What is Bungee Cord?

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  • Written By: J. Beam
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2019
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Bungee cord, sometimes called shock cord, is elastic cord that is typically covered with a sturdy nylon coating and has a hooking mechanism at both ends. Its general purpose is to absorb shock from impacts. The cord has several practical uses and is frequently used in cargo shipping and hauling, and even extreme sports. Bungee cord is available in various lengths and diameters and with specialized hooking mechanisms for different tasks.

When bungee jumping, this stretchy cord is connected to the jumper, preventing him or her from hitting the ground and absorbing the impact of the fall. When the cord is extended to its full length, it stretches to absorb the shock of the impact. The hooking mechanisms used in bungee jumping are a carabiner style hook and closure. Bungee cord is also used in dog sledding to absorb shock for the dogs should the sled suddenly becoming stuck or tipped and stop.

More common uses of bungee cord are found in the cargo industry. Many large loads are tied down with this cord, which not only absorbs shock from impact during shipping, but also provides a quicker and easier way to load and unload cargo. The cord expands and contracts and hooks to a stationary spot, so there is no need for tying and untying knots.


The same convenience can be used for hauling furniture or other large loads in a pick-up truck. Most truck beds have eyelets built in to accept rope for tying down loads, and they just as easily accept the hooks at the end of bungee cords. Many cars have cargo netting made from the elastic cord in the trunk. This is a convenient way for shoppers to pack groceries and other items after shopping and bring them home intact.

Bungee cord can also be used for storing items in a shed, garage, attic, or basement. Rather than tying up a box or other large item with rope, the ends of the cord can be hooked to each other. When the box or item needs to come out of storage, there is no frayed decaying rope and no knots to untie. Before using this cord to hold a load of significant size or weight for transport or storage, the entire length of the cord should be checked for splitting, and both ends for damage.


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