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3/29/2018 7:47 PM
 

Let me start by saying that I have not had any experience with either HPG or Kifaru, so I'm hoping to hear from y'all who have used both.  

I am an actual "digital nomad". Not just someone who travels alot. My partner and I do not have a permanent home. We usually spend 3 to 6 months in one place, in order to really experience and enjoy it while also being professionally productive. We love taking shorter multi-day trips to nearby attractions – visiting cities around the world, walking the streets, finding the best food and coffee, touristy stuff, etc., but also getting out into the rural areas and doing both day hikes as well as a few long-distance backcountry treks throughout the year. 

This combination of professional and leisure activities means that I need to have my:

  1. tech (laptop, tablet, phone, chargers, a mini bluetooth keyboard, etc.),
     
  2. urban travel gear (nicer clothing, low profile daypack that can hold my tech, extended toiletries and medicine cabinet (i.e. supplements, a couple tinctures, etc.)),
     
  3. hiking/trekking gear (my old Osprey 65L, sleeping bag, pad, 2-person tarp-tent, emergency med kit, binoculars, etc... we do not carry cooking gear when we travel internationally, usually planning "cold cook" meals for simplicity, and most trekking we do overseas is more like village-to-village hiking in Europe, where supplies are always a day or two away. We have rented gear for a few longer backcountry treks, and if we're in the States we always have our cook gear.)

...suffice it to say, we can't get away with carry-on only :-/

We have tried all kinds of luggage configurations, usually including our Osprey 60/65L trekking packs, an EDC day pack of some sort that doubles as a tech bag, sometimes a seperate toiletries bag (like a small duffle), and often a larger roller suitcase as well. So we end up pretty loaded down, wearing our larger packs on our backs, our day packs on our fronts, and one of us (me) handling the roller bag. 

It is time for a change, and so we've been brainstorming and researching the perfect ditigal nomad, world traveler luggage system.

Honestly I'm still a bit conflicted about the "right" setup. Some days I think it's a good idea to continue bringing a roller suitcase with us for overflow, and as a sort of base-camp bag that we can put all our valuables and excess clothing and gear in during transit and when we decide to go trekking for a week, locking the suitcase in storage. But on the other hand I also like the idea of being able to carry everything on my back during transit, maybe bringing a lightweight collapseable duffle to store our excess gear in when necessary. This would allow us to get to those harder to reach places, and still be able to bring all our stuff with us, even if it was a bit heavy.

Ultimately, with or without the roller suitcase, my research has lead me to a modular backpack system. At first I was very interested in Mystery Ranch, but when I got a chance to try one of their packs in Bozeman, MT, I was not very impressed with the carry comfort of their "Guide Light Frame", and that was just in the store after adjusting the harness/suspension to fit my body and walking around with 40 lbs for only 10 minutes. After all the hype about MR I was expecting it to be at least as good as my Osprey for long-distance carry comfort. It was not.

So then I found Kifaru and HPG, based on their quality and carry-comfort reputations. But I have not been able to find any reviews that specifically compare Kifaru and HPG with regards to their long-distaknce trekking comfort. So that's my first question to y'all. Perhaps Kifaru is similar to MR, being more about short-distance load hauling, like tactical missions and multi day hunts, where the heavier weights are only carried temporarily, and the reason everyone swoons over the packs is because they are more comfortable than cheaper alternatives... but are they as good as the top trekking packs, like Gregory or Osprey? And the only reason I have to assume that HPG is any better is because I see more videos/photos of guys hiking in the backcountry on the HPG website and reviews, than I do in the Kifaru/MR online world. I just don't know for sure.

To be more specific, has anyone hiked for multiple days, carrying roughly 40-60lbs, with both the: 

  • Kifaru Duplex (26-inch or 24-inch)
  • HPG UTE/QUI-YA with Prairie Belt

...If so, which frame/suspension is more comfortable at the end of a long day of hiking?


To be honest, the Kifaru is looking very nice, especially the 26-inch Duplex frame, with that ultra padded hip-belt and lumbar pad, and the countless modular configurations I could run (e.g. using their Nomad pack, or their Cargo Panel and loading/de-loading all my separate peices of luggage if/when necessary as I travel).

