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

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gear, Survival Equipment & More' started by LMT66, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. LMT66

    LMT66 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 18, 2008
    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

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    Side view.

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    Front showing the Runners Kit Bag

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    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.

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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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?

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    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.

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    Will haul and axe several ways.

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    Slipped in the rear slot pocket.

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

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    The Runners Kit Bag to show its size.

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

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

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    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:

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

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    With a Kifaru Handwarmer.

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    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  2. ROCK6

    ROCK6

    Feb 8, 2004
    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
     
  3. PayetteRucker

    PayetteRucker

    Aug 4, 2009
    Impressively low profile, though I think I've settled on that new Rolly Polly backpack for the whole E&E or basecamp hiking role
     
  4. crossada

    crossada Gold Member Gold Member

    May 16, 2004
    Great review LMT. Looks like that Tarahumara could give your Kifaru Scout a run for it's money.
     
  5. jcl-MD

    jcl-MD

    967
    Aug 30, 2008
    Very Nice Pack!

    THANKS!!
     
  6. glockfire

    glockfire Gold Member Gold Member

    286
    Apr 7, 2008
    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?
     
  7. 6shooter

    6shooter

    Sep 12, 2009
    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
     
  8. grunt soldier

    grunt soldier Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 4, 2009
    very solid post and one hell of a review brother. looks like some well crafted kit.
     
  9. ROCK6

    ROCK6

    Feb 8, 2004
    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):

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

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    Of course both have the rear concealed carry compartment.

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    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
     
  10. glockfire

    glockfire Gold Member Gold Member

    286
    Apr 7, 2008
    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.
     
  11. ROCK6

    ROCK6

    Feb 8, 2004
    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
     
  12. LMT66

    LMT66 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 18, 2008
    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.

    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.

    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.

    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: Nov 30, 2011
  13. ROCK6

    ROCK6

    Feb 8, 2004
    That's good to hear since I have a Pointman:thumbup:

    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
     
  14. glockfire

    glockfire Gold Member Gold Member

    286
    Apr 7, 2008
    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.
     
  15. Delkancott

    Delkancott

    604
    Dec 30, 2010
    Great review. May I ask what TAD bag that is?
     
  16. glockfire

    glockfire Gold Member Gold Member

    286
    Apr 7, 2008
    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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