The Best Weightlifting Straps

August 19, 2022

Today we're looking at the best weightlifting straps, what you should look for, and why Stash lifting straps re the best choice on the market.

The Best Weightlifting Straps

Stash Weight Lifting Straps - the tow straps - are the best weightlifting straps on the market.

But don't just take our word for it - we're going to prove it.

Today, we're looking at the best lifting straps, how we made the leather Olympic lifting straps that we're so proud of, and how lifting straps can help you with heavy lifts.

We're going to cover the basics, the burning questions, and other topics, including:

  1. What lifting straps are for
  2. How you choose the best lifting straps
  3. How to use straps for heavy weights
  4. What you should look out for to judge your favs
  5. What other straps are doing that we wanted to improve on!

Strap in and let's go...

Stash Tow Straps are the perfect gym bag cop for serious lifting. Wrist padding? Better - straight-through leather construction!

What Are Weightlifting Straps For?

Weightlifting straps remove the limiting factor of grip strength and grip fatigue, so you can lift more weight for more reps. This helps you get around one of the common problems in long sets where you want to build muscle and strength, not just grip power.

For Olympic lifting, straps are also useful for some lifting variations. Specifically, things like hang snatches, for high rep sets, or snatch pulls. These aren't the things you compete in, and you don't use them to build grip strength most of the time.

Stash weight lifting straps are great for other times when grip strength is challenged:

  • Warm weight rooms when hands get slick with sweat
  • Snatch grip lifts where the hand position is challenging for heavy weights
  • Shit bars with no knurling - classic GloboGym
  • Multiple reps returning a barbell - like in a barbell complex

Strap Material: Why Use Leather Lifting Straps?

We use leather lifting straps to prevent fraying, stop the slickening you get in cotton lifting straps or nylon straps, and provide the most durable lifting straps possible. Leather is a timeless, high-quality material that stands up to knurling far better than cotton straps or even a nylon strap.

Most cotton straps are going to get slick with sweat, stink to high heaven, and will come undone with regular use. Even with silicone grip nodes or heavy duty stitching, the forces on cotton lifting straps will tear them apart.

Sure, cotton lifting straps are cheap - but you'll burn through multiple pairs before you break a single Stash strap.

You get what you pay for - and we don't have any stitching to break. The result? The most durable material, on the sexiest designs, for the biggest lifts!

The most durable lifting straps on the market? Stash Tow straps - a pair of lifting straps that can take a beating for years.

Different Types of Lifting Straps?

There are different types of lifting straps on the market: lasso lifting straps, padded cotton lifting straps (ew), closed loop Oly lifters, "open loop" for pretentious weightlifters, and figure 8 straps for strongmen and Powerlifters who just refuse to work grip training.

You can also get other "types" or categories for lifting straps. These included extended length if you really need it, different materials, and more. Let's start with the intention of each type - and then we can get into the nitty gritty.

Powerlifting Straps and Gym Straps

Powerlifting straps - lasso lifting straps - are the "normal" in gyms. You know the kind - cotton straps with a loop, wrist straps that are used for pulling exercises, pull ups, and we've even seen them used for lat pull downs in bodybuilding circles.

These are serviceable straps for extra support, but aren't very good for weightlifting. Olympic straps need to release quickly, and there's always the risk that your lasso straps are going to stay connected to the bar when you miss a snatch backwards. If you've not seen the videos before, then know that holding a snatch that's going behind you is "risky for shoulder health".

Exploding shoulders in lasso straps are a common scene. Some designers use nylon lifting straps to get around this, with an easier release, but it's still just needlessly dangerous. Not to mention sweaty and horrible.

Powerlifting straps Pros

  • Price is usually low
  • Widely available

Powerlifting Straps Cons

  • Pretty good risk of exploding shoulders if you're using these to snatch
  • Cheap initially, but requires multiple pairs when they inevitably break - costing more
  • Less secure than Stash weightlifting straps or figure 8 straps
  • Lacks advanced straps feature sets

Olympic Lifting Straps

Olympic straps - the kind for Olympic weightlifting - help grip strength in the snatch. This is important because the wide position is actually very weak compared to a normal grip position for heavy deadlifts. Weightlifters use straps to stay attached to the bar for multiple reps of fast lifts, or heavy weights on pulling exercises.