Let's take the Kifaru Nomad 2 for example. I could run a large dry-bag/duffle full of trekking gear, clothing, city gear, and overflow, as well as my packed EDC/daypack on top of that, and compress it all between the Nomad's wing pockets, and then throw some kind of lid/pack over top of it all containing my toiletries/medicine-cabinet. And then reconfigure as necessary, depending on the situation. (using a collapsable duffle to stow our extra stuff while on hiking trips). I am also a Whitetail hunter in Alabama every other year, and having a pack that could haul climbers, chairs, blinds, a rifle, corn, and meat would be a huge plus. (I know HPG can do many of these things, but again, the Kifaru system seems a bit more modular and burly – correct me I'm wrong!).  

BUT, what attracts me to an HPG system is that the harness is interchangeable between packs. So I'm assuming I could use it on a larger pack, like the Ute, during transit, and any longer treks, but then attach it to an HPG or modified 3rd party EDC/daypack most of the time, while the bulk of my gear is safely stored in my accommodations.... please correct me if I'm wrong about this, or if this would not be as convenient as it sounds ;-)  I also like the fact that the Prairie Belt is designed to be worn on its own, which would not be a super common use case for me, but definitely nice for dayhikes or summits in the backcountry, and could also be great for light day hunts.

Then again, the HPG harness seems so packable that I could just leave the HPG straps on a daypack, and dock the daypack to a Kifaru frame during transit, straps and all.

My hesitation with HPG (for a larger load-hauling pack/frame) is the lack of configuration options, when compared with the Kifaru Nomad or Cargo Panel. So please weigh in with your thoughts on Kifaru vs HPG for large load carrying, both for travel/transit and  over long distances for trekking. Which lumbar pad and belt are more comfortable? And if HPG is the winner, is it so much more comfortable that it's worth sacrificing a little bit of modularity/versatility?

Option #1 - 

  • Kifaru Duplex Frame w/ Nomad 2 bag
  • Large drybag/duffle attached to center/bottom of Nomad MOLLE panel
  • Connor pack (or another small EDC/daypack), with HPG harness, docked above or on top of the drybag/duffle
  • Lid pack, like a Kifarue Guide Lid or maybe an HPG Butt Pack or Tara
  • extra lightweight packable duffle for stowing extra gear while trekking/exploring

Option #2 - 

  • Ute or Qui-ya
  • Connor pack (or another small EDC/dypack), docked during transit, and used with HPG harness, or maybe an HPG Pocket Harness (?)
  • Lid pack (definitely the HPG Butt Pack in this case, since I could use it with the HPG belt)
  • extra packable duffle for overflow/storage
  • At first glance, option #2 looks the most straight forward, and some of you are probably thining it's a no-brainer, but for some reason the Nomad 2 system seems more versatile. Thoughts?

---------

Moving on to my next issue... the daypack.

I've researched literally hundreds of packs over the last couple months, and I'm long past overwhelmed. 

One conclusion I have come to is going for a smaller pack that could double as an external "pocket" that easily docks to my larger pack. Although I tend to like larger EDC packs (in the 30L range), because of my style of travel, and my proposed new luggage config, I think I need to stick with a small daypack, like something in the 15-20L range, possibly with modular expansion capability.

My main criteria are:

  • Convenient access to a secure, weatherproof laptop compartment (15-inch macbook pro), preferrably against my back for optimal weight distribution, and security. The "compartment" doesn't have to be built-in necessarily, it colud be an attached sleeve, but I really want the access to be quick and convenient for TSA checkpoints, as well as EDC use.
  • External water bottle pockets, or the ability to attach external water bottle pockets.
  • Intelligent/convenient access design, both for on-the-go access, as well as easy packing/organization.
  • All day carry comfort on both the trail and in the city. 
  • Small enough size (and the necessary attachment points) for "docking" the daypack to my larger pack.


