What is a Bungee Cord?

A bungee cord or occy strap is a stretchy rope made from one or more elastic strands forming a core, usually covered in a woven cotton, polypropylene or nylon sheath. These cords are renowned for their ability to absorb shock, thanks to the elasticity of the material.

Bungee cords are commonly used to secure objects without tying knots and to absorb shock. With hooks on each end, they can be looped around items and hooked onto themselves for a firm grip. They’re particularly useful for securing loads on vehicles, like utes, trucks, or trailers, where the load may move due to road vibration or wind resistance.

One of the main advantages of bungee cords is that they can be adjusted to suit the size and shape of the load. This makes them a handy tool for various applications, from everyday household use to professional trades and outdoor adventures.

How Bungee Cords Work

48 inch twin bungee cords

Explanation of How a Bungee Cord Works

Bungee cords work based on the principles of potential and kinetic energy. 

  1. When a bungee cord is stretched, it stores potential energy. Similar to when you pull back on a slingshot – you’re putting energy into the system. In the case of the bungee cord, the energy comes from the effort you put into stretching it. This energy is then stored in the cord, waiting to be released.
  2. When the tension on the bungee cord is released, the stored potential energy converts into kinetic energy, which is the energy of motion. The cord reverts back to its original length, releasing the stored energy.

This ability to store and release energy is what makes bungee cords so effective at securing loads. When you stretch a bungee cord around an object and hook it in place, the cord’s tension creates a firm hold on the object, preventing it from moving. The elasticity of the cord also allows it to absorb shocks and vibrations, ensuring the load remains secure under changing conditions.

In the case of Spider Tarp’s bungee cords, Spider Cords, they have an additional feature – the patented Spider-Lock™ hook, which allows the length of the cord to be quickly and easily adjusted and locked in place. This feature enhances the versatility of the bungee cord, allowing a single Spider Cord to securely hold loads of different shapes and sizes.

Materials that make bungee cords work

At the core of a bungee cord, you’ll find strands of elastic material, usually rubber, which give the cord its stretchiness. This elasticity allows the cord to absorb shocks and firmly hold items in place. The rubber strands are capable of being stretched and then returning to their original shape, thanks to the molecular structure of rubber.

Covering these rubber strands is a woven sheath, typically made from polypropylene, cotton or a tough, wear-resistant material like nylon that is used on all Spider-Cords™. This outer layer protects the inner rubber strands from damage and wear, while also providing a grip for users.

Bungee cords usually have metal or plastic hooks attached at each end, which are used to secure the cord once it’s stretched around an object. These hooks can come in various shapes and sizes, depending on the specific use of the bungee cord.

Size and strength of bungee cords

Bungee cords come in various lengths and thicknesses, and the right size depends on what you’re using it for. Shorter bungee cords can be perfect for bundling small items, while longer cords can wrap around larger objects or span bigger distances. 

As for thickness, thicker cords can be ideal for heavier-duty tasks however the elasticity and density of the bungee cord core material and the properties of the outer sheath are the primary determinants of strength and durability.   A thinner, high-density core bungee cord can be far stronger than a thicker cord.

A bungee cord that works for you should be chosen so that it is capable of holding the weight of the load. Overstretching a bungee cord can lead to the cord breaking which can be dangerous. Generally, a safe working load is achieved at ⅔ or less of the fully extended cord.  It is worth noting that you should always ensure that you never stand in in the direct rebound path of a tensioned bungee cord.

Ways to Take Advantage of How Bungee Cords Work

Because of the adaptable nature of how bungee cords work, they’re able to be used in a wide range of situations. 

Securing Loads on Vehicles

This is one of the most common uses of bungee cords. They can be used to secure loads on the back of a ute, truck, or trailer, ensuring that items don’t move or fall off during transport. If you’re moving large items like mattresses or furniture, bungee cords can help secure these items to your vehicle.

Bungee cords are very useful in boating to secure equipment and prevent it from being lost overboard.

Camping and Outdoor Activities

Bungee cords are a camper’s best friend. They can be used to secure a tent to its pegs, attach camping gear to a backpack, or tie down items on a roof rack.

Bungee cords can be used in various DIY projects, such as creating a custom car roof rack or building a bike storage solution.

Gardening and Around Home

Bungee cords can be used to secure tarps over areas that need protection from weather or pests. Similar to when you want to cover a trailer with a tarp. They can also help bundle and carry branches or other yard waste.

Organising and Storing Items

In homes or workshops, bungee cords can be used to secure items in place, such as tools on a pegboard or sports equipment in a garage.

How Spider Tarp’s Spider Cord™ Works

Spider Tarp’s patented Spider-Cord™ is a versatile, premium high-density rubber cor, nylon sheath adjustable bungee cord designed to replace the need for multiple fixed-length bungee cords or occy straps. The aim is to offer a one-size-fits-all solution to securing loads, which is more convenient and cost-effective.

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Spider-Cord™ with Hooks

This version has an adjustable Spider-Lock™ hook on each end. The easy grip hooks can be quickly and easily engaged, tensioned, and released anywhere along the attachment cord.

The unique design allows the bungee cord to be tensioned even when the cord is attached, always ensuring a perfect fit no matter the size of your load. It eliminates the need for multiple fixed-length bungee cords, making it a value-for-money solution.

Spider Cord Bungee cords With Hook And Carabiner – 120cm

Spider-Cord™ with Carabiner

This version has an adjustable Spider-Lock™ hook on one end and a heavy-duty carabiner on the other.

It’s ideal for situations where a semi-permanent closed connection is needed. The carabiner can easily attach to tarp D-Rings, eyelets, or even another Spider-Cord™ with Carabiner, allowing for extended length. By attaching it to the Spider-Lock™ hook’s Easy-Grip finger hole, you can also create an adjustable bungee cord loop.

With these features, Spider-Cord™ bungee cords provide a versatile and adjustable solution for securing loads. Whether you’re camping, transporting goods, or need a quick and secure attachment solution, Spider Tarp’s Spider-Cord™ makes the job a breeze and expands the possibilities for using bungee cords.