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Curious about an option for carrying a handgun (likely a S&W K frame revolver) in the woods - hunting, fishing, etc. I go back and forth on the HPG Kit Bag - I know a couple of LEO's who use them and I know they're a popular choice for concealed carry (although they aren't exactly discreet). I am concerned by slow access to the handgun compared to something like a Gunfightersinc Kenai kydex chest holster. The Kit Bags also look like they'd be super hot and sweaty in all but cold weather. Anyone here with experience with both products?

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I have both and have found the kit bag to be far more useful to me. If I am in the backcountry or hunting I love having the ability to have a small pack with some essential gear plus the firearm. When I am in a state park or something I can still wear it without getting funny looks-even if it isn't exactly discreet. It certainly isn't as fast and easy to access the gun compared to the Kenai, but it sure isn't bad. I alao have the binocular pouch that attaches to the front for hunting which works well. I carry a full size Glock 17 or an M&P 10mm. I have used a Dale Fricke Zac holster which works well, but I no longer do partly because I've added a light. You will sweat underneath it in warm weather but the back strap is mesh, so overall it isn't so bad.

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I have and use both, depending on the situation.

My HPG Kit bag has Molle webbing on the front and I have attached both some blue force gear web pouches that I carry small items in, like a phone or 1911 mags, but also an old M4 double mag pouch from a former life.

I use the M4 pouch as a holster for faster presentations in Grizzly country, as I tend to do a good bit of hiking there and have not been impressed with the speed at which I can make presentations from the zippered pouch.



[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Once I am off the trail or close to a trailhead or around the hipsters/liberals that are everywhere in Montana and other places in the West (the bears need to do a better job) I can just slide the gun back into the zippered pouch and go on about my business.

My Glock 21 with heavy 250 +Ps fits perfectly in the pouch as well.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


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I for the life of me wouldn’t carry for protection any handgun I’d have to access by unzipping it out. Never understood that mentality. The kenai is fast out.

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Originally Posted by smallfry
I for the life of me wouldn’t carry for protection any handgun I’d have to access by unzipping it out. Never understood that mentality. The kenai is fast out.

Simply leave the strong side vertical zipper unzipped with the grip near the zipper. It's fast. I do a lot of quickdraw and fast shooting from it.


Originally Posted by douglasfir
Curious about an option for carrying a handgun (likely a S&W K frame revolver) in the woods - hunting, fishing, etc. I go back and forth on the HPG Kit Bag - I know a couple of LEO's who use them and I know they're a popular choice for concealed carry (although they aren't exactly discreet). I am concerned by slow access to the handgun compared to something like a Gunfightersinc Kenai kydex chest holster. The Kit Bags also look like they'd be super hot and sweaty in all but cold weather. Anyone here with experience with both products?

Refer to above about speed.

I wear them often in the hottest part of summer and it does get warm under the chest side. Usually at these times I'm sweating already and would be even without the bag. In the fall/winter when hunting I usually try to layer to avoid sweating. The HPG hasn't been an issue there as long as I match the layer(s) to my activity.

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Originally Posted by JCMCUBIC
Originally Posted by smallfry
I for the life of me wouldn’t carry for protection any handgun I’d have to access by unzipping it out. Never understood that mentality. The kenai is fast out.

Simply leave the strong side vertical zipper unzipped with the grip near the zipper. It's fast. I do a lot of quickdraw and fast shooting from it.
I'm no pistolero but...that's my understanding as well. No zip/unzip. Leave an opening to grab and rip.

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Originally Posted by Whttail_in_MT
Originally Posted by JCMCUBIC
Originally Posted by smallfry
I for the life of me wouldn’t carry for protection any handgun I’d have to access by unzipping it out. Never understood that mentality. The kenai is fast out.

Simply leave the strong side vertical zipper unzipped with the grip near the zipper. It's fast. I do a lot of quickdraw and fast shooting from it.
I'm no pistolero but...that's my understanding as well. No zip/unzip. Leave an opening to grab and rip.

If you leave the horizontal top zipped while leaving the vertical side unzipped you don't have to grab/rip/unzip anything with your off side hand. Just reach in with your strong side hand and pull it out the side.

