Soft Shackles: Why You Need Them

Posted by Chris Jurden on

A Brief History of Recovery Gear

The world of recovery gear has evolved quite a bit in the last few decades.  I can remember a time where chains were the method of choice for a stuck vehicle extraction.  Large, heavy and unruly, chains were replaced with cables and straps. Winches were always spooled with steel cable, but now most winches come with synthetic line.  Everything is getting lighter, safer and stronger.

What's Fishing Got To Do With It?

Braided rope from organic material has been around for 4000 years. Most people don't know this, but synthetic ropes have been around a long time too.  In WW2, Paratroopers used synthetic lines with their parachutes.  Enter the fishing industry about 75 years ago, and heavy-duty, element resistant synthetic ropes came on the scene, and are still used today.  Sometime in the 1990's,someone made the jump from fishing to off-roading and started spooling winches with this tough, lightweight line that had far less dangerous recoil. The synthetic revolution had begun.

From Winchlines to Shackles

Winchlines are 60-100 feet in length, and are light, strong and safe.  The natural progression to using synthetic winchline it to have a rope connector.  Soft shackles, diamond knots, splicing and weaving has been used in many industries like climbing, sailing and others. Now, soft shackles are becoming the norm in many off-road recovery kits.  This is because they are useful, light and strong.

Why a Soft Shackle?

Soft shackles share a common use to regular steel or aluminon shackles: A secure connection point for a winch or a strap.  While steel shackles have been around for hundreds of years, the soft shackle is relatively new, and may people haven't' experienced the benefits. Lets take a look at the primary differences.


Soft Shackles are light.  Usually a few ounces vs a pound or more for a steel shackle.  They float on water and mud. They take up minimal space and weight in out usually over-packed off0road vehicles.


Having a closed connection is much safer than using a hook. Not to mention, if a cable or rope brakes, a soft shackle will not become a deadly projectile like a steel shackle.

Ease of Use

Easy to use, and extremely flexible, the soft shackle make recovery connections simple. A self tightening loop becomes stronger as pressure is applied. It's also one piece, so you wont ever have to worry about fumbling with a pin or screw.


Have you ever dropped a shackle or shackle in in the water?  How about in the mud?  Soft Shackles float so you never have to search if one gets dropped in mud or water, and since they contain no metal, they will never rust!

What Are YOU Waiting For?

Don't have a soft shackle yet?  Well now is the time!  Lighter, Safer, Stronger...the future is hear with the GearAmerica Soft Shackle.  Used for decades in industries like mining, agriculture, marine etc., the soft shackle has proven to be the hardest working connection in the off-road recovery world!

The GearAmerica Difference

Don't forget, GearAmerica Synthetic Soft Shackles are cover by our Industry-Leading Hassle Free Lifetime Replacement Warranty.  They are 100% made in the USA with locally sourced materials and are built to last.  GearAmerica truly is the last recovery gear you'll ever need.



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