Back-band, cam-action buckle failing

The back band in my Sultan kayak is held in place by straps. The straps feed through adjustable, cam-action buckles (like the ones on the end of tie-down straps), which are mounted to the back of the back band. The buckles no longer securely hold the straps, so the back band slides away from my back. I keep ending up with the rim of the cockpit digging into my back. Rolling is no fun because the cockpit rim digs into my back when I try to lay back as I come up.

I think the problem is that the cross-hatched metal nubs on the buckles that are supposed to dig into and hold the straps are corroded or warn or both. I suppose the solution is buy a new back band.

Anybody have any magic tricks to make their back band stay in place? I could sew the straps together, which would prevent the sliding, but this will eliminate the ability to adjust the back band, and seems like the designers intended the back band to be adjustable.

Advice will be appreciated.


The failures I’ve seen have usually been because the cam doesn’t pivot properly – it’s either bent, stuck from corrosion or the spring is broken. Sometimes the buckles are just plain cheap and break.

I redid my backband using a single NRS tiedown strap. No problems since.

Do you have enough strap to tie a knot on with the bitter end around each strap that affixes the band to the coaming? I think making the band tighter than usual when making the knot and then stressing the cam when seated to further tighten he knot and adjusting to where comfortable/desired. Would also suggest applying a WD-40 or CRC 6-56 spray sparingly and limited to the cam pivot points with to make certain the cam isn’t partially jammed and therefor not closing all the way. (not a silicone product). Many companies want to know of issues that have developed and might appreciate the opportunity to rectify this problem for you and others with a better solution. Give them a call. Best wishes,

IR backband
hey Chip,

I have a spare Immersion Research “Reggie” backband in my parts bin I can send you cheap if you want it… it’s gray instead of black and since it’s designed for whitewater, has a bombproof ratcheting design instead of a nylon strap.

Sometimes you can get
enough salt build up to keep the cam from operating properly. I have had some luck in reviving the buckles by letting them sit in fresh water for 30 minutes or so and then repeatedly operating them while still underwater.

This often works even when flushing with a hose seems to have no effect.


IR parts
IR sells parts including those buckles. Drill out the rivet and pop rivet a new buckle on.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

I don’t see the buckles on IRs site. I intend to call them on the next biz day and inquire about buying the buckles.

I will probably try the soaking-in-water trick since I will have the BB out of the boat. I think new buckles has a better guarantee of working, but I wouldn’t mind be wrong about that!


Get rid of the ratchets
The problem you have is common and somewhat inevitable. That’s why several years back I asked IR to make me a pair of Reggie backbands with only web straps and buckles, no ratchets. The ratchets are unnecessary in a sea kayak anyway and the straps have been 100% reliable for years .

It’s not difficult to attach web straps to a backband with screws/nuts or pop-rivet, so you can probably fix yours pretty easily.