Accessories, Gear, Off-Road, Reviews, Trail Tested

ARB Recovery Kit (RK9) – Full Review & Overview

Updated 9/9/19 / Read Time: 6 mins

ARB RK9 Recovery Kit Review — All You Need in One Package For Your 4Runner

ARB RK9 Recovery Kit Review For the 4Runner— All You Need in One Package For Your Off-Road Truck

The Recovery Kit To Get Your 4Runner Out of Trouble — Everything But The Winch!

If you travel off the beaten path exploring new locations, chances are at some point you’re going to get stuck. It might be unintentional or it might be out of necessity but either way, you need to be prepared.

Having the right, well-made equipment can mean the difference between getting home or being stranded.

We all have our favorite stories about getting stuck and recovered.

While at the time, in most situations, it’s not necessarily fun, later on, these become a bit of a badge of honor in the re-telling.

Crossing Our Man-Made Log Bridge

ARB RK9 Recovery Kit Review — All You Need in One Package For Your 4Runner: Crossing Our Man-Made Log Bridge

My favorite was a trip made with myself and four other trucks.

We hit the trail at around 9:00 am and descended about two hundred feet down a slippery, muddy path. The day continued with much winching and even more mud as we were constantly stuck in the goo.

Often in these cases, the recovery truck had to be at least two hundred feet away to be on solid ground.

At 7:00 pm, we could see the end of the trail about five hundred feet ahead, we could even walk to it but, water prevented the trucks from reaching the exit. We set out to work on building a log bridge to drive across…

A couple of hours later, guided by flashlights in the dark, with the logs creaking and cracking, all the trucks made it safely across.

As we pulled out of the bush, a look at the odometer showed in thirteen hours we had covered less than four miles!

All Items Neatly Stored in the Bag

ARB RK9 Recovery Kit Review — All You Need in One Package For Your 4Runner: All Items Neatly Stored in the Bag

ARB is no stranger to recovery gear building some of the best products in the off-road world.

The RK9 Recovery Kit Includes:

  • ARB RK9 (the full ARB Recovery Kit): Check Price
  • 4.75T Bow Shackles (x2)
  • Pair of Leather Gloves
  • Solid Heavy-Duty Bag
  • 17,600lb. Snatch Strap
  • 9,900lb. Winch Extension Strap
  • 26,000lb. Tree Trunk Protector
  • 19,800lb. Snatch Block
  • Recovery Damper

Their premium recovery kit has just about anything someone off the beaten path might need for recovery.

Snatch Recovery Strap

ARB RK9 Recovery Kit Review — All You Need in One Package For Your 4Runner: Snatch Recovery Strap

A snatch strap makes a very effective method of recovering a bogged or immobilized vehicle when no winch is available.

Often a snatch strap is quicker than setting up a winch for a pull.

The ARB snatch strap, 29 feet in length, is designed specifically to stretch under load and return to its original length, aiding in vehicle recovery and reducing the chances of damage to the vehicles.

The 17,600-pound strap comes with the kit but ARB has 24,000 and 33,000-pound snatch straps as well.

Winch Extension Strap

ARB RK9 Recovery Kit Review — All You Need in One Package For Your 4Runner: Winch Extension Strap

Like our excursion on the very muddy trail, often the winch cable alone isn’t long enough to reach a stricken vehicle and still be safely on solid ground.

The ARB kit includes a 9,900-pound winch extension strap. The strap is 65.5 feet in length and made from 100% polyester.

ARB also markets a 17,600-pound extension strap.

Tree Truck Protector

ARB RK9 Recovery Kit Review — All You Need in One Package For Your 4Runner: Tree Truck Protector

Everyone heading off-road needs to practice Tread Lightly. It does no good if the damage is done to the environment while recovering a vehicle.

In fact, it just helps get trails closed faster.

The ARB tree trunk protector does just that, protecting both the tree and your equipment during a vehicle recovery. The kit includes a ten-foot tree protector, but ARB also sells a sixteen-foot version as well.

ARB Snatch Block

ARB RK9 Recovery Kit Review — All You Need in One Package For Your 4Runner: ARB Snatch Block

Snatch blocks are an excellent and important part of any recovery kit and ARB includes a 19,800 pound unit with their kit.

