The 9 Best Tow Straps

Updated June 09, 2017 by Chase Brush

9 Best Tow Straps
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Keep one of these tough tow straps in your vehicle and you'll never be stranded in a broken-down car, or you'll able to help others who weren't as smart as you. The options in our selection are available with hooks and towing weight capacities high enough to let you move heavy equipment, load and unload vehicles onto trailers, or even pull tree stumps. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best tow strap on Amazon.

9. Keeper 02942 Recovery

The Keeper 02942 Recovery lives up to its name. It's a "keeper" for anyone who ever finds themselves in a pinch and needs a surefire way to tow themselves out. It can stretch to pull huge loads, but will still reliably recoil as soon as the weight is off.
  • extra wide and tear-resistant
  • bright yellow for safety
  • not ideal for larger trucks and suvs
Model 02942
Weight 5.1 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Erickson 59301 Blue

The Erickson 59301 Blue measures 20 feet long by just two inches wide, yet is rated at a 10,000-pound breaking strength, and is suitable for use with vehicles weighing as much as 5,000 pounds. Still, it's not the sturdiest option out there.
  • forged metal hooks
  • attractive blue color
  • may break at top of its weight limit
Brand Erickson
Model 59301
Weight 3.5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. TGL Global

The TGL Global is one of the cheapest options on the market, yet it still boasts a breaking point of 10,000 pounds -- more than enough to yank that old stump out of the backyard. Its reinforced loops protect against abrasion, so the vehicle being towed won't be scratched.
  • good for atv towing
  • weighs just one and a half pounds
  • low working load limit
Brand TGL
Model 2-20TS
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Keeper 02825 Emergency

The rugged spring latch hooks of the Keeper 02825 Emergency resist popping off your vehicle or whatever its towing, even under heavy strain and when wet or covered with grease or mud. That makes it ideal for use in tough situations, such as moving disabled cars.
  • proprietary hi-test webbing
  • long 25-foot length
  • spring clips wear out quickly
Model 02825
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Grip 30 ft x 4 in Heavy Duty

With reinforced loop ends and mildew- and tear-proof polyester, the Grip 30 ft x 4 in Heavy Duty is a highly capable tow strap designed to last for years of regular use. Its weather-resistant qualities allow it to hold up in extreme conditions, such as heavy snow.
  • 6666 pound working weight capacity
  • very flexible material
  • does not come with hooks
Brand GRIP
Model 23036
Weight 4.8 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Neiko 51005A Heavy Duty

The budget-friendly Neiko 51005A Heavy Duty comes with two hooks that are ready to hitch to a load weighing as much as five tons, making it great for recreational motor sports lovers, boaters, or for emergency crews. The polyester webbing won't shrink or stretch in water.
  • very strong material
  • edges protected from abrasions
  • easy to attach and detach
Brand Neiko
Model 51005A
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

3. Rugged Ridge 15104.02 Premium

Perfect for off-road enthusiasts, the Rugged Ridge 15104.02 Premium incorporates durable woven nylon to resist snapping and offer lots of pulling power -- up to 20,000 pounds, in fact. Plus, its generous 30-foot length means a bit more room to maneuver than other straps.
  • reinforced eyelets
  • mildew-resistant material
  • backed by 5 year warranty
Brand Rugged Ridge
Model 15104.02
Weight 4.2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Smittybilt CC330 30 Foot

The industrial-grade Smittybilt CC330 30 Foot features an impressive towing capacity of 30,000 pounds, so if you work with large trucks or construction equipment, this is your choice. The double-stitched webbing ensures it won't tear or stretch, even under intense stress.
  • thick 3-inch wide band
  • great for moving debris
  • double hoop design
Brand Smittybilt
Model CC330
Weight 7.9 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Capri Tools CTW2-20

It's probably a good idea to keep a length of this Capri Tools CTW2-20 in your car or truck, particularly if you frequently find yourself driving on wintry or unpaved roads. It costs next to nothing, and will pay dividends if you ever have to use it.
  • rolls up compactly to fit under seat
  • works on most vehicles
  • extra thick metal hooks
Brand Capri Tools
Model CTW2-20
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Choosing the Right Tow Straps

Tow straps are in that unique category of hardware that you are wise to own, yet, ideally, you will never have to use. For, more often than not, a tow strap is only used after an accident, a breakdown, or when a vehicle has gone off the road and become stuck fast in mud, sand, or snow. Fortunately, even the priciest tow straps are still easily affordable, so the investment in preparedness is a sound one. And owning and using your own tow straps will always be much more affordable than calling a tow truck.

