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Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
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Well, I went ahead and ordered the HPG snubby kit bag. I read a bunch of reviews and believe that I'll probably be able to get the Model 69 in there. Hopefully I can...and hopefully I don't develop any problems walking with women, either! Big Grin
 
Posts: 4861 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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92fstech, I think you're going to be very pleased with your HPG kit bag.

I just bought the HPG manatee gray Snubby kit bag for my wife (insert snubby joke here), and the HPG Original kit bag V2 in the elk color for me. HPG bags are expensive, but shipping was stupid fast, and the quality and adjustability are off the charts.

We did 8 miles over a couple of days this past weekend at the Buffalo National River in north-central Arkansas. As Rogue said, the bags were a little warm on the chest (temp was mid-high 80s with some humidity), but not unbearable. Comfort was great due to being able to adjust the bag to fit so well. I'm fat (5-11, 250) and the bag fit me fine. No issues. No friction. No hot spots. You will get the bag sweaty. I'm going to wash mine in the sink with soapy water and dry it on a towel in front of a box fan.

I chose the HPG bags over the Gunfighters, Inc. Kenai kydex chest holster because I just don't want to deal with the freaking stares, unwanted attention, and stupid comments.

A quick note about the Snubby kit bag. It is a minimalist bag. Only the essentials. My wife carried a Ruger LCR .38 revolver in the gun compartment, her CCW license, 5-Star speedloader, Top Cop OC spray, headlamp, emergency whistle, and Carmex. That was about it. No way her S&W 66-1 was going to make it into that bag. The compacts you mentioned will fit with no problem, especially that G26.

If you decide to get a bigger bag later, I'd recommend the Original V2. I carried a Gen 5 G22 .40 with 22-round OEM mag, kydex trigger guard holster, spare mag, Lifestraw, First Care combat bandage, Streamlight headlamp, Spyderco knife, CAT TQ, and Carmex. The bag had plenty of room.

The POS Wal-Mart Outdoor Products hydration backpack was a mistake. My wife bought them on the close-out aisle weeks ago. I try not to buy Chinese $h*t but felt obligated to carry it. It fit over the HPG kit bag straps just fine and served its purpose, but the the hydration backpack shoulder straps were too narrow, cumbersome, and cheap. Uncomfortable junk BS. Learn from my mistake. I'm probably going after the Go Ruck pack with hydration bladder because those are proven and top notch.

I agree with Rogue. The HPG is good for more than just hiking. I'm going to ruck at the police academy in the AM and will wear it there, and for around the house in my very rural area, it's ideal. Let us know what you think when you get your bag.
 
Posts: 857 | Location: The Little 'ol South | Registered: September 25, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
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Thanks, will do!

I don't plan to put a bunch in the chest bag. Most stuff will stay in my pack, but I figured the front pocket would be nice for a map and maybe my phone if it'll fit in there (for pictures). Basically just stuff that I might need to access on the trail without taking off my backpack.

On a side note, how was hiking along the Buffalo? That's been on my radar for a bit, and possibly a canoe/kayak trip....we just haven't been able to make it happen yet.
 
Posts: 4861 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It was really good. Ashamed to say it's my first time there and I live less than 3 hours away. Grew up on the Eleven Point and Spring Rivers, but had never even seen the Buffalo, so I had to check that box. We're sold on it now. We're planning a return trip next month when the leaves turn. The river is crystal clear and the bluffs are amazing.

River was down really low (no rain), so you would have to portage a kayak in a couple of places if the conditions are same when you come down. Bass fishing is reportedly good, but at Crooked Creek and hour up the road near Yellville, it's a blue ribbon smallmouth stream with plenty of public accesses.