Easy release is key here - and that's why there are 2 popular types of weightlifting straps:

  1. Closed loops: the configuration that we sell our tow straps in, with a single loop for the wrist
  2. Open straps: a single piece of strap material that you hold together and tie onto the bar

These are both completely fine. Closed loops are easier to use for beginners and arguably just more efficient. However, an "open strap" is just as effective, since the way you wrap around the bar secures grip and keeps the two strap lengths together.

Note: the screw stud on Stash lifting straps lets you do both, and all it takes is a flat-head screwdriver. Yeah, we thought of that.

Olympic Straps Pros

  • The safest way to lift a bar over your head
  • Easy release without compromising the grip strength
  • The best lifting straps for all-purpose lifting like CrossFit and Sports training

Olympic Straps Cons

  • The straps gymreapers - and others - make are not the best quality or durability
  • Typically more expensive per pair than other straps
  • Cotton straps are more likely to break in Olympic lifting than other types

Strongman Straps: Figure 8 Lifting Straps

Strongman competitions allow you to use lifting straps, which makes them a huge part of the sport and a common site. Most strongmen prefer to use figure 8 lifting straps, since they're about as secure grip as is humanly possible, even with smaller wrists.

They also add extra length to the arm to make deadlifts easier (but they don't like to admit that!).

Figure 8 lifting straps aren't very good for weightlifting because they're very hard to release. Strongmen often have a real fight taking off figure 8 lifting straps after a deadlift, and if you're using those for a snatch, you can wave goodbye to your shoulders.

Technically, getting out of figure 8 lifting straps is as hard, and time-consuming, as deadlifting 500kg.

They also have extra padding, which we don't like, but makes total sense for strongmen. Strongman can use all kinds of lifting straps, however, depending on preference. We've supplied leather lifting straps to strongmen for this purpose, and they work well - any heavy duty stitching or durable leather is perfect.

Figure 8 straps pros

  • Durable by design with no stitching near the business end
  • More secure lock with the double-loop design
  • The best lifting straps that are actually made of cotton strapping
  • Neoprene padding actually makes sense here!

Figure 8 straps cons

  • Incredibly unwieldy for most uses
  • Not very versatile if you're not a strongman doing deadlifts - useless for other lifts
  • Typically still made of cotton, and more expensive than the design justifies

Stash Tow Straps: The Best Weightlifting Straps Around?

Stash Weightlifting tow straps are the best weightlifting straps on the market: more durable than any other option, more comfortable for all kinds of heavy lifting, and the best investment - when you get a longer lifespan than any other pair of lifting straps.

Here's why:

  1. Quality: we hand-make everything, our quality assurance is baked into our lifting straps so there's never an issue.
  2. Comfort: our straps don't get slick with sweat like cotton straps, letting you maintain grip longer in worse conditions. You'll notice the difference in the weight room.
  3. Durability: leather doesn't need stitching and doesn't have any fabric to fray - so your straps will be stronger for longer and last years.
  4. Adjustable: the screw-stud in our straps lets you run Stash lifting straps in open or closed configuration. They're your straps, use them how you want.
  5. Sweat resistant: a strap that doesn't get tired and slippery when you train? What a treat. Expect better performance across a whole workout. Less stinky, too!
  6. Softness: even without extra padding, the soft leather doesn't cut into the wrists - at least not as easily - keeping your hands happy.

These are the most important factors that go into the best lifting straps on the market. They're also what you should look for, no matter what kind of lifting strap you're in the market for!

Stash Leather Straps vs The World:

Why are Stash tow straps the best weightlifting straps around? Glad you asked - let's look at the competition, why we don't like other straps, and what makes our lifting straps better.

We're going to look at a few common pieces on the market and what they inspired us to not do. We'll discuss what we've learned, what you're going to find elsewhere, and why things like neoprene padding and lifting hooks might not be the best choice for you!

Serious steel fitness straps

Serious steel lifting straps are normal cotton straps with lasso lifting straps, weightlifting closed straps, and figure 8 straps. The whole range is okay, but they're all made from cotton or nylon. Even with heavy stitching, these are going to fray and degrade under use.e

Even though we quite like the selection of closed-loop lifting straps, the material choice is a killer for us. We looked at this kind of strap and wanted to improve on the material before worrying about anything else.

