Best Bungee Cords

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

38 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
406 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best bungee cords

Last Updated November 2019

Bungee cords, sometimes known as shock cords, have been around since before World War I when they were used as a means of providing lightweight suspension for aircraft undercarriages. Even today, they’re still used on homemade hobby aircraft where weight is a major concern.

 Bungee cords are primarily used to fasten things down without having to tie a lot of knots that might come loose. They absorb shock from bumps and turns, and they are strong enough to secure a suitcase to the top of a car going 60 miles per hour, but the cords can still be released in a matter of seconds. Bungee cords come in a variety of different lengths and colors, with all sorts of hooks and connectors on them. In fact, there are so many choices available that it can be rather confusing to try to figure out which ones you should get for your particular needs.

That’s what we’re here for. Our buying guide can help you sort out the confusion. It provides the information you need, plus some recommendations, to make an informed choice. With that in mind, let’s get started.

Bungee cords have one or more elastic cords in the middle surrounded by a woven sheath of cotton, nylon, polyester, or other material.

Key considerations

Elongation rating

Bungee cord “stretchiness” is called the elongation rating, and all cords have one. It is given as a percentage of the cord’s normal length. For instance, a 5-foot bungee cord with an elongation rating of 100% can stretch to 10 feet long. That same cord with an elongation rating of 50% can stretch to 7.5 feet long. As a general rule of thumb, the thicker the bungee cord, the stronger it is, but the less stretch it has. If you need very stretchy bungee cords, don’t get the biggest, thickest ones you can find.

Uses

Your intended use will dictate what kind of bungee cord you need and how long it should be.

Camping or picnicking: Bungee cords make wonderful camping accessories. You can stretch one between two trees as a clothesline or drape a tarp over one to create a makeshift tent. You can use them to tie a tablecloth down on a picnic table so the wind won’t blow it away. You can use one to secure plastic to keep flies away from your freshly caught fish. The uses are practically unlimited.

Carrying: Bungee cords make excellent handles for bundles. Wrap one around a yoga mat or an armload of textbooks and you’re good to go. You can use the bungee cord as a carrying handle while it does double duty keeping everything together.

Securing: Securing luggage to a roof rack, tying down a bicycle, or keeping furniture in the back of a pickup truck when you’re moving are just some of the many uses for bungee cords on vehicles.

Organizing: A few bungee cords together can be used to create a “curtain” to contain children’s toys in a closet or corner. Bungee cords of all sizes are excellent for hanging lids, securing books on shelves, keeping storage boxes closed, baby-proofing drawers, hanging extension cords, and bundling items together.

Exercising: You can use bungee cords for isometric exercises of all sorts, as well as resistance training. One common example is to put the middle of a bungee cord under your foot. Attach a handle on each end of the cord and use them to do bicep curls. There are dozens of other exercises you can do, too.

DID YOU KNOW?

Bungee straps are different than bungee cords. The straps are solid pieces of rubber used for heavy-duty applications.

Features

Materials

The inner core of bungee cords is made of various kinds of rubber or elastic material. But it’s a cord’s outer sheath that determines where and how you can use it. There are several types of sheathing that are resistant to ultraviolet rays, while other types won’t abrade easily or can resist water damage, mold, and mildew. If you’ll be using a bungee cord frequently to secure a load of tree branches, bricks, stones, or other rough materials, abrasion resistance might be more important to you than UV resistance. If you’re going to be using the cords on camping trips, water resistance would be a good idea.

Colors

Bungee cords are readily available in every color of the rainbow, plus combination cords that are primarily one color with dashes of a second color. This makes it easy for you to color-code your bungee cords according to their intended use. If you’re going to be using them in a number of different ways, think about purchasing them in different colors.

Length

Short: Short bungee cords are excellent for indoor use or securing small items together. If you’re going backpacking, you could use a small bungee cord to keep all your socks together or attach items to the outside of your pack for quick access.

Long: If you’re using the cords to secure loads of wood or furniture on a trailer, longer is a better bet. There a plenty of options for purchasing spools of bungee cord that you can cut to custom lengths specific to your needs. Be sure to take the elongation rating into consideration when you’re thinking about length.

Diameter

As mentioned earlier, the thicker the diameter of the bungee cord, the stronger it is. Thicker cords can hold more weight. For instance, 2 mm cord has a tensile strength of about 275 pounds, while 4 mm cord has a tensile strength of about 550 pounds. There will be minor differences between manufacturers, but this should provide you with a good reference for comparison purposes.

Connectors

Most bungee cords have a hook or carabiner (D-ring) on each end for securing the cord to something. Some of the cheaper ones use plain metal hooks. More expensive connectors are available, too, often advertised as non-scratch or non-abrasive connectors. A strong connector that’s too big for your purpose will make the whole cord useless. Take a close look at the connectors to make sure they’re the correct size for your needs.

DID YOU KNOW?

Bungee cords can be used to launch gliders without the need for a cliff or a tow vehicle.

Bungee cord prices

Inexpensive: Prices start at around $6 to $10 bungee cords about a yard long with plastic hooks or short 6-inch cords with balls on one end and a loop on the other.

Mid-range: Moderately priced cords cost around $11 to $25 for a set of cords of varying lengths and colors. Many of these have steel or metal hooks. Some of the hooks might have rubberized coatings to prevent scratching. Small spools of bungee cords are available in this price range, too.

Expensive: Bungee cords that cost more than $25 are stronger, have carabiners instead of hooks, or are heavy-duty all-rubber cords. Long cords or large spools of cord for custom cutting are also found in this price category.

DID YOU KNOW?

Short bungee cords can be woven together over a wooden frame to create a strong yet comfortable camp chair or stool.

Tips

  • Never use bungee cords for hoisting or lifting heavy objects. The inherent stretchiness of the cords will cause all sorts of problems.
  • Note the hook strength. The strength of the hook on a bungee cord is the true measure of a cord’s strength. It doesn’t matter how strong the cord is if the hook bends or won’t hold.
  • Weave bungee cords together. Multiple bungee cords can be woven together to create a web for holding down tree branches or other similar items on a trailer.

Other products we considered

If the bungee cords in our matrix aren’t what you’re looking for, we found a couple of other options. We like the way the hooks on the Monkey Fingers Adjustable Bungee Cords can be adjusted up and down the length of the cord depending on how long a cord you need in a particular situation. A 39-inch cord can be adjusted down to a mere 6 inches. These cords are made in the US of marine-grade rubber with a UV-treated sheathing and can handle up to 70 pounds.

We also like the ten-piece set of Kotap Adjustable Bungee Cords. These orange-and-black cords resist rotting, cracking, and abrasion. The strong plastic hooks can be adjusted up or down by sliding them along the 48-inch long cords until you get the length you want.

The shock-absorption properties of bungee cords and straps make them better than steel cables or chains for securing loads on flatbed trucks.

FAQ

Q. Are metal hooks better than plastic ones?
A.
They used to be. With the advent of newer, stronger plastics, the advantages of metal are disappearing.

Q. What is the shortest bungee cord available?
A.
Four inches. It has a ball on one end and a loop on the other.

Q. Is it true bungee cords are used on dog sleds?

A. Yes. If the sled suddenly gets stuck, the bungee cord(s) absorbs the shock so the huskies won’t be injured.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Michael
    Michael
    Writer

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