We hiked the River Trail at Tyler Bend campground, Whitaker Point/Hawksbill Crag Trail and Glory Hole Waterfall Trail, both just southwest of Jasper, Arkansas. The latter 2 get my highest recommendations. I'd also recommend Round Top Mountain Trail south of Jasper on Scenic SH 7. There's a crashed B-25 bomber on the trail. Parts, anyway. We also drove through the Boxley Valley on SH 21, which was the most beautiful place I've ever seen in Arkansas, and the "Arkansas Grand Canyon" on Scenic SH 7. I'd rent a cabin near Jasper or Ponca so that you've got consistent river access and are close to the trails. I hope this helps!
 
Posts: 857 | Location: The Little 'ol South | Registered: September 25, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yeah, I've heard the time to do the river trip is in the spring when the water is up. I'm kinda heat sensitive (nothing medical, I just hate being hot!), so if I'm going to hike down that way it would probably be in October or November. Being on the water in the spring could help mitigate that some, though.

We have a small trailer and like to camp. How are the campgrounds?

I actually just drove through a small bit of Arkansas for the first time this spring...it was my last state to hit in the lower 48. We just cut the NW corner on our way home from AZ, but I thought the bit that I saw was really beautiful. The hills were nice, and the rivers were crystal clear and gorgeous. Hopefully I and my new kit bag can make it back down there sometime soon!
 
Posts: 4861 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by 92fstech:

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?


Scott Hill posted, on the HPG forum, about heat retention, and that one reason that the Kit Bags do not have a full interior panel, of Velcro, is that to do so would retain more heat. So, heat retention was a design concern. Notably, FWIW, the Hill brothers have been wild-land fire fighters, in the past.

https://hillpeoplegear.com/For...id/10619/scope/posts

My time is limited, at the moment, so I will get to some other things about the the HPG KB, later.

Edited to add: I have mostly used a Recon KB, which is larger than the Snubby KB, when photographing things, not wearing a backpack, but toting a sling bag, and things on the belt. The Kit Bag served to keep either the sling bag, or the belt, from being too heavy.

My wife has used her Recon KB, numerous times, but when wearing a waist pouch, and/or a cargo vest. She, too, is more likely to use a sling bag, rather than a backpack. I cannot recall her using a backpack, with the Kit Bag.

I have briefly worn a backpack, over a Kit Bag, just to test-fit, and recall no issues. Of course, a brief test-fit is not the same thing as all-day excursion.


Have Colts, will travel
 
Posts: 3131 | Location: SE Texas | Registered: April 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This you-tube presentation, by Charles Pressburg, is valuable, in telling how to fit and wear the Kit Bag. (Many folks wear them wrong.) This guy is very much been-there-and-done-that, so certainly qualified to realistically use and review gear.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQpxIT2r-C0

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Rexster,


Have Colts, will travel
 
Posts: 3131 | Location: SE Texas | Registered: April 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hill People Gear, themselves, posted this video, about a year ago, some time after we had already bought ours. I had not known that there were so many versions, by now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GH6SwLt1a2o


Have Colts, will travel
 
Posts: 3131 | Location: SE Texas | Registered: April 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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And, another from HPG:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQWRqmvAcCA


Have Colts, will travel
 
Posts: 3131 | Location: SE Texas | Registered: April 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks rexster...some good info there!
 
Posts: 4861 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The snubby kit bag came yesterday. It seems very well constructed, and they even threw in a nice little jar of seasoning and the elastic runner’s strap for free, which was a nice touch. It’s definitely not huge, but that’s what I wanted. It’s big enough to hold a gun in the main pocket and a trail map in the front pocket, and maybe even my phone if the gun is small. It’s a bit too short for my national Geographic trail maps, and you do have to fold them in half to fit them in. The kit bag doesn’t interfere with backpack straps at all, so that’s a huge plus.



I took it for a run today with my J-frame and my phone, and it worked pretty well. Small items in a bag this small definitely have a big impact on how it rides. I was playing with putting some different items in it and forgot to remove my compass before the run, and it caused the bag and the side of the revolver to dig into my sternum on that side. I’m going to try it again tomorrow without the compass in there and see if it’s better.

