What Is The Best Recovery Strap? (2020 Reviews)

Recovery Strap Reviews

A recovery strap is a necessary piece of equipment for any vehicle kit, not just for off-roaders. No one wants to get stuck 4x4ing while in the middle of some unknown land. However, even if you never take wilderness trails, you can just as quickly get stuck on a slippery road in the winter, or find yourself in a ditch just off of the highway.

For any type of situation like this, you’ll want to have the best possible recovery strap in your tool kit. A recovery strap may stay unused in your equipment for a long time, but as soon as you need it, you’ll be glad you have it.

If you’ve ever gotten your vehicle stuck, you know how frustrating it can be to wait around for a tow truck, not to mention the bill you get afterward. However, if you have a right recovery strap, a couple of friends, and another vehicle, you can handle any issue on your own.

To be able to be safe and self-sufficient, you want to make sure that you have the best recovery strap possible. When you have a top-notch strap, the operation can be quick and painless. Whereas having something sub-par can cause frustration and possibly dangerous situations.

Quick Picks: See Our 3 Top Choices for Recovery Straps

1. Sunferno Tow Recovery Strap 35000lb - Recover Your Vehicle Stuck in Mud/Snow - Heavy Duty 3" x 20'... 

7% max stretch, high visibility, water-resistant, money-back guarantee

2. ARB ARB705 2-3/8" x 30' Recovery Strap - 17500 lbs Capacity 

Min breaking point, 8,000 kg, 20% stretch, reinforced eyes

3. RHINO USA Recovery Tow Strap 3" x 20ft - Lab Tested 31,518lb Break Strength - Heavy Duty Draw String... 

Exclusive Poly/Silk webbing, heavy duty bag, money back guarantee

Differences Between a Recovery Strap and Tow Strap

Primary Job

A tow strap is meant to haul a vehicle over distance. A recovery strap is meant to get a vehicle unstuck.

Ending Edge

Tow straps have metal hooks on the ends, whereas recovery straps have loops.

Material

Tow straps are designed not to stretch. Recovery straps should have some stretch.

There are differences between recovery straps and tow straps, and it’s essential to know when to use which. Both of them have their strengths and weaknesses and should be used in the correct scenarios to keep you safe. One is designed for towing a vehicle to safety gently, and the other is designed to yank and pull a vehicle out of a stuck position.

When using a tow strap, the vehicle should already be unstuck and on the road, and will likely be being towed because of a battery or engine issue. Tow straps have hooks on the ends and are made out of Dacron or polypropylene, which isn’t designed to stretch. You should never use a tow strap to recover someone, as the hooks could fly off, causing severe injury.

A recovery strap does not have metal hooks attached to the ends but instead has sewn together with loops on the endpoints. There will also be thicker sections of Nylon that protect the strap from wear points on shackles. Straps will be made of Nylon and are designed to expand and contract. While you should never use a tow strap to recover, you can use a recovery strap to tow.

What To Think About When Choosing the Best Recovery Strap

  • Durability
  • Capacity
  • Length and Width
  • Stretch
  • Weather Resistance

There are plenty of things to consider when choosing a recovery strap. Having the right one will do the job and keep you safe. Buying the right one first will also save time and money, replacing it later. There are a number of recovery straps on the market, but the following things are what you should keep in mind when considering your purchase.

Durability

The worst thing that can happen when recovering a vehicle is to have your strap snap under pressure. A durable strap will make sure that accidents like that don’t happen. It will also allow you to use your strap multiple times without concern.

Durability depends on the materials that the strap is made from. Check reviews and manufacturer recommendations before any purchase. Cleaning your strap between uses will also make sure that dirt and grease won’t degrade its durability over time.

Capacity

The capacity that you need will be dependent on your individual needs. A strap is entirely useless if it can’t take your vehicle load. Know your vehicle load before making a choice about any strap.

Strap capacity is figured out by determining the working load limit and break strength. The working load is the weight that the strap can pull. The break strength is the force can handle before it snaps. When choosing, focus on making sure the working load limit is higher than your vehicle load.

Length and Width

Most straps come in 20 and 30-foot lengths, If you’re only buying one for your kit, always buy the 30-foot range. You can still make something shorter, but you can’t lengthen it if you end up in a situation where you need it.