Serious steel have some decent cheaper straps, but they're not the long-term workhorse you want to keep in your gym bag.

Gymreapers Lifting Straps

GymReapers lifting straps include the dreaded padded cotton lasso straps. A pair of lifting straps made of cotton will always have a limited shelf-life: either based on the quality of the material itself or the stitching required to make cotton behave itself under heavy loads.

Gymreapers lifting straps are nice for the figure 8 straps - that's for sure. However, for everyone else they're charging quite a lot for the kind of strap that'll fray within the first year of use.

Their lifting strap for weightlifting, the closed loop style, is just not that good. They come in a range of nice colours but the material is thin, the stitching is light, and they lack the thoughtfulness that a real Olympic lifter brings to a lifting strap.

Overall, gymreapers lifting straps just ask a price bump for branded cotton straps - the same kind you'd get from Maximuscle, or some other amazon brand, for half the price.

We're not sold, as you can tell.

The straps gymreapers sell are aesthetic, but more expensive and lower-durability than we'd like to see for the price.

Warm Body Cold Mind Straps

Warm Body Cold Mind is the company under Oleksiy Torokhtiy, and they make a wide range of weightlifting accessories. Their cotton lifting strap has grip nodes, it's closed loop, and has wider and stronger fabric than the serious steel straps (gymreapers, too).

And, despite all that, we still think the cotton lets it down! They're billed as a heavy duty cotton lifting strap, but that's not a big claim for a material that will always under-perform as a lifting strap!

Customer reviews include such sparkling items as:

  • Just okay: "I miss my old ones. These are just okay." (1)
  • Okay, but quality suspect: "Had these about a year. But stitching is giving way." (2)
  • Not good for smaller wrists: "I had a hard time getting a snug fit onto bars/handles"

The price for this outstanding quality? Almost as much as a hand-made, master-crafted leather strap that has none of these problems.

That's crazy, because you can get a better pair of lifting straps at Stash weightlifting for a few quid more, that's likely to last 200% to 1,000% longer. Other lifting straps - even cotton ones - do the same job at the same, or lower, price.

Warm Body Cold Mind straps feature nothing outstanding to justify the cost.

Strong Enough Lifting Strap

Before we go anywhere near these straps, let's shout out to IronMind. The training hall footage has always been the best, and we all cut our teeth watching IronMind's series. That said, the nylon lifting straps aren't quite as good.

These are long and storied straps, but they do tend to get slippery very easily, cut into the hands, and they're not as comfortable as they could be. They were some of the first straps for weightlifting on the market, but times have moved on.

We looked at the slickness of these straps as the main problem, where they fail, and it's one more reason to go with leather. Durable, sweat-resilient, and comfortable for even the heaviest lifts.

Weightlifting House Elite Straps: Neoprene Padding and Big Promises?

The weightlifting house straps are a more expensive alternative to your standard cotton lifting strap: they come with extra length and neoprene padding to soften the bite on your wrist.

We prefer to just cut out the middleman and replace cotton with leather, which doesn't need padding.

The best lifting straps don't use neoprene padding - they just use good materials, instead!

The Elite straps are as durable as you can expect from cotton, but they still come with the distinct risk of pinging open stitching. The lifespan doesn't seem as long as you'd expect for the price tag - if you're going to invest in a pair of straps, why not something that's going to last 2-5 years, instead?

They're definitely better than most cotton straps on the market, but not enough to justify the price.

That's just our opinion, and our leather straps, which are more comfortable and durable. And don't need neoprene padding to feel comfortable. You decide.

Padded Cotton Lifting Straps: Why We Use Leather Straps

We don't like padded cotton lifting straps - both the material and the extra padding are issues. Cotton straps have poor tensile strength, and the weave makes them vulnerable to fraying, tears, and early malfunction.

Here at stash, we've exploded plenty of cotton straps. They're cheap, but you'll need to replace them often

Using a more durable material was always necessary - and shifting to leather completely removes these issues.

You can get a cheap lifting strap with cotton, but you'll have more trouble lifting heavy weights, and they start to lose integrity early. Neoprene padding is more comfortable but also produces more "give" in the system, which is uncomfortable to handle and can accelerate decay by increasing "jerking" motion on the straps.

