It’s been a while since I’ve done a Gear Diary so I thought I’d share thoughts on some of the kit I’ve used from Hill People Gear.
First off, I generally don’t play favorites and certainly Hill People Gear (HPG) isn’t the perfect fit for every philosophy of use. With that said, I’m REALLY enjoying every piece I have from them right now. The latest addition to my collection is the Snubby Kit Bag – Original Pattern.
I took a crappy picture of it the other night and then proceeded to leave my camera behind on my first hike wearing it. But, as you can see in the pic, the great thing about the Snubby is that it fits right between the shoulder straps of the Aston. I know from talking to the guys at HPG that a lot of people end up returning the Snubby because it’s too small. I haven’t found that to be the case – yet. Maybe the larger models would be more comfortable but right now I prefer the compact footprint of the Snubby and the original pattern version has the added depth to store everything I’d want to carry in it. I guess time will tell.
A downside to these kit bags? I’d have to say the setup is a little fussy. It definitely helps to get everything adjusted in front of a mirror before heading out on the trail. I made the mistake of messing with mine after I had done that and I wish I hadn’t.
Speaking of the Aston House, I tested its capacity limits for the first time by loading it up with my car camping kit and it took everything with no issue. That included my stove and cookware, food, inflatable sleeping pad and pillow, jacket, 3 liter reservoir, a change of clothes, and the other items I normally take on my day hikes. All included, a little over 20 lbs of gear.
I used the Mystery Ranch Three Day Assault pack for the same purpose on my last camp out and I didn’t think the two packs could hold the same amount of gear. Certainly you can get to stuff a lot easier with the Tri-Zip design of the 3DAP, but the top loading Aston is a much more versatile pack for Everyday Carry and I prefer the Hill People Gear harness for the size of loads I carry. So, the 3DAP is probably on its way out. I’m not a hoarder or collector. I don’t keep packs around very long if they don’t serve a unique purpose. That money can go towards upgrading other parts of my kit.