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Chest Holsters and Backpacking - UPDATE: First trip review Page 3 Login/Join 
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
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It may be that my bag isn't great...it's just a cheap Kelty, and it's pretty big, so there is some air gap and YMMV, especially with a tighter -fitting bag...but mine is definitely warmer with layers on. Personal experience has proven this on multiple occasions.

There are a couple of caveats to this...the layers have to be dry, and not so warm that you initially sweat, get damp, then freeze after the temperature drops later in the night.

I did a couple trips early on in my hiking career wearing cotton. That's no bueno. You sweat during the day, never truly dry out, then freeze at night. Everything I wear hiking is now synthetic or wool. It wicks moisture, dries quickly, is way smaller and lighter to carry, and the socks have done wonders for my feet. It takes some gnarly terrain and serious miles to give me blisters these days.

When it's cold out I bring a set of synthetic thermals just to sleep in. They only get worn at night, so they provide a nice dry base layer to stack other stuff on top of if needed. This has worked pretty well for me, but YMMV depending on your gear and environment.
 
Posts: 5888 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well, I was browsing the HPG site last night, and it looks like they've just added a new product...a kit bag in "Medium" size. Dammit...I can't afford one right at the moment...but I may have to get one of these eventually. Looks like it would be just about the perfect size for hiking and kayak fishing, and I could keep using the little one for running.

https://hillpeoplegear.com/Pro...ryID/1/ProductID/183
 
Posts: 5888 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of sourdough44
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I was looking around the other week & ended up ordering the Helikon-Tex Numbat chest pack. It’s often compared to the HPG chest pack.

https://www.helikon-tex.com/en...est-pack-numbat.html

I think it may ship from Poland, if it matters. I see the HPG packs get great reviews, may try one too. I have a later muzzle-loader deer hunt planned, may be a good time to try it out the chest pack.
 
Posts: 5401 | Location: WI | Registered: February 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That thing is cool...I like the flap-covered front pockets that look like you don't have to unzip to grab small items out of them. That would be a handy feature. The price point is pretty decent, too. It doesn't appear to be designed around holding a weapon as much the HPG stuff, but I'm sure you could make it work.
 
Posts: 5888 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes, may be a bit smaller than the average HPG. I’m usually a minimalist anyway, so that may be ok.

With packs & fannies it can ‘scream’ gun to some people. If conditions allow, I like the idea of maybe carrying the gun elsewhere, belt holster, whatever. Those conditions could be, cooler weather, with jacket.
 
Posts: 5401 | Location: WI | Registered: February 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A solution to this question was something I've been looking for to hike with my kid in a carrier backpack.

I ended up choosing the 5.11 All Missions Rig and 2 Banger pouch. I like how low profile the rig is, especially under a set of backpack straps. I was also able to adjust it so it sits comfortably on the chest and just under the sternum strap.

I also liked that I could put it together for about $80 during one of their regular sales.

https://www.511tactical.com/all-missions-rig.html
https://www.511tactical.com/2-banger-gear-set.html





Usually theres a 19 in there, but I had the 48 out for another photo, so it's playing the stunt role.
 
Posts: 1273 | Location: Waxahachie, TX | Registered: October 04, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nice! Looks very similar in concept to the HPG bags, but more of a modular system. Have you used it on any hikes yet? If so, how did it do?
 
Posts: 5888 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by 92fstech:
Nice! Looks very similar in concept to the HPG bags, but more of a modular system. Have you used it on any hikes yet? If so, how did it do?


Just got it last week. Around the house only so far to get everything adjusted, but it seems good to go. Hoping I'll get a chance to take it further this weekend.
 
Posts: 1273 | Location: Waxahachie, TX | Registered: October 04, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here's my poor attempt at a selfie with the Osprey Poco kid carrier on. I really like that the harness for the 5.11 rig is super thin and a single layer on the top/back. Some of the other ones I looked at had the straps looping back, or had buckles under the pack straps. You don't notice this at all under backpack straps.

I'm a pretty big dude (6'3" 300), so the rig looks small on me.
 
Posts: 1273 | Location: Waxahachie, TX | Registered: October 04, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Seems to fit pretty good! I think you'll find that it balances out the weight pretty well on the trail, especially with a kid on your back. I wore mine with a 2.5lb stainless steel L-Frame revolver in it on a 2 day hike this fall, and paired with a 25-30lb pack, I barely noticed it. It's super handy to have access to stuff like maps and my CGM reader up front, too, without having to take the pack off.

I'm in southern AL this week, and I've been running with it daily in the state park across the street from our condo. It's kinda warm here (not so much by their standards, but for an Indiana boy in late December...it's warm). I definitely sweat under the harness, but not much worse than the rest of me...and it's nice to have some stuff with me on my run that I really couldn't carry any other way.

