Top 10 Best Ratchet Straps

Ratchet Straps placed at the top of the table

For most of us, having to secure large cargo ranging from furniture to full-size vehicles is an occasional thing. That makes choosing the right equipment a challenge. We have limited experience. One of the best cargo-securing tools is the ratchet strap. Essentially, it is a webbed strap similar to a seatbelt with built-in hooks and a tensioning system for tightening your load to whatever kind of vehicle you are using. To help you decide which straps might best suit your needs, we took a look at ten of the best ratchet straps available on Amazon.

Comparison Table

The Best Ratchet Straps FAQ

1. What Is a Ratchet Strap?

2. How Strong Do They Need to Be?

3. How Do I Use a Ratchet Strap Properly?

4. My Hand Strength Isn't What It Used to Be. Are There Hand-Friendly Ratchet Systems?

How We Reviewed

To locate the best ratchet straps, we combed user reviews across several review platforms. We compared ratings, price, common uses, and the pros and cons of countless models. We then narrowed our list to a top 20 based on these categories, then conducted our own testing. Each of the top ten we chose is worth considering. However, we chose a selection of the best based on several factors, including specific requirements such as strength, ease of operation, and intended use. The individual reviews show what each ratchet strap is best used for.

Overall Price Range

gray belt buckle

Image Source: Unsplash

Of the best ratchet straps we review, prices range from $ for a four-pack to $ for a two-pack. Though it is tempting to lean on “you get what you pay for” of thumb, there is more to consider. Most of the lower-priced ratchet straps are great for general use, such as moving day or securing camping gear or a surfboard to the roof of your car. The higher-end straps are for significant loads ranging from motorcycles to full-sized vehicles that need to be secured to a flatbed for transport. Knowing how you will use your ratchet straps should be equal in consideration to price.

What We Reviewed

  • Reese Carry Power 9425500 Black 6' Retractable Ratchet Tie Down
  • Cartman Ratchet Tie Down
  • CargoBuckle F18800 G3 Retractable Ratchet Tie-Down
  • Erickson 04418 Pro Series Red 1" x 10' Retractable Ratcheting Tie-Down
  • Keeper 04629 25' x 2" Ratchet Tie-Down
  • Ratchet Straps by Vault
  • SmartStraps 14-Foot Ratchet Straps
  • Ohuhu Ratchet Tie Down Straps
  • RHINO USA Ratchet Straps
  • PowerTye 1½" x 6½ft Heavy-Duty Ratchet Tie-Downs

Features

These tie-down straps feature plastic-coated S-hooks to protect your vehicle and load from scratches and a spring-loaded strap retractor to rewind them at the press of a button. That feature alone might make them the best ratchet straps, as it keeps them organized for storage. No more tangled trunks or toolboxes.

The 1” wide by 6' long webbing straps are rated for loads up to 500 lbs and a 1,500 lb break strength to secure the largest of small loads, even in a hard stop. The one-button rewind mechanism also allows for precise tension adjustments and, making it easier for one-person load securing. The Reese Carry Power tie-downs are packaged in pairs and come attached to a plastic frame that can be used to secure the ties (and hang them from a peg) when they are not in use.

What Users Say

Users ranking these as the best ratchet straps were using them occasionally and keeping them handy in their vehicle trunks between uses. They appreciated the one-button tension adjustment/retracting button, as it made these more user-friendly than other more complicated ratcheting systems. Users giving these straps lower marks were using them heavily and pushing the limits of the straps' rated load. One user noted that the one-button tensioning mechanism can be difficult to operate if the straps are under tension at their maximum length.

Strength Capacity

500 lbs loads; 1,500 lbs break strength

Features

These 1” wide by 15” length bright yellow straps are easy to spot in your toolbox or trunk. They are sold four in a pack and come with a convenient carrying bag to keep things organized. The sturdy metal ratchet mechanisms are old-school manual (no automation here). A plastic lever extension on the ratcheting handle provides additional leverage for tensioning each strap. Bonus: the package includes instructions on how to thread and operate the ratchet mechanisms.

Though the manual ratchet may not be as one-button convenient as the Reese Carry Power tie-downs, it allows for flexibility when tying a load, as you can toss the free end of a strap up and over a load before re-connecting it to the ratcheting mechanism.

What Users Say

Those who considered these the best ratchet straps appreciated the low price and tend to be occasional users who kept the straps handy in their trunk or truck beds. They appreciated the 15' length and enclosed threading/ratcheting instructions. One user remarked on the straps' strength; noting that when the load shifted in his pickup truck, the strap remained intact but tore through the anchoring point in the truck bed. Users who were less happy with these straps remarked “you get what you pay for” and suggested they were looking for a more expensive, heavy-duty version for more extensive use.

Strength Capacity

500 lbs loads; 1,500 lbs break strength

Features

Jumping into professional grade, these tie-downs are designed to have one end bolted to a truck bed or trailer. Once mounted, the strap pulls out like a seatbelt and the loose end is hooked to the other side of the load. A single lever then retracts the strap for quick tensioning and fine adjustment. Though the mounting process requires some handiwork, the result is a lifetime of quickly secured loads. This is handy for situations where you are repeatedly hauling the same load, such as motorcycles/ATVs, boats, or other equipment that gets moved from site to site.

