SIGforum.com    Main Page  Hop To Forum Categories  CCW Methods & Issues    Chest Holsters and Backpacking
Page 1 2 

Moderators: Chris Orndorff, LDD
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Chest Holsters and Backpacking Login/Join 
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
posted
I've been backpacking a lot in the last couple of years. Typically, I carry a 3" SP101 in a belt holster. For the most part it works as the holster rides below the waist straps, and the grip stays comfortably outside the waist strap. It can be annoying as it catches on stuff, including the pack when you take it on and off, but it's pretty comfortable while actually hiking.

On our last trip to WY, I noticed a lot of people carrying in chest rigs. The Gunfighters Inc. Kenai Chest Holster seemed to be pretty popular. I was wondering if anyone here has actually carried a chest rig on a long hike with a pack and can give any feedback on how it carried. Does it constrict your breathing, or rub and cause hot spots while hiking? Does it bounce and bruise your sternum? And does it get hot in warmer weather by restricting airflow to your chest?

I'd like to get some real-world experience from people who have actually put some significant miles on one with a pack before I decide to buy, because they are really expensive and I don't want to drop $200 on something I'm not going to end up using.
 
Posts: 4697 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I dont log lots of miles, but carry a day pack when I walk the woods.
I use the Kenai rig. My main pack is a Maxpedition, which is heavy for a day pack,
with the usual gear and water. The Kenai rides very secure, no bounce at all and works fine with my pack straps. I have not noticed any heat issues or chest restriction.. Since its nylon/kydex, it can get wet with no issues. I have two different holsters for it, for a GP-100 and a 4 inch Ruger Blackhawk. In winter I can wear it over my coat for access to my gun without having to unzip my coat. Most of my hikes are around 5 miles or less, since I hike in to remote lakes to fish. One of my hikes involves a good deal of scrambling up hills so carry security is a concern for me. The Kenai retention works fine. I would not hesitate to do a long distance hike with the Kenai, provided my long range pack and straps worked well with the Kenai. The longer the hike, the more pack weight factors in and a capable woods guns weight will have to be included in determining your carry weight. I do occasionally suffer from "ruck neck" on longer hikes, but this is not caused by the Kenai. Another advantage to the chest rig is if you take off your pack to take a break, you still retain your gun.
Want to try out the Kenai before you buy? I can let you borrow mine if you have a gun to fit it. Drop me a line in my private email if you are interested.


End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
 
Posts: 12367 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
The Hill People Gear Kit Bags are worth a look. I am not a “long-distance” hiker, due to bad knees, and other structural issues*, but have worn a Recon Kit Bag all day, with a Glock 19 inside, which prompted me to acquire a lower-visual-profile version, without the external webbing/slots, and in a color more associated with search-and-rescue/recovery than packing a weapon. Notably, one normally wears the Kit Bag, as one layer, donned before the pack, so that when one sheds the backpack, for whatever reason, the Kit Bag remains on one’s person, unless one also removes it, as a separate move. (Alternatively, the Kit Bag can be rigged as an attached chest component of one’s backpack rig.)

www.hillpeoplegear.com

The Safepacker, from The Wilderness dot com, is a rectangular-profile holster that can be attached to the backpack’s waist belt, or to a chest strap, or rigged in a number of ways. It was developed for mountain search-and-rescue personnel, but also works well, depending upon how it is worn or carried, for urban firearm carry.

www.thewilderness.com

*I like to let a boat or bike carry the weight, if moving more than a few miles.


Have Colts, will travel
 
Posts: 3127 | Location: SE Texas | Registered: April 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
posted Hide Post
Thanks guys, great reviews. Yooper, that's a very generous offer, and I might actually take you up on it. I actually have both a 4" GP100 and a 4 5/8 Blackhawk, so I could do either. My son and I have been talking about trying to make that trip to Craig Lake this fall that we didn't get to do last year, so if I can get off work and it actually happens, maybe we could meet up while we're up there. I know we'd talked about trying to do that last year, but then work changed my plans and we didn't get to go.

I'm curious about open carry in the UP...I don't remember seeing it much when we've hiked up there in the past. Have you run into any issues with people making a scene about your gun? I know Craig Lake is reported to be pretty secluded, but I've hiked Pictured Rocks before and wouldn't mind doing it again, and Isle Royale is on the list for someday, too. In my experience the more well-known places tend to attract hippie types, and it's not that I really care what they think, but I also don't want to be the subject of unwanted attention. Out in the Bighorns in WY where I was earlier this month, more people were open carrying than weren't, so it didn't really draw attention at all (apart from gun people trying to get a peek at what the other gun people were carrying!).

