Ratchet straps are really convenient at loading heavy goods and come handy during any transportation. That is until they don’t. You might have seen plenty of people who drag their goods around, and the ratchet straps look like they are about to fall off. Else, sometimes they actually fall off and bring more discomfort than convenience.
Just like anything, ratchet tie-downs are only good if you choose them the right way. This guide will help you choose durable tie-downs and teach you to fix them up properly. Also, you will see a review of the most famous ratchet strips on the market.
How to Choose Ratchet Straps?
There are four main variables that determine the quality and the durability of ratchet straps – load limit (also known commonly as breaking strength), the design convenience, the dimensions of straps, and the materials they are made of.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
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The term implies the peak weight the strap is capable to accommodate. Most models have a load limit of 300-500 pounds. In case a manufacturer doesn’t specify the load limit, breaking strength is another value you can refer to. Typically, the breaking strength is three times higher than the load limit. Basically, if a ratchet strap breaks at 1000 pounds, 300 pounds is its load limit.
If there’s one thing you certainly don’t want a ratchet strap to have, that’s a tight grip since it’s much harder to regulate the way a strap supports the adjacent load. Also, some models have poorly designed ratchet release mechanisms, making it considerably harder to free the load from the strap. To make sure you are comfortable carrying a tie-down, choose one that has comfortable handles.
Lacking or excessive tie-down dimensions could make or break your experience with ratchet straps. As you are looking for a convenient model, look for the one with adjustable dimensions. A good model should allow you to connect the cargo’s tie-down and that of the truck without breaking the strap itself.
Ratchet Strap Materials
The durability of ratchet straps relies on the materials they are made of. The most durable modifications on the market have a metal coating and a UV protector. This way, a strap can handle transportation conditions, temperature changes, and heavy loads. Yous should be careful to not let the metal from the straps scratch your vehicle – make sure to not put thein a close contact with the car.
Types of Ratchet Strap Hooks
A hook, attached to the strap, determines its durability and ease of use. There are several hook modifications ratchet straps are typically equipped with:
- S (double-j) hooks. These hooks work for most tie-down points, including the anchors of car bumpers and trailers. Although the working principle of both hooks is similar, there’s a notable difference when it comes to design. S hooks are not separated from the strap. On the contrary, J-hooks are placed at a 90-degree angle. Thus, during transportation, an S-strap is likely to move around while a J hook will remain stable.
- E-connectors. These hooks are attached to Snap-loc systems. Although they are considerably more expensive than S or double-J straps, the versatility and stability of the cargo they provide are superior to other modifications.
- Flat hooks. This hook is built from bent-down metal – typically aluminum. These hooks are not too versatile since they only fit flat anchors – such as the bumper edges. The modification is typically used to transport trailers.
How to Tie Down a Ratchet Strap?
Choosing the right ratchet strap is important. However, you will not be able to make the most out of its high capacity and durability if you don’t know how to tie a strap down properly. Here’s a brief guide on how to attach ratchet tie-downs to transportable loads:
- Step #1. Find the webbing at the center of the ratchet’s spool. Carefully start threading the strap from the bottom.
- Step #2. Pull the webbing all the way through until there’s no excessive webbing or unneeded slack. By the end of the step, you should have a durable firm webbing.
- Step #3. Pull the handle of the ratchet all the way up and down so that the tie-down is sufficiently tight to hold the cargo properly. Check if the transportable items don’t slip from side to side.
- Step #4. Load the cargo into the transportation vehicle.
Top 10 Ratchet Straps – Review
When researching the market, you are likely to hear more about certain models than others. In case you are wondering if these hyped ratchet strap manufacturers are worth your time, attention, and trust, find out more about the most popular models on the market. We’ve reviewed and tested top ratchet straps personally – here’s the full review.
1. 4PK Ratchet Straps
These 15-inch long tie-downs are long enough to transport any medium-sized cargo. There are S-hooks that prevent your car from scratching. The webbing itself is fully adjustable – you don’t have to struggle with excessive webbing. For extra convenience, the manufacturer included two additional transportation cords into the bundle.
The hooks of these ratchet straps are covered with a durable rubber coat. Thus, they will not rust away and will not damage any adjacent equipment.
|• Easy tightening and release |
• The hook fits most anchors
• High durability
|• Can slide apart an inch or two|
• Hooks are slightly too small
• S hooks are not durable enough for motorcycle trailer transportation
2. Augo Tie Down Straps
These tie-downs are fully adjustable and fit for small and medium-sized equipment alike. Thanks to a protective rubber coat, there’s no way for metal hooks to scratch the car surface or damage other loads you are transporting. These Augo tie-down straps are highly durable and designed to carry out day-to-day tasks without wearing out.
