Whether you’re headed out into the wilderness for an adventure or stocking your emergency preparation kit, having one of the best paracord bracelets on hand can make a big difference in your ability to deal with unplanned situations. Paracord bracelets are woven rings of high-strength nylon – the same durable material that is used to attach a parachute to its owner. Their strength means that they are adaptable to be used in nearly any situation that requires rope, while paracord is also small and lightweight so it will not weigh you down or get in your way. Plus, paracord bracelets are designed to be worn around your wrist, so you can keep one on hand at all times and forget about it until you need it.
Choosing the best paracord bracelet from the many on the market can be a tricky choice. Since this is an important survival tool for when your plans in the backcountry change suddenly or an emergency strikes at home, you want to be sure that the bracelet you choose can take on whatever application you put it towards. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about choosing paracord bracelets and highlight five of the best survival bracelets out there today.
The first consideration when choosing a paracord bracelet is what material it is made from. Paracord varies in breaking strength – a higher breaking strength means that you can use it for more heavy-duty applications without risking the cord tearing unexpectedly. The best survival bracelets are made out of premium 550 paracord, which has a load capacity of up to 550 pounds. Cheaper bracelets may be woven from 400 paracord, which is slightly lighter but significantly less durable under tension.
Another important thing to consider when choosing among paracord bracelets is the total length of the cord once the bracelet is unwoven. While most paracord bracelets are at least 10 feet long when fully unraveled, some bracelets offer as much as 20 feet of paracord. Although longer paracord bracelets will also be heavier, the difference in weight is typically minimal relative to a full pack and having a longer cord will allow you much more flexibility when you need to use it.
Some of the best paracord bracelets have gone above and beyond weaving only paracord – they actually include additional survival accessories woven into the bracelet. For example, some paracord bracelets have a small compass held in place by the woven strands, while others have emergency whistles or magnesium fire starters. These accessories can be excellent additions if you do not carry them otherwise or have them in your survival kit, but can add unnecessary weight if they are duplicates within your kit.
The price of paracord bracelets is primarily a function of cord length and the presence of accessories, assuming you opt for a high-strength 550 paracord nylon as the material. Although paracord bracelets are more expensive than buying unwoven paracord, even the best survival bracelets are inexpensive compared to most other components of your backpacking or survival kits.
BEST EVERYDAY CARRY
TONS OF GEAR
TWO FOR ONE
SIMPLE WITH FIRESTARTER
Best Survival Paracord Bracelet
Diroca Outdoor Paracord Bracelet Survival Gear
Like the bracelet from Last Man, this paracord bracelet from Diroca Outdoor packs a ton of accessories into their bracelet inside the weave. Where this bracelet differs is that it also features a number of tools cleverly built into the exterior of the bracelet. In addition to a compass in the center of the weave, you’ll find an emergency whistle, miniature knife, and fire starter around the outside of the bracelet so that you can use these without unraveling the cord. The knife does double-duty, as it can be used to both strike the fire starter to create a spark and to cut the cord into shorter sections after it is unraveled. Within the weave, you’ll find the tools you need to build two separate emergency fishing kits – two 10-foot fishing lines, two bobbers, two sinkers, and two hooks – as well as tinder for helping to start a fire and alcohol pads for use in first aid. The paracord unfurls to a total length of 11.5 feet.
The bracelet itself is one-size-fits-all and is designed for people with wrist diameters from seven to nine inches. Unfortunately, this means it fits large for many people and must be manually tightened using a clothespin or forcing the fire starter further into the weave than it is intended to go.
Best Every Day Carry (EDC)
The Friendly Swede Trilobite Paracord Bracelet
This paracord bracelet was designed with style as well as versatility in mind. The bracelet is made from beefy 550 paracord, but rather than using nylon this bracelet is actually made of polyester to improve performance when wet. The durability of the cord is backed by The Friendly Swede’s lifetime warranty on their nylon. When unfurled, it expands out to a total length of about 11.5 feet.
One of the nicest features of this bracelet, which makes it stylish enough to wear as part of your daily life as well as out in the wilderness, is the stainless steel buckle. This buckle uses a screw-in pin rather than a standard clasp, which takes a little bit of work to screw on and off but is essentially unbreakable. The bracelet comes with one spare screw pin and The Friendly Swede also sells inexpensive replacement screws in case the screw gets lost.
The bracelet comes in a variety of sizes and colors, allowing you to choose your style and achieve a perfect fit for both men and women with different wrist diameters. In addition, the buckle has multiple holes for the screw pin, so it is possible to adjust the diameter of the bracelet a little bit to fine-tune the fit to your wrist
The price of this bracelet is on par with other paracord bracelets. However, when you consider the length and lack of accessories beyond the buckle, the effective price for what you are getting as a survival tool is significantly higher. That said, the best paracord bracelet is the one that you will actually wear, so it is important not to discount that style matters to some extent.
