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Best Tow Straps: Be Ready for Anything

Never get stuck out on the trails with these great tow straps

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BY/ LAST UPDATED ON November 12, 2021
Best Tow Straps: Be Ready for Anything

If you’ve ever been off-roading or worked with heavy equipment, you know that something unexpected can happen in the blink of an eye. Stuck or rolled vehicles are drastic outcomes and recovering those vehicles can be challenging. There isn’t always time or space to bring specialty vehicles to help you recover, not to mention how expensive that would be. Like all things, preparation is key, and carrying a tow strap keeps you ready for anything. These nylon straps are engineered with incredible strength and durability, making them a simple solution for towing your dead vehicles. Whether you’ll need them for yourself or to help someone else, recovery or towing, everyone will be better off with a tow strap in your emergency kit. So let’s talk about our top picks.

How We Selected The Products

We carefully selected each tow strap based on performance criteria, price point, and their respective brand’s history of reliability. Tow straps come in varying sizes, but to give you the best comparison, we only selected straps of the same size. We avoided selecting product bundles, as each manufacturer offers different bundles that make comparisons difficult. 

We also looked at the strap’s working load limit and breaking point to ensure it would be capable of any task you’d need it for. The pricing for each strap had to be affordable, ruling out extravagantly priced products. We avoided straps with attachment hardware included, as the type of hardware for attaching tends to be a personal preference and/or situation-dependent. 

Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.

Best Tow Straps Reviews & Recommendations

If you’re anything like us, you want the best bang for your buck. Gear America offers just that with its Heavy Duty Tow Strap. Made with high tensile polyester (PES) and military grade webbing, it has a maximum breaking strength of 35,000 pounds and is moisture- and UV-resistant to offer an extended life of usage. 


With a working load limit (WLL) rating of 10,000 pounds, it’s hard to believe this strap is so affordable. The double web, reinforced loop ends fight abrasion and protect your equipment. And it’s backed by a lifetime warranty, but Gear America goes an extra step by donating a percentage of profits to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Nice.

Specs:

  • 3 in. W x 20 ft. L
  • High tensile polyester
  • 35,000-pound breaking strength

Pros:

  • 10,000-pound WLL
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Oversized storage bag included

Cons:

  • Only 20 feet long

For most products, when you get something cheap, it’s not as strong and doesn’t last as long as high-priced products. TGL’s Tow Strap is the exception to that rule. With a 30,000-pound rating, this beefy three-inch strap features a visible wear bar along its 20-foot length to indicate usage. 


Its reinforced loops fight abrasions at your attachment points and the strap is constructed from polyester material. Not only that, this strap is UV-resistant and rugged enough to get the job done. Nor will you have to shell out an arm and a leg for this strap, as it’s easily one of the most value-oriented straps on this list. 

Specs:
  • 3 in. W x 20 ft. L
  • 30,000-pound rating

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly pricing
  • 10,000-pound WLL
  • Reusable storage strap included
  • Visible wear bar to indicate the use

Cons:

  • Only 20 feet long
  • Slightly weaker than competitors

You need a strap that can handle whatever you throw at it, and that is exactly what Rhino USA has made. At three-inches thick by 20-feet long, this strap has plenty of strength for hauling and is rated with a 10,663-pound WLL. Of course, if you like to live dangerously, it also has a lab-tested 31,518-pound breaking strength, but we don’t suggest testing that out. 


Each loop has triple reinforced looped ends and is vibrant green, which contrasts nicely with the black strap. To make stowing a cinch, Rhino USA includes a heavy-duty drawstring bag, helping to keep your cab clean too. What makes this strap a premium pick is Rhino USA’s promise to refund your money if you’re not satisfied “for any reason.” That’s a heck of a guarantee.

