Life doesn’t fit perfectly into a box because life can be messy. Towing, hauling, and moving are real challenges, and your motorcycle won’t stand up on its own in the back of a pickup. We’ve all been there and know how handy a set of ratchet straps can be. They’re one of the most versatile tools you can have in your vehicle or garage. Hooking up and cranking down belongings can save them from damage, which saves your memories and money at the same time. While most ideal for pickup trucks and flatbeds, we’ve seen people get creative using ratchet straps with their SUVs, vans, and even sedans. They’ll also keep you from getting cited for an infraction by law enforcement as most cities and states have strict laws about securing loads. Whatever your needs may be, let’s find you a set of ratchet straps perfect for your situation.
Best Ratchet Strap Reviews & Recommendations
With a slogan like “Take life to go,” it would be easy to assume the Ratchet Tie Down Straps by Augo are just another marketing ploy. Take a closer look at the 1-inch by 15-foot ratchet straps, though, and you’ll be surprised by what the company offers. Made from high-quality material with extra stitching, these straps boast a 500-pound Working Load Limit (WLL) and a 1,500-pound break limit.
You’ll easily be able to use the ergonomically designed handles and quick-release latch, and to sweeten the deal, Augo has included two bungee cords with the bundle. Those will definitely come in handy no matter what you’re fastening as ratchet straps alone can’t do everything.
- Model 4-RCHT
- 1-inch wide webbing
- 15-foot-long straps
- Package weight: 4.53 pounds
1,500-pound breaking strength
Includes two bungee cords
Medium range WLL
No carrying case or storage straps
Anyone who has been on a job site or in our garage before has seen Stanley tools hard at work. And given its reputation for quality tools that won’t break the bank, Stanley even offers ratchet straps. Standing out in the traditional black and yellow colors, these straps are made from polypropylene that are weather-resistant. And as an added benefit to these particular straps, the webbing is high-visibility yellow.
To help fight weather, rust, and corrosion the metal components have been “black-coated” or vinyl-coated for those that don’t speak Stanley. The standard S-hooks are designed to hold fast without tearing your attachment points to bits, either, and you’ll be fastening your gear quickly and unstrapping even faster with an easy-to-use release lever.
- Model S9500
- 1 inch wide
- 10 feet long
- Package weight: 2.55 pounds
Vinyl coated S-hooks protect attachment points
Relatively low WLL
No carrying case or storing straps
Trusting equipment isn’t always easy unless it has a lab-tested 5,208-pound breaking strength like these Rhino USA heavy-duty ratchet straps. That gives you a 1,736-pound WLL, enough for almost any job from metropolitan highways to rural backroads. What makes these straps stand out is all the detail Rhino USA has put into them. Since Rhino USA is boasting the straps are indestructible, it’s a good thing there is a money-back guarantee.
Available in black, blue, green, orange, and red, these straps are constructed from a PolyBlend for the webbing, alloy steel, and feature padded handles that you’ll find hard to break. The S-hooks steal the day with safety clips, making cinching easier as you don’t have to worry about the hook falling from the attachment point. They pair well with the included soft loops that can be wrapped around equipment for added security and protection.
- Model: HDKIT-4PACK
- 1.6 inches wide
- 8 feet long
- Package weight: 10 pounds
Includes soft loops and carrying case
Safety clips on S-hooks
Only 8 feet long
No cup holders included
High price point
We’ve all run into a situation where we use the straps we have, but cross our fingers they’re good enough. These heavy duty straps from Rocket Straps have a WLL of 1,500 pounds and won’t have you checking your rearview every five seconds. Made from industrial polyester webbing, these red straps feature ultra-diamond stitching for increased security and durability.
Gloves or no gloves, you’ll be able to grip the ergonomic padded handles with ease while fastening equipment down and unique for non-commercial straps, these sport double J-hooks for fastening. While S-hooks may seem more secure, these J-hooks are incredibly strong and have a soft powder coating to fight corrosion and protect your attachment points. The convenience factor is doubled when you utilize the included soft loops.
- Model RS-1545
- 1.5 inches wide
- 15 feet long
- Package weight: 9.22 pounds
Includes soft loops and carrying case
Not ideal for cars, vans, or SUVs
When you’re working hard jobs, you’ve got to have straps capable of anything. Grabbing a set of tie downs, like these from Keeper, with double J-hooks is a solid solution. The metal hooks are designed to handle immense pressure demands. While they work best with flatbeds, it’s possible to combine these with soft loops or other attachment equipment.
The 2-inch wide webbing is made of high tenacity yarn that has been tested for strength and durability unlike any straps on the market. This is what gives the straps a remarkable 3,333-pound WLL and the extra width allows it to tighten down on equipment better than one-inch straps can.
- Model 04629
- 2 inches wide
- 25 feet long
- Package weight 20 pounds
Incredibly high WLL
Wider straps prevent damage to equipment
Works great with flat-bed trucks
Weighs more than 1-inch straps
Not intended for use with cars, vans, or SUVs
No carrying case, stowing straps, or soft loops included
How We Selected The Products
We carefully selected each ratchet strap based on performance criteria, price, and each brand’s respective history of reliability. We selected straps rated for light, medium, heavy, and commercial duties to offer the best selection. We avoided products with extravagant pricing or outlandish claims.
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.
