The Winch Recovery Kit Comparison Guide

Reliable, strong off road recovery gear is the difference between getting home and staring stuck. Just got a winch?

You might be wondering?

What do I need to make this thing work for me off road?

Picking up an off road recovery kit is an easy way to get the winch gear you need and is usually cheaper than piecing a kit together yourself.

Some recovery kits are super small, and some have everything.

In this article, we'll take a look at 16 of the most common kits and see how they stack up against each other so that you can pick a kit and go wheelin'.

Table of Contents

Winch recovery kits are put together by a manufacturers to include all the winch accessories that you’re likely to need if you’re just starting out. If you already have a winch and some gear, a winch recovery kit can round out your gear and might replace a few worn out items. Generally speaking, kits will differ on their weight ratings, design, and quality.

With offroad recovery gear, you generally get what you pay for. Some manufacturers make great, high quality kits, such as Warn, ARB, and TJM. We would not hesitate to take one of their kits on a 4x4 expedition (although we'd still round out the kit with some extra pieces.

Offroad Recovery Kit Types

We identify three different recovery kit types.

  1. Winch Recovery Kit - Contains accessories for all general recovery work, including winch accessories and recovery gear for snatch operations.
  2. Snatch Recovery Kit - Contains gear only for snatch operations. These kits are small, less expensive than winch kits, have true kinetic recovery straps, and require another vehicle on the trail. The most basic form is a snatch strap with two D-ring shackles.
  3. Winch Utility Kit - Contains gear for working around your home or property. Generally, we consider this to be a winch recovery kit with a piece of chain, but also missing key elements of the winch recovery kit.

Sizing Your Offroad Recovery Kit

Just like when you bought your winch, you need to appropriately size your offroad recovery kit for the weight of your vehicle. If you don't know the real weight of your vehicle plus gear and mods, you might try using the GVWR as a starting point. There isn't really a standard way to weight rate kits, but manufacturers have settled on three-ish different ways to do it.

  1. Vehicle weight - This method matches your vehicle weight to the kit. ARB is the only manufacturer to do this.
  2. Winch weight rating - This method assumes that you've selected the correct winch size for your 4x4 and uses that for the kit rating.
  3. General weight rating - This method gives a general weight rating. This is the least precise of the three methods and is our least-liked method.

You should still look at the components of a  particular kit and note the weight that the individual components are rated for, especially because there are some discrepancies. For instance, Warn rates it's general purpose 3/4" D-ring shackle at 6000 lbs., but includes it in its 29460 recovery kit, which is rated for winches up to 12,000lb. So...read on.

There is another thing to consider: D-ring shackles are standardized. The shackles we use in recovery are also used in construction, transport, shipping, and rigging. They have standard body sizes, pin sizes, openings, and working load limits. The standard working load limit for a 3/4" shackle is 9,500 lbs. Essentially, this means that any 3/4" shackle from a reputable manufacturer, made with proper materials will have a working load limit of 9,500 lbs.

So, in the case of the Warn shackle, we think that Warn may have downrated it for the forces seen in recovery work, basically saying, "This shackle is safe to use for vehicles up to 6000 lbs."

Probably thousands of 3/4" D-ring shackles are sold each year for recovery work. For snatch operations, it's usually recommended to go with a strap that's rated for 2-4 times the weight of the lightest vehicle in the operation. So why don't we hear that 3/4" shackles with a 9,500 lb working load limit are breaking all the time?

This is due to thesubstantial safety margin built into standardized recovery shackles. Steel shackles won't break until you've put several times the working load limit onto them, which is why your buddy can launch his truck trying to pull you out of a mudhole without the shackle breaking.

What You Should Look For in an Off Road Recovery Kit

The kits we list will give you a great start on building an off road recovery kit. You'll probably find that you still need to tune your recovery gear, but below are some of the things you should be looking at.

Heavy Duty Bag

We like having a separate bag for our winch accessories since it makes recovery operations much easier. We used to spread our gear out in different ammo cans, but this just meant that it was harder to get at stuff and also carry it around outside the rig when we needed more than one winch accessory. Consolidate your winching gear into one bag. It’ll make your life easier. Your recovery gear bag doesn’t have to specifically be a “recovery gear bag”, but several manufacturers make them out of heavy materials with handy compartments that are designed to fit straps and shackles.

D-Ring Shackles

Shackles are the unsung heroes of your recovery kit. You'll use them on literally every recovery operation you do and they are essential for winching. Most winch recovery kits include one or two, but we like to carry at least four. Shackles connect your winch to tree straps, line extenders, snatch blocks, and the bumpers of your rig and other 4x4s. If you’re not using shackles, you ain’t winching right.

