best-paracord

Best Paracord to Buy & Brands to Avoid

In this article, we’ll walk you through a guide that shows you the best paracord to buy and how to spot the real deal among the low-quality ones. Let’s jump right in!

Paracord is one of the most versatile types of suspension lines out there. The durable cord is actually designed for parachute users, hence the name.

Due to its extreme level of strength when compared to how lightweight it is, it has seen an explosion in popularity over the last decade, making it a must-have item for all survivalists, military personnel, and more!

The problem is, with its rise in popularity, a lot of cheap Chinese knock-offs have found their way among reliable ones, making it difficult to spot the authentic from the fake.

 

Best Paracord Rope Options Available on the Market

 

5col 550 Type III Nylon Parachute Paracord

5col 550 Type 3 Nylon Parachute Paracord - MIL-C-5040H & PIA-C-5040 (Orange, 250 Feet)
169 Reviews
5col 550 Type 3 Nylon Parachute Paracord - MIL-C-5040H & PIA-C-5040 (Orange, 250 Feet)
  • Our Type 3 paracord has 8 core strands (including the marker strand). All core strands are 3-ply.
  • Minimum break strength: 550 lbs, Length per pound of paracord: 225 ft.
  • Elongation percentage: 30%

5col is a popular brand that is known for its authentic products. This nylon-made Type III cord is not only durable but also has 8 core strands.

These are more than the standard 9. It also has a 3-ply sheath, which is a characteristic of authentic cords in general.

 

Balit 650 Type III Mil-Spec Paracord

Sale
Balit 550 Paracord/Parachute Cord 50'100'200'1000' Mil-Spec Paracord 10-Strand Core Nylon Parachute for Outdoor Emergency Tactical Survival Camping Hiking Bracelet (Camouflage Army Green)
850 Reviews
Balit 550 Paracord/Parachute Cord 50'100'200'1000' Mil-Spec Paracord 10-Strand Core Nylon Parachute for Outdoor Emergency Tactical Survival Camping Hiking Bracelet (Camouflage Army Green)
  • 【10-Strand Core Tested to 650lb】Balit paracord is made of 10 high-strength polyester inner cores,and the multi-strand polyester inner core of the divided umbrella rope can be used...
  • 【100% NYLON】Top-grade nylon material making it great for survival needs and many outdoor applications. Not only an nylon rope,but also a super strong rope,light and easy to carry,and will not...
  • 【High Quality】UV resistance and fading resistance,long service life. Top-grade nylon material making it great for survival needs and many outdoor applications and great for any level of...

If you want to kick things up a notch, you might want to go for a Mil-Spec brand. Unlike many brands that falsely label theirs as Mil-Spec, this one does meet the specifications.

It has 10 core strands and is tested to give a tensile strength of about 650 lbs. Moreover, it’s ultra-resistant to the elements, such as UV rays and moisture.

 

Titan SurvivorCord Type III 550 Parachute Cord

Sale
620 LB SurvivorCord - The Original Patented Type III Military 550 Parachute Cord with Integrated Fishing Line, Multi-Purpose Wire, and Waterproof Fire Starter. 100 FEET, DRAGONSCALE Paracord
5,102 Reviews
620 LB SurvivorCord - The Original Patented Type III Military 550 Parachute Cord with Integrated Fishing Line, Multi-Purpose Wire, and Waterproof Fire Starter. 100 FEET, DRAGONSCALE Paracord
  • Exclusive Patented Paracord - Originally designed at the request of Special Forces in Afghanistan, our SurvivorCord is a 620 LB tensile strength paracord that integrates 3 life-saving survival...
  • Mono Fishing Line - Includes a single transparent, 25 lb. test, high strength mono-filament fishing line that can be used when critically needed food is just yards away. This filament can also be...
  • Waxed Jute Fire-Starter - Our proprietary, waterproof, twisted jute fiber strand is designed to quickly start fires in an emergency. This is the best fire-starting strand on the market. Even in a...

Another brand that offers an incredibly durable type III cord with a higher tensile strength than the market average, you might want to go for the Original SurvivorCord by Titan.

This one has a maximum tensile rating of 620 lbs and comes in a wide range of sizes and color options.

