Also known as tie-down straps, ratchet straps are ropes that are designed to secure equipment and keep them in place during transportation. It is often used to clamp downloads on vehicles such as vans, pickup trucks, flatbed trucks, etc. They come in different lengths, thicknesses, and widths to cater to a wide range of needs. If you travel with your belongings a lot, the best ratchet straps will suit your needs.
They use ratchets to secure your loads or cargo in place. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you might have found it challenging to secure your equipment during transportation. So, if you have been traveling with unsecured cargo, you will find a pair of ratchet straps convenient and very helpful.
Ratchet straps are better than other types of tie-down such as bungee straps because of their tension control and sturdiness. With a pair of these straps by your side, you will drive peacefully knowing that your cargo will not be falling off.
- Best Ratchet Straps: Editor’s Top Picks
- Top 10 Best Ratchet Straps Review:
- 1. Vulcan Classic Exotic Tie Down
- 2. CargoBuckle F18800 G3 Tie-Down System
- 3. Keeper 04629 Ratchet Tie down
- 4. Augo 4-Pack Ratchet Tie Down Straps
- 5. Lockdown Premium Ratchet Straps
- 6. Erickson 04418 Pros Series Tie-Down Strap
- 7. Ratchet Tie Down Straps by Bison Gear
- 8. Ratchet Straps by Vault Cargo
- 9. CARTMAN Padded Ratchet Tie Down
- 10. HFS Heavy-Duty Ratchet Tie Down Straps
- Things to Consider When Buying Ratchet Straps
- What Is the Importance of Using Ratchet Straps?
- How to Use a Ratchet Strap
- FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions about Ratchet Straps
- Q-1: How do you use a ratchet strap?
- Q-2: How much weight can a quality ratchet strap hold?
- Q-3: Which is the best way to store ratchet straps?
- Q-4: How do I know the best ratchet straps for my needs?
- Q-5: How many ratchet straps or tie downs do I need to secure a load?
- Q-6: Why do ratchet straps loosen up after some time?
- Q-7: What is the difference between breaking strength and working load limit?
- Final Thoughts
Best Ratchet Straps: Editor’s Top Picks
Top 10 Best Ratchet Straps Review:
1. Vulcan Classic Exotic Tie Down
Looking for the best ratchet tie-down straps? The Vulcan Classic Exotic Tie-Down set might impress you. Most professional operators use this auto tie-down system to haul cargo every year. Vulcan is a recognized brand and is among the most experienced car tie-down manufacturers in the world.
The set contains 4 UV-resistant straps measuring 12 inches and 2 inches wide with heavy-duty snap hooks. The long and sturdy straps offer better security for extra larger loads. You will be impressed with this kit if you have a low clearance car as it will still be secured properly to any vehicle transporter.
This complete tie-down strap kit is easy to use by securing your vehicle through the wheels, by the axle, or around the tire. Even if your vehicle features unique rim designs, the straps will hold your vehicle securely. In case your car does not allow tying down the rims, the straps can still be used around the tires.
These straps won’t scratch the wheels or paint thanks to the Cordura wear pads that protect the rims for damage-free tensioning. Better yet, the design does not have sharp metal parts hence reducing any damage to the car. The tie-down set is made of 2 inches wide weather-resistant webbing that’s designed to prevent scratches off.
The entire hardware is plated to prevent weathering from weather elements such as dust and road salt. Each strap can safely haul a load of 3300 lbs. This is intended for securing heavy equipment and large cargo for transit. When used as directed, the straps exceed DOT specifications.
- The set includes 4 straps and 4 ratchet buckles with snap hooks
- Easy to use even with applications where you can’t use the rims
- Cordura wear pads prolong the strap life and protect the rims
- 12 inches long for extra-long reach
- 2’’ wide webbing to secure heavy loads properly
- It comes with a safe working load of 3300 lbs.