The wider a strap is, the stronger it will be, which will prevent snapping when pulling. However, you want to make sure that any wide strap you buy will still have enough stretch to it. A general rule is that each inch of width will let you pull out about 9,800 lbs.

Stretch

Stretch is essential because it increases the kinetic energy you’ll need during car recovery. This stored energy increases the pulling strength, which is why you want it when pulling out a vehicle.

All straps should be rated with the percentage that they will stretch. You want a minimum of 7%, although some steps will offer up to 15%-20%. The more stretch you have in your strap though, the harder it will be to clean, which might cause problems after use. So if you’re a regular off-roader, you may want to go for something with slightly less stretch.

Weather Resistance

Weather resistance refers to how functional a strap is in different types of weather. Whether it will be slippery when wet, stiff when it freezes or isn’t visible in inclement weather are all factors to consider.

For sure, you want to buy a highly visible strap. Brightly colored straps make sure that everyone can stay well out of the way during recovery. You also want to make sure that any strap you choose is washable so that you’ll be able to use it for a long time.

Recovery Strap Reviews

Number 1

Sunferno Ultimate Tow Recovery Strap

Sunferno is the ultimate off-roading choice for a robust, durable, and weatherproof strap.

Pros

  • Can be used for heavy vehicles
  • Weatherproof material
  • Easy use and installation
  • High visibility and safety factors
  • Money-back guarantee

Cons

  • 10% stretch makes it less efficient in snap recovery

Sunferno is our number one choice because it is one of the most reliable recovery straps on the market. It has a 10% stretch and a 35000lb breaking point. When used with a winch, this strap can safely recover even large vehicles like tractors, full-sized trucks, and SUVs. It is made of durable waterproof Nylon, which repels mud and keeps the strap safe from cuts and scoring. It’s the ideal strap for off-roading.

The strap is lightweight at only 5.8 pounds, meaning you can install it without help. The eye hooks are reinforced and have a sturdy grip. It is also covered in a neoprene safety sleeve, which will keep you safer in the event of it snapping. The strap is a highly visible neon.

Storage and cleaning are comfortable with this product. The Nylon will clean easily due to the waterproofing. It comes with a storage bag as well as a strap tie, and a guidebook to help walk you through uses.

Number 2

ARB Recovery Strap

ARB is a highly stretchable strap for snap extraction.

Pros

  • High flexibility
  • High elasticity
  • 100% heavy-duty quality nylon
  • Durable
  • Padded loops
  • High visibility

Cons

  • High elasticity makes it harder to clean
  • No storage bag included

ARB is our number two choice for many reasons. It’s durable, elastic, and can recover any truck or SUV with ease. It has a capacity of 33000lbs, and has a 20% elasticity rating due to the use of pure Nylon. The webbing is also well-rated for UV and water resistance. It’s 30 feet long, making it useful for extracting vehicles in tight spots.

With its high elasticity, this strap can store large amounts of energy that will help move your vehicle in a safe and quick way. It removes the difficulty of extracting heavy or deeply stuck cars due to the amount of kinetic energy that it holds. It has loops that are reinforced, and the strap has a solid grip.

It is one of the best tow straps on the market for snow and mud extraction. Since it’s so long, it can also be looped on itself or joined with another strap to make it smaller or larger. The loop paddings are also removable.

Number 3

RhinoUSA Recovery Tow Strap

RhinoUSA has a proprietary fabric design for even weight distribution and durability.

Pros

  • Protective sleeves
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Highly Durable Fabric
  • Sturdy Grip
  • Each attachment to two vehicles

Cons

  • Doesn’t stretch so won’t store kinetic energy

The Rhino recovery strap has a lifetime warranty, as well as a full money-back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied. It’s a 30 ft long strap, rated to 30000lb capacity, and is suitable for trucks or SUVs.

It has reinforced loops, and the poly/silk material has durable stitching to withstand even the most challenging recoveries. Its design will support most off-roading models. It has an extremely sturdy grip as well as protective sleeves attached to every strap. The fabric all stand up to harsh weather, and its specific design will distribute pressure evenly for less breakage potential.

