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Updated Jun 22, 2022 1:18 PM

Aside from being incredibly useful, paracord bracelets are also increasingly popular among veterans and civilians alike. Originally designed for use with parachutes during WWII, paracord has since found its home as the do-it-all survival rope for anyone looking to leave the beaten path. Made from nylon or polyester, paracord is a braided sheath with as little as one or up to 48 core strands depending on the strength rating. This makes a paracord a versatile rope and, since it’s available in tons of colors, it makes great bracelets. In addition, paracord bracelets can be weaved or knotted into fancy designs with varying colors and accessories.

To help you always remain prepared, we examined some of the best paracord bracelets on the market. Read on and find out which of the best paracord bracelets is right for you.

Methodology

I’m a bit of a paracord hobbyist and made my first cobra bracelet in 2009 with OD green 550 cord and a button from a pair of old cammies that I cut the center out of. Since then, I’ve made bracelets, keychains, dog collars, and a dog leash in varying patterns and colors. Throughout my hobbying, I’ve spent countless hours reading the resources at Paracord Planet and watching videos by professionals like Weavers of Eternity

When selecting the products for this best paracord review, I specifically looked at the quality of each bracelet to see how consistent the weaves are and for a clean finish. I combined my personal knowledge and experience with customer reviews for good measure. The research and selection process was similar to work I’ve done in my previous articles on backpacking sleeping pads and camping chairs.  

If you’re looking to build or improve your survival kits, Task & Purpose’s library has great selections including emergency food kits, survival radios, wilderness survival books, and, of course, survival knives. You can read more about how Task & Purpose gear reviews work here.

Don’t worry, if you’ve never heard of a trilobite, you can still rock this awesome-looking paracord bracelet. This is a rather complex weave of 550-rated paracord made by The Friendly Swede. Thanks to the extra weaving, this bracelet is wider than other styles out there. Beyond that, though, is how the beefiness is a way to include more paracord in the event you go full Hatchet. The amount of available paracord once unwoven varies by size, but will be around 11 to 13 feet. There are three sizes currently available: Small fits wrists six to seven inches, medium fits wrists seven to eight inches, and extra large fits wrists 8.5 to 9.8 inches. It is all held together with a D-shaped shackle and comes with an extra pin, just in case.

Product Specs
  • Weave: Trilobite
  • Rating: 550 pounds
  • Deployable length: 11 to 13 feet
  • Clasp style: Shackle
  • Size(s): Small, medium, extra-large
PROS

Useable in an emergency

Shackle clasp

Good price point

Spare bolt included

CONS

Might be oversized for tiny people

No replacement warranty

There are few better reasons to wear a paracord bracelet than to have some rope if you find yourself in a survival scenario. Having a four-in-one like the X-Plore Emergency Bracelet is an easy way to stay prepared. The buckle alone counts for three of the tools having a built-in emergency whistle, small compass, and a flint with striker. The flint and striker are a neat tool that are creatively incorporated into the buckle. Of course, the fourth tool is the paracord itself. You can unravel this bracelet if the fit hits the shan, but it does not appear to be made for rapid use which means it could take some time to undo. It is offered in six different colors and three sizes, one of which is not “gigantic.” Since they come in pairs, you’ll have a backup.

Product Specs
  • Weave: Cobra
  • Rating: 550 pounds
  • Deployable length: Varies by size
  • Clasp style: Plastic buckle
  • Size(s): Kid’s, medium, regular
PROS

Has four emergency tools

Comes in pairs

Multiple color options

CONS

No extra-large sizes

Not designed for rapid use

Most Patriotic

Indepence Day is just around the corner, and what better way to show off your patriotism than to wear a red, white, and blue paracord bracelet. Made by Tru550, this bracelet stands out with the neat fishtail weave pattern. While it isn’t a survival bracelet in the purest of meanings, it will repel communists and socialists. There are four sizes available in half-inch increments from seven to 8.5 inches, and Tru550 says you should order one half-inch larger for a perfect fit.

Product Specs
  • Weave: Fishtail
  • Rating: 550 pounds
  • Deployable length: Non-deployable
  • Clasp style: Buckle
  • Size(s): 7 to 8.5 inches
PROS

Red, white, and blue!

Aesthetically pleasing

Patriotic

Deters communists and socialists

CONS

Only one bracelet package

During any survival scenario, the more you have, the more likely you’ll be able to make it through. Ideally, that refers to the supplies you have, but having an eight-in-one multitool bracelet like this one by Nexfinity One is good, too. The design neatly incorporates a compass, flint and striker, S.O.S. LED light, emergency whistle, saw blade, wrench, and screwdriver into one paracord bracelet. It only comes in one adjustable size that fits wrists from 8.5 to 9.5 inches. While I find the adjustability nice, it comes at the cost of how much paracord you’ll have available. To achieve the adjustability, the bracelet is essentially two cobra weaves with one linking through the other. That being said, it does come in eight color choices and you get two bracelets per purchase.

