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2/14/2016 9:14 PM
 

I have been trying to make a decision that is becoming increasingly more difficult by the day. I know everyone says they want a pack that is diverse enough that they can use it for almost every situation, from EDC purposes, day hikes, overnighters, even as far as an overnight hunt that could stretch into 2 nights. A lot of people will say this pack doesn't exist, but I believe that if you pack right and find a system that may be a little modular, then this is completely attainable.

My question starts here. I have been researching for a very long time. That research has included going through many, many packs that I loved for some situations but not all. I figured out what I liked about each one of those packs and what I didn't. I figured out that weight was important to me but so was build quality and lifespan. I learned a lot through trial and error. I have also gone through so many load outs and through so much different gear that I have learned exactly how to pack what I consider the perfect load out for most situations, giving and taking obviously. The majority of the time I have a very minimalistic approach, and I want my pack to reflect that.

I have had some amazing packs, but there has always been a missing ingredient. One of my favorite packs ever, comfort wise, was my Tarahumara. I loved that pack! Sometimes I literally forgot that I was wearing it, it was that comfortable. The only problem was that 750 cubic inches just wasn’t enough room for every situation. A couple of other packs that I have loved are the Eberlestock Halftrack and the Kuiu Icon Pro. I like both of these packs, but they are not “the one”, so to speak. The Eberlestock was very comfortable but so bulky that it wouldn’t fit in some scenarios. The Kuiu is not nearly as comfortable, and doesn’t have a removable waist belt.

I have looked at so many packs in the past few months trying to figure out which one I’m going to go with. I’m kind of tired of getting a new pack two times a year (as crazy as that sounds). I want one that I’m going to love and want to keep. One that is almost a companion.

I have decided that this pack is definitely going to be a Hill People Gear pack, but I’m torn on which one.

Do I want the Umlindi?
I have been so close to buying an Umlindi for the past couple of years, but I love organization. Lately though, I have been pouching my kit out so it’s pretty organized without having to have organization within the pack. I love the Umlindi’s design aspect allowing you to add to the top easily as well as the bottom. This would be ideal for a versatile pack when I need to add and subtract gear.

Do I want the Aston House Pack?
I have read literally every word anyone has ever written about this pack. I love the organization! I love the different pockets. I love the size, but the layout seems so geared towards EDC that the 4” main compartments may not be able to hold the added gear needed for overnighters or long hunts.

It’s basically between these two, with a couple of additional questions:

Is the Connor Pack too small? I’m assuming so, but can it attach to the front of the Umlindi? In one of the pictures it is attached to a pack but I couldn’t tell if it was the UTE or the Umlindi.

Is the UTE too big for every day needs? I’m thinking it is.

My last question is, which belt do I want to go with the Umlindi or the Aston House Pack? Is the Prarie Belt overkill, even if I push these packs to their limit?

Thanks so much in advance for taking the time to read my post and for helping me in my decision making. I am a member of many forums and this is the longest post I have ever written.

I have been trying to make a decision that is becoming increasingly more difficult by the day. I know everyone says they want a pack that is diverse enough that they can use it for almost every situation, from EDC purposes, day hikes, overnighters, even as far as an overnight hunt that could stretch into 2 nights. A lot of people will say this pack doesn't exist, but I believe that if you pack right and find a system that may be a little modular, then this is completely attainable. 

My question starts here. I have been researching for a very long time. That research has included going through many, many packs that I loved for some situations but not all. I figured out what I liked about each one of those packs and what I didn't. I figured out that weight was important to me but so was build quality and lifespan. I learned a lot through trial and error. I have also gone through so many load outs and through so much different gear that I have learned exactly how to pack what I consider the perfect load out for most situations, giving and taking obviously. The majority of the time I have a very minimalistic approach, and I want my pack to reflect that.

 I have had some amazing packs, but there has always been a missing ingredient. One of my favorite packs ever, comfort wise, was my Tarahumara. I loved that pack! Sometimes I literally forgot that I was wearing it, it was that comfortable. The only problem was that 750 cubic inches just wasn’t enough room for every situation. A couple of other packs that I have loved are the Eberlestock Halftrack and the Kuiu Icon Pro. I like both of these packs, but they are not “the one”, so to speak. The Eberlestock was very comfortable but so bulky that it wouldn’t fit in some scenarios. The Kuiu is not nearly as comfortable, and doesn’t have a removable waist belt.

