Lawson Outdoor Equipment’s Reflective Glowire

Why do we need cord? Cord can be used for lots of different things, such as guy lines in which a tent or tarp is staked down with, or for hanging food bags (or even whole packs) once in camp. As well, it’s always great to have a little extra cord handy in your pack which can be used to replace a broken shoe string, or even for tying the sole of your shoe/boot back on until you can make it back off the trail! Of course there are many other reasons to have cord available while on the trail, however, sometimes those needs are not recognized until on the trail…

So, as can be seen, there are plenty of reasons to need cord, so then the question is, which one do I need? There are quite a few, well, let me say, there are quite a lot, of different cords to choose from. Typically (for the uses listed above), the most common sized cord many backpackers carry ranges between 1 – 3 mm in diameter, and depending on thickness, can weigh between 0.5 oz up to around 4 oz per 50 foot hank.

As well, the weight-bearing loads can vary quite a bit, again depending on the cord. Some cords are simply made of nylon (which have lower weight limits, tend to stretch and is usually heavier in weight) while others are made with a spectra or dyneema core (which have pretty high listed weight limits, typically do not stretch and depending on diameter is usually pretty light-weight) and then there are some that is simply 100% dyneema braid which is usually pretty light-weight and has a significant weight-bearing load (although these are not to be used as life saving lines).

A few other things to think about are the color of the line. Do you want a cord that is highly visible, and can be seen easily in low lights, or would you rather have a dark line for some reason or another? How about at night, do you want it to glow if light is shined upon it?

Also, what will you be using the cord for, or with? Keep in mind that the absolutely thin line may be a little hard on the hands for tasks such as pulling a heavy food bag up in a tree. On the other hand, if you plan to use the cord with some of the popular LineLocs, keep in mind what size line will work appropriately with the particular LineLocs you intend to use. So, while going to town to buy cord may seem like a simple thing, just remember, as with anything else, choose the cord which best suit’s it’s intended purpose.

Saying all of this, Lawson has recently introduced some really nice line for sell on his own site, Lawson Outdoor Equipment. In this case, his Reflective Glowire is a high-viz orange color which makes it easy to see in low light, but it is also braided with a 3M reflective tracer which will glow bright when light hits it, making it ideal for tent or tarp guy lines among other things.

From Lawson’s site:

You will never trip over your tent guyline again when you use our highly reflective Glowire.  The cord is 2.0mm double braid that’s suitable for all sorts of backcountry applications including tent guy lines, tarp ridge lines, bear bagging and anything else you can can think of.   The cord is made with a high viz orange nylon jacket and uses a 3M reflective tracer.  The core is a Dyneema/Dacron hybrid blend for low stretch, high strength and the ability to melt into the jacket..  The cord is rated to 225lbs at 6% elongation at break.  Weight: 1.50oz per 50 feet.  The cord works with LineLoc 3’s.

Lawson recently sent me a 50 foot hank of the Reflective Glowire to try out and upon my initial impression, I am pretty happy with it. It came twined around itself and before I unwrapped it, I set it on my scale to see how much it weighed. As delivered, it weighed in at 1.6 oz. Next, I unrolled it and measured out the length which was sent and it came to the specified 50 feet in length.

The cord is indeed easy to see in the daylight hours, and even in low lighting thanks to the bright orange color. So next I took the cord in a dark room and shined a light across it, and as described, the cord lit up! Of course shining the light directly on the cord lit up the entire (orange) cord, however, when the light is not shining directly on the cord, the reflective tracer does indeed light up. Even with a red light, I found the tracer wire to reflect fairly well. This should make it quite easy to spot at night, as long as I have my headlamp on…

At 2 mm in diameter, this is pretty small diameter cord, however, it is listed to work with the LineLoc 3’s (which due to their super easy use, I have grown to love). Once I received the cord, I pulled out some extra LineLoc 3’s that I have on hand and threaded the Glowire through the LineLoc. They worked like a charm!

