A Buyer’s Guide to the Best Ratchet Straps

A ratchet strap is a common kind of tie-down system that is used to secure cargo or load on vehicles like flatbed trucks, vans, pickup trucks, etc. They come in a wide range of length, width, and thickness to accommodate a wide range of needs.

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It is crucial that you have a strong strap, not just to secure your cargo, but also to keep the road safe for other vehicles. We hope this guide helps you find the best ratchet strap suitable to your needs.

The Strap Assembly​

**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

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Webbing​

The webbing is the strap itself, and it's usually made of nylon or polyester. Ratchet straps that use polyester webbing are better because it is weather resistant and abrasion resistant.

You also have to consider the width of the webbing it affects the working load limit. The common widths are from 1 to 4 inches, but you might be able to request a custom size with some manufacturers.

Tension Device (Ratchet)​

A ratchet is a tool that allows you to tighten straps easily without using any knots. They have a lever for adjusting the tightness, which you can also easily release to free the strap.

Ratchets can come separately or together with a ratchet strap. Either way, you should take a look at what it the material is. There are different materials and coating for ratchets, all varying in quality.

End Fittings​

There are many different end fittings for a ratchet strap - flat hook, flat snap hook, PE-coated S hook, wire hook, and more.

What you should consider in the end fitting is the working load limit. You should also take into account if it has a coating that can reduce or prevent damage to the surface of your cargo.

How to use a ratchet strap​

Below is a video from Mudfords on how to use a ratchet strap.

Choosing a Ratchet Strap​

What is the mode of transportation you’re using the strap on?​

Your mode of transportation for your cargo is an essential factor to consider. This is because it will help you determine the kind of strap you should be looking for.

For instance, when cargo is transported on a ship, it is exposed to elements that are different from when you transport cargo in a closed truck.

Your mode of transportation will help you choose the right strap for your situation. It will also help you choose the right length of your strap.

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Working Load Limit​

First off, you want to determine the working load limit of the strapping system. The rating should be more than enough for the weight of your cargo load, which is, by standards, a third of the break strength of the component.

Break Strength

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The break strength refers to how strong the assembly is or the point at which the strap will break. However, it's not dependent on the strap alone.

The break strength is determined by the weakest part of the whole assembly - webbing, end fittings, and ratchet.

For instance, if the if the break strength of the ratchet is 7,000 pounds while the break strength of the webbing and end fittings is 10,000, the overall break strength is 7,000 pounds.

If the end fittings, webbing, and ratchet each have a break strength of 10,000 pounds, then the overall break strength is also 10,000 pounds.

Strap Length

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The typical length of ratchet straps for truckers is 27 or 30 feet. However, you can get shorter or longer ones with some manufacturers who can customize.

Tips on using a ratchet strap

Once you have what you need, take note of these tips when using a ratchet strap.

Inspect the straps before each use​

Make sure the strap isn’t too beaten up. Any holes, tears, broken stitches are at risk of breaking, thus not safe to use.

Secure it your straps on something solid​

Your straps will be useless if you have no place to secure the ends. Do not attempt to put a load on top of your vehicle if it doesn't have some rack.

If you do so, you are risking your cargo, and you are risking the safety of others on the road. Make sure you have a firm attachment point for your ratchet straps.

Tighten up

As you tighten up the ratchet strap, make sure there isn't any twisting of the belt. It should be flat against the cargo to be more efficient and safe.

Make sure it is snug and be careful not to make it too tight because it could damage the strap or the cargo.

More is safer

When it comes to hauling cargo, it's always better to have more straps than few. If you have more, tie down from front to rear along with the side-to-side planes.

If you have multiple layers of cargo, you can secure each layer before you add the next one.

Final check

After you are done securing everything, do a check of everything. Tug each strap to assess their tightness and adjust if you need to. Check the anchors and make sure they are secure.

**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

Five of the best ratchet straps​

1. Keeper 04622 Heavy Duty 27' x 2'' Ratcheting Tie Down

The Keeper 04622 Ratchet Strap is the toughest one on this list. It has the greatest workload capacity (3333 pounds) and breaks strength (10,000 pounds).

The strap is 27 inches long and 2 inches wide so that it can hold down large loads of cargo. The ratchet is very sturdy and has long and wide handles for easy cranking and more tension leverage.

You might think that this strap is more expensive because of its qualities, but it’s very affordable. It’s even cheaper than the other ratchet straps that have a lower workload capacity.

