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MSR Ultralight Cord

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: MSR Ultralight Cord guy line

This reflective cord is easy to tie knots, making it ideal for guy lines. The 2.5mm thickness is thick enough to work knots loose without a hassle, and is high visibility both night and day for easy spotting.


  • Easy to work with (tying, working knots loose)
  • Highly reflective


  • Not long enough to hang a bear bag (look up MSR's Reflective Utility Cord Kit instead)
  • Provided length may not be enough to furnish needed guy line

MSR (Mountain Safety Research) has an extensive product line—not only tents, stoves, and water treatment, but accessories galore are available for every subcategory. When a shelter does not come with all the needed guy line, MSR’s Ultralight Cord is an excellent product to assist with stabilizing one’s shelter or tarp.

MSR carries a wide range of affordable accessories


  • Price: $19.95 USD
  • Length: 32 ft /10 meters
  • Thickness: 2.5 mm
  • Tensile Strength: 200 lb.
  • Reflective: Yes

For those that prefer knots to cam tensioning, working with this line is extremely easy. Not only does this save weight, the lifespan of the cordage is also maximized—many metal (even plastic) tensioning tools wear the outer sheathing. 

High contrast colors make the cord easy to spot in daylight

This Ultralight Cord was put to use on the Front Range Tarp Shelter using only two common knots—the Bowline, and the Taut-Line Hitch. The Bowline attaches the guy-out point on the shelter.

Bowline knot used to attach to guy-out loop

The Taut-Line Hitch is an easy-to-adjust adjustable line, allowing the user to lengthen the guy line as needed to secure the shelter. 

Taut-Line hitch makes an easily adjustable guy-line

Note: MSR offers a Reflective Utility Cord Kit that includes four CamRing tensioners. One of the primary strengths of the MSR Ultralight Cord is its highly reflective design. This comes in extremely handy during the night, when a weary traveler can easily miss spotting the guy lines.

Note: The MSR Reflective Utility Cord Kit is not only reflective as well, but is much longer (15m/49.2'). For those planning on using the cord for hanging a bear bag, this extra length is worth the $3. 

This 10m/32' cord may not be enough cord for adjustable guy lines. In the case of the MSR Front Range Tarp Shelter, the four lines are only eight feet, which is essentially halved when adjusted to their shortest length. 

Ultralight cord at night used with the MSR Front Range Ultralight Tarp Shelter

Construction & Durability

This high quality cord has been constructed with long-term durability in mind. Although only currently used for approximately three months, this cord looks to be built to last for a very long time. 



The MSR Ultralight Cord has been tested from May 2020 to present, specifically as guy line cordage for the MSR Front Range Ultralight Tarp Shelter. Testing has been limited during the COVID-19 Pandemic; this review will be updated as the product sees additional use.



The tester has been a knot-preferred outdoor enthusiast for several decades. Whether it is lashing a hammock or ground sleeping with a minimalist tarp, a whoopie-sling or carabiner will be hard to find!

Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Samples for testing and review provided by MSR)

About the Author

Sean Van Cleve spends much of his free time as a backcountry guide in the mid-Atlantic USA. A certified Leave No Trace Trainer and Wilderness First Responder, Sean focuses on outdoor education with friends and clients alike. Whether it is recreational high-pointing, section hiking on the Appalachian Trail, or leading multi-day backcountry trips in West Virginia, practicing outdoor ethics is at the forefront of the experience—preserving the land for future generations. 

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Price MSRP: $19.95
Current Retail: $18.17-$25.95
Historic Range: $9.93-$25.95
Size 2.5 mm
Weight 1.5 oz /0.04 kg
Length 384 in /975 cm
Product Details from MSR »

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