Read above about sizing your kit and weight rating discrepancies. We always carry at least a couple of 3/4" shackles, but we also always carry a couple of 7/8" shackles.

Snatch Block

A snatch block can double your pulling power or change the direction of your pull. You don’t need a snatch block to run your winch, but it sure makes your winch more versatile. If you have a synthetic winch rope, you might want to go with a snatch block that’s designed for it. They have high density plastic pulleys that’s create less wear on your line.

Tree Saver Strap

A tree strap is essential. You wrap it around a tree and attach to it with a shackle. If you wrap your winch line around a tree you can kill it and damage your winch line. A tree strap protects the tree and protects your winch line. If you see someone wrapping a winch line around a tree or rock, it means they have no idea what they’re doing. Tree straps are made of polyester.

Recovery Damper

This is essential for winching. Winch lines that are in use store a tremendous amount of potential energy. A winch line that breaks can whip and injure anyone that’s nearby. But if you use a recovery damper, it'll absorb kinetic energy from your snapped line and your winch line will fall to the ground. We also use these on recovery straps on especially hard pulls, but we always use them on winch lines. Some people say you don’t need them with synthetic winch lines, but we think that’s bad advice. When dealing with the forces and weights that are involved with fourwheeling, you should develop habits that always account for safety first.

Recovery Strap/Snatch Strap

A recovery strap is used by one 4x4 to to extricate another 4x4 from a sticky spot. It requires both the puller and the pullee to have sturdy tow points on their bumpers. The puller usually gets a little momentum to generate more pulling energy. The elasticity of a recovery strap allows it to store kinetic energy that is released when it’s at its maximum length. This release of energy hopefully pulls out the stuck vehicle. You need to know what you’re doing to use a snatch strap, including using sturdy attachment points and using the least amount of power necessary to keep things safe. The weight rating of a strap should be 2-3 times the weight of the vehicle being pulled.

There are many straps sold as recovery straps that are not true recovery straps. True recovery straps are made of nylon (and will say so), not polyester, and will stretch during a recovery operation. Recovery straps do not have hooks. Do not use tow or "recovery straps" with hooks EVER.

Note that tow straps and winch extender straps don’t stretch; a recovery strap does stretch.

Winch Extension Strap

Sometimes your winch line just isn’t long enough. A winch extension strap is a low-stretch strap that will give your winch some extra pulling length. If you’re wheeling somewhere that has sparse anchors, a winch extension strap provides plenty piece of mind. This is especially nice to have if you’re going to be exploring solo, without other 4x4s that can maneuver close to you to be a winch anchor. FYI, these can’t be reeled in on your winch drum (the winch hook is in the way and you wouldn’t want to anyway). Winch extension straps are made of polyester.

Gloves

Gloves are absolutely necessary if you’re using a steel winch line. Over time steel winch lines develop burrs and splinters that will stick and slice your hands if they’re unprotected. You don’t have this problem with synthetic winch line, but we still like to wear gloves. Why? Recovery work is dirty business and your straps and winch lines will get dusty and dirty. In our younger days being filthy was a mark of honor, but now we just want to eat trail sandwiches that don't have any dirt on them.

You don't need special gloves. A $5 pair of leather gloves will work great for recovery work, so make sure you have them in your kit.

Chain

Frankly, we don’t see as much use for chain in a serious 4x4's winch recovery kit if you’re only planning to use your winch for fourwheeling. Straps, steel winch line, and synthetic winch rope are all lighter and stronger than the chain you'll get with any recovery kit. That said, we use chain for tons of stuff around the house. We loop it around logs to move them, we use it with a Hi-Lift Jack to pull fence posts, and we use it for dragging 4x4 carcasses and parts around the yard.

We bring a small amount of chain on the trail, but will probably quit using it since it's heavy and we can improvise with other parts and gear. It can be used to hold parts together, keep an axle from flexing down when you need to jack up a tire, and other fix-it types of activities. But it’s weaker than a winch line or recovery strap, you shouldn’t jerk on it like a recovery strap, it’s heavy, and it can’t be used around an anchor.

A side note on chain:

We have a pretty dim view on chain in 4x4 recovery operations. Why? First, you probably have no idea what grade of chain you're using. Unless you can vouch for the provenance of your chain, you won't know if you're using a Grade 40 3/8" chain or a Grade 70 3/8" chain, which have large differences in strength. Most of the chain we use has been accumulated over the years from various sources. It works for certain types of chores, but we don't use it when it could endanger life or limb.