2. CargoBuckle F18800 G3 Tie-Down System
The CargoBuckle G3 tie is a retractable tie-down system to make your anchoring jobs a whole lot smoother. This ratchet tie-down system is equipped with a 72″ long webbing strap to ensure safety while towing gear to power sports. The good thing with the set is it’s very easy to set up. Firstly, you need to hook down into your cargo by pushing the ratchet so that the strap goes automatically into the ratchet.
The CargoBuckle G3 has an orange padded handle with a material that offers a better fit and grip on the hand. Intended to secure your cargo properly, the product comes with a self-retracting web with a reach of up to 6 feet. The industrial-grade polyester used to make the straps ensures a longer life for the strap because it is weather resistant. It doesn’t hold moisture or stretch, hence suitable when moving heavy items.
The breaking strength of the pair of the strap is 3500 lbs. making the straps suitable for bigger and heavier hauls. With 2 inches wide and 72 inches long, it works well to secure heavy cargos. Better yet, it offers a safety lock for added security. Most customers have expressed satisfaction in how durable and effective the straps are. With quite an innovative solution from CargoBuckle, you can secure your motorcycle, kayak, or any other cargo whenever you want.
- Break strength of 3500 pounds as well as a safe working load of 1,167 lbs.
- 2-inch-wide polyester web
- Can expand up to 72 inches
- Includes a pair of tie-downs
- Has a permanent one-bolt installation
3. Keeper 04629 Ratchet Tie down
Keeper 04629 straps are manufactured to the highest standards and are ideal for safely anchoring cargo to your car or truck. These heavy-duty tie straps meet C Highway Patrol, D.O.T., and Web Sling Association standards. They are 25 feet long and feature a breaking strength of 10, 000 lbs. Their safe working load capacity is 3333 lbs. which makes them the best ratchet straps for ATVs, large appliances, motorized vehicles, commercial equipment, and much more.
The type of webbing material used makes all the difference when it comes to securing the cargo. For added strength, this product from Keeper uses Hi-Test triple-layer, high tenacity webbing which is weather and abrasion resistant to prevent mildew and rot. The straps tie-down come with heavy-duty double J-hooks to ensure maximum strength when anchoring to a trailer, or D-rings. To prevent scratching or damaging the cargo, the hooks are rubber-coated. In addition, the straps have rubberized handle grips that fit better to the hands for more comfortable ratcheting.
- Has a safe working load of 3,333 lbs.
- Has a break strength of 10,000 lbs.
- Each strap is 2 inches wide and 25 feet long
- Hi-test webbing with 3 layers offers excellent strength
- Has J-hooks to anchor the cargo
- Rubberized handle grips for comfortable ratcheting
4. Augo 4-Pack Ratchet Tie Down Straps
If you are searching for a sturdy all-around strap, then you might consider AUGO 4 Pack. It is a great choice when you need to haul both medium and heavy objects. This product incorporates reliable and high-quality hooks and handles that secure your cargo in place at any time. The kit contains 4 sturdy straps with ergonomically designed rubberized handles to prevent scratching the surface of the cargo.
As if that’s not enough, the AUGO tie-downs feature S-hooks which have a rubber cover to prevent scratching when you apply them. As a result, your gear is kept in top-notch condition. These have been designed using molding technology to ensure the handles stay in place with no risk of falling off to ensure your cargo doesn’t fall. It has been made with quality polyester for a stronger hold. Also, the material ensures enough tension and long-lasting use. The top-grade steel used for metal parts won’t rust and offers a stronger hold.
The safe load capacity of the AUGO tie downs is 500lbs, which makes it ideal for equipment like refrigerators, bed frames, washing machines, and more. The break strength of the straps is 1500 lbs. Each strap is 15 feet long and about 1-inch wide for added grip. It also comes with an additional 2 bungee cords to offer more security.
- Comes with 4 sturdy straps
- Has a safe load capacity of 500 lbs.
- Has a break strength of 1500 lbs.
