Off-Road Recovery Straps & Tow Straps

Off-Road Recovery - 4Runner Straps

ARB Recovery Snatch Strap Vs. Generic Grip Straps Vs. Rhino Off-Road Recovery Straps. Tow Straps Vs. Recovery Straps and off-road recovery strap explained

Recovery straps are an essential item in your off-road gear bag. Straps and shackles might be one of the most important items you can carry around with you at all times at the price point offered.

You are going to use your recovery straps quite often if you find yourself frequently off-road. I have used my recovery straps for a wide variety of applications including on-road and off-road use.

There are plenty of options to choose from when looking at off-road recovery straps. You have options ranging from the popular and a bit overpriced ARB snatch strap all the way to your average affordable Amazon brand (Grip) tow strap.

I will admit, we did buy an Amazon brand about 4 years ago but it has worked every time we have needed it, but its not technically a snatch strap. There has been absolutely nothing wrong with this strap for how we have used it. We have used this strap a handful of times in every situation we have ever encountered and have nothing to complain about.

And, in the middle, you have the Rhino USA recovery strap which is somewhere between an ARB snatch strap and a traditional tow strap.

We bought all three of these straps, the ARB (snatch), Grip (tow), and Rhino USA (hybrid) straps as each have their uses.

This might be overkill but we also wanted to test each of them out. We will eventually do a review on each of these straps, but for now, let’s cover them all.

Today, we are going to talk about Tow Straps, Recovery Straps and these three brands of straps.

A few Recovery Strap Options

  • Grip (Polyester – Tow Strap): Check Price
  • Rhino USA Straps (Poly/Silk Webbing – Tow/Snatch Strap): Check Price
  • ARB Snatch Straps (100% Nylon Snatch Strap): Check Price

Tow Straps Vs. Recovery Straps

Offroading Gear Kinetic Recovery Snatch Rope Vs. ARB Snatch Strap

ARB Snatch Strap Right and Offroading Gear Recovery Rope Left

Tow Straps and Recovery Straps are incredibly similar but they have distinct differences

Before we get into to much detail on the different brands of straps, let’s look at the difference in Tow Straps and Recovery Straps.

There is a difference and it is important to understand why both of these have their strengths and weaknesses.

Most recovery straps are made of high-quality nylon webbing and are strong enough to pull anything from a 4Runner to Ford Super Duty depending on load ratings.

Average towing and recovery capacities range from 5,000lbs to 20,000lbs.

Tow Straps (Polyester)

These are designed for towing a truck/SUV to safety (battery died or other common problems)

  • Tow Straps have metal shackles/clips/hooks on the end-points
  • Tow Straps are not meant for recovery (pulling a truck out)
  • Tow Strap hooks can fly off if forced hard enough, causing injury
  • Tow Straps are typically made of Dacron or polypropylene not designed to stretch
  • Tow Straps are designed to work with tow hooks – do not use hooks when recovery someone!

Snatch/Recovery Straps (100% Nylon)

These are designed for yanking, pulling a truck/SUV out of a stuck position

  • Recovery Straps do not have metal hooks “attached” to the ends
  • Recovery Straps have thick, industrial grade webbing and stitching on the end-points
  • Recovery Straps feature wear pads or thicker sections on the ends to protect wear points from tow hooks and shackles
  • Recovery Straps can be used as tow straps
  • Recovery Straps are typically made of nylon and designed to expand and contract (stretch)
  • Recovery Straps are designed to use screw pin shackles (D-Rings, Anchor Shackles, D Shackles)

Synthetic Round Slings

These are designed for lifting, towing, pulling & recovery

  • Round Slings do not have metal attached
  • Round Slings are designed to wrap around vehicles or object you are recovering and or lifting
  • Round Slings are incredibly versatile
  • Round Slings are rarely needed but may come in handy given a tight situation (Truck/ SUV on its side)

The material of Tow Straps and Recovery Straps?

Best Material For Tow Straps and Recovery Straps?

  • Nylon stretches about 10% of its own length
  • Polyester stretches about 2% of its own length

Benefits of Polyester Recovery Straps

Polyester Recovery Straps stretch about 2% so they are pretty stiff. With Polyester recovery straps you have more of a stable, controlled yank when pulling someone’s truck out. With polyester recovery straps, you have a solid pull from the start but you don’t want to have a very large gap and delay in the pull. With polyester straps, you want short jerks or short pulls, not long driving starts. Polyester recovery straps are great for a quick pull if you are on stable ground and someone else is stuck and the distance is relatively close.

