Backband won't stay put (Seals)

Previously I was using a North Water backband, which I liked just fine until the metal cams holding the adjusting straps corroded and became non-functional. The result was the back rim of the cockpit became my defacto back support. I didn’t like that.

I replaced the North Water with a new Seals backband. It adjusts with straps that feed through ladder-lock buckles on back of the backband. However, it doesn’t take long paddling before the straps start to slide through the ladder locks and before long I’m feeling the cockpit rim dig into my back.

Anybody else have this kind of problem? I’m about ready to build a minicell foam back support, although that is problematic because I have a bilge pump behind the seat.

I am about to go sit in the boat, mark the backband adjusting straps, remove the backband, and sew the damn straps together.

Any advice/solutions will be appreciated.


Could you hang the bilge pump under
the deck, with handle just in front of cockpit? Set it up so the bottom can drop down into the boat, between your legs, and the top sit just high enough to shoot water out. Then you could sit in the cockpit pumping water with one hand. Might want to get a 2 way pump.

I’ve had some back bands that I loved, but it has to do with the height of the deck and how the band attachments are positioned. Sometimes you may need little accessory bungies to pull the band up or down a bit.

I’ve done a minicell backrest on an old Animas kayak, and it’s pretty comfortable.

I may have fixed the sliding webbing problem. I cut off the pull-grips on the end of the webbing strap and added a tri-glide buckle.

Terminology of webbing strap rigging is confusing for me, here’s a picture of a tri glide: (you’ll have to cut and paste that url).

So now the strap threads through the ladder lock and then the tri-glide. This has dramatcially increased the holding power, at least in dry testing on the garage floor. Going to Annapolis momentarily to paddle with the Wednesday night group. That should tell the story.

The bilge pump is an Atari electric job, mounted to the floor, so it isn’t going to be moved under the deck! But I like your thinking on that.

Thanks for the suggestion.


I had the same problem
I adjusted the straps where I wanted them and then wrapped plastic zip ties around the straps where they come out of the buckle and pulled them tight so they get folded in half. Plus I pushed the zip tie against the buckle so it acts as a “stop” too. Problem solved.

Immersion Research
The main reason I tried this brand is the cam lock ratchet adjustment system that can be adjusted in the cockpit. Once I tried them it is the only back band I have in all of my boats.

my problem
I also just installed a Seals backband.

My main problem with the IR Reggie it replaced was that the top of the IR would get totally frayed and start coming apart from abrasion after a couple years of use(mostly just a cosmetic annoyance). This was due to my sprayskirt rubbing on it.

I loved the comfort of the IR. My hope is that the Seals will hold up better to abrasion.

Good idea
Using Tie-wraps - nice idea.

I have several and loose track of the brands, but I had on where the ladder buckles always loosened. What I do is weave the strap back over and through first opening in the buckle again. That seems to work.

IR for me also
no fuss no muss. Love the Reggie.

Update–tri-glides broke
When I last posted, I had added a second fitting, a tri-glide (think a square with a line through the middle) to the straps. The tri-glides held the back band rock solid, until they broke.

I scavenged the tri-glides of some cheap bag that was a promotion give-away. When the first one broke, I replaced it with a tri-glide I scavenged off my kayak cart. It has held up for a number of outings now, so I figured I just needed better quality tri-glides. I remember when I set up the cart I’d gone to an outdoor store and bought the webbing and fittings. I went back to the outdoor store. All thier webbing fittings are now provided by McNett, and McNett doesn’t carry a tri-glide, so no cigar.

I figured I’d have to order them off the net, but just for laughs called my good old, local paddle shop. They don’t carry them either, but they poked around in their drawer full of webbing strap fittings and found me a couple. So, assuming they are good quality tri-glides, I may be back in business.

The paddle shop says they regularly sell these Seals backbands, and other paddlers do not experience the backband slipping. So, I’m thinking the problem is me, not the product. I do put pressure on my foot pegs to lock my butt in place on the seat, but I am not consciously applying extraordinary pressure, and it doesn’t seem like I’d be exceptionally strong so that I’m just abusing the equipment.


No, it’s not you
As I mentioned above, I had the same exact problem and I don’t push hard against my backband either. The problem is either poor buckles that don’t hold the straps tight or they are using slightly thinner straps that slip easily.

I had the same thing happening to a P&H backband . It slipped slowly enough that you wouldn’t notice it until you were up against the cockpit rim . I took the straps off and had a cobbler sew on heavy duty velcro either side of the buckle . Looks good , seems to hold fine & didn’t cost much .

Contact Seals and let them know. If there was a problem with some production they probably already know about it. If they don’t they would probably like to know so they can correct any problems with new production.

Good idea; Seals sending new straps
Wetzool’s suggestion seemed to make sense. I didn’t really expect it to help me, but just dropped an FYI comment on the slipping straps to the Seals “contact us” widget.

I just received an email stating that Seals has changed the type of webbing it is using and that the new webbing doesn’t slip through the buckles. They said they’d send me a pair of the new straps. I am looking forward to see if the new straps will work as advertised.


Or stainless steel triglide

I may do the same. Thanks!