Three years ago I came across Hill People Gear while doing my routine search for new ways to organize myself while hiking and hunting. Hill People Gear (HPG) has what they call the "Original Kit Bag" which is basically a waist pack strapped to your chest. The original design was built to provide quick and easy access to a handgun while hiking or even running, but over time, the design has morphed into housing additional items. Kit Bags come in two sizes and since I'm not a wide framed individual I decided to go with the "Original Snubby" which is exactly like the Original Kit Bag, just smaller. With the ability to easily access a handgun in addition to a few other items, I decided to make the purchase and give it a go.
I bought my Kit Bag because I wanted something that was close to my body, wouldn't get in the way, and could carry specific items that would always be on my person. No matter what happened in the field, I figured it would take quite a bit of effort to remove something from my chest so by having a small first aid kit, snacks, compass, handgun and various other items in the pack, I'd never be left with nothing and I'd always have something on me. Since purchasing my kit bag, it's become one of my favorite items and is always with me when I head out.
From what I can tell and from what I have experienced, the build quality of my Kit Bag is great. I've yet to run into any issues with failed stitching or zippers. They're all well built and given the simplistic design of the HPG Kit Bag, there's really not a lot that can go wrong with it. The material is your standard Cordura so it's built to last for years to come.
The Original Snubby has everything I need and nothing I don't. At times it can feel too small, but that's just the over packer in me coming out. I can strap it on and move any way I like without feeling restricted. Shooting a bow (compound and traditional) or rifle is no issue at all and as long as I have everything synched down and fitted correctly, the pack doesn't jostle around. I've worn my Original Snubby on all my hikes and hunts over the past couple years and have yet to find a reason to leave it at home.
Functionality is the primary feature of the Kit Bag. Before owning one of my own, I felt disorganized with small but important items. I wanted to carry a handgun but didn't like having it on my belt and didn't want to stash it in my pack where it could be out of arms reach. My sidearm is now easy to access and doesn't attract undue attention. A Kit Bag, big or small, is a great way to conceal carry in the backcountry. You'll want to contact Hill People Gear for what size arms will fit in the Kit Bags. I have a Ruger LCP .380 and a Ruger SP101 that fits great.
I regularly receive comments on my Kit Bag when I'm out on the trail. It's a little odd at first when I strap something to my chest at the trailhead, but once people see how functional it is, they begin to comment about wanting one of their own.
Last but not least, having a chest pack loaded up on hikes is a great way to help counter balance the load of a backpack. Sure, it's not going to be perfect, but having a little extra weight on your chest actually helps make things slightly more comfortable.
· Rugged and durable
· Well built
· Crazy functional
· Fits everything I need, and nothing I don't
· Provides a slick concealed carry in the backcountry
· Allows a hunter to shoot a traditional bow, compound bow, or rifle without it getting in the way
· Designed by a passionate company who seeks to think outside the box
· When fitted properly, does not flop around
· Can be used with or without a sidearm. No sidearm means more storage space.
· Not water resistant - You'll want to wear this over your base layers but under your rain shell
· Not ultra lightweight but it’s light enough.
· Gets a little sweaty from wearing it next to your chest on hikes
I seriously love this piece of gear. It's always with me and has come to be somewhat of a comfort item when hunting or hiking. I take it on both day and overnight trips and it's never let me down. What really sells me on the HPG Original Snubby Kit Bag is that I'll always have some sort of survival item with me in the event the worst happens. That in itself is priceless. Whether you're just a day hiker or a long distance backpacker, a Kit Bag from Hill People Gear will no doubt serve you well on the trail.