Backband recommendations

I’m considering replacing the seatback on my Pygmy Arctic Tern with a backband. Can anyone recommend a brand/model that works well? Especially interested in hearing from Tern or other SnG paddlers.

I use…
A Snapdragon whitewater in my Tern and it works very well with my Redfish foam seat.

I feel almost anything would be an improvement over the stock seat and backband…

I put a SnapDragonWW band in my S&G
It attaches to the slotted hip plates plus the little wooden doohickie I epoxied at the back of the coaming (inside, under lip) for the bungies. Had to make the doohickie myself but it’s no big deal; you could bolt in a metal piece instead if you don’t mind drilling.

I’d already used the same band in a commercial kayak and knew I liked it.


You might already know this, but you can buy short footbrace tracks to install. I think mine is 7" long instead of 14"–no point having all those extra footpeg positions in a home-made boat meant for one person. I bought it from Newfound Boatworks (the metal tracks themselves may be made by Yakima??? can’t remember). Cuts the weight, too.

I like the snap dragon
solid plastic band best. I have a homemade backband that is padded neoprene on a 4 inch band of plastic. Pretty comfy too. Not using it and it is yours if you want it.

IR Reggie is my favorite
Snapdragon and Bomber Gear backbands are pretty good as well.

when I was test paddling boats
I fell in love with the “ir” solid plastic back bands in Impex boats

You could try this…

– Last Updated: Jan-24-07 8:20 PM EST –

.....worked very well for me.
Easy retrofit, low cost improvement. No holes to drill. Just unbolt the old and bolt up the new. Tie it back and go paddling.

Found one pic of mine…
see if this works…

Thanks for the photos.

I’d like to try to make a kayak and had wondered about what to use for a backbrace and seat.

The seats look very comfortable. What info can you offer as to source, cost, and sizes available?

Second the IR Reggie
Small size gives just enough low support - and without feeling caught in a sling.

snap dragon is terrific.

About $45…
…That’s about what backbands go for at shops. The Snap Dragon is available at $45 locally. You might find it for less. I notice that IR’s are about the same. I would recommend that you get a backband rather than a backrest. I want something to locate my hips rather than something to lean back against. Others may disagree.

Salamander Hip Snaps are about $20 at shops. At the time I thought that I wanted something that could fit many people so I went that route. Now, I’m selfish and my boats fit me and to heck with how they fit others. What I’m saying is I wouldn’t go that route again and would glue in some sculpted foam instead.

I don’t recall what I paid for that block of foam that I carve the seat out of but you can find them for $20 or less if you shop. There are lots of helpful folks here who will point you towards good deals.

Since you are building the boat you should also build your seating arrangements You won’t regret it and will have something that performs and feels better than the stock arrangement. That little thermarest seat pad is nice to sit on in camp but not the best for your boat.

I use a simple strap with pad
Gives me fredom to rotate ad lay back. Backband is to maintain position of you butt in relation to footpegs. You should be siting erect for most efficiency, not leaning back.

No back band at all…
I use a foam block cut to fit between the bulkhead and my seat/back. No restrictions when I rotate my torso and easy entry/exit with no hangups on a back band.

Good stuff.

Something like that?

I’ve considered making one of those. Tell me about it.

Exactly that
Yes, that’s exactly what I use. I find it very comfortable and providing good support, but it doesn’t get in the way.

I actually made mine before these were available and frankly, for the time and effort I put into it (2+ hours), including making a template, buying a shureform and getting the foam, it would have been much easier to just buy this! Keep in mind, even with a pre-cut piece you’ll need to do some fine tuning, but this will save a ton of time with foam and a saw.

the best back band is
no backband at all

No thanks
Paddling for four hours or more without a backband or other kind of support sounds like torture. I’d rather have someone pluck my fingernails out one at a time.

Yes for foam back pillars
I agree with all the posts about foam blocks as a back support over bands. I went through some back issues a few years ago that nearly ended my paddling, and switching to foam blocks was a large part of what helped me get through that. Start big with the block- you can always trim it down as you feel what is comfortable and effective, and you will trim. Rescues are much more simple, and you can stuff more gear between the seat and the hull when doing a multi-day trip. Cheers

Anyone use this?

Pricey, and looks like a Cadillac seat. Might interfere with rolling. And I wonder how well it stands up to heavy use. And it looks so comfy, it might make you want to simply float and not workout.