You can get Chinese PVC D-rings dirt cheap on eBay but genuine hypalon D-rings (not PVC claiming to work on hypalon) cost a lot for what they are. Once you factor in the price of two-part glue, it adds up, especially if you have a few to fit. It’s fairly easy to make your own D-rings for your IK to attach gear, thigh straps, footrest mounts and so on.
You can buy metal D-rings by the sack-load online, as well as round PVC or Hypalonpatches. (‘Hypalon’ is pretty much the same synthetic rubber as Gumotex Nitrilon and Grabner Nordel). Or buy an off-cut (above right) for much less and cut your own. A D-ring doesn’t have to be round but it’s better if corners are rounded. You will notice how unusually hard it is to cut this stuff with scissors or a blade. The fibre core is tough: good for zero-elasticity in an IK.
Pictures below show how to make your own D-rings. Go to this page for how to apply any patch, step-by-step.
Sticking to the Rules I needed to fit some tube-top D-rings to properly support a second backrest in my Sunny 2020. I found a stray, opened tin of Bostik 2402 two-part in my kit bag, but with an expiry date of 2009. Back then I only owned this original Sunny and looking it up, 2402 turned out to be for rubber boats. Perhaps I bought it more recently but didn’t notice the expiry date. In the tin the glue was still liquid and unseparated, but the little bottle of Bostik D-10 hardener had long since evaporated. Digging around, I also found an opened bottle of PolyMarine hardener. Comparing chemicals showed they both contained Diphenylmethanediisocyanate, one of the few words that’s too long for a Scrabble board. I mixed the wrong-brand hardener with the 11-year old glue 25: 1 and the bond looked as good as anything.
Michael S from BC came up with a good idea for securing stuff, seats or thigh straps to the floor of your IK without resorting to the faff gluing on D-rings – something that takes application and the right glue to do well. He suggests the cavity formed between the floor and the sides when you pump an IK up can be used to jam in short tubes attached to tape loops. Example left is a Sea Eagle Full D-S, but I know Gumotex and other IKs I’ve owned have a similar space along the sides.
Pictured below are some Sherpak Quick Loop tie-downs which go from $15 a pair on amazon US. You can buy Thule ones for six times as much or search eBay for <Kayak Hood Trunk Tie Down Loops> sent from China for 7 quid. The idea is you shut them under your car’s bonnet, tailgate or doors (right) to help lash on stuff including boats.
But they could also be lodged in an IK’s floor/side cavities as you pump up, and of course can be positioned anywhere and slid forward or back. It’s possible the 1-inch diameter tubes shown may be too small and pull out, so make your own using larger conduit from a hardware store, or just a shore-side stick and washed-up rope. Below: I made my own. To be tested. Neato mosquito as my Kiwi mate used to say.