Lawson Glowire | High-Viz Cordage

Lawson Glowire
Lawson Glowire in natural lighting.

I love cord. Most of you already know this. It's good that I do because I seem to have accumulated an awful lot of it over the years. Luckily, there are literally thousands of clever uses for the stuff as any good paracord addict knows. I don't want to go off on a paracord project tangent right now, I could, but I have to stay focused...

One particular type of cord that I am especially fond of is reflective cord. Reflective cord has, until recently, always meant Kelty Triptease to me. It's been my guyline of preference for so many years that I've lost count of how many 50-foot hanks of it I've purchased. Triptease is excellent for use as guylines, it's strong, holds a not well, and is easily visible at night to stop you tripping over it. It's also great for adding to knives as lanyards and to smaller pieces of backpacking gear, like titanium sporks or a Kupilka, that are hard to spot when dropped on the ground. A small piece of Triptease is easy to spot on the ground even in the dark by quickly sweeping your headlamp across the floor.

Kelty Triptease
Kelty Triptease in natural lighting.

However, Kelty's dominance of the high-viz guyline market is about to end, in my opinion, because of a suprior product that is custom made in the USA by Lawson Outdoor Equipment.

Lawson Glowire™
Let me start by saying that Glowire is not a reproduced, rebranded, or repacked version of Kelty Triptease. I've seen reproduced copies of Triptease (of which there are several) and Glowire is most definitely not one of these.

Glowire vs. Triptease
Glowire (left) and Triptease (right) with a camera flash.

As soon as I handled Glowire I could feel the differences between it and Triptease. Glowire has a much smoother surface texture because of its high-tenacity low-abrasion nylon jacket. It's not totally slick and holds a knot exceptionally well, but it is definitely smoother than Triptease (something to consider if you plan to use either of these cord as bear bagging ropes).

Lawson Glowire™
Close up of the Glowire weave and dual 3M tracer strands.

In addition to adding an extra level of abrasion resistance, the nylon jacket inhibits UV light to protect the strands of the inner core and make your cord last longer. As you can see in the macro photo above, there are two strands of genuine 3M reflective tracer running evenly throughout the entire weave.

The inner core of Glowire is also quite different than its competitors. It uses five parallel strands that are made of a custom dyneema/dacron hybrid to provide increased tensile strength and specially formulated to melt into the nylon jacket when heated. One of my pet peeves about Triptease is that no matter how well you try to melt together the strands of a cut end with your Bic mini lighter, the jacket and inner core always end up separating after not very long. Glowire does not have this problem (thank you Lawson).

Glowire is 2mm in diameter (which will work with LineLoc 3's) and weighs a mere 1.5oz per 50-feet hank. It has a tensile strength of 225lbs. Triptease is a 3mm cord rated at 188lbs. Glowire costs $10.00 (with free shipping!) whereas Triptease is $15.00.

I'll like to add that Lawson Kline has gone through ten different variations of design and manufacturing of this cord in order to arrive at a product he is finally satisfied with. This is a totally unique version of reflective cord that you will only find on Lawson's site.

Glowire by the Numbers:
Diameter: 2mm
Length: 50-feet hanks
Breaking Strength: 225lbs
Material: Dyneema/Dacron hybrid core
Tracer: Dual 3M reflective tracers
Color: High viz orange
Weight: 1.5oz per 50-feet
Cost: $10.00 with free shipping

Kelty Triptease
Diameter: 3mm
Length: 50-feet hanks
Breaking Strength: 188lbs
Material: Dyneema core
Tracer: Single 3M reflective tracer
Color: Gold
Weight: 1.9oz per 50-feet
Cost: $15.00

Lawson Glowire
Glowire illuminated by the flash of my camera.

I've been using Glowire as my primary guyline cord for a couple of months now having replaced all instances of Triptease. It's such a high quality cord that I've had absolutely no issues with it in all that time. That's kinda boring, but in this case it's a good boring.

I've inspected my new guylines a couple of times during several trips with my SpinnTwinn tarp and have noticed no issues with fraying or abrasion wear. The original Gossamer Gear EZC2 guyline that came with my SpinnTwinn tarp had a real problem snagging on branches and leaves for some reason and was already showing some significant signs of wear.

I know there are several other types of high-visibility reflective guylines available on the market such as; Gossamer Gear EZC2 (mentioned), Viper Equinox, MSR, and Nite Ize RR-04-50 to name a few - but I have not had any hands-on experience with any of them. If you have used other hi-viz cords please let me know what you think of them in the comments below.

Disclaimer: The author specifically asked for a sample of Glowire from Lawson Equipment Outdoors to test, but was under no obligation to review it. But he'll be buying a whole s#$@ load more soon!

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