Backpack Cargo Net From Inner Tubes




Introduction: Backpack Cargo Net From Inner Tubes

About: Generaly confused. Secretly inspired.

This instructable is official sequel for my BICYCLE BAGGAGE NET FROM OLD INNER TUBE inspired by Idea63'sINNERTUBE LOOP CREATIONS. Now I'm implementing the same inner tube loops weaving technique to make a cargo net for my old backpack. You can attach a lot of stuff to it fo carrying in multiple ways, and it looks generally badass.

Step 1:

But first, let me introduce you my backpack. As you can see I've already layed my crafty hands on it at some point (I was quiet younger person than). It even had an acoustic system integrated in it. It used a CD-player... for playing CDs, and couple of scooter batteries for powering PC speakers amplifier. It weighted 3 kilo empty. I'm bad at electronics...

But... wait a minute... what is it? Why my bag is so swollen? What's in it?? Oh no! He's infested with bicycle inner tubes!! How terrible and digusting!!!

But also cool, because inner tubes are exactly what we're going to use for making our cargo net.

I have to mention that at some point this bag have had some sort of cargo net that he was born with. It was a few stratchy straps, connected together in a way, presumeably, aimed for holding a bicycle helmet. It was useless.

Step 2:

Depending on the size of the net you're aiming for you'll need from one to, maybe, four inner tubes. It took one tube for making mine net and another one for bungee cord (on that later).

Since I have a whole bunch o tubes, jenerously donated to me by local bicycle workshop, first thing I'm doing is sorting them. As you can see, they come in a variety of sizes and I'm interested in having atleast few (at this point I didn't know how much I'm going to need) for work of similar width.

I'm also sorting out nicer unpatched tubes for other projects, like making belts, for example. Heavily patched tubes are good for chopping into rings (nice sections).

Step 3:

For weaving we'll need some loops. You can cut them with scissors, or, as I did in Step 1 of my BICYCLE BAGGAGE NET FROM OLD INNER TUBE with a box cutter.

But If you're planning on working with inner tubes a bit more substentialy, I would recomment to invest your time in making a tube chopper. You can get more familiar with it in my TUBE CHOPPER 3000!!! instructable.

Cut the valve off and start chopping. The width of the loop you're aiming for is ~!/4 of the width of inner tube. 10-12mm should be fine in most cases.

Step 4:

When you have enough loops chopped, wash them with soap. Rince a few times and dry with a towel.

Step 5:

And with that being done we're approaching the weaving part.

For this cargo net I'm using different than on bicycle cargo net weaving pattern. Let's call it hexagonal. And firstly we have to learn on how to make a basic module. It consists of three loops and I tryed my best to represent the sequence of connecting them together.

Step 6:

When you have your basic module done, you can add 2 more loops to grow it into couple.

I'm using needlenose pliers when weaving. You can do it without them, but they speed up the process cosiderably.

Once again, I hope, photos represent the process clearly enough.

Step 7:

Don't ask for making a video on weaving this. I have pretty shaky hands, and while it comes quiet handy (heeeyy... a pun) in my personal relationships, sometimes (I'm sorry if your children are reading this), it doesn't make for a good tutorial video.

Keep growing up with new loops till you'll get hexagonal... spoke sun. Notice that adding the finishing loop and closing the hexagon seamingly differs from previous routine (but onlu seamingly)

Step 8:

Now you can keep growing hexagons in a row, ubtill they get to necessary width.

Implementing all the same technique expand now your net to required lenght.

U're not limited to simple "rectangular" shape, but this is what fits to my bag.

Step 9:

When your net is finished. it's time to make a framing cord.

You can use a bungee cord, paracord or any suitable piece of rope for this, but I'm going to show one more trick with inner tubes.

So, take an inner tube and cut a section long enough to cover all perimeter of your net plus some extra.

Step 10:

I was talking about this in my DECORATIVE STRAPS FROM INNER TUBES tutorial. Also there I've shown another variation of strap from what I'm going to show here. It's nice, decorative and can be used in costume making, so take a time to take a look if it's your stuff.

Punch a series of holes along the tube lenght in a line. Diameter of the hole should be roughly 1/3 of the width of the tube, and spacing is about 4cm. Leave some hole-free area on both ends.

Step 11:

Secure then one end of the tube with holes facing up-down.

Pinch the free end in your fingers and pull it through the first nearest hole from top. Pull it all the way through.

Now take the same end andpull it through the next hole, but this time from the opposite side of the tube.

Keep going in alternating pattern through the rest of the holes.

You'll find that newly created cord doesn't look particulary even and need, but we'll deal with it in next step.

Step 12:

Doublecheck that your cord is sufficiantly long for your net, and if everything is ok, go straight to straightening it.

To do so step on one end of the cord, pull the free end to stretch, and release. Smack it against the floor few times, than do the same with other end. This, pretty much, will self align all the folds in your cord.

For this one I used an inner tube of small diametre, you can compare the result with similar cord made out of regular (as I call that size) inner tube.

