Review: Hill People Gear Original Kit Bag chest pack

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Uplander
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Review: Hill People Gear Original Kit Bag chest pack

#1 Post by Uplander » Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:57 pm

Hey all- I want to offer a review of the best shooting related product I've purchased in years: The Hill People Gear Kit Bag.

It's a chest pack that allows one to carry not only a handgun, but a lot of other gear in a relatively accessible and yet discreet fashion.

It'll take up to a 5" N-frame S&W or full size 1911. It smallows smaller guns.

It's extremely comfortable and allows the user to wear a backpack of any size in total comfort.

The way it quickly becomes part of your day to day living when hiking cannot be overstated. I not only carry a gun and a reload in it while hiking, but my cell phone, wallet, car keys, trail knife, EpiPen, flashlight, etc. It has interior hooks for things like your keys. Even when I am carrying a full size camera on the trail, I find myself also taking cell phone photos, and with this my phone is readily available. It'll even take my Garmin Rhino, a pretty hefty sized GPS.

When on vacations in bear country I like how it leaves the strong side open for bear spray. I also like how in areas when lots of hikers are around I don't have to have the gun chat, as sometimes I prefer to stay a bit below the radar on that front. The amount of compliments I've received on it from other hikers is comical, as I suspect most have no idea that it's also a holster.

I do recommend practicing with it at the range, as obviously the draw stroke is unique.

When in bear country I carry a 3 7/8" S&W 610 loaded with heavy cast bullets. I carry my reload in half moon clips because they're slim. When around Michigan it's either a Beretta M9 9mm or a small revolver. The company makes all their stuff in the US and is a pleasure when conducting transactions.

If you're looking for trail carry and prefer to limit weight on your belt, leave room for bear spray, or full concealment in light clothing I can't recommend this thing enough.

https://www.hillpeoplegear.com/Products ... oductID/71

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Re: Review: Hill People Gear Original Kit Bag chest pack

#2 Post by Uplander » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:08 pm

I'm still learning on the attaching photo front everyone. Sorry for about that! :newhere:

In the photo below my family and I have just wrapped up a morning hike in Wyoming, so the chest pack is a little sloppy. I'm also wearing a daypack, which doesn't interfere with the HPG pack at all.
MeHPGWyoming.jpg
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Re: Review: Hill People Gear Original Kit Bag chest pack

#3 Post by lurker » Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:53 pm

Uplander wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:08 pm
I'm still learning on the attaching photo front everyone. Sorry for about that! :newhere:
you're doing fine.
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Re: Review: Hill People Gear Original Kit Bag chest pack

#4 Post by p0lyhuman » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:44 pm

I remember seeing this when it first came out--is there a way to secure the gun in a holster inside the pouch? Or does it just hang out in there?

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Re: Review: Hill People Gear Original Kit Bag chest pack

#5 Post by ErikO » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:08 pm

That is very interesting. Thanks! :)
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Re: Review: Hill People Gear Original Kit Bag chest pack

#6 Post by Uplander » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:19 am

Erik, you're welcome. :)

In terms of adding a holster, some do. The compartment closest to your chest is for the gun. The next one, in the middle, is equally as large but designed for gear and has sub compartments in it. The final one is on the exterior. This is where I keep my reload and knife.

I don't add a holster when I'm using it, as I don't want to add that additional step to drawing my gun. There is plenty of room to do so, however. There is a trigger guard shield type holster available for striker fired guns right from Hill People should you want to go that route.
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Re: Review: Hill People Gear Original Kit Bag chest pack

#7 Post by leftneck » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:39 pm

I've been using a Heavy Recon Kit Bag from HPG for over 2 years now and it has solved a bunch of problems for me. Previously, when backpacking, I wore a Wilderness Safepacker, attached to the packbelt, but when the pack came off, the holster went with it. That was a no go when using a frame style kid carrier backpack, for example. It also works great while wearing a tree stand harness, which precludes regular hip holster, and I like to wear it mountain biking as well.

I've experimented with various holster options inside the gun compartment, and have wound up not using any of them. The key for me is to not store anything in the gun compartment but the gun.

Since I bought the kit bag, I've also bought their Tarahumara and Umlindi backpacks and some various other bits and bobs. They make great stuff that is very well thought out.

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Re: Review: Hill People Gear Original Kit Bag chest pack

#8 Post by RunwayPilot » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:56 am

I have the Kenai chest holster from Gunfighters Inc, for when I am hunting (bear/coyote defense) or hiking where OC is kosher. This would be nice where OC is not so kosher.
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Re: Review: Hill People Gear Original Kit Bag chest pack

#9 Post by Uplander » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:38 pm

The Tarahumara is on my wish list. Can you give it a quick review? What kind of things are you using it for? Short hikes? Stowing gear?

As for the Kenai- those are really cool. I think if you buy one for a S&W N-frame you can use a variety of barrel length in the same holster.
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Re: Review: Hill People Gear Original Kit Bag chest pack

#10 Post by RunwayPilot » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:43 pm

Uplander wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:38 pm
As for the Kenai- those are really cool. I think if you buy one for a S&W N-frame you can use a variety of barrel length in the same holster.
I think the 1911 one fits most barrel length 1911s too.
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Re: Review: Hill People Gear Original Kit Bag chest pack

#11 Post by MaxwellG » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:46 pm

Nice piece of gear there.
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Re: Review: Hill People Gear Original Kit Bag chest pack

#12 Post by leftneck » Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:52 pm

Uplander wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:38 pm
The Tarahumara is on my wish list. Can you give it a quick review? What kind of things are you using it for? Short hikes? Stowing gear?

As for the Kenai- those are really cool. I think if you buy one for a S&W N-frame you can use a variety of barrel length in the same holster.
Hey man,

I've been using the Tarahumara for about two years, for three season day hikes, hunting, mountain biking and family outings to places like the zoo.

I really dig HPG's harness. It fits me very well can can carry quite the load. I go pretty fast and light, so I can get my 10 essentials, that days food and when hunting a kill kit in the bag with room to spare. I usually have a water bottle in one or both of the pockets, and I've found the lashing system for a rolled up jacket on the bottom to work very well.

I use an Umlindi for winter hiking, when I need to carry more of a safety margin when it comes to gear and extra insulation. I'll often use the Umlindi for family hikes, as I'm trying to take as much weight off my wife as she can as she's continuing to recover from a car accident.

I've also docked the Tara to the Umlindi for a tracking class. I was able to camp on the school's property, so I carried enough stuff for two light over nights in the Umlindi, and wore the Tara during days in the field.

If I could own only one, it would be the Umlindi, as it is the most versatile, and compresses down quite small when not full. I really like the Tara though.

HPG has an excellent forum, accessible via their website, and a pretty good Facebook page too.

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Re: Review: Hill People Gear Original Kit Bag chest pack

#13 Post by Uplander » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:44 am

Outstanding review. Thanks a lot. This helps narrow down my decision making a great deal.
And all you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be- Roger Waters

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