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10/24/2019 9:44 AM
 

Thank you for taking the time to read a lengthy post and offer ideas!

 

My current pack set up is:

Vaude Splash Air MTB/Day pack with 20 + 5 capacity

MR GuideLight Frame with Cabinet Pack

 

I'm standing at 6' 5''

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After a 10-15 years of use, multiple wildland fire seasons as a faller, and a few countries my day pack is still useful but starting to show its age.  I also never really liked the way the mesh air panel (Osprey like) on the back cantelevers the pack load off my body.  Not sure that the extra air flow is worth the benefit to load carry.  The external pockets for organization and two external bottle holders are very useful as I started to go away from bladders.

The GuideLight frame was my first larger, framed pack.  The waist belt strap system with forward pull is something I love, but running a sidearm holster thru the straps left the thing flopping around, especially when taking the pack off.  Any I never really liked the cabinet pack for anything other than large awkward load on the load shelf.  I had been thinking of upgrading to the Pintler bag on the same frame, but still needed a way to secure a side arm.

Hmm, maybe a kydex chest holster with a pack I thought.

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Enter HPG.  The KitBag caught my eye for side arm carry, and a basic carry option for local runs and quick hikes.

And so now here I am considering building into the HPG system, trying to figure out the best set up for my uses as follows

1. Slow & Steady -Upland Bird

2. Fast & Light - Mountain Bike/Trail Run

3. Extended - Day Pack to 3 day High Country Backpacking and Hunting, Carry on travel

 

After looking at the Runners KB, I believe the Snubby will be where I will be going to carry a MP Compact/G19 sized sidearm. I sweat like in a sauna, so a smaller footprint to allow for max ventilation is key.

Here's where it gets tricky.

1. Upland Bird

I've never liked upland bird vests.  Don't like the weight flopping around, heavy on the shoulders and it seems the zippers and magnetic stuff has failed on most of them I see friends use.  Doesn't see use for the remainder of the year when not doing upland due to load carry and neccesarry hunter orange.

Would a prairie or recon belt alone or in H-Harness--with Butt Pack, two bottle holders and two medium pockets carry well enough for this use?

 

And of couse with KB, I imagine carrying extra shells here, or getting a First Spear shell pouch

 

 

2. Fast & Light/MTB/Trail Run

I could see a few things here.  Tara pocket alone, however I am attached to the idea of using a waist belt (old habits die hard) and a Tara docked to a waist belt seems excessive given the size of the belt. 

Any other belt options? Anytime I've run or riden without a belt the dang pack sways and bounces around too much.

Would a waist belt with buttpack, bottle holsters and pouches ride steady enough for trail runs and mountain biking?

Or would this be best serviced by using a Recon Harness/bladder docked to KB with a pouch or two on the back?  My only concern is having really cinch this setup down around the chest to have it ride solid with out bouncing.

 

3. Day pack/ 1-3 day backpacking hunting

The obvious answer here seems to be TaraPocket or Umlindi. I like the idea of minimal as possible so the Tara is attractive for a daypack, but feel that it may leave me wanting more during the winter months, traveling, and carrying any camera gear.

An Umlindi with belt seems that it might be the perfect fit, however, I am used to having multiple pockets for organization so this sits in my mind as a potential drawback.

Also, next year will be looking at doing more extended stays in the high country in the 5-7 day range.  

Perhaps I should by pass the Umlindi and head towards the Ute or Qui-Ya?

In which case my previous setups should incorporate the prairie belt over the recon.

 

The modularity of the HPG products is impressive to the point of overwhelm!

 

Thank you again for the input

 

 
New Post
10/24/2019 10:10 AM
 
Wow that is a very wide range of activities to try and cover.

For the kit bag, it is really going to depend on your size/build. For reference the Runners/Recon will carry about the same amount of stuff as the Snubby Original,but with more comfort unless you are a smaller person. The kit bags are more like a garment in that you want the right size. The comfort comes from its wrap around your torso. For most folks the Snubby is to small to get the wrap and thus it is just sitting on top of the chest. Also it is a lot easier to fill the Snubby's and turn them into bricks, than the full footprint bags, which again leads to them not being as comfortable. So my recommendation if you are looking for minimal is likey the Runners/Recon depending on your feeling on pouches on the front. That being said I normally recommend first time buyers go with the Original/Heavy Recon due to the fact that unless you have messed with a kit bag or chest rig you don't really know what you will want in there. Most folks start of minimal add a bunch of stuff then dial it back to a happy medium. We sell far more 2nd bags to folks who started small than folks who started big.

