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''
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.
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