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Best Recovery Straps: Options for Off-Roaders

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BYRay Prince/ LAST UPDATED ON September 21, 2021

Recovery straps are a must-have item in every off-roading expedition. Whether you’re crawling through deep snow or thick mud, it’s possible your 4x4 might get stuck, which is where the straps come into play. These helpful tools are available in different pull strengths and sizes, with a standard recovery strap good for a stretchy nylon 3-inch strap and 35,000-pound pulling capacity. Others pull as much as 45,000 pounds, more than enough for a full-size vehicle's gross weight. Keep reading to learn more about the top recovery straps, including our recommendations, benefits of purchasing recovery straps, features, and answers to the most frequently asked questions about them.

Best Overall

Sunferno Recovery Tow Strap

Summary

Equipped for a 35,000-pound pulling capacity

Pros
  • Excellent proportions ( 3-inch by 20-foot ) 
  • Powerful 35,000-pound pulling capacity
  • Comes in smaller and larger versions
Cons
  • Bright neon color may turn off some people 
  • Loop stitching could be tighter
Best Value

JCHL Recovery Strap

Summary

Weather-resistant polyester and reinforced loop construction

Pros
  • Excellent value
  • Rated up to 35,000 pounds 
  • Weather-resistant polyester and reinforced loop construction
Cons
  • Many users cited premature breakage with lesser loads 
  • Thinner material
Honorable Mention

Rhino USA Combo Recovery Tow Strap & Shackle Hitch Receiver

Summary

Includes shackle hitch receiver with a 3/4-inch D-ring

Pros
  • Made in the U.S.A. 
  • Excellent 31,518-poundrating
  • Includes shackle hitch receiver with 3/4-inch D-ring
Cons
  • Higher than average cost
Best Recovery Straps: Options for Off-Roaders

Best Recovery Strap Reviews & Recommendations

The Sunferno Recovery Tow Strap offers serious pulling power for the trails. It consists of a single 3-inch by 20-foot winch snatch strap with a seven-percent max stretching power and a 35,000-pound pulling capacity. When paired with a winch, it is more than capable of pulling full-size trucks out of deep mud and snow. It comes in two versions: a smaller 3-inch by 8-foot size and the standard 3-inch by 20-foot size.

Specs:

  • Brand: Sunferno
  • Model: 4332987234
  • Weight: 5.39 pounds

Pros:

  • Seven percent max stretching power
  • Powerful 35,000-pound pulling capacity
  • Excellent sewing with a reinforced pattern

Cons:

  • Bright neon color may turn off some people
  • Loop stitching could be tighter

The JCHL Recovery Strap is certainly an agile performer. For roughly half the cost, it offers similar specs with 3-inch by 20-foot proportions, a 35,000-pound capacity, and strong weather-resistant polyester with reinforced loop construction. This one also comes in several configurations, including two inches by 20 feet with 10,000-, 15,000-, and 20,000-pound ratings.

Specs:

  • Brand: JCHL
  • Model: B07GFHCNLX
  • Weight: 3.88 pounds

Pros:

  • Excellent value
  • Rated up to 35,000 pounds
  • Weather-resistant polyester and reinforced loop construction

Cons:

  • Many users cited premature breakage with lesser loads
  • Thinner material

The Rhino USA Heavy-Duty Recovery Gear Combos delivers excellent utility for the trails. It has a 30-foot strap, 31,518-pound rating, and a separate shackle hitch receiver with a 3/4-inch D-ring to attach to a winch. Note that D-ring shackles are sold separately. Rhino USA is a family-owned business from California that has been in business since 2015. 

Specs:

  • Brand: Rhino USA
  • Model: RNO-30STRAPHITCH
  • Weight: 15.82 pounds
Pros:
  • Excellent 31,518-pound-rating
  • Includes shackle hitch receiver with 3/4-inch D-ring
  • Good customer service
Cons:
  • Higher-than-average cost
  • USA in the name is misleading, as parts are only designed, engineered, and tested in America, but manufactured overseas

The Motormic Tow Strap Recovery Kit is a well-rounded recovery kit. It includes a single 3-inch by 30-foot, 30,000-pound rated recovery strap, a 2-inch shackle hitch receiver, a 5/8-inch locking pin, and 3/4-inch D-ring shackles for a complete recovery system. We like this recovery strap's makeup, consisting of high-density polyester construction protective sleeves and reinforced double-web-loop ends that work well as a winch extension. Ease of use and durability are two major highlights here, and for good measure.

Specs:

  • Brand: Motormic
  • Model: 1701
  • Weight: 7.65 pounds

Pros:

  • Excellent load rating at 30,000 pounds
  • Good-quality high-density polyester construction
  • Durable reinforced double-web-loop ends

Cons:

  • Shackle threads are not the most durable
  • Light colors will show all that dirt

The GearAmerica Recovery Tow Straps are also one of the top recovery straps out there. They offer wicked strength with a 45,000-pound pulling capacity, triple reinforced loops, and extra thickness at four inches, whereas most recovery straps top out at three inches. It markets itself as a four-in-one strap, including as a tow strap, recovery strap, tree saver strap, and winch extension strap. Another plus is that it comes in eight different configurations, from basic (3-inch by 20-foot) to premium (4-inch and 30-foot).