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Originally Posted by douglasfir
Curious about an option for carrying a handgun (likely a S&W K frame revolver) in the woods - hunting, fishing, etc. I go back and forth on the HPG Kit Bag - I know a couple of LEO's who use them and I know they're a popular choice for concealed carry (although they aren't exactly discreet). I am concerned by slow access to the handgun compared to something like a Gunfightersinc Kenai kydex chest holster. The Kit Bags also look like they'd be super hot and sweaty in all but cold weather. Anyone here with experience with both products?

Pondering how to answer. I think the kit bag is fine for smaller and lighter guns. So far as discreet, no different than a fanny pack holster. People in the know are going to know you're packing, people not in the know won't have a clue. I have a number of chest holsters. They are for guns that won't fit in anything but the very largest of kit bags. N frame S&Ws and Ruger Super Blackhawks. I'm not concerned about open carry in the places I'd want the .44s and .454. Where I do need discreet, there are better ways that a kit bag to carry. I can imagine there might be a situation where I'd carry a pack with a waist belt and a small gun but I can't think of where it would be.


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I carry a t&k bino rig with pouches on either side with my S&W 69 in a triple k shoulder rig. They don’t interfere with each other or my pack and give me quick access to the revolver, binos, rangefinder, gps and a small flashlight/lamp. I use an Eberlestock F1 mainframe with a large accessory bag on the hip belt for snacks and various other odd pieces of gear like flagging tape and a pocket knife.

Last edited by Jeffrey; 09/19/22.

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I run a kit bag most all the time. Binos /rangefinder up front and xdm10 (only) in close. I agree it isn't as fast as a hip or chest holster. Buddy has run a 329pd in a drop holster for years. I dont care for that individual holster but after a little competitive pistol shooting I dont hate the idea of a high quality kydex drop holster. Gets things out of the way of a pack belt and is accessible /fast. Some sort of active retention makes sense to me there, but I think that may be where I am headed.

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Dougfir, Thanks for introducing me to HPG Kit Bags. I too have been groping with the decision on how to carry my my S&W model 66 when I’m out hiking in the woods or riding my bike on the urban trails near my house (I live in Memphis). I wasn’t aware of these packs until now. But I believe this is the way to go for me. Just the right amount of concealment where nobody really knows what’s in there. I may even get one for my wife. She currently carries a Kimber spray gun AND and a can of bear spray when she’s out riding alone.

I’m a pack/bag freak and this will be a great addition to my collection.

Mackey


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I have never carried an HPG, but for my morning hike (which I am about to head out on) I carry my 1911 in an Kenai Chest Holster. I have been using it for several years, and get along with it great. Its concealable if you wear a jacket or shirt over the top, but I carry mine on top for access.

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I’m curious if the runners or recon bag would be sufficient to avoid printing with a 4” K frame, since they don’t have a large front pocket in the front. The recon looks awfully tempting, especially with the ability to put a bino pouch up front.

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I have the Recon. It does have a flat pocket in front of the gun pocket. Printing is not an issue with the layers of fairly stiff nylon and webbing. I also usually have my ID, a knife, compass etc. in that front pocket.

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I am a unapologetic holster addict and have a bunch of holsters. For revolvers I like the leather Diamond D Guides Choice holster and have carried a S&W .44 mag. Mountain Gun in one for many years. It is a handsome holster to my eyes! It is fast and secure and meets my needs.

For semi auto pistol chest carry I prefer the kydex Quick Lock holster from Gary Cook in Wasilla, Alaska. It is a very secure friction fit holster with a retention screw and allows a fast one handed draw of my Kimber Camp Guard 10mm. The webbing is two inch synthetic and the holster only has two attachment points for the straps. This is a simple, rugged built well thought out holster. It is about 30 bucks cheaper then the Kenai Gun Slinger.

I had seen the Quick Lock holster on You Tube and happened to be in Wasilla and stopped by the shop Gary has and he was kind enough to build me his Denali version for the Kimber 10mm. My wife and I found the process very interesting. Gary seems like a decent hard working vet that only builds holsters.

For 65 bucks Gