Purchasing the best off-road recovery kit for your adventure rig is just as important as running on a solid set of rugged rubber. This handy guide to basic recovery kits outlines what recovery items are essential to keep in your vehicle when out adventuring off-road.
Recovery Kit Contents
There is a whole world of vehicle recovery kits on the market. Some kits are entry-level and inexpensive whereas others are premium sets made for long-term use. Different manufacturers have multiple pre-made recovery kits that contain various types of recovery gear. Buying a basic vehicle recovery kit is a great way to get prepared for off-road travel, and building onto that basic kit is essential most times.
So how do you know you are making a smart purchase? To begin with, every off-road recovery kit should include at least one recovery strap, two D- or bow-style shackles, a tree trunk protector, a snatch block (otherwise known as a pulley block), and heavy-duty winching or leather gloves. Here are our recommendations for the top recovery kits to get you started.
The WARN Way
The WARN medium-duty off-road recovery kit includes a 20,000-pound maximum capacity snatch block, an eight-foot tree trunk protector rated to 14,000-pound capacity, a 30-foot recovery strap rated to 14,400-pound capacity, two 3/4 inch forged D-shackles, heavy-duty WARN winching gloves, and a carry bag. This WARN recovery kit is intended for use with winches with a load limit of 10,000 pounds or lower.
Tip: Check to make sure your recovery kit specifications are adequate for your vehicle and winch rating. Warn Industries, the Oregon-based manufacturer of these kits, also offers other kits, like this heavy-duty Epic recovery kit for use with winches with a capacity up to 18,000 pounds, perfect if you pilot a larger adventure rig.
Recovery kits usually come in a heavy-duty duffle-type bag or a backpack. Great for securely storing your off-road recovery gear, this bag can also pull double-duty as a winch line damper during vehicle recoveries. Simply pull the winch rope through the bag’s handles or, in the instance of the WARN Epic backpack, affix the two loops on the bag’s exterior to the winch line before winching.
Hi-Lift Heavy Lifting
The Hi-Lift jack off-road kit has several accessories for winching with a Hi-Lift jack. This off-road-ready recovery kit, which comes in a portable duffle bag, turns your Hi-Lift jack into an even more versatile tool. The Hi-Lift jack off-road recovery kit contains all the accessories needed for winching with a Hi-Lift jack all in one convenient bag.
This kit includes a winch tensioner, a custom nose attachment, an eight-foot tree saver strap, a pair of Hi-Lift gloves, necessary hardware (that includes items like D-shackles various recovery chains and grab hook with clevis pin), as well as a hefty bag to contain it all.
ARB offers up both an essential and premium version of the ARB 4×4 off-road recovery kit. This recovery kit includes a 26,000-pound capacity tree trunk protector, a 17,600-pound snatch strap, and a 9,900-pound winch extension strap. In addition, this off-road recovery kit also includes a recovery damper, 17,600-pound snatch block, two bow-style shackles, winching gloves, and a durable pack to carry all the equipment.
Off-Road Recovery Gear Tips
Like your vehicle’s winch, you should buy the best recovery gear you can afford. As the old adage goes, “Buy once, cry once.” Your off-road recovery kit is an investment. It could someday help save a life, and your beloved adventuremobile.
Research each recovery kit. Check out each item’s weight rating, quality, and limitations. Are the shackles or snatch blocks forged or cast? How long are the straps and are they static or kinetic? Is there anything you may need to add to your basic off-road recovery kit?
Also, understand how your vehicle will work with your new kit. Know where your vehicle’s recovery points are. Buy a kit that works well with the type of terrain you’ll be tackling. Most importantly, practice using the items in your kit before you actually need them. Using the wrong recovery gear to help someone get unstuck could end badly. Vehicles could get damaged or, worse, someone could get hurt.
A basic recovery kit is your jumping-off point to assist in vehicle recoveries. The recovery kit you choose is up to you, but knowing what options will best fit your vehicle and your needs is a great first step.