Are Paracord Bracelets Waterproof? The Facts Explained


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Paracord bracelets are a must-have if you spend a lot of time outdoors camping or hiking. These survival bracelets are made from 8’-20’ (2.43-6.09 m) of woven paracord and can be handy during emergencies. However, one selling point for the paracord bracelet is its waterproof feature. 

Paracord bracelets are waterproof because they do not get wet easily. However, when soaked in water for a long time, these bracelets will absorb water. They will also shrink if this is the first time they are exposed to water. Fortunately, paracord is made of nylon or polyester, so they dry quickly.

Soaking a paracord in hot water for a few seconds before braiding it into a bracelet will prevent future shrinkage. If your bracelet feels tighter after it comes into contact with water, you won’t need to worry about it happening again. 


Do Paracord Bracelets Absorb Water?

Since paracord bracelets have many functions, you want to have one within easy reach. When placed in a bowl of water, tightly coiled bracelets sink immediately, while thin bracelets will float until they get soaked.

Paracord bracelets do not absorb water easily, especially when under running water. You can shower with yours, and even when it appears wet, it may only be on the surface. However, when soaked in water, paracord bracelets will eventually absorb water. 

Paracord bracelets are popular because they are versatile and durable. Since water does not ruin them, they have become an important survival tool. The Friendly Swede Paracord Bracelet available on Amazon.com is an army green extra beefy braided bracelet made of polyester.    


Can You Use Paracord Bracelets When They Are Wet?

Paracord bracelets do not absorb water easily, so more often than not, they will be dry. However, if the bracelet is wet, it is best to wait for it to dry before using it.

While you cannot use paracord bracelets when they are wet, you can still wear them if they are wet. They are slightly weaker than dry, so if you need to use the paracord, it is best to wait for it to dry first. Your body temperature will help it dry quickly. 

Most paracord bracelets, irrespective of the size, are lightweight. Even when wet, these bracelets do not hold much water. So, even if it is slightly wet, waiting for it to dry will only take a few minutes. 

This video illustrates one of those occasions when a wet paracord bracelet is useful:


How To Clean Paracord Bracelets

Paracord bracelets change color over time due to natural wear and tear after exposure to heat, sunlight, and moisture. Sometimes, the changes you see are dirt and stains.   

You can clean paracord bracelets in the following ways:

  • Use baking soda to clean the dirt and remove stubborn stains. Baking soda is also awesome for removing foul smells from your bracelet. 
  • Hook it to belt loops or place it inside a pair of socks before putting it in the washing machine.
  • You can also wash it with dish soap.

Although paracord bracelets can withstand multiple washes, bleach, and other chemicals damage them easily. Avoid using hot water because it will wear out the fibers of your paragon bracelet much faster. 


Comparison Between Nylon and Polyester Paracord Bracelets

Paracord is mainly made from polyester or nylon. Some paracord bracelets are made from polyester paracord, while others are made of nylon, and since paracord has a range of functions, the properties of each material will determine which of the two materials is most suitable. 

Take a look at the properties of each one in the table below:


Properties

Nylon

Polyester
Moisture absorptionSlowSlower
Quick to dryFastestFast
Oil resistanceHighLow
StretchBestGood
Friction resistanceBestGood
WeightLightVery light

Nylon is often preferred and sometimes seen as the real paracord. 

However, both materials have strengths and weaknesses, and either is more suitable in specific situations. For example, nylon stretches more than polyester. If you are suspending a heavy load, a polyester paracord may be more suitable than one made of nylon.

This video analyzes some of the best paracord bracelets available:


How To Choose the Best Paracord Bracelet

When shopping for a paracord bracelet, you will discover they are available in different sizes, colors, and so much more. Since the paracord has several functions, you need to ensure the bracelet will meet your needs.

Survival Paracord Bracelet
  • SOS LED Light - This emergency survival bracelet has an LED light that can be used to help rescuers find you at night!
If you make a purchase, you support Hi-van.com by allowing me to earn an affiliate commission (no added cost for you).

This Nexfinity One Survival Paracord Bracelet, on Amazon.com, has an SOS LED light and multiple tools in the buckle, including a screwdriver, saw, scrapper, and much more.  

When buying paracord bracelets, you need to consider several factors. Let’s talk about them now.

Durability and Strength

Paracord bracelets are made of cords of different tensile strengths. 

The most common is 550 paracord, which means the paracord can hold items that weigh up to 550 lbs (249.47 kg). Since you don’t know when you will need to use the cord, it is best to buy a bracelet made from high-quality paracord. 

Most paracord bracelets can withstand some stress with ease. However, the stronger the cord, the more durable it is. 

The Color Should Suit You

Although paracord bracelets have multiple functions, they are an ornament first. You need to choose a bracelet that suits your style. If the bracelet looks out of place, you are likely to discard it, and it will be of no use if you can’t find it when you need it. 

It Should Fit Properly

When choosing the size of the paracord bracelet, you should relate it to what you expect to do with the cord. A smaller bracelet has a shorter cord, while a larger one has more paracord. 

Some of these bracelets are made to be a perfect fit, while others have an adjuster. A paracord bracelet that has an adjuster is ideal since it gives room for shrinkage when you put it in water for the first time.

You also need to note that you will need to remove the whole thing when taking the paracord bracelet apart. A large bracelet has more cord, but if you don’t need it all, you are better off getting a smaller one. 


Conclusion

Paracord bracelets do not absorb water easily because of the material from which it is made. However, its resistance drops when it is left in water for a long time. Understanding the features of nylon and polyester paracords will help you determine the best paracord bracelet for you and how best to care for it.


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Here are some of my favorite van life essentials:

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful as you’re experiencing your life on the road. Here are some tools and gadgets I use on a daily basis that made my van life a lot easier. I hope you’ll also find them as useful as me. These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to purchase any of them, I’ll earn a commission.
But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I use and recommend to everyone, even my closest friends and family.

Kitchen: I’m cooking a lot and I’ve finally found my perfect cookware set: The Magma Cookware 10 Pcs that you can nests and store in less than 1/2 cubic foot of cabinet space is really handy. Since I’m also spending a lot of time working at my desk, I use my favorite coffee mug from Yeti. For more, check my list of kitchen accessories I can’t live without.

Outdoor: Even though I’m spending a lot of time in my van working, I do enjoy getting out and explore my ever-changing neighborhood. This sometimes requires me to take my portable solar battery with me. And when I just want to chill outside and take a nap, I use the Winner Outfitters Hammock.

Clean/Tidy: Space is precious and therefore I used these heavy-duty storage bins from Homs to store my material. They’re robust and you can stack them together. Regarding showering, I like to use this portable solar shower from Advanced Elements when it’s hot outside.

To see all of my most up-to-date recommendations about van life, check out this resource that I made for you!

Martin

As an independent traveler, I try to share my positive and negative observations about van life as well as tips and tricks to make your life on the road easier. I travel and work in my old RV and would greatly appreciate a coffee from you if you find my content useful.

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