Like everything else in the market place, paracord does come in a fake version. Anyone making paracord gear, especially ones that are survival based, should be steer well clear of it. When looking out for the genuine material, keep the following in mind. Look for the words “military grade” or “550 paracord” on the paracord. But while this may help, be aware that some unscrupulous sellers may advertise their paracord as the genuine item. So how do you know if your paracord is genuine?
Here’s some tips to keep in mind…
1 – Real paracords is made of seven (white) nylon yarns that are each made up of three strands. Some inner yarns found in fake ones may not have the three strands. This would mean that your paracord wouldn’t have the ability to hold a 550 lb weight like it should.
2 – Real paracord is water and mildew resistant. This means that any water that lands on it will dry up pretty quickly, and it will not be detrimental to the strength of the bracelet in the slightest. On the other hand, fake Paracord is affected by water, and some people have noticed that prolonged exposure to water can actually lead to it becoming even weaker.
3 – Fake paracord is prone to loosening (incredibly quickly in fact) which means that it will just slide off your wrist, and it is going to be pretty useless when it comes to strength. Again, this is not something that you really want to happen. You will also notice that it tends to lose its shape over time.
4 – Real Paracord 550 also tends to be a lot lighter, which is important if you are facing a survival situation. In fact, the specification for this cord means that 225 feed of cord (a huge amount!) will not weigh any more than a pound. As you can guess, the fake cord does not conform to this specification, and as a result, even the smallest of survival bracelets can end up being very heavy.
5 – Fake paracord when melted gives off a different smell when burned or melted. This is usually toxic fumes you don’t get with genuine paracord.
Finally, just because something looks like paracord or is called paracord, it doesn’t mean that it is real deal. Real paracord will be advertised as “Mil-Spec” and should be tested for its strength and other properties. But just because it says so it mightn’t be. Only buy paracord from reputable sellers and if it sounds too cheap, it’s probably fake.