Category Archives for "Kayak"

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Sep 07

Know the Difference Between Ratchet Straps and Lashing Straps

Do you know what type of tie down is right for this situation?

Your safety on the road depends on these devices, and there are a variety of names for them: ratchet straps, tie-down straps, cam straps, lashing straps. For car transport, though, it doesn’t matter what you call them as long as you know how to use them properly.

So What Is The Difference?

Technically, ratchet straps are a length of durable, webbed material (typically polyester) connected to some type of ratchet.

Pictured: A Vault Cargo Management Ratchet Strap

The ratchet is used to provide tension higher than a simple knot tied by hand could provide, making it easier to secure cargo tightly. They can be found with load capacities between 2,000 and 15,000 lbs, which means they are typically used for heavier applications, such as securing a vehicle onto a trailer or a large appliance inside a covered trailer.

Cam straps (or cam buckle tie-downs) are similar, but slightly different. Typically coming in 1- or 2-inch versions, these feature a thumb-depressible cam. The cam usually has 12-20 teeth that “grab” the strap that’s been fed through it, holding it in place. These come in several varieties: one type has a slot designed to fit into a trailer or vehicle’s track, and may be rated up to 2,500 lbs.

Now What Is the Deal With These Lashing Straps?

A more common type of cam strap simply has a buckle that is designed to loop back and attach to the strap itself. These generally have load capacities of 1,000 lbs or less. Obviously, the fact that you can adjust these with only a thumb means that cam straps are typically used for much lighter applications, such as securing small items to a trailer or inside a truck bed. People commonly use this type of straps to secure kayaks and canoes to the tops of cars and SUV’s in combination with kayak carriers and roof racks.

Pictured: A Set of Vault Cargo Management Lashing Straps

Pictured: A Set of Vault Cargo Management Lashing Straps

The terms tie-down straps and lashing straps, are simply catch-all terms that may mean either of the types discussed above.

Whether you’re using a covered truck to move your home’s contents or using a trailer to transport your off-road vehicle, it’s important to know the different types of straps and their potential uses to avoid a mistake that could result in loss of property, injury, or even death.

Vault Cargo is pleased to offer a variety of tie down solutions for securing your cargo during transport. The 15-foot premium ratchet straps feature a 1500-pound break strength. The lashing straps come in both 12-foot and 8-foot versions, meaning Vault Cargo is your go-to source for all your cargo transport needs. Order from Amazon or directly through the Vault Cargo website today!


Sep 06

Loading Kayaks and Canoes Onto Your Roof & Securing Them Safely

The Proper Way to Load and Secure your Kayak or Canoe to Your Roof

There are two ways of loading kayaks and canoes onto your vehicle roof. There is the two-person method, and if you are strong enough (and have a back to handle it), the solo method. After that, it comes down to your tie down equipment. The lasing strap is recommended for innumerable reasons. Properly strapping your kayak to your vehicle can mean the difference between a fun-filled day at the lake and an instant disaster.

In this article, we will discuss both methods, solo loading, and loading with two people. We will also compare the two methods with a recommended conclusion.

Method #1: Basic Two-Person Procedure For Loading Kayaks & Canoes

  1. Lay out the lashing straps on top of your vehicle before putting the kayak in place. Placing the straps across the roof beforehand allows you to properly set the kayak in the proper place, and you won’t have to reach under the rack after settling the kayak.
  1. Place the kayak next to your automobile, parallel to the vehicle. This will allow you to access it quickly and lift it swiftly into position.
  1. Both persons grab the kayak at each end and use a standard two-person overhead lift, raising the kayak evenly and keeping it level.
  1. Position the kayak so it’s directly above the rack, then set it down gently on whatever rack attachment you’ve mounted. A roof rack or kayak rack is recommended so that the ratchet straps have something to secure the kayak to, and they will save your vehicle top from getting severely scratched.
  1. Remember the steps and unload the kayak in reverse. Reversing the procedure will ensure proper unloading and you do not risk damaging the boat.
    The Thule Hullavator is a serious piece of ergonomic machinery when it comes to loading kayaks!

    It might come with a pretty hefty price tag, but the Thule Hullavator is a serious piece of ergonomic machinery to help with loading kayaks!

Method #2: Loading Kayaks & Canoes On Your Own

  1. Most kayak saddles come with mounted wheels, so the lone paddler can basically set the bow of the kayak against the back support, take hold of the stern, and roll the kayak forward into the front support of the rack.
  2. Another solo loading idea is having an Integrated lift system installed, such as the Thule Hullavator, and the lift will do all of the heavy lifting for you. This option is slightly costly but is worth it if you are going kayaking often to be alone.

Now to Properly Secure the Kayak to the Roof Rack

There is really only one way to go about securing the lashing strap around your kayak and rack.

This ProGrip XRT Rope Lock Tie Down is great solution to secure the bow & stern after loading kayaks.

This ProGrip XRT Rope Lock Tie Down is great solution to secure the bow & stern after loading kayaks.

We prefer lashing straps over ratcheting straps because they won’t get so tight as to crush your kayak. You can still get them tight enough so as to not let the kayak slide out while you’re going down the road. Give it a good solid tug when you tighten it, testing the strap by grabbing it and trying to slide it back and forth. Tighten until the strap no longer moves one way or the other. 

Repeat the same procedure for the back strap. It is always best to go to the rear of the kayak and ,by using your weight, push and pull it back and forth, trying to pull the kayak from its mounting. You’ll also want to use either additional lashing straps or some rope lock tie-downs similar to the ones pictured in this article in order to secure the bow and stern (front & back) to the front & back of your vehicle. This will ensure the kayak or canoe won’t come loose if you have to accelerate or brake too suddenly.

After these steps are complete there is only one more thing to do – Enjoy your kayaking trip!

This graphic from does an excellent job of showing what the finished product should look like!

This graphic from does an excellent job of showing what the finished product should look like!


Aug 31

Should Have Brought A Bigger Boat…

I’m as big a fan of kayak fishing as the next guy, but from time to time you really wish you had yourself a slightly more stable platform and room for a second set of hands…

That’s probably precisely what Jon Black was thinking as he took his kayak out to fish just off of Sanibel Island in Florida. Sanibel is located in Lee County and is in the Gulf of Mexico, just west of Fort Myers Beach. Sanibel is a barrier island, which means it is a collection of sand on the leeward side of the solid, coral-rock of Pine Island.

Black hooked into a goliath grouper, which is known to be in these shallow tropical waters and is a bottom feeder. He owns the Crazy Lure Bait and Tackle shop in Cape Coral Florida and luckily had the right equipment (or at least used to until his rod broke) to reel this monster in for a solid catch. The fish measured 83 inches long and over 73 inches in girth, putting its estimated weight at nearly 552 pounds and yet, Black still reeled it in while sitting in a kayak.

So as you’re loading your kayak onto your roof rack or kayak carrier this Labor Day weekend for some nice relaxing fishing, be sure to strap in tight!

We’ll be up in Green Bay, Wisconsin so if we manage to hook into anything this big you’re definitely going to see us on the news! They don’t grow them quite this big up here!