Reviews

Best Ratchet Straps: Add More Security To Your Loads

We looked at some of the best ratchet straps to take large loads and weights.

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BY Todd Brogowski / LAST UPDATED ON October 13, 2021

When you take your gear with you, you want to make sure it joins you at the final destination. However, using bungee cords can be dangerous (the hooks on bungee cords can — and have — injured users’ eyes), and tying down gear with rope can be a hit-or-miss proposition. Ratchet straps, on the other hand, do not end up flying across a roof rack toward your eyes, and their wide webbing and metal hooks do a far better job at securing gear than even the best paracord. This guide will help you pick the best ratchet straps for your needs, whether it involves taking the kids back to college or securing your off-road toys before heading out on vacation.

Best Overall
Rhino USA Ratchet Straps Motorcycle Tie Down Kit
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Summary
Summary

These are the ratchet straps you want if you have to secure a motorcycle to a trailer; the Rhino Ratchet Straps have a 1,823-pound breaking strength.

Pros
Pros
  • Great breaking strength
  • Surprisingly affordable
Cons
Cons
  • Rhino Ratchet Straps are small, with 1-inch webbing 
  • Use plastic hooks that have been known to break unexpectedly
Best Overall
Rhino USA Ratchet Straps Motorcycle Tie Down Kit
Best Value
Augo Ratchet Tie Down Straps
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Summary
Summary

Affordable ratchet straps that have a 500-pound load capacity and a 1,500-pound break limit.

Pros
Pros
  • Four 15-foot ratchet straps
  • Two bungee cords
  • 1,500-pound break limit 
Cons
Cons
  • Nylon webbing is very flexible, which requires additional ratcheting
  • Sometimes can damage items being transported
  • These straps are also too weak to secure motorcycles and ATVs
Best Value
Augo Ratchet Tie Down Straps
Honorable Mention
Erickson 34416 Pro Series
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Summary
Summary

The Erickson 34416 Pro Series straps have a 1,100-pound working load limit and a 3,300-pound breaking limit. They also include a one-button release and retractable webbing.

Pros
Pros
  • One-button release
  • Highest weight limits for our collection of ratchet straps
Cons
Cons
  • Expensive 
  • Only 10 feet in length 
Honorable Mention
Erickson 34416 Pro Series
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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Best Ratchet Straps Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall
RHINO USA Ratchet Straps Motorcycle Tie Down Kit

Rhino USA’s Ratchet Straps Motorcycle Tie Down Kit includes two sets of ratchet straps and two soft loop tie downs. This kit features an impressive maximum breaking weight of 5,208 pounds. Now, that doesn’t mean you can secure a 5,208-pound load, but rather that value of force generated by the mass of your cargo would cause the straps to fail. The kit’s maximum operating weight (the actual amount you can secure) is 1,823 pounds, but that’s still more than enough to secure most motorcycles, UTVs, ATVs, and other small vehicles. These straps can secure motorcycles and ATVs with the included soft loops to minimize the risk of scratching the vehicle or damaging critical components. 


Specs:

  • Break Weight Limit: 5,208 pounds
  • Operating Weight Limit: 1,823 pounds
  • Webbing Length: 15 feet
  • Webbing Width: 1 inch
  • Product Weight: 4.8 pounds

Pros:

  • Includes loops that can be used to help avoid scratching items that are tied down
  • High breaking weight limit
  • Vinyl-dipped ratchet handle is cushioned and easy to use in wet conditions

Cons:

  • Plastic hooks on straps have been reported as breaking with weights lower than the 1,823-pound weight limit
  • Webbing with is too small to secure larger loads
  • Optimum operating weight limit is unknown
Best Value
Augo Ratchet Tie Down Straps

The whole point of ratchet straps is that they are the simplest way to secure a load while traveling. Augo’s Ratchet Tie Down Straps make things even simpler by including four ratchet straps and two bungee cords to make the process of securing gear and luggage easier. This set of ratchet straps has a 1,500-pound break limit, with an operating limit of 500 pounds. That’s not much, but plenty for securing a motorcycle to a truck’s bed or onto a trailer. It’s also plenty for securing any sort of load to your vehicle’s roof or the bed. And given the kit offers both bungee cords and ratchet straps, both very handy for any sort of cargo, this also saves you money as you do not have to purchase two sets of straps to secure gear along the length and width of your vehicle. 


