Are NRS tie down straps any better than Malone tie down straps if they both have the metal tooth buckles?
Haven't seen the Malones. The NRS straps are better quality than the Thule straps that came with my rack. The Thules only had a single line of stitching at the buckle instead of the "box-x" on the NRS straps.
Having the length embroidered into the strap as NRS does seems trivial, but it's a huge help when your strap collection grows.
One could reinforce stitching by
soaking the stitched overlap with Seamgrip. Stays flexible. I soak it into the ends of Nylon and polyester straps so that I can grommet them for connectors without having to double over the strap fabric.
Sea To Summit
Sea To Summit SPT Tie-Down Non-Locking Straps. Been using these for a year. They work great. Strap is wider, padded buckle. They also have one with locks.
I have about five different brands of
straps with the oldest being a local outfitters own which are twenty years old.
I also have six of NRS ones.
I have found that none is better than the others.
Spray some silicon lub into the cam lock buckle and on the spring several times a year, and they will keep in good working condition.
The oldest ones are much more pliable than the newer ones, but they seem to be still just as good.
Not worth worrying about
We have straps from NRS, New River, Malone, and at least one other brand. The Malone straps are polypropylene and the others are nylon.
They seem to be of similar durability and buckle quality. Some have more texture than others, which you may or may not prefer. I too tie a half-hitch immediately beyond the buckle.
Whatever you get, wash the new straps well by rinsing several times. You’ll be amazed at the amount of suds that emerge. Slippery suds that would be slippery straps in rain!