When assessing which tow strap will best suit your needs, start first with the most basic consideration: weight rating. If you drive a large pickup truck that weighs in at close to 7,000 pounds at "curb weight," then you should consider a strap rated to work with a vehicle weighing as much as 10,000, as your truck's bed may be laden at the time a tow is needed. If you drive a smaller SUV, Jeep, or a car, chances are your vehicle weighs less than 5,000 pounds, and almost any tow strap will be able to accommodate its size.

Next, consider the proper length of strap for your likely needs. If you force yourself hauling an ATV or jeep up out of a ravine or over a sand dune, you will need a longer strap; many measure thirty feet in length. For merely moving an inoperable vehicle out of a garage and/or down the road, short straps make more sense. If you are unsure which length will suit you best, err on the side of shorter options: they draw taut faster and require less space between vehicles, which is convenient for cross-town towing where space is at a premium.

Most tow straps are bright yellow or are another high-visibility color, such as orange. The more easily-seen the straps are, the safer they are. However, you can also find options in other colors, such as blues and reds, should you prefer.

Finally, you must choose whether you want tow straps with metal hooks attached to their ends, or simply with a fabric loop at the end of the line. Many people claim that the metal hooks actually present more danger than they offer help, as, if the straps snap or a hook becomes disconnected from a vehicle, it can go flying about at great velocity. When properly secured, however, most tow strap hooks with spring-loaded clips that keep the hook in place are perfectly safe.

However, the hooks can scratch and dent a vehicle as they rattle about, while a loop of fabric can't cause appreciable damage at all. If your car has a loop-style hitch mounted on its rear, then an all fabric tow strap is usually the best choice; the strap can be passed over and then threaded through the loop for maximum stability. For cars or trucks to which tow straps might need to be secured in a spot other than a dedicated hitch, metal hooks can help simplify the process.

Note that tow straps are also often used for other purposes, such as for pulling out old tree stumps, fence posts, and more. For these tasks, consider a long, strong strap, as you will be subjecting the straps to lots of pressure, and as the dislodged item might go flying.

Safe and Proper Tow Strap Use

You should be absolutely certain you know how to use a tow strap before you attempt to do so; incorrect use of these items can result in severe damage to a vehicle and might even cause an injury. A good tow strap has much more tensile strength than a vehicle's bumper, for example, which will be readily pulled off of a vehicle if improperly connected. Your car or truck is designed with dedicated anchor points that are suitable for use with tow straps. If you're not sure where they are, consult the manual carefully to find out.

Once you are certain the tow strap has been properly secured to both the stuck, stalled, or otherwise afflicted vehicle and to the automobile providing the tow, slowly allow the towing vehicle to roll forward until the slack in the strap as been pulled taut. Most good tow straps will not stretch in any noticeable way, so once the line has been drawn tight, the towing can commence at once. Make sure the "driver" in the towed vehicle is ready to steer and depress the brakes, as even a slight drop in speed from the forward vehicle can otherwise result in a rear end collision.

Finally, make sure you take the time to thoroughly clean your tow straps after each use, spraying them down with water (and soap if possible) and then drying them fully. Any grease, oil, dirt, or grime left on these straps can damage the fabric fibers over time, ultimately leaving the strap much less robust and capable.

General Safety Towing Tips

As a general rule of thumb, it's never a good idea to try to tow a vehicle that is larger than the car or truck that will be providing the force. It's alright to call a professional tow truck service and save your vehicle from potential damage if you're not confident you have a vehicle that's up the task.

Whenever you are towing a vehicle, then you need to make sure any other motorists in the area can plainly see what's going on so they don't assume the towed car is operating normally under its own power. Both the towing and towed vehicle should have their hazard flashers on at all times during a tow. It's also a good idea to put flags and or reflectors (they are often triangular in shape) on the back of the towed vehicle.

Make sure the vehicle being towed is in neutral and has its parking brake disengaged. Also check the vehicle's alignment is possible, and commence the tow with its wheels perfectly aligned with the car's or truck's body.

Whenever possible, stick to routes that are flat. Towing a vehicle up a slight grade is acceptable, but unless it absolutely cannot be avoided, it is best to never tow a vehicle down a hill. (And safe downhill towing is of course impossible without someone in the towed car who can steer and apply the brake.)

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Last updated on June 09, 2017 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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