I have looked at so many packs in the past few months trying to figure out which one I’m going to go with. I’m kind of tired of getting a new pack two times a year (as crazy as that sounds). I want one that I’m going to love and want to keep. One that is almost a companion.

I have decided that this pack is definitely going to be a Hill People Gear pack, but I’m torn on which one. 

Do I want the Umlindi?
I have been so close to buying an Umlindi for the past couple of years, but I love organization. Lately though, I have been pouching my kit out so it’s pretty organized without having to have organization within the pack. I love the Umlindi’s design aspect allowing you to add to the top easily as well as the bottom. This would be ideal for a versatile pack when I need to add and subtract gear. 

Do I want the Aston House Pack?
I have read literally every word anyone has ever written about this pack. I love the organization! I love the different pockets. I love the size, but the layout seems so geared towards EDC that the 4” main compartments may not be able to hold the added gear needed for overnighters or long hunts.

It’s basically between these two, with a couple of additional questions:

Is the Connor Pack too small? I’m assuming so, but can it attach to the front of the Umlindi? In one of the pictures it is attached to a pack but I couldn’t tell if it was the UTE or the Umlindi.

Is the UTE too big for every day needs? I’m thinking it is.

My last question is, which belt do I want to go with the Umlindi or the Aston House Pack? Is the Prarie Belt overkill, even if I push these packs to their limit?

Thanks so much in advance for taking the time to read my post and for helping me in my decision making. I am a member of many forums and this is the longest post I have ever written.
 
New Post
2/16/2016 9:52 AM
 
I have a Tara, Umlindi and Ute. If I could only have one, it would be the Ute w/ Prairie belt and PALS pocket. It will pack down to work with small loads and works fine as a daypack especially in cooler weather when I have more layers, but I can't make the smaller packs bigger. I prefer to have as much in the pack as possible, rather than strapped outside.

If actual backpacking wasn't on the list, I could live out my days with the Umlindi as it is just big enough, but carries small. It is my favorite HPG pack for day in day out use, but not as versatile as the Ute. I don't have a belt on it as I reserve heavy loads for the Ute and love how well it carries without a belt if you don't overdo it. I like my packs simple and rely on pouches for organization. You could do what you want with an Umlindi and it would be my choice for what you've described. A belt would be a good idea if you're going to stretch things to two nights.

The Tara has become my short hike bag that rides in the Jeep with all I need for a hike and a reasonably comfortable night out if need be. Lots of gear compromises to make that happen, and better in warm weather than cold.
 
New Post
2/16/2016 11:01 AM
 
koda - x 2 on CCH's comments. I have a Tara, Umlindi, Ute, Connor Pocket and Recon Kit Bag. Love them all.

I run the Lindi beltless and love it for what it does as a daypack. I use it at work as a patrol pack as running with a belt over LBE / armour is not great. I also use it as a daypack out with the family for walking and camping when I am carrying the kids backup gear.

I waited out on the Ute for almost four years until I got to try one. Being only 5'9" I was concerned with the height of the stays and having too much to torque the load lifters over the shoulders. Once I had one, I have been more than super pleased.

The Ute is top drawer, the Lindi is too but for different reasons. The Ute with the PB and Connor Pocket its great from big and long stuff, and by itself, cinched down its just like the Lindi.

You will be super happy with both as an EDC. If you want a pack that will go for EDC and up to 2 days, the Lindi. If you want a pack that's EDC but can haul 50 odd pounds for 3+ days, the Ute is the winner.

I have pretty much given the Tara to my wife.

Craig
 
New Post
2/16/2016 11:13 AM
 
Hi Koda - if you are looking for an EDC bag and not a backpacking bag, the Umlindi may be very much down your ally. There are also some very modular options for expanding upon it, should you wish to do so.

