I'm planning to make my own panniers out of a set of army map bags -- these are small bags, about as large as a small front pannier, with a rigid back.

The hooks I'm planning to use attach to the bag with two screws and nuts. I'll have to drill or punch a hole in the canvas and packing to get them to stay. How can I seal the holes so that the bags will stay fairly water resistant?

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(This is a bit of a test question -- will the board cover DIY-style topics like this? It is a real project I have going, though.)

2 Answers 2


I assuming you are going to put some washers on the inside of the bug so the bolt/net holds well.

I would expect silicone sealant under the washers (on the inside of the bug) and the clips combined with a rubber washers between the head of the bolts and clip and the inside washer and net would do the job.

  • End of bolt
  • Rubber Washer
  • Pannier clip
  • Silicone Sealant
  • Bag
  • Silicon Sealant
  • Metal Washer
  • Rubber Washer
  • Net

However after saying the above, as the clips will be on the inside of the bugs, you will have to be in very strong rain before they leak, you may well find you have other leaks. A simple small waterproof rucksack liner inside of the bag may be the best option.

  • My Chrome messenger bag is done with a hanging waterproof bag, similar to the pack liner suggested above. Sep 21, 2010 at 18:41
  • another thing you may want to add is that if you are using a canvas bag is that you can wax the canvas to protect it. You can use a product like this to actually wax the bag, instructions are included on the site. store.kaufmann-mercantile.com/collections/tools-outdoors/…
    – Benzo
    Jul 6, 2012 at 18:32

I assume you've seen this Instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/Bicycle-Paniers-from-canvas-military-surplus-map-b/ on this, unfortunately it doesn't talk about waterproofing.

You could use some sort of silicon sealant, or rubber sealant. Would a patch from a puncture repair kit and some glue (you might need different glue than with an inner tube) do the trick, if the patch isn't big enough air mattresses usually come with a bigger patch. Alternatively you could look for some sort of tape with which to tape over the washer.

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