Specs:
  • 3 in. W x 20 ft. L
  • Lab-tested 31,518-pound breaking strength
  • Poly/silk webbing
  • Reinforced loops

Pros:

  • 10,663-pound working load limit
  • Triple reinforced loops
  • Affordable pricing

Cons:

  • Only 20 feet long
  • Slightly weaker than competitors

AllTop’s Nylon Recovery Strap sports excellent performance at a reasonable cost and isn't our number-one pick only because it is priced slightly above the Gear America strap. This 3-inch strap also has a 35,000-pound breaking strength, giving you a WLL rating of 11,666 pounds. 


Colored bright orange for high visibility, this strap is made from 100-percent nylon. The N66 material gives extra elasticity for increased kinetic properties suitable for recoveries. Just below the triple-reinforced loop ends are neoprene protector sleeves to prevent abrasion and protect your hardware. It is, however, only 20 feet long, which can limit its capabilities. 

Specs:
  • 3 in. W x 20 ft. L
  • Nylon construction
  • Kinetic snatch strap

Pros:

  • 11,666-pound WLL
  • 22 percent elasticity
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Only 20 feet long

Changing the game of vehicle towing and recovery, Bubba Rope offers a different solution. Traditional straps are heavy and add weight to your vehicle when carried. In rough terrain and on soft ground, pounds matter, which is why the Power Stretch Recovery Rope weighs less than two ounces. You read that right.


Its breaking strength is certified at 28,600-pounds, giving you a WLL of around 9,500-pounds, which is ideal for SUVs and small trucks. Its 7/8-inch body is constructed from double braided nylon and absorbs the shock of recoveries. Coated with a vinyl polymer protectant these ropes can withstand abrasion, weather, and UV rays to offer an extended life of use. That seems like a perfect recipe for both SUVs, trucks, and UTVs.

Specs:
  • 7/8 in. W x 20 ft. L
  • Double braided nylon rope

Pros:

  • Weighs less than tow straps
  • Water-, UV-, & abrasion-resistant
  • Absorbs the shock of recovery

Cons:

  • Not as strong as traditional straps
  • Higher price point

Buying Guide/What to Look For 

Towing requirements vary by vehicle and site conditions making it vital to select a tow strap that can get the job done. Here are some quick tips to help you select the right strap for your needs. 

  • Breaking Strength: This is the maximum amount of force the strap can handle before breaking. It’s not recommended to use straps close to this rating, this is a safety factor. The higher the breaking strength means the higher your WLL (working load limit). 
  • Working Load Limit: This is the recommended weight to use with the product. Generally, this is one-third of the breaking strength. The higher your WLL, the more the strap can do for you. 
  • Material: Not all materials perform the same. Some materials, like nylon, stretch under pressure and give the strap a kinetic feature. Other materials, like polyester, are less flexible under pressure making them more static. 
  • Width: It’s important to select a strap that fits your hardware. While most straps have reinforced loops for attaching to hardware, you may need to improvise to get the job done and the width could play a factor. Keep in mind the width is correlated with the strength of the strap. 
  • Length: A 20-foot strap will be long enough in most scenarios. Each tow and recovery scenario is different though and may require a longer strap. 

FAQs

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: What’s the difference between breaking strength and working load limit (WLL)?

The breaking strength is the absolute maximum a strap can handle before failing. The WLL is the recommended limit to use for using a strap. Generally, this is 1/3 of the breaking strength. It is strongly discouraged to attempt using a strap above the WLL. 

Q: How do I attach a tow strap? 

There are many ways to attach a tow strap to a vehicle. The easiest way is by using D-ring shackles or soft shackles with a built shackle point. Attachment hardware is a separate purchase from a tow strap. 

Q: Is a tow strap the same as a recovery strap?

Technically, no. A tow strap has static properties specifically for towing vehicles. A recovery strap has kinetic properties that help pull the stuck vehicle. That being said, a recovery strap generally can be used for towing. 

Q: Is there a difference between a tow strap and a tree protector? 

Yes, a tree protector is a smaller strap intended to be used with a winch.

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