Rexster, I like the concealability aspect of the kit bags, and the easy access to small items like a compass and map without removing your pack...my concern is that they will block airflow and be really hot. I try to avoid hiking in super hot weather, but somehow it always seems to find us, even in the mountains. I'm a pretty minimalist hiker...I haven't spent the crazy money on ultralight stuff, but I don't bring much along. My pack for 3 days in WY, with 2.5 Liters of water and fishing gear, was about 25lbs. In your experience, how does the kit bag carry with a pack? Does the added weight out front cause you any issues, and does it allow airflow to get to your chest and sides so you don't sweat to death? Any issues with the harness of the kit bag interfering with the pack harness?

Thanks again for the responses, guys. This is more real-world info that I've gleaned from any of the "commercial" reviews online, and I much appreciate it.
 
Posts: 4697 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
Picture of RogueJSK
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Rexster:
The Hill People Gear Kit Bags are worth a look.


That's exactly what I use as well.

92fstech - The kit bag doesn't interfere with my pack straps. Even if you discover it does with yours, as mentioned, it can be clipped directly to the shoulder straps of your pack as an alternate mounting method. It is a bit warmer than having an open front, but not unbearably so. (But I could be biased, being used to wearing body armor all day anyway... Wink ) Less hot than a tactical-style chest rig or armor carrier, for sure. Balance-wise, the bit of extra front weight doesn't cause any issues. They're not big enough to really load down with a ton of weight, and even with a handgun, a couple mags, and a bit of assorted other stuff, it's still comparatively lightweight.

The only real downside is that they're slower to access than an openly worn shoulder/chest holster. But that comes with the upside of being protected from the elements and dirt, being concealed, having room for more than just a handgun, and having more "padding" around the gun itself.

They're great for more than just hiking too, like carrying while bike riding.
 
Posts: 27654 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
In most of the areas where I hike, I dont see many people so open carry is fine. But here close to town, there are several touristy areas where snowflakes exist:
Little Presque Isle.
Hogsback Mountain.
Sugarloaf Mountain.
If I plan to visit any of these places, I use my Hill People Gear Chest Bag. I also wear my HPG bag when I ride my bicycle around town. And I can carry the Kenai under a vest or jacket and do that from time to time.
Craig Lake open carry shouldnt draw too much attention.
My Hill People Gear bag is one of the smaller models, so I tote a P239 .40 in it. I dont attach it to a pack. And I double checked my Kenai Ruger holster and its for a Super Blackhawk. But my regular Blackhawk fits fine in it. I also dug through my holster box and found a Kenai holster for a Glock 20.


End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
 
Posts: 12367 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
posted Hide Post
quote:
(But I could be biased, being used to wearing body armor all day anyway... )


So am I, and I absolutely hate it (especially in the summer), so I try to stay as far away from it as possible when I'm off, lol! I just ordered a 2 3/4" model 69, so I can probably get away with one of the smaller bags, too. The kit bag definitely has some perceived advantages...maybe I just need to suck it up and get both.

Yooper, we've climbed Sugarloaf before, and jumped off the rocks at Presque Isle, so I know exactly what you're talking about. Nice places, but lots of people. As someone who has both the kenai and the kit bag, do you think the kenai is significantly cooler than the kit bag, or is there not much difference?
 
Posts: 4697 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Between the 2 the Kenai is cooler. There is another rig I carry from time to time but its not everyones cup of tea. Its called a "throw over" holster. A simplified version of the G.I. "tanker" holster. I often carry it when fishing with just a waist pack on. Lightweight and simple. When I see snowflaky types approaching me on a trail, a discreet pull on the holsters strap rotates the holster behind my back and I too then appear snowflaky. It works, but again, not everyones cup of tea.
It available from CSM Tactical. www.csmgear.com


End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
 
Posts: 12367 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
Picture of RogueJSK
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by 92fstech:
quote:
(But I could be biased, being used to wearing body armor all day anyway... )


So am I, and I absolutely hate it (especially in the summer), so I try to stay as far away from it as possible when I'm off, lol!


I haven't tried it, but clipping it to the front of your shoulder straps may give it a little stand-off/air gap from your chest, so that may very well end up being the cooler carry option, at the cost of making it a little slower to doff the backpack since you'd have to unclip one side of the kit bag first. I also suspect that mounting it this way wouldn't be as snug/secure as the harness, so it may flop around more.

Basically, if you do find the kit bag to be too hot on your chest, you might play around with that configuration instead.
 
