Recovery Straps vs. Tow Straps


Recovery or Snatch Strap is used to help in the recovery of vehicles bogged or stuck in sand or mud. Snatch straps are manufactured from webbing that is capable of approximately 20% stretch under load. This stretching property allows the strap to store kinetic energy like a Rubber Band.  This allows the pulling vehicle to gain momentum (get a running start)  before pulling the stuck vehicle.  Snatch straps are typically between 20 ft and 50 ft in length, with 30 ft being a common size.  Strap rating should be about 3 times the weight of your vehicle. Too much strength is not a plus. If too strong, the strap would not stretch like a rubber band and instead would yank, more like a chain.  A Recovery Strap will work for towing but one needs to remember the “Rubber Band Effect”.

A Tow Strap is recommended for towing a disabled vehicle off the trail to a safe location where it can be fixed or placed on a tow truck. It is not the best tool for pulling a vehicle that is stuck or bogged in sand or mud. It is made of strong nylon or polyester and has little or no stretch to it. 

Do Not use  straps with metal hooks, as these seem to be the weakest point and might break under stress. Instead use tow straps with reinforced loop ends, and attach them to recovery points with bow shackles. Find a tow strap that is rated at about 3 times the weight of your vehicle and 20′ long.   ONLY

Use a  Tow Strap when lifting or righting an overturned vehicle.  You don’t want the “Rubber Band” effect in these situations.