I have considered various configurations of the Connor and/or Attache bags. Both of their weather-resistance concerns me. And the Attache just doesn't make sense for me, unless it was carried inside of another pack, in which case a smaller removeable laptop sleeve would make more sense. Docking it to the outside of a pack like the Connor is also less than ideal, for weight distribution reasons, as well as encumbering access to the main pack. 

If I went with the Conner, I have a few questions about it:

- It doesn't look very water resistant. I assume I would have to carry my valuables in waterproof bags/cases, correct? A zipper flap on the main compartment U-zip seems like a logical addition, no? Do the zippers keep rain out? 

- Since the mesh pockets on the back of the pack are only large enough for smaller bottles, I would need to attach a larger bottle holster to one or both of the side compression panels. Would this make it awkward to unbuckle the compression straps to access the main compartment?

- I'm assuming that the stay pocket (against the back) would not be a practical place to stow a 15-inch laptop in a waterproof sleeve, correct? I really wish the Connor had a padded and zipped compartment just behind the frame sheet, with waterproof side-zip access! This, IMO, would make it the perfect daypack for my needs. *sigh

... the obvious Connor config for me would be a hook or MOLLE backed waterproof padded laptop sleeve that I could attach to the First Spear's PALS/Loop panel in the main compartment when I needed to carry my laptop. I suppose the top access would be convenient enough... I just really like the idea of having a separate laptop compartment. But I may just have to get over it.


Some other EDC/daypacks that stand out for me are:

  • Mystery Ranch Front or ASAP. Both of these packs have bulky suspension, which I'm sure is very comfortable, but maybe not the best for docking to a larger pack when not in use. The front doesn't have MOLLE inside, so carrying the laptop would be awkward. The ASAP has MOLLE inside, but also has that large top zipper port, which I would never use, and those internal wing pockets that might just get in the way.
     
  • Kifaru Antero. I've thought long and hard about this one. I love the full panel access with 4 way zipper. It has a water bladder sleeve inside, which can be used for laptop carry, as long as the laptop is in its own padded sleeve (a point which many have complained about). My major concerns with the Antero are: (1) it may be a bit big for docking to a larger pack (not sure about that), and (2) for the price it seems to lack organization options, especially for tech. And (3) I've heard the straps are not the most comfortable, at least not as comfortable as the HPG harness. This makes me wonder if I could use the HPG harness on the Antero. The pack is 19" tall, so the strap attachment points could technically work with the HPG harness without the need for load-lifter attachment points (the Tara is 17 inches tall, and does not use load lifters). Can anyone speak to this?
     
  • Arcteryx LEAF Khard 30L (now called the "assault pack"). Love the U-zip access/layout, one of the BEST zipper layouts IMO, and the velcro/loop interior versatility, but this pack is obviously too big for docking to a larger pack. I wish they made a smaller 20L version.
     
  • Vanquest IBEX-20 (no laptop compartment, only velcro) or IBEX-26 (comes with laptop sleeve, but not available until May). This is an obvious copy of the Khard design, but smaller, and with a flat back panel, rather than contoured stays. But it is still a structured, padded pack that seems like it might be awkward docked to a larger pack. I just really like the zip access design and the interior velcro and exterior MOLLE webbing options. The major design flaw with this and the Khard 30, IMO, is that it's only a 2-way zipper. The 4-way zip on the Antero allows access to both sides, and the top, without having to plan ahead with your zipper config. It's genius!
     
  • Lander Carry System: The Traveler. Love the waterproof/padded tech compartment against the back, and the full-length side-zip combined with roll-top closure. Great for on-the-go access of anything I need, with excellent weather resistance, and easy packing when fully unzipped/splayed... alas, it is too big! I wish they had the same design but smaller.
     
  • Boundary Supply's Prima System has similar appeal to the Lander Traveler, but again, might be too big to dock to a larger pack.


So, based on my EDC/daypack criteria and preferences, does anyone have any advice or recommendations for me?

Thank you so much for reading this far and taking the time to weigh in, who ever you may be!

Cheers!

