Reviews | The Drive

Best Ratchet Straps (Review & Buying Guide) in 2022

Make sure you snap the strap and say “that’s not going anywhere” to guarantee your load is secure.

With decades of combined experience covering the latest news, reviewing the greatest gear, and advising you on your next car purchase, The Drive is the leading authority on all things automotive.

youtubefacebookinstagram

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.

BYChris Teague/ LAST UPDATED ON November 23, 2021

When you load something onto a trailer, it’s a common assumption that it will arrive at your destination. But that doesn’t happen without preparation and can actually fail if you secure your load incorrectly. Ratchet straps are a great way to make sure your gear stays where you put it. Depending on your application, you may need an axle strap or an extra-long ratchet strap to handle a large load. The good news is that there’s a strap for every load, so let’s take a look at the best ratchet straps on sale today.

Best Overall

Rhino USA Ratchet Straps Motorcycle Tie Down Kit

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
  • Great breaking strength
  • Surprisingly affordable
Cons
  • Rhino Ratchet Straps are small, with 1-inch webbing 
  • Use plastic hooks that have been known to break unexpectedly
Best Value

Augo Ratchet Tie Down Straps

Summary

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

Pros
  • Four 15-foot ratchet straps
  • Two bungee cords
  • 1,500-pound break limit 
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
Honorable Mention

Erickson 34416 Pro Series

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
  • One-button release
  • Highest weight limits for our collection of ratchet straps
Cons
  • Expensive 
  • Only 10 feet in length
Best Ratchet Straps (Review & Buying Guide) in 2022

Our Methodology 

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, as towing a motorcycle or other valuable cargo is stressful enough without worrying that your load will come loose on a highway.

Best Ratchet Straps Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Rhino USA’s Ratchet Straps Motorcycle Tie Down Kit includes two sets of ratchet straps and two soft loop tie-downs, and each has 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 risk of scratching the vehicle or damaging critical components, too. 


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

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 makes things even simpler by including four ratchet straps and two bungee cords. This large kit means everything, and we mean everything, will remain secure while in transport.  


This set of ratchet straps has a 1,500-pound break limit, with an operating limit of 500 pounds. And while that’s not much, it’s 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
  • Included bungee cords can cause injury

Ever find yourself dealing with ratchet strap webbing that has folded over in the ratchet’s cam? Of course you have, everyone has, but worry no longer as 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. They are very expensive for what they are, however, and the 10-foot webbing might not be enough for all ATVs, UTVs, or motorcycles.


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
  • Extraordinary 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:

  • These straps cost nearly twice as much as our overall pick
  • 10-foot webbing length may not be sufficient for securing some ATVs or motorcycles

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 Aerofast does not advertise the 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

Filling a roof rack full of bags for a college student or a family road trip does not 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 and are 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 as durable as other ratchet straps on this list

Some cargo you carry isn’t the most valuable and just needs to get from one place to another. However, you’ll want to secure some gear, and it’s not always possible to lock it away in the cab of your truck. Everest’s Anti-Theft Ratchet Straps feature a combination locking system that can prevent your gear from walking off while you’re away. 


They each feature an operating weight limit of 1,100 pounds and a break weight limit of 3,300 pounds. The webbing is 15 feet and the strong working load limit makes them ideal for all sorts of cargo-carrying situations. That said, customers have reported that loosening these ratchet straps can be challenging at times, and the attachment hooks are too small for some vehicles like UTVs, ATVs, and motorcycles. 


Product Specs:

  • Break Weight Limit: 3,300 pounds
  • Operating Weight Limit: 1,100 pounds
  • Webbing Length: 15 feet
  • Webbing Width: 1.5 inch
  • Product Weight: 5.7 pounds

Pros:

  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Strong working load limit and impressive break strength
  • Come in packs of three

Cons:

  • Loosening can be difficult at times
  • Attachment hooks are too small for some vehicles, such as ATVs
  • Can be confusing to unbox and install

Keeper’s “two red stripe” rating system means that the steps are capable of handling a 10,000-pound breaking weight and a 3,333-pound working load limit. Those are incredible numbers, especially for a strap with the length and quality hardware that Keeper’s does. Despite that length and strength, Keeper’s strap weighs in at just 4.89 pounds. Its J-hooks securely fasten the strap to almost any vehicle with ease.   


There are some issues, however, as some have reported that the yellow dye can bleed off the strap and that the cam doesn’t release as smoothly as necessary. Also, some have taken issue with the hook being too short and hard to attach.


Product Specs:

  • Break Weight Limit: 10,000 pounds
  • Operating Weight Limit: 3,333 pounds
  • Webbing Length: 27 feet
  • Webbing Width: 2 inch
  • Product Weight: 4.89 pounds

Pros:

  • Extra-long for larger cargo
  • Easy to grip and use hardware
  • Extreme weight handling limits

Cons:

  • Some report yellow dye bleeding off the strap
  • Doesn’t release as smoothly as expected
  • Some complain that the hook shape is too short and hard to attach
Best  for Transporting a Car
Vulcan Axle Tie Down Ratchets
Check Latest Price

Even if you’ve got the best trailer in the world to transport a car, you’ll want to secure it to the trailer with axle ratchet straps. The car’s emergency brake and transmission will do their best to hold it in place on a trailer, but the bouncing motion and movement of the rig on the road mean that you’ll want to crank it down to keep it on board. 


The Vulcan Axle Tie Down straps work well for these applications because of their clever design that allows the straps to be fed through wheels and into tight spots so that your car is secure no matter how much bodywork or low ground clearance get in the way. They are great for hauling almost any vehicle, including a car, truck, ATV, or UTV.


Product Specs:

  • Break Weight Limit: TBD
  • Operating Weight Limit: 3,300 pounds
  • Webbing Length: 9.5 feet
  • Webbing Width: 2 inch
  • Product Weight: 13.97 pounds

Pros:

  • Designed for use in tight spots
  • Rated for a wide variety of vehicles 
  • Reasonably priced

Cons:

  • Clips can fail sooner than expected
  • Some report the straps fraying more quickly than expected
  • Can be confusing to unbox and install

Best Ratchet Strap Verdict

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 high weight or decide if you need heavy-duty welded D-rings and chain rigging. 

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

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

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

A: 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?

A: 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?

A: 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.

stripe
stripe