I'm hoping to do another kayak fishing trip next spring...I think this thing will make a night and day difference over the last trip...being able to access gear up front, and secure my phone somewhere that I won't have to worry about it slipping out of the mesh pocket of my shorts into the lake. The only downside is that the fish stories will actually have pictures to go with them this time, so they'll have to be true Big Grin.
 
Posts: 5888 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When I'm fishing in Alaska, I carry my John Ross S&W Performance Center .500 Magunum in a chest rig. It's nice because it doesn't interfere with my fishing gear or casting motion, and it's easy to access even if I'm waist deep in the water.
 
Posts: 65 | Location: Chicago area | Registered: April 01, 2018Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I liked my HPG snubby runner's kit bag so much, I asked my wife to get me the new medium-sized "Original" format bag for my birthday. A brand new offering from HPG, the medium is a nice balance between the "Large" size that would have covered my entire chest, and the snubby which is too small to carry everything that I might want on a long backpacking or fishing trip. The wider footprint also makes the straps a little easier to get over my head than the ones on the narrower snubby bag.

Here's a side by side comparison...Medium Original on the left, Snubby runner's bag on the right. You gain a little over an inch in either direction. I found this to be really handy for maps, which didn't fit well in the snubby bag and had to be folded over to squeeze them into the front pocket. A standard-size map fits perfectly in the medium bag. It's also long enough to handle a bigger gun...I could just barely squeeze a P229 into the snubby bag, but the medium bag will accommodate a full-size Beretta 92, or even a 5" 1911, although the squared off grip of the 1911 interfered with the zipper just a bit. A bobtail gun would fit perfectly. A 4” K-Frame with target grips is still too tight to get in there without interfering with the zipper, but my 4” GP100 fits ok. The 2 ¾” Model 69 with boot grips is no problem at all.



Depth-wise, the "Original" format has a third pocket, which will be really handy for fishing gear, snacks, and anything that I want immediately accessible on the trail. Despite the third pocket and larger footprint, the medium bag weighs less than 4oz more than the snubby bag, at 16.06oz, compared to 12.42oz. The medium bag did come with some extra straps and buckles to attach it to your pack so that the load can be borne by your pack harness, but I removed these as I prefer to keep the kit bag independent of my pack, and I don't plan to load it down too heavy. The 16.06oz weight was with those straps and buckles removed. The medium bag also has molle webbing on the bottom exterior, which seems like it would be a good place to affix a small sheathed fixed-blade knife or a can of bear spray.



I like having multiple pockets, as organizing things by when you might need to access them reduces the chances of dropping and losing critical tools on the trail when pulling other stuff out. The front pocket has built-in organizer pouches to retain small items.



The center pocket also has some individual pouches on the front, and molle webbing on the back so you can attach any manner of accessories. This pocket also unzips to fold all the way open, so it could lay flat if desired. The zippers are stiff enough that this shouldn’t happen unless you want it to, though.



Finally, the “gun pocket” at the back has a small loop in the bottom for you to secure a holster lanyard to if you want to carry in that manner, and a strip of velcro across the back to stick a holster to if you prefer that method. The pocket is well padded and isolated from the rest of the bag, and I typically carry a DA revolver in mine without a holster (the manufacturer actually states on their website that the bag is designed to carry an un-holstered gun, but they added the holster attachment capabilities as an option), so I haven’t used this feature. If I was carrying a striker-fired semi-auto, I’d probably use a holster or at least a kydex trigger-guard cover on a lanyard just to be safe due to the shorter and lighter trigger pull.

One thing I did notice is that when testing the bag with a P320, the takedown lever can snag on the lip of that velcro strip on the draw. I’m sure there are workarounds for this, and it’s not an issue at all for me with my revolvers, but it’s something to be aware of if you’re carrying a semi-auto with even a slightly protruding takedown lever.



I’m looking forward to getting this one out on the trail this year and seeing how it performs. I’ve got a few hiking and fishing trips in the works for this summer and fall, so hopefully it gets a workout before the end of the year.
 
Posts: 5888 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've been considering a HPG medium bag. Glock + 2 mags. ESSE 4 using molle/pal.

I've been trying to decide between the Original and the Recon. The Original has molle/pal on the bottom; the Recon has it on the front and bottom.

Which is a better location to attach the ESEE? I'm thinking bottom: 1) doesn't get in the way if you need to draw the glock; 2) more stable and easier to unsheathe the ESEE if the front flap is down (you've already drawn the glock and for whatever reason, you need the ESEE).

But maybe it's better to attach the ESEE to the front panel? And/or the front panel has additional utility?

Should I get the Original? Or the Recon is the better choice overall?