Second, chain doesn't stretch in recovery operations like a snatch strap. This is hard on your 4x4, you, and your passengers. Being snatched by a high quality snatch strap is like being licked by an enormous cat tongue, but being snatched by a chain feels like being hit by a bus.

Winch Recovery Kits

You can buy one of the below kits or put something together piecemeal yourself. A winch recovery kit, as we define it, should help you do two things:

  1. Self-recover using your own vehicle and winch
  2. Recover or be recovered by other vehicles on the trail through snatch and tow operations

At the minimum, a decent offroad recovery kit should have these items:

  • Heavy Duty Carry Bag
  • 2 Shackles (4 are better)
  • 1 Tree Trunk Protector
  • Recovery strap
  • 1 Winch Line Damper
  • 1 Snatch Block
  • Gloves

If you're in an area that only has sparse trees or rocks that you can anchor to, then you should also consider a winch extension strap. This will often give you the length you need to reach a decent winch anchor.

ARB Essentials Recovery Kit - RK11

ARB Essentials Recovery Kit - RK11
ARB Essentials Recovery Kit - RK11
ARB RK11 Contents and Specs
Included? Size Capacity
* Gear Bag Yes Small Included gear
* Shackles 2 3/4” x 7/8” pin 10,640 lbs.
* Kinetic Recovery Strap Yes 2 3/8” x 30’ 17,500 lbs.
* Tree Saver Strap Yes 3” x 10’ 26,500 lbs.
* Recovery Damper
* Snatch Block Yes 1/2” line max 20,000 lbs.
* Gloves
Winch Extension Strap
Soft Shackles
Tow Strap
Chain
Can use synthetic winch rope Yes
Rating Vehicles 5,600 lbs and less
Notes:

Starred items (*) are in our Basic Offroad Recovery Kit List

This is the middle-size kit in the lineup of ARB’s winch recovery kits. It features the legendary great ARB quality.

This is the same snatch block in ARB’s Premium kit and it’ll work with synthetic or steel winch line. Again, if you use it with steel and switch to synthetic, we recommend that you make sure that the pulley surface is still smooth. Lightly sand it if it isn’t to prevent damage to your new synthetic winch rope. This kit has no winch extension strap, which is fine if you don’t need it. You’ll also have to bring your own gloves.

We still would have liked to see a winch line damper in this kit since you should always use one on a line or strap under tension. You can buy one separately or throw a heavy blanket over your winch line to absorb the energy of a snapped line.

Again, the kit is designed for vehicles that weigh 5,600 lbs. and under, so its good for small trucks, SUVs, and Jeeps.

ARB Premium Recovery Kit - RK9

ARB Premium Recovery Kit Contents - RK9US
ARB Premium Recovery Kit Packed - RK9US
ARB RK9 Contents and Specs
Included? Size Capacity
* Gear Bag Yes Large Included gear
* Shackles 2 3/4” x 7/8” pin 10,640 lbs.
* Kinetic Recovery Strap Yes 2 3/8” x 30’ 17,500 lbs.
* Tree Saver Strap Yes 3” x 10’ 26,500 lbs.
* Recovery Damper Yes NA NA
* Snatch Block Yes 1/2” line max 20,000 lbs.
* Gloves Yes NA NA
Winch Extension Strap Yes 2 1/8” x 66’ 9,900 lbs.
Soft Shackles
Tow Strap
Chain
Can use synthetic winch rope Yes
Rating Vehicles 5,600 lbs and less
Notes:

Starred items (*) are in our Basic Offroad Recovery Kit List

This is definitely one of the more expensive winch recovery kits out there but it’s worth it. It’s made by ARB, which has a reputation for excellent quality products. Of the three winch recovery kits that ARB makes, this one is the largest.

This recovery kit is designed for vehicles that weigh 5,600 lbs. and under, so this kit suits Jeep Wranglers, FJ Cruisers, Toyota 4Runners and Tacomas, Nissan XTerras, and similar small trucks and SUVs. The ARB Ultralight Snatch Block can be used with synthetic winch rope or steel winch line.

This is one of the most complete winch recovery kits you can get since it includes a winch extension strap. It also future-proofs you if you ever upgrade to synthetic winch rope from steel since the snatch block is good for synthetic. If you do switch to synthetic, make sure the pulley surface is smooth and lightly sand it if it isn’t.

