BUYER’S GUIDE: Tie-Downs
For most ATV/UTV commanders, transporting your machine is a large part of getting to the place to ride. There are right ways and very wrong ways to haul your precious cargo. The most important part of the job is the hardware you use to secure your toys, and for most of us, that means various types of tie-downs. They come in different strengths, types and sizes, so we thought we would take care of the research for you and present this buyer’s guide.
One of the basic, useful attributes to some tie-downs is the addition of a soft strap. It was originally designed to be wrapped around aluminum handlebars so metal hooks wouldn’t ruin them through scratching and denting. We often find ourselves using the soft straps to hook around frames and cargo racks as well. Make sure to not secure a soft strap to any sharp edges; otherwise, they can break and cause your machine to not be secure.
Spring-loaded safety clips or carabineer-style hooks that fasten to loading hooks more securely are a great feature some manufacturers include on their straps. Along with the carabineer hooks, ratcheting systems have long been used on tie-downs. When securing your machine, a standard tie-down set can be tightened on one end of your vehicle and then a ratcheting set can be used on the other to cinch it down as tightly as needed. For transporting UTVs or heavier ATVs, ratcheting tie-downs are the better option, being that they are stronger and easier to tighten.
Making sure you have solid tiedown points that can handle the load limits of your tie-downs is very important. If you often use a truck bed to transport your machine, extra bed hooks can be very useful. Bull Ring makes a drop-in bed hook system that is very strong and easy to install, into the top of your truck bed rails. Contact them at www.bullringusa.com or call (888) 879-2855 for more info. Another great product that is perfect for the people who have main machines they consistently use would be the Super Clamp system. It is a set of cradles that you drive your ATV or UTV up on. The front wheels of your vehicle rest securely in the cradles, and a set of clamps on the rear push the machine forward and secure your machine in place. With this system, there is no need for tie-downs; you just bolt the Super Clamp system in place on your truck bed or trailer and securing your machine becomes a breeze. Go to www.superclamp.net or call (403) 203-2210 for more information on their products.
M1 1.5 Phatty Ratcheting Tie-Down Set, $59.95
This tie-down is made from abrasion-resistant nylon webbing with a heavy-duty ratcheting buckle. On one end is a spring-loaded lock-on swivel carabineer, which helps secure cargo. The overall length and width of the strap is 69 by 1.5 inches. It also has a soft-tie extension attached to the hook end to help protect the handlebars. Included on the strap is a slider nameplate that you can have a customized graphic put on. It’s a sturdy tie-down with a 1200-pound load limit.
M1 1.5” Phatty Tie-Down Set, $39.95
This tie-down resembles the Phatty ratcheting tie-down in many ways, with its heavy-duty nylon thread pattern, soft-tie top loop for handlebars and more. With the same overall length of 69 by 1.5 inches and the swivel carabineer for a secure connection, the lack of a ratchet setup only allows a 500-pound load limit. The customizable nameplate and sublimated graphics can be changed if you order directly from Matrix. This is a great tie-down and worth the money.
Sporting a high, 4000-pound, tested load limit, this tie-down is tough. The material is made out of a strong nylon webbing with a soft-tie soft loop attached to the top hook for use on handlebars and other tie-down points. On the bottom end of the strap is a heavy-duty 3/8-inch carabineer hook for a secure connection. These are great-quality tie-downs at a less expensive price than similar products.
Xtreme Duty Ratchet Tie-Downs, $29.99
Let’s start off with the non-slip, rubberized handlebar hooks large enough for oversize handlebars but still have built-in soft hooks for better protection. They are made with thick aircraft-grade nylon with a 1200- pound tension strength. They measure to be quite long at 92 by 1.5 inches hook to hook. The heavy-duty ratcheting mechanism is tough and easy to use. Unfortunately, Slasher doesn’t carry a tie-down with a carabineer. Available in red, black and blue, these tie-downs are worth the price.
