How to modify/improve sitin kayak seats?

Hey everyone,

I purchased a Riot Quest 13’ kayak last year from a special group buy at REI, along with a regular 10’ kayak. I love the hell out of this kayak, easily the best I’ve ever tried out of a wide variety of kayaks. Easy to pilot, tracks great, retractable skeg is amazing, lots of storage… I love it!

There’s only one problem. The seat is very tiring on my lower back. Doing some research, it relates to positioning and what not. The problem i encounter is two fold:

1- The adjustable high back has these large thumb turnable adjusters. At the ideal height for me these jam into the kayak itself and creates an odd pressure point. This seems easy enough to fix though by just switching to some flush bolts of the same thread pattern and pitch.

2- The straps to control the forward/backward angle of the seat are just nylon 1/2" wide strips held on by a quick release cinch… which doesn’t work very well and also eases up over time.

So I guess my questions are:

1- Can I purchase anywhere the snowboard style ratchets and ratchet ladders I see on a lot of higher end boats? I’m not afraid of the relatively easy fabrication associated with attaching these, and these would prove far better for adjustability and hold than the current setup.

2- Are there any full blown seat improvements available to purchase and install yourself?

You can make any modifications
you want if you are handy and innovative.

You can purchase or make all kinds of seats, and seat backs and bands. Use stainless bolts nuts and washers, and drill as necessary

Not sure what you mean about the higher end kayaks having ratchet type adjustments.

We have several higher end ones and ours and most I have seen use belts and buckles for adjusting

Ratchet back bands
While not a ratchet, it is a “cam style with teeth”

allowing quick adjustments of the position.

Those cam buckles don’t hold under weight or force for me. I’d prefer to switch to the snwoboard style ratches and ratchet ladders as they should provide mechanically superior hold… or so I envision.

Ratchet Strap Photo.

This is what I mean.

Upon further review…
Looking at that photo… it actually just looks like they took a snowboard ratchet and ratchet strap quite literally from a snowboard binding, attached one end to the kayak hull, and the other they just tied the original material through the hole where the ratchet ladder would normally attach on a snowboard.


here you go
Immersion Research Reggie backband:

Second the Immersion Research recommendation. I’ve put the IR Loungeband in all my boats. They have two really handy installation videos on their website too. I’ve also used the “pro strap” installation option on the last 3 boats. Its scary to drill slots in a new kayak’s cockpit rim, but it’s well worth it.

This looks promising!
This looks really promising and very reasonably priced. It also features the very snowboard ratchets I mention… interesting!

Are there any videos online about proper installation/fitment for these so I could review how well it would work with my kayak? It has a very low profile and cockpit.

From the link above
provided by slushpaddler, click on the tab marked “videos.” Further info can also be had on the IR website and by calling IR. Helpful folks.

Another question
So one more question…

What would determine going with the loungeband or the standard band?

My 13’ kayak is just for casual camping trips, lake day trips, pretty mellow stuff on relatively flat water situations. I will do the occasional kayak overnight camping trip so durability is important to me. It’s more about comfortably spending a whole day in a boat.

I’m not above having multiple kayaks for multiple purposes.

Paddling Technique
For anyone covering ““some”” distance in their kayak

their hips, torso, lower back, buttocks, should be

moving, to-and-fro; quite a bit with each paddle stroke.

If someone is all Locked-IN via ratchet straps,

cam straps, etc., etc. they ~ “may” ~ hinder proper

movement and form in their paddling technique.

If one merely sits, lounges, i.e. floats 90% of time,

then the seat merely gets used in a static position.

not true
IR has been selling the Reggies for years and years. Mine certainly doesn’t hinder proper form (the ratchets are a method of adjustment).

lounge vs reggie
The only difference between the lounge and the reggie is the lounge is slightly larger: 1" wider, and 1" taller. So really almost no difference at all. That being said, I have never used a reggie. I first bought the loungeband because it was on sale, loved it, so I’ve stuck with it. You might see some older content saying they are different materials or that the lounge has a zipper pocket on the back. That is no longer true. They are identical construction except for the 1" size difference. It has been said that the reggie is more for whitewater and the lounge is more for touring, but I have the lounge in both my whitewater boat and my touring boat.

Here are the installation videos:

For will_h2o’s concern that the ratchet style backband locks you into position too much, I have not had any problem. I like that fact that when I engage my legs and push off the foot pegs strongly for some extra oomph in power/rotation (like in the video he posted), the ratchets hold the backband strong against my lumbar, where a traditional strap may just loosen, losing some powering into the backband losing tension and your butt sliding backwards rather than transferring all the power into the rotation of your stroke. The backband supports my lumbar nicely whether I’m just cruising around or going hard, and also has enough movement to roll under me and stay on my lumbar during layback rolls. (I think they mention that in the 2nd video, about installation using pro-straps).

I’ve never had it impeed my movement during any maneuver.

Hope my long-winded explanation helps

locked in?
–If someone is all Locked-IN via ratchet straps–

I am not sure where the locked-in perception comes from because all the IR band ratchet straps do is support the back band. Instead of straps and buckles that so often tend to slip the ratchet keeps it the place it was set; no more, no less.

Having 4 kayaks with the ratchet straps and often covering distances of 20+ miles I don’t see a problem.

Others have used ratchet straps for 50+ miles (a day) and reported no issues, actually praise.

another source
I bought a new backband from IR, just because my cam-tooth things were worn out. Then I discovered that this guy sells just the little cam dealies all by themselves, not to mention a ton of other bits and pieces, some hard if not impossible to find elsewhere.