Bungee Cord Alternatives

Updated February 21, 2017

Bungee cords, also called shock cords, are elastic lengths of material with J-shaped or S-shaped hooks attached to either end. They commonly are used in cargo transport and packaging. They are also sometimes used as barriers, where they can pose a safety hazard. According to Domestic Production, a bungee cord, when released from full stretch, can travel at 60 miles per hour.


The choice of analternative bungee cord material depends on the purpose for which it will be used. Using plain rope in extreme bungee jumping is dangerous and obviously not suitable; however, rope can be a valid substitute if you are transporting cargo and you can do without a bungee's elasticity. Try tying a length of rope around the cargo and securing it that way instead. You may need extra ropes, but the process will be a lot safer.

Polyurethane Cords

A modern range of "Perfect Bungee" cords have been designed and manufactured from super-strong, high quality, extruded polyurethane, which has elastomeric properties. Polyurethane is the most useful material for this particular application because it resists shape changes after being stretched and has a high "memory," meaning it can return to its original length as if no load was applied at all. Polyurethane is available as either non-load bearing cords with nylon ends which do not stretch or gouge, or stretchy cords with galvanised metal anchoring hooks for load-bearing applications. The stretchy cords extend to twice their original length and are guaranteed for life, according to UTV Weekly. They are also resistant to saltwater, oil, ozone and many household chemicals. Polyurethane cords are designed to improve transportation of boating equipment, such as jet skis and surf boards, which all need tying in place. They also reduce the risk of serious injury.

Polymer Cords

Manufacturer "Flat Rigs" uses 100 per cent durable ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) in their outrigger shock cords for stretch and strength. Their EPDM is a flagship, proprietary product. Each cord is made from the polymer and contains no rubber element at all, so it does not cause damage to your boat, leave black marks on your hands, or pose a safety risk. They are UV light resistant and waterproof. EPDM cords allow higher tensions than normal bungee cords, but with reduced risk of overstretching and snapping.

Industrial Plastic Shrink-Wrap

Shrink-wrap is an easy-to-install, hassle-free solution for transportation that involves large, cheap sheets of strong plastic. Shrink-wrap offers extra cushioning and support for cargo and improves the safety of staff during loading. Shrink-wrapping companies offer custom solutions for aircraft applications, boating, palletising, storm damage resolution, general transport and storage.

Jacketed Cords

Jacketed cords form a broad set of products with a wide range of different applications including electronics, fibre optic cabling, insulation, hand-tool protective casings, camping equipment and jacketed cord for transportation and storage. This modern material contains a specialised nylon abrasion-resistant braided jacket which is rot-proof, waterproof, resistant to mildew and the damage from ultraviolet light. One length of jacketed shock cord is made up of a continuous bundle of smaller rubber strands, making it durable and less prone to breakage.

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About the Author

Natasha Parks has been a professional writer since 2001 with work published online and in book format for "Thomson Reuters," the "World Patents Index" and Her areas of expertise are varied and include physics, biology, genetics and computing, mental health, relationships, family crises and career development. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biophysics from King's College, London.