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The Best Ratchet Straps of 2024

Looking for a ratchet strap to tie down your gear? We've tested the best ratchet straps so you can find the right system no matter what you're hauling. 
ratchet straps on trail markers on snowmobileWe tested a range of ratchet straps in a variety of applications; (photo/Eric Phillips)
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We at GearJunkie take our gear on lots of trips. And we can bet that you do, too. As gear gets larger — from hard coolers and standup paddleboards to motorcycles — it’s essential to secure loads during transport.

Most of us have to take our gear from our house to the outdoors. Keeping things tied down and secure helps preserve the life of your gear and keeps both people and objects safe. That’s where ratchet straps come in.

They have the ability to tighten down and securely hold a load. Some of them clutch into the thousands of pounds. So they are great for securing an array of objects across a variety of platforms, be it a truck bed or rack. Then, you can dispense the cargo with a simple release. 

There are a ton of options on the market for ratchet straps of all different strengths, sizes, and attachment variations. In this guide, we cover the different options available including types of ratchets, max strengths, working loads, end attachments, tie-down accessories, length, and more. 

We dug through the internet to find the best ratchet straps available and put them to the test, attempting to abuse them in all aspects and seasons of our outdoor testing grounds in southwest Colorado. To learn more about the features of ratchet straps and a more in-depth analysis of how these straps can vary, be sure to check out our comprehensive buying guide, FAQ, and comparison chart below.

Otherwise, scroll through to see all of our recommended buys.

The Best Ratchet Straps of 2024

Best Overall Ratchet Straps

Mac’s Custom Tie-Downs


  • Width 1”
  • Breaking Strength 2,800 lbs
  • Work Load Limit 933 lbs
  • Material Nylon
  • Lengths 6’, 10’
  • Colors Blue, black, pink, red, orange, silver, purple, yellow, green
Product Badge The Best Ratchet Straps of 2024


  • Most thorough instructions and safety specs
  • Nicest canvas storage bag and strap bands
  • Multiple end fittings and color options


  • Priciest option tested
  • Non rubber handle
Best Budget Ratchet Straps

Husky Ratchet Tie-Downs 4-Pack


  • Width 1”
  • Breaking Strength 1,500 lbs
  • Work Load Limit 500 lbs
  • Material Polyester
  • Lengths 12’
  • Colors Black with red stripes
The Best Ratchet Straps of 2024


  • Priced affordably
  • Rubber-coated handles
  • Comes with carrying bag


  • Only 500-pound breaking strength
  • Shows wear quickly
Best Heavy-Duty Ratchet Straps

Rhino Rack HD Ratchet Tie-Down Set


  • Width 1.6”
  • Breaking Strength 5,208 lbs
  • Work Load Limit 1,736 lbs
  • Material Polyester, silk
  • Lengths 8’
  • Colors Black, green, blue, orange, red, grey
The Best Ratchet Straps of 2024


  • High breaking strength and workload
  • Large rubber-coated ratchet handles
  • Large S-hooks with gates
  • Includes pair of matching soft shackles


  • Gates often won’t easily close due to their large size
  • Flimsy storage bag
Easiest to Use Ratchet Straps

Rhino Rack Retractable Ratchet Straps


  • Width 1”
  • Breaking Strength 1,209 lbs
  • Work Load Limit 403 lbs
  • Material Polyester, silk
  • Lengths 10’
  • Colors Black, green, blue, orange, red, gray
The Best Ratchet Straps of 2024


  • Smooth, user-friendly ratchet system
  • Retractable design automatically coils extra slack
  • Rubber handles
  • S-hooks with gates


  • Low breaking strength
  • Bulky ratchet is heavier and takes up more space than traditional design
  • Shows wear quickly
Best Ratchet Straps Kit

Augo Heavy Duty Ratchet Straps


  • Width 1”
  • Breaking Strength 2,200 lbs
  • Work Load Limit 733 lbs
  • Material Polyester
  • Lengths 15’
  • Colors Black, blue, green, grey, orange, red, yellow
The Best Ratchet Straps of 2024


  • Full kit includes a bag, bungee cords, and soft shackles
  • Compact design keeps unit light and small


  • For a heavy-duty ratchet we would like to see a higher breaking strength
  • Long tails without a way to easily secure them
Best for Industrial Applications

US Cargo Control Ratchet Strap


  • Width 1”
  • Breaking Strength 3,300 lbs
  • Work Load Limit 1,100 lbs
  • Material Polyester
  • Lengths 6’, 10’, 15’, 20’
  • Colors Black, blue, grey, green, red, white, yellow
The Best Ratchet Straps of 2024


  • High work-load limit
  • Multiple end attachment options
  • Bulk ordering available


  • No rubberized handles
  • Lacks extras like storage bags or soft shackles
a lineup of ratchet straps
We ran side-by-side tests of a range of ratchet straps; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Ratchet Straps Comparison Chart

Scroll right to view all of the columns: Price, Breaking Strength, Work Load, Width, and Materials.

