined by the weight it can hold before breaking (breaking strength). A great parachute cord-breaking strength should be at least 550 pounds.
Such breaking strength ensures the cord can stand in challenging situations, guaranteeing your safety while crossing the river or any survival situation. The cord’s durability is also important because it will last long. When choosing, shop for a moisture, UV light, and abrasion-resistant paracord- this will help it last for years, even in harsh environments.
Type of Inner Strands
The inner strands of the paracord vary in number and type, which can affect its strength. You can find a paracord with seven strands; it’s strong and flexible. However, if you want a stronger paracord, get one with more strands.
The number of strands will determine the strength and versatility of your parachute cord. For example, if a paracord has many twisted strands, it will be robust, flexible, and easier to handle.
A paracord with more braided strands is more abrasion resistant than one with few. There are also special paracords that have strands made with different materials like tinder strands, fishing lines, etc.
With so many paracord brands online, purchasing from a reputable brand is essential. Some manufacturers produce the best quality military grade paracords while others sell commercial grade cords in online stores.
Do thorough research and go through the customer reviews online before buying. Choosing from a brand that deals with paracords is advisable since they have an in-depth knowledge of the best paracords even for the harshest conditions.
Length and Thickness
You will choose the cords’ length and diameter according to your needs. If you want it for making a shelter or tying down the gear, you will go for the longer. But a shorter one will be appropriate for a survival application.
The thickness of your paracord is also essential. A more thick cord will be more robust but heavy, while a smaller cord will be less strong but compact. Different tasks require different cord diameters, so choose one appropriate.
Color and style
It may look the least important, but the color and style of your cord play an essential role in your decision. While some people choose neutral colors like black, others prefer brighter ones easily visible in an emergency.
The style may also vary, and you might choose a classic braided or more unique design. You may select an appealing style, but remember the main aim of choosing a cord is strength, versatility, and durability.
Your paracord will degrade if you expose it to UV light. It degrades slowly, tears, and wears when stored in sand or abrasive dirt. Ensure you keep your paracord in the dark, away from sunlight and humidity. Avoid overusing it. It’s advisable to use a new cord instead of an old one used for a prolonged period.
To distinguish if you’re purchasing a military-grade or commercial-grade parachute cord, you must be able to determine what makes the cord stand out. The best quality paracord is 100% nylon, made with outer and inner strands. That cord will be solid and durable for your survival applications compared to commercial types made of different materials like a mix of nylon and polyester.