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HPG (Hill People Gear) Tarahumara Pack and Runners Kit Bag

LMT66

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2008
Messages
10,794
I picked these up a while back and really like both so I thought I'd share. This is a setup I like for scrambling thru the woods over hill and dale. It's like your pack-less and just blazing a trail! A pleasure to wear. Please keep in mind that my intended use for this is day-hiking light, thru overgrown areas and bushcraft.

The gear is designed by Evan and Scott Hill who run Hill People Gear.

The two HPG items I have are the Tarahumara Pack and the Runners Kit Bag. I also have the standard Kit Bag which also has a concealed carry compartment. The Kit Bags (chest packs) are both a slimmer versions of the Koala bag and are excellent chest packs to hold frequently accessed items or valuables you need on you at all times. (Possibles)

The Tarahumara is 17"x9"x4", @750ci. I compare it with the Kifaru E&E at 14.5 x 9.5 x 4 @ 100 ci.
Although the Tarahumara has 250ci less capacity than the E&E, it works better for me and I can pack the same amount of gear in it as I can my old E&E. Plus the Tarahumara is tapered top to bottom which is a nice slick package for hiking or biking. It also can be docked to a large pack with Molle webbing.

I observe that most folks that buy the E&E do so to use it as a day-pack for urban use or day-hikes. The E&E is a great design as a military Escape and Evade bag or a laptop bag but, in my opinion, it is a pain as a day-hiking pack. Hard to get into, fills up fast and adding side pockets for water bottles overburdens it and makes it unstable in my opinion.

The HPG Tarahumara Pack specs:

internal hang loop for a water bladder
1/4" closed cell foam back panel back panel with horizontal baffles to discourage pack rounding also contours to the shape of your spine
dual slightly dimensional slot pockets big enough to accommodate USGI 1qt canteens
500d cordura
single main compartment with hydration bladder hang loop inside
17"x9"x4", ~750ci
dual compression straps that protect zipper, allow a very tight cinch, and will also hold a fair amount underneath them
very comfortable and capable shoulder harness
bottom parachute cord compression and gear storage
slot pocket between back panel and main compartment is large enough to take a netbook or lever action rifle
1.25lb empty including shoulder harness. Without shoulder harness, it weighs 1lb.
Can be used as a compression panel or back pocket


The HPG Runners Kit Bag specs: Note that this comes with a strap setup so you can wear it on it's own or attach it to the shoulder straps of a pack. Worn on it's own, you can go ahead a put your main pack on and take it off without having to do anything to the chest bag.

Made in the USA by First Spear for Hill People Gear
500d cordura
11.5 x 7 x 2"
comfortable mesh backed H harness
docking system that interfaces with most types of packs and allows for a natural hang without twisting
concealed pistol panel, main compartment, front compartment
main compartment and front compartment each have 2 slot pockets and 2 matching dummy cord loops
color matched #8 zippers sewn inside out for abrasion resistance. #8 zippers are stronger than #10 according to YKK.
closed cell foam insert with cutouts next to the body for comfort and structure without too much heat build up
empty weight 1 pound
smooth pistol compartment for easy access and quick draw
Elastic strap keepers


I must make clear that I have removed the stock HPG shoulder harness and installed an extra set of Kifaru Scout straps I had. The HPG shoulder harness is excellent but I'm partial to traditional straps. With just a couple buckles from my Kifaru hardware repair kit, I was able to install my Scout straps in just a minute without cutting anything. I can convert it back to the HPG shoulder harness in about a minute.
I also installed a Kifaru waist stabilizer strap I had. You can make one buy buying a couple buckles, a length of strap and 2 Slik-clips.

A few pictures of it in use to show the setup.

Foliage Tarahumara

HPGTandK018.jpg


Side view.

HPGTandK019.jpg


Front showing the Runners Kit Bag

HPGTandK020.jpg


The combination of both pieces of gear, which you barely notice your wearing, will allow you to get thru overgrown areas with ease and to be very nimble doing it.
I crossed this creek about 20 times today, either by log crossings or using my hiking stick to pole vault across. Neither chest pack or back pack ever moved. Very secure setup.

HPGTandK026.jpg


Glimpse of the inside of the Runner's Kit Bag. Quick access to your items and all in one place.

HPGTandK029.jpg


The Tarahumara, although slender, will hold a woodsbums gear with no problem. My 12" Fiddleback Machete in kydex fit inside the pack just slightly off from straight up and down. It also fits perfect into the rear slot pocket. The Busse rode along today.

HPGTandK037.jpg


The side bottle pockets are a big plus. The will hold 1Qt Canteens or any bottle that is the same diameter as a standard Nalgene. The dual cinch straps will even secure a tall 48oz Nalgene bottle. Here is is with canteens. Note there is no room to nest a canteen in a canteen cup, canteen only.

HPGTandK035.jpg


When I got home I took a series of shots showing different water holders and my pack contents today. Also not that you can use the dual cinch straps to haul a heavy coat or?

