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Bungee Cord Basics

Bungee cord in use A variety of bungee cords

A bungee cord tie-down consists of a single stretchy cord with a hook located at either end. They're perfect for quickly strapping down light items.

Applications of Bungee Cords

Bungee cords secure lightweight items and tarps. They can hold down coolers, packages, and camping equipment on motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles, trucks, and trailers. And they'll keep coolers and gear in place in your kayak, canoe, or boat. Bungees can also be used to hold a tarp in place. They can be attached easily to the grommets in the tarp and the anchors of your truck, trailer, roof rack, or hitch-mounted cargo carrier.

Pros of Bungee Cords

  • Attach and detach easily
  • Secure small or lightweight items quickly

Cons of Bungee Cords

  • Designed for light-duty use only

Choosing a Bungee Cord

When choosing a bungee cord that will work best for your application, you should consider the following.

Length of Cord

variety of bungee cords of different lengths

At, we offer bungees in a range of lengths - from 1' long to almost 4' long. If you need a longer bungee, remember that you can hook 2 bungees together.

Shape of Cord

Round and flat cords of bungee straps

Most bungees have round cords. However, some have flat cords so that they won't easily roll over edges. This helps keep the bungee cord in place, especially when you use it to secure cargo that has square edges.

Type of Hook

Closeup of wire S-hook of bungee cord

Most bungee cords are equipped with S-hooks for general-purpose use. This type of hook is shaped like an "S". One end of the "S" keeps the hook connected to the cord, and the other end of the "S" forms a hook that can be attached to a tie-down point. These hooks are made of metal wire, steel with a plastic covering, or aluminum. A plastic-coated hook will be less likely to scratch your vehicle or cargo.

Closeup of carabiner hook of bungee cord

A bungee with carabiners will stay more securely attached and is more convenient to use than an S-hook bungee. The carabiner closes with a spring-loaded gate so that the bungee won't come off of its anchor, even if the line goes slack. Carabiners also make it easier to attach a bungee cord - you don't have to maintain tension on the cord to keep one end from falling off while you attach the other end.

Closeup bungee cord hook with finger loop Closeup of a locking style bungee cord hook

You can also get bungees that have other kinds of hooks. Some bungees have hooks (similar to carabiners) that are made with mechanisms on the hooks so that they stay connected, even if the cord is slack. One style has finger loops on the hooks to help you hold onto them. These loops make it easier to pull the bungee through tight places and to attach it to a tie-down point.

Updated by: Raymond P.

Last updated: 6/30/18



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