Replacement backband for Avocet RM

-- Last Updated: Sep-26-05 2:54 PM EST --


After paddling my new Avocet RM for a month, it's clear to me that it can benefit from a better backband. This was not a surprise but now I'd like to do something about it. I've read many of the backband threads and many good words were said about IR, NSI, Bomber Gear, and Snap Dragon. I am looking for a low-profile backband and not a "touring" one and each of these companies has something to offer.

My question is about a specific fit for the Avocet RM then. Which one of these 4 backbands can be retrofitted without modifying my boat. This means - without drilling new holes?

My Avocet has 4 anchor points for the backband that came with it. There are two loops, made of cord, that are attached to the seat in the thigh-pad area - one on each side. There are two metal D-rings that are attached to the underside of the back coaming. These are used to tie "stabilizing" straps that help prevent the backband from folding down on the seat when you enter the boat.

Given these anchor points - do you see any of the 4 backbands listed above as having an advantage in the installation? Or any particular difficulties?


they should all be easy to install…
My personal favorite is the IR Reggie backband which I just recently installed into my Skerray. It took all of 4 seconds to install the backband and based on your description, the D rings under the coaming will be the perfect place to tie on the “pro straps” without any drilling.

Thanks. This sounds promising but why is IR your favorite?


I like my NSI but some have to have holes drillid into the seat for the supports.

I also like my Snap draggon alot. No additional holes to drill.

snap dragon
What kind of support does the snap dragon have? I see the pictures with the two side straps. Those I can see fitting into the loops at the sides of the seats. I have not seen any picture that shows an attachment to the back - is there none? What keeps it from flopping down on the seat when you enter?



It’s just personal preference at that point. I’ve used snapdragon, bomber gear, and IR happily. I like the IR Reggie because it is a ratcheting backband (although the older hardwear tends to rust if you’re in salt water - new ones use stainless steel), it is low profile, it has the right level of padding/stiffness, and it has prostraps to keep the backband from slipping down. I’ve tried the IR Flex Capicitor and didn’t really like it as much and I have no experience with NSI although they look nice.

second the IR Reggie.
Great backband.

foam backrest…
You might try to make one of these…

Very comfy.

No Ratchet In Salt…
It WILL rust. Just a matter of time. I rather have simple, low profile back band with nylon straps and fastex buckles instead. Oh, wait… I think I did do that on most of my long boats.


I do worry about that
I paddle in salt water a lot and would rather not have to deal with rust, or at least minimize it. If this consideration eliminates ratchets, then what am I left with? Bomber Grear and Snap Dragon right?

btw - speaking of salt water - I just came back from a day of paddling around the Thimble Islands in CT - very cool place.


Hey - that’s my boat!! :slight_smile:
I mean mine looks exactly the same - color and all!

Interesting backrest although I would like to keep the storage space there… But this picture shows the two rings in the back, for attaching straps. The IR backband, for example, calls for slots/rings right behind the side attachment points and I don’t want to drill more holes in my boat. That’s why I asked specifically about the fit of backbands to this boat with no structural mods.

Thanks for the idea! Very cool


pro straps

– Last Updated: Sep-27-05 10:37 AM EST –

What did you do with the "pro straps"? Did you cut slots for them behind the side attachement points, like they recommend? How important are these straps?


loosing space behind seat
You would be suprised what you can still stuff in those corners. a couple of large water bottles still fit.

I did try a rapidpulse backband without doing any mods…but I used one long backstrap run through the ropes, hard to describe but it can be done.

Dontcha just love this yak?

I need to post some more pics of my new padded thighbraces and my buddy’s drinkholder in his Avocet…

There’s two models…

– Last Updated: Sep-26-05 6:01 PM EST –

One with stiff plastic side straps and one with soft straps that need bungees. I have the soft strap model.

personal preference
Most people do not need a prostrap as they simply sit in their kayaks, position their backband, and paddle. On the other hand, I love them as I tend to “play” quite a bit (tons of contorted rolls, playboating for whitewater, and rescue practice for sea kayaking) so I like that the backband will always be in the proper position and not slide under my butt. For my old glass kayak, I installed the Reggie with prostraps and had to drill some holes in the coaming. However, I didn’t have to do that in my Skerray. From the looks of those D rings in your Avocet, that would be the perfect place to attach prostraps to and you would not have to do any drilling at all.

I just bought the IR Reggie…but…
I’m confused about how to attach it to my boat. The stiff plastic straps (that go through the ratchets) have large plastic “blocks” at the end - molded as one unit. They are supposed to go through slots in the seat. There is no other alternative connection method that was supplied. As I said in the past, my Avocet has a molded glass seat that seems fused to the bottom of the boat. There are no voids of any kind along the hip area so I can’t see how I would pass the stiff strap there, even if I wanted to drill slots - which I don’t really. The boat has a loop of cord at the hip areas and that’s used to pass a backband strap through - at least that’s the way the Valley backband is attached.

There were no “adaptor straps” in the pack, although I’m not sure I could use them either, as they are supposed to connect to a seat bolt and my boat has none…

I may be able to use the “pro-straps” to attach to the boat, but then I don’t get to use the ratchet system and I don’t have stabilizing straps, whcih I could use.

Any ideas of how to use the Reggie on this boat before I start thinking of another?