Cross Bands are four-way silicone elastic bands that keep backpacking and camping cook sets closed so the lids don’t rattle when you hike. They also have a million other uses around the home, such as keeping puzzle boxes and game boxes closed, playing cards stacked, and so on. To put them on, wrap one dimension around your pot and then pull the perpendicular strands out to achieve the X-orientation. You’ll get the hang of it very quickly.
Cross Bands are available in multiple sizes that fit cook pots or objects of different diameters and widths:
- 4″ long bands are good for pots/objects 8″-12″ in circumference
- 6″ long bands are good for pots/objects 12″-18″ in circumference (1L Evernew Pasta, 0.9L Evernew)
- 9″ long bands are good for pots/objects 18″-26″ in circumference (0.8L Jetboil, 1.3L Evernew)
- 4″ long bands are good for pots/objects 24″-36″ in circumference
The only downside to using these Cross Bands for backpacking is that they can be easy to lose if you don’t keep close track of them when you take them off. Like all things backpacking, develop a system, and put the bands in the same place whenever you remove it – like in your pocket, or around your wrist or ponytail, so you know where to find it when you need it again! And be sure to buy ones that are very brightly colored, so you can find them if you drop them on the ground.
Weightwise, they are also really light:
- the 4″ cross band weighs 6 grams
- the 6″ cross band weighs 8.1 grams
- the 9″ cross band weighs 14.4 grams
- the 12″ cross band weighs 26.4 grams
Garage Grown gear sells these Cross Bands individually at a substantial markup, or you can buy them directly from the manufacturer in 20-packs in assorted colors with 5 bands of each size on Amazon, which I think is a much better deal, especially since you’ll probably want to try multiple sizes to get a perfect fit and to use them in multiple places.
SectionHiker is reader-supported. We independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our affiliate links. Help us continue to test and write unsponsored and independent gear reviews, beginner FAQs, and free hiking guides.