Day pack - the Umlindi is the line gear you are used to at least our version anyway. It is designed as a large lumbar pack. It has two want pockets and one internal slot pocket, and it has the ability to take any of our pockets (which can also be small packs). That means that in and its self it is pretty dang minimal, and compresses greatly. I see lots of folks using Taras with stuff strapped to the outside, and I just don't get it. You have turned a slim, light minimal pack into a blivet. Blivets never carry well. No way I would think about using a Tara for overnights, and I have done it in the summer in the desert. For reference the Umlindi is pretty much the pack that all of us at HPG actually use for day hikes. Sure we dabble with other stuff, but the majority of the time it is going to be an Umlindi on our backs. Without a belt lightly loaded, it is a compact minimalist pack. With a belt, back pocket, and small stuff sack on top it is fully capable of overnights in temperate whether. My recommendation for pack is Umlindi with Prairie Belt and pocket of your choice. I like the PalsPocket best personally. Potentially add a pocket harness for use on the pocket of your choice as a stand alone pack. That would give you basically four different configurations from ultra compact to pretty spacious.

Upland game hunting - I can really help we process game in the field and bag it, so in our case we aren't worried about blood or bulk.

Multi-day trips - At your height the qui-Ya is the only answer as it will give you full capacity and shoulder lift. Shoulder lift with a heavy load shouldn't ever be sacrificed.

IF I was starting with a clean slate and buying HPG gear new, here is what I would order to cover all my basis:
1st order-
Original Kit Bag - with two small organizer buckets and a spsk
Umlindi with Prairie Belt
PalsPocket
Windcheater with Ruff
Serape
The above represents my 90% use case for gear.

2nd order -
Serape - one of my favorite pieces of gear, but I find it gets used most on backpacking trips and the like, and if you aren't doing them you may not need one. That being said for hunting they are awesome, so would probably still want one.
qui-Ya (if I decided I needed that capability)

If you are doing any business travel throw in an Attache to mount to the Umlindi for flights and pull off the rest of the time.

Down the road I might add a couple of tool rolls, and other pouches, but the list above is what I use on a day to day basis (windcheater in the shoulder seasons and winter obviously).

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
New Post
10/24/2019 3:13 PM
 
Upland Bird- I think your idea on the upland bird setup would work. The one I am still figuring out is where to put the birds and let them breath. You could use a Hunter orange palspocket docked to the h-harness (instead of a tara). This can be used as an added pocket/organization on your camping/hunting excursions on an umlindi/ute/qui-ya. I don't think you would find any other belt setup as comfortable as a prairie belt lugging shells around.
 
New Post
10/24/2019 3:47 PM
 
Kit Bag - I own several kit bags, and have sold off my original Recon, and can't find my Snubby, leaving me with Runner's, Heavy Recon and Snubby Original kit bags.

From my experience with Snubby, the G19 does not leave much room for phone, keys, energy gel in the front zipper area. That is why I moved away from the Snubby and now run with either Snubby Original or Runners KB. The Snubby Original can get a little front heavy and bounce more. I like the Runners KB best for long runs as it doesn't bounce like the Snubby Original and has plenty of room for extras. I did try running with the Heavy Recon before I bought the Runners, but it too is a bit front heavy with the extra pocket.

Just my $0.02

Björn
 
New Post
10/24/2019 6:37 PM
 
Evan - thanks for your input, I know your're a busy man. The idea on the KB makes sense to run a larger one, thanks.

I usually run a 34 or 35 waist which puts me right in the middle of sizing for the prairie belt. For my use would the 36 be correct? I could see the larger size being a benefit for move coverage, but also could see the 33+ looking good to keep straps and everything nice and tidy.

EC60 - This is an idea I really like, my only curiosity is if running the PalsPocket would sit in a strange way on the buttpack?

I'm also now envisioning on the prairie belt sides or off the butt pack a Large dump pouch or two from First Spear to throw birds into on the run, functioning in the same way an upland vest does with the open back pockets between your back and the pack.

I might be complicating things short term by adding all the gadgets and accessories, but i'm picturing a one shot system that could cover just about anything

B16 - Hmm now you've really got me thinking. I could definitely see the Runners or Recon working well, especially the Recon with the ability to add a bino pouch to the front when needed.

What was your reasoning to selling the Recon off and using just the Runners?
 
New Post
10/24/2019 6:56 PM
 
I would go 33+

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
New Post
10/26/2019 10:16 AM
 
timbertacos wrote:
B16 - Hmm now you've really got me thinking. I could definitely see the Runners or Recon working well, especially the Recon with the ability to add a bino pouch to the front when needed.
What was your reasoning to selling the Recon off and using just the Runners?
 
 
I sold off my original Recon when the Heavy Recon hit the street. I was using the Recon more for hunting and liked the Heavy Recon additional pocket and FS 6/12 PALS

 

 
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