Best Ratchet Straps: Add More Security to Your Loads
The best ratchet straps to take large loads and weights
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Traveling with large cargo on your vehicle can be dangerous if everything isn't strapped down securely. While a good bungee cord or rope may get the job done, proper heavy-duty straps are the best choice for ultimate safety. Cam buckles are a popular choice of strap, but most serious haulers go with ratchet straps for a higher level of security and convenience. Ratchet straps come in many different strengths and lengths, so here's our guide to everything you need to know to find the right.
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Why Buy a Ratchet Strap
- Secure increased loads. More than anything else, ratchet straps allow you to secure heavier loads than typical bungees and ropes. Heavy-duty ratchet straps are the preferred choice for professional truckers and haulers who need to transport large, awkward loads some distance without worrying about the safety of everything.
- Haul awkward items. Bikes, kayaks, golf carts, farming equipment, and other things you're likely to haul can make it difficult to tie down effectively. Ratchet straps with end hooks have the advantage of connecting directly to parts of the object or wrapping around different surfaces for more flexibility. Multiple straps can also work together for longer lengths.
Top Brands of Ratchet Straps
Rhino USA is a common name for cargo hauling and off-roading where large loads need to be secured. The company's line of straps spans several different sizes, strengths, and uses. For common, everyday use, the Rhino Medium-Duty Strap is a perfect, affordable option to check out.
Seeing the traditional ratchet design with fixed and adjustable ends, Stryder decided the design wasn't good enough for safe use. As a result, the company's offerings, like the UX500 Ratchet Straps, offer a unique take on the classic ratcheting setup. This is a good brand to check out if you want something that's safer than typical options.
Ratchet Strap Pricing
- $25 and under: Budget ratchet straps almost all use the traditional adjustable-and-fixed-end design. Simple in use, these are great for everyday hauling but may be limited for heavier loads.
- $25-$50: There is a good mix of high-quality individual straps and ratchet kits that include multiple low-duty straps. Some of the higher-end options are better suited for larger loads.
- $50 and above: Higher-end straps in this category are great for heavy loads since they tend to use thicker widths and better materials.
The main part of a ratchet strap is the webbing that makes up the length of the strap itself. Most webbing is made up of either nylon or polyester, with polyester being more preferable given its abrasion- and weather-resistant properties. Webbing comes in widths between 1 and 4 inches for larger loads.
The ends of a ratchet strap increase the security and versatility of the device. Most ends come as hooks, either coated or bare metal, you can then connect to different points or to the strap itself when you wrap it up over itself. The size of the end, the material of the hook, and any security device like a locking mechanism will all impact the overall strength of the strap.
The tensioner is the ratchet mechanism itself. This pulls on the strap (the adjustable end) with each click, increasing tension until everything is secured. Most tensioners have the adjustable end slide into a slot freely, but some designs include a retractable mechanism that rolls the strap up for convenient storage.
- Capacities: The strength of a ratchet strap is always the most important consideration for safe use. If you haul loads greater than what the strap can take, you risk breaking the strap and damaging the load or its surroundings. All straps have a working capacity that represents the safest range of use and a break limit that represents the failure point of the strap. For heavy loads, it’s best to maximize these capacities as much as you can. A 500-pound working capacity with a 1,500-pound break capacity is a good rating for a medium-duty strap.
- Length: The overall length of a strap simply influences the distance it can cover. Length typically isn’t a major issue unless you want to haul large items or have long distances between the item and tie-down points. Most ratchet straps are around 10 to 20 feet in length.
Best Ratchet Strap Reviews & Recommendations 2020
- Unless money is an issue, it’s smart to buy a ratchet strap that has a higher weight capacity than what you are likely to need. The extra buffer in the capacity will increase its versatility.
- Learn the proper use of a ratchet strap, including how to fit the two ends together and how to properly store one, right off the bat. This will make it easier to set up the straps more safely from the start.
- A retractable ratchet strap is recommended if you use straps frequently. These can save several minutes of rolling up the adjustable end, especially if the retractable mechanism is spring-loaded to coil automatically.
- Choose short straps if you want simple tie downs for motorcycles or ATVs. The number of straps is more important than the length when it comes to small equipment.
Q. How long of a strap do I need?
A. A 10- to 20-foot strap is usually long enough for most casual loads you may haul. Longer straps are more common for commercial use or for other projects that don’t involve transporting heavy loads between places.
Q. Can ratchet straps break?
A. Like anything else, ratchet straps can fail, especially with improper use. In most cases, the strap itself or the endpoint is likely to fail before the ratchet mechanism. However, if you keep loads and forces under the strap’s limits, failure is unlikely.
Q. Can I use a ratchet strap with other tie downs?
A. Ratchet straps play well with other ropes, bungees, and tie-downs. You can even hook ratchet straps onto the ends of other tie-down types to increase the overall length or wrap around a delicate item.
For a good all-around ratchet strap, check out the RHINO USA Ratchet Straps Motorcycle Tie Down Kit. It offers easy use and good weight capacity.
Save some money with the Augo Tie Down Straps instead.