Loose Yakima straps

I bought two pair of Malone J cradles a year ago that came with their own straps and have had absolutely no problem with them. I keep these straps with each boat so the boats always have tie downs regardless of what vehicle they will be going on. When I recently purchased a third kayak, I hastily purchased a third pair of no-name straps at a hardware store to get it home. I had no problems with slippage on these either, but the webbing was thinner, and I wanted better straps for peace-of-mind. So, I went out this last weekend and bought a pair of Yakima brand straps with the plastic guards over the cam buckles. In one weekend, they had loosened up on three separate occasions up to six inches! By now, I would hope they’re done stretching. I haven’t found any threads or product reviews stating the same problem. Has anybody else experienced this? I’m about ready to take them back. Thanks.


Take em back
And replace them with NRS cam-buckle straps. NRS makes the best straps period.


I’ve used many types of cam buckles/straps including Yakima and haven’t had problems with any of 'em. Sounds like a good idea to return them to the retailer though. Yakima’s a pretty easy company to deal with, you may want to call them and let them know what your experience was.

Jimmy, You already know…

– Last Updated: Jun-08-04 7:58 AM EST –

What I would say........

Remember my straps I have had for the past two years now? Not the cam-buckles, but rather my ratchet straps? Remember how much I paid for those & how thin the webbing is & how reliable they have been without loosening, strecthing or tearing? Sometimes holding, both, Northman's & my boats on my truck.

You should've just stuck with the first set that wasn't giving you ANY problems. Instead of spending more on "another" set you didn't need. Is it the "name brand kayaking equipment" thing? (serious question.... Think about it...)

This is the second time that you've endued yourself with "expensive kayak equipment" that hasn't measured up to your expectations when another "brand" has worked without flaw.

Honestly, I would take back the Yakima straps, keep the reliable ones & use the $40 on something else (that you need or can use).

What happened? Thought you were "Jewish/Italian"? LMAO!!!

Paddle easy,


I use the same setup, and have had no problem with loostening. I like the rupper-bumpered Yakima straps as I can throw them over my boat without damaging my car’s paint. I DO mke a point of tieing the loose end off, both for security and as a means of reducing wind noise.


Whoa, step away from the soap box!
First off, I’ve got loads of ratchet straps, but would not want to use one of them on the new boat if I could avoid it. I wouldn’t use a set of ratcheting straps on this boat even if Haliburton and Ratheon both endorsed them. Yes, I worry about gouging it up. This one’s not going down any creeks or shooting any beaver dams either. I’ve got three boats, I want three sets of straps. The cheaper hardware store ones I gave to my brother as he needed something right away. Yes, it is a name-brand thing. If I could have found the Malone ones separate, I would have gotten another pair of those because they worked great. Since I couldn’t get them without buying $100 pair of J cradles, I looked for a name brand I trust. I had a choice between another no-name set that looked well made for $15, but had exposed buckles, and the Yakimas for $20 with shrouded buckles. I chose the latter.

By the way, what was the first expensive kayak equipment that I “endued” myself with.

Lastly, I don’t think $20 is unreasonable insurance on an investment of hundreds of dollars.

I tied my ends off too.
That’s why I assumed they were stretching. Did you experience any break-in period on yours? I actually do like the rubber covers and would like to keep them if this is just temporary.

No break-in period
Were your buckles slipping, or were the straps actually stretching? The straps are polypropylene, so stretch should be minimal compared to nylon (especially when wet).


Assumed stretching.
As the ends were tied off, I figured there was no other reason for the slack. Maybe it was slippage and I need to check my knots. I’ll give them another try and will try to manually set the cam too. After that, I think I’ll be looking harder at the NRS straps and such. Thanks all.


No problems with mine
I have used the Yakima straps and really like their ease of use and the protective rubber around the buckles themselves. I am very careful about how I wrap them around the boat, saddles and bars. It took a little experimenting, but I now have it down to a science. I have not experienced any slippage since. The first couple of times I didn’t realize that I was allowing slack in the straps by the way that I was threading them around the bars and through the cradles. Your mileage may vary.

Good luck.


Mine slipped once…
but it was my own fault. I had moved the rubber buckle guard and it was putting pressure on the release mechanism. They worked loose even with the ends tied off.

