Stuck in a rut and want to be able to quickly pull out your 4×4? Using a soft rope shackle makes the job easy because it’s lighter than the traditional metal shackle. In fact, it only weighs 15 grams as opposed to a typical steel shackle that’s about 120 grams.
So, in this article, we’ll help you select the soft rope shackle that’s appropriate for your vehicle, given the various 4x4ing scenarios that may come your way.
If you’re looking for a snatch strap, read this instead.
Offroading Gear Soft Rope Shackles
If losing a soft rope shackle has become your habit, it’s time you break such a bad cycle with Offroading Gear Set of Two 1/2” Synthetic Soft Rope Shackles with Free Storage Bag.
They have a bright-yellow-colored UHMWPE rope that you can easily spot and are specially designed with threads that keep them afloat on fluid surfaces.
And if you’re in a hurry due to certain time constraints, you can easily attach and remove them in place.
Bubba Rope Soft Rope Shackles
When you hate the idea of frequently tightening a soft rope shackle to ensure a secure 4×4 recovery, having the Bubba Rope Gator-Jaw Pro Synthetic Shackles is a valuable off-roading arsenal.
This is because they’re designed with a self-tightening loop that’s elastic and automatically wraps itself around the necessary pulling points.
Plus, they’re coated with a proprietary vinyl polyurethane that prevents the possibility of fraying as a result of consistent abrasion.
Ucreative Soft Rope Shackle
Long exposure to harsh elements can easily damage an ordinary soft rope shackle. But that’s not going to happen when you’re using Ucreative Synthetic Soft Shackle.
This 20’x7/16” soft rope shackle is equipped with a black sleeve that protects it against the elements and extends its lifespan.
Aside from 4x4ing, it can also be used for camping, climbing and boating. It also has a reasonable breaking strength.
QIQU Soft Rope Shackle
If you’re looking for a stopper knot that stays in place regardless of the pull and tug, then QIQU 5/16” Synthetic Soft Shackle is ready to back you up.
This soft rope shackle consists of a stopper knot that holds in place to prevent the rope itself from loosening and sliding off its attachment.
Moreover, its extra cord is finely crafted in a way that loose threads don’t become an eye sore and it assists in releasing the shackle after the loading process.
Anzio Soft Rope Shackle
If you’re searching for a flexible yet affordable alternative to Bubba Rope Soft Rope Shackles, getting your hands on the Anzio Soft Rope Shackle’s a wise choice.
This soft rope shackle also automatically wraps itself around notable pulling points and is quick to attach for only $24.59.
It’s also made from a very light material that makes it float on water and mud surfaces that make it useful for both boating and off-roading purposes, respectively.
What’s Better: Soft Shackles or Steel Shackles?
There’s two main advantages to steel shackles. First, they’re cheaper and second, they wear far less quickly. However, in most other regards, soft shackles are superior.
Soft shackles have several advantages over steel shackles. First (and most importantly) if your rope or strap breaks, they’re far less deadly. Next, they float which makes retrieving them in mud or water MUCH easier. And finally, they’re far lighter than steel shackles.
Buying Guide for Soft Shackles
Discovering everything that you should know about soft shackles and steel shackles helps you weigh your options on what’s best for your normal 4×4 recovery situations. But don’t forget, this also includes some safety reminders along the way so you never have too worry a lot by the time you decide to get your very own soft shackles. Watch this for full details.
Have Proper Vehicle Recovery Points
One of the most important things to bear in mind when 4x4ing, is you must have the right recovery points on your 4×4. For example, when you go under your truck, you should see a factory tie-down point that’s intended for the transportation of a vehicle on a truck.
The thing about them is since their only meant to pull vehicles on ground level, they don’t have the capacity to manage the high amount of load and tension that’s present in a real 4×4 recovery scenario. As a result, they can break and snap back.
Then there’s also an aftermarket recovery point. Some aftermarket recovery points don’t have breaking strength and working load specifications because their manufacturers don’t tell. However, as long as they indicate they’re meant for 8,000 kg snatch recovery purpose, then you can still bet they’re credible.
Usually, having one aftermarket recovery point is enough for the job but having two aftermarket recovery points is more convenient because they evenly distribute the load to each other, which minimizes the possibility of a break or damage.
Use Only Rated Recovery Gear
Soft shackles can’t do it alone and as such, you need other recovery items to accompany the soft shackles on their pulling mission. But of course, they have to be properly rated to help you identify how much work load they can sustain until they finally break.
Snatch Straps have various rates based on the type of 4×4 they’re intended for but there are some with a minimum breaking strength of 8,100 kg. As for the part of tree trunk protectors, there are those rated at 12,000 kg.
Make sure that your rated recovery items are in good condition. One way to do this is to check the stitches. If they appear to be loose or are becoming undone, there’s a huge chance their breaking strength is already compromised.
Identify the Soft Shackle Breaking Strength
Soft shackles come in an array of different pull ratings depending on where you’ll be using them. If you’re the type of person who’s into styling, soft shackles that are rated for one or two tons is good for you.
If you’re into 4×4 recoveries, you definitely need to get soft shackles that are about 14.5 tons. But they can range from 20 to 30 or more tons if you’re really a hardcore 4x4er. Bear in mind, not all soft shackle ratings will match your vehicle recovery points but there’s a wide selection of soft shackles in the market.
Choose Your Soft Shackle Construction
Soft shackles are also made from various types of rope fabric that also determine their pulling strength and lifespan. For example, you may find soft shackles made from Dyneema are less prone to breaking than those made from Spectra as long as the former have wider diameters (e.g. 35 m vs 20 m). Here’s a list of some primary rope fabrics used in soft shackles.
Dyneema – has a very high breaking strength because it doesn’t absorb water or moisture from its environment. This means it keeps it’s original level of durability.
Spectra – has a low-stretch characteristic to perform its intended function and floats on water. The only problem with it is the tendency to loosen from its point of attachment under extreme loads.
Kevlar – is popular for its high resistance to heat. As a matter of fact, at 850 degrees Fahrenheit, it won’t melt and remain intact.
These are the five best soft rope shackles. Getting the one that matches your off-roading preferences helps you properly pull your vehicle in the event of a sudden 4×4 recovery, avoid triggering more problems and save time. Share us your thoughts below.