The Blue Force Gear Hive Satchel is a collaboration with Chris Costa that was introduced at a high profile launch at this year’s SHOT SHOW. It caught my eye because it’s one of the more interesting bag designs I’ve seen in a while and Blue Force Gear has historically made quality kit. Yes, I’ve heard the jokes…. Ninja Turtle Shell, Costa on the Half Shell, etc, etc. Anything associated with Costa Ludus is going to be a polarizing topic.
However, I’m not really interested in all that. Does the Hive Satchel perform as advertised and is it worth it’s $195 price tag? That’s what I’ll attempt to provide some perspective on during my field test over the coming weeks. In the meantime, here are some first impressions.
The Blue Force Gear Hive Satchel is a sling bag designed to be a discrete Everyday Carry (EDC) and Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) platform. I call it a “platform” because the bag doesn’t have much built-in organization. Instead, it’s lined with loop material so it can be used with hook and loop accessories including Blue Force Gear’s dapper line. The upside is that you can pretty much customize the bag the way you want it and add or remove organization at will depending on your needs on any given day. The downside is that the additional investment in accessory pouches, if you don’t have them already, adds to the overall cost of the package.
I’ve outfitted my pack with BFG’s Admin and Ten Speed Triple Pistol Dappers. I’ve also added a 5.11 Back Up Belt System Mace/Light Pouch. The combo allows me to carry my standard EDC loadout including a folding knife, multi-Tool and bit kit, flashlight, pens, small notebook, stainless steel cache, and other odds and ends while still providing enough room for a light extra layer if I need it. Overall volume is approximately 8 Liters.
What you don’t see in the above picture are the two loaded 10-round extra magazines in the velcro pocket of the Admin Dapper or my Springfield XD 45 Compact in the loop lined side pocket (the gun was in the pocket in the picture at the beginning of this article).
In the limited time I’ve spent with it, I’ve found the Hive Satchel to be relatively comfortable with a light to medium load either carried cross body or slung over one shoulder. I’m a big guy at 6’4″ and 250 lbs, but I didn’t have any issue with the strap length on this pack. The ambidextrous side pocket is unusual but it actually provides some stability since it’s usually tucked under one arm. It did an effective job of preventing the Hive from slipping off my shoulder when I didn’t carry cross body and I actually liked that a lot since that’s my preferred method of carry 80% of the time.
Overall fit and finish out of the box was excellent. The Cordura and Tweave fabric is lightweight and water repellent. And of course, with the Costa collaboration you get a little subdued branding.
So far, so good on this bag. I’ll add some pictures of me carrying the Hive Satchel, provide more detail on it’s features, and share my final thoughts on it’s overall utility and pricing in our full review in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.