Pre-Coiled Survival Cord May Rival 550 Cord

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A company known as GEARWARD is offering compact spools of low-bulk survival cord that’s stronger than battle-tested 550 cord, GEARWARD officials boast.

To me, 550 cord has no equal. It’s strong, compact and easy to work with. But it’s more than that — 550 cord is used as suspension lines on tactial parachutes. It’s a common thread between paratroopers and parachutists — past, present and future.

Having said that, I’m always open to new ideas. GEARWARD founder, Mark Greenman, recently reached out to us about his new Compact Survival Cord products, and I have to say they do look interesting.

Compact Survival Cord “represents a serious leap forward when compared to traditional 550 paracord. By combining high-tech cordage with a unique spool design, CSC allows the soldier to carry far more cordage than was previously possible, and most importantly, allows them to deploy it at a moments notice,” Greenman said. “Compared to traditional 550 Paracord, CSC is significantly smaller and lighter – while still being strong enough to count on in an emergency.”

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GEARWARD offers three versions of CSC.

The Small is the high performance version of CSC. It’s the heaviest in the line and similar in size to 550 cord. It contains 50 feet T600_vs__550_grandeof Technora line, which has a break strength of over 600 pounds, in a package small enough to fit in your back pocket.

The Mini is the most popular version of the CSC lineup, GEARWARD officials maintain. It contains 60 feet of 200-pound test Kevlar line, in a package smaller than a can of chewing tobacco. This allows you to carry a tremendous amount of cord in either your pocket or your gear bag.

The Micro is the smallest version of the CSC lineup. It contains 25 feet of Kevlar line.

The 200-pound Kevlar line is made of 3 twisted Kevlar strands. When broken down, 60 feet of Kevlar 200 line produces 180 feet of Kevlar thread, with a break strength of approximately 60 pounds. This Kevlar thread can be used for sewing, fishing, or shelter building.

The CSC-Small will cost you $15. The Mini size costs $10. The Micro size comes in a two pack for $10.

About the Author

Matthew Cox
Matthew Cox has been a defense reporter since 1998 and is an associate editor for Military.com. He traveled to Afghanistan and Iraq numerous times from 2002 to 2008, covering infantry units in combat. Matthew was an infantryman in the 82nd Airborne Division.
  • Jpate

    The unique part of this is the holder. Simple plastic that collapses on itself to hold the line, can be used to rewind the cord onto, and is easily carried. Yes the cord can be found cheaper, along with the holder. But gearward is putting all together in a nice package. No affiliation with them, just like the package they put together.

  • moondawg

    When it is certified and used on parachutes, I will adopt it.

    • Mark Greenman

      Hi Moondawg, while it’s not certified for parachutes, Technora is currently being used for aerial surveillance balloons, as well as in underground fracking (pretty random.) Kevlar is the same material used in soft body armor, and is currently the survival cord specified for the Navy Seals new survival kits. So while not as prolific as paracord, these cords have been extensively field tested, which is why I chose them for CSC.

  • ReconMan

    The individual Kevlar cords have superior cutting capability. 550 cord is hard to beat, and is readily available in those gigantic spools units order through the supply system. No doubt the answer is to use 550 as we always have, and add some of these Kevlar cords for special purposes. The packaging is interesting.

    • mark greenman

      Hi ReconMan, that’s always been my intention with CSC. I still love paracord, and use it extensively. CSC is not intended to replace 550, it’s designed to offer an alternative source of convenient, high strength cord when it would be impractical or inconvenient to carry a larger hank of paracord.

  • bombbuster72

    I’m a fan of Samson, Dyneema, 4mm cord. It’s lightweight, about the same diameter as 550, it floats, and it’s rated at 1,000 lbs! It expensive; very expensive, but if you need strength in a small package, it’s the way to go.

    For any of you EOD techs, it’s the line that comes in the Zero Point, TRP100 and 200 kits.

    • kevin

      Went on Samson’s website and can’t find it?

  • MiamiC70

    Technora line is available online at many boating / rigging websites.

  • BLACK

    Buying some.
    Who can argue with adding another tool to the box.

  • James

    Doesn’t Kevlar deteriorate in water? Or at least weaken. Isn’t that one of the reasons body armor is in a protective cover? I’ll stick to para-cord and because I have so much of it already.

  • IAC

    I see the 550 cord and the spiral as having different uses. AFA the Small size goes, I’d rather have the 550.
    You can use it as is or do the famous 550 disassembly !