Xtreme Duty Tie-Downs, $22.99
These tie-downs resemble their ratcheting sibling, except for the shorter length at 70 by 1.5 inches. They have the soft strap built into the top hook, and both hooks are large enough for a pair of handlebars and have a non-slip rubberized coating. Like the ratcheting version, this tiedown has a tension strength of 1200 pounds, is made from aircraft-grade nylon material, and the straps are thick and tough. Also available in red, black and blue with a limited lifetime structural warranty, these tie downs are a great buy.
Ratchet Swivel Carabineer Tie-Down, $45.95
Moose manufactures a lot of great products for the ATV community. Its ratcheting and non-ratcheting swivel tie-downs are tough, with a load strength of 2000 pounds. On one end is a high-strength, rubber-coated hook and the other a swivel carabineer for a more secure connection to your tie-down point. They are 72 by 1.5 inches wide, which is a good length to have in a tie-down. These tie-downs also have the handlebar soft-tie loop on the rubberized hook end, which can also be used to multiply tie-down applications.
Swivel Carabineer Tie-Down, $38.95
If you don’t need a ratcheting mechanism in your tie-down but like all the great features of the Moose ratchet swivel carabineer tie-down, then this set would be a great buy. They sport a large, high-strength, rubber-coated hook on one end and the swivel carabineer for secure mounting points on the other. Also 72 by 1.5 inches in dimensions, you have a lot of tough nylon strap lengths to deal with. The soft strap for handlebars is nice to have, and this overall is a good tiedown to have.
M1 1.0” Worx Tie-Down Set, $29.95
For loads that aren’t quite as heavy, the 1-inch-wide tie-downs are all you need. The Matrix Worx set is made with heavy-duty nylon thread with a load limit of 400 pounds. You might not want to trust one of these straps alone on your machine weighing 700 pounds, but luckily they come in pairs! Like its larger version, the M1 Phatty, it has a soft-loop top with a bottom rubber-coated hook on one side and the custom spring-loaded, lock-on swivel carabineer hook on the other. These tie-downs can also be customized with the nameplates and strap colors.
M1 1.0” Standard Tie-Down Set, $24.95
If you want to spend less but still get high quality out of your product, the Matrix standard tie-down will be perfect for you. It has rubber-coated S hooks on both ends of the strap, which is made from double-stitched heavy-duty nylon thread. It holds a load limit of 400 pounds with a heavy-duty steel “cam-lock” so your straps won’t loosen up easily. These straps can also be customized like most of the Matrix products sold.
1” Tie-Downs, $10.99
Slasher is mindful of all their customers. They know that they can make a quality product and sell it for cheap. This set has non-slip, rubber- coated S hooks on both ends large enough to hook on oversized handlebars and frames. The material is aircraft-grade and made out of a sturdy nylon. They come in red, black and blue and are a good bargain.
Lockstraps Item #101, $44.95
By far one of the most impressive tiedowns in this lineup is the Lockstraps tie-down. If you are worried about thieves stealing your machine while it sits on your truck or trailer, then look no further than these great straps. They are made out of a double-layer, heavy-duty nylon material with an eight-braided stainless steel cable that runs through the center of the entire length of the strap. On each end of the strap are large 6.5- by 3-inch combination-lock carabineers. You can literally tie your toy down and not worry about thieves cutting your ties and running away with it. It has a 500-pound working load limit, so it’s not just protective but strong as well. This is high-quality protection for a great price.
Heavy-Duty Tie-Down, $20.95
These tie-downs are similar to the Slasher 1-inch tie-downs but at a higher price. They have a much higher load rating at 1350 pounds, which makes them worth every penny. The hooks are rubber-coated with a builtin soft strap at one end. They are 72 by 1 inches, so you have a good length to work with. They come in black, blue, red and orange.
Matrix: www.matrixracingproducts.com or (661) 253-1592
Fly: www.flyracing.com or (208) 319-3079
Slasher: (800) 231-8529
Lockstraps: www.lockstraps.com or (949) 702-5333
Pro Taper: www.protaper.com or (951) 736-5369
Super Clamp: www.superclamp.net or (403) 203-2210
Bull Ring: www.bullringusa.com or (888) 879-2855