HPGTandK065.jpg


HPGTandK066.jpg


HPGTandK069.jpg


The Tarahumara has a bladder loop. I mounted a dump pouch on the loop. Stores it for use if needed or it can be "dumped" to further organize the interior.

HPGTandK072.jpg


HPGTandK073.jpg


Will haul and axe several ways.

HPGTandK080.jpg


Slipped in the rear slot pocket.

HPGTandK084.jpg


HPGTandK083.jpg


1 Qt Canteen's and 40oz Kleen Kanteens (same diameter as a standar Nalgene).

HPGTandK085.jpg


HPGTandK087.jpg


HPGTandK089.jpg


HPGTandK090.jpg


HPGTandK091.jpg


The Runners Kit Bag to show its size.

XL gloves and my ML & sheath which is 10.5" long with the dangler folded over.

HPGTandK074.jpg


HPGTandK075.jpg


Zipped up.
HPGTandK076.jpg


The Runner's Kit Bag Front compartment has two slot pockets with a full length area in front of those.

HPGTandK078.jpg



These make a very nice setup for power hiking (think Pitdog climbing those peaks several times a week). Quality materials with designs that are well thought out.


Adding Kit and Runners bag pictures:

HPGKitandRunnersBag006.jpg


HPGKitandRunnersBag008.jpg


HPGKitandRunnersBag009.jpg


I stuffed them both with thick books to show them maxed out.

HPGKitandRunnersBag010.jpg


HPGKitandRunnersBag012.jpg


With a Kifaru Handwarmer.

HPGKitandRunnersBag011.jpg


HPGKitandRunnersBag013.jpg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
4,099
Very nice review LMT! I like their Tarahumara pack and your review really answered some questions I had. The size is perfect for a fast day kit; I really wish it would hold a canteen and cup, but stainless bottles may be the answer.

Have you tried to “piggy-back” the Tarahumara on any other packs? I’ve heard you could.

I love my standard Kit Bag…it’s one of those rare pieces of ingenuity that works well as designed and fits my niche-use perfectly.

Thanks for the photos, especially in use…very helpful and much appreciate,

Cheers!
ROCK6
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Messages
6,234
Impressively low profile, though I think I've settled on that new Rolly Polly backpack for the whole E&E or basecamp hiking role
 

crossada

Gold Member
Joined
May 16, 2004
Messages
2,604
Great review LMT. Looks like that Tarahumara could give your Kifaru Scout a run for it's money.
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2008
Messages
293
LMT,

do you feel that the Kit Bag is worth the price increase over the Runners Kit Bag? I would be using it mainly for backpacking, and would also be carrying a Glock 19 in it.

Also, what model GB axe is that?
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2009
Messages
1,268
Excellent post, I was just looking at the Tarahumara and the standard Kit Bag last night. I like the TH for the reasons you mentioned, and it looks like you could possibly use the straps to dock it to the compression straps of a civilian pack that lacks MOLLE webbing. Thanks for the pics, if I can sell off some gear, this thread just cost me at least $120:D
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
4,099
LMT,

do you feel that the Kit Bag is worth the price increase over the Runners Kit Bag? I would be using it mainly for backpacking, and would also be carrying a Glock 19 in it.

Also, what model GB axe is that?

LMT will have to weigh in a little as he can do the actual side-by-side comparison, but from what I understand the Runner's Kit Bag has the concealed compartment and just the front slot pouch. Unless the overall dimensions are different, here's what I have in my front slot pouch (regular Kit Bag):

KitBag-3.jpg


The Standard Kit Bag has a pretty decent sized main compartment; even filled it's not too cumbersome:

KitBag-4.jpg


Of course both have the rear concealed carry compartment.

KitBag-5.jpg


KitBag-6.jpg


This method of concealed carry is extremely simple and functional; it's ingenious...seriously! I was a little leery at first, but handguns stay put and access is just as fast as an open top OWB/IWB holster and much easier to access if you're wearing a pack. It also keeps the handgun higher if you're fording creeks. I did modify mine a little which I think is now a standard; a small 550-cord loop sewn in with a Kydex trigger guard. It's not really necessary, but gives you a little more sense of safety and even acts as a retention cord if for some unknown reason your pouch gets ripped open (not likely, but I did leave mine open and when I bent over the pistol almost fell out). I've worn mine backpacking, day-hiking, kayaking, bouldering, fishing, hunting, playing Airsoft with my son (a very active sport :D), mountain biking, and it even works well when traveling in a vehicle, giving you instant access which is better than anything except maybe a cross draw holster. Again, your handgun is very secure and stays put...indexing is the same and it doesn't move around. I can only imagine the Runner's Kit bag would easily maintain this even after a cross-country 10K. As for size, I typically carry my Glock 23 for outdoors ventures; but I've easily fit in:

CZ97B
1911 - Full size
XD45 (compact version)
Ruger GP100 (4")
Sig P220
Sig P226 with Surefire light

Even a Ruger Redhawk .44 Mag with 5.5" barrel fit, but it was pushing the envelope and access wasn't as fast as the other handguns...but it did fit!

