I am old enough to remember when cam straps couldn’t be found at every sporting goods store, big box department store, and auto parts outlet. Those were the days when a good length of rope was invaluable. But things have changed. These days, cam straps do a better job for most tie-down applications. So why keep using rope?
Also known as cam buckle straps, cam straps are pretty basic technology. They are essentially lashing straps made of webbing material and secured in place with cam buckles. You can also get them with different accessories, like hooks for example.
Tighter Loads with Less Effort
It is one thing to say that cam straps can do the same job better than rope. It is another thing to explain why. So here is the first thing to consider: cam straps make for tighter loads with less effort. It is all in the physics.
With rope, you have to gradually pull it tight all the way across its entire surface. Then you need to find a way to keep it tight while you make your knot. You also need to make sure to pull it tighter than you really want it, knowing that the rope will loosen somewhat over time.
Cam straps require a lot less effort. Rollercam’s patented buckle straps prove the point nicely. Using one of their buckle straps is as simple as putting the strap over the load, feeding it through the cam buckle, and pulling it tight. The cam design eliminates friction and increases leverage, allowing you to get the strap extremely tight with little more than a gentle pull.
Loads Are Less Likely to Come Loose
Along those same lines, loads secured with rope stand a good chance of coming loose if you don’t tie your knots properly. And unless you are a mariner or a boy scout, you probably don’t know the most effective knots for tying down loads.
Cam buckle straps are just the opposite. The buckles themselves have spring-loaded plates that apply considerable force to the strapping material to keep it secure. Once a cam strap is tight, it is not going to loosen up unless the buckle itself malfunctions.
Tying Down Loads Is Faster
Yet another reason for saying that cam straps do the job better is the fact that they are so much easier to use. Cam straps are so easy to deploy that tying down loads is measurably faster than tying down with rope.
Rope was the best tool of its kind before lashing straps and cam buckles came along. But compared to these newer technologies, rope is cumbersome. It is difficult to work with. It takes a long time to adequately secure loads of any size and weight. You can tie down a load with cam straps in mere minutes.
Versatility Is About Even
In fairness to rope, it is a pretty versatile tool with tons of applications. It’s probably a safe bet to say that cam buckle straps are equally versatile. There is no clear winner in this particular category.
It is also fair to say that there are some applications for which you would still want to use rope. A sturdy rope makes a good laundry line whereas a cam strap doesn’t. So don’t think it’s time to throw away your rope and never buy any more.
The only point is that cam straps do a better job of tying down loads. Whether you are talking about lashing straps, truck-tie down straps, etc., a good webbing strap with an equally good cam buckle is going to do a better job than rope.