- Each strap is 1-inch wide and 15 feet long
- Molding technology used ensure handles stay in place
- Handles have been rubberized for a comfortable grip and prevent scratching the cargo
- Has additional 2 bungee cords to enhance security
5. Lockdown Premium Ratchet Straps
Now, in case you are willing to spend a few more bucks to get a sturdier ratchet strap, then this one from Lockdown might be for you. Lockdown Premium Ratchet Straps comes in a set of 8 pieces. Included in this set are 4 ratchet handles with matching strap hooks as well as 4 soft loop straps. The outstanding feature as Lockdown claims is the broader and thicker belt as compared to the regular ones. As a result, these are durable and offer better security.
The straps are made by webbing which makes the thickness of the product twice as larger compared to standard straps. The polyester webbing does not stretch giving better security to items hauled in the car. These straps can sustain up to 1686 pounds working load limit making them the best motorcycle ratchet straps. This set can also sustain tension and stabilize cargos like bikes, kayaks, ATVs, and other items from tipping over during transit.
Each strap is 15 feet in length and has a break strength of 3,372 lbs. The product boasts of a larger molded finger-through handle to ensure easier handling. Its release lever offers excellent strap tension and a comfortable grip to secure cargo. What’s more, the handle lever and security lock are coated using rubber to prevent any scratches on delicate paint of the cargo. The product comes with a double J-hook design which ensures loads like motorcycles are safely anchored to the truck. The set weighs 8.92 lbs. and comes with a carry bag to keep all the straps back after use.
- The ratchet strap comes in a set of 4 with soft loops
- Has rubber J-hooks to ensure safe anchorage
- Polyester webbing is thick and doesn’t stretch for extra security
- Can sustain up to 1686 lbs. working load limit
- Has a break strength of 3,372 lbs.
- Has a carry bag to carry the straps
6. Erickson 04418 Pros Series Tie-Down Strap
Erickson 04418 Pro Series is one of the most cost-effective, basic functioning ratchet straps on the market. They measure 1 inch wide and 10 feet long and can aid when you want to anchor your load safely. They have a safe working load limit of 400 lbs. per strap. You get 4 straps which are neatly packed in a nice little carrying case. These are best to secure items like UTVs and ATVs, or you can use them to secure your boat to your trailer.
This is one of the best retractable ratchet straps that use button releases. Using it is easy because you need to ensure the lever is down and then extend the straps to how far you want. To retract the 10 feet strap, you need to take the red lever back, and it should retract back to the housing automatically. The handles are plastic and are comfortable to the hand. These are ribbed to ensure a secure grip with a push-button when you need to release the strap to unload.
These come with S-hooks which have a nice rubber coating to prevent scratches in case it makes contact with your cargo. The bright red strap is made with polyester which is weather-resistant and does not stretch to ensure added security. The maximum load per strap is 1200 pounds.
- Comes with a storage bag with a zipper to ensure straps stay organized
- The retractable ratcheting system is easy to use and smart
- Comes with 4 straps that are 1” wide and 10-foot long
- Each strap has 400 lbs. working load limit and 1200 break strength
7. Ratchet Tie Down Straps by Bison Gear
For users that need lengthy straps that do not compromise sturdiness, this 20ft ratchet tie-down strap by Bison gear is a good option. This is a quality strap to have if you are an outdoor enthusiast as it will help you fasten extra-large cargos securely.
Made of premium polyester webbing, this tie-down strap by Bison Gear will serve you for a long time. It is weather-resistant and thus can withstand different weather elements including prolonged heat and intense rain. It doesn’t hold moisture or stretch, and thus you can use it to secure heavy items.
Each strap has a break strength of 1800lbs and a working load limit of 600lbs. This makes them ideal for heavy-duty tasks. Each strap is 20ft long and thus can accommodate relatively large cargos.