Each 2” wide x 6' long strap is composed of seatbelt-quality polyester webbing. The ratchet mechanism is treated for anti-corrosion and built with a double-locking mechanism to ensure your load remains secure. Each package contains two straps. Mounting bolts are not included.

What Users Say

Several users who ranked these as the best ratchet straps said these were excellent quality for the higher price. Though several complained that the semi-permanent mounting limited their usefulness as a general cargo strap, far more users noted the convenience of having a strap always ready to pull out and tension with minimal fuss. One user lamented that the heavy-duty/weatherproofed ratchet mechanism outlasted heavy use of his straps, but he had to replace the whole unit when the straps wore out. One user noted that the straps are subject to gradual weakening because of sunlight exposure and recommended keeping them covered or garaged to extend their useful life.

Strength Capacity

400 lbs. load limit per strap

Features

These 1” wide by 10” long red retractable ratchet tie-downs are engineered to handle heavy-duty loads. The ratcheting unit is mounted in the center of the tie-down to eliminate loose ends flapping in the wind and keep the straps clear of oil and exhaust. Each ratchet is operated by a simple push-down lever that releases the strap to be spooled out, then lever-ratcheted into tension. When finished, the strap will return to the spool like a seatbelt.

Each package comes with four straps and a zippered cloth carrying pouch for easy storage in a trunk or toolbox. The ratchet mechanisms are constructed of steel for durability.

What Users Say

Users who ranked these as the best ratchet straps liked their sturdy construction and the quick/easy operation of the ratcheting mechanism. One user said the ratchet mechanism is so easy to use that his 9-year-old daughter could help him secure his mobility wheelchair to his truck. Several users said the unique lever mechanism works great, but there is a slight learning curve over more traditional ratchets. This includes being careful not to over-tighten them, as that can lock them (requiring pliers to gain enough leverage to unlock. Another user recommended oiling the ratchet units periodically for easier use and protecting the unit from friction damage. One user suggested keeping the units in their case and inside when not in use, as the steel is not protected from rusting.

Strength Capacity

1,200 lbs. load capacity; 400 lbs. working load limit

Features

This four-pack of 2” wide x 25' long tie-downs is engineered to meet the U.S. Department of Transportation and California Highway Patrol standards for professional loads. The bright yellow safety webbing is abrasion-resistant, mildew/rot-resistant, and has a 3,333 lbs. working load limit.

Though incredibly strong, the webbing and heavy-duty ratcheting mechanisms are relatively light and compact. Unique J-hooks (rather than S-hooks on most other items we reviewed) are more secure for high-tension loads. The large ratchet levers provide an easier grip and smoother ratcheting experience.

What Users Say

Users who consider these the best ratchet straps are working with very heavy loads, including securing full-size vehicles on trailers. They were particularly impressed with the ratcheting mechanisms ability to hold a load under full tension, yet release easily when unlocked. There were several notes that these units are heavier than expected (5 lbs. each), but that was easily justified by their heavy-duty nature.

Most users critiquing these straps were using them to secure cars to trailers or flatbed trucks. One user suggested taking note of the strap length, which is great for large loads, but too long for smaller loads like furniture. Two users suggested that the nylon straps are stiff when new and become more pliable with regular use. One user said that, though the straps are rated as strong enough to meet U.S. Department of Transportation, they are not labeled appropriately for commercial use.

Strength Capacity

10,000 lbs. break strength; 3,333 lbs. working load limit

Features

These inexpensive but highly rated straps fall into casual users' best ratchet straps category for sheer value. They have the lowest price on our list (and come in a four-pack) and most users telling us they use them for everything. The rubber-coated S-hooks mitigate cargo or vehicle scratches. Molded handles attached to the rugged metal ratchet mechanisms provide additional leverage and ease the ratcheting effort require tensioning your load. They also come with a 100% money-back guarantee.

Each strap in the four-pack is 15 ft. long and the set comes with a rugged cloth carrying case for tidy storage. Though few strap users concern themselves with strap color, this set is a unique blue rather than the typical black or red.

What Users Say

The users rating these as the best ratchet straps really loved the sturdiness and convenience of the straps for the low price. Most were casual users, using the straps for everything from moving-day duties with a pickup truck, to a granite countertop business hauling stone sheets on a trailer. One user recommended the straps as a mechanism for temporarily securing a seasonal window air conditioner to its mounting platform. Many used them to secure camping equipment to their vehicles One user who was frustrated with figuring out the ratcheting mechanism was delightfully surprised to receive an immediate email from customer support with picture-based instructions attached.

Strength Capacity

500 lbs. working load; 1,500 lbs. break capacity

Features

These make the best ratchet straps list for their cost to serious load factor. With a working capacity of 1,667 lbs., these 14-foot straps can handle the mass of a vehicle or major equipment on a trailer or flatbed, and commercial loads. They also benefit from the most ergonomic ratchet mechanism handles available; providing solid leverage and a wide, padded hand grip while tensioning a load. To provide soft grip against more scratch-prone surfaces, they incorporate soft loops that can be used as anchors instead of metal hooks.

