If you didn’t know, ball bungees are a thousand uses in one – they can be applied to various situations, from tarping to setting up a tent, to tying up a hammock and even keeping your hair up in a bun or ponytail.
We’re all about tarps here, so we’re going to discuss their various uses with a heavy emphasis on tarp usage, tying them down, stringing them up, and everything in between.
Before we get started, let’s dive into the anatomy of a ball bungee, describe what it is, and how you’re going to be able to use them.
What is a Ball Bungee?
A ball bungee is a bungee cord that is cut at both ends. It is then looped around and both ends are pulled through a plastic or wooden ball. On the other end of the ball, both ends are tied together to prevent it from slipping back through.
You now have a loop of bungee cords that can be fastened with the ball to provide temporary harness for small objects, or used to tie down a tarp to a roof, truck bed, or tent stake.
Some ball bungees are made with a wooden ball on one end instead of plastic.
While plastic is usually more durable in many situations, stained woods have more crush resistance, so if you end up using your tarp in the bed of your pickup truck while hauling something from one place to another, your plastic bungees might crack or break while your wooden bungees are going to be okay.
How do You Tie a Ball Bungie?
You’re basically going to have to tie it to itself. Pull the loop of the bungee cable around whatever you’re trying to secure, and pull it back over the ball bungee like a mount. You can do this to secure a small item, like a bluetooth speaker, or to tie two items together.
You can tie two ball bungees together if you need a longer cord. Simply lay them both horizontally, with the balls on either end (not the center), and loop them through each other. Pull tight, and you have an extended bungee that you can use for other ways.
What Are Bungee Straps Used for?
In short, you’ll see people using bungee cables to secure something without puncturing it.
You can secure a tarp to the back of your truck with bungee cables (usually ones that have hooks), but you wouldn’t want to drill a hole in your truck just to have an embedded hook to hold onto that bungee cable. You can do a lot with bungee straps, including:
- Securing a Tarp: You knew this was coming. You can secure tarps with bungee straps as well as with ball bungees. The difference is that bungee straps are less adjustable, so you actually have to look for a size that coincides with your project if you want the line to be taut.
- Tie-Downs: A bungee cord can be used to secure just about anything. With a heavy duty cable, you can hold boxes down so they don’t roll around in the trunk, or keep a fragile item in the perfect position during transit.
- Keeping Things Shut: Ever been on the highway, and you see furniture poking out of a little sedan’s trunk with cables keeping it shut? Those are bungee cables. While this isn’t a good thing to do, you can use bungee cables more responsibly to keep something closed, like a cabinet door with a faulty hinge or something along those lines.
How Big Are Ball Bungee Loops?
Most ball bungees are about 6” x 5”, meaning the loop will be enough to cover a 6” x 5” area without requiring too much stretching.
If you’re wondering why you would even need to consider this due to the ways bungee cables stretch, it’s simply because you don’t want to operstress them.
Bungee cables are excellent at holding things in place under great tension, but just because you can use them with immense pressure doesn’t mean you should.
Only use the amount of force that is needed. If your project has a smaller circumference than that, you can just wrap the ball bungee around twice to make up for it.
Ball bungees do come in different sizes, such as 6” loops up to 11” loops – they just depend on the specific task. You wouldn’t want to have an 11” loop to secure a few small objects together.
How Strong Are Bungee Cords?
The cords used in ball bungees are just like bungee cable cords. Depending on the material and diameter, they can hold a lot of weight.
Your average ⅛” diameter cable can hold about a hundred pounds of pressure. A half-inch bungee cord should be able to hold between four-hundred and five-hundred pounds before it snaps.
Industrial bungee cables are known to hold up to two tons (4,000 lbs) of pressure before snapping, but those aren’t something you’re going to find yourself using anytime soon.
Are Bungee Cables UV Resistant?
Yes. You’d be hard-pressed to find a ball bungee that wasn’t UV resistant.
Most of them are made out of polyurethane, in the middle, and a cross woven fabric on the outside that can stretch with it. Not only does this help prevent UV rays, but it takes a while for the color to fade in the sun as well.
Bungee cables aren’t invincible, though: they’re treated with a chemical substance that prevents cracking and damage when they stretch, which also helps resist as much water as possible, and protect them from harmful UV rays.
How do You Secure a Tarp With Ball Bungees?
You have eyelet holes in the tarp, but they don’t only need to be used for stakes or ropes. That’s where your ball bungee comes in handy. Simply pull the bungee cord itself through the eyelet in your tarp once you have the tarp positioned where you want it.
Pull through until the ball presses against the eyelet. Wrap the bungee cable around the pole that you’re using.
You might have to wrap it around here twice (which will look like four lines of bungee cable against the pole). At the end, pull the end of the loop nice and tight back over the ball bungee. This will hold it in place perfectly.
Other Uses for Ball Bungees
We love tarps here, but ball bungees are not just a tarp-only purchase: you can find so many uses for them. We;ve listed a few here just to show you how versatile a ball bungee can really be.
1. Mounting a Carabiner
You’re constantly finding ways to hang your carabiners up to get more utility out of them.
Well, if you use the double knot method we talked about earlier to make a double length ball bungee, you can secure it like a clothesline. From there, latch your carabiners onto it, and you can hang whatever you need from it.
2. Camping Clothesline
While we’re on the subject, whether you use those carabiners or not, you can create that double knot bungee and hang clothes over it so that they can dry throughout the day.
