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With its webbing coiled around a spring-loaded drum, the Quickloader makes a tidy package when not in use.

A friend of mine demystified ratchet straps for me last summer. I had given her a dinghy, and when she came to pick it up, she walked me through using the straps she’d brought. I know and trust knots so I’d always preferred to keep a length of line in my trunk for tie-downs, but I liked how the flat straps can be cranked down so quickly and snugly. Keeping the strap from getting twisted was annoying; the tail end had to be tucked away to keep it from flapping in the wind, and, when not in use, the straps didn’t coil as tidily as rope. It wasn’t until I tried Quickloader ratchet straps that I was convinced to make the switch from rope and knots for securing cartop loads.

When the ratchet release (just to the right of the handle) is pulled, the handle can be fully extended, letting the drum unwind and the webbing run free.

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