Specs:

  • Brand: GearAmerica
  • Model: GAMDTS
  • Weight: 8.82 pounds

Pros:

  • Ultra-heavy-duty, 45,000-pound pulling capacity
  • Works as a four-in-one strap
  • Multiple sizes available

Cons:

  • Loose stitching
  • Does not include D-shackles
  • Not the most elastic option (made of 100 percent polyester)

How We Selected The Products 

Why Trust Us

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.

Learn more

Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. Although 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.

For this review, we evaluated more than 30 recovery straps, ranking them based on weight rating, working load limit, construction (reinforced stitching and closed-end loops), weather resistance, and dimensions (thickness and length). Note, many recovery straps come in a variety of sizes ranging from two inches by 20 feet to four inches by 30 feet.

Buying Guide/What to Look For

Here are some of the more important criteria to consider when buying recovery straps.

Pulling Capacity

Most recovery straps are offered in 3-inch and 30,000 or 35,000-pound rated configurations. Heavier duty versions top out at four inches thick with a 40,000- or 45,000-pound pulling capacity. As a rule of thumb, choose a recovery strap with a working capacity three times the weight of your vehicle. With a typical 4x4 vehicle, gross weight lands at or around 10,000 pounds, so a 30,000-pound recovery rope works well.

Strap Dimensions

Recovery straps are typically available in one-inch, two-inch, three-inch, or four-inch thicknesses. Each inch translates to roughly 10,000 pounds in pulling capacity. The longer the strap, the less elasticity. Recovery straps that are three inches thick and rated at 30,000 pounds offer the most ideal combination of dimensions, elasticity, and pull rating for virtually any pulling required while off-roading.

Material

Our preferred material for recovery straps is nylon. It provides greater durability and elasticity than polyester. Some recovery straps also use a blend of polyester and nylon. Keep in mind that elasticity is critical when looking at recovery straps, enabling the buildup of energy to generate enough power to move your vehicle along.

Design

Recovery straps come in all types of bright colors. Some even use reflective material for easier nighttime visibility, supported by protective sleeves, reinforced eyes, and padding. Color choice is a matter of preference with a nod to safety in the dark.

Auxiliary Features

Some recovery straps come included as part of a kit with silicone-reinforced D-shackles and a hitch receiver, all critical parts of a solid winching operation.

FAQs

Q: What is a recovery strap?

A recovery strap works with a vehicle to pull other vehicles and off-road obstacles out of the mud, snow, or other treacherous situations. One loop is attached to the stuck vehicle, and the second loop is attached to a working vehicle that accelerates to pull the stuck vehicle out. They are generally made from high-density polyester or nylon and have pull ratings as high as 45,000 pounds.

Q: What size recovery strap should I buy?

As a general rule of thumb, every inch of strap can pull 10,000 pounds. Look for a minimum three-inch-wide strap with a 35,000-pound pulling capacity. This is more than enough to pull an SUV or full-size pickup with ease, assuming the winch is set up correctly.

Q: What material should my recovery strap be made of?

We highly recommend nylon, followed by polyester. Nylon offers the best combination of durability, stretchiness, UV resistance, and waterproofing. It's good for use in extreme conditions.

Q: What is the difference between a tow strap and a recovery strap?

The difference between tow straps and recovery straps lies in their uses. Tow straps are generally made using polyester and are used to tow a vehicle behind a moving vehicle. They carry metal hooks and are a lot less stretchy than recovery straps. Recovery straps are generally made of nylon, do not carry metal hooks, and are used to recover stuck vehicles from deep snow or mud.

Q: What should I look for in a recovery strap?

Our preference is for recovery straps to be made of nylon and measure at least three inches thick with a 30,000-pound pulling capacity. Nylon offers a stretchy yet durable material with better resistance and waterproofing than polyester. A 30,000-pound pulling capacity is more than enough to lift a stuck full-size truck out of treacherous snow and mud as long as you utilize recovery straps three times your vehicle's gross weight.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing the best recovery strap, our choice is the Sunferno Recovery Tow Strap. It is a solid recovery tow strap, featuring a 35,000-pound pulling capacity with three-inch by 20-foot proportions. It also promises a seven-percent max stretch for optimized stretch and pull action. Many users have also cited its craftsmanship with tight reinforced stitched patterns and a protective sleeve.

Why Trust Us

The Drive seeks to be the internet’s premier destination for news, features, reviews and guides about modern automotive culture.

Founded as the /DRIVE YouTube channel before growing into a full-fledged online publication in 2015, The Drive brings you the best of what’s new in the world of speed, from gear reviews to the latest industry coverage—all from a veteran team of writers and editors with many decades of combined hands-on experience. 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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