As many of you know, I’m a huge Hill People Gear fan. I’m always discovered new ways to make use of the various parts of my Hill People Gear kit and for me that’s part of the fun. Recently, I was poking around on their forum and came across a note that HPG may release the pocket that’s included with the Aston House pack as an accessory. I’ve used the Aston Pocket to add more capacity to my Connor backpack (reviewed here and here) since the beginning of the Summer. So, I thought I would share my thoughts in case HPG does make it available.
The Aston Pocket normally just clips into the Aston House compression straps but the buckles don’t line up as well with the Connor’s mount points.
Since most of the hardware is removable on Hill People Gear packs, I was able to remove the repair buckles from the Aston Pocket leaving nothing behind but the Hypalon wings. To attach the pocket, I used G-hooks to mount it to the Connor’s top and bottom loops. That’s it. It was a pretty simple mod without any sewing or permanent alteration to either product.
The Aston Pocket provides a set of pockets for items that I need to get to quickly. In it I store things like snacks, bug repellent, sunscreen, first aid supplies, headlamp, and extra batteries.
The Connor provides more zippered storage than any other pack in the HPG line, which is why I love it. The Aston Pocket allows me to use most of that organization for gear I don’t need to pull out as often, but still want to have with me on a hike. Like my shell, shemagh for extra sun protection, gloves, hat, water filter, firestarter kit, emergency shelter, etc. Overall, the combo is just a great setup in a nice compact package that’s perfect for day hikes.
If I had to change one thing about the Aston pocket, it would be that all the pockets are open. That’s great for ease of access but sometimes smaller times fall out due to the lack of retention (like the battery in the picture below).
If Hill People ever does a redesign of the Aston Pocket, I’d actually like to see them add a zipper to the mesh pocket and extend the length of the bottom slip pocket to run the same length as the one above it; adding a zipper to it as well. That would provide two quick access slip pockets and two zippered retention pockets, which would work great for a variety of larger and smaller items.
A drop date or pricing has not been announced for the Aston Pocket. If you’re wanting to run this combo and not willing to wait for them to release it separately, you can always buy the Connor and Aston packs and run them in various combinations. The Connor, stripped of its harness, can also be used as a large compression pocket on the Aston House.