Warn Medium-Duty Epic Winch Recovery Kit - 97565

Warn Medium Duty Epic Winch Recovery Kit - 97565
Warn Medium Duty Epic Winch Recovery Kit - 97565
Warn 97565 Contents and Specs
Included? Size Capacity
* Gear Bag Yes Backpack Included gear
* Shackles 2 3/4” x 7/8” pin For 18,000lb winches
* Kinetic Recovery Strap Yes 2” x 30’ 17,500 lbs.
* Tree Saver Strap Yes 2” x 8’ 14,400 lbs.
* Recovery Damper
* Snatch Block Yes 3/8” line max 12,000 lbs.
* Gloves Yes NA NA
Winch Extension Strap
Soft Shackles
Tow Strap
Chain
Can use synthetic winch rope Yes
Rating Winches 12,000 lbs and under
Notes:

Starred items (*) are in our Basic Offroad Recovery Kit List

Warn rates this kit for winches up to 12,000 lbs. This is a little different than the way that ARB rates their kits above, since ARB gives a vehicle weight rating not a winch weight rating. The medium duty kit is very similar to the ARB Essentials Kit in what it contains, although some of the weight ratings are different. Here, the tree trunk protector is lighter, the snatch block is lighter, and the snatch strap is lighter. We’d feel perfectly fine with the Warn kit’s weight ratings with any small truck, SUV, or Jeep.

The shackles, tree strap, and snatch block all have parts with the Warn E-Coat finish, which is some type of Warn powdercoating process. This should make them more durable than paint at least. The backpack has a modular interior and, instead of including a separate recovery damper, Warn says that the backpack is the recovery damper - you just hang it on your winch line. We like it when items have extra functionality, but this does mean that you'll probably mostly empty the backpack whenever you want to weight your winch line. On the trail, you could end up with free-floating winch accessories in your rig if the backpack is on your line, so we think you should use something else as a recovery damper.

The snatch block can be used with synthetic winch rope or steel, but if switching to synthetic after steel, we recommend that you lightly sand the pulley’s surface if it isn’t smooth.

Warn Heavy-Duty Epic Winch Recovery Kit - 97570

Warn Heavy Duty Epic Winch Recovery Kit - 97570
Warn Heavy Duty Epic Winch Recovery Kit Packed - 97570
Warn 97570 Contents and Specs
Included? Size Capacity
* Gear Bag Yes Backpack Included gear
* Shackles 2 3/4” x 7/8” pin For 18,000lb winches
* Kinetic Recovery Strap Yes 3” x 30’ 21,600 lbs.
* Tree Saver Strap Yes 4” x 8’ 30,000 lbs.
* Recovery Damper
* Snatch Block Yes 1/2” line max 18,000 lbs.
* Gloves Yes NA NA
Winch Extension Strap
Soft Shackles
Tow Strap
Chain
Can use synthetic winch rope Yes
Rating Winches 18,000 lbs and under
Notes:

Starred items (*) are in our Basic Offroad Recovery Kit List

Got a big rig? This recovery kit from Warn has the highest rate weight ratings of any recovery kit. It’s rated for winches up to 18,000 lbs., so given that you have the right winch on your rig, you can use this kit on a pretty heavy large truck! All of the components are much heavier than the ARB Premium Kit or the Warn Medium-Duty Epic kit, with the lightest winch accessories being the shackles and snatch block at 18,000 lbs. You can see the straps are quite a bit wider if you compare with the Medium-Duty kit.

Like the Medium Duty kit the metal components use Warn’s E-Coat powdercoat to keep components looking good for a long time, and the backpack is supposed to be used as a line damper. Again, you should just use another line damper, because emptying the bag and having loose winch accessories in your rig will be an annoyance.

Warn Medium Duty Winching Accessory Kit #1 - 88900

Warn Medium Duty Standard Winch Recovery Kit - 88900
Warn 88900 Contents
Included? Size Capacity
* Gear Bag Yes Medium Included gear
* Shackles 2 3/4” x 7/8” pin 6,000 lbs.
* Kinetic Recovery Strap Yes 2” x 30’ 14,400 lbs.
* Tree Saver Strap Yes 2” x 8’ 14,400 lbs.
* Recovery Damper
* Snatch Block Yes 3/8” line max 20,000 lbs.
* Gloves Yes NA NA
Winch Extension Strap
Soft Shackles
Tow Strap
Chain
Can use synthetic winch rope No
Rating Winches 10,000 lbs and under
Notes:

Starred items (*) are in our Basic Offroad Recovery Kit List

The winch accessories in this kit are basic winch accessories - no flashy powdercoat or snazzy designs. This kit is intended for winches up to 10,000 lbs. Of the standard Warn winch recovery kits, it definitely has the nicest bag. This kit is good for steel (not synthetic) winch lines and is an excellent, fairly complete accessory kit for anyone. If you’re just starting out and you need to pick an inexpensive, complete kit, buy this kit and a recovery damper. It’ll work fine for SUVs, Jeeps, and small trucks. An ARB kit is probably higher quality (there are no protective sleeves here), but this kit is a good bang for the buck.