Specs:

  • Break Weight Limit: 1,500 pounds
  • Operating Weight Limit: 500 pounds
  • Webbing Length: 15 feet
  • Webbing Width: 1 inch
  • Product Weight: 4.53 pounds

Pros:

  • Simple design
  • S-hooks dipped in plastic to protect against damage
  • Four-strap set is sufficient for smaller loads

Cons:

  • Flexible straps may cause loads to move while underway
  • No included soft loops
Premium Pick
Erickson Pro Series

If you've ever had to deal with ratchet strap webbing that has folded over in the ratchet’s cam, Erickson has a solution for that. The company’s Pro Series ratchet straps include a retractable unit that contains the adjustable strap utilizing an automatic roller triggered by a button. Thus, the straps are neatly stored in these units, protected from the elements and not a bunched-up mess like lesser ratchet straps. The operating limit of these straps isn't something to shake a stick at either, capable of withstanding 1,100 pounds, while the break limit is 3,300 pounds. 


Specs:

  • Break Weight Limit: 3,300 pounds
  • Operating Weight Limit: 1,100 pounds
  • Webbing Length: 10 feet
  • Webbing Width: 2 inch
  • Product Weight: 7.25 pounds

Pros:

  • Push-button retraction makes putting away the Erickson Pro Series straps a breeze
  • Sizeable operating weight limit means that these straps will have no trouble securing an ATV or motorcycle
  • S-hooks are coated in vinyl to protect gear from scratches

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • 10-foot webbing length may not be sufficient for securing some ATVs or motorcycles
Best for Water Toys
Aerofast Jet Ski Ratchet Straps

Water toys, such as jet skis, have different needs than motorcycles; therefore, you will need different ratchet straps than those you would use for motorcycles. Aerofast’s Jet Ski Ratchet Straps are UV and water-resistant, and also have an extra hook to secure the two tie-downs used for jet skis. With plastic-coated cams for ease of use when wet and a 12-foot length, these straps are perfect for getting your gear to a boat ramp. While there isn't technically a maximum load limit for these straps, the 1,800 pound breaking limit means that these straps are not well-suited for anything but water toys (which weigh roughly 750 pounds) and the lightest of boats. 


Specs:

  • Break Weight Limit: 1,800 pounds
  • Operating Weight Limit: Not Listed
  • Webbing Length: 12 feet
  • Webbing Width: 1 inch
  • Product Weight: 2.06 pounds

Pros:

  • Extra hook ensures that you can use all of a Jet Ski’s tie downs to secure the watercraft to a trailer and avoid movement on the road
  • Plastic-coated cam handles are less slippery in water than uncoated metal handles
  • UV and water-resistant webbing better suited for use with watercraft than automotive and general purpose ratchet straps

Cons:

  • 1,800-pound breaking limit is too light to be used with boats
  • 12-foot length can be too short for some water toys
  • Only a single ratchet strap in this set
Best for Luggage
Stanley S1000 Black/Yellow Ratchet Tie Down Straps - Light Cargo Hauling

Filling a roof rack full of bags for a college student or a family road trip does not always require the strongest ratchet strap on the market. It just requires a bunch of ratchet straps to secure the various suitcases and duffel bags that you need to make sure are still there when you arrive at your destination. Enter Stanley’s S1000 ratchet straps. The Stanley’s are perfect for such scenarios as the set includes eight 10-foot-long ratchet straps for light duty work. The operating limits for these ratchet straps are still fairly burly, set at 500 pounds with a break limit of 1,500 pounds. This set has vinyl-dipped S-hooks that will not scratch your vehicle easily and ergonomic plastic ratchet handles. They’re perfect for all your everyday needs. 