I see the Runner's Kit bag as something that allows you to carry your CCW with fast access along with a few essentials...whistle, ID/CHL, small LED light, mini FAK, small-flat roll of duct tape and cell phone. It would be ideal for trail running and if you added a small Camelback, you would have a balanced running load-out.

ROCK6
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2008
Messages
293
Rock6, I appreciate the photo's and review. Your pics gave me enough of a comparison with the OP's runner kit bag to make my decision. I think I'll pick up the standard kit bag in Foliage when I get a chance.
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
4,099
Rock6, I appreciate the photo's and review. Your pics gave me enough of a comparison with the OP's runner kit bag to make my decision. I think I'll pick up the standard kit bag in Foliage when I get a chance.

No problem...hopefully LMT quits screwing around in the bush and gets back on the forums :)D) as he should have the best comparison for you. I'm probably going to pick up a foliage Kit Bag as well for "work", but my issue for A-Stan is going to be multicam...coyote would probably work better. When traveling, I always carry my M9 in a high, chest mounted holster...it's just easier with the cramped quarters and helo bucket seats. The Kit Bag may be a good alternative if it will ride over the IOTV/armor...

ROCK6
 

LMT66

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2008
Messages
10,794
Very nice review LMT! I like their Tarahumara pack and your review really answered some questions I had. The size is perfect for a fast day kit; I really wish it would hold a canteen and cup, but stainless bottles may be the answer.

Have you tried to “piggy-back” the Tarahumara on any other packs? I’ve heard you could.

I love my standard Kit Bag…it’s one of those rare pieces of ingenuity that works well as designed and fits my niche-use perfectly.

Thanks for the photos, especially in use…very helpful and much appreciate,

Cheers!
ROCK6

I just sold my Pointman but it piggybacked right on it. The Tarahumara has two 3-bar sliders on top that matched up perfect to the receivers on the Pointman. I also pushed the 3-bar sliders up into webbing and locked them on. very secure. The side of the Tarahumara has a couple tab loops that will accept Slki-Clips to secure the lower part to webbing.

Great review LMT. Looks like that Tarahumara could give your Kifaru Scout a run for it's money.

The Scout is still my favorite pack ever! Most versatile piece of gear I own but it is basically a large lumbar pack and some days I just want something more traditional on my back.

LMT,

do you feel that the Kit Bag is worth the price increase over the Runners Kit Bag? I would be using it mainly for backpacking, and would also be carrying a Glock 19 in it.

Also, what model GB axe is that?

If your backpacking I'd get the Kit Bag and I do feel it is worth the extra bennies. The axe is my GB SFA.

No problem...hopefully LMT quits screwing around in the bush and gets back on the forums :)D) as he should have the best comparison for you. I'm probably going to pick up a foliage Kit Bag as well for "work", but my issue for A-Stan is going to be multicam...coyote would probably work better. When traveling, I always carry my M9 in a high, chest mounted holster...it's just easier with the cramped quarters and helo bucket seats. The Kit Bag may be a good alternative if it will ride over the IOTV/armor...

ROCK6

Sorry, been preoccupied lately. Met a girl who likes hiking and rock hunts as a hobby!!! I'll get some side by side pictures up top later today.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
4,099
I just sold my Pointman but it piggybacked right on it. The Tarahumara has two 3-bar sliders on top that matched up perfect to the receivers on the Pointman. I also pushed the 3-bar sliders up into webbing and locked them on. very secure. The side of the Tarahumara has a couple tab loops that will accept Slki-Clips to secure the lower part to webbing.

That's good to hear since I have a Pointman:thumbup:

Sorry, been preoccupied lately. Met a girl who likes hiking and rock hunts as a hobby!!! I'll get some side by side pictures up top later today.

Well then, your absence is more than justified...finding a woman who enjoys the outdoors and has similar hobbies is worth the distraction...:D

ROCK6
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2008
Messages
293
LMT,

thanks for puttingin the work to show me side by side shots. I really like the Kit Bag and I'll have to pick one up for sure.
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2008
Messages
293
I went ahead and ordered the Kit Bag in Ranger Green last night. Im still deployed for next 2 months, but I figure I'll carry the following inside of it:

Hiking:
G19 w/X300 and Spare Mag
ML Kephart w/Sheath and Ferro Rod
Topo Maps
Head Lamp
Small FAK and CAT
Beanie and light Gloves
Survival blanket and fire starter kit
Camera and Keys

Running:
G26 in a RCS VG2 paracorded to the retention loop.
Small Flashlight
Keys, wallet, and Phone

Evan said that if, while running, you pack the kit bag light and towards the rear then it will behave just like a Runners kit Bag. If I feel any extra slop, I'll probably end up buying a stabilizer kit.
Im very excited for this piece of gear.
 
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