As noted, there is no recovery damper and no winch extension strap. The snatch block is greasable and has an overload indicator.

Warn Medium Duty Winching Accessory Kit #2 - 62858

Warn Medium Duty Standard Winch Recovery Kit - 62858
Warn 62858 Contents and Specs
Included? Size Capacity
* Gear Bag Yes Medium Included gear
* Shackles 2 3/4” x 7/8” pin 6,000 lbs.
* Kinetic Recovery Strap Yes 3” x 30’ 21,600 lbs.
* Tree Saver Strap Yes 4” x 8’ 30,000 lbs.
* Recovery Damper
* Snatch Block Yes 5/16” line max 19,000 lbs.
* Gloves Yes NA NA
Winch Extension Strap
Soft Shackles
Tow Strap
Chain
Can use synthetic winch rope No
Rating Winches 9,500 lbs and under
Notes:

Starred items (*) are in our Basic Offroad Recovery Kit List

Frankly, this kit is a bit of an enigma. First, it has the same name as the above kit. But more importantly, Warn rates this kit for 9,500 lb. winches. But the tree strap and recovery straps are enormous and have much higher weight ratings than those for comparable winch recovery kits, like the Warn kit #1 above or the ARB kits. They also say it’s for 5/16” winch lines, but the snatch block should work with steel lines up to 3/8” with no problem. If you have a steel winch line and need a heavy duty tree strap anchor and a heavy duty snatch strap, this is the kit for you!

The straps in this kit are pretty basic with no protective sleeves, but they'll get the job done.

TJM Large Winch Recovery Kit

TJM Large Winch Recovery Kit
This kit from TJM is designed for lightweight vehicles and has everything on our offroad recovery gear list, plus a winch extension strap.
TJM Large Kit Contents and Specs
Included? Size Capacity
* Gear Bag Yes Large Included gear
* Shackles 2 3/4” x 7/8” pin 9,500 lbs.
* Kinetic Recovery Strap Yes 2 3/8” x 30’ 17,600 lbs.
* Tree Saver Strap Yes 2 3/8” x 10’ 17,600 lbs.
* Recovery Damper Yes NA NA
* Snatch Block Yes 3/8” line max 17,600 lbs.
* Gloves Yes NA NA
Winch Extension Strap Yes 2 3/8” x 66’ 8,800 lbs.
Soft Shackles
Tow Strap
Chain
Can use synthetic winch rope No
Rating ?
Notes:

Starred items (*) are in our Basic Offroad Recovery Kit List

Like ARB, TJM is an Australian company that's been providing high quality recovery gear for a number of years. One of the notable things about both the TJM Large Winch Recovery Kit, the ARB Premium Kit, and the TJM Heavy Duty Kit is that they all include winch extension straps. No other company includes these, but it's because of what fourwheeling is like in Australia. Unlike many parts of the US, there is a lack of trees and rocks that can act as winch anchors. Therefore, having a winch extension strap is useful to have those few extra feet of reach.

This kit has everything you need to do serious recovery work, from winch operations to snatch operations. The snatch block has a steel pulley, so don't use it with a synthetic winch rope unless the snatch block is brand new and hasn't been used with steel winch line. The snatch block has a greasable steel pulley to keep it running smoothly.

TJM Heavy Duty Winch Recovery Kit

TJM Heavy Duty Winch Recovery Kit
This TJM kit has every thing on our offroad recovery gear list and more! It's designed for heavier 4x4s.
TJM Heavy Contents and Specs
Included? Size Capacity
* Gear Bag Yes Large Included gear
* Shackles 4 3/4” x 7/8” pin, 5/8” x 3/4” pin 9,500 lbs., 7,100 lbs.
* Kinetic Recovery Strap Yes 3” x 30’ 24,200 lbs.
* Tree Saver Strap Yes 3” x 16’ 22,000 lbs.
* Recovery Damper Yes NA NA
* Snatch Block Yes 3/8” line max 17,600 lbs.
* Gloves Yes NA NA
Winch Extension Strap Yes 2 3/8” x 66’ 13,200 lbs.
Soft Shackles
Tow Strap
Chain
Can use synthetic winch rope No
Rating ?
Notes:

Starred items (*) are in our Basic Offroad Recovery Kit List

The TJM Heavy Duty Winch Recovery Kit is just like the Large TJM kit, except it has a stronger recovery strap, tree saver strap, and winch extension strap. It's also one of the few kits to come complete with a recovery damper, which every recovery kit should have.