Product Specs
  • Weave: Cobra
  • Rating: 550 pounds
  • Deployable length: 10 feet
  • Clasp style: Buckle
  • Size(s): Medium
PROS

Adjustable size

Eight survival tools

Eight color choices

SOS LED light

CONS

Only one size choice

Could be more paracord

Plastic buckles are the most commonly found closure system for paracord bracelets, but they’re lacking compared to shackles. Metal shackles not only look cool, but they also enable rapid deployment of your paracord bracelets and can be used to set traps in lieu of a pulley. The Friendly Swede has a second entry on this list with the basic cobra weave bracelet that features a U-shaped shackle. This closure has three pinholes to get a custom fit, which almost makes up for only having two sizes available, and includes a spare pin. You can choose from an OD green bracelet with silver shackle or black bracelet and shackle. Either way, you’ll get about 10 feet of usable paracord for that ‘hope it never happens’ event.

Product Specs
  • Weave: Cobra
  • Rating: 550 pounds
  • Deployable length: Approximately 10 feet
  • Clasp style: Shackle
  • Size(s): Small, medium
PROS

Useable in an emergency

Shackle has three pinholes

Spare pin included

Subdued option for tacticoolness

CONS

Limited sizes

Best Watchband

Much like the Kordiz, Onewly offers a watch band designed for smartwatches. While specifically designed for the Galaxy 4 series watch, this band should fit any watch face that uses a 20mm traditional pin. This is a great option for classing up a field watch. It looks like the weave is a trilobite pattern, but Onewly uses a nano or micro paracord to add a white or green accent. This smaller diameter paracord is a great addition as it could be used for snares or possibly fishing line in a survival scenario. There is only one size offered because the hook-and-loop adjusts between wrist sizes of 6.3 and 8.6 inches.

Product Specs
  • Weave: Unique
  • Rating: 550 pounds, nano
  • Deployable length: Unlisted
  • Clasp style: Hook-and-loop
  • Size(s): One adjustable
PROS

Hook-and-loop adjustable

Unique design

Fits most 20mm pin watch faces

Satisfaction guaranteed warranty

CONS

Not ideal for survival scenarios

Two separate sections of paracord

Best Apple Watchband

No one ever said you had to do without your Apple watch in order to be prepared for anything. Kordiz offers an excellent option with the Explorer watch band that’s compatible with 42, 44, and 45 mm Apple watch faces. This band looks great with the trilobite weave pattern that’s just the right width for the watch faces. What sets this band apart is the cobra buckle rated for 800 pounds that connects the two sections of paracord. If you have to use this band, it means you’ll have a pocket watch until you can replace the band, and that you have two different lengths of rope instead of one. Regardless, it’s fashionable enough to wear without looking like you’ve gone full prepper. Kordiz offers the Explorer in four colors and six different sizes.

Product Specs
  • Weave: Trilobite
  • Rating: 550 pounds
  • Deployable length: Unlisted
  • Clasp style: Cobra
  • Size(s): Extra-small, small, medium, large, extra-large, extra-extra-large
PROS

Plenty of size options

Heavy-duty cobra buckle

Works with 42/44/45 mm Apple watch faces

Four color options

CONS

Two separate paracord sections

Using the paracord equals no more wrist watch

Best Beginner Kit

If you’re curious about making paracord bracelets, it can pay to buy a kit that has all the supplies you need. This kit by Werewolves offers 14 different colors of paracord in 20-foot wraps. That’s enough to make several bracelets with the included buckles, and all of the cord is rated at 550 pounds. You can also make key fobs with the key rings and carabiners. One neat inclusion is the paracord needle that comes in handy for knots.

Product Specs
  • Weave: All
  • Rating: 550 pounds
  • Deployable length: Customizable
  • Clasp style: Plastic buckles
  • Size(s): Customizable
PROS

14 colors

Hardware included

Paracord needle included

20 feet of each color

CONS

Some skill required

Not a bracelet

Best Jig Kit

Once you’ve made a bracelet or two, you’ll realize the convenience of having a jig. The BBTO Jig kit is an excellent choice for stepping up your paracord hobby to the next level. At the core of this kit is the adjustable jig with two key features. First is the flat portion that allows you to make paracord bracelets sized between four and 13 inches in length. At the end is the angled rod jig for making monkey fists or intricate knots like the turks head knot. The jig itself features a powder coating for durability. There are five different random colors of paracord included, which we wish weren’t so random, and plenty of tools, too. The biggest asset is the knotter tool which helps when making decorative or intricate knots. Whether you’re wanting to make bracelets or key chain accessories, this kit has what you need.