Great Scenario: Someone is stuck and you have the ability to back up to them within about 10-20′ and you are on stable ground with traction. With this short distance and traction, you can hook up the poly strap with D-Rings and yank them out from a short distance. But, poly straps also work in other applications as well.

The downside to polyester recovery straps is the initial jerk and jolt force. The force that polyester recovery straps create is strong.

If you have a large driving start with polyester recovery straps, do it at your own risk as you can damage recovery points, frames or bumpers.

Benefits of Nylon Recovery Straps

Nylon Recovery Straps are great for situations where you may need to get a rolling start and traction all around is not so great. If you are in a situation where both you and the stuck driver are in sand, mud, snow or ice, you will need a rolling start to gain momentum.

Once you have enough momentum (kinetic pull) and that point hits where the nylon recovery strap stretches out, the momentum should be enough to pop another vehicle out, all without a big JOLT of pull on both vehicles.

A kinetic pull is one where there is a little bit of slack left in the line so that when the line is pulled tight on the recovery pull, a shockload is created. A shockload is a sudden onset of an extreme force to a system. However, shockloading a system can lead to forces that quickly and dangerously exceed the breaking strength on your equipment. – Read more on Kinetic pulls and offroad recovery here.

The downside of nylon recovery straps is if used incorrectly and the nylon snaps, that stretch has to go somewhere.

If a nylon strap stretches too hard and too fast, it will backlash at a vehicle or even worse a person’s face. Just make sure to keep vehicles and people clear of the recovery area when pulling someone out.

ARB Snatch Strap Vs. Grip Tow Strap Vs. Rhino USA Tow/Snatch Strap

Grip Recovery/Tow Straps (Polyester)

Grip Off-Road Recovery/Tow Straps (Polyester)

The Grip 30′ x 4″ heavy-duty recovery/tow strap is a good all-around strap to get your accessory bag started. This is where I started my bag about 4 years ago when we started the website.

Over the last four years, I would say it has been used about 20+ times. It is still in great condition, but I also take really good care of my straps. After each use, or when I return home from a trail, I wash my straps off and then let them dry out.

The Grip strap is made of polyester, which is typically material that would be used in a tow strap. But, it is not uncommon to see recovery straps made of polyester as well or a combination of Polyester and other materials. Grip is weather resistant like most recovery straps out there and is designed to stand the test of any weather condition you can throw at it.

Grips heavy-duty strap is designed with semi-thick looped ends for increased strength and durability but nothing compared to the ARB and Rhino Strap looped ends.

This strap is rated for 6,600lbs with a breaking capacity of 20,000lbs.

ARB Recovery Snatch Straps (100% Nylon)

ARB Off-Road Recovery Snatch Straps (100% Nylon)

These might be the best off-road recovery straps you can buy.

ARB makes some of the best products on the 4×4 market, including the well-known ARB Deflator and Inflator along with a handful of other products.

If you are looking for the best snatch strap out there, this is going to be one of your best options. Because the ARB is made of 100% nylon means it has the most elasticity of these other brands.

With the Grip strap mentioned above, it is a pretty stiff pull/ yank. With nylon, you are supposed to have a much softer yank. When you go from 0-20 and pull someone out, it tends to bounce everything around quite a bit.

Then repeat this about 10 times in a day. Yeah, we have been there. The softer and easier you can get those pulls, the easier it is on everything, your back, your 4Runner, and the driver of the other truck.

With that being said though, it all depends on how you plan to use your 4Runner off-road and the types of terrain you see.

Because the ARB Off-Road Recovery Snatch Straps have the most stretch, doesn’t mean they are the “best” it just means that they are truly designed for off-road recovery in pulling someone out.

Again, as we said above in the material section, there are different recovery straps that perform better in certain situations.

Rhino USA Off-Road Recovery Straps (Poly/Silk Webbing)

Rhino USA Made Off-Road Recovery Straps (Poly/Silk Webbing)

  • Rhino USA Off-Road Recovery Straps (Poly/Silk Webbing): Check Price

Wow, from the moment you open the box on these off-road recovery straps, you can tell that you bought a quality product. The Rhino off-road recovery straps are made of incredibly high-quality Poly/Silk Webbing.

