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Recovery Strap vs Tow Strap

recovery strap vs tow strap

Owning a Jeep Wrangler allows you to do various off-roading activities. This vehicle also will enable you to tow or help recover a stuck vehicle. In both situations, you will need two different types of straps to get the job done: the recovery strap and the tow strap.

But what is the difference between a recovery strap vs tow strap? Both of these straps look the same physically, but they are used differently. This article will tell you the basic differences between these straps in terms of usage and other features.

 Features Recovery Strap Tow Strap
Purpose Recovery and Towing Towing Only
Materials Made Nylon Polypropelene and Dacron
Construction Design Come with Loop Ends With Metal Clips or Hooks at the End
Flexibility Elastic and Stretchy Not Elastic
Price More Expensive Affordable


With all their similarities, recovery strap and tow strap is unique from each other in the purpose that they do. A recovery strap has the strength to recover a stuck vehicle, while toe straps are best used for towing.

You can pull a vehicle out using a recovery strap when it is stuck in the mud. On the other hand, tow straps are only perfect for towing vehicles. It does not have the strength to recover a vehicle when it is stuck.

Recovery straps, meanwhile, can be used both ways. Its original purpose is to recover vehicles, but its strength can also be used for towing. If tow strap does not work in recovery situations, it is different on the other side since recovery straps can be used for both purposes.

These two straps may be different, but most Jeep owners usually have each strap in the vehicle. They have a different purpose which means having these in your vehicle for emergency purposes can help in dealing with those challenging situations.

Materials Made

You can also tell the difference between these two straps by the type of materials they are constructed. The recovery strap and tow strap are differently built using different materials making these two straps differ in properties.

As for two straps, one material that is being used in making the strap is polypropylene. Some tow straps are also made of Dacron, a registered trade name for polyester fiber. Dacron is known for its consistency, durability, and quality.

These materials are known not to stretch. So, tow straps will not stretch and are known to have hooks which are intended to attach a targeted towing spot while transporting a vehicle. Towing straps will make your truck secure during transport along with the tow bar.

Meanwhile, recovery straps use different types of materials during the manufacturing process. It actually uses nylon material which is known for having elasticity features. With its elasticity, this type of strap is ideal for recovering vehicles.

When used in operation, a recovery strap will stretch its limit until it reaches its limit of elasticity. When this situation happens, it will want to go back to its original state. But in doing so, it generates a force that helps drag the vehicle from the trench.

Construction Design

recovery strap vs tow strap

Another difference between recovery straps and tow straps is the way they are designed. Because of their different usage, recovery straps and tow straps are built differently from each other. They actually look different, especially at the end part of the straps.

Tow straps come with a very specific construction design. The majority of the tow straps come with metal clips or hooks found on the strap’s endpoints. You will see hardware attached to the straps, such as metal clips or hooks, because of the nature that the strap being used.

On the other hand, the recovery strap is also unique in its design. Unlike the tow straps with hardware on end, the recovery actually has none. It actually comes with loose ends. If you need to attach hardware at the end of the strap, you can use anchor shackles or web shackles.


Another factor that can be used to compare recovery straps from tow straps is their flexibility. Each strap’s flexibility is influenced by the type of materials used to manufacture them. So, tow strap does not have the flexibility that recovery strap because of the materials be used to make them.

There is a reason why a tow strap is never used to recover a stuck vehicle. The reason behind it is their lack of flexibility. Because it is less stretched, it tends to snap or break due to pressure, making it unsuitable for recovering a truck.

On the other hand, recovery straps can be used for pulling or lifting because of their flexibility. Recovery straps are more stretchy and can carry more pressure in carrying different types of trucks.


Another point that we can differentiate between recovery strap and tow strap is actually in their pricing. Recovery straps are more expensive compared to tow straps because of their practicality and usage. When it can pull larger vehicles without breaking, the recovery strap is expected to be more expensive.


In learning the difference between a recovery strap vs tow strap, it is essential to know what you are dealing with before you use the right strap. Each strap has a purpose and can be used in different situations. The most important thing is to use each type of strap properly to be more effective and safe when on the road.

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