SurvivalStraps – Paracord Survival
Reviewed By Pat
Initial Report: May 19,
Long-Term Report: August 18, 2009
Name: Pat McNeilly
Height: 5’ 8” (1.7 m)
Weight: 155 lb (70 kg)
Email address: mcne4752 at yahoo dot com
City, State, Country: Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA
I have been hiking for at least 20 years but backpacking for only the last five
years. Most of my backpacking is done as
overnight trips and occasional weekend and week long trips. My typical pack weight is approximately 18 to
20 lb (8 to 9 kg) before food or water.
Most of my backpacking is the three season variety in the mountains of Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and West
addition to backpacking, I also fish, hunt, and enjoy orienteering. As a result, some of my backpacking equipment
gets use in a number of different venues.
Product: Survival Bracelet
Size: 7 in (18 cm)
Manufacturer: Tough Gear, Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Measured Weight: Plastic Buckle 1.1 oz
Stainless Steel 1.3 oz (37 g)
Length: Plastic Buckle 9.25 in (24 cm)
Stainless Steel 9 in (23 cm)
Width: Plastic Buckle 0.9 in (23 mm)
Stainless Steel 0.8 in (20 mm)
MSRP: Regular $18.95
Report Date: May 19, 2009
Product Description (as described on the manufacturer’s website):
The SurvivalStraps Survival
Bracelet is a simple bracelet style made up of woven 550 lb (249 kg) paracord. Each
bracelet contains approximately 1.75 ft (53 cm) of paracord for
every inch of wrist size. They are designed so that, in an emergency situation,
you can unravel the bracelet and deploy the paracord
for use. The bracelets come with either
a plastic side release buckle or a marine grade stainless steel shackle
closure. The manufacturer
indicates that if you deploy the Survival Bracelet and return the
remnants (along with the story), they will make you a new one at no
charge. The manufacturer can also make
approximately 900 different color combinations, so individuality can rule here.
initial inspection of the Survival Bracelets, I thought that they seemed very
light and noticed that they are constructed by weaving the paracord
on itself into a tight strip. I am not
sure that I can describe how exactly the weave is done but it uses a single
piece of paracord.
Both styles of bracelet (i.e., plastic buckle and steel shackle) fit
rather loosely and I initially thought they were too large. I could fit my fingers underneath the bracelet. I was a little disappointed because I tried
to follow the manufacturer’s website instructions on measuring the fit as best
I could. Then my daughter said, “Duh
dad, that’s how bracelets are supposed to fit.”
Not normally the bracelet wearing type, I went along with this and wore
them around for a while. After wearing
them for just a short time, I hardly noticed they were there.
have the opportunity to wear the bracelet while wearing both short and long
sleeved shirts and underneath a rain shell.
I did not find it uncomfortable at all.
I initially thought that the bracelets might be uncomfortable due to the
fact that they are actually quite stiff.
However the paracord has a smooth surface and
is not rough on the skin. I also did
not have any problem slipping the rain jacket on while wearing the
bracelet. I have not noticed that the
bracelet has been a problem while doing ordinary activities like driving.
After wearing both bracelets, I chose to take apart the bracelet with the steel
shackle for this Initial Review and wear the one with the plastic buckle for
the remainder of the test. This was a
tough decision. Both are comfortable and
I actually feel that the steel shackle looks better. The plastic buckle is easier to put on and I
believe that I would be more likely to wear the bracelet if I can easily put it
on and take it off. The steel shackle
has a small screw which must be tightened when putting it on which a little
more difficult. Out of curiosity, I
actually timed myself to see how long it would take to remove the bracelets in
the case of an emergency. I found that I
could remove the bracelet with the plastic buckle in under two seconds while it
took me eight seconds to remove the bracelet with the steel shackle. That is not a significant amount of time,
particularly since it took a fair amount of time to actually unravel the cord
from the bracelet. I did not time this
but it took several minutes to unravel it completely. The bracelet is indeed made up of one continuous
piece of paracord.
bracelet with the plastic buckle was slightly longer and wider than that with
the steel shackle. The extra length
stemmed from the extra material of the buckle.
So, when the buckle is clipped together, the two bracelets end up being
the same wrist size. The difference in
width seems to be accounted for by the number of loops on the end of the
bracelet. The steel shackle appears to
have only two loops while the plastic buckle has four and thus produces a
slightly wider bracelet.
As indicated above, the manufacturer indicated that the Survival Bracelets
should contain 1.75 ft (53 cm) of paracord for every
inch of wrist size. That would calculate
to 147 in (373 cm) for the 7 in (18 cm) wrist size bracelet I am testing. After taking the bracelet apart, I found that
the length of the paracord was 138 in (351 cm). That is somewhat shorter than expected but is
still a very usable length of cord.
The bracelets did come with an information sheet which describes how to take
the bracelet apart to deploy the paracord. It also provides some tips on how to easily
put on the bracelet with the steel shackle.
The packaging also came with two “brag tags” which describe the
manufacturer’s support (a portion of their products proceeds) for the Wounded
Warrior Project which helps seriously wounded soldiers with their return
home. In my opinion, a
very worthy cause.
Date: August 18, 2009
The Survival Bracelet have seen quite a bit of use over the past few
months. I have worn it on every hiking and
backpacking trip I have taken since the start of the test, as well as on one
rafting trip. This includes trips in my
normal stomping grounds in Maryland, Virginia and West
Virginia, as well as some hiking in the Tongass National Forest of Alaska. The weather conditions in the mid-Atlantic
included temperatures ranging from 45-95 F (7-35 C) with varying levels of
humidity, often upwards of 90%. I did
wear the bracelet in various rainy conditions, including some serious
thunderstorms while backpacking in West
weather in Alaska
was fairly cool [temperatures 40-75 F (4-24 C)] and overcast with rain showers
I can honestly say that I like this product.
I like the idea of having the cord on my person (as opposed to inside my
pack) so, if I am ever separated from the pack, I have it available. This is similar to other things I carry in my
pockets and never in my pack, such as a knife and a whistle. I have found that the bracelet is one of
those things that I am looking for when I am putting my pack together for a
hike. It clips easily onto a strap, so
that when it is time to hike, I can quickly remove it and put it on my
While wearing the bracelet, I hardly know it is there. I thought that the bracelet would move around
too much but that never seemed to happen or I simply did not notice it. Only while hiking on the most humid days did
it feel at all uncomfortable. Even on
these days, it didn’t bother me enough to take the bracelet off.
I had some fears that the bracelet would interfere with clothing or other items
while hiking but that hasn’t been a problem.
I have been able to put clothing on without much difficulty. Even when I was putting on close-fitting
layers on cool evenings, the bracelet didn’t seem to get in the way or
snag. I found that the bracelet could be
worn under most long sleeves unless they were very tight fitting like some base
layers. I thought that the bracelet
might be a problem while using trekking poles but I never found it to be a
I did wear the bracelet while on my flight to Alaska.
I wondered whether this would be a problem but I didn’t encounter any
problems going though security in the airport.
I am using the bracelet with the plastic clip and can’t say whether one
with a steel shackle would be an issue.
I brought the paracord from my bracelet with the
steel shackle along on some of my trips.
I wanted to see what I may be able to do with that length of cord. In one case, I did use it as the center
support for a tent. I found that it is a
little short for the center ridge line of a tarp but did use it as a guy
line. I guess it could be used for a
ridge line but that would depend on the size of the tarp and the distance
between supporting poles. In any event,
I felt that I would prefer a longer length for that. I found that there is enough line to tie a
Swiss seat. Because of the diameter of
the line, I may not want to be suspended using it but if I were desperate
enough, I could.
The SurvivalStraps Survival Bracelet is a woven
bracelet made from 550 paracord. The bracelet contains approximately 1.75 ft
(53 cm) of paracord for every inch of wrist
size. The bracelet is designed so that
the cord can be unwoven and used when needed.
The paracord is smooth, comfortable against
the skin, and keeps the bracelet from snagging on clothing. The bracelet does not interfere with other
items while hiking, such as trekking poles.
The amount of cord in the bracelet is enough to use as a tarp guy line
or an emergency harness.
2. Doesn’t interfere with clothing
3. Useful amount of paracord
I got nothing
This concludes my testing of the SurvivalStaps
Survival Bracelet. I would like to thank
Tough Gear and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this item.