DIY Waterproof hip and handlebar bag

This project utilizes a Mountain Equipment Co-op Nano XP drybag, straps & buckles, and a couple pieces of upcycled fabric to create a highly functional and durable bag.  The flat construction of the drybag provides areas around the perimeter to sew on fabrics and straps without compromising the bag’s waterproof properties.  After over a year of regular use the waterproof body shows no substantial signs of wear.  The 5 litre size fits into the Loop of a Jones bar.  The finished weight is about 190 grams.  The 3 litre size can also be augmented in the same manner. Total cost is about C$25.  This project was completed using a regular sewing machine and a Speedy Stitcher to attach the roll top closure buckles and straps.

5 litre MEC Nano XP drybag with X-Pac VX21 panels sewn to the outside for durability and additional functionality.
New 5 litre Nano XP drybag. The 3 litre size (not pictured) has also exhibited excellent durability when augmented as outlined below.
Back side of bag with 1″ webbing waist belt and 3/4″ stabilizers. Note the additional fabric on this side which rolls into the closure while allowing access to the front side external pocket. Four folds closes this side.
Front side of bag with the shorter fabric panel. Five folds closes both external pockets
Waist belt is looped around Jones bar to secure bag in the Loop.  The bag can also be secured to the front of handlebars in a similar manner.
Hike-a-bike mode with five folds in the top closure.
hip pack with off side closure for use while fishing
In this image the roll top closure has been clipped on the opposite side of the hip bag. This allows the taller external pocket and the waterproof bag to remain closed while accessing items such as fishing gear.


  • 5 litre Nano XP drybag
    • Overboard sells a similar higher priced product that may also be adaptable. This product has not been tested.
  • Waist belt 2 metres 1″ webbing
  • Closures 1 metre 3/4″ webbing
  • 1 pair of 1″ buckles
  • 2 pairs of 3/4″ buckles
  • 2 fabric panels roughly 14″ x 14″ (X Pac VX-21 pictured)
  • 1 metre 1″ grosgrain or bias tape to sew around perimeter of bag (The installed edge tape can also be carefully removed and reused)

Note: 3/4″ webbing and buckles can be substituted for the waist belt.  The suggested 3/4″ buckles only adjust on one side which reduces the functionality of a waist belt.


  1. remove supplied roll-top closure buckles.
  2. lay bag flat over the fabric panels and mark perimeter of the drybag onto fabric.
  3. cut fabric panels to shape
  4. sew a folded seam into the top edges of the front and back panels.
  5. sew the fabric panels to the perimeter of the drybag
  6. sew grosgrain edging around the perimeter of the bag
  7. attach replacement buckles to each end of the roll-top closure, and also the matching buckles and straps into the lower front corners of the bag, taking care to only sew in the perimeter bonded areas of the drybag.
  8. cut waist belt to a finished length of at least 45″. (this length allows for multiple attachment options to the Jones bar)
  9. bar tack the waist belt in place on both side edges of the bag
  10. cut and bar tack 3/4″ stabilizer straps between the edges of the bag and either side of the waist belt