The webbing is constructed with anti-abrasion technology for longer life and the security of knowing your load will not free itself from friction damage during the ride. Additionally, the straps are equipped with a Velcro tie-offs to secure loose ends and prevent them from becoming tangled, dirty/oily, or flapping in the wind. SmartStrapsare sold individually. Each package includes a reusable case to protect the strap and ratchet mechanism when not in use.

What Users Say

SmartStraps users are particularly enamored with the rugged, yet ergonomic ratcheting mechanism. Those with hand strength issues particularly liked the wide ratchet handle and its ample leverage, which makes use easier. Many users remarked on the strength of the straps themselves but warned against using these tow ropes as they are not designed for this purpose. Some users were concerned that the strap material was softer than in earlier models, but continued to purchase these straps, anyway.

Strength Capacity

1,667 lbs. useful load; 5,000 lbs. break strength

Features

These 15' lighter-duty straps are the best ratchet straps pick for their low price, 30-day money-back guarantee, and 12-month manufacturer's replacement warranty. They are sold in four-packs and have a 500 lbs. load capacity. An enclosed user manual facilitates easy operation and proper usage.

The ratchet mechanism has a rubber-coated handle for grip and comfort and a clever release lever to save your fingers from traditional ratchet's tendency to pinch. Even when at full tension, the release lever is easy to access and use so you can undo your load at the end of the trip. Rubber-coated S-hooks protect cargo and your vehicle's finish. High-quality nylon webbing ensures the straps themselves are kinds to equipment finishes and that they hold with the advertised strength.

Highly versatile for a wide range of uses, they are particularly suited to securing small vehicles like motorcycles, ATVs, and small tractors including riding lawnmowers.

What Users Say

Users were particularly impressed that the innovative ratchet design with the easy-release mechanism was available at this low of a price point. heavier users recommended a more rugged strap (higher price point) for securing even small vehicles on trailers. However, these were highly recommended for lighter duty, including moving day, camping, and securing oddly shaped items like surfboards and bicycles for roof transport. Several users were impressed with the quality, especially after they were motivated to purchase these by the warranty, expecting a lesser quality strap at this price point.

Strength Capacity

500 lbs. load capacity; 1,500 lbs. breaking limit

Features

Marketed specifically as motorcycle tie-down kits sold by a father/son small business, RHINO USA straps make the best ratchet straps for numerous unique features. These include the fact that they are sold in four different colors: black, orange, blue, and green to match your personal preference. They are also come with safety latches on the S-hooks to ensure a secure ride. Soft loops are included to protect your motorcycle's finish. Wide, rubber-coated ratchet handles make tensioning your load into position an easy task. These handles also work in the reverse, making releasing the ratchet easier at the end of the journey.

What Users Say

With more than 500 reviews on Amazon, 90% of which are five-star positive, the user vote is that these ratchet straps deliver as promised. High marks were given to the thoughtful motorcycle-focused design, including the extra security on the S-loop and the inclusion of soft loops to protect motorcycle paint and chrome. Numerous users appreciated the ergonomic ratchet handles and the manufacturing quality of the units. More than one professional motorcycle moving companies noted that they use these straps. Several of those who were less pleased with these straps were impressed with the company's customer service responsiveness and offer to replace any faulty units. One user noted that the shorter design (8' specifically to lash a motorcycle to a travel trailer) made these straps of limited use for non-motorcycle (or small vehicle) tie-down purposes.

Strength Capacity

1,700 lbs. useful load; 5,200 lbs. break strength

Features

One specific unique feature of these 6.5' tie-down straps puts them on our list of the best ratchet straps. That is the use of carabineers instead of hooks to secure your load. This provides an extra level of security keeping your cargo in place even with lots of jostling or shifting during transport. The straps also have soft ties built into them for a gentler attachment to protect your cargo and vehicle from paint scratches. The rubberized handle/release lever improves your grip and protects your hands while tensioning or releasing these straps.

What Users Say

Of 100 reviews, 95% are five-star. Customers were most impressed with the ergonomics of the ratcheting mechanism and the security of the carabineer latching system. Several users noted that they had customized other straps with carabineers on their own prior to finding these straps. Most users employed these straps for transporting small vehicles, including motorcycles, ATVs, and snowmobiles.

Strength Capacity

1,000 lbs. working load limit; 3,000 lbs. breaking strength

The Verdict

In our list of ten best ratchet straps, three models stood out from the pack. Each is chosen for the particular niche it services. First, the best bargain for a wide variety of everyday jobs is the SmartStraps 14-Foot Ratchet Straps. If you only plan to use your straps occasionally and for lighter-duty jobs, this price cannot be beat. For heavy-duty work, the Keeper 04629 25' x 2" Ratchet Tie-Down is up to the task. The unique design and heavy load rating of these straps, tells us they are up to the task. For ease of use because of design innovation, the CargoBuckle F18800 G3 Retractable Ratchet Tie-Down is our pick. The customer accolades for the ratchet handle and one-button return mechanism puts this above the rest of the pack.

Featured Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay  

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