One thing we don't like about this kit is that it comes with 2 5/8" shackles. Frankly, we think that 3/4" shackles are at the lower end of what all of us should be using for recovery and 5/8" is just too small. Besides having a lower working load limit than 3/4", they are also physically smaller and it may be difficult to fit them on recovery mount points or thread two loops through one shackle (as with a tree strap). You could maybe use them in a pure winching operation with a light vehicle where there were no dynamic forces, but we have plenty of 3/4" and larger shackles around....

We suspect that the 5/8" shackles are intended to be used together so that a strap can be centered on a vehicle. This would be done by mounting each shackle to one end of a bumper, then running a strap from one shackle to the other. A recovery strap could be connected to the middle of this strap to prevent a pull from acting mostly on one frame horn.

Rugged Ridge XHD Winch Recovery Gear Kit - 15104.25

Rugged Ridge Winch Recovery Gear Kit - 15104.25
Rugged Ridge 15104.25 Contents and Specs
Included? Size Capacity
* Gear Bag Yes Medium Included gear
* Shackles 2 3/4” x 7/8” pin 9,500 lbs.
* Kinetic Recovery Strap
* Tree Saver Strap Yes 3” x 6’ 30,000 lbs.
* Recovery Damper Yes NA NA
* Snatch Block Yes ? 20,000 lbs.
* Gloves Yes NA NA
Winch Extension Strap
Soft Shackles
Tow Strap Yes 3” x 30’ 20,000 lbs.
Chain
Can use synthetic winch rope No
Rating ?
Notes:

Starred items (*) are in our Basic Offroad Recovery Kit List

The Rugged Ridge kit is an okay starter kit. It’s inexpensive and it has all the winch accessories you need. That said, you aren’t going to get the quality of the ARB or even the Warn standard recovery kits here. The carry bag isn’t that sturdy, the shackles are much weaker, and there are some complaints about the stitching on the straps. Our biggest complaint with this kit is the tree strap. At 6’ it is super short. A tree strap should be at least 8’, and 10’ is even better. Realistically, a 6’ strap can probably be used on a tree with a maximum diameter of 19-20”, which isn’t that big.

We included this kit only because it’s so cheap, but know that you get what you pay for and that the components aren’t going to hit the quality levels of other manufacturers. If you just need something to throw in your lightweight, steel-winch-lined rig that will be used sparingly, this kit will work for you.

Would we buy it? No. If you plan to do serious winching, skip this kit and get something a little more robust.

Smittybilt Premium Winch Recovery Kit - 2725

Smittybilt Premium Winch Recovery Kit - 2725
This kit is missing a recovery damper, has a polyester recovery strap, and includes a chain that you probably don't need.
Smittybilt 2725 Contents and Specs
Included? Size Capacity
* Gear Bag Yes Large Included gear
* Shackles 2 3/4” x 7/8” pin ?
* Kinetic Recovery Strap
* Tree Saver Strap Yes 4” x 8’ 40,000 lbs.
* Recovery Damper
* Snatch Block Yes ? 17,600 lbs.
* Gloves Yes NA NA
Winch Extension Strap
Soft Shackles
Tow Strap Yes 3” x 30’ 30,000 lbs.
Chain Yes 5/16” x 10’ ?
Can use synthetic winch rope No
Rating ?
Notes:

Starred items (*) are in our Basic Offroad Recovery Kit List

We feel pretty skeptical about this kit. On Smittybilt's page about this kit they say, "the 17,600lb. snatch strap is perfect for changing direction of pull or additonal (sic) pulling power." Now if you've been paying attention at all, you know that this sentence makes absolutely no sense - they certainly were referring to the snatch block. They have put very little care into the product page.

We also get very few weight ratings on this kit and the "recovery strap", at this price point, is definitely not a nylon kinetic strap. The prices that we are seeing for this kit do not make us think that this kit will be high quality. While it will no doubt sell to some people, we can't recommend it.