"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - B.Franklin
"Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it." L.Tolstoy
 
Posts: 10892 | Location: In the gilded cage | Registered: December 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by konata88:
I've been considering a HPG medium bag. Glock + 2 mags. ESSE 4 using molle/pal.

I've been trying to decide between the Original and the Recon. The Original has molle/pal on the bottom; the Recon has it on the front and bottom.

Which is a better location to attach the ESEE? I'm thinking bottom: 1) doesn't get in the way if you need to draw the glock; 2) more stable and easier to unsheathe the ESEE if the front flap is down (you've already drawn the glock and for whatever reason, you need the ESEE).

But maybe it's better to attach the ESEE to the front panel? And/or the front panel has additional utility?

Should I get the Original? Or the Recon is the better choice overall?


My medium bag is the "Original", and I currently have a fixed blade attached to the bottom molle. I like how it fits there, it's easy to access, and it's out of the way of everything else. The one downside is that with my particular knife, the sheath is unnecessarily wide and can bump my sternum from time to time, especially if the bag isn't completely full (and I don't typically pack it full...I only put a few things in there that I need immediate access to without taking off my pack). It's not a huge issue as I only feel it occasionally and it's not a constant annoyance, but it shouldn't happen at all. I don't know how large the Essee sheath is, but that might factor into which bag you decide to get, as hanging the knife from the front molle on the recon bag would eliminate this issue altogether. The sheath on my knife is 2 3/4" at it's widest point.



I'm planning to make a narrower holster for it, or maybe just grind the outside edges back a bit. I just haven't gotten around to it yet. If I do end up making a new one, I'll probably position the holes so that the paracord binding aligns better with the molle, too, or even set it up with a molle clip attached. As pictured, I have it set so I can tuck the tip of the handle under one of the molle straps to keep it supported so it doesn't flop around as I walk. It's tucked up under there far enough to keep it from dropping out on it's own, but if I grab the handle and pull down it comes right out allowing me to easily draw the knife.

I still haven't had a chance to take this bag out on a real trip yet, but my wife is currently backpacking the St. James Way in Portugal, and we were taking daily 3-5 mile walks together in all our gear over the past few months to help her train, so I've put a decent ammount of miles on this thing and am figuring out what works and what doesn't.
 
Posts: 5888 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the info. Nice setup.

I'll have to check the stock sheath width but off hand I'm guessing it's just as wide or wider.

I'm wondering if I can make do with some of those kitchen knife sheaths that just cover the edge primarily - kind of a half sheath. Problem is securing the knife somehow so that it doesn't come out unless you pull it out.

But unless the front molle panel is indicated for the sheath and/or other useful things (although I would like to, I wouldn't put mag carriers or anything pistol related up front or anything cumbersome or heavy).

So, I'm thinking Original is the way to go.




"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - B.Franklin
"Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it." L.Tolstoy
 
Posts: 10892 | Location: In the gilded cage | Registered: December 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well, I had some free time tonight and you reminded me that I've been putting this off, so I decided to get it done. I've made gun holsters before, but never a knife sheath. I'm not unhappy with how it turned out...and I only slashed one finger in the process (don't even know how, just loked down and there was blood Roll Eyes).

New sheath compared to the old fat thing:



It's a nice tight fit under the molle straps....no flopping around here, and no need to tuck the handle anymore. The paracord loop is just to provide some added security on the draw to keep the sheath in place. I'll have to hike with it some to make sure it works, but I'm pretty confident it will. It doesn't bump against my chest at all, even with the bag empty.

 
Posts: 5888 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wow! Very cool you can make your own sheath. Great job

Ok. Really seems like Original is the way to go.




"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - B.Franklin
"Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it." L.Tolstoy
 
Posts: 10892 | Location: In the gilded cage | Registered: December 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The more I see this HPG setup, the more I want one. Thank you guys for your reviews.




God bless America.
 
Posts: 11904 | Location: Hokie Nation! | Registered: July 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I found a possible sheath to buy: https://clevelandkydex.com/ese...-4-sheath-p-105.html




"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - B.Franklin
"Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it." L.Tolstoy
 
Posts: 10892 | Location: In the gilded cage | Registered: December 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by konata88:
I found a possible sheath to buy: https://clevelandkydex.com/ese...-4-sheath-p-105.html


That might just work...it definitely looks smaller than the factory sheath.

vthokey, it's definitely a first-rate product, and worth the price for the build quality alone. It's not the answer for every situation as it's an abnormal enough piece of kit to be kind of conspicuous out in public, but it blends in well with backpacking gear and certain other outdoor attire. I absolutely love having certain frequent-access items ready at hand without taking off my pack or having to try and dig through my pockets while riding a bike or paddling a kayak, or having stuff bouncing around in gym shorts pockets while I'm running.
 
Posts: 5888 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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