Rhino’s specific fabric is what makes it one of the best straps in the USA. The strap also comes with a heavy-duty drawstring bag, as well as a user manual to help walk you through emergency scenarios. Rhino makes all products exclusively in the USA.

Number 4

Smittybilt Recovery Strap

Smittybilt is an ideal 2-in-1 strap for recovery and towing.

Pros

  • Can be used for towing and recovery
  • Light and Portable
  • Heavy-duty
  • Weatherproof
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Doesn’t stretch so won’t store kinetic energy

Smittybilt is ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to invest in both a recovery strap and a tow strap. It has a double woven design that can make it useful for both towing and recovery. Although the elasticity is low, it has a sturdy grip which will allow you to perform recovery when a winch is used. Its capacity is 30000lb, which can handle full-sized trucks and jeeps.

It is an ideal all-purpose strap for offloading or any scenario where you want to pick less gear. The strap only weighs 5 pounds, can be carried easily and installed alone. It has reinforced loops, and the material is waterproof and durable. The yellow design is also highly visible.

Number 5

Titan Auto Heavy-Duty Recovery Strap

Titan is a broader and heavier-duty strap for heavier vehicles.

Pros

  • Heavy towing capacity
  • Weatherproof
  • Reinforced and elongated loops
  • UV treated

Cons

  • 7% stretch won’t store much kinetic energy

This heavy-duty strap is robust and can also be used for towing. It’s 30ft long with a width of 3.5 inches, and elasticity of 7%, and a breakpoint of 35000lbs. It is more than strong enough to pull tractors, full-sized trucks, and jeeps. It also has reinforced loops that expand more than the rest of the strap, which eases extraction.

The loops also have protective padding that will protect both vehicles. The fabric is highly visible, UV treated, and durable in all weather types. It also bounces back into shape quickly, meaning that you can use it to recover another vehicle just minutes after the first. It has a one-year warranty for a full refund or replacement.

Number 6

Motormic Heavy Duty Tow Rope

Motormic features are ideal for 4×4 recoveries.

Pros

  • Protected contact points
  • Designed for harsh weather
  • Good for multiple uses
  • Comes with a storage bag
  • Well priced

Cons

  • Doesn’t stretch so won’t store kinetic energy

This two-strap has a 30000lb breakpoint, although the weave of the fabric helps extend it to over 40000lbs. It’s a 30-foot length with a dense fabric for proper weight distribution. The loops are reinforced and doubled over so that you’ll get the most durable possible grip on your vehicle.

It is the ideal strap for 4×4 rescues as it’s weather-resistant, UV treated, and has a high tear resistance. It bounces back fast, making it suitable for multiple bailouts. It also has protective straps that can be used for extension straps or tree recovery. The fabric can also withstand extreme temperatures, either hot or cold.

Number 7

USWAY Gear Heavy Duty Tow Strap

USWAY is durable and ideal for all-weather performance.

Pros

  • Durable fabric
  • Can be used for towing and recovery
  • Quality stitching
  • High visibility
  • Flexible
  • Well priced

Cons

  • Doesn’t stretch so won’t store kinetic energy

The USWAY is an ideal recovery strap for any outdoor enthusiast. It’s designed for all-weather and is made to be used on tree recovery if a second vehicle isn’t present. It’s ideal for solo off-roading. It’s 30ft in length, and 3 inches wide. It has a 30000lb capacity and a 5-ton working capacity. It can handle full-sized trucks and tractors.

It is made of high quality and durable materials and has doubled over content at contact points. The loops are made of tear-resistant neoprene, which will also help with grip. It is weatherproof and well priced. The strap also comes with a drawstring bag and a 2-year warranty.

Number 8

Gear America Recovery Tow Strap

Gear America is ideal for weighty vehicles

Pros

  • Triple reinforced
  • Light-reflecting sleeves
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Flexible and Durable

Cons

  • Heavy to carry and install

Gear America is the ideal strap for any vehicle that is too heavy for standard straps. It has triple bound fabric and is 4 inches wide, with a capacity of over 40000lbs. The loops are also triple reinforced, and it has a light-reflecting protective sleeve. I can be used for large vehicles, removing heavy equipment or logs, or towing vehicles.