I am currently running an Umlindi with a Tara (pack not pocket, less the shoulder harness, plus the pocket harness) - in my current life I: 1) don't go out very far or often and 2) don't carry much most times that I do. Because of this, I very often wear my Tara with the pocket harness on its own. And when I know I am going to have a full day of that, I dig its legit should harness out of storage, because it's more comfortable and...more better ;-)

A bit of further feedback about this arrangement for you, or anyone else curious about it:

1 - I got a great deal on my Tara.
2 - I believe an attache pack would serve me better at least half of time.
3 - I love the modularity that the tara insert provides; however, again, at least half of the time I would appreciate the more stable, less modular approach of attaching GP pouches directly to the attache. As it stands, I might be doing something wrong. But regardless of the cause, I'm rarely able to maximize the surface area of the tara insert. Having said all of that, I assume that when I start carrying more stuff around with me, I will be pleased by being able to hot swap my GP pouches between the Tara and Umlindi via the tara insert.
4 - My pocket harness often comes unclipped from my Tara when I'm using it sans Lindi. In a professional and/or slow-moving scenario, the shoulder strap of the Attache would probably be great. With a light pack that isn't taken off and placed back on a whole bunch, the coming-detached nuisance with the pocket harness is minimal. I feel that having it in a small GP pouch in the attache or some similar storage would be a very ideal play. It's great when you need it, but frustrating when you use it more than it was designed to be used.
5 - I still plan to purchase an attache. At that time, I will probably re-attach the shoulder harness to the tara pack. Then I will use the tara insert for surv/med gear and the attache GP(s) for med/tech, then depending on my trip I can use the Umlindi or Tara for outdoors etc trips, the Attache for work, or the Attache + Umlindi for EDC++ like travel etc.

Hope that can provide some help.
 
New Post
2/16/2016 12:02 PM
 

mc, for the G-Hook issue on your Pocket Harness (and any other G-Hook strap that needs it), you might give this technique a try.  I've been adding this small mod on all of the G-Hook straps that I worry about detaching at inopportune moments.  It works really well, and the G-Hooks only come off when I want them to.  

http://hillpeoplegear.com/Forum/tabid...


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
New Post
2/16/2016 2:13 PM
 
I should have known that you, of all people, would have already solved this problem.

Perfect, eloquent, simple - I guess I'm heading down into the Pennsyltuckey lair of redundancy and RIS (redneck institute of science) to find some shock cord, will report back. While I'm down there, I've been meaning to attach some velcro to the back of my surefire ep3's little plastic package so I can stick them to my HRKB, tara insert, or attaché whenever I get around to buying that ostensible gap from my lineup. Maybe instead, I should get a line on an empty chew can (easy), a little velcro on one of those could hold ep3++. And now that I've made a redneck joke and a lame attempt at a computer science one, all in the same post, I will retreat back to the forum lurking hinterboonies! Maybe.

OP koda, I hope I'm not the only person getting useful help here, and that this feedback plus the extra back-and forth is just being even more helpful for you too dude! [and not taking away from the original focus too much.] FWIW, before I had any HPG products, I lived out of an arc'teryx pack that was just under 60 liters for longer than I care to admit to right now. If my rough math is correct that puts it in vaguely the same volumetric class as the Ute. You can get a lot of mileage out of a bag like that, but if you're looking for edc city commuter, I'd stay light man. Don't give yourself too more space than you need, or you're liable to expand into it. Nature abhors a vacuum, blah blah blah.
 
New Post
2/16/2016 2:38 PM
 
mc wrote:
I should have known that you, of all people, would have already solved this problem.

Perfect, eloquent, simple - I guess I'm heading down into the Pennsyltuckey lair of redundancy and RIS (redneck institute of science) to find some shock cord, will report back. While I'm down there, I've been meaning to attach some velcro to the back of my surefire ep3's little plastic package so I can stick them to my HRKB, tara insert, or attaché whenever I get around to buying that ostensible gap from my lineup. Maybe instead, I should get a line on an empty chew can (easy), a little velcro on one of those could hold ep3++. And now that I've made a redneck joke and a lame attempt at a computer science one, all in the same post, I will retreat back to the forum lurking hinterboonies! Maybe.