It's like turbo lag, but for your wrist straps. Padded cotton lifting straps are overrated and under-good.

What Defines The Best Lifting Straps?

The best lifting straps are durable, easy to use, comfortable, and improve your training experience in clear ways. All straps do at least some of these, but the best lifting straps combine them to bring you the best value for money and benefit per dollar.

Strap Length

Strap length is a key to getting what suits your sport. Ideal strap length for Olympic lifting is shorter, but much longer for something like Strongman where more security is required, but less dynamism and need for easy release.

Most lifting straps are around 40-80cm, depending on the type of lifting strap. Lasso strap design is usually longer in the tail (the bit you wrap around the bar), but short at the wrist.

As I always insist, longer isn't always better - and adding more strap length can easily lead to unwieldy excess. This isn't a boon to your lifting, so don't just go for the longest straps you can find. Anything over 80cm is going to be a bit much for most users.

Materials: Leather Straps or Fabric Straps?

Leather straps are better. They're more expensive to make, but the long-term savings are great when you realise that leather straps last for years, and you're going to struggle to keep cotton straps in one piece for even one year.

At the time of writing, we have not seen a single Stash leather strap break. We've seen tears, roughing up, and small cosmetic damage, but not a single pair has come apart into 2 pieces. We've been building Tow straps for 2 years now, so that's a pretty good sign!

Cotton lifting straps are susceptible to internal tears, strains, damage, and more. Even with double stitching or reinforced stitching, they've got weak points that leather simply doesn't. Good leather has been the durable strap material for millennia, because it's just better than cotton.

Quality: Durable Lifting Straps are Better

Quality and durability is more than just the materials. Double stitching and other weak points are the key to durability in most lifting straps. They're areas that are most likely to break lifting heavier weights, and they're a common site.

This is also particularly important in the kind of style you see from serious steel fitness' loop straps:

These are what we'd call "affordable" cotton straps - they don't last that long, but they'll get the job done for a while if you're absolutely skint.

The triangle of double stitching is a good example of a spot where stress is highest. Heavy lifts will put pressure on these areas and can cause fraying, tearing, and more. We use a binding screw to prevent this issue, and offer closed and open designs at once.

Nylon straps have better durability than cotton lifting straps, but the stitching and moving parts are down to the product. Some nylon straps are less durable because they have poor stitching, while some simple cotton straps have stronger stitching and are likely to last longer than their nylon counterparts.

The one true solution is the leather lifting strap. Because lather looks and performs better - and recoups the spend when you realise you don't need to buy another pair of lifting straps for at least 2 years.

Wrist Loop or "Open" Strap Design

Olympic lifting straps are a different type of lifting strap with both open and closed loop designs. Some - like the serious steel fitness loops - are closed with a small total length. Others, like the IronMind nylon lifting straps, are longer.

Still others - basically just pieces of material - are used to wrap around the bar but never close. These all do one thing that other straps don't: they release the bar during heavy lifts the moment you open your hand.

They still overcome limitations to grip strength, but they don't put you at risk of injury. Snatching in staps is common, but there are tons of videos where lasso straps cause shoulder injury, which is why weightlifters like having specific straps for their sport!

These shouldn't have any wrist padding, as it can put excessive pressure on the back of the wrist in the overhead position. Heavy duty cotton is okay, especially fixed with heavy duty stitching, but leather is still better.

How Do You Use Weight Lifting Straps?

You use weight lifting straps by wrapping them around the wrist, then wrap around the bar, and lift!

Lifting straps are deliberately simple. You can use lifting straps by simply connecting the bar and the wrist. You wrap around the bar, and then you can "rev" the wrist straps to improve your connection and pull out any slack in the strap before you start any heavy lifts.

There are a few small deviations to this basic method. Figure 8 lifting straps require you to loop two straps around the bar, and some wrist wraps with metal hook designs will have you affix yourself to the bar that way.

Ultimately, you just need to put the strap on your wrist and around the bar, and make sure there's no slack.

The Best Weightlifting Straps FAQ

A lifting strap can come in different materials, lengths, styles, and more. We invite all kinds of questions, and we're trying to cover all the most common questions.

