$7 Pannier for Versa Packs / Saddle Bags
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Thread: $7 Pannier for Versa Packs / Saddle Bags

  1. #1
    Senior Member imlost's Avatar
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    $7 Pannier for Versa Packs / Saddle Bags

    First of all - I just want to express how much this Forum has helped me. And I also can't believe how nice the people are here. Hopefully, with this thread, I can pay it back.

    I bought some of the inexpensive soft bags made by Versa Packs, and they arrived on my porch today. I tried for a while to strap it to my Moose rack, but quickly realized that there was nothing keeping the bottom of the packs from swinging back & forth, which would be very dangerous if I didn't do something about it. So... I scratched my head for a while and came back to this forum to look at what others have done. I found a thread started by ScrappyTW back in 2015, in which he used "Hang-Alls" for panniers. I believe this thread will improve on his design a little.

    "Hang-Alls" can be purchased at Harbor Freight for $1.99/ea, and if you use a 20% off coupon, you can purchase 2 of them for $3.18. Here's what they look like before customization:


    These aren't ideal for use without some tweaking. The first thing I did, was put them in a bench vise and carefully re-bent them so it's a 90 degree angle. This is important, because if you don't re-bend them, your panniers will tilt in at the bottom.

    The next step is to bend the "legs" outward so they're parallel to one-another. This is the final product, which took me less than 5 minutes do do:



    The other item you'll need to purchase is a piece of PEX tubing. I got this at Home Depot for less than $4. Why PEX? -Because the ends of the metal tube slip nicely inside the PEX tubing without a bunch of slop. Also, the PEX tubing ultimately comes in contact with your powder-coated rear rack, so this will help from having the paint wear off over time.

    The next step will require some measuring, depending on the width of your rack, and also the desired width of the pannier mounts. With my bike, I wanted the Versa Packs to be on the outside of the turn signals, so I could mount the packs farther back on my rack. This will allow me to have a passenger and also all my camping gear - (cake & eat it too). The downside to this, is that it makes for a pretty wide assembly, which may not be preferable if you're squeezing between trees on single track trails. For my assembly, the I cut the PEX tubing to exactly 20" in length.

    Assembly of the Hang-Alls and PEX tubing is simple. I just layed the assembly on it's side and pre-drilled 1/8" holes and used tek screws to hold it together. That's it - the rack is done and ready for mounting.



    The next step is mounting. I decided to just use zip ties, because they're easier than band clamps, and don't cause any damage. This rack is only subject to lateral movement, but no weight, so I think it's going to work well. I can put on several zip ties way faster than screwing on band clamps. Here's what it looks like on the bike. NOTE: I had to bend the "legs" together a little to get it to align properly with my rack.



    Here's the with the bags mounted. I just wrapped some small straps around the bottom of the Hang-Alls to secure the bottom of the packs. It secures it nicely.

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    Last edited by imlost; 09-24-2017 at 08:31 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member TW-Brian's Avatar
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    Nice work!


  3. #3
    Senior Member imlost's Avatar
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    Here are a couple more pictures:

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    Last edited by imlost; 09-24-2017 at 08:34 PM.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Those Versa Packs are very handy.
    littletommy and jtomelliott49 like this.
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    Super Moderator littletommy's Avatar
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    Sweet!!
    jtomelliott49 and Ken like this.
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  7. #6
    Senior Member imlost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred View Post
    Those Versa Packs are very handy.
    Yeah, they're really a smokin' deal for the price. I bought two sets of the ones in the pictures, and two sets of the smaller ones. I think I can use the smaller ones right in front of this set on the seat.
    With a couple dry bags on top of that, it's going to be mega-storage!

    I just can't believe how easy it was to build those. I'll bet it didn't take much more than a half hour. Definitely a super simple solution to my problem, and I think it looks pretty good.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Fast Eddie B's Avatar
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    What a great idea!

  9. #8
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    I looked at these once and tried to figure out how to make them work. You've solved it for me. Thanks for posting.
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    Senior Member Leisure Time Larry's Avatar
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    Nice! I have them myself. I use these sets of roll top dry bags in multiple colors and sizes to separate, organize, and keep my gear dry inside of those soft sided Versa packs. http://amzn.to/2hs5a6M
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  11. #10
    Senior Member jtomelliott49's Avatar
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    Very nice, neat job. Your posting is appreciated.
    Ken likes this.
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