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Great "DIY" pannier solution! $15 military surplus heavy canvas musette bags

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Great "DIY" pannier solution! $15 military surplus heavy canvas musette bags

Old 06-14-10, 10:50 AM
  #1  
Azygous
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Great "DIY" pannier solution! $15 military surplus heavy canvas musette bags

I just stopped by my local military surplus store and bought a musette bag to use as a pannier. You can buy them all over the internet, here is one on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Fox-Musette-Ol...6533895&sr=8-2

I got the large 15"x15"x5" because that is all they had. I have a slight problem with heel check the way I positioned it on the test ride but I can fix that easily. However, you can also go for the 12" bag to be safe.

I had my bike with me and an extra bunjee cord. The backpack straps have detachable clips at the bottom of the bag, all I did was wrap the backpack straps through the top of my rack, tightened up the straps, then clipped them back on the bottom of the bag. Then I tightened up the bag with the front straps, threaded a bunjee cord through the bottom of the rack and wrapped it all around the bag to keep it compressed and secure.

Also, it include two very nice "secret map" compartments in the main bag that I plan to put a 15"x15" thin wooden or plastic board to help keep a taught shape for the bag.

It works great and it looks great and it was very cheap, comparitively!

It's not waterproof at all, but I'll keep a trash bag in case I get caught in a heavy Texas summer shower.

I'll post pics later today!

Last edited by Azygous; 06-14-10 at 10:53 AM. Reason: grammar!
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Old 06-14-10, 12:47 PM
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Thanks for the link, that's definitely a great deal! I've been looking for those locally, but there are no more army surplus stores in my area - they've all gone under in the past 2 years.

Amazon to the rescue.
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Old 06-14-10, 03:56 PM
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here's a picture of the bag in action

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Old 06-14-10, 04:51 PM
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I also made my own panniers from army surplus bags:


I sewed on a piece of black webbing to the back of each bag so that I can attach bungee cords to the bag's straps and still keep the bag closely attached to the rack:


Because of the buckles on the bags, I can take them off the bike and attach a shoulder strap and backpack straps, so I can wear both panniers at the same time. Here's a pic of the bag with the straps attached for wearing:


Also, I bolted a stiff piece of plastic to the inside of each bag (cut out of a broken car bumper I found on the road). There's a slight curve in the plastic away from the back of the bag, which keeps the bags out of the spokes.


I also made some waterproof bag liners out of recycled heat-fused plastic grocery bags.


Finally, I sewed a bunch of my old scout patches from various camping trips to give the bags some personality.

Last edited by KonradNYC; 06-14-10 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 06-14-10, 06:01 PM
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I like these bags.
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Old 06-14-10, 06:05 PM
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I just bought an army surplus backpack, something like this musette bar, but a little larger.

What I like about it is the lack of zippers. For me, zippers are often the premature end of a perfect bag.

I haven't put my bag together yet, but a couple of negatives strike me:
1) the bag is so floppy that even with a backing, the bottom of side of the bag might be able to swing into the spokes. I'm thinking about adding a bottom stiffener as well as the usual chloroplast backing ($2 at Fast signs got me enough for 10 bags.)
2) the straps are sewn together and the stitching looks like it might not last that long. Repair? Maybe with oversized washers and small bolts/nuts.
3) about as waterproof as a sponge. Might need to add Scotchgard or something similar.
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Old 06-14-10, 09:05 PM
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Well done guys. Those bags look good. Really adds character to the bike.

Last edited by mijome07; 06-14-10 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 06-14-10, 11:12 PM
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Very stylish, KonradNYC
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Old 06-15-10, 01:29 AM
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Great stuff.....
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Old 06-15-10, 03:45 AM
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wow... a pair of those would look great on my olive drab fixie...
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Old 07-16-10, 04:47 PM
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I bought two of the 12" x 12" bags and made them into panniers - I'm real happy with them. The back of the bag has a sleeve that I think is designed to be a map case. I slipped a piece of 1/8" plywood (10" x 11 1/4" was perfect) in there for backing - perfect spot for it. As a side note - there's another "map sleeve" inside the bag. I drilled holes through the board and the bag to attach the hooks, sandwiched it all with big fender washers. Also used bungie cords, but ran them from the hooks at the top, through the D rings at the bottom, and hooked into the braze-ons.



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