I have a large collection of bungees spread around my various vehicles. Red ones, green ones and blue ones. I have a black one somewhere too. But one thing that has always vexed me is that, despite the range available, they always either too long or too short for a particular job.
So when the Nite Ize Knot Bone dropped through my letterbox it got an audible ‘ooh’ in appreciation of its cleverness.
What you get is a 5mm thick bungee cord (also available in 9mm thick) with moulded plastic hooks on each end. The hooks are closed and braced by stainless steel springs. Nite Ize are rightfully careful to point out that these MUST be able to snap fully shut for safety reasons. Without them, the plastic could shatter under strain and ping off into the distance.
The bungee cord itself passes through the hook and back on itself where it uses friction and then a simple retaining U-shaped feature to lock into position. It’s a very simple and elegant solution, and means that the 5mm bungee can vary in length from 70cm to 15cm and retain a great degree of stretch and clamping force at any length between those.
I was trying to think of a way to properly test the Knot Bone when the Gods conspired and presented me with the perfect opportunity.
Deep in the bowels of a Welsh valley, 15 miles from the nearest town on a bank holiday weekend the hatchback boot-lid of a friend’s car decided that it wanted to be an eagle and flatly refused to lock shut. Its efforts to reach for the sky instead of holding in bags of food, tents, sleeping bags and beer were admirable, but not particularly useful, so we needed to devise a way of holding it shut long, and securely enough for my friends to get home.
Using all of the bungees we could cobble together, we rigged up a fairly decent eagle-trap, but it needed one final bungee to hold the whole lot together under just-the-right tension. The Knot Bone was perfect.
The friction locks used by Nite Ize to hold the bungee cord in place at variable lengths are secure and easy to use, the carabiner-style ends are also a doddle and the quality of the bungee (even the skinny 5mm version) seemed excellent.
The only change I could consider for the Knot Bone would be to provide a J-shaped metal hook, rather than the carabiner-style. And that’s merely because there tend to be more opportunities to hook things over than hook things around. Certainly on a motorbike, bicycle or tree-branch I’d prefer J-shaped hooks.
At £4.45 for the 5mm bungee, and £8.85 for the 9mm bungee, the Knot Bone is massively more expensive than traditional cheap bungees. But the quality and usefulness of the Knot Bone justifies at least some of that cost, if not all of it.
SUMMARY: The Nite Ize Knot Bone is rather ingenious, and easy to use. It’s a quality bit of kit and a welcome addition to my bungee collection. The carabiner-style hooks work very well, but I’d like to see a metal J-shaped hook instead, purely because I find them more useful.
From: Lakeland Bushcraft