DIY: Saddle Bag Cantle Roll Straps

I really like the straps on my SnugPax and Stowaway saddle bags that tighten down to secure a jacket on the cantle pack. In cooler weather I often start a ride with extra layers on, but once we get going I warm up and need to shed a layer or two. It is nice to have an easy secure place to stow a vest or jacket, while keeping it easily accessible to put back on at the end of the ride. It is also handy for carrying rain gear if it might be needed. You could even use them to carry extra hoof boots. I have an inexpensive off brand english cantle bag that did not have such straps, and while I don’t use that bag often, the times I do use it I have wished a had a place to tie a jacket. I decided to make my own.

I ordered Side Release Buckle Straps from Strapworks and riveted them to my saddle bag. If you’ve never used rapid rivets, it is actually really easy. This is a good starter kit, and contains the tools to set the rivets plus a couple sizes to get started with. You could also sew the straps on, but I found that rivets are so much faster and easier. Plus, I was kind of on an obsessed riveting spree…

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You can also see my Paracord Zipper Pull on this pack.

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If you do choose to rivet, it is a good idea to add some kind of backing to support the rivet and avoid pulling through the thin saddle bag material, sort of like using metal washers with bolts. I used a short scrap piece of nylon strapping on the inside of the bag. You can seal the edges of nylon strapping with a match or lighter to prevent unravelling. To make the holes for the rivet to go through, I use a small soldering iron. You could also use a hot nail.

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