 
New Post
3/30/2018 8:46 AM
 

Probably like a lot of guys on the board, I've owned my share of both HPG and Kifaru packs, but I think at this price point it becomes kind of like picking boots that work--what carrys well for you might not for me, and vice versa.  For my build, at least, I tend to favor HPG for three reasons:

1.) I find the "low profile" Prairie Belt more comfortable than the Kifaru Duplex Belt with its aggressive lumbar pad.  The former seems to "seat" better around my pelvic bones, while the latter's pad seems to act as a fulcrum, pushing the load forward into the small of my back.

2.)  On a related note, the HPG stays are much easier bent than those on a Kifaru pack, which makes customizing fit much less of a hassle.  It's possible I suppose that the stiffer stays of the Kifaru are a net benefit for people pushing truly monster loads, but with my dot.civ loadouts, I've not found the HPG to be wanting.

3.) Finally, I've found the shoulder yoke to fit wonderfully.  (FWIW, I modded all of my Kifaru packs with HPG PB's and harnessess.)

At any rate, I understand that a truly modular pack system is the Holy Grail for many of us, but if you're using public transportation to get around (e.g. trains and/or busses in Europe) trying to manuever with a maxed-out expedition-sized pack can be a headache.  Personally, I wouldn't go bigger than an EDC bag like the Kifaru Marauder or HPG Aston House, then put my Qui-ya in a rolling duffle of some sort.

 

 

 

 

 
New Post
3/30/2018 9:00 AM
 

Thanks @Creationbear! Good point about different packs fitting different body types. I'm 6'2" 190lbs, without a lot of natural padding... i.e. bony tailbone, bony shoulders, but broad chest.

 
New Post
4/1/2018 8:36 AM
 
For me I chose the combination of a wheeled suitcase and as hand luggage an ASTON HOUSE PACK and a CONNOR POCKET / PACK. These packages are for the flight. For the hunt I have an additional M2016 BUTT PACK with RECON BELT and a KIT BAG.
So I have many possible combinations depending on the length or weather of the hunt or excursion. The trolley remains in the base camp. That's not so much weight and there are many use options.

All HPG packs are not waterproof.
 
New Post
4/1/2018 8:47 AM
 
You've got a LOT going on in your post! My answers are going to be somewhat scattershot -

- Your use case is pretty doggone unique and I don't think you're going to get a whole lot of insight on your overall system from any but people doing what you're doing. At first blush, I would think that the one roller duffle approach makes the most sense. In addition to the logistical advantages, psychologically it appeals to me because it's "home". If I needed to be completely mobile, I'd strap it crossways on top of my qui-Ya. I've done that a number of times with other people's packs and it works out well. For a full roller duffle, you might need a little bit longer top straps than stock which we can help with.

- Consider the source, but the duplex chassis isn't nearly as comfortable as the HPG chassis for a number of reasons that I can go into if you want. Most people who have tried both much prefer HPG. If you decide to go duplex, you'll want to replace the stays with ones you make, and you'll want to change the padding in the lumbar to something thinner. Those two things will get closer to HPG load carriage. I'll put the Ute or qui-Ya up against *any* pack on the market for long term comfort with heavier loads. FWIW - Osprey (or REI brand which look to be designed and made by Osprey) is what I steer people towards if they don't want to pay US made prices for a pack.

- Water intrudes through stitch lines every bit as much as through zippers. Probably more. Zipper flaps are mostly cosmetic because there's going to be a stitch line right above it. I go back and forth on the use of water resistant zippers like we put on the qui-Ya. They do help some, but I'm convinced they're going to fail much quicker over time than the uncoated version of the same zipper because they'll start gumming up the works. Time will tell. I'll probably keep using them in various places because zipper flaps are a nuisance and water resistant zippers have the public perception of making a pack water resistant. Make no mistake -- the only pack you wouldn't need to use waterproof bags inside of would be an actual rubberized dry bag with welded seam construction (or seam taping like ultralight dry bags) and either roll top or actual *waterproof* zippers (very expensive and cumbersome). Anything out of coated nylon with zippers (basically all the bags you're talking about) is going to be about the same for water resistance.