It is a little hard to get on and off if I have it adjusted to ride high on my chest. The shoulder straps have to be cinched down so far to keep it up on my sternum that it’s hard to get over my big head when I try to remove it…it tries to take my ears off. As a result, I have to re-adjust the straps every time. I’m currently 6’5” 190, so this may not be an issue for somebody not built like an emaciated giraffe. Hopefully if I can get over some of the medical crap that I’m dealing with right now and put a little weight back on it will alleviate this a bit.

There was definitely some sweat going on under the pack after the run (was about 70 degrees out), but it wasn’t too bad, and the smaller footprint of the snubby reduced the area affected. The bag stayed pretty tight to the chest, even without the runner’s strap attached. It wasn’t overly constrictive or uncomfortable. I had to do some work on my roof after the run, and wore the bag while I was doing that. It was pretty effective in that capacity as well, and nice to have everything up out of the way while I was working.

I was impressed with the size of the guns that I could cram into it. I realize that some of these aren’t ideal, and are stretching the limits of what this bag was designed for, but it’s nice to know it can accommodate them if I need it to.

Here’s a true snubby…the kind of gun it was designed for (S&W 360):


I can even get the “Big Snubby”, my S&W Model 69 2 ¾” L-Frame, in there. It’s a tight fit, and you have to make sure it’s seated in there properly to keep the hammer from interfering with the zipper, but it can be done. With some smaller boot grips, I imagine it will fit even better:


My 3” SP101 is almost as tight a fit as the 69:


Even my beloved P245 will fit:


And a P229:


And a P320 Subcompact:


I was able to close the bag with all of the above guns (some a little more easily than others), but the CZ75 Compact didn’t quite fit. The butt wouldn’t allow the zipper to close:


Overall I’m pleased. I’m going to test it out some more before I decide to go on any trips with it, but I already see the utility of this bag for running and kayaking with my J-frame, so I think it’s gonna be a keeper either way.
 
Posts: 4861 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It is good to see that it works well for you. Smile I was a bit concerned that it would not fit your Model 69. I do not have a Snubby Kit Bag, or a Model 69, for reference, but had found that my similar-sized 3” GP100 would not fit inside my HPG waist bag, which has similar interior dimensions. The more-squared profile of my GP100’s grip, and that extra bit of barrel, together, probably made the difference.


Have Colts, will travel
 
Posts: 3131 | Location: SE Texas | Registered: April 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Fantastic! Very happy for you 92! My HPG sure has grown on me now that I'm used to it.
 
Posts: 857 | Location: The Little 'ol South | Registered: September 25, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I also thought the straps on the HPG were a little short for me, as I am 6/4 and 240. I contacted them and they told me that they make a limited amount of strap extenders from time to time. Give them a call and see if they have any.


End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
 
Posts: 12505 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by YooperSigs:
I also thought the straps on the HPG were a little short for me, as I am 6/4 and 240. I contacted them and they told me that they make a limited amount of strap extenders from time to time. Give them a call and see if they have any.


They're long enough...there's plenty of strap. My problem is that I want it to ride high, and my chest and shoulders are so darn skinny that to do that the straps have to be cinched down so far that I can barely get it over my head. I tried letting it ride lower, but then it kinda bounces on my ribs. The back piece kinda rides up against the back of my neck sometimes, too.

I need to play with it some more to get that perfect adjustment, but it's usable. I've been running with it every day and it's working well... definitely better than trying to carry a gun and phone in my gym shorts pockets!
 
Posts: 4861 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Quick update. I tried lowering it down some and using the runner's strap, which they shipped with it for free. It actually works pretty well. There's enough tension there to eliminate any bounce, but not enough to constrict breathing. I don't know as I'd wear the extra strap for hiking, but for running it is helpful.
 
Posts: 4861 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the info. I’ve been considering one of these for a few years and may finally replace my aging Wilderness Safepacker which is around 20 years old. I think the Runners KB may be best for me but considering the Snubbie bag. I look forward to hearing more of your experiences as you put it into use.
 
Posts: 42 | Location: Houston area | Registered: September 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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