Buying Guide/What to Look For
When it comes to ratchet straps finding the right set can get confusing and difficult if you’re not sure what to look for. You’re probably asking yourself how to tell the rating of straps or whether the color matters — color doesn’t, FYI.
It is important for you to look at the rating, width, length, and attachment style to ensure that it’s compatible with your vehicle/trailer and strong enough to fasten your equipment safely. We’ve done the research for you and below you’ll find tips and tricks to selecting your next set. No matter what job you’ve got to tackle, you’ll be ready and get it done confidently.
What to Consider When Buying Ratchet Straps
Ratings of Ratchet Straps
Generally speaking, anything under 500 pounds is light duty. This is the rating you’d want to strap down your average home goods, furniture, tools, and equipment. If you’re looking to have some straps for tying down your lawnmower or couch these straps would work well.
Stepping up into medium duty range is anything between 500 and 1,000 pounds. We’re talking about large tools and equipment here like riding lawn mowers, lathes, and more. These will work just fine for light duty tasks as well, which makes these types of straps versatile.
Strapping down with heavy duty gear is where it becomes vital to get the right strength straps. Heavy duty is really anything over 1,000 pounds. We’re talking about tying down other vehicles, tractors, appliances, lumber, pipe, and so much more. You won’t need these if you’re driving sedans or coupes — these are for trucks and trailers.
In a whole league of its own are the commercial grade straps. These are extra heavy-duty straps designed with a WLL of more than 2,000 pounds. Normally, these are thick straps meant for the winch ratchet on the side of flatbed trucks.
Ratchet Strap Key Features
Straps come in various sizes, but most commonly in 1-inch, 2-inch, and 4-inch. The larger the webbing, the stronger it will generally be. While one-inch straps are great for tying down motorcycles, canoes, or furniture, they are not ideal for large cargo. Four-inch straps work great on large diameter pipe, bundles of lumber, or heavy equipment but would be overkill on a lawnmower.
Knowing the types of jobs you’ll need your straps to do will help you select the right width. There is not one size of strap that will work for all jobs, so keep in mind that you may need to purchase multiple sets if you have a large variety of jobs.
Another important feature to consider when buying straps is the length you’ll need. You can get straps from six-feet long up to 30 feet or more. Most common, especially for smaller sized straps, are 10-foot lengths that work great for most pickup truck needs. These tend to be light to medium duty.
The longer straps, like 20-30 feet, are more ideal for large/tall demands. That means they won’t be so great for cars or crossovers. There’s nothing wrong with having long straps, just keep in mind you’ll need to tie up the tail so it’s not flapping in the wind.
Most commonly ratchet straps feature S-hooks. These are simple to use as they have a deep hook that makes setting up the strap easily. They’re not the only type of hook though and they’re not the strongest. On heavy duty straps, you’ll find double J-hooks. These are not as deep as S-hooks, but they’re stronger due to their shape and construction. Flat hooks are the strongest and most often found in commercial applications.
The type of hook matters beyond the strength of the hook as where you’ll be setting these straps up plays a huge part. You’ll find it really challenging to get a flat hook to work with your city-ready hybrid, just like the S-hook won’t fasten as well on a flatbed. To get the right straps, you’ll want to select the right type of hook that’ll allow you to use them with your equipment.
Ratchet Strap Pricing
As with anything, you’ll find straps for dirt cheap, reasonable prices and, of course, outlandish pricing that makes you wonder if the mechanism is made from unicorn blood or something. Everyone’s budget is different and there’s no need to put yourself in debt for a set of straps. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for, though, and cheap can be cheap for a reason.
Ratchet Strap Tips and Tricks
As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product and/or using it. That’s the case with us and ratchet straps. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.
- To prevent loosening of straps on tall cargo, put a twist in the strap while attaching.
- To keep your loose ends tight, try using a velcro strap or tying them on itself.
- To avoid crushing soft cargo, use edge protectors and lumber under the strap.
Q: Do I need edge protectors for my straps?
Technically no, but they are strongly encouraged. No matter a company’s claim, webbed straps are prone to tearing, ripping, or fraying when subjected to intense pressure or sharp edges. Putting some cardboard or plastic protectors on the edge of sharp pieces will lengthen the lifespan of your straps, too.
Q: Will extreme weather affect my straps?
It sure can. If you’re working in cold and icy areas, the webbing or mechanism of your straps could become brittle over time making them prone to breaking. Working in hot environments wont have as much of an effect, but the heat and debris could compromise the integrity of your straps over time.
Q: How tight should a ratchet strap be?
They should be really tight, but not so much that you put unnecessary pressure on your equipment or cargo. Once you feel it’s tight, give it a quick tug to ensure that there is no movement by the strap or cargo. If nothing moves, then you should be good to go.
Q: Can ratchet straps loosen?
Yes, even if you crank it down as far as you can, the constant vibration and wind could cause straps to loosen. If you’re doing long hauls, make sure to take frequent stops to ensure the straps stay tight. If your straps are constantly loosening, especially over short distances, your ratchet mechanism may be damaged.
Selecting the right set of ratchet straps will open the doors of endless possibilities for you. Whether you select our best overall pick of Augo Ratchet Tie Down Straps, go for the budget friendly Stanley Ratchet Straps, or decide to treat yourself with the premium pick of Rhino USA Ratchet Straps, your equipment and cargo will be fastened securely. We welcome your comments and feedback.