- I haven't been a huge fan of switching pack parts back and forth. Partly because it isn't a financial obstacle for me to have multiple packs and pack parts. However, a recent trip to Mexico made me think differently. Partly because I was carrying the V2 version of our pocket harness (in stock soon). My setup was an Umlindi and a new "admin pocket" (not as far along as the V2 pocket harness, but it is already at the factory for production sampling) along with the pocket harness. The admin pocket had all of the cables, one of our slot pocket survival kits, family passports, backup t1 diabetes kit for my daughter, etc. On a day by day basis, I would carry either 1) Umlindi with Admin pocket on back for maximum space 2) Umlindi with admin pocket inside for less space 3) admin pocket with pocket harness for super light out and about. Reconfiguring each morning wasn't a very big deal and I had lots of flexibility. Never felt like I had too much or too little pack for the task at hand.

- In our lineup, the only back pocket suitable for carrying a full size laptop is the Attache. The new V2 pocket harness which will go right on the Attache might make it a go for you. The Connor could be OK, but it has some warts for your use. Really, the most convenient way to carry a laptop is in a separate sleeve underneath the wings. And converting Connor from pocket to pack is a bit more of a problem because it is so tall it needs the harness to take off partway up. So you're switching lots of parts around. And for the same reason it really does need the framesheet. It's probably my favorite small pack, but I've decided it isn't my favorite pocket nor do I like it as a pocket convertible to pack. On my backpacking trip this week, I decided that our lineup needs another pocket (convertible to pack with new V2 pocket harness) with the footprint of an Umlindi. Short enough to use pocket harness (unlike Connor), but taller and wider than our other pockets for more volume both as a pocket and convertible pack. 11x19" instead of 9"x17". Come to think of it, I think it would have the same footprint as an Attache. And really keeping a close eye on weight of bag - target weight of 12 - 16 oz.

We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
New Post
4/1/2018 8:54 AM
 
Another point - the straps on our larger packs would be just as good for securing somebody else's day pack as a back pocket as they are ours. Add a couple of grimlocks to the top of the day pack to hang it from the tabs on the top of the qui-Ya's (or Ute) front panel and then buckle it under the horizontal straps. Heck, that method would work for our own pockets if you want it to be very quickly removable.

We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
New Post
4/1/2018 10:18 AM
 

OP, I had a very similar setup to your hypothetical Nomad 2 example, as well as some thoughts/anecdotes that might be useful.
__________________________________________________________________
I had a 1st-gen Nomad on a 26" bikini frame, with their Camp bag, longhunter lid (discontinued now, I think. Was good for about 1000 ci of storage), a grab-it on the bottom, and then I had their tactical zippy for the day bag. I'd leave the camp bag attached with my sleep system in the bottom, and then the empty portion of the bag would be smushed under the Zippy, with the Nomad wings on the side of the zippy, .

My goal was also to have a totally modular system, where I didn't have to repack at all. Everything from EDC to a week long camping trip was going to be covered, each in its own sub-pack/compartment, whatever. Didn't work out well though. All those modular parts ended up resulting in a lot of wasted weight, and also some lost space. I looked like a freaking ninja turtle with all that stuff on my back, it was a pain in the ass to get to anything, and it was about 60lbs worth of gear including the packs, pockets, etc (you'd think it'd was even more based on the visual profile of it all).

Alternatively, I also had their E&E, which I could piggy back on the back of everything. I enjoyed the Nomad most with the E&E, running it with the Nomad similar to how Aaron Snyder had in their demo video for his photography/glassing set up w/the Nomad. Sleep system in the bottom of the otherwise empty camp bag, edc stuff in the E&E, and 1-3 days of temperate weather camping gear in the guide lid and Nomad wing pockets, folded over the empty portion of the camp bag, and if the need for additional storage should arise, I had the grab-it and the rest of the camp bag to use. I could see the Connor being used similar to the E&E in this example, even though it's twice the size. This still ended up being a considerably less elegant system than it appeared to be, although much more workable than the set up w/the zippy.
_________________________________________________

