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Polyester Slings vs Nylon Slings: Which Web Sling Type is Better?

Polyester Slings vs Nylon Slings: Which Web Sling Type is Better?

Whether you’re using polyester or nylon slings, each of them have advantages and disadvantages. Their similarities lie in both of them being synthetic slings used for a variety of applications.

  • Both are perfect for sensitive loads as they prevent loads from being scratched or crushed.
  • Both are lightweight yet strong enough to withstand heavy loads.
  • They are very affordable
  • Their lifting capacity is affected, if not weakened, by dirt and abrasion
  • Both cannot withstand extreme temperatures (-40F of heat, and 194F of cold)

However, each sling has particular features which the other does not have. The answer to the question on which sling is better would depend on how and for which purpose the sling would be used for.

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Stretching capacity

If you are in possession of loads that bounce a lot, and you’re looking for a way to minimize this phenomenon, you would want to use a nylon sling. Nylon is able to stretch more compared to polyester. When lifting a load, nylon has the ability to stretch 10% more than a polyester would as the latter can only stretch to a paltry 2%.

Wonder no more therefore why tow straps are made from polyester, while nylon is used to make recovery straps. However, if you have a load with tight height limitation requirements, you might want to use polyester instead.

Lifting capacity

Filament-wise, nylon is 8% stronger than polyester, However, when applied to their actual lifting capacity, both slings generally have the same ability. Technically, an inch of polyester sling is able to lift the same amount of load as an inch of nylon.

Which is more flexible?

Polyester slings are more flexible and softer than nylon. The former is best used if you need a sling to lift delicate loads. But if the load does not need careful handling, feel free to use nylon. Do consider too that each sling works differently in varying environments.

When exposed to extreme sunlight for long time periods, a polyester sling has the tendency to wear and tear easily. However, polyester works well in a watery environment compared to nylon. Polyester has the ability to retain less liquid compared to the latter. Thus, this sling is mostly seen in oil rigs, and marine-based activities. It can also be easily molded to whatever shape a load may be, whether the load is regular or irregularly formed.

web slings

Which can withstand harsh chemicals?

Both polyester and nylon slings possess the ability to resist the most harsh chemicals. However, each material buckles when faced with chemicals that will weaken its inherent composition.

Regardless of nylon’s strength, its capacity is lessened by bleach and acid. Meanwhile, polyester is destroyed by ether, aldehyde, acid, and powerful alkali.

Which is more durable?

Based on texture alone, some may think that the more coarse the sling, the more durable it is. However, the real test of a sling’s power lies in its ability to not break when it goes through a strength test. Though nylon feels more coarse, it is not more durable than polyester. Plus, polyester can be made to appear and feel more coarse. Both are equally durable in their own right.

Which is more versatile?

Since polyester is lightweight and easy to use, it is considered more versatile than a nylon. Polyester has been utilized as a choker, vertical, and basket hitches. It can also be color coded based on work load thus it is convenient to select them when used out in a field. Unfortunately, polyester can be easily marred by abrasions and cuts.

Which came first, polyester or nylon?

The origin of both slings will similarly answer which is most used in what particular country. Technically, nylon was the first to be created, not polyester. It was 1926 in the United States when the du Pont company developed nylon. Meanwhile, 1939 saw the creation of polyester in Britain. It is for these reasons why the UK prefers polyester while the US mostly use nylon.

Which sling is easier to care and clean?

Whether a sling is made of nylon or polyester, both must neither be exposed to any chemicals that are not compatible with the slings’ materials. Since nylon and polyester are similarly used in textiles and clothing, the care afforded to such clothes must also be accorded to both nylon and polyester.

Solvents that were developed exclusively to clean polyester and nylon are available and can be used for their care. Common laundry detergent can also be utilized, except for bleach and chlorine.

Polyester Slings vs Nylon Slings

How to know which sling is right for the job?

In order to know which sling is best for the job, the following issues must first be resolved:

  • Identify the weight of the load which the sling will be used for.
  • Determine a sling’s capacity rating by checking the manufacturer’s reference chart.
  • Test the sling before it is to be actually used.
  • To maintain safety, consider a sling angle in order to prevent the probability of loading items more than its rated capacity.
  • Lastly, it is critical that the webbing has the sling choking action on.
  • If these issues are identified, knowing the proper sling for a given task will be easy.


The question on which sling type is better would largely depend on one factor – which sling is able to successfully do the demands of a particular job. Whether the issues are: which sling is cheaper, or which sling is more pliable, these factors only matter if the available sling would be able to function effectively as demanded by a task. Besides determining their proper use, both types of synthetic slings equally need proper care in order to ensure its safe and long-term use.

Essentially, whether you use polyester or nylon, both synthetic web slings are smart choices when you are on the lookout to protect sensitive equipment from damage. Both materials possess the strength, and pliability to adapt to the load’s shape or mold. Both are able to provide a secure grip to any load while also absorbing any shock. Polyester and nylon slings are cost-effective cushions compared to slings made of chain or wire rope. To know more contact Toronto Trailers today!


Related Article: Roadside Emergency Help: How to Use Recovery Straps to Get Out of the Snow

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