Tons of Gear
Last Man Ultimate Survival Paracord Kit Bracelet
If you’re looking for a whole survival kit in addition to a paracord bracelet, this self-contained kit from Last Man may be exactly what you need. The bracelet is much more than meets the eye – it houses a suite of tools contained inside the weave of the paracord. The available tools include everything you need to start a fire, from a ferrocerium rod to dried grass for tinder. Plus, you’ll find the pieces you need for an emergency fishing kit inside the bracelet, complete with a 30-foot fishing line, two bobbers, two sinkers, and two different fishing hooks. Most versions of the bracelet also have a miniature compass woven into the outside of the bracelet so that you can read it without unraveling the cord. For the price, the number and usefulness of the tools included inside the bracelet make this a great bargain for wilderness emergency preparation.
The bracelet itself is made out of 550 paracord nylon and expands to a total length of 12 feet when unraveled. Although it comes in a variety of colors, it is only available in three sizes and is not further adjustable. The clasp on the bracelet is a simple plastic bar that can be easily wrapped into the nylon weave, which is extremely durable if not necessarily the most stylish or comfortable.
One of the main downsides to this bracelet is that because it contains a whole survival kit within it, don’t expect to be able to travel on planes with it – the fire starter and fishing hooks are highly likely to get flagged by airport security.
Two for One
The Friendly Swede Paracord Survival Bracelets (Set of 2)
This paracord bracelet option from The Friendly Swede is far less expensive than their other bracelet in this review, the Trilobite. For less than the cost of that single bracelet, this bracelet model comes as a set of two – meaning you’ll have a second bracelet in case you unravel one to use it, or that you can equip your hiking partner with a bracelet for extra preparedness. Plus, the bracelets are each lighter weight than the Trilobite. Rather than use the polyester weave found in that model, these bracelets are made from the standard nylon 550 paracord used in most survival bracelets.
The bracelets are available in two sizes depending on the size of your wrist, but note that the different diameter bracelets have different total lengths when unraveled. The smaller 8-inch diameter bracelet has a total length of 11.8 feet, while the 9-inch diameter bracelet has a total length of 13.1 feet. These bracelets are narrower and less adjustable on length than the Trilobite, however, so you will likely want to size true to your wrist for comfort rather than opt for the larger size because of the added length. The bracelet is held together with a plastic clasp which, while made from plastic, is durable enough to be very difficult to accidently crack or break.
If you’re just looking for a paracord bracelet without the bells and whistles of weaved-in survival accessories, and don’t care about having a stylish bracelet to wear day in and day out, it’s hard to beat this set of bracelets on price. They are hardly more expensive than purchasing loose paracord, but with the benefit that these can be worn on your wrist rather than take up space in your backpack.
Simple Every Day Carry (EDC)
First Strike Tactical Spark Bracelet
This survival bracelet from First Strike Tactical sets itself apart by including a striker and rod for producing a spark built right into the clasp buckle. These work very well for producing sparks, and unlike the Last Man bracelet with the fire starting materials built inside the weave, you can use the fire starter on this bracelet without unraveling the cord. Plus, the buckle has an emergency whistle built in for added utility in an emergency. The bracelet itself uses high-quality 550 paracord nylon and will unravel to a total length of nine feet. In addition, the metal striker can double as a utility knife to cut the cord into sections as needed.
One of the factors that sets First Strike Tactical apart from their competitors is that the company not only offers a lifetime guarantee on their paracord, but also offers free replacement of the paracord bracelet if you unravel it to use it in an emergency – simply send in what’s left of the cord and buckle. This makes the competitive price even more of a bargain, since buying one of these bracelets essentially means you will have it for life even if you do use it.
The only downside to this bracelet is that it only comes in one size. While it is rated for people with wrists between seven and nine inches in diameter, the one-size-fits-all model means that if you have a smaller wrist the bracelet will hang loosely rather than comfortably snug.
Carrying paracord on your wrist, where you’ll never forget or lose it, is one of the best ways you can prepare for an emergency in the backcountry. The best paracord bracelet is lightweight, provides plenty of cordage to deal with any emergency situation, comes pre-loaded with some of the additional tools you’ll need in an emergency, and is stylish enough that you won’t take it off your wrist and forget it. Given these characteristics, these five paracord bracelets are among the best for preparing for any emergency that may arise during your next adventure.