So, less than thrilled with how this system worked out in practice, I figured I'd go back to the drawing board, rather working on tweaking the Nomad system. I happened to get a great deal on a used coyote brown HPG Ute, and other than a recon kit bag I had, this was my first HPG purchase. The Ute worked great for the hiking and camping I was doing, but I got to put it to a usage test similar to your situation when I drove my motorcycle from Rhode Island to California in October of 2016. It took 2 weeks, and I used the Ute, a Pals pocket, a Kifaru pod on top w/my tent, the HPG attache case, and a small no-name duffel bag. Along with the two small saddlebags on my motorcycle, it worked out great (once I figured out the best way of strapping everything to the bike).

For load carriage off the bike, the attache case was usually enough on that trip. I ended up not having to do this, but if I needed more space, I had a dry sack inside the Ute. If I was going to need more space than the attache provided for whatever off motorcycle excursion presented itself, I could just slide the dry sack with all my extra food, clothing, and sleep system and leave it in my tent or motel room, and then use the Ute as a large day pack.

I bought an Umlindi and a Connor once I got out to CA, and put them both through their paces for EDC and day hike usage during the year I was out there. A Connor with a velcro laptop sleeve attached inside and the stay removed from the frame sheet so it piggybacks nicely on the Ute probably would've covered a few more bases for me than the Attache on the motorcycle trip, by virtue of its larger size. It doesn't carry quite as comfortably without the stay, but the Connor w/frame sheet and the HPG harness is still a very comfortable pack.
____________________________________________

So, to echo Evan's statement, I think I'd go with the roller duffle as a home base. For everything else, I think a Ute or Qui-Ya with a Connor attached, provided you've got an aftermarket sleeve for your laptop in the Connor, might be the way to go. If HPG made an add-on laptop sleeve, I'd buy theirs without hesitation, but in the meantime, I've been using a Propper laptop sleeve, which has been working out well. I've also got a Kifaru organizer slider panel thing on the way that looks like it might work out well. It's kind of a copy of the Tom Bin Cache laptop sleeve w/rails system, but with more organization. I'm thinking I'll probably leave the Propper in the Connor, and put the slider sleeve in my AHBC, which I've been using for EDC since I got back to RI, and will be my school bag when I start continuing ed classes in the fall this year, but still used for day hikes and travel on weekends.

Another thing worth mentioning in deciding between the two brands, and I might be in the minority on this, is I've found Kifaru's quality of manufacture to not live up to the hype (although their warranty and customer service, to be fair, definitely do live up to the hype). Sure, the materials they use are great, but the assembly? Not so much. I'd say at least 1/3 of the stuff I've bought from them over the last 13 years or so has had some pretty severe, in my opinion anyway, issues with bobbin tension and just general attention to detail during assembly. Loose stitches, missed stitches, uneven stitching, unraveling stitching. In one case, they completely missed an entire row of stitching on the Pals webbing on a Xing I bought. Given the hand-assembled nature of the packs, it was mind blowing to me that these issues even got to the point where the assembler sent the product on to the QC people, let alone that QC had the missed them. They fixed the problems for me when I received the items with those issues, but between the price point, their reputation, the wait, and then the return wait, to have this sort of thing happen repeatedly over the years was enough to sour me a bit on the brand. I still purchase from them, but generally for smaller, less expensive accessory-type items.

If I'm spending $$$ for a made in the USA hard use pack, I want a pack that isn't going to start unraveling on me in the middle of a trip. That's more important to me than any warranty, even if the warranty is incredible. I've bumped into some minor QC stuff with a very small number of the HPG gear items I've used over the last few years, but it's all been cosmetic (as opposed to structural) and the Hills have been great about getting things sorted out for me quickly.

Um, so, yeah. TLDR on this one is "imho, go with HPG." :P

 
New Post
4/2/2018 10:08 PM
 
Huge thanks to @Realtree, @evanhill, and @ramoniac! I very much appreciate you taking the time to weigh in.

@Realtree and Evan, I think I will continue to use my roller suitcase, because you're right, it's a great home base, and really blends in during most transit settings. Although I have no shame in being a backpacker, I still like looking a bit more professional/civilized when in the airport or train station.