Snatch Recovery Kits

A snatch recovery kit is for freeing one stuck vehicle using the pulling force of another free vehicle. You connect the two vehicles using the shackles and recovery strap and attempt to pull the stuck vehicle with the free vehicle. You should always use the minimum amount of force possible during a pull and gradually increase force with subsequent pulls. This decreases the likelihood that you'll break a strap, mounting point, or bend a vehicle's frame. There lots of YouTube videos of people shearing off bumpers and strap attachment points!

At the minimum, a snatch recovery kit should have these items:

  • Carry Bag
  • 2 Shackles
  • Recovery strap
  • Gloves

ARB Weekender Recovery Kit - RK12

ARB Weekender Recovery Kit - RK12
ARB RK12 Contents and Specs
Included? Size Capacity
* Gear Bag Yes Tiny Included gear
* Shackles 2 3/4” x 7/8” pin 10,640 lbs.
* Kinetic Recovery Strap Yes 2 3/8” x 30’ 17,500 lbs.
* Tree Saver Strap
* Recovery Damper
* Snatch Block
* Gloves Yes NA NA
Winch Extension Strap
Soft Shackles
Tow Strap
Chain
Can use synthetic winch rope
Rating Vehicles 5,600 lbs and less
Notes:

Starred items (*) are in our Basic Offroad Recovery Kit List

As the smallest kit in ARB’s recovery kit lineup, the Weekender Kit is definitely not for winching. It’s for vehicle-to-vehicle recovery only, meaning you’re going to be yanking one vehicle out with another. You get one of ARB’s high quality recovery straps and shackles for attaching it to a vehicle. It doesn’t include a recovery damper, but it does have a pocket for a flat-style damper. We think a damper is not a bad thing to use on a snatch strap, particularly on hard pulls. Snatch straps can still break and whip. This kit is small and light enough to keep in any vehicle for snow emergencies or just light off road trips. In fact, we keep a strap, shackles, and gloves setup in all our vehicles just in case.

Recovery straps are stretchy and ARB straps will stretch up to 20% of their length. They cannot be used for extending your winch line, only snatch recovery.

TJM Heavy Duty Snatch Strap Kit

TJM Heavy Duty Snatch Strap Kit
This kit is fine for basic recovery when there are two vehicles, but has practically no winch accessories.
TJM Heavy Snatch Contents and Specs
Included? Size Capacity
* Gear Bag Yes Small Included gear
* Shackles 2 3/4” x 7/8” pin 9,500 lbs.
* Kinetic Recovery Strap Yes 3” x 30’ 24,000 lbs.
* Tree Saver Strap
* Recovery Damper
* Snatch Block
* Gloves Yes NA NA
Winch Extension Strap
Soft Shackles
Tow Strap
Chain
Can use synthetic winch rope
Rating ?
Notes:

Starred items (*) are in our Basic Offroad Recovery Kit List

Like the ARB Weekender Recovery Kit, this kit contains a a snatch strap and shackles, which means you'll need to use this with another vehicle for recovery operations. If you're out in the boonies by yourself, this kit won't do you any good unless a friendly fellow wheeler comes along to tug you out with the strap. This kit is a little beefier than the ARB kit, although it uses a similar size shackle.

This is a sturdy piece of kit made by a well known company. We like having kits like this in the truck during winter or on milder trails that could be a little tricky. But if you need to do serious winching duty, you'll need more!

Yukon Gear Recovery Kit with 20' x 3/4" Rope

Yukon Gear Recovery Kit with 20' x 3/4" Rope
The 20' kinetic rope is rated for up to 19,000 lbs. This kit is good for snatching operations, but needs a couple more things to be used for winching.
Yukon Gear 3/4" Contents and Specs
Included? Size Capacity
* Gear Bag Yes Small Included gear
* Shackles 2 3/4” x 7/8” pin 9,500 lbs.
* Kinetic Recovery Strap Yes 3/4” x 20’ 19,000 lbs.
* Tree Saver Strap
* Recovery Damper
* Snatch Block
* Gloves Yes NA NA
Winch Extension Strap
Soft Shackles 1 3/8” x 10” 35,000 lbs.
Tow Strap
Chain
Can use synthetic winch rope
Rating 19,000 lbs
Notes:

Starred items (*) are in our Basic Offroad Recovery Kit List

Kinetic recovery ropes are one of the newer things in the 4x4 world. They are ultralight ropes that are stretchy, small, and extremely strong for their diameter. This kit also includes a soft shackle which can be used for connecting snatch straps together or for connecting to an attachment point on a 4x4. If you do attach it to a vehicle, make sure that the soft shackle won't be cut or abraded on sharp edges.

It's great for connecting two snatch straps/recovery ropes together because it makes an easy connection. Straps cannot be connected together with a shackle - if a strap breaks the shackle becomes a projectile that will kill anyone in its way.