There are four additional loops in the straps package that increase the durability of the model.
|• Easy to use|
• Made from solid and durable metal
• Convenient tight-and-release mechanisms
|• Wrong installation instructions in the manual|
• Fails to secure a cargo with no budging
• Small hooks
3. Ratchet Straps Rhino USA
The manufacturer is one of a handful of ratchet strap sellers that offer a lifetime guarantee. The hooks are S-shaped and padded. There are elastic and comfortable handles that will not irritate the skin on the arms. The straps are fifteen feet long and fit well for transporting all types of general cargo.
The webbing is UV-protected and made of durable yet non-harmful to the vehicle materials. The product comes in four sets – soft loop, a single ratchet strap, cam buckle, and a 2-ratchet strap kit.
|• Lifetime warranty|
• High-quality customer support
• Smooth tightening mechanism
|• Low durability|
• Ratchet can lock in the state of full release
• The coating comes off the hook easily
4. Vulcan Car Ratchet Straps
These ratchet straps are a go-to choice for many professional transportation teams. The ratchet straps are durable and versatile – having said that, they are quite expensive as well. The webbing is well-protected from UV lights, dressed in an additional coating to not damage the rim of the vehicle and protect the hooks from rust.
The ratchet straps are equipped with flat hooks – it increases the durability of the3 unit, drawing from its versatility.
|• Built-in ratchet buckles|
• Rust and UV-resistant webbing
• Designed specifically for car transportation
|• Doesn’t fit all popular tire modifications|
• Get fumbled after long transportations
• Hard to apply over the tires
5. Pro Taper Ratchet Straps
These ratchet straps are quite long and durable. The webbing is made from high-quality nylon. The buckles don’t slip. There is no protective coating on the hook – be careful when putting a strapped cargo inside the vehicle. Since the hook is placed on a carabineer base, it will not get twisted and the load will be secured in the most stable way.
The strap has a soft handlebar that’s comfortable to carry around.
|• Large dimensions – 84×1.5 inches|
• High strength-resistance
• Stable hooks with a carabineer base
|• The straps are not sufficiently thick|
• Uneven clip dimensions
• The cover paint tends to come out after
6. HFS Cargo Ratchet Straps
These straps are made from gentle polyester materials that will not damage the car the cargo is transported in. The straps have a high break strength- they are capable of accommodating up to 3000 pounds. The straps are equipped with double-J hooks that will not bend backward unlike their S-shaped counterparts.
The cover of the webbing is fully UV and rust-resistant. The manufacturing principles comply with DOT regulations.
|• High-quality hooks|
• Reasonable price
• Protects the cargo from damage
|• Low-quality webbing material|
• Does not protect the load from minor sliding
• Recurring packaging issues
7. Keeper Tie-Downs
These ratchet straps are heavy-duty. They are often used for transporting heavy cargos. The tie-downs are long and wide enough to package heavy, tall, furniture. These tie-downs lead the way by the component and rated capacity, as well as the load limit.
Other than that, the set of four is included in the package. Also, J-hooks included in the system are quite stable and wouldn’t bend during the transportation process.
|• Reasonable pricing|
• Durable and efficient for tying down
• Sleek design
|• Poorly lubricated|
• The release catch lacks rubber
• The grips on the tie-down are too small
8. Lockdown Ratchet Straps
These straps are a cut above many flimsy modifications on the market. The model is quite heavy-duty, and fit four-wheelers, ATVs, and loading trucks. Lockdown ratchet straps are often used to transport home appliances, machinery, and heavy furniture. The webbing is equipped with fixed J hooks.
There’s a large finger-through that helps release tension in the transportation process.
|• Stylish design|
• Easy to adjust
• Durable for long trips
|• Ratchets are made out of thin metal|
• No second strap sets
• No way to hook the straps on to themselves
9. Fortem Tie-Down Ratchet Straps
Fortem is a bundle of four straps and buckles for transportation. The hooks are steel-made with a protective anti-scratch coating. Its maximum capacity reaches 500 pounds. The hooks are rust- and dust-resistant. Also, the model has extensive dimensions and is adjustable in case you don’t want to struggle with excessive length.
|• Guarantee from the manufacturer|
• High visibility design
• Come with a zip case
|• Wears off when rubbed|
• The straps are not sufficiently thick
• Strap release issues
10. Erickson Ratchet Straps
The model is gold for mobile households. They are easy to keep together thanks to a functional zipper bag that’s included in the package. It is stored at the center of the straps preventing them from getting dirty. There are four ten-inch straps with stylish and well-visible webbing.
The straps are not lacking in terms of load capacity. They are capable of holding over 1,200 lbs together.
|• Easy to set up|
• Adjustable sizes
|• Don’t tie well enough|
• Glitchy release mechanism
• Unfit for heavy-duty transportation
A good pair of tie-down straps can be useful around the house for years. Whether you are buying heavy furniture, moving to a new place, or traveling abroad, it’s always helpful to be able to tie your belongings together and prevent them from getting lost or damaged.
When you are are looking for a strap model, ensure they support the needed load, the dimensions fit, they are a breeze to adjust and don’t have an overly tough grip. For efficient and unbiased market research, refer to our review of the most popular strap models – this way, your purchasing decision will be objective and data-driven.