- They have extra-long webbings to ensure they provide enough length to tie down bigger loads
- They are GS Certified, which means that they have passed the German Technical Safety Standards
- Its handles have rubber grips and have deep S hooks that have a rubber coating to ensure no damage or scratches to the anchor points. This makes them ideal for securing kayaks, canoe, mountain bikes, motorcycles, boats, and much more
- They feature high visibility Chevron for clear visibility
- The industrial-grade ratchet straps have a UV coat to protect them from prolonged heat and damage caused by prolonged exposure to UV rays
- They come with a lifetime warranty
8. Ratchet Straps by Vault Cargo
This is an all-around ratchet strap that is built to last for a long time. Most people prefer this 25ft ratchet strap from Vault Cargo because of its sturdiness, multi-purpose use, and ease of use. Made from industrial-grade nylon, this ratchet strap can hold heavy cargo safely. Each strap is 2 inches wide for added security. With a working capacity of 3,333lb, this strap can snugly fit medium to large cargos.
A quick search about the best motorcycle ratchet straps will without a doubt return a result with several ratchet straps from Vault Cargo. This manufacturer has made a name by being a standout brand among the well-known ratchet straps around. One of their stand-out straps is this 25ft ratchet. The strap’s break strength is 10,000lbs, and it measures 25ft per strap. This is enough to secure motorbikes, boats, and other heavy equipment on your car, trailer, or SUV.
At its relatively affordable price, you get a quality ratchet strap that offers a capacity that can accommodate and secure both lightweight and heavy-weight cargo during transportation. The money-back-guarantee is a commendable inclusion to this high-quality ratchet strap.
- This heavy-duty ratchet strap comes with 4 packs of 2 inches wide straps with a length of 25ft. This makes it ideal for tying down larger cargos
- With a break strength of 10,000lb and a working capacity of 3,333lb, this ratchet strap can tie down heavy-duty loads
- Features an adjustable design to help it accommodate cargo of varying sizes
- They have a J-hook which is perfect for attaching to D-rings, axle strap, and trailer
- Has 100% money-back guarantee
9. CARTMAN Padded Ratchet Tie Down
This is another popular option among outdoor enthusiasts due to its sturdiness and lightweight nature. Each of the CARTMAN straps is 1.5 inches wide and 15 feet long. Each also has a working capacity of 1000lbs and a breaking capacity of 3000lbs making them ideal for lightweight and medium weight cargos.
This tie-down strap features hooks that are coated to make them weather resistant. It is a great ratchet strap for outdoor activities and general use. While it might offer the strength of most heavy-duty ratchet straps, it compensates for that by being lightweight and high-quality, two aspects that are ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.
Keep in mind that this quality ratchet strap is meant to secure light and medium-weight loads properly. Its webbings are durable enough thanks to the polyester material.
- They have an extra-wide padded grip to provide more comfort when handling your load
- Comes with rubber-coated hooks which ensure your painted equipment are not scratched
- Has a breaking capacity of 3000lbs and a working limit of 1000lbs
- Comes with a carry bag which is an added plus
- Has strong webbing that is resistant to abrasion
10. HFS Heavy-Duty Ratchet Tie Down Straps
These cost-efficient and easy-to-use heavy-duty ratchets from HFS are all-around straps fit for light and medium-weight loads. They are a camper and outdoor enthusiast favorite thanks to their budget-friendly nature and ability to securely hold cargo meant for camping trips.
Made of soft polyester, these straps are weather-resistant and also have strong webbing that makes them long-lasting. They are designed to prevent scratches of delicate and painted surfaces.
They have an adjustable length of up to 15ft and a break strength of 3,000lbs. With double J-hooks, these straps provide a secure latch.
- Polyester webbing has a bright yellow color for easier visibility
- Straps are soft enough and do not leave dents on delicate or painted surfaces such as motorcycles, ATVs, or furniture
- They have weather-resistant webbing to withstand damp weather and intense heat.
- This set is lightweight and thus ideal for camping and outdoor enthusiast
- Each strap is 15 feet long and has a break strength of 3,000lbs
Things to Consider When Buying Ratchet Straps
A ratchet strap should be made using a stronger material that will not tear easily. Since these items are intended to secure loads, they should have good webbing and make of either nylon or polyester. Ratchet straps with polyester webbing tend to last longer than those with nylon webbing. They are designed to withstand weather elements and have abrasion-resistant features. Most polyester ratchet straps tend to be pricier than other types.