Specs:

  • Break Weight Limit: 1,500 pounds
  • Operating Weight Limit: 500 pounds
  • Webbing Length: 10 feet
  • Webbing Width: 1 inch
  • Product Weight: 6.95 pounds

Pros:

  • With eight straps, this set is able to secure a large number of items, whether camping gear, luggage, firewood, or other materials
  • Ergonomic handles make using the straps less difficult
  • Vinyl-covered S-hooks protect your vehicle from scratches

Cons:

  • 500 pound load limit is too small for most motorized vehicles
  • 10-foot length of these straps is not long enough for large items
  • Not super durable

How We Selected The Products

We looked through hundreds of ratchet straps currently available for sale, considered their maximum load limits, cam mechanisms, and customer assessments against our own expertise, which included decades of experience securing cargo on trailers and automobile roof racks. We took into consideration those ratchet straps that came from well-known, high-quality brands as well as those that came from new or lesser known manufacturers. Above all, we prioritized safety of use as towing a motorcycle or other valuable cargo is stressful enough without worrying that your load will come loose on a highway.

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 Ratchet Straps Buying Guide & FAQs

Types of Ratchet Straps

There are two main types of ratchet straps: loop straps and two-piece straps. Loop straps can be considered an accessory to the two-piece straps. You can run the webbing of a two-piece strap through a loop strap before bringing the webbing back around to secure it to a trailer. Doing so secures a payload without the hook or the cam of the ratchet straps rubbing up against the payload, potentially causing damage. A third type of ratchet strap includes cargo netting so that a large number of small items can be secured together. These are most commonly used by professionals, including the military’s cargo aircraft, but should not be ignored if they can work for you. 

What to Consider When Buying a Set of Ratchet Straps

To begin with, you need to know the approximate weight of the items you are transporting and securing with the ratchet straps. If that weight is higher than the operating limits of the straps you’re considering, you need to find different ratchet straps. 

If you have ever ridden a spinning carnival ride, you may have experienced feeling like your effective weight, or your inertial momentum, is much greater than your weight when you are not moving. This is because your inertial momentum is a product of your mass and the square of your distance from the central axis of the ride. Your cargo experiences the same thing if your vehicle and your trailer go into a turn on the highway. As a result, if you use ratchet straps with an operating weight lower than the weight of your cargo, and you make a sharp turn, you could find yourself snapping your ratchet straps because the inertial momentum of your cargo is now much greater than your cargo’s mass at rest. 

Next, you need to consider your cargo’s dimensions as it relates to how you will secure it to a trailer or your vehicle. If you are securing an ATV that is three feet tall and four feet wide, you will need ratchet straps longer than 10 feet (as you need at least seven feet of webbing to go up over the ATV, three feet to go down the other side, and whatever length of webbing it will take on top of that to link your ratchet strap to its anchor). 

Finally, consider the materials used to make the ratchet strap as it relates to where you live. If you live in the Pacific Northwest of the United States and Canada, you need straps that will not rust if you have to drive through a rainstorm. If you live in the sunny Southwest area of the United States, you do not need to worry about rust, but you do need to worry about the webbing breaking down beneath the harsh sunlight. 

Best Ratchet Straps FAQs

Q. How do I know when it is time to replace my ratchet straps?

Like most things used outside, ratchet straps break down over time. If you find, even with lubricating the cams on a regular basis, that your ratchet straps are jamming, that is a good sign that the cams are breaking down and you need new straps. Also, frayed straps mean that you can no longer count on your ratchet straps to be able to handle their initial operating loads. When you see frayed webbing, it is time to replace your ratchet straps. 

Q. When should I use loop straps?

If you are transporting a prized motorcycle, the last thing you want is for the cam of a ratchet strap to rub up against a custom paint job on the peanut tank. Loop straps should be used whenever you are towing something that could be damaged by the metal on ratchet straps. 

Q. How do I use these straps with my trailer or vehicle?

For trailers and pickup trucks, you want your ratchet straps to hook into the eye bolt anchors in the bed of the trailer or pickup. You may need to install eye bolt anchors if you do not have them already, especially if you are transporting a motorcycle or ATV. For a car or SUV, you want to be able to thread the webbing through a roof rack of some sort. 

Final Thoughts

For most purposes, the RHINO USA Ratchet Straps Motorcycle Tie Down Kit is sufficient for securing an ATV, motorcycle, or other cargo. If you are towing heavier things, though, make sure your ratchet straps can handle heavier weight or decide if you need heavy-duty welded D-rings and chain rigging.