This is extremely helpful during camping if you’re on a three-day trip and plan on going swimming. Hang garments up after you’ve washed them or gone for a swim, and just let the sun dry them. Don’t worry; the bungee cable can handle the moisture without being damaged.
3. Securing Firewood
Hunting for brittle sticks in the woods to make a campfire?
Carrying them back is a chore, and you always end up getting snagged by the ends of the sticks or branches. Instead of all that, just bring a few ball bungees along.
You can simply pull the ball bungee over the kindling stack, secure it, and carry it back by holding onto the ball. No more cutting against your legs and making you wonder why you wore cargo shorts on your trip.
4. Temporary Fixes
Just got in a fender bender?
You can use a ball bungee to keep the hood closed if the latch is busted, or keep the bumper from falling off so you can get home. These temporary fixes are the times that you’re glad you had a ball bungee available.
You can also use them to secure tarps over items in your yard if wind is coming in, or hold something together to prevent it from buckling, like a damaged gate.
5. Securing Furniture
You’re moving, and you know that hauling your furniture is a pain in the neck and a half. It slides, it bangs against other stuff in the back of your truck, and it drives you nuts.
You can individually secure the legs of a chair or table with separate ball bungees, so long as you have something to anchor them to. Since you already have the ball bungees on hand, you don’t have to pay for packaging materials or anything along those lines.
6. Cable Management System
Your TV setup has the soundbar, the television, PlayStation – the list goes on. That cable situation back there is a mess, so whether it’s that or the cable underneath your computer desk, you can slip them all through a ball bungee cable to keep them in one place.
Double tie this around and pull it taut around the ball, and the cables will stay together no matter what. No more zip ties that put you at-risk for cutting your cables when you have to eventually undo those zip ties.
7. Cooler Lids
It’s summertime, you’re in charge of bringing the drinks, and you don’t want your cooler to leak. What are you going to do?
You have to keep that lid tied down so it doesn’t splash on the highway while it’s in the back of your truck. You can not only secure a cooler with ball bungees, but you can keep the lid closed so that nothing comes up.
8. Roof Rack Security
You could be on a trip, or just buying stuff from the hardware store that doesn’t fit in the trunk; it doesn’t matter, but your roof rack isn’t going to be the magic fix. You need to secure something around your materials and then onto the roof rack, and ball bungees are perfect for that.
Depending on what you’re hauling, you might need two to four ball bungees to really strap it down. Thankfully, they’re inexpensive on their own, and extremely easy to set up and take down.
9. Oh No Handle
Well, we call it something different, but the “oh no” handle in your car can have a ball bungee secured to it.If the radio is out, you can hang a speaker here.
If you’re sick of dropping your phone on the floor, you can hang it up here while you drive. It’s the perfect spot in your car just waiting to be messed with; what other creative ideas will you apply to it?
10. Tool Shed Grouping
There’s a stack of shovels just in the corner, standing straight up, making it impossible to move around and find what you’re looking for. One ball bungee on the top, one on the bottom, and you can group all of these things together.
The great thing about this is that you can just undo the bungee very easily to pull a tool out, and then put them all back. No sweat.
11. Decking the Halls
Christmas lights look fantastic on fences and posts, but nobody wants to put staples through them to make them stay in place. Either that, or they keep slipping off of the chain link fence in the front yard, and won’t stay put. Ball bungees to the rescue.
You can use these are key points, such as either end of a fence, to secure a strand of lights in place. These can also be used to secure air compressors being used for those large, inflatable festive characters outside.
12. Keep a Lid on it
Raccoons going through your trash and making a mess every night?
Whether it’s them or the neighbor’s dog, you can’t let it continue to happen. You can use a ball bungee to secure a lid down, even if you have to drill a quarter-sized hole in through the lid to make it happen. Just be sure to take it off before the garbage truck shows up.
13. Strap Down Bags on ATVs and Jet Skis
If you’re into a bit of off-road frenzy, or you like to kick up the waves with a jet ski, you can secure a bag to the side of either of these and have it available when you reach your destination.
You have to make sure there are effective anchor spots. If there are, this is a non-invasive, strong way to hold onto your bag or belongings while you travel.
This is a popular solution for hunters who go into the woods on their ATVs and sit up in a tree stand, although depending on the weight of your backpack, it might take a little bit more than one ball bungee to get the job done.
14. During Construction and Renovation
This is one of the most versatile uses of ball bungees for sure. If you’re renovating your home, first of all, I’m sorry about how stressful it is. A few ball bungees can help lighten the load.
Hang up flood lights, hang cables up nice and high, or group small materials together to help keep things a little more organized.
15. Keeping a Camera Steady
No problem. You can use a piece of wood, a ladder rung, or just about anything to secure your camera to. If you want to avoid it shaking and make sure it’s not going to fall and break, you can secure it with a ball bungee to give you that peace of mind.
16. Crates are Secure
If you’re bringing Fido along for a long-distance move, or you’re bringing your feline friend back home from the vet, you want their kennel/carrier to stay nice and secure.
We don’t want to scare the little fluffy ones. Use two ball bungees, one in adjacent corners, to keep it from sliding around while you guys are moving.
Ball Bungee Aficionado
You know everything that you need to know about ball bungees, and why they’re useful for tarps.
They might just be one of the most versatile pieces of equipment that you can have for a multitude of reasons, whether it’s camping, tarping, or even just hanging things up in your house without using a nail to do it.
They go beyond their intended purpose. To find a great selection of ball bungees available right now, check out our page and discover the right ball bungees for you.