Introduction: Strap Wraps

About: CrLz : Ideas, ideas and ideas - Love it when I get one hammered out and working. Seems like there is plenty of room for creativity, in between cheap goods and expensive solutions, and beyond those boxes...

Quick hack for tie down straps- increase contact friction to improve holding power by making these simple sleeves to slip on tie downs.

Friction is a function ofsurface contact area, force and the coefficient of friction.  When I car-top my kayaks, these three variables are what I have to work with.

Ratcheting up the force is the simplest way to increase the holding friction.  However, this can strain and stress a boat, an expensive investment to damage! 

Commercial racks increase the surface contact area with special cradles.  Unfortunately, these are expensive and reduce the general function of the rack.

Sleeves of non-slip rubber to augment the friction easily secure my boats.  It's cheap and general, rather than brute force or elaborate racks. A more simple solution.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Step 2: Construction

Fabrication is straightforward, however, most flexible epoxies release poisonous vapors so work in a well ventilated area.
  1. Unroll the non-slip material and cut in 12" sections.
  2. Lay out sections on top of non-permeable paper.
  3. Apply a thick bead of epoxy in a 2" wide - zig-zag along on edge.
  4. Fold non-slip material over, onto the epoxy. 
  5. Use a spatula to press the flaps together and keep your fingers clean.
  6. Let cure per the epoxy's instructions, outdoors preferably.

Step 3: Wrap-up!

Simply slide the sleeves over what you use for tie-downs.  My initial wraps have lasted 6 years of use and actually hold better as they've gotten worn and wrinkly.

I've also found that there is no longer any need to ensure my tie-down straps lay flat across my kayak.  In fact, when the sleeves bunch up, and twist around the straps, I get the best holding power. An awesome tertiary advantage, I can throw the straps on sloppy and quick- with better performance!