If your life or at least health is at risk, you can’t be too cautious because in cases like that any slightest difference and any tiniest nuance really matter. According to statistical data provided by the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, at least not long ago trauma was still the main cause of death in the United States for people of the age group below 45, and it stood in the fourth place for people of all ages. Danger hides almost everywhere even with road accidents left aside (these alone take lives of more than 1.2 million people around the globe each year, as the same AAST reports). Think if gardening, for example, or home repairs, or construction works, or something as peaceful as moving to different apartments in the process of which you’ll have to lift heavy loads like furniture or a refrigerator. If it is your human body against something as bulky and heavy as a wardrobe being lifted, you become really dependent on the quality of supportive instruments provided for easier lifting and moving such items around (naturally, no one wants to the get a spine dislocation or injury of similar or higher, sometimes even fatal severity). If so, it is better to entrust your safety to people for whom your safety means their profession. Those are the people who did all necessary calculations, measured and tested maximal lifting loads by taking into account all types and quality of synthetic materials (polyester, nylon, polypropylene, etc.), external conditions, exposure to damaging agents, and numerous other factors you now don’t have to think of – at least not that thoroughly. We are here to examine three best choices of nylon and polyester sling straps on the market to make slinging, strapping, and lifting much safer and hopefully easier.
1. DD Sling – Editor’s choice
The first one we’re going to look at is a renowned American brand from a Mequon-based DD Sling & Supply which was originally founded in 1981 in Milwaukee (meaning that next year it is going to celebrate its 40th anniversary). A proud member of three professional associations – the Web Sling & Tie Down Association (WSTDA), Associated Wire Rope Fabricators (AWRF), and the Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA) – the company virtually radiates with confidence and professionalism even through its website. Who would have thought how many important details have to be accounted for when choosing appropriate sling straps for different types of works – towing, lifting, rigging, slinging, or simply to protect against fall in the course of mountain climbing?! For a common non-professional, a sling strap is a sling strap as it is pictured in mind. For professionals like DD Sling, there are dozens of important technical nuances instead – approached innovatively for stable quality of their slings, because “stable” and “innovative” are displayed as mottos on the website’s front page.
The first sling strap we’d like to draw your attention to is synthetic nylon and polyester sling, highly flexible, but at the same time strong and resistant to marring exposures – which is why this would probably be the first sling strap to think of when planning construction works associated with lifting. The producer reminds of extreme caution needed for sling selection as well as further exploitation and maintenance, recommending not to forget about recommendations and instructions from professional bodies like the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. As it was said earlier, your life may depend on it.
The sling strap is great with a “heavy lifting” job because its 900 nylon and polyester webbing allows it to withstand from 6.400 pounds (with vertical lifting) to 12.800 pounds (with basket load-lifting) as its maximal load capacity. However, despite very high lifting limits, when answering one of the questions representatives of the company did not recommend using the sling strap for tree holding (attaching a tree to something stable on the ground with a noose made from the sling strap).
2 inches wide, up to 20 feet long, it is a perfect instrument for any type of lifting and transportation. No need to feel nervous anymore with a motorboat strapped safely to the roof of your car (or the wagon behind it) with something as capable as this sling strap made of nylon and polyester.
2 eyes of the twisted type allow comfortable lifting, keeping your wrists clean of physical damages. Properties of nylon and polyester fiber make it highly resistant to chemical substances like ethers, oils, alkalis, and alcohols, so it is a perfect selection for a wide variety of works even if they are associated with the hazardous environment. The sling strap also withstands detergents, cleaning solvents, harsh weather conditions, and seawater, but be careful not to pour acids on it (because they disintegrate nylon in the composition of the fabric) and especially concentrated sulfuric acids (fatal to its nylon component). Strong alkalis may still be ok but not in high-temperature conditions where they commence the destruction of nylon, although polyester remains unaffected.
In general, it is not advised to use the sling strap for lifting in temperature conditions below -40F or above 194F. The sling strap is also vulnerable to shock loading. As an additional safeguard against further use of already worn sling or its two lifting loops, the manufacturer puts marks of red warning tissue underneath the external cover: when nylon and polyester fabric starts of wear out and you see the red color underneath, it is a clear warning against further use of the sling strap.
In summary, we here have an ultimate solution for different lifting and other duties, capable to withstand harsh external conditions thanks to its nylon and polyester webbing. Above everything else we value safety, which is why safety and its guarantees make this sling strap our personal choice. It is a strong sling, highly versatile and universal – but not as universal as it could be. It is not intended to work in strong heat above 194F (not necessarily a metal foundry – it may, for example, be like that in summer at sun scorch) or below -40F (temperatures quite common in the North). Also, we wouldn’t recommend this sling for tolling and recovery because there is a clear warning against shock loads (but it is still excellent for all types of lifting).
|• Safety and quality|
• Extremely high resistance
• Almost universal application
|• Temperature limitations|
2. Trekassy – Solid choice
Unlike the previous sling strap which wears its “American Made” mark with pride, Trekassy is a Chinese company specializing in car accessories, especially those needed for towing, lifting, fixing, and other purposes. As it is proposed on the website, whenever you need a custom-made product like a sling strap in our example, a service, or simple advice, feel free to contact their assistants. This makes the next sling strap at least worthy of attention, although it is far not the only reason to look at the brand a bit closer.