Polyester straps are also resistant to intense UV rays and can withstand heat exposure. They also have weather-resistant features that keep water and mildew from losing their quality. However, on the downside, Polyester straps lack stretching ability as it only stretches 5-10% with heavy equipment. Nylon stretches between 20-30% under a 2500 lbs. load while polypropylene strap can stretch more than 50% under a given load.
Capacity or working load limit
You would want to know the working load limit of the ratchet straps before hitting the buy button. This limit will help you know if the strapping system will be able to accommodate the weight capacity of your load. The rating needs to be more than the weight of your cargo load, which is a third of the break length of the strapping system as per the set standards.
Mode of transportation
Your mode of transportation is another important factor to keep in mind. This is because it will dictate the type of strap you should buy. For instance, cargo transported on a ship is exposed to elements that are different from when they are transported in a closed truck.
The mode of transport you intend to use should guide you in choosing the right strap for your situation. It will also guide you on the right length of your strap.
This refers to the point at which a strap will break (strength of the assembly). However, this relies on not only the strap but also the webbing and end fittings. For instance, if the break strength of a ratchet strap is 7,000 pounds and the break strength of the end fittings and webbing is 10,000, then the overall break strength of the ratchet is 7,000 pounds.
If the ratchet, webbing, and end fittings have a break strength of 11,000 lbs., then the overall break strength is also 11,000lbs.
The standard length of the best ratchet strap and trucks is 27-30ft. However, you can get longer or shorter ones from different manufacturers.
Other features to look at
- Compared with classic ropes, ratchet straps are items used to keep the load secure. They utilize a lever to tighten or release the straps easily. Ratchet is separate from straps and comes in either metal or plastic. The metal types are known to have more grip than plastic ones and are thus ideal for heavy-duty usage.
- Look at the end fitting where the hooks are attached. Hooks can either be S hooks or J hooks. If you are carrying items with painted surfaces such as ATVs and motorcycles, then go for either rubber-coated J hooks or S hooks. For non-painted surfaces, any hook will work just fine. For delicate surfaces such as bikes and motorcycle handles, go for straps with soft loops.
- Some manufacturers offer storage bags to keep straps when they are not in use. This is a plus.
What Is the Importance of Using Ratchet Straps?
If you are transporting cargo or a number of equipment, it will be crucial to ensure the cargo gets to its destination in solid shape, and that is what a ratchet strap will help you do. Here is why you should use ratchet straps instead of a simple rope to secure your cargo;
- There are different ratchet straps for different-sized cargo
If you are moving lightweight equipment, you can use any type of ratchet strap. A strap with a rating of 1,500kg will help you transport lightweight equipment on the roof of your vehicle. However, if you are moving heavy cargo, you need to choose stronger and longer ratchet straps with a WLL of 10,000kg and an average length of 20+ meters.
You will find different types of straps to accommodate any cargo you intend to transport.
Ratchet straps have strong webbing that is made of industrial-grade material. This makes it durable, scratch-resistant, water- and dust-proof, and also enable them to retain their compactness. If you secure your ratchet strap properly on a cargo, this will ensure that it doesn’t wobble, bounce around, or slide around. This means your equipment will get to its destination in tip-top condition. The weather-resistant nature of the ratchet strap enables it to withstand snow, prolonged heat exposure, and rain. This makes it reliable and usable for a long time.
- They are flexible and versatile
Ratchet straps come in different styles and types, each designed for specific tasks. Depending on your transport or storage needs, you can choose from a variety of types including d-rings, flat hooks, extensions, and flat snap hooks, just to name a few. There is a wide selection you can choose from.
- They offer a risk-free way of transporting cargo
Transporting cargo in rocky terrain can be risky, especially if they are delicate and can get damaged. Securing it with several ratchet straps will help prevent this and guarantee that it reaches your destination in tip-top shape. This helps it retain its value.
