New Force 5: Seat Troubles

I just got my new Impex Force 5 and man do I love it. That thing is awesome. I went out for ~4 hrs the other day and while I had a blast, my lower back didn’t.

The IR backband hits me right where my pelvis bones stick out in my back and they got sore really quickly. I found myself hunching forward to get off it. It seems like it’s too hard and in the wrong spot!

Where are backbands supposed to hit on your back? Any other Impex owners swap out the IR backband for something more comfortable?

(Yes, I checked the archives. Everyone loves the NSI backband or custom closed foam)

Loosen it
I had a Force 4 for a year and though I had issues with the seat width between the hangers, the backband was ok. Did you try backing the adjustment off a bit? I think there’s a tendency to over-tighten these things so you can really feel them, kind of like lumbar support in a car seat, but that’s usually going too far.

For my current boat I have it adjusted so it only makes light contact if I’m sitting up quite straight. It’s a good reminder that if my lower back feels like it needs some support it also means I’m leaning forward too much.


Yeah, i’ve had the force 5 with the IR backband for about four years now. I’ve always had it pretty snug and at first it was a little uncomfortable but i got used to it. Just earlier this year i loosened it up and i like it a lot better. I’d say get in the boat, sit up straight, loosen the band up all the way, then click by click tighhten it up just to the point where it makes contact with you back, then maybe go one or two more clicks. Try it for a day and go from there.

One of the mods i first made to the boat was to re-rig how the bungy routes from the backband to the boat. I changed it so i could more easily raise and lower the band to fit differently. Play with it and see what you find.

As far as where the backband should hit you. I’d say draw an imaginary line from your navel straight around to your back. That’s where the top of the band should be. Give or take.

same happened to me
when I put a backband in a Mariner Express,wore two raw sore spots there. Then I made a custom seat, got fat and the problem dissapeared. I’m not sure what changed the problem but a lot had to do with what I was wearing as a first layer

I actually removed the seat and replaced it with a Necky seatpad and changed the IR backband to a snapdragon whitewater backband. It made my Force 5 extremely comfortable for me. Good luck!

did you try paddling without one?
take it out and paddle, see what happens?

Thanks All
Thanks for all the replies! I’ll try it without the backband, loosening it and then swapping it out.

Thanks for the help, nothing quite like hearing it from other people with the same boat/problem.

IR backbands are my favorite
I don’t have one, and am always looking for one on sale if you should decide to get rid of yours …

I like the IR backband
I replaced the factory band on my Explorer with one.

Might I suggest that you retitle your post? I think it unnecessarily implicates Impex.

retitling post
I might agree, except it may very well be the way Impex has the attachment points and such setup making it harder to get the band into an optimal location, so it really could be an issue with that kayak. Note how folks with same band in other kayaks seem OK with it…

Personally, I like my IR band as low as I can get it - and barely on me until I lean back into it to rest/brace, etc. To do this in my QCC I went to lower attachment points for the ratchet straps and using the web straps to cinch it down to the back/bottom of the seat pan.

I think it’s just an honest description of my situation. I love my boat and think it’s the cats meow, but wanted to hear from other force 5 owners on their opinion of the backband.

Impex, if you’re reading, you rock.

Try removing it
I’m struggling with the seat in my new to me 2000 Current designs Solstice GTS. Recently after some paddling I had numb toes and a sore back. Someone suggested that I take out the back band as it helps your rotation to remove it anyway. I easily took it out and felt immediate relief and could stay in the boat for a while longer.

Another problem for me was the seat had a wedge under the front to tilt it backwards at an angle of about 30 degrees. This made it so you had to lean way forward at the hips just to keep straight. To lean slightly forward you would have an extreme bend in your back. This caused all sorts of problems for my tricky back so I cut the seat out. It was riveted on the sides and glued to the bottom of the hull so it was a difficult job, but I think just a foam pad typpe seat in the bottom with no back band will work best for me.

Without exception
So far, each new boat I had has caused me some discomfort somewhere on the first longer paddling outing. Usually, without changes or with only minor adjustments, these have gone away after a few sessions as my posture adapts to the specific boat. Unless there is something terribly out of place with the seat/other outfitting that is - in that case it needs to be dealt with.

So, give it a few more tries with small adjustments before determining if it is time for a more radical change…

ah good point (sorry mrgreenfur)

Have same in Force 4 and it’s fine

– Last Updated: Jul-08-09 5:45 PM EST –

I have a Force 4 with same backband. I don't think there's any intrinsic problem with the set-up or placement of attachment points. I agree with the advice to loosen it and lower it so you're only feeling any pressure when bracing. I ended up permanently setting the backband to a length I liked by putting a small bolt through the two ends because after a couple of months in salt water the ratchet mechanisms rusted and started to slip.
In my boat, I thought there was too much of a backward tilt to the seat (as mentioned for another boat above). It was easily solved just by cutting out the foam in front of the seat, replacing by a thinner layer minicell, and adding some spacers to the front set of bolts attaching the seat to the coaming. Has felt perfect ever since.

Thanks all for the suggestions. I loosened the backband a bunch and it was much more comfortable. But the seat goes up a bit too much and I’m going to give it some quishy foam as a final effort before I take it out and put a single foam block in.

mrgreenfur you confirm my

I have paddled a Force5 and found the back of the seat too steep.

No loosening or tightening of the IR band would prevent my spine from hitting the fibreglass seat.

If I had to own a Force5 (nearly did) I would remove that seat and make a minicell one.

The seats in the other Impexes I have (Assateague and Currituck) are different (more round) and fine even for 6 hours in the saddle.