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Old 03-20-2013   #1
2kanzam's Avatar
Charleston, West Virginny
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 461
Cooler mount DIY?

Hey guys,

I have a 14ft revolution on which I知 finishing up my frame for overnighters (typically 2-3 nights on class III). I知 trying to decide how to hang my cooler mount/ drop bag from the frame. I just want a simple LIGHT bay that will drain decently and hold a cooler (or two) up off the floor and be stable enough to sit/stand on occasionally. I don稚 trailer, I roll and go so light and packable is key.

I feel like I should be able to make one cheaper than the $60-$75 ones I could buy, but I am stuck wondering about a) the materials and b) where to get them. (I知 a hopeless DIYer)

Seems that a 4-6 straps attached to the frame and woven through some webbing/net/mesh/tarp should do the trick.likely permanently (or semi-perm) affixed to the frame (i.e rather not use my NRS camstraps). Has anyone made their own drop bag/ cooler mount like this? Could I find appropriate materials to do this at lowes, home depot , harbor freight etc?

Also some rigidity would be nice-any thoughts on the need or material of a floor for it? Or even right angle brackets that could be fitted to the straps to hold the cooler like NRS痴 cooler mount?

Lastly-and I know it would be a guess-but how much higher might my floor sit up when in the water compared to on the ground (I think the floor is 7 inches thick if it matters)

So Pics? Suggestions?


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Old 03-20-2013   #2
MT4Runner's Avatar
Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,436
Hopeless DIY'ers unite!

I attempted a similar iteration a few years ago.
I started with loop straps and slung the cooler with two, and two more loops over the top.
I'm not really impressed with NRS' angle brackets for the cost, but they do keep the cooler from rotating.

I thought about making a fixed-length loop for the bottom to free up two of my NRS straps. It would require frame disassembly to install, to thread the crossbars through the loops.

A drop bag is the way to go for ease of install, and cams on the sides for height adjustability.

Harbor Freight has the yellow 1" x 12' "lashing straps" that usually go on sale for $3.99/2. They were a better value when they went for $1.99/2, or $1 per cam buckle. At $2/ea, they're just a so-so price. Get cams and webbing from I can send you some nylon mesh.

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Old 03-20-2013   #3
yesimapirate's Avatar
Denver-ish, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 739
My 13' revo's floor rides as high as the side tubes will let it.

As far as your cooler inquiries, I wouldn't call it selling out to get a real drop bag whether it's from big names IE - NRS or Cascade, or someone like AAA inflatables, DRE, or Wet Dreams. We met the Wet Dreams owner last year on the Chama. Very nice guy. I believe he said he does alot of the sowing himself. I bet he'd be willing to give some advice, or make a bag to fit your exact needs.
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Old 03-20-2013   #4
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,120
+ 1 on the drop bag. That's what I use. I don't have the time, patience, skills, or equipment for DIY, so I buy them. Stitches-N-Stuff is my preferred vendor. Jan is great. Here's a few pics of the bags on my cat & raft. I have had issues with cooler rotation in the bags, but fixed it by putting a piece of yoga sticky mat in the bottom of the bag. No more rotation problems.
If you want to go DIY, and have a frame that comes apart enough to thread a strap with a loop onto your cross bars, you could make your own cooler slings. 2-3 inch wide poly webbing (not nylon) measured to size, with loops on each end should work ok.
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Old 03-20-2013   #5
prescott, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 276
my setup for the raft is a piece of plywood under the cooler.

i drilled 1" holes in the corners and sewed webbing loops in them and run straps through the loops to the side of the frame to adjust the height.

used to use webbing under the cooler but if you kneel or stand on the cooler anywhere but he center it would shift around too much.

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Old 03-20-2013   #6
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
Another vote for Stitches N Stuff.

Jan is a expert at sewing stuff
Has made a bunch of custom stuff for me and always willing to do what ever it took
Plus she is working out of her house IE Small Business person and deserves our support.

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Old 03-20-2013   #7
I'm wrong 50% of the time
brendodendo's Avatar
RFV, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 857
I made a drybox sling using 2 "loop" straps. 1.5 in seat belt webbing with loops on the ends. No buckles. Had to take off 1 end of each cross bar and loosen the opposite side to thread the loops on the bars. I use regular NRS loop straps over the top.

You can also use a 2 long regular straps and some NRS Strap Slides. It is a little fidaley to get the slides on properly, but they do work. I have seen them in 1.5in but not from NRS.

Both of these option are light and relatively inexpensive.
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Old 03-20-2013   #8
MT4Runner's Avatar
Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,436
DIY isn't just about being cheaper than a vendor. Once you buy raw materials, thread, and a decent sewing machine, as well as buckles, grommetts, straps, and other hardware, you only save a very small amount....but you learn far more in the process than by dropping a wad of cash.

Those stitches-n-stuff Drop/Everything bags are very cool!
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Old 03-21-2013   #9
Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 185
I've always used nothing but straps for coolers and drybox bays. Either 2 nine footers with 2 four foot loops or 2 nine footers with 4 of the metal strap slide doodads.

Simple. Effective, Cheep.
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Old 03-21-2013   #10
TriBri1's Avatar
Tigard, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 768
The easiest way has always been two 9ft straps with clove hitches to hold the cooler at the height you want and the buckles strapping it in over the top. You could also use the strap slides that teletoes referred to. I use four loop straps, two on top two to hang the cooler. I like the loop straps because it is really easy to raise and lower the height of the cooler as needed.

I have this drop bag,, for my chairs and other stuff. So far it has treated me well. I have never dropped my cooler in it, but have no reservations about it. To lower the price a but, I think Clavey give you 15% off your order if you sign up for their email list. Unless it is a labor of love, there is not much reason to make your own dropbag. It is a ton of work for not much savings.

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