Ratchet StrapPriceMaterialsBreaking StrengthWork Load LimitWidth
Mac’s Custom Tie-Downs$80Nylon2,800 lbs.933 lbs.1”
Husky Ratchet Tie-Downs 4-Pack$22Polyester1,500 lbs.500 lbs.1”
Rhino Rack HD Ratchet Tie-Down Set$30Polyester, silk5,208 lbs.1,736 lbs.1.6”
Rhino Rack Retractable Ratchet Straps$40Polyester, silk1,209 lbs.403 lbs.1”
Augo Heavy Duty Ratchet Tie-Down Straps$30Polyester2,200 lbs.733 lbs.1”
US Cargo Control Ratchet Strap$8Polyester3,300 lbs.1,100 lbs.1”
close up of ratchet unit
A ratchet device has a round gear with teeth and a spring-loaded pawl that engages the teeth to pull the system tight; (photo/Eric Phillips)

How We Tested Ratchet Straps

Our GearJunkie test team lives in the heart of the Rocky Mountains — western Colorado — and they like to recreate pretty hard. When it comes to testing ratchet straps, we wanted to put these straps to the test by ramping up the seasonal volume to match that of a year in the field. From the exposure of snow and below-freezing alpine conditions to lengthy durations holding gigantic, heavy loads, these straps took a beating. 

The fleet of test vehicles included a 2014 Ford F-150 Raptor, 2007 Suzuki DRZ 400 motorcycle, and a 2022 Ski Doo Summit snowmobile. We used the straps to secure a range of oddly shaped objects, like hard coolers and lumber, to each vehicle. We also strapped down the snowmobile and motorcycle to their respective trailers for transport. 

Our lead tester and photographer, Eric Phillips, has been an outdoor professional for the last 10 years and a hobby automotive enthusiast. From growing up working as a ranger for his local Boy Scout camp to volunteering search and rescue in Crested Butte, Colo., Phillips has used ratchet straps for a ton of different scenarios over the course of his career and daily life.

Throughout our field tests and personal experience, we determined the best ratchet straps based on a variety of metrics including load capacity, breaking strength, strap size, ratcheting function, handles, end fitting, materials, accessories, easy of use, durability, instructions and safety protocol, price, and overall quality.

Beyond our tests, we also considered the most popular, award-worthy, universal, and case-specific designs. These ratchet straps serve a range of uses, styles, and budgets. We’re certainly happy with them.

ratchet straps holding down markers on snowmobile rack
We used ratchet straps to carry loads on the snowmobiles throughout winter for volunteer work, safety, and recreation; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose Ratchet Straps

Ratchet straps include two foundational pieces: the straps and the ratchet. The ratchet is the metal centerpiece of the system that tightens, holds, and releases tension on the strap.

The straps are typically 1-inch wide and range wildly by length and there are various attachment styles. Within the ratchet, there are specific pieces that make the unit function. The handle design and release mechanism are two of the key differentiators.


Ratchets have two opposing sides — a flat base and a handle — that work by using teeth to catch and hold tension. The teeth are located on a round gear that rotates. Those apexes are uniformly placed but asymmetrical in shape, with one steep edge that the spring-loaded pawl grabs. While tightening the ratchet, the threaded strap rolls around the axle. This movement shortens and tightens the strap across the load.

You only really need to know that the system captures progress and holds tension.

Release System

The opposite is true for the release. Inside each side is a shorter release arm. When you want to release the tension, you slide your hand into each release arm, pull up, and widely spread the handle like opening a book. Pulling the handle open while simultaneously holding both release arms allows the ratchet to free up tension.

Nearly all ratchets have a manual design where the user must pull slack out of the system before tension can snag the strap. The exception is the Rhino Rack Retractable Ratchet Straps

Retractable System

This novel system offered by Rhino is a single housing (instead of the separate flat base and handle) and can be operated with a button for the tighten and release. The extra webbing is wound around a spring-powered coil. Pushing the button can release the slack (with a pull) or retract the strap, which brings the excess webbing back into the coil. From here, the system can be tightened like a normal hand-operated ratchet.

