Polyester Recovery Strap
Polyester recovery straps stretch only about 2 to 3 percent at full force. The upside of this characteristic is a controlled pull. You can more easily predict how the strap will react under load, which means you can more easily prevent damage to the vehicles involved in the recovery. The downside of this characteristic is that the strap will jerk when the line becomes taught, so if you try for a running start, do it at your own risk. The force of the jerk can damage frames, bumpers, and other tow points.
Polyester straps are more commonly used than nylon straps, in part because they are more universal. Besides serving as a recovery strap, a poly strap can be used for towing. They are also safer because they won’t recoil if they break.
Nylon Recovery Straps
Nylon straps stretch like a rubber band. They are good to use when you need a running start, especially when traction is poor—for example, if you’re pulling a vehicle out of sand, mud, loose gravel, or snow and ice. They are also good to use when the vehicle making the recovery doesn’t have enough power to tug from a standstill. The downside of this stretchy characteristic is that nylon straps can be dangerous if used improperly because of the amount of energy stored in the strap. If the strap breaks, it can damage vehicles or injure bystanders.