Posts: 27654 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
posted Hide Post
quote:
a discreet pull on the holsters strap rotates the holster behind my back and I too then appear snowflaky.


This cracked me up Big Grin. I've done similar with belt carry by throwing my shirttail over the gun when I see people coming. Snowflake camo...you can only take the concept so far, though...nobody wants to see me in leggings and a man bun!

Thanks again for the input, gentlemen. It's been very helpful.
 
Posts: 4697 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by 92fstech:
quote:
a discreet pull on the holsters strap rotates the holster behind my back and I too then appear snowflaky.


This cracked me up Big Grin. I've done similar with belt carry by throwing my shirttail over the gun when I see people coming. Snowflake camo...you can only take the concept so far, though...nobody wants to see me in leggings and a man bun!

Thanks again for the input, gentlemen. It's been very helpful.


The Internet is a dark and dangerous place....there are probably some places on the Dark Web where there a few people who would want to see it. Eek
 
Posts: 3337 | Location: St.Louis County MO | Registered: October 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Semper Fi - 1775
Picture of Ronin1069
posted Hide Post
Huge fan of the Hill People Gear.


___________________________
All it takes...is all you got.
____________________________
For those who have fought for it, Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
 
Posts: 11044 | Location: Belly of the Beast | Registered: January 02, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
superior firepower
Picture of parabellum
posted Hide Post
Whenever I hear "Hill People" I think of Lothar and his difficulties of walking with women.
 
Posts: 94833 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of abnmacv
posted Hide Post
Carry a Glock 29 in a chest rig. Gun is out of the way but if needed is out of the holster very quickly. My backpack belt remains in place without the uncomfortable interference that an OWB holster causes.


U.S. Army 11F4P Vietnam 69-70 NRA Life Member
 
Posts: 904 | Registered: June 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by parabellum:
Whenever I hear "Hill People" I think of Lothar and his difficulties of walking with women.


I had to look it up, can't believe I'd never seen that before. Funny stuff right there! The "Hill People" brand name always gave me kind of a deliverance vibe when I heard it...now I'll think of Lothar, lol!

abnmacv, what chest rig are you using?
 
Posts: 4697 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
First Spear actually makes all (or most) of Hill People Gear’s nylon stuff. First Spear, of course, has earned an excellent reputation.


Have Colts, will travel
 
Posts: 3127 | Location: SE Texas | Registered: April 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I’m a little late to the party, but I have used both types of holsters in the field.

I like the Hill People chest rig because I can carry some other essential gear like extra mag, fire starting gear, para cord, etc. with a Glock 20 it’s a little heavy, but it doesn’t interfere with my pack. Also, I can take my main pack off and still have my essential gear on my person. Only down side is it can be hot in the summer.

I have an older nylon chest rig by Blackhawk. It’s basically a more adjustable version of the military chest rig. It’s very comfortable for long periods. During hunting season I wear it underneath my outer layer without any discomfort. It also does not interfere with my back pack.
 
Posts: 341 | Location: Bluegrass State | Registered: February 09, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
posted Hide Post
OK, so after kayaking this past weekend, I'm really beginning to understand the utility of chest-mounted kit bags. It would have been really nice to have something like that to drop my 360 in, along with a map and maybe some minimal fishing gear...would have been more secure and accessible while sitting in the boat than what I ended up doing.

I'm looking at the HPG options. My big concern is heat, since they cover the chest and block airflow. I like the idea of the "snubby" bag since it's the smallest footprint, and I don't really plan to carry a ton of stuff in it. It looks like it would work fine for most of my trail guns like the 360, SP101, or G26, but I'm not sure if I could cram my model 69 2 3/4" in there. Anybody here have any experience with one of those or a similar-sized L-frame in that bag?
 
Posts: 4697 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
superior firepower
Picture of parabellum
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by 92fstech:
The "Hill People" brand name always gave me kind of a deliverance vibe when I heard it...

Whur you goin', city boy?!

 
Posts: 94833 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
posted Hide Post
Lol, yup, pretty much the image that comes to mind. And I've hiked a lot of the places where those guys live, too!

One time on the AT in southern VA, while I was trying to sleep and being kept awake by some douchebags just outside the shelter area whooping and hollering and blaring music from a portable speaker at 2am, I actually had a dream that some angry hillbilly came out of the forest and went after their freaking noise machine with a shotgun, and then chased them into the woods. Sadly, it didn't actually happen.
 
Posts: 4697 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata Page 1 2  
 

SIGforum.com    Main Page  Hop To Forum Categories  CCW Methods & Issues    Chest Holsters and Backpacking

© SIGforum 2021