When you want to release the strap, just hit the button again. This retractable ratchet system is much easier and faster to use than a traditional design without the release-and-tighten button. 

Rhino Rack Retractable Ratchet Straps on a snowmobile rack
Rhino Rack Retractable Ratchet Straps have a unique button-operated system that pulls in slack or releases tension; (photo/Eric Phillip)

End Fittings

End fittings are where the webbing has an affixed attachment on the ends of the strap. These points are used to connect the webbing to the anchor and come in multiple forms.

The standard three end fittings are S-hook, S-hooks with a gate, and a flat snap hook.


S-hook — with or without a gate — is the standard option. This design can be as simple as a wire hook with a rugged vinyl coating for added protection. The curvature, circumference, and overall size can range a bit.

Some S-hooks have a gate, which is a spring-loaded trap that allows the hook to be an enclosed circle around whatever its clipped to. Like insurance, it also keeps the S-hook from unfastening due to an abrupt jolt during transit.

Flat snap hook

A flat snap hook is a specific attachment style that is best used with an existing D-ring anchor. Similar to a gate, a broad yet slender chip swings backward then snaps closed upon release. This is a great alternative when the orientation of other attachment hooks would put a twist in the webbing.

The flat snap hook is the most secure in terms of preventing the strap from disconnecting even when slack develops in the system. 

A closed ratchet strap
A typical ratchet strap like the Husky Ratchet Tie-Downs 4-Pack includes a handle and a flat base that face each other when closed; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Soft Loops or Shackles

Soft loops are shorter webbing straps that can be used for girth hitching. A single shackle is looped around an object to create an anchor point that a hook would otherwise not be able to grab. Also called shackles, they can be used to prevent scratches on precious parts of gear like the shocks of a dirt bike.

Malleable and robust, shackles have a straight section of webbing with loops on each end, but one loop is straight while the other loop has a twist. First, you’ll thread the shackle around where it needs to be anchored with the two endpoints straddling that object. Simple and brilliant, you’ll feed the straight loop through the twisted loop and pull tight. The resulting anchor will have zero twists in the system. Now, a S-hook can grab the free side of the shackle.

Shackles are helpful if you need to wrap an anchor through the wheel and rim of your vehicle or around the handlebar of a bike, to name a couple examples. Soft loops simply open up customization for rigging anchors.

Both of the Rhino Ratchets — Rhino Rack Retractable Ratchet Straps and Rhino Rack HD Ratchet Tie-Down Set — as well as the Mac’s Custom Tie-Downs and Augo Heavy Duty Ratchet Tie-Down Straps come with soft loops included in the package. Those soft shackles are each rated for the same workload as their complimentary ratchet straps. 

ratchet with a s-hook and velcro strap to secure the line
We appreciate ratchet strap kits that include a Velcro strap to help secure the extra line; (photo/Eric Phillips)


Ratchet straps are made of a few different materials.

The ratchet mechanism is made of steel. Some of the handles come with a rubber coating. The attachment S-hooks, with and without a gate, are built of steel with a vinyl coat. The webbing is typically manufactured from nylon, polyester, or a silk-polyester blend.

Nylon webbing — which comprises the Mac’s Custom Tie-Downs, for instance — has higher abrasion resistance compared to polyester but doesn’t do as well with water as the polyester webbing.

The water-absorption rate of nylon is higher than polyester, which leads to a lower tenacity, mold, or mildew. Furthermore, nylon can absorb more UV light, which accelerates the decomposition.

Generally, nylon is stronger in terms of breaking strength and working load but doesn’t hold up to the outdoor elements as much as polyester. 

labeled release arm on a ratchet strap
Some ratchets have a release arm that is clearly labeled; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Breaking Strength and Working Load

When talking about load capacities of ratchet straps there are two crucial numbers: the breaking strength and the working load. They are both measured in pounds (lbs.) and can be easily confused. Let’s break the two terms down.  

carrying bag for ratchet straps
Some ratchet straps include a carrying bag, which we like for storage and maintaining the integrity and lifespan of the kit; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Breaking Strength

The breaking strength refers to the maximum weight that can be placed on the strap before the weakest point in the system fails.

Each part in a ratchet strap — from the S-hooks to the ratchet body to the webbing — has an individual breaking strength. The lowest number — or part that is most likely to fail first — sets the breaking strength for the entire system. For example, if the webbing is rated for 2,000 pounds but the S-hooks are only rated for 1,000 pounds, then the breaking strength of the entire ratchet strap would be 1,000 pounds. 