This brings up a question, though:

“What is Poly/Silk Webbing? Is this close to a polyester (as the name would suggest) or closer to a traditional snatch strap Nylon?”

The answer straight from Rhino USA:

Our poly silk webbing is an 80% polyester and 20% silk blend so it is closer to a polyester strap, but has more softness and flexibility, however, it does not stretch to the same degree as a nylon snatch strap. I hope this answers your question, contact me directly if you need anything! Thank you! – Cameron Repic, Rhino USA, Inc.

What does this mean? Yeah, it serves as both a tow strap and a recovery strap but not nearly to the degree of a traditional recovery snatch strap.

How does this strap perform off-road? 

The Rhino USA off-road recovery straps, made of 80% polyester and 20% silk are designed to be used as tow straps and recovery straps. Because the Poly/Silk Webbing is designed to stretch, this strap works well as both a recovery snatch strap and a general use tow strap.

This strap is just thick, beefy, and all-around pretty high-quality. If you are looking for a good middle-of-the-road option, the Rhino straps might be a good option to look at. This is a universal strap that can be applied to many situations on and off-road. The price point on these straps is incredibly appealing as well.

Overview of Recovery Straps and Tow Straps for our 4Runner

We are going to do follow up posts on all three of these straps. We are going to go get stuck on purpose and then feel what each of these straps can do and cannot do.

For the most part, most of these straps will be the same in terms of light towing but the Rhino Strap and ARB Recovery Strap might be a little more forgiving when yanking another vehicle from being stuck, especially the ARB strap.

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Louie Puglisi
Louie Puglisi
4 years ago

Actually while I’m at it there’s another question like this that hours of exhausted research won’t seem to answer!

With winch cable, the longer the better, so 120 foot stretched out has more capacity than 10 foot. Does the same theory apply to straps?

Is a 30 foot strap any stronger than a 10 foot?

4 years ago
Reply to  Louie Puglisi

I think you might be confused with the winch cable. If you have more cable spooled out off of your winch, you will have a higher pulling capacity. This has nothing to do with the cable strength, but is because you now are pulling closer to the center of the winch hub, which exerts less torque on the winch motor. No matter how long your cable/rope/stap is, with a single line pull it’s only as strong as the weakest point, and the full force is exerted all along the line regardless of the length. A longer line would absorb more of a shock load, but won’t be stronger in a static pull scenario.

Louie Puglisi
Louie Puglisi
4 years ago
Reply to  Nate

Yes sir I agree and that is what I was thinking!!! And you are absolutely correct as I researched this further 🙂

However, if I’m not mistaken, in ADDITION, and this applies to absolutely anything, whether it be winch cable, rope, string or a towing strap, the longer the length the more the load is distributed along that length and there is a less chance of breaking or snapping if it’s 100 foot versus 1 foot.

2 years ago
Reply to  Louie Puglisi

No, the tension in the cable/rope/strap is not distributed, it remains the same everywhere, regardless of length. With the same load, a 2′ cable sees the same tension at every point on the cable as a 200′ cable. Length has no bearing on tension and thus has no bearing on the likelihood of the cable/rope breaking. If that were true you could hang a car from a high tower with a long enough piece of cotton thread – just ain’t so.

4 years ago
Reply to  Louie Puglisi

Great information. You always bring us up to date information with recovery gear and snatch straps. This one was explained in easy to understand terms and It is not overwhelming like other articles on recovery gear. I appreciate that and I look forward to what is next.

4 years ago
Reply to  Louie Puglisi

Hey Louie! Tyler here from My Off Road Radio and Snailtrail4x4 Podcast. I don’t claim to be an expert in recovery gear, but I do quite a few recoveries as a hobby and love diving into the physics of it all.

I haven’t heard of the “longer winch line having more capacity” theory before… But either way, it is a moot point. Tensile breaking strength is tensile breaking strength. Do your best to not exceed it, and don’t ever assume that you can exceed it just because the strap/line is longer.

Good recovery equipment companies will stress test their equipment to come up with the safe working loads and breaking strengths of their equipment. Usually, companies will note which rating they are talking about on their equipment ratings. If it’s not listed, then stay far far away from that equipment. If it is listed, never exceed it.

Hope that helps!

