Planning a hunting trip or scouting adventure comes second nature to me. I plan like a Boy Scout and try to be as prepared as I possibly can. Having some 550 paracord in my pack is always a must, and when 2 Monkey Trading LLC contacted me to review their Cobrabraid products I thought this might be an option to reduce the extra paracord in my pack, so I happily agreed.
After using the Cobrabraid guidelines to measure my wrists, I sent in my measurements. I waited only a couple weeks and a package arrived with a bracelet with Velcro, a zip bracelet and a keychain. I immediately put one of the bracelets on my wrist to check for fit and comfort. To my surprise, it was over an inch too large! The second followed suit. I contacted Cobrabraid and they mentioned they had added a bit more anticipating I would need it. I found that a bit presumptuous and feel that they should stick with what they specify in their guidelines. Personally, I like my paracord bracelets somewhat snug on my wrist. I do not like it flopping around and sliding up my wrist like a bad watch band.
Cobrabraid was very good about sending me new product at the correct size. These fit much better, but were still slightly large. One of the recommendations for any paracord bracelet, and one that Cobrabraid also mentions, is to soak the bracelet in water and allow it to dry. This should help it shrink a bit. I did exactly that and the bracelet did shrink slightly. It now fit exactly how I needed it to fit.
Instead of using the ever popular Velcro strap, regular paracord bracelet for my full review, I chose the Zipbraid paracord bracelet. This one fit a bit better and I wanted to try to utilize the metal clasp for a project. The metal clasp has a bolt that goes through the eyelet and screws in to lock it into place.
My Zipbraid bracelet came in handy a few weeks ago when I was hanging trail cameras. I found a tree that was in a perfect spot to hang the camera, but I need to reenforce the camera to the tree. I placed the camera in position and unclasped the bracelet. With the zip, you don't have to cut anything, which made this VERY efficient. You do, however, have to take out the metal clasp by unscrewing the bolt, pulling it out, and then sliding the clasp out from the loop. Then, I was able to flip over the small paracord loop securing the end and then pull on the ends of the cord to unravel it. It took me all of about five seconds. I tied off one end to a eyelet on the camera and proceeded to wrap the paracord around the tree and surrounding branches.
I left the clasp attached to the other end of the paracord and used that to secure the trail camera closed. This wasn't necessary, but gave me an opportunity to see how well the clasp worked. I set the clasp in place and suddenly the bolt slipped from my fingers into the overgrown brush below. No good! After searching for a few seconds I did find it. This could have been avoided had the bolt been attached to the bracelet with a piece of thread. There is a small eyelet in the end where this would be logical to do. I flipped the buckle over and placed the bolt in the hole. This allowed the bolt to go from top to bottom. It worked great, but not having it secured to the cord could have been a disaster!
When checking my trail cam two weeks later, the paracord worked great at holding the camera in place. The clasp worked nicely, too. It was unnecessary to really use in that situation, but I wanted to try it anyway.
After using both types of bracelets, the Velcro strap and the metal clasp, I would have to say that I liked the Velcro connector better. I am not a huge fan of Velcro when hunting, as it makes a considerable amount of noise, but the plastic and Velcro made more sense to use vs. the metal clasp. It's less bulky, temperature won't affect it and it doesn't make much of a noise it it hits metal.
Now for the sticker shock. The regular paracord bracelet is $9.99, whereas the Zipbraid bracelet retails for $19.99. Yikes! I can see paying $9.99 for the one bracelet, but I'd be hard pressed to spend $20 on one with a metal clasp/buckle unless I really needed it. I can see why the Velcro is so popular! In my opinion, as a budget conscious hunter, the regular paracord bracelet with Velcro is better suited for the hunting community.
As a family-owned business and one who listens to customers, I would definitely recommend 2 Monkey Trading LLC and their Cobrabraid products to others. They were very good about sharing information, replacing the product and answering any questions I had. I like being prepared like a Boy Scout and will be wearing one of the regular Cobrabraid bracelets into the woods this hunting season. I just hope I never REALLY have to use it!