If you’re hauling a hefty load, consider snagging the Rhino Rack HD Ratchet Tie-Down Set with a 5,260-pound breaking strength.

gate of a Rhino Rack HD Ratchet Tie-Down Set
The Rhino Rack HD Ratchet Tie-Down Set has a broad gate that doesn’t always fit gaps; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Working Load

A ratchet strap’s working load refers to the amount of weight that it can safely handle under normal conditions.

This number will always be smaller than the breaking strength. The working load is one-third of the breaking strength. To determine how much weight your ratchet strap can hold, check the working load. For example, to strap down a 1,000-pound motorcycle, you’ll need to use a ratchet strap that has a working load higher than 1,000 pounds. 

On the lower end, the Husky Ratchet Tie-Downs 4-Pack offers a working load of 500 pounds, which is still suitable for a lot of applications.

two ratchet straps held taut
S-hooks with a gate allow the hook to become fully enclosed around the object at the anchor point; (photo/Eric Phillips)


How do you use a ratchet strap? 

Ratchet straps may look intimidating, but once you know how to work one, they are easy to use.

First, feed the strap through the rectangular slot in the center of the ratchet. Then, connect both S-hooks to your anchor points. Pull all of the slack out of the strap using your hands. Once the slack is out, use the handle of the ratchet to leverage and tighten the strap — you’ll hear a clicking of the pawl against the teeth — until the tension is totally tight with zero budget. Tie up any extra strap in the tail that may be hanging out, or use the quaint Velcro strap that’s sometimes included in a kit, and you’re good to go.

To release the ratchet strap, locate the interior release arms using a finger on both sides of the ratchet: the flat base and the handle. While pulling each release arm, fold the ratchet completely open like a book until the two parts are relatively flat, and then gently tug away from the anchor. The strap should now be loose. 

shackle around a dirt bike handle
Soft shackles can be used for securing dirt bikes via the handlebars; (photo/Eric Phillips)
What should you not do with a ratchet strap?

Each ratchet strap has its own safety instructions and load ratings. Never exceed the tie-down’s rated capacity, as it could break. Unplanned releases of the load could recoil with deadly force. Also, never use a tie-down for towing purposes, lifting, lowering, or suspending objects. 

soft loop in a truck bed
Soft loops, also called shackles, are a handy way to create an anchor on a variety of objects; (photo/Eric Phillips)
Are ratchet straps legal? 

The use of ratchet straps on public roads and highways is legal as long as they are used correctly and remain within their working load capacity limits.

For instance, the U.S. Cargo Control Ratchet Strap meets the working load limits of a large list of entities, including the regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Department of Transportation (DOT), guidelines of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) and Web Sling and Tie Down Association (WSTDA), and the standards of the North American Cargo Securement.

S-hook attached to a soft loop
S-hooks can be opened without a gate and are typically made of steel coated in vinyl for durability and rigidity; (photo/Eric Phillips)
What’s the lifespan of a ratchet strap?

Environmental factors like sunlight, rain, snow, dirt, grit, or extreme changes in temperature can accelerate degradation of tie-downs. Additionally, abrasions, sharp surfaces, twisting, kinking, or knotting the tie-down could shorten the lifespan.

A heavily used or abused ratchet strap might only last a few months, while a properly stored and tactfully used tie-down might last up to a few years. Soft goods like the webbing used in tie-downs have a working lifespan of around five years. 

Keep in mind, the lifespan will depend greatly on the cumulative hours of use, weather, and the environment. If you only pull out your ratchet straps for an overnight SUP trip every summer, that’s not a high volume of use.

Be sure to check the manufacturer’s guidelines for the lifespan, as well, and inspect your ratchet straps between uses. If you catch visible wear and tear like discoloration, holes, fraying, divots in the edge, mold, mildew, rusting, or disfigured plastic or metal then consider a replacement setup.

the Rhino Rack Retractable Ratchet Straps being used on a snowmobile rack
In addition to a release/retract button, the Rhino Rack Retractable Ratchet Straps has a single-unit housing rather than a base and handle; (photo/Eric Phillips)
Can you pull a car with a ratchet strap?

It is not recommended to haul a car with a ratchet strap (or a truck, for that matter). Ratchet straps are not designed with tow weight factored in and could fail dangerously when used that way.

We recommend keeping a properly-rated tow strap in your vehicle in the event that you’ll need a tow. 

ratchet strap tightened around a hard cooler
Not all handles are wrapped in plastic and ergonomic, but we — and our hands — appreciate the ones that are; (photo/Eric Phillips)

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