How does it work?

ARB RK9 Recovery Kit Review — All You Need in One Package For Your 4Runner: How does the ARB Snatch Block work?

A snatch block performs a number of jobs; from doubling the winch capacity when running back to the vehicle with the winch to allowing a more direct pull when the recovery point isn’t where it’s required.

The ARB unit features side plates that sit snuggly against the pulley, eliminating the chance of the winch cable becoming caught in between. The groove in the pulley also tapers down, allowing a variety of cable sizes and keeping the cable seated securely.

The unit has a 38,580-pound breaking strength and is crafted from 6mm cold rolled steel.

Recovery Damper

ARB RK9 Recovery Kit Review — All You Need in One Package For Your 4Runner: Recovery Damper

Having seen a wire rope winch cable break and recoiling through the back window of the vehicle, nearly hitting the driver in the back of the head at high speed, a recovery damper is a nice addition to this kit.

The recovery damper weighs down the wire or rope cable, forcing it down if there is a breakage. The ARB unit is crafted from durable heavy-duty vinyl and with the added touch of Velcro to keep it from slipping or falling off.

This allows it to stay in place and not slide off like a jacket tossed on the line might do. It also allows you to keep your jacket clean and out of the mud!

Bow Shackles

ARB RK9 Recovery Kit Review — All You Need in One Package For Your 4Runner: Bow Shackles

ARB includes two 4.75 ton type “S” bow shackles with their recovery kit.

Each shackle features identification and batch numbers to help with both safety and clarity. The units are fully powder-coated and the galvanized finish makes them resistant to rust and corrosion.

These “S” type shackles are rated and tested to at least a 6X working load limit.

Final Thoughts

Rounding out the ARB recovery kit is a pair of leather gloves and a heavy-duty bag which holds everything. When loaded with all the gear, this bag is heavy!

It only comes with a shoulder strap, but it would be even more convenient if it also had a handle for moving it around more easily. However, the bag does keep everything snug and in its place when you’re on the go.

The RK9 is the top of the line, most fully outfitted kit, but ARB does have a few others.

The RK11 kit drops the winch extension strap, recovery damper and gloves but includes the other items found in the bigger kit.

A smaller kit, the Weekender Recovery Kit, features:

  • 17,600lb. Snatch Strap
  • 4.75T Bow Shackles (x2)
  • Pair of Leather Gloves
  • Heavy-Duty Carry-All Bag

The company also makes a range of bags to hold your combination of equipment.

ARB Recovery Kits – What’s the difference?

  • ARB RK9: Check Price
    • 17,600lbs snatch strap
    • 9,900lbs winch extension strap
    • 26,000lbs tree trunk protector
    • 19,800lbs snatch block
    • Recovery damper
    • Winch pack storage bag
    • Two 4.75T bow shackles
    • Recovery gloves
  • ARB RK11: Check Price
    • 1 x 10 ft Tree Trunk Protector 26,000lbs
    • 1 x Snatch Block Ultralight 20000 lbs
    • 17,500 lbs Vehicle recovery strap
    • 2 x galvanized shackles with Red powder coated pin
    • 1 x PU Coated cotton canvas recovery bag
  • ARB RK12 – Weekender Kit: Check Price
    • 17,500 lbs Vehicle recovery strap
    • 2 x galvanized shackles with Red powder coated pin
    • 1 x Pair of leather gloves.
    • 1 x PU Coated cotton canvas recovery bag

While not inexpensive, if you’re out seriously exploring the backcountry, quality equipment is a must. A

nd with the reputation that ARB has, it’s not hard to go wrong with this kit.

Comments or Questions? Leave them below!

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September 19, 2019 7:44 am

Thanks for sharing – the kit looks really nice!

What I would really love is a video or closer photos of the gear working, not just sitting nice and neat posing for photos. Show us more what it looks like under stress!

Fred aka @pdxplorer15
Fred aka @pdxplorer15
September 18, 2019 10:59 pm

Great write-up! This kit has pretty much everything you need and nothing you don’t for recovery. If you’re looking for a ready to go option, rather than piecing one together this is the one to get in my opinion. All of the included gear is high quality. The only other item I’d consider getting is a kinetic rope, like Spartan Rope or similar.

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