Louie Puglisi
Louie Puglisi
4 years ago

Would somebody PLEASE answer this question for me because I’m sick of wasting weeks on google!!!!

I own the ARB 3” 60 foot winch extension. What I cannot find out or figure out is why the rating is so low??? 17,600 pounds BREAKING STRENGTH for a 3” PLUS strap???

Every other 3 inch is easily rated at 30,000 pounds. I also noticed that true manufacturers, to say companies that make them themselves, always offer it in a one ply or two ply but yet none of the brand names you see on Amazon will even talk about whether it’s a one ply or two ply so maybe that has something to do with it?

I love ARB and have no complaints and everybody rates it very high. But yet it’s 50% less capacity than even the cheapest one?


4 years ago
Reply to  Louie Puglisi

Hey Louie! Tyler here from My Off Road Radio and Snailtrail4x4 Podcast again…

I have also noticed their lower ratings on the extension strap… Never could figure it out. The only thing I could think of was that it’s made from a different material for whatever reason.

I don’t know for certain, but I would assume that ARB is a big enough company that they will stress test all of their products. For whatever reason, they have deemed that strap to have a much lower breaking strength than common competitors in the marketplace. Try not to exceed it.

Check out the podcast. We are working on getting ARB and Factor55 on for some interviews. I’ll make sure to ask ARB about it if we can get them on 🙂

Thanks Brenan for the fun topic and content for discussions on here!!

2 years ago
Reply to  Tyler

The reason that ARB are lower rated is because they are made for sale in Australia. Australia has much stricter testing, safety factor, and advertising standards than the US. The straps with the higher ratings you see in the US could not be sold in Australia unless they put them through their tests which would likely result in a lower rating.

Jason Peters
Jason Peters
5 years ago

Not sure if you guys realize it, but you’re promoting a company that has built their reputation on lying to their customers from day 1. Rhino USA just recently changed their tune on where their products are manufactured because they got sued by a competitor.

Highly recommend you mention this in your review, unless Rhino USA paid you for this in which case this review is worthless anyways. You’re essentially promoting scam artists at this point.

If you don’t believe me, go ahead and Google “Vault Cargo Management vs Rhino USA”. From the public records, it sounds like Rhino USA has already admitted to doing all of this, they’re simply hoping Vault Cargo Management goes out of business before they can finish off the lawsuit.

5 years ago
Reply to  Jason Peters

Never really cared about “made in the USA” on products as long as the quality is up to par. This doesnt matter to me.

5 years ago

RHINO USA is NOT MADE IN USA….!! BS advertising…just got my 30ft Tow Strap and it clearly says on tag MADE IN CHINA…!! Ordered the Tire Gauge & D-Shackles also,ALL 3 boxes say Made in P.R.C.
Terrible company playing on the Made in USA and false advertising…..yeah,they are designed and engineered at a kitchen table in California,why play on words and not be honest about where they are made…maybe because then everyone would think they are cheap Harbor Freight items and wont buy at 5 times the price..! BAD RHINO..!!

5 years ago

Hey man! Love reading your stuff. Just a quick question, you say that you can use the Rhino tow strap as both a tow strap and a recovery strap, is this true? I recovered my friend’s FJ out of some water/mud with one of these and backed up to allow some slack in the strap and gunned it. It got him out after the 3rd or 4th try, but each try I felt like I was driving into a brick wall. Is this expected? Just want to make sure I’m not using the wrong equipment for the job

5 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

Ah I just missed the paragraph about the polyester recovery straps and you mention the “jerk” I described.

Given that, it is still safe to use as a recovery strap?

Guadalupe Diaz
Guadalupe Diaz
5 years ago

Your statement of Rhino USA made is incorrect. Their offices and distribution points are in the USA, but they are manufactured overseas. I recently inquired on their web page as well as social media.

6 years ago

How do these recovery straps compare to kinetic recovery straps (7/8″ or 1-1/4″) that are are the market now? What about soft shackles vs traditional metal D-ring?

Margaux Ford
6 years ago

Thanks for the tips on the benefits of polyester recovery straps. They’re stiff since they stretch about 2% and provide more of a stable, controlled yank when pulling someone’s truck out. This is a good tip to share with my husband since we just bought an SUV. Thanks for mentioning that polyester recovery straps are the way to go for a quick pull if you are on stable ground. Thanks for the advice!

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