Body harness redirects the weight of heavy objects onto the torso, keeping hands and legs free while adding more support. Large straps keep the lifted object from shifting unexpectedly.
The shoulder straps can become uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Lifting harness fits tightly over the forearms, spreading the load across more surface area than handle straps. Keeps the body positioned for more healthy lifting. Easy to adjust with the built in attachments.
Successful use of the straps largely depends on the arm length of the user.
Strap features 2 large handles that are ergonomically shaped for a comfortable and secure grip. Strap can be positioned in tandem with other lifting aids for the best results.
The single strap can be difficult to use solo. Best used in tandem with other straps.
Narrow straps offer enough support for large objects without cutting into the skin or body. Strap design frees up the arms and hands for better support or to carry other items.
Straps are too thin to lift anything large and awkward safely without extra straps or assistance.
Simple, straightforward design is extremely versatile for different objects and lifting tasks. Support handle loops are comfortable to hold for short periods of time with a secure grip.
Straps are large and awkward when wrapping around larger objects with odd shapes.
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Moving is a chore by any standard, often requiring the help of friends, always taking longer than anticipated, and usually causing a lot of unwanted physical exertion. In order to make this inevitable task safer and more convenient, it’s worth investing in a set of moving straps.
These durable, extra-strength straps use leverage and your own weight to help hoist and transport heavy objects without straining vulnerable parts of your body, such as your back. Moving straps wrap around your shoulders or arms and are most often used in tandem with a second person. Between the two of you, moving straps make it easier to relocate large and awkward items, such as couches, cabinets, or mattresses. Moving straps also help ease tension and potential pain on your back by spreading the weight of the object across shoulders, arms, and legs.
As helpful as they are, moving straps can be tricky to use. Our buying guide can help you understand how they work and determine which ones are best for you. We’ve included several of our favorites, too.
Moving straps of any variety work by distributing the weight of an object and using leverage to make lifting and carrying it easier. In most cases, you position a pair of straps underneath the object, and a person at each end of the object holds the ends of the straps. Pulling on the straps lifts the object. Much of the weight is supported by the straps, and the rest is distributed on the shoulders and arms of the people. Some straps wrap around the sides of an object as well as the bottom, offering a bit more leverage and protection from tipping.
There are three types of moving straps: hand (which is decidedly different though still of use), arm, and shoulder.
Hand straps: These are thick, long, durable straps with a comfortable handle at both ends. A hand strap allows one person to lift and carry something that is both tall and heavy, like a stack of boxes. These are also useful in pairs, with two people using a hand strap on either end of a longer object, such as a sofa. Hand straps force your arms, wrists, and hands to do most of the lifting. What’s more, because you’re holding the straps, your hands aren’t free to steady the item you’re moving.
Arm straps: Similar to a hand strap, this option wraps around your arms, lessening the pressure on your hand. By wrapping the strap around your arm, you distribute the weight over a larger area. Arm straps are made to be used by two people wrapping a strap on each arm. Arm straps may wrap around part of the side of the item as well. They’re also useful for top-heavy items.
Shoulder straps: These are the most common type of moving strap, and they’re used to safely move the heaviest objects. A harness wraps around your shoulders and spreads the weight across your body. Shoulder straps are used by two people in tandem. However, because the straps run straight from the harness, they can’t be lifted like they can when the straps are wrapped around your arms. These straps fit only underneath items instead of underneath and along the sides. You can adjust the strap around your shoulders, as well as the length underneath the item.
Moving straps can hold as little as a few hundred pounds to as many as a few thousand. The specifications tell you the limit at which the straps will break. It’s important to keep in mind that just because the straps are able to lift something that weighs 800 pounds, for example, it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to lift it with the straps. The weight limit or allowance is the point at which the straps will break, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the strength to lift the object.
Most moving straps are roughly the same width, from 4 to 6 inches, although single hand straps may be wider. Wider straps mean more coverage on the item you’re moving. Wider straps also make it less likely that the item will slip or move while you’re lifting it. There aren’t too many options when it comes to strap width, but keep in mind that thinner straps may be more difficult to use to lift large, wide items.
While most moving straps are black, there are a few companies that offer a few other color options for the same price. If moving is going to be a chore, a little color can’t hurt!
Some straps can be used around the shoulders as well as the arms. This added versatility is helpful when moving a variety of items, and can also alleviate some of the strain when moving a large number of items.
Moving blanket: U.S. Cargo Control Supreme Mover Moving Blanket
If you’re moving valuable items, it would be worth investing in some moving blankets. These protective covers can help keep items safe in transit. This quilted cotton blanket from U.S. Cargo Control is exceptionally durable and machine washable.
Industrial wrap: Mighty Gadget Mini Stretch Wrap
Industrial stretch wrap comes in handy when you’re moving and want to keep drawers closed, compress items, or protect pieces of furniture from being ripped, torn, or scratched. This selection from Mighty Gadget easily seals boxes and can be quickly applied to many items.
Inexpensive: For under $20, you can find a handful of moving straps with a lower weight limit that are still effective for moving.
Mid-range: Moving straps priced between $20 and $30 are high-quality straps with high weight limits. These should be relatively comfortable and easy to use.
Expensive: At over $30, you’ll find the most durable moving straps. These have the highest weight limits and are used by professional movers.
Add extra shoulder padding. Make sure you’re wearing something thick and comfortable on your shoulders and consider adding even more padding. Even high-quality straps can become uncomfortable after some time.
Wear appropriate clothing. Make sure whenever you’re using the straps (and moving), you’re not wearing loose, ill-fitting clothing. You want to be able to move around easily without anything getting in the way.
Lift with your legs! Even if you use moving straps, you still need to use proper lifting techniques to protect your back. Be careful when setting down heavy items.
Use your arms to balance. While moving straps help lift an item up, they may not necessarily keep the item in place. Be ready to use your arms and hands to balance any top-heavy objects.
There are a few more quality moving straps in addition to our matrix selections. We like the Kingmax 2-Person Lifting and Moving System that features a pair of adjustable black moving straps for you and a helper. The straps fit comfortably and are more affordable than most. The set also comes in orange.
While at a slightly higher price point, the heavy-duty TonsLift Professional Moving System has a much higher weight limit — it’s tested up to 5,000 pounds — which is great if you have really big items to move.
Last, the HQQNUO Moving System helps you and a helper lift from your shoulders or your arms, but note that the maximum load is under 500 pounds.
Q. What size straps work will for my body?
A. Because most straps are adjustable, they should work with most body types and sizes. Be sure to read the directions before affixing the straps. In most cases, you’ll place the harness around your shoulders and tighten the straps until they’re secure and comfortable.
Q. Do I need a second person to help move?
A. Most of the time, a second person with a harness and straps is required to move items. There are some moving straps that are specifically made for one person to use without putting pressure on their back. However, in order to move larger items, the straps require two people. If the straps are sold in pairs, they require two people to use.
Q. What is the maximum weight the straps can carry?
A. The maximum weight capacity varies from strap to strap, sometimes by thousands of pounds. As mentioned, keep in mind that while the strap may be able to hold a certain amount of weight, you may not. The strap’s maximum weight is how much weight it can hold before it breaks, but you may not be strong enough to lift that weight.
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