Straps with hooks that fit Yakima Bars?

I have four different brands of straps (three are ratchet straps, one is a cam buckle) and all four have virtually the same hooks on the ends. NONE of the four will fit over my Yak bars. WTH? I’ve been using a rope, but it’s difficult to get very tight.

Is there a strap out there with hooks that fit the Yak bars? How do you guys secure your straps on your Yakima or Thule racks?

Maybe I don’t understand the question,
but I just use twelve foot cam straps to secure my canoes on my Yakima cross bars. I toss the tag end over the boat, pass it under the bar on the opposite side, then toss back over, pass it under the bar on the original side, slide it into the cam buckle and cinch it down. No hooks required. Would that not work for you?

Don’t use the ones with hooks

– Last Updated: Jul-16-13 3:59 PM EST –

For racks, use the cam buckle style straps as deuce mentioned above. They are available at all paddling shops. The ones with hooks are meant for attaching to eyebolts, such as those you find on pickup truck beds.

Back away fro the ratchet straps!
They can easily get tight enough to damage the boat.

Get straps made of poly (not nylon) without hooks, and use them as described above.

Or just use rope (poly, not nylon - nylon stretches when wet). Google up “trucker’s hitch”. Same as with the ratchets - be careful not to over-tighten.

you loop the strap around the bar
If you use a single hook you take the risk of that hook bending. Even if I had hooks on the end of them, I’d loop the strap around the bar and hook it to itself.

Just say no to ratchet straps
and fasten with cam straps (NRS or your flavor of choice) as deuce describes. Snug, not overly tight.

I never said yes!

Straps and Rope
All the advice on straps is correct. You join the ends of the straps at the buckle, meaning the strap loops under the cross bar on each side of the boat.

Now, if you DO use rope, there’s no reason for not being able to get it very tight. You could probably crush a lightweight composite hull with the tension you can create with a trucker’s hitch. Learn to tie some variation of a trucker’s hitch and you’ll never find you can’t get a rope tie-down tight enough (in fact, the trick with a trucker’s hitch is knowing what’s “tight enough” and not accidentally making it too tight).

As all the other posters said
Get rid of the straps with hooks and don’t use ratchet straps.

Get the cam-lock buckle kind and learn how to use them.

jack L

Same as what everyone else said. Here is a good visual guide.

I vote for
ropes with a trucker’s hitch. Keep it simple. Works real well. No hardware involved. Just need to learn to tie the knots. BTW - once you learn the truckers hitch you will use it all the time in different applications - like pitching tarps for one example.


– Last Updated: Jul-17-13 10:37 PM EST –

Put the boats on the rack. Pass one end of the strap over the far side of the yak (towards the center of the car), drop it down, pull it under under the bar at the far side of the boat, then up and over the far side of the boat, then over the boat back towards you to the near side of the boat, down the side and under the bar on the near side, and up the near side of the boat to the top.

Hook the two hooks together, and pull the tag end thru the cam, and finally, tighten -with your hands, not a cam buckle -unless you like to push the risk envelope!

I put an old folded over section of towel under the hooks so they don't scratch the boat.

Done this for years, with SOTs and SINKs, in poly and plastic, and all boats have held well, firm and fast. Again, firm, and fast, but NOT overtightened.

The type of bars -Yakima round, Thule square/rectangular, someone else's oval cross-sectioned ones -doesn't matter -this works for all types of them.

It's a good way to fasten boats down securely so they don't warp or crack, but are still up there when you arrive where you want to


-Frank in Miami

A Picture
Here you go, here’s an illustration on how to strap boats down using cam straps. NRS has the best quality I’ve used.

Straps can be ‘ropes’ too : )
Loop strap through buckle, around what ever and use tail end as regular line … Good when 9’ NRS juuuuust not quite long enough to go across and back to hold down a few sheets of plywood.

Thanks, everyone!
Thanks for your pinput; it seems like you guys are all on the same page. I understand why you guys shy away from the ratcheting straps. However, used prudently, I see no harm. I have a bunch of them and would need to buy 8 new straps to get the job done. I looked for cheaper endless straps with a cam buckle, but couldn’t get one with good reviews below $10 a piece. Sigh… this is proving to be a very expensive hobby at the family level.

scupperFrank; thanks especially for the kind offer of pics/video. I’m good; your explanation was spot on. Problem is, that I don’t have 8 cam buckle straps that are long enough to go over the yaks twice.

Off to learn the trucker’s knot…


– Last Updated: Jul-18-13 8:31 AM EST –

We've gotten inexpensive -no, let's be frank (I'm ALWAYS 'frank') -downright cheap! -cam buckle straps at places like Big Lots and Family Dollar -neither exactly high end outlets -for $1-$2.50 a strap, in 4-packs, in lengths long enough to strap even a thick chunky, 34" wide SOT down. And even these cheapies have lasted us over ten years...!

Now I know learning a trucker's or tautline hitch will serve many purposes beyond securing a boat to your car's rack, but cam buckles really are an effective, efficient, and fast way to secure them as you're off to


-Frank in Miami

Straps with hooks that fit Yakima bars
McMaster-Carr part #3648T47 is a S-hook with 1 1/8" opening (Yakima outside bar diameter), and 500 lbs work load limit. For comparison, most 1" straps are rated 300 lbs working load. You’d have to attache a strap, or a tie down rope to the S-hook, and perhaps use a truckers hitch system for tightening and tie-off.