@ramoniac I'm so glad you found my post. This was the experienced advice I was looking for, having thoroughly tested/used both brands, and with very similar goals to mine. Great information! One question, have you come across a velcro/hook backed laptop case that is waterproof? The Propper cases do not close all the way, correct? Just a 2 inch webbing strap closure. And the new Kifaru organizer insert also is open at the top. I'd love to find a sleeve that can be either PALS or velcro mounted, but that closes completely and provides waterproof protection for the laptop. Cheers!

@evanhill, I'm pretty much convinced that HPG chassis is the way to go. You, combined with a couple other reviews I was finally able to find (example: https://youtu.be/LguaoQAra7k), have convinced me :-) Now I just need to decide between the Ute and the Qui-Ya. The Ute is currently out of stock I believe, so that makes the Qui-Ya an easy impulse buy... but it does seem like the Ute would be a slightly more versatile pack for me. Although, at 6'2", perhaps having the 28-inch Qui-Ya will serve me better in general. Thoughts? Also, any idea when the Ute will be available again?

Evan, I really appreciate the thoughts/advice on the Connor as a pack and pocket! Very helpful perspective. And the new "Admin Pocket" sounds intriguing. I'd love to see some photos of the prototype.

The hypothetical pocket you are describing sounds great! If I had a say :-), I'd want it to be at least as feature rich as the Attache, if not more so. And since your target weight is below the Attache, I'm guessing your plan is the opposite(?). The reasons I ruled out the Attache are:
- it is not designed/intended to be worn as a standalone backpack,
- even if it could be a standalone backpack, there are no external water bottle pockets,
- finally, the padded laptop sleeve is great, but if a compartment is built specifically for electronics/tech I think it should pay extra attention to water/weather resistance, because without that I'll just be using my own aftermarket waterproof laptop sleeve... inside the already padded laptop compartment... but I see your point about how difficult it is to actually keep water out, although, to my layman's eye, for a dedicated laptop sleeve, making it waterproof doesn't seem like a huge leap. It's already "lined"/padded, and only zips open on one side (i.e. the zipper doesn't need to go around any corners)... maybe the lining or padding could be of a waterproof material?

So... my dream HPG pocket/pack would be the Attache with:
- the option to be worn as backpack,
- weatherproof laptop sleeve,
- external water bottle options (even if that was just side webbing for attaching pouches),
- slightly more volume in the main compartment OR additional webbing on the front for modular expansion (pouches/organizers)
.... BUT, I imagine all that will put it over your target weight :-( But FWIW that's my vote!


Anyway, thanks again guys for all the input. I'm still struggling with the daypack quest, but as far as the main chassis goes, I'll be giving HPG a try, for sure.

Happy Spring everybody!


 
New Post
4/3/2018 10:41 AM
 
At your height, qui-Ya is a no brainer. Plus the extra volume might come in handy.

Coated 500d is already waterproof. The outer material might get water logged, but water won't go through the fabric. Plus the padding is closed cell foam which is 100% waterproof. So the Attache is already as waterproof as you are describing and as waterproof as any other "waterproof sleeve". What water will do, however, is seep in through the stitch lines. A waterproof compartment requires seam sealing, or welded seam construction plus a roll top or scuba zipper. Period. You do have me somewhat intrigued by a true waterproof electronics sleeve using welded seam construction. I don't know that anyone is making something like that.

We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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4/3/2018 1:55 PM
 
Thanks Evan! Duly noted (re: "...the Attache is already as waterproof as... any other 'waterproof sleeve'...").
Please do keep us posted on your plans for this hypothetical 11"x19" pocket-pack, as I'm sure many others would like to know!

And thanks for the advice on the Qui-Ya for taller folks.

Cheers!
 
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4/5/2018 4:47 AM
 

i second that. Even now, it is possible with some grimlocs and G-Hooks to fashion a backpackable Attache. i magine if the new pocket is attachable to the Attache, then it would make an awesome EDC combi too. 

   

 
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