About seven months ago I purchased a “Runners Kit Bag”, chest rig made by “Hill People Gear”. I have used this on various dissimilar projects; it’s been through a lot in a short period of time. So far, to name a few; three international trips, three backpacking trips, numerous kayaking adventures and several hunting trips. It appears somewhat militaristic and “tactical”. This was a draw back for me in general toward daily use. In order to lower the profile, I ordered it in gray green called “foliage” it provides a lower profile color appears more like an outdoors type bag. They have just introduced the bag in a fluorescent orange color for rescue, hunting and other non-military applications. I was hesitant to purchase this bag for fear of lack of use and usefulness. When I first purchased the item I wasn’t overly impressed and thought it would end up in the back of my closet, like most stuff I have collected over twenty or thirty years. I love the outdoors and hence spend a lot of time on the trail, in the mountains, desert or water bouncing around. My staff and I teach / instruct many types of courses and classes throughout the globe. We are always testing using and destroying gear with regularity. My first impression was a limited use pouch to be used occasionally. This bag has a limited reduced volume over their traditional and “Original Kit Bag”. It fits on your chest nicely and lays relatively flat, not creating bulk. I have also worn this bag under jackets and wind breakers. It easily conceals and with comfort. The bag is comfortable to carry and lays out of the way for arm movement under exertion when hiking or running.
The design is very comfortable, user friendly and functional. It has two main pockets inside each is various types of configurations. The pouch closet to your chest, “the main pocket” is a large vacant pouch, and a single 1 inch wide strip of Velcro vertical down the center. In addition it a ½ soft web loop in the bottom to attach items to and or anchor holsters and the like. All the pouches zip closed with YKK zippers. Moving forward the center pouch has a well-done complete and well thought out overall. The shoulder harness is comfortable easy to use and adjustable.
This was designed for folks who want a flatter profile than the Original Kit Bag. I have a larger than average chest size for my size, I like to carry only what I need no more. Most of the full size service pistols fit in the Runners Kit Bag. With a full size gun you can get a couple other small things in the bag. Smaller pistols like the “Shield” leave enough space for other things. My carry gun is a 2 inch, 44 Bulldog Charter Arms (bigger is better!) with laser. I also carry an extra strip loader of five rounds of 44 special; all in the main compartment when hiking and traveling. The “Runners Kit Bag” carries the weapon nicely and allows rapid access with all type of clothing, jackets and even packs on. It’s really perfect for backpacking; carry in extreme cold conditions over the top of your parka or jacket. One problem I have experienced in the past; when carrying a weapon, rapid access is difficult. Typically the belly band belt of the pack covers your waist, precluding and slowing access on the belt. As for pocket carry the backpack also obstructs the access to the pockets while hiking or moving. The “Kit Bag” solves this problem.
In the main pocket usually carry my weapon with extra ammo. In the outside pocket I carry my wallet, survival card, GPS, folding knife, flashlight, cell phone and several other small items. I adjust my load according to what I’m doing “mission dictates”. When hiking, many times I attached a fixed blade knife to the outside, and my GPS pouch externally. When traveling internationally I carry it with my tickets, passport and many as well as numerous other items. It’s great to throw on the belt at TSA with all your pocket items in it and watch. Zip it up and throw it on the belt for the X-ray. As strange as it sound I travel through airports with this on my chest and never get a second look from anyone. I typically wear appropriate clothes; hiking style outdoor granola eater hippy garb fitting into the modern genre. I can also carry my IPod and plug in while keeping all my valuables on my chest reducing the possibility of loss.
Here’s a short description of the “Runners Kit Bag”.
- 500d construction
- Quick access concealed pistol compartment. With practice, access is plenty fast.
- Comfortable mesh backed H-harness allows you to wear the Kit Bag by itself or underneath of a pack
- Elastic keepers for the H-harness straps
- Velcro loop and dummy cord loop in pistol compartment allow for various retention options
- Tabs with grimlocs at the top for hanging on another pack, or for use with “Lifter Straps” (optional) for docking to a host pack
- Tabs on the bottom for attaching to another pack, or for use with the Stabilizer Kit (included) for running with
- Front zippered access flat pocket with two interior slot pockets with dummy cord loops above them
- All made in the USA
The “Runners Kit Bag” is an excellent piece of gear; well made, tough and fit design. It is extremely useful, functional and utilitarian. I think it’s the perfect size, with the correct amount of pockets. I have habit of overloading packs and carrying too much if the space exists. This keeps that possibility to minimum and forces me to select exactly what is needed. I truly highly recommend this kit bag and it works! I own dozens of bags and devices that have been relegated to the storage bin. This one goes with me everywhere and I’m happy with this purchase. I paid full price for this and I’m glad I did! Buy one you won’t regret it.