How to Use a Soft Shackle for Off-Road Recovery

How to Use a Soft Shackle for Off-Road Recovery

Written by Pierce Bryant
May 11, 2023

You’re in the middle of recovering your stuck vehicle with some metal D-Ring Shackles as suddenly you hear a snap. Your recovery rope has snapped and now your metal shackles are flying through the air at top speed and crash through the windshield of your vehicle.

This scenario is something that you hope never happens to you, however, accidents do happen. If something like this has happened to you, you know how terrifying it can be to have a heavy metal object flying at you or a loved one with nothing being able to do to stop it. Unfortunately, scenarios like this when recovering are not uncommon, but they can potentially be preventable and life-saving with a change of equipment.

If you happen to be someone who either has metal shackles or is in the market for shackles for recovery, looking into purchasing soft shackles may be beneficial to you for your safety. Soft Shackles are similar to metal shackles, but they are not made of metal. Due to this, the hazard of being hit by one is significantly less dangerous. Rhino USA’s 3/8” Synthetic Soft Shackles have a break strength of 46,250 lbs and a working load limit of 15,416 lbs.

Featured Product: Rhino USA Synthetic Soft Shackles

Aside from being a safer alternative to metal shackles, they are also extremely lightweight and even float. If you tend to be in wet conditions involving water or mud and struggle with sinking metal shackles or losing them in the terrain, soft shackles will float, which may make your recovery much easier.

Also, along with being lightweight and non-metal, you will have no fear of scratching your paint with soft shackles recovery. Due to their material, they should not harm your vehicle or paint.

They are also easy to store because they are small and sometimes come with a carrying bag that you can easily fit under your seat or even in your glove box for convenience. As a UTV or 4x4 owner, soft shackles are basically must-have, and that is why they made our list of top 5 essential UTV recovery gear.

If you happen to have already purchased soft shackles, but are not sure how to use them, with our step by step guide you will be on the road to recovery in no time.

How To Use a Soft Shackle in 5 easy steps:

  • Inspect your soft shackle for wear and tear before use
  • Simply loop the soft shackle around the tow/recovery point of your vehicle
  • Add the loop for your tow strap or kinetic rope
  • Then put the knot of the soft shackle through the loop
  • Once the tow strap or kinetic rope are securely fastened, proceed with caution during recovery

Rhino USA soft shackles

The soft shackles also have other beneficial uses such as attaching two tow straps together. If the Rhino USA soft shackle seems like something that you may be interested in, but still are not sure, they offer a 100% money back guarantee if you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase and also include a lifetime warranty.


What is a soft shackle?

Soft shackles are a faster, lighter alternative to a d-ring shackle. They are often used for off-road recovery situations involving a tow strap or kinetic rope, and they are also used in boating as a replacement for carabiner, quicklink, or shackle. Soft shackles are made up of a knot on one end and an eye or splice on the other end, which is used to pass the knot through for a secure connection.

What size soft shackle do I need?

Most recovery soft shackles are around 22" long, however, when talking about soft shackle size, we are most often referring to its diameter or thickness. The thickness of a soft shackle can determine its working load limit and max breaking strength. Deciding which size soft shackle is needed depends on the weight of the vehicle being recovered or the load being forced onto the connection. Rhino USA offers 1/2" and 7/16" soft shackles, which feature different load limits and break strengths.