Quality costs. And pays.
I bought a cheap set of cam straps at Canadian Tire to use as front and rear tie downs. Since I only use them for highway trips, they didn’t see much action, but after a few months they began to slip badly. Turned out to be corrosion in the mechanisms. The Thule straps which look identical but cost more, have been used continuously for over a year (yes, even in winter road salt) with zero problems.

tie them around…
i use yakima straps as well and what i do is before i tie off the ends, tie them off around where the strap is going into the buckle. i always put a quick knot right there to prevent any loosening and then tie off the rest of the strap around the rack tower. so far (knock on gel coat) i have had no problems.

imho, it sounds like the buckle is releasing a little bit under the strain and not that the material that is expanding or anything like that.

try a quick knot. it’s worked for me.

three things

– Last Updated: Jun-09-04 2:37 PM EST –

1. always back up the buckle with at least and overhand knot. redundancy of primary systems involved with wafety is important.

2. Return the straps for refund if feasible. The manufacturer needs to know if they have a supplier problem, and money for you is good too.

3. sorry to write this but...Are you threading the strap fron the flat wide of the buckle towards the front side of the buckle?

If we had met, I would probably not need to ask, but hey I have done that before. (With a back up knot it was never noticed except by me when I took the boat off the car)

maybe the racks
need to be adjusted to the new boat? Try putting a small paint mark on the strap once tighten and on the stap underneith too. If the paint marks don’t line up it must be slipping?

Now that just plain makes sense!
I guess I was too close to the problem to see a simple solution.

Ratchet Straps
Since these were mentioned I would like to add a word of caution for anyone who uses them, or may consider using them.

Be very careful, especially with lighter lay-up’s, as I know of instances where the person using them cranked on them one too many times and damaged the hull.

The extra leverage provided by the mechanical aspect of these straps can be too much for some lay-up’s, not to mention the damage that they can cause to your vehicle or hull of you don’t have complete control over the metal part, which is heavy, at all times.


try another pair
I have several pair of Yakima straps with light-grey plastic shrouds over them.

They have never, ever slipped on me. I’d return them and get another pair of the exact same thing.

I’ll bet you don’t have the same problem twice.

Slow down the ole’ blood pressure pump…

– Last Updated: Jun-08-04 5:46 PM EST –

No fowl Jimmy! Try to see the expressions on my face & hear the tone in my voice as you re-read my post... You have known me too long to be pulling this "typical p.net attitude" on me. (no offense to any other on p.net, but you all have seen this attitude in one form or another to & from others here).

As far as the gouging & scratching your boat: I don't blame you for not wanting that to happen, it is too nice of a boat. Just wrap the excess strap around the buckle (like we have done in the past with all our gear), you wrap the excess up anyways-

For the "river running" and "dam busting": I would be the first to tell you, you would be an idiot to try that in that boat-

I don't necessarily blame you for wanting three sets of straps for three different boats either. But, you could also ask yourself this question; "how often are you going to be hauling all three boats at the same time?". Hell, If I would ever somehow come across Malone straps (only) I'de give them to ya. We've always looked out for each other... You, me, Northman, dryriverbed & afew others that don't paddle-

If you want name brand so that "Jonny driving by" can see the tag flapping in the breeze, MORE POWER TO YA. I was trying to help you save afew bucks :) -

And lastly: No, I don't think twenty bucks is bad insurance for a boat that costs hundreds!! You saw my boat doing the "para-sail thing" off the top of my Blazer & I corrected the problem. So no need to get all snooty with me on that.

What's up, bro? You used to be "more" innovative, asess, adapt & overcome........ Now??????? Maybe you were just having a bad day......?

Paddle easy bro,


Gee, I couldn’t see this coming.
Coffee, I don’t just roll the straps up and keep them with the boats. I hang the boats in rafters with them. I can go into more detail, but I don’t think its necessary. As far as when will I have all three boats at the same time on the truck, how about this weekend?

As far as your whole name brand crusade goes, I didn’t ask what brand is better. You predictably tried to make this an issue and then once again played martyr when somebody countered you. The Malone straps I prefer don’t even have a name anywhere on them, let alone “flapping in the breeze”. Actually, I don’t recall the Yakimas having anything written on them either. I simply have used products by these manufacturers and have trusted the quality.

Lastly, You should know better than to try and rile me up like you do others because I’m not going to play along. I’m sorry if you read something into my first response to you. Well, you were trying to categorize me with your Escalade driving yuppies. I don’t actually take offense to being categorized with people more wealthy than myself, but you thumb your nose at them and therefore were snubbing me too. That was offensive. Sorry if I seem snooty to you today. If you’ve got more to say, email me.