Sunday, April 21, 2013

ParaVival Paracord Product Review

Recently, the folks at ParaVival sent us a couple of paracord bracelets to test out for our readers. We enjoyed the bracelets and will add them to our regular hiking gear in case of emergency situations! Both Ashley and I give them two thumbs up!

About ParaCord: The term paracord comes from the cord used on the soldiers parachutes in WWII. The term 550 simply meant that it had a breaking strength of 550 pounds, giving it its full name of 550 paracord. When soldiers landed in the battle fields, they would cut the paracord off their parachutes and pack it up for later use. This particular cord was handy to strap gear to vehicles, to help build shelters, or for lowering gear down ledges, as well as a litany of other uses.  Today there are a lot of different types of paracord on the market and they are broken down into two catagories, MIL-C-5040H Type III para cord and Commercial 550 Cord.  

How do you tell the two apart other than the label? Well the only way to actually tell the two types of  cord apart is by cutting into it and looking at the inside strands. The inner strands of the paracord are different in commercial paracord than they are in the genuine Type III cord. Most commercial paracord will have 7 or 8 inner strands each consisting of 2 inner strands of themselves. While the genuine military issued cord has always been made with 7 inner strands, each consisting of 3 inner strands of themselves. In addition to this, one of the 7 strands is yellow and black in color, and all the other strands are white. The difference is the MIL-C-5040H Type III para cord has to pass a series of tests for military standards that Commercial 550 Cord does not.  So in theory the military version will hold up better in the elements even though they both have the same breaking weight.  Paravival uses the MIL-C-5040H Type III para cord.

Our review:  Both Ashley and I found the sizing process to work very well.  When ordering a bracelet you will be asked to measure your wrist size and round up to the nearest half inch. This process worked very well as both our ParaVival bracelets fit great!  For more information on the sizing process click Here. There is also an extremely large section of colors to chose from. For color selection click Here. Deploying the bracelet is pretty easy.  For details about how to deploy one of the bracelets for use, click Here. One of the great things is you can get a quality product for a very reasonable price. The pricing ranges from $9.99 to $20.00 depending on the number of colors you have on your bracelet. The amount of paracord you get with your bracelet will depend on the size of your wrist. There were to types of bracelets one that is 3/4 inch wide, which you will get approximately 8-11 feet of cord. The other is 1 inch wide and you will get approximately 13-16 feet. Note, once you unravel your cord you will find that it is not possible to put them back together, but that you can still store the cord in your backpack for future use. This is a product that we tested as far as holding things up, however, we were unable to test the breaking point of the 550 pounds because simply we do not have a scale that goes that high. Good quality rope is always a great thing to have with you when backpacking and hiking. You never know when it will come in handy for a makeshift shelter, to carry something, or help in an emergency situation.  Both Ashley and I will be adding Paravival's paracord to our regular hiking gear! ParaVival makes good quality products made in the United States. For more product information click Here.  Once you unravel the cord you can clearly tell that it is good quality cord. It was able to hold up Ashley's body weight as well as mine. 


  1. It’s super site, I was looking for something like thisParacord

  2. Thanks for the information and the links.

    A group of us are heading to England to hike along the path of Hadrian's Wall starting on the East coast at the North Sea and finishing up on the West at the Irish Sea and I've been looking at ParaCord bracelets but have been learly of buying those made with "commercial" ParaCord. With this information I now have a source for the real military grade ParaCord.

    Keep up the blog!


Ashley and I encourage and welcome our readers to submit comments about their experiences on the trails we have posted on our blog or about their own hiking experiences in general.