Best for: Industrial use, heavy cargo​

Pros:
Cons:
  • Very cheap for a high workload capacity strap. It’s the strongest on this list.
  • Length and strength are best for heavy-duty work.
  • 3-layer webbing design is adamant.
  • Ratchet has a long and wide handle gives more tension leverage
  • J hooks secure well on different attachment points, but not on each other. If you want to connect the ends, look for another kind, such as S-hooks.

2. Vault Cargo Management Premium Ratchet Tie Down - 4 Pk

The Vault Cargo Management Premium Ratchet Tie Down is the number 1 seller on Amazon in Tie-Down Ratcheting. That title itself is enough reason to believe that it is an excellent, if not, the best ratchet strap option.

Each of the four straps is 15 feet long, with a load cap of 500 pounds, and a break strength of 1500 pounds.

The straps are 1 inch and made of industrial grade materials, while the handles have a molded, ergonomic design. It comes with S-hooks that are rubber coated to ensure your things won't get damaged.

Best for: Domestic and recreational use - tying down kayaks to your vehicle, securing appliances, etc.​

Pros:
Cons:
  • Ratchet is very sturdy, and the handles feel very secure. Operating as well is easy.
  • Rubber coated S hooks
  • Great, strong webbing.
  • Affordable price.
  • Comes with a carry bag.
  • They don’t have wider straps.

3. Strapright 4 Ratchet Tie Down Straps 20Ft

Via Amazon.com

The founders of Strapright are guys who were looking to strap down their bikes and then realized there was a need for stronger and longer gear. Thus, the birth of Strapright.

These straps are 20 feet long so you can secure big loads. The ratchet is made of steel and has rubber handles for easy usability.

It comes with steel hooks with rubber coating to protect delicate surfaces. The polyester webbing has a break strength of 1700 pounds.

Best for Recreational use - tying down bikes, kayaks, etc.​

Pros:
Cons:
  • Excellent quality polyester webbing. It has a pretty decent break streak.
  • Extra long for more strength and versatility.
  • It comes with a free storage bag.
  • Black straps make it not-so-easy to find tears or damages on the strap.
  • The ratchet is not so easy to operate.

4. Mann Ratchet

Via Amazon.com

The Mann Ratchet Tiedown is 1 inch wide and 15 inches long. The polyester webbing has a break strength of 1500 pounds and maximum workload of 500 lbs.

The end hooks are plastic coated, so it doesn't damage your cargo. However, it's not as useful as rubber coating. They are still ideal for everyday use - tying down house appliances/furniture, bikes, and camping equipment.

Pros:
Cons:
  • Decent workload capacity to price ratio.
  • Long enough for a residential application.
  • Sturdy ratchet, but the small handle.
  • Pack of two only
  • End hooks are fragile and easily bends.
  • Ratchet handle is small and not so easy to use.

5. Cartman Ratchet Tie Down, 4Pk 15Ft

Via Amazon.com

Each of the 4 Cartman Ratchet Strap in this pack is 15 feet long. Each also has a 500-pound working capacity or 1500-pound break strength. The straps are made of polyethylene, which is not as durable as polyester.

Thus it is cheaper. These straps are a great option if you are on a budget and if you’re not planning on using them on heavy things. For instance, to lock down your luggage.

Best for: Tying down a suitcase, tool box, or anything not too heavy.​

Pros:
Cons:
  • Inexpensive
  • Decent length for different uses.
  • It’s light, and it comes with a carry bag.
  • Straps are not so durable because they are prone to abrasions and tears. Thus, they are not ideal for heavy loads.
  • End hooks are not strong enough. They bend easily.
  • Ratchet handle is small and not so easy to use.

Conclusion

Ratchet straps are very straightforward, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find one for your needs. Most straps in the market will advertise the break strength, working load limits, and strap lengths.

However, it’s still best that you read reviews and the manufacturer’s recommendations to see if they suit your needs.

The manufacturer ratings on break strength, working load limit, and the strap length determines whether they are right for you.

However, with the many options with same ratings, what sets one above the other are the small details like rubber coating, handles, and ease of use.

The best ratchet strap on this list is the Keeper 04622 because it has the greatest workload capacity and breaks strength. It’s also long and has an easy to use the handle.

However, it might be too much time and unnecessary for domestic/recreation use. So, the best ratchet strap for domestic and recreation use is the Vault Cargo Management Premium Ratchet Tie-Down.

It truly lives up to the ratings and reviews. You can use them for any household needs and your outdoor gear.

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