Black Rat Recovery Kit Review

The Black Rat Recovery Kit

Expeditions West Tacoma Black Rat Recovery kit

Recovery Equipment

Traveling unsupported off-highway requires equipment and experience to extricate ypur vehicle from a myriad of immobilizing situations, including sand, mud, crossed axle terrain, high centering, etc.

The Black Rat Recovery kit allows efficient access to your recovery gear, containing mpst required equipment in a high visibility, well-organized unit.

Complete Black Rat Recovery Kit

The complete kit (Note: Constrictor Strap not included)

Kit Contents

Black Rat Recovery Kit Orange HD Work Gloves

HD Work Gloves

High visibility (great for spotting), insulated (muli-blend) gloves with pigskin leather palms and fingers, and bright orange vinyl backs. Long cuffs with an elastic wrist closure (storm cuff) prevents debris from entering the gloves.

Black Rat Recovery Kit Snatch Strap Black Yellow

Black Rat Recovery Kit Snatch Strap Black Yellow

30′ Snatch Strap

This Black Rat Snatch Strap is 30′ x 2″, and is designed with a 22% stretch for semi-kinetic recovery. This strap cannot be used as a tow strap, as towing a vehicle for even a few miles will destroy the strap’s elasticity. The ends are looped and include a wear sleeve. This is an 8000 kg (20,000 lb.) rated strap.

Black Rat Recovery Kit Bow Shackles

3/4″ Bow Shackles

The kit includes two 3/4″ 4.7 ton shackles with 7/8″ threaded cross shafts. They are a highly visible shade of yellow, which is a nice detail (especially in snow and mud). The shackles have good interior volume (because they are bow and not D shackles), and can fit larger tow strap loops.

The threaded cross shaft (screw pin) is really the only negative I found of the kit, as I prefer a cross shaft (pin) that uses a hair pin cotter. The threaded cross shafts can be difficult to loosen and the threads can clog with sand/mud/etc. requiring the use of a tool to break the shaft free. But, that is more of a personal preference than a negative, and the cross shaft does have a hole in the end for using a screw driver or similar tool to loosen the threads if stuck.

Black Rat Recovery Kit Tree Protector Strap Yellow

Tree Protector

The tree protector is a 10 foot strap with a 30,000 lb. breaking strength. The 10′ length is a nice feature, as most tree protectors are six or eight feet in length. The tree protector also features fully sleeved eyes for wear protection and a wear indicator that will identify if the strap has been overloaded. This is the highest quality and best designed tree protector I have used.

Black rat Recovery Kit Chain

10′ of Chain

Another great feature of the kit is the included cadmium plated chain. The chain provides another method for securing around the vehicle’s frame, bumpers, etc., that could damage a nylon strap. There are three chain ends included: grab hook, slide hook and lug link. This 5/16″ grade 70 chain has a working load limit of 2,130 kg (4,700 lbs.) and an ultimate breaking strength of 8,530 kg (18,800 lbs).

Black Rat Recovery Kit Pulley Block

Pulley Block

This 8,000 kg (17,500 lbs.) snatch block is the jewel of the kit, and is of excellent quality. The pulley is powder coated and will accept a 3/8″ cable. The scissor body is zinc plated for corrosion resistance. The cross shaft is held in place with a hair pin cotter and includes a recessed zirk grease fitting for lubricating the pulley on the shaft. The off-road block is stored in its own protective case.

Black Rat Recovery Kit Ratchet Strap

Ratchet Strap

The kit includes a utility ratchet strap, whose uses are limitless on the trail. The main reason the 15′ strap is included in the kit is for reseating a tire on the rim. Running the strap around the centerline of the tire’s width and tightening will force the tires bead against the rim seat, aiding in creating a seal for reseating the tire


This is a high quality kit, and contained in one, efficient to access bag. Several of the other kits on the market use one big canvas bag, which requires digging for items. I have used all of the gear over the last few months and have had no failures. One of the features that really stood out in use was the strap’s looped ends with the tight wear sleeves. They are much easier to fit in shackles and on the hooks of vehicles.


Extreme Outback Products

PO Box 3075

Vacaville, CA 95696

Toll Free: 1-866-447-7711

Direct Line: 1-707-447-7711

Fax: 1-707-447-7722



Part The Black Rat Recovery Kit with Bag


Costs are subject to change, verify pricing with vendor


Expeditions West 2004 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab TRD


15.8 kg (35 lbs.)

Overall Rating:

Rating 5/5

Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and include three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar travels include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. He lives in Prescott, Arizona IG: @scott.a.brady Twitter: @scott_brady