So, I immediately grabbed my new Six Moon Designs Swift pack and replaced the black compression cords found on each side of the pack with a section of the Glowire. The Swift uses a LineLoc 3 at the top of each side in which the compression cord is ran through and is used to cinch down and hold the compression on the pack, so it is a great thing that this cord works well with the LineLoc’s. Of course I could also point out the fact that I saved 4 grams by changing out the cord on the pack too…  🙂 As well, with this highly reflective cord now on my pack, this will be a great way to spot my pack at night. So, other than on my pack, I plan on using the remainder of the cord to replace the guy lines on my Six Moon Designs Skyscape Trekker tent which I am currently awaiting to come in. Until then, I would like to thank Lawson for giving me the opportunity to try out some of this great cord!

And to everyone else, if you are in the market for some cord, I would highly suggest to look into some of Lawson’s cord. It is a great product, with lots of potential uses. As well, Lawson offers great customer service, which is a great thing in itself.

Thanks for reading!

~Stick~

Disclaimer: I received this complementary Glowire from Lawson Equipment Outdoors, but was under no obligation to review it.

About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
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12 Responses to Lawson Outdoor Equipment’s Reflective Glowire

  1. Wilbur Post says:

    Allow me to correct my assessment of the Glowire. I e-mailed Lawson and he said to try it with a headlamp. When I did this, it glowed very brightly. I also tried it with a brighter flashlight than before. It glowed very adequately then, also. The other light that I used in my critique was not bright enough to make the reflective material “pop”. So my only caveat would be that it takes a moderate to bright light (LED) to get the most from the line.

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    • Stick says:

      Wilbur,

      Glad you got it sorted out. I have been using a ZebraLight H51 for the last couple of years now, and even set on low low (0.2 lumens,IIRC) mine has always lit right up. However, with that low of a light level, of course I have to be close… that little light will not travel far.

      ~Stick~

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  2. Wilbur Post says:

    I bought 50″ feet of this line. It does NOT glow; in direct or indirect light. Save your money.

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    • Stick says:

      Wilbur,

      I have approximately 300 feet of Lawson’s Glowire, in all colors, and I can guarantee that it does indeed “glow.” However, I may need to clarify that it is not “glow in the dark” but rather it is very highly reflective when light does hit it.

      This makes me wonder if you have actual Glowire though. Can you tell if there are tracers in it? There should be 2 tracers that are woven throughout the cord, and is quite easy to notice. Either way though, I would suggest to contact Lawson if you have issues with your line, and I am quite sure that he would be happy to take care of the issue.

      Hope this helps.

      ~Stick~

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  3. Forrest says:

    Does this actually glow in the dark, or is it just reflective?

    I got some PMI Niteline which is both, and this was recommended to me.

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    • Stick says:

      Forrest,

      No, the Glowire does not actually glow. It has 2 tracers woven into the cord that will light up pretty good though when light hits it at night.

      If you are looking for some highly reflective line though, I recommend this. It is some good cord, and Lawson is a good guy to deal with, not to mention it is very fairly priced.

      ~Stick~

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  4. Dave J. says:

    Yeah, I did not see that cordage on the website, but I think Zpacks has something similar I may check out for high tensile strength applications.

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    • Stick says:

      Dave,

      The cord is not on his home page. Click on the Products link and it will show up there. However, at the moment it is listed as out of stock.

      ~Stick~

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  5. Dave J. says:

    Got mine in today. Looks like some great stuff.

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    • Stick says:

      Dave,

      What will you be using your cord for?

      ~Stick~

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    • Dave J. says:

      Right now I plan to use it as my extra carry cord. My tent already has reflective guy lines, so this will act as spare cordage, shoe lace, etc… It is 2 oz lighter than the equivalent length of 550 para cord. Now you are giving up strength, but I do not feel I need the ability to hold 550lbs of anything. I will bring a rope and harness if that were the case.

      Though, I have considered using some to wrap the handle of my orange ESEE Izula (a great lightweight knife if you have not checked one out), to make the whole kit obscenely orange and impossible to lose day or night.

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    • Stick says:

      Right now I am carrying about 24 feet of Laswons 100% Dyneema cord which has a breaking strength of something like 900 pounds. This amount weighs 0.8 oz.

      I have came across those knives. Pretty interesting. I made a mental note of them… I would say go for wrapping the handle since you plan to carry both the knife and the rope anyway. I would think that it make it easier to keep up with both the rope and the knife…

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