 

Paracord Planet Type I Paracord

Type I 95 Paracord | 1.75 mm Diameter, 95 LB Tensile Strength | Great for Camping, Hiking, Outdoor Activities, & DIY Art Crafts
909 Reviews
Type I 95 Paracord | 1.75 mm Diameter, 95 LB Tensile Strength | Great for Camping, Hiking, Outdoor Activities, & DIY Art Crafts
  • GENUINE TYPE I 95 PARACORD: Designed to be exceptionally lightweight and flexible, 95 parachute cord is compact design for a broad range of situations / functions. We have 90+ Colors that’s...
  • SPECIFICATIONS: 95 LB Breaking Strength Minimum | 1.75 mm (1/14”) Diameter | 1-Inner Strand | Length per Pound of Cord ft minimum 950 | Made in the USA | Sizes – 10 FT, 25 FT, 50 FT, 100 FT...
  • COLORS: ACU Digital Foliage, Afghan Vet, Aloha, Amazon, Arid, Bucky Blue Camo, Black, Burgundy, Bruiser, Canada, County Girl Camo, Chocolate Brown, Charcoal Gray, Colonial Blue, Camo Pattern,...

If you’re a beginner who only wants to use it for simple bracelets or simple uses that don’t involve survival situations, you might want to keep this one in mind.

Paracord Planet is a reputable manufacturer and even their Type I ultra-thin is tough enough to support up to a few pounds short of 100 lbs.

 

Tough-Grid Type IV Mil-Spec Paracord

TOUGH-GRID 750lb Camo Green Paracord/Parachute Cord - Genuine Mil Spec Type IV 750lb Paracord Used by The US Military (MIl-C-5040-H) - 100% Nylon - 500Ft. - Camo Green
18,662 Reviews
TOUGH-GRID 750lb Camo Green Paracord/Parachute Cord - Genuine Mil Spec Type IV 750lb Paracord Used by The US Military (MIl-C-5040-H) - 100% Nylon - 500Ft. - Camo Green
  • Packaged According to Length: 50, 100, and 150 Footers Come Coiled in Bags; 200 Footers on Tubes
  • 500 and 1000 Footers are Wound on a Spool; 1000 Footers May Come in up to 2 Non Spliced Sections
  • Diameter Measures Between 5/32 inch and 3/16 inch or 3.97 millimeters and 4.76 millimeters (Plus or Minus 1/32 Inch); 100 Percent Nylon; 11 Inner Triple Strands

Lastly, if you don’t mind splurging a little more for an unmatched level of durability and quality, you should consider the Type IV Mil-Spec from Tough-Grid.

This one offers a maximum tensile strength of 750 lbs with size options that vary from 50 to 1,500 ft.

 

Types of Paracord Rope

Sale
Balit 550 Paracord/Parachute Cord 50'100'200'1000' Mil-Spec Paracord 10-Strand Core Nylon Parachute for Outdoor Emergency Tactical Survival Camping Hiking Bracelet(Camouflage Green)
852 Reviews
Balit 550 Paracord/Parachute Cord 50'100'200'1000' Mil-Spec Paracord 10-Strand Core Nylon Parachute for Outdoor Emergency Tactical Survival Camping Hiking Bracelet(Camouflage Green)
  • 【10-Strand Core Tested to 650lb】Balit paracord is made of 10 high-strength polyester inner cores,and the multi-strand polyester inner core of the divided umbrella rope can be used...
  • 【100% NYLON】Top-grade nylon material making it great for survival needs and many outdoor applications. Not only an nylon rope,but also a super strong rope,light and easy to carry,and will not...
  • 【High Quality】UV resistance and fading resistance,long service life. Top-grade nylon material making it great for survival needs and many outdoor applications and great for any level of...

Although there are 4 types of parachute cords on the market, survivalists and preppers usually refer to a specific type (Type III).

Let’s have a brief look at each one of them, so you can have a better understanding of the types out there:

  • Type I: This one has 1 core strand and a rated strength of 95 lbs, making it the cheapest option on the market.
  • Type II: This one has 4 to 7 core strands and has a strength rating of up to 400 lbs. It’s also quite rare on the market.
  • Type III: The most popular paracord out there with 7 to 9 core strands and a strength rating of about 550 lbs. The rope is super affordable and extremely versatile!
  • Type IV: The most durable paracord rope out there with a strength rating of over 750 lbs, thanks to its 11 core strands, making it the most expensive option on the market.