Glad to help!  I get my shock cord on line from companies like Rockywoods fabrics and such.  Just Google search for the color and diameter you want and it'll yield plenty of options.  For your EP-3s...maybe another option is a small Altoids tin with Velcro on the back?  Might last longer than a snuff can.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
New Post
2/16/2016 8:53 PM
 
Had the shock cord. Happened to have a lull in my day right after I read your advice, so I already implemented this. Then things got busy. Finally unwinding now, took a few pics, once I decide which service to use for linking/embedding, I will post. With the pocket harness, the sewing and the implementation were different for me than with your picture. I briefly considered cutting and re-sewing, but decided I would try it stock first, then make alterations later if necessary. Will end this here and share my picture and feedback over there to keep like items with like items.
 
New Post
2/16/2016 9:19 PM
 
mc wrote:
With the pocket harness, the sewing and the implementation were different for me than with your picture. I briefly considered cutting and re-sewing, but decided I would try it stock first, then make alterations later if necessary. 

Hmm.  I'm not sure I'm following.  I don't think you'd need to cut and re-sew.  I have a Pocket Harness on a Tarapocket and all I did was scrunch the webbing tab to create enough of a gap to allow me to route the shock cord through the slots in each G-Hook.  Once the shock cord is in place, the webbing tabs on mine simply returns to its original position.  That's why I can't figure out where you'd need to do any cutting and re-sewing.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
New Post
2/17/2016 10:03 AM
 
My most used pack is the Umlindi, with a Pals Pocket on the Back and a Prairie Belt as needed. That gives me the ability to run it as a slick shoulder only carry pack (Pals Pocket is empty and collapsed) or with the addition of the belt, filling out the Pals Pocket, and a stuff sack on top, lots of volume. I found that I prefer the dual padding of the Prairie over the single in the Recon even with light loads. As quick as putting on pockets is I have found that for my uses just leaving it on there is simpler and gives me on the go capacity (I don’t have to dig it out of the gear tub upstairs). In the past I have switched to the Ute for winter day use, but with the configuration described have been using the Umlindi just fine for the last two years. The Pals Pocket is just full. One of the reasons I didn’t switch is that it is a lot easier to get the Umlindi in and out of the back seat over the taller Ute. The Ute really only gets the nod these days for overnight trips. Evan is about the same, in case he doesn’t jump in, the Umlindi is the pack he uses most too. It is also the pack we recommend most simply because it is a better day pack, which is what most folks are primarily doing. The best way to put it is, lots of overnight go for the Ute, a few overnights (especially in warm temps) and lots of day use go for the Umlindi.

That being said my second most used pack is an Aston House, which I use for business travel. In fact, that is basically what we designed it for, and I had a big hand in that design. I love organization on the road, because often I want to access different things without pulling everything or really anything out. Nothing like doing a yard sale in a busy airport, on the other hand I detest enforced organization. Who carries 8 pens/pencils, a calculator, and whatever the heck else those special slots are for. With the Aston I can decide what goes where and how I want things to be organized. I can get to anything in the pack without really having to take anything else out (there is a minor exception or two). Plus due to design it excels at shoulder only carry. I can’t comment on how it does with a belt, since I have never tried it. The flip side is that I prefer the pouch and tarainsert style organization of the Umlindi for back country use and don’t like all the organization of the Aston. I could probably live with it, but just don’t see the need. The Aston is actually a bigger pack than the Umlindi and will hold more, you just have to make adjustments for the organization pockets, and might have to compact/sub-divide more. If you want the organization it would be fine for backcountry use and have plenty of space.

If I didn’t work for HPG I would spend the money on both setups because I leave both packed and ready to go for their separate uses, which both excel at, all the time. I can be out the door with either in a matter of minutes, given the trip. I haven’t found anything better for either use.

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
2/17/2016 10:16 AM
 

alpendrms wrote:
Hmm.  I'm not sure I'm following.  I don't think you'd need to cut and re-sew.  I have a Pocket Harness on a Tarapocket and all I did was scrunch the webbing tab to create enough of a gap to allow me to route the shock cord through the slots in each G-Hook.  Once the shock cord is in place, the webbing tabs on mine simply returns to its original position.  That's why I can't figure out where you'd need to do any cutting and re-sewing.

I responded on the original thread: http://hillpeoplegear.com/Forum/tabid...

Only included 3 closeup pics, because this is my first time using Google Photos for forum purposes like this and wanted to test it out more.  Will grab a few more images now showing a panned out view, and also comparing two different approaches I used while testing.