It is one of the most reliable straps on the market with a 6.7-ton working load. The loops also have extension capacity, which allows for some kinetic energy, unlike other straps of this size. The strap itself has a 7% stretch capacity. The fabric is water-resistant, and UV treated to stand up to all harsh weather.

How to Use a Recovery Strap Properly

  • Attach it to a rated anchor point
  • Take your time
  • Plan your direction
  • Communicate
  • Get a running start

Your recovery strap can get you out of many sticky situations, but you need to make sure that you’re using it properly. Incorrect usage could result in damage to your vehicle or injury to your person.

Attaching Your Strap

Straps need to be attached to a point on your vehicle that is rated to take the same load of your strap. There are places on your vehicle that are meant for this, such as frame mounted town hooks, receiver hitches, and D-ring attachments on bumpers. You may need to get under your car to find a point to attach to.

Never wrap a strap around steering, suspicion parts, winch, or bumper, as they could bend or get damaged under load. Don’t attach your strap to your tow ball. It is not meant to take recovery loads, and if it snaps, the ball could fly off, seriously injuring someone or doing damage.

Performing a Recovery

Make sure that you’re taking your time during any recovery. The biggest mistake most people make is being frustrated or in a hurry. Take the time to attach to the correct points on both vehicles. Make sure that everyone involved stands a safe distance away once the recovery begins.

Before beginning, make a plan about which direction you are going to try to pull, and make sure there is ample space for both vehicles. Try to pull downwards if possible, and aim for the most solid ground.

Both drivers should have their windows open and be actively communicating throughout the process. The vehicle that is towing will want to get a bit of a running start. Don’t be too aggressive, but you want to put your recovery strap under force so that the kinetic energy will help move the vehicle. Once the vehicle being recovered is back on solid ground, stop the vehicles and remove the straps.

FAQ

How do I attach my recovery strap to another vehicle?

Use the loops at the end of the strap. Find a solid anchor point and pass one end of the strap around the anchor point and then through the loop. Do not use any type of knot or extra hardware to attach it, as this can cause failure and snapping.

If I pull too hard, could a recovery strap damage my vehicle?

Nylon straps are the safest option to use when pulling anything. Make sure you drive slowly, and sudden tugs are what can lead to damage. If you’re worried about a strap snapping, you can put a tarp on top of the strap as you pull. If the strap happens to break, the tarp will help slow the strap and soften any blow.

Why does my recovery strap need to be stretchy?

Kinetic energy works like a rubber band. As the first vehicle drives forward, it takes up the strap’s slack and starts to create force. When the strap is completely tight, it stretches, building up energy in the rope. Once it reaches maximum stretch, the energy is transferred to the stuck vehicle, helping dislodge it.

What can’t I just use chains or a tow rope?

Recovery straps are the safest way to dislodge a stuck vehicle. Other straps, cables, and chains become extremely dangerous if they break under heavy load. Nylon is also softer than metal or two straps, so it will cause less injury or vehicle damage in the case of a break.

Why is it important to clean and properly store my recovery strap?

If Nylon is submerged in water for long periods of time, it can lose up to 15% of its strength. If salt and minerals get left in the fibers for too long, it can cause internal abrasions, weakening the strap. Chemicals like paint, acids, and oils will also break down fibers and cause strength loss.

How much does a recovery strap cost?

You can buy a recovery strap for as low as $20, but it won’t necessarily be useful for long term or heavy-duty use. It’s okay if you just want something to throw in your car for safety, but if you expect to be in any sort of situation where you may need to use it more often, invest in something better. High-quality straps run around $30 or more, depending on the quality.

Conclusion

While we’re confident in our choices for the best recovery straps out there, make sure you look into precisely what you need before any purchase. Every car has different needs, so make sure to do a little bit of research.

Your car manufacturer may have some suggestions, as well as forums from other individuals who have the make of your vehicle. If you have friends who use straps often, always ask advice! By getting the most information possible, you can ensure that you make the best choice that will last you a long time.

 

Brett Gordon
 

The engine behind editing at DigMyRide and the brains behind its build. During the day, Brett is a thirty-something dude from SoCal climbing the corporate ladder, but by night, he spends his time contributing to the online world of automotive tech & trends.