A shiny yellow color of the sling strap – just like the previous choice, but a bit brighter – prevents excessive overheating under a scorching sun. What’s even more important is what it is made of: 100% highly durable industrial polyester (0% nylon), resistant to ultraviolet radiation which, among many other possible sources, may be induced by electric arcs. This resistance is even higher than with sling straps made of nylon, polypropylene, or other synthetic materials. This durability could possibly put the sling strap in one row with metal chains – but it is apparently much lighter! Sadly, nothing is said straight about the exposure of polyester to chemical substances – even if you know its properties, it is better to indicate them in the description of the sling strap.
Similarly to the previously reviewed sling strap, this sling is 2 inches wide but only 6 feet long – suitable for cars or heavy furniture lifting, but not for anything bulky. Vertical, choker, or basket lifting capacities of the sling are noticeably more decent as compared to the American sling strap (for example, 2.480 vs. 5.100 for the choker type of lifting when one eye is run through another and the weight is tightly squeezed by the resulting noose). On the other hand, the Chinese company’s choice in favor of a reinforced flat (but not twisted) type of lifting loops at both ends allows greater surface contact, although probably less comfortable lifting.
Another important feature of the sling strap is its maximal 10% stretch which may be good and may be bad. It is good because it makes the sling strap more durable and resistant to shocks which are quite common considering how often a car may run onto road potholes or bumps in the course of transportation. This also makes it a good choice for towing, rigging, recovery, lifting, even making a hammock. On the other hand, with a 10% extension, you can’t ensure the tightest possible grip in the course of lifting and transportation of heavy items – what if they slide from under the sling strap?
In summary, we would say that this is a fairly universal type of sling straps which is oriented towards most massive user segment – a bit short to help with lifting large items like motorboats, but at the same time good enough to lift crates or fix luggage bags or similar items on the car roof. Industrial polyester webbing makes it very resistant to UV radiation – a big plus in this case. Just as is normally the case with China-manufactured goods, the low price of the sling strap may become an additional influencing factor for the purchase of the sling.
|• Strong industrial polyester|
• Resistance to UV
• Good for different types of application
|• Stretching may be dangerous|
3. Keeper – Best value
Finally, one more sling strap we would call “for the little ones” (meaning items, not customers). The sling strap is only 1 inch in width and 6 feet in length, made of the same yellow color as the previous two slings, but understandably much weaker in comparison if weakness is measured by maximal lifting capacity. For example, maximal 3.200 pounds for basket lifting (like both of the previously reviewed producers, Keeper Products also adheres to high standards of the Web Sling & Tie Down Association – WSTDA) means that this sling strap may be safely used for lifting a crate or a heavy refrigerator, although with the latter you will likely need another sling strap. Thankfully, you will still be able to save some coins on that because of a very pleasant price asked for the strap.
100% polyester (0% nylon) webbing makes this sling strap fairly durable. Unlike the Chinese product above, it also allows only minimal stretching which is good for lifting and transportation (if it isn’t much bigger than a travel bag being lifted or transported), but definitely not for towing. On the other hand, its technical characteristics don’t suggest car pulling anyway: it’s more a household tool for general lifting, fairly universal, strong as a metal chain, but unlike chains, nylon and polyester don’t rust.
A handy supplemental lifting tool in your housekeeping duties: light, durable, cheap, made of resistant synthetic polyester, but definitely not suited for extreme working conditions or for strapping large items. Nevertheless, in its market segment, it could not serve you better.
• Fairly strong for everyday housekeeping tasks
• Cheap (affordable price)
|• Not reliable with more “heavy” duties|
Choosing among sling straps is not as hard as choosing, for example, a fuel injector cleaner for your car, but it requires much attention to details because the price of a mistake may be too high. By that, we mean death, no matter how much we hope it won’t come to that. Unlike injector cleaners mentioned above, there exists a variety of choices of how to use purchased sling straps. Car is stuck in a pool of dirt, so you need a sling to lift it from there? That’s one example. Strong wind cracked the tree trunk, so it’s now about to collapse on the roof of your house? That’s quite a different situation. In each case, you’ll have to at least approximately calculate the weight you are going to deal with.
As general recommendations for choosing a sling, however, we would suggest the following:
- Ignoring accompanying instructions would definitely be a very, very bad idea in this case!
- Pay attention to technical characteristics of synthetic materials (nylon, polyester, or other) of which sling straps are made – for instance, whether they are resistant to concentrated acids or bleaching agents
- Try to picture how exactly you are planning to use the strap sling, and whether it will be lifting or more like rigging: details are vital here!
- Producing company’s reputation may serve as a solid grounding for quality and guarantees of its slings
- Look for assistance on the Internet. Even if you’ve already put an eye on certain choice of a sling, better to ask whether it really fits for what you are planning to do with it
We wish you safe lifting with reliable sling straps of your choice!