A few weeks ago as I was running through a prep list for an upcoming week long trip I realized I needed a solution. A security solution. I needed to take my kayak with me on a four hour road trip. It would spend time strapped in my truck bed, sometimes 12 hours at a time and I really didn’t want to donate my boat to a scumbag looking for a quick score.
I scoured the internet and after looking at many different options, making a few phone calls and reading a few reviews I decided to give the KanuLock kayak straps a try.
The KanuLocks come in differing lengths to fit your needs from eight feet long to 18 feet long. Knowing I often carry two kayaks I opted for the 13 foot version. When the package arrived it hit me how heavy duty these were. Each strap has two 2.4mm cables running along the interior of the straps which lead up to the lockable buckle. The straps were heavier than I imagined.
Getting ready to load up I ran the straps through the scupper holes and through some rigid connection points on my truck bed and hitch. I learned very quickly, run all your straps first before tightening one of them down with the lock. The lock won’t budge like I was used to with a normal cam buckle. Old habits die hard I guess. Once all the straps were in position I tightened them down to my preferred tightness, put the key in the lock, turned it and that was it. The KanuLock straps didn’t move the entire four hour trip. The kayak was secured to my truck bed AND was safe from thieves. I left it strapped down for seven days and covered over 600 miles in that time without making an adjustment. That’s a pretty good hold. I also enjoyed the added peace of mind knowing my kayak would be there after a long day away.
Disclaimer Time: I fully realize that if someone WANTS your kayak bad enough, there are tools that can destroy any kind of restraining device, cable or not. Most kayak thefts from mobile vehicles are not premeditated. They are crimes of opportunity which is why you need a deterrent. Having a restraint that takes a significant amount of time and/or planning to get through is most times all you need.
The KanuLock straps are now a part of my travel list. I don’t have to tie down my kayak and run cables or locks. These straps combine both of those. The straps aren’t super rigid and fit through tight places and will fold in half to fit through scupper holes etc. They don’t crease and retain their shape.
With all things I test out, buy and come to the public with, I have a few points of improvement.
While the lock itself is very rugged, the key itself is light gauged metal. I’d like to see the small key exchanged out for a more rugged tubular key. Offering the lock in a combination option would also be a good move for a guy like me who has 1,327 keys on two different key rings.
I’d also be interested in seeing a dipped version of the strap that rubberizes the outside making it even more daunting to thieves. It would also help prevent fraying if they strap gets knicked by a knife or other sharp object.
An additional buckle restraint might also be nice. I know the lock stayed in place and held. It did awesome but having an additional hook, buckle, pin or something to lock the top of it down to where it can’t slip, even if there is a lock failure.
Maybe that last one is stretching a bit.
A pair of 13’ KanuLocks will run you $90. Some folks may think that is a touch steep but when you combine your cost of straps and good locks, you get close. When you put it all in one package and your kayak stays where you want it to when at a hotel, camping, on the road or even in the driveway, that’s a pretty good security plan.
Too see more on the KanuLocks, check out their website: http://kanulock.com/