 
New Post
2/17/2016 10:23 AM
 

Roger.  Replied on the other thread.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
New Post
2/17/2016 1:43 PM
 
When I first starting looking for better pack choices, I wasn't to keen on the open bag (no organization) of the Umlindi/Ute. As I've evolved in my thinking and actual uses, I love it. I would highly recommend the Aston insert for the umlindi (or Aston house). It gives you a large working surface for either molle/pals pouches or even better, velcro (hook and loop) pouches. You can set the layout however you want on the insert and you know exactly where your smaller, more organization intensive items are located. You can have multiple inserts setup for different uses and all you need to do is unhook the grimloc and swap it out. This provides good organization while still keeping with the open bag design so you can fit bulkier items if needed. I would also recommend checking out the new Dapper line of velcro pouches from Blue Force Gear. I believe they were just reintroduced and I have a couple of the pouches and they work great.
 
New Post
2/18/2016 2:38 PM
 
Sounds like the consensus is rightfully Umlindi. I prefer Recon Belt, but either one is fine. To my way of thinking, Ute makes a great *backcountry* day pack. But I'm thinking by EDC you mean urban. I think the Ute is just too much for an urban EDC.

If you want a flexible do it all pack, then very little intrinsic organization in the pack itself coupled with removable organized loadouts is the way to go as others have said.

One thing to be aware of - when running belted (for heavier loads), you run the torso length longer on the Umlindi (big lumbar pack). When you are using it shoulder only (which would be the EDC choice), you want to adjust the torso length a little shorter.

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
2/19/2016 7:37 AM
 
Evan, not to deviate to far off topic but in regards to adjusting the umlindi torso length, would it not work to have the pack setup lower to the belted position and just carry that way with or without the belt so you wouldn't need to make the adjustment back and forth? I probably haven't carried enough weight in my Umlindi to know the difference. I believe I have an average length torso but didn't think there would be that much deviation in setting the torso length to notice. I will have to try it out and see.
 
New Post
2/19/2016 8:04 AM
 
When you are using a belt it is a lumbar pack, but by removing the belt you turn it into a shoulder only pack. At this point folks are saying, duh Scot, thanks for stating the obvious, but that reality is they are different styles of carry and require different adjustment. With the lumbar style you want the pack sitting on the lumbar curve with the shoulders looser. In fact you should basically have very light weight on the shoulders. For shoulder carry you want it higher and tighter to the shoulders, that pulls the load into where it is carried. If you have a short enough torso there may not be much of a difference if any, but otherwise you will notice a difference.

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
2/19/2016 8:33 AM
 
Thank you for the clarification. I'll make some adjustments and try it out.
 
New Post
2/20/2016 4:56 AM
 
I have more EDC packs than most people and have carried just about every popular pack out there including HPG, Mystery Ranch, Kifaru, Triple Aught Design, GoRuck, Mission Workshop, Vertx, Hazard 4, Maxpedition, etc, etc.

If I'm being honest, what you are attempting to do cannot be achieved without compromises. The things I look for in a true EDC pack are different than what I look for in my hiking/backpacking gear. With that said, it's totally achievable with a view adjustments in how you approach your carry.

As @msilk00 stated, you have to go with more of a modular carry system. The inserts HPG offers are great for that. In addition to the Tool Rool, I run Mystery Ranch Spadelock (RATS) pouches as well as other hook and loop and MOLLE accessories with both the Tara and Aston Inserts. In addition, you can store your EDC items in separate organizer pouches that you just drop into whatever pack you're using that day. I use pouches from a variety of manufacturers for that purpose, and as a system, they work well.

Pack-wise, top loaders are fine as long as you organize your gear. For overnights, I prefer to have more open volume so a pack like the Umlindi is a nice balance between packability and mobility. For EDC, I generally try to stay between 1,500 and 2,300 cubic inches depending on my carry needs and the season. I spend a lot of time on mass transit so having a pack larger than that is a non-starter (even in the Winter). The Lindi is at the top end of that range but that's OK if you're using it for overnights. Compression straps are important on larger packs when you're not carrying at capacity and the Lindi has both top and bottom compression.
 
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