- Easy to use
In addition to being durable and reliable, ratchet straps are also easy to use. Besides tying down cargo, ratchet straps are also designed to reinforce grip to hold down your cargo securely. They use a ratchet to tighten the straps which makes tying and untying work easy.
How to Use a Ratchet Strap
Once you purchase the best retractable ratchet straps, follow these tips on how to use them;
- Inspect the strap. Ensure the strap doesn’t have holes, broken stitches, or tears as the presence of these can make it break apart, and this will put your equipment in danger of falling over.
- Secure it on solid ground. Your straps will be of no use if you fail to secure the ends. Do not put a strapped load on the roof of your car if it lacks a rack. Doing this will be risking your cargo and also the safety of others on the road. Make sure to secure your ratchet straps on something solid.
- Tighten but do not twist the belt. The belt should be flat against your load to be safe and secure. Make sure not to make it too tight to avoid damaging the cargo or loosening the strap’s webbing.
- Err on more. When it comes to securing cargo, more straps are better than few. If you have more straps, tie down the front and rear part of your equipment to something solid.
- After you are done, check the anchors to make sure they are strong and secure.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions about Ratchet Straps
Q-1: How do you use a ratchet strap?
- Thread the strap into the center point of the ratchet spool and then pull the strap to remove all the loose ends. To tighten the webbing, just lower and raise the ratchet handles.
- To release the ratchet, look at where it has been assembled at the top of the load, then pull and hold the tab. This makes the strap to loosen up. Open the ratchet until it is flat then grab the free end of the ratchet and pull it to release the strap out.
Q-2: How much weight can a quality ratchet strap hold?
- The industry standard for capacity or working load limit of a ratchet strap is 1/3 of a strap break strength. This includes the strength of each component of the strap. That is the ratchet strength, the hook strength, and webbing strength.
Q-3: Which is the best way to store ratchet straps?
- To maintain the quality of a strap and prolong its lifespan, proper storage is required. Although polyester straps are resistant to many weather elements, cleaning and drying them after a rainy day will keep moisture from damaging their webbing. When storing, separate the straps from its assembly and fold it neatly. Because of their pricey nature, it is important to regularly maintain your polyester straps to ensure they last for a long time.
Q-4: How do I know the best ratchet straps for my needs?
- Well, this majorly depends on the type of transportation and load capacity of your equipment. In the case of shipping cargos, the strap is likely to get exposed to wet conditions and heat. In this case, go for a sturdy polyester strap as this will keep your cargo secure and prevent it from sliding around the ship. In case you are looking for a strap to keep an item stationary in your garage or storage room, a nylon or polypropylene strap will work just fine because there is no heat or rain.
Q-5: How many ratchet straps or tie downs do I need to secure a load?
- Well, this depends on the break strength and the workload limit of the strap. For instance, 3-4 straps on a motorcycle would be ideal especially if you are traveling for a long distance. If you are not sure of the number of straps to use, get a summation of their working load limits; it should be 50 percent of the load capacity you intend to carry.
Q-6: Why do ratchet straps loosen up after some time?
- When moving your load, the strap’s webbing can stretch and pop off or become loose. Because of the tightening, when you drive in rough terrain or over a speed bump, your strap’s tie-down becomes weak. After some time, the straps will lose their usual tight webbings.
Q-7: What is the difference between breaking strength and working load limit?
- Breaking strength is the load in kg or pounds at which the synthetic web tie load-bearing part fails. The working load limit often marked at WLL, is the maximum load assigned to the synthetic web of the strap by the manufacturer. It should not exceed 1/3 of all the components of the assembly breaking strength. This means if a strap has a break strength of 16,200 lbs., its WLL should be 5,400lbs.
Ratchet straps are straightforward, and thus it should not be too difficult to find the right one for your needs. Check manufacturer ratings on break strength, strap lengths, and working load limits to determine whether or not they are right for you.
The above are the top 10 best ratchet straps of 2019. We picked models from the best manufacturers and also those with the highest ratings and many reviews by customers. Pick your preferred ratchet from this list, and for sure, you will appreciate their quality and longevity.