Step 13:

Now, finaly we can return to out bag. As you can see, I have to do some repair work first to cover those holes on front. The controls fro the acoustic system were sticking out from there.

Step 14:

You may came up with different solution for attaching cargo net to the bag.

I thought of next creteria:

- Being waterproof. Any elements added to the bag and the way they're added shouldn't compromise it's waterresistance;

- Being independant from the net. You should be able to replace the net with a new one, if neaded, without undoing the elements of attachment.

For this reason I don't recomment to sew or rivet the net dirrectly to the body of the bag. The net is much less durable than the backpack, so, you should be able to change it or remove for reparing without demaging the bag.

I decided that the most reasonable solution for me would be to install a series of nylon strap loops into the body of the backpack.

I've cut the strap into 8 sections (according to the spacing at the edge of the net). Melt the ends to prevent fraying.

Step 15:

With help of the hotglue gun I've fixed loops in closed position.

Apply just a smear of glue, since you'll have to sew through it later.

Step 16:

I'm planning to sew the loops into existing seam on the bag. With soft pencil I'm marking the positioning of the loops and undoing the sections of existing seam at marked section.

I'm securing the loops within created openings with a bit of hot glue.

Step 17:

Now I'm preparing my sewing machine. You can also sew down the loops by hand.

I'm turning my backpack insideout to get the access to the seam, and sewwing trough all the loops.

Step 18:

To install the net I'm partially threading the cord through the free loops on the net. Then I'm going through the first loop on th bag and then through the loops on the neet till the next loop on the bag. You get the idea.

Step 19:

To secure ends of the cord, when all free loops are threaded, im stuffing one end of the tube inside another and securing everything with zip ties. It's holds hood enough and not that terrible looking.

Step 20:

Later I decidec to add one more loop at the bottom, as well as other furniture.

Step 21:

But don't think that at this point we're finnished with this project. No any bicycle inner tube cargo net can be complete without obligatory bicycle inner tube key fob!

It's not that hard to figure out how to make one, but if I'll get to the finale of the Backpack Challange I'll make an instructable on it.

Step 22:

And now we're done! And it looks cool.

Step 23:

You can use your cargo net as a big pocket...

Step 24:

You can hang a lot of usable hiking stuff on it. Flexible honeycomb structure provide a varieaty of ways you attach stuff to it... or in it...

Step 25:

You can stuff a bunch of tools in it, if, for some reson, you like to transport them like this.

Add a spare t-shirt for especially sweaty handywork sessions...

Step 26:

Never be unprepared in your bathroom!

That's it. Thank you. Hanv a nice.


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    41 Discussions


    Question 21 days ago

    how long do the tubes hold up in the sunlight? Any issue with dry rot and cracking? I was thinking of adding something like this to my leather bags

    1 more answer

    The bicycle net I made last december is still fine, but more likely it won't hold as long as the bag so it should be easily replaceble.

    bear toy

    Question 24 days ago

    Hayy! This is an absolutely fantastic idea but Sorry it was to long and I didn't read it but I was planning on using this idea on a hiking backpack which is quite a bit taller than the one you've used is there a rule for making the net longer if I need it or in my laziness did I miss that? Thanks

    2 more answers

    There's no rules on making the net bigger. Or I didn't understand what do you mean. Just keep adding links untill it has necessary dimmensions. But mind how much do you want it to stretch. When overstretched, the layout of links kind of gets overtighten. It doesn't demice the functionality but looks not very good, and you'll have to fix it by hand, which is long and tedious.

    Awesome looking net. I love the hexagon pattern. I can see so many uses for this (hammock, chair, badass flag!)

    1 reply

    This is sincerely one of the best Instructables. It's purposeful, looks great, would add so much space to carry things I need on a day to day. I bicycle A LOT. About 10 miles a day and being able to have free hands is crucial where I live. This is awesome looking and would take time, really give you the satisfaction of knowing you put forth the effort. Thank you so much for sharing this!!!!

    1 reply

    Well, thank you very much for the feedback! I haven't been able to test the net in different circumstances to make my finite conclusion on how practical it is. Also I'm not suggesting it'll be as fully packed as I'm showing on photos very often. But it looks cool even if not filled with tools, and you can turn it into display for your favourite trinkets if not used in other way.

    I wonder if washing and rinsing them gets rid of the horrible smell inner tubes have.

    9 replies

    You are both sick, lol.

    I worked in a full service Gulf station in the 70s, and patched a LOT of tubes and tires. Didn't take long to get sick of that smell.

    J Dewey, I understand completely. Your experiences guided you in that regard. I'm not a fan of the mixture of smells from diapers, talc and breast milk.


    That makes me glad I never had children.

    I hear that. If you can do without then def. do!

    Actually, the correct response would be "No, but I like that smell......" Saying Yes, says that the washing DOES remove the smell, based on my how I worded my comment.

    Actually, that is what I really meant to say: rincing does remove the smell.

    Interesting idea. Just how much weight at this thing?