Yukon Gear Recovery Kit with 30' x 7/8" Rope

Yukon Gear Recovery Kit with 30' x 7/8" Rope
The 30' kinetic rope is rated for up to 28,000 lbs. This kit is missing some winch accessories, but the kits from Yukon are the first we've seen to have kinetic ropes and soft shackles.
Yukon Gear 7/8" Contents and Specs
Included? Size Capacity
* Gear Bag Yes Small Included gear
* Shackles 2 3/4” x 7/8” pin 9,500 lbs.
* Kinetic Recovery Strap Yes 7/8” x 30’ 28,000 lbs.
* Tree Saver Strap
* Recovery Damper
* Snatch Block
* Gloves Yes NA NA
Winch Extension Strap
Soft Shackles 1 3/8” x 10” 35,000 lbs.
Tow Strap
Chain
Can use synthetic winch rope
Rating 28,000 lbs
Notes:

Starred items (*) are in our Basic Offroad Recovery Kit List

This kit is just like the 3/4" rope kit above except it uses a longer and thicker kinetic rope: 7/8" x 30'. 3/4" and 7/8" are probably the most common rope sizes for kinetic rope.

Winch Utility Kits

Winch utility kits are a little more focused on work than play. We define them as including a chain and missing some of the key components of a typical winch recovery kit. You can easily add to these kits to get what you need, and the Warn 29460 is a good base kit.

Warn Heavy Duty Winching Accessory Kit - 29460

Warn Heavy Duty Standard Winch Recovery Kit - 29460
Warn 29460 Contents and Specs
Included? Size Capacity
* Gear Bag Yes Medium Included gear
* Shackles 1 3/4” x 7/8” pin 6,000 lbs.
* Kinetic Recovery Strap Yes 3” x 30’ 21,600 lbs.
* Tree Saver Strap Yes 4” x 8’ 30,000 lbs.
* Recovery Damper
* Snatch Block Yes 7/16” line max 24,000 lbs.
* Gloves Yes NA NA
Winch Extension Strap
Soft Shackles
Tow Strap
Chain Yes 5/16” x 10’ 4,700 lbs.
Can use synthetic winch rope No
Rating Winches 12,000 lbs and under
Notes:

Starred items (*) are in our Basic Offroad Recovery Kit List

This kit features heavy snatch and tree straps like Warn's 62858 kit in the winch recovery kit section, but the snatch block is also much larger. This kit is designed for winches up to 12,000 lbs. and will take a 7/16” steel winch line (no synthetic). This kit has one shackle instead of two, so you should plan to buy more shackles. This kit also includes a 10’ length of 5/16" chain. This is handy, but we wouldn’t really use it with our winch on the trail. When we think of chain and winches, we think of moving junk around on our property, not off road recovery. Warn also lists this kit under tow truck winch kits, which explains why they’ve included a length of chain.

This is a great kit if you need to pull vehicles up on a flatbed or a trailer, but you’ll need at least some shackles and a recovery damper to make it complete for the trail.

Smittybilt Winch Accessory Kit - 2726

Smittybilt Universal Winch Accessory Kit - 2726
Smittybilt 2726 Contents and Specs
Included? Size Capacity
* Gear Bag Yes Medium Included gear
* Shackles 1 3/4” x 7/8” pin 8,500 lbs.
* Kinetic Recovery Strap
* Tree Saver Strap Yes 4” x 20’ 30,000 lbs.
* Recovery Damper
* Snatch Block Yes ? 17,600 lbs.
* Gloves Yes NA NA
Winch Extension Strap
Soft Shackles
Tow Strap
Chain Yes 5/16” x 10’ ?
Can use synthetic winch rope No
Rating ?
Notes:

Starred items (*) are in our Basic Offroad Recovery Kit List

This kit is similar in quality to the Rugged Ridge kit, although it has fewer items. This is definitely a smaller kit that we think needs more items to be useful. For recovery purposes, the tree strap is long, the shackle is weaker than in other kits, there should be at least two shackles, and the chain isn’t much use in most off road recovery operations. In short, this kit really isn’t suitable for dependable recovery unless you’re supplementing it with a bunch of other items.

The tree trunk protector, if it’s static (non-stretch) as it it should be, will not work as a snatch strap. The snatch block is designed to be used with steel winch line.

If you need a winch accessory kit that will help you pull trees, drag logs, and work around your property, this is an okay option with the basics that you need for that. If you need to do serious winching, check out another winch recovery kit.