Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hill People Gear - Recon Kit Bag Review - First Impressions

For some time now I have been very intrigued by the Hill People Gear line of Kit Bags. If you have never heard of HPG, go familiarize yourself pronto. They are as of this writing a smallish company creating some extremely innovative and high quality products.

They have a few different offerings in their kit bag line depending on what you are looking for. I went with the Recon Kit Bag  because I felt it had a lot to offer in terms of modularity. It is thin and light weight and has a lot of flexibility with the MOLLE webbing. This way I figured it could fill the roll of a full size kit bag by slapping an admin type pouch on the front, or I would still have the option of going thin and light. My only hesitation was the MOLLE making it stand out and look "tactical", but I decided the flexibility was a worth that trade off. It also has the potential to go "tactical" and be used as a mini chest rig. The pistol pouch could turn into a larger carrying pouch for extra ammo, first aid, food, tools or anything else you wanted to keep quickly accessible. 

One thing that I had a difficult time with when researching these was getting a feel for how large they are, so this article will attempt to address that specifically. As this bag gets more use in the field, there will probably be some additional follow up posts.

So to start, here is a picture of the bag itself with an evil "high capacity, assault magazine clip" otherwise known as a PMAG on the front for scale:

The Recon Kit Bag has only two compartments in it, the concealed carry compartment and the small zippered portion you see on the picture above. I believe that all the kit bags (except maybe the Snubby since it has a smaller foot print) have this same pouch so this info should be useful for anyone looking to buy.

Here is that pouch empty. You can see a couple pockets for organization and there are also two loops for tying dummy cords to.

Here is that view again with two decks of cards in each pocket to give you an idea of the size. There is still plenty of space left to fill.

There is that evil magazine again (True story: All my mags, guns and accessories fell into the water during a deep sea fishing expedition. Honest. It was tragic.) along with a couple of medication bottles to fill the remaining space. The pouch is pretty much full at this point. You could stuff a few more odds and ends in there if you really wanted to. 

Here is to give you an idea of the thickness with all of that stuff in there. Note that there is with a pistol in the concealed carry compartment in this pic, so the kit bag is pretty well fully loaded. One thing that surprised me a bit about the kit bag was how much you can feel the stuff in the front compartment. If you don't pack it well you'll know.

Now for a little story. After tearing open my USPS box like it was Christmas and installing the Vanguard Glock Holster (Also available on HPG's site) by tying it to the anchor loop inside, I tried a few draw strokes to see how it felt. After about three strokes the knot slipped and needed to be tightened it up. That is when I discovered that the anchor loop had either ripped or had been cut by the tether on the Vanguard.

I sent an email with some pictures to Hill People Gear explaining the situation. HPG has a good reputation for customer service so I wasn't too worried. Sure enough, by morning there were two responses in my inbox from different people both essentially saying that they had never seen a failure like that before and both of them gave different options on how they could take care of the situation. The details I will leave out but I will say that they took care of me and absolutely deserve the reputation they have for outstanding customer service. I am very excited to see what other products they come out with in the future.

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