Paracord Types

Due to the significant price increase and the little difference between III and IV, Type III is considered the most popular bang for the buck.

Note that some paracord brands will also label their products as “Mil-Spec”, which is short for “military specification”.

This type of cord is usually reserved for military use. It’s much tougher and significantly more expensive than regular paracord.

However, you can still get by if you use regular paracord. So you don’t have to spend extra on Mil-Spec paracord if regular paracord can do you just fine.

 

How to Spot the Difference Between Authentic and Fake Paracord

 

As fake paracord manufacturers improve their craft, spotting the fake ones can be quite a tricky task.

In this section, we’ll provide a guide to what paracord to buy in order to get the real deal.

 

The Outer Sheath

One of the things that you’ll learn is that true paracord looks different from cheaply crafted knock-offs.

As soon as you get a hold of a real paracord, it will look like a cord that is capable of getting the job done. If you come across a paracord that’s labeled to support a weight it doesn’t seem to hold, it probably won’t.

For example, as you now know, type III paracord should have 7 core strands that are surrounded by a braided sheath.

One of the easiest ways to tell that a paracord is a fake one is that it’ll have only 2 smaller strands on the outer sheath vs 3 strands in real ones.

In other words, a fake paracord will usually have 30% less material. Which makes it fragile when compared to the authentic cord.

 

Materials Used and Quality

Sale
620 LB SurvivorCord - The Original Patented Type III Military 550 Parachute Cord with Integrated Fishing Line, Multi-Purpose Wire, and Waterproof Fire Starter. 100 FEET, DRAGONSCALE Paracord
5,102 Reviews
620 LB SurvivorCord - The Original Patented Type III Military 550 Parachute Cord with Integrated Fishing Line, Multi-Purpose Wire, and Waterproof Fire Starter. 100 FEET, DRAGONSCALE Paracord
  • Exclusive Patented Paracord - Originally designed at the request of Special Forces in Afghanistan, our SurvivorCord is a 620 LB tensile strength paracord that integrates 3 life-saving survival...
  • Mono Fishing Line - Includes a single transparent, 25 lb. test, high strength mono-filament fishing line that can be used when critically needed food is just yards away. This filament can also be...
  • Waxed Jute Fire-Starter - Our proprietary, waterproof, twisted jute fiber strand is designed to quickly start fires in an emergency. This is the best fire-starting strand on the market. Even in a...

The quality of materials used in paracord is another major difference between real and fake stuff.

Almost all paracord on the market is made of nylon or polyester. However, the way the material is made can easily separate the real ones from the fake.

For example, authentic Type III paracord is usually woven in an intricate way. To add enough tensile strength to support up to 550 lbs or more. So, you’ll be able to notice the high level of precision in the way true paracord is woven.

On the other hand, fake cords usually look like worn-out cotton and can be made of other less durable materials.

 

Sturdiness and Durability

A feature of paracord is that it can be used several times while still maintaining its tensile strength and flexibility. Which is the main reason why you can store them as beautiful bracelets and unfold them anytime to use them instantly.

Since fakes are usually made of poor quality materials and is thinner than regular paracord, it loses its tensile strength and flexibility with time.

That’s actually one of the reasons why fake paracord is mostly sold online. Authentic paracord will retain its quality upon testing, but too much handling of the fake ones will ruin it.

 

Overall Weight

The materials used to make nylon are known for being lightweight despite their tensile strength. For that reason, real paracord is surprisingly lighter in weight than fake ones, even though it’s thicker.

 

Price Tag

Lastly, it goes without saying that most fakes are suspiciously cheaper than authentic ones.

While you’re going to save money by buying it, it’ll be useless early on and you’ll need to replace it. So, it’s not cost-efficient like the long-lasting kind that stands the test of time and continuous use.

 

Final Thoughts

 

This wraps it up for today’s guide that shows you the best options out there. And how to distinguish between the fake and authentic ones.

As you can see, with little experience, you’ll be able to spot the difference between the two with relative ease!