We'll go into some detail on the most important things you need to know to get the most from your straps.

Consider that we can only answer questions that we get asked!

If you find we've not covered your burning questions, then ask them in the comments. If you don't ask, you don't get.

Which Weight Lifting Straps are Best?

The best lifting straps depend on your needs - but they're usually the Stash Tow straps. This is the premium lifting strap with a durable leather construction with no stitching to pull apart under heavy lifts.

They're as durable as you're going to get, outlasting cotton straps, metal lifting hooks, and every other strap we can find.

It's deliberate. Straps need to be comfortable, secure grip, and durable. Stash straps do all 3 of these better than anyone else. Easy.

Are Weightlifting Straps Safe?

Lifting straps that are easy to release - loop straps or Olympic straps - are very safe. They offer an unbreakable grip on the bar both overhead and from the floor, unlike other straps. This makes them perfect for Olympic lifts and CrossFit.

It's not safe to use closed-loop straps for overhead lifts. You're likely to dislocate something if you miss a snatch behind yourself.

We also don't recommend using straps for cleans unless your coach is supervising you - just another way to blow up both your wrists and get injured.

How Effective Are Lifting Straps?

Lifting straps are very effective for lifting more weight without compromising grip power. You should still incorporate grip training into your workouts, but for heavy deadlifts (e.g.) for high reps, you want to worry about lifting the weight, not just holding onto it.

You may not be able to lift more just by adding wrist straps to your heavy weights. They are good for some sets but aren't going to do much if the limiting factor isn't grip.

What are the Best Olympic Lifting Straps?

Stash Weightlifting Tow straps are the best lifting straps on the market. They're designed for Olympic lifting, by olympic lifters, to solve the problems you run into with lower quality straps.

We built these straps to solve the problem of a high-quality weightlifting strap and there's nothing on the market that can compete. They're less slippery. more comfortable, last multiple times longer than competitors, and save you money in the long run.

Are they cheap? No, you're going to be spending money to save money. However, they're as strong as any heavy duty figure 8 lifting straps, as easy to release as an open hand, and stay around the bar under pressure!

Why Use Lifting Straps?

A pair of lifting strap can improve your grip on the barbell so you can lift more weight, for more reps, without worrying about it slipping out of your hands. This is even more important on smooth bars, in sweaty gyms, or when doing super maximal lifts like rack pulls.

In these situations, it's a grip challenge that you don't want. It's not a grip training focus, so you want to train the back, hips, legs, and other muscles instead of the forearms limiting your training.

Use lifting straps to improve your training quality, not as an excuse to ignore grip strength!

Are Lifting Straps Cheating?

Lifting straps are cheating, in competition, for Olympic weightlifting and Powerlifting competitions. In these sports, they're only allowed in training, where they help you focus on lifting heavy deadlifts or snatch pulls (e.g.) without relying on grip power.

Lifting straps are not cheating in Strongman competition, where you are allowed to perform deadlift events with straps.

These athletes typically use figure 8 straps, since they're not doing anything too complicated with them, and don't need to release as quickly.

Are Lifting Straps Cheating in The Gym?

Some people say lifting straps are cheating in the gym, but that depends!

Some people use lifting straps to "cheat" their lifts.

They rely on the extra length and extra support of straps to lift heavier weights than they'd ever get close to in competition. Lots of new-era Instagram powerlifters use long wrist straps with an open hand, effectively adding extra length to their arms to make the deadlift easier.

That's cringe, and we hate it.

However, using lifting straps isn't cheating if you're still performing grip training, too. It's just a way to spare your hands.

You should have them in your gym bag just in case you tear a hand, your bars are particularly slippery, or your gym just doesn't allow chalk. All totally valid reasons to wrap around the bar and show it who's boss!


Stash Weightlifting Tow Straps are the best weightlifting straps on the market by design.

We looked at other straps - and what we wanted them to do better - and built around that. While there are some good alternatives on the market, durable material, unique features, and the ability to change any time is perfect for Olympic lifting straps.

The Tow straps are who we are: innovation, quality, and craftsmanship for Olympic Weightlifting. If you're into heavy lifting of any kind, we've got your back - and your hands - with our leather pulling straps.

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