Product Specs
  • Weave: All
  • Rating: 550 pounds
  • Deployable length: Customizable
  • Clasp style: Plastic buckle
  • Size(s): Customizable
PROS

Adjustable jig

Knotters tool included

CONS

Random colors

High price point

Our verdict on best paracord bracelets

With two entries on our list, The Friendly Swede offers the best quality choices with the trilobite and cobra bracelets. Emergency preparedness has never been easier with the X-Plore Emergency Bracelets and Nexfinity One Survival Bracelet. You can express your patriotism in style with the TRU550 American Flag bracelet. If you don’t want more to wear, you can utilize the Kordiz Explorer or Onewly Watch Band in lieu of the band that came with your watch. And, of course, you can jump down the rabbit hole of paracord hobbying with the Werewolves Kit and BBTO Jig Kit.

What to consider when buying paracord bracelets

When anyone says “paracord,” it undoubtedly brings up images of the seven-strand, 550-pound rated version most of these bracelets are made from. There are other sizes and different types of material that fall under the paracord label, too. To ensure you’ve got the best survival cord available, let’s take a look. 

Types of paracord bracelets

Mil-spec

To start with, there is paracord made to military specifications and paracord that isn’t. One of the key requirements is that the cord be made from nylon. For the 550-rated paracord, there must be seven to nine core strands as well. Unless your cord is marked, it can be difficult to clearly identify paracord as mil-spec.

Nylon

Having been around for many decades, nylon is commonly found in clothing and various other products. It is a plastic-based fiber that is stronger than other naturally occurring fibers. Nylon will melt when exposed to a flame. 

Polyester

Another synthetic fiber, polyester, is often cheaper than nylon. This is the material of choice for lesser-quality paracords as it’s more affordable. The downside is that it isn’t as strong as nylon, which is why polyester paracord doesn’t cut the mil-spec mustard. 

Key features of a paracord bracelet

Diameter

There is a direct correlation between the paracord’s diameter and its strength. Common 550 cord features seven core strands and a four-millimeter diameter. That’s smaller than the ¼-inch shock cord available that has 48 core strands. The extra core strands enable the shock cord to hold up to 1,200 pounds, much stronger than the common 550-pound rated cord. Inversely, nano cord is only 0.75 millimeters in diameter with a make rating of 35 pounds. Paracord Planet has a great comparison chart for more details. 

Weave

When you look at paracord bracelets, the weave or knot pattern is what stands out first. There are countless ways to tie paracord. It can be used for almost anything you can imagine, including aesthetically impressive bracelet patterns. Typical patterns for bracelets are cobra, trilobite, king cobra, solomon, fishtail, and more. 

Clasp

How the bracelet secures to your wrist can be just as important. The most common clasps are plastic buckles. These are cheap and effective, but they’re not ideal for rapid deployment. Shackles are a neater-looking clasp that enables rapid deployment and can even be used (depending on the shackle’s ratings) for survival scenarios. Cobra buckles are less common as they’re more expensive. 

Accessories

Paracord bracelets can have any number of accessories built into them or attached to them. Common accessories are compasses, flint and strikers, emergency whistles, charms, and dog tags. 

Pricing of paracord bracelets

Any price tag can be added to paracord bracelets, which is why you need to be aware of what you’re buying. Any paracord bracelet priced higher than $20 needs to cure cancer or fund something just as important. If you’re looking at something priced under $10, then you’ll want to double-check the details to ensure you’re getting quality material. The goldilocks zone is between those price ranges and is where you should look at buying from. 

Tips and tricks

As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product, and/or using it. That’s the case with us and paracord bracelets. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.

  • Using a lighter to burn the ends of paracord keeps the core intact.
  • Removing the core strands allows the sheath to be tied tighter on tools.
  • The core strands can be used as fishing line. 
  • Paracord makes great bootlaces. 
  • The paracord’s sheath can be used on dog tag chains to silence them.

FAQs about paracord bracelets

You’ve got questions. Task & Purpose has answers!

Q: How can you use paracord bracelets?

A: Paracord and its core strands are perfect for survival tasks like setting snares/traps, fishing, creating shelter, or starting a fire. You can really use it for any task you need rope for, even replacing bootlaces. 

Q: How can you wash your paracord bracelet?

A: Since I’ve only ever worn dark-colored paracord bracelets, I’ve never had to wash mine. That being said, the Paracord Guild has some great tips on keeping your fancy paracord fancy.

Q: How much weight will the paracord hold?

A: This depends on the thickness and rating of the cord. Common paracord is capable of holding up to 550 pounds. 

Q: What do paracord bracelets represent?

A: They can represent anything the wearer wants them to. Typically, there are accessories added to give the bracelets meaning, but color choices and patterns can also indicate a meaning. 

Q: Do soldiers wear paracord bracelets?

A: Some do, it depends on unit and branch uniform regulations, though. While I was on active duty between 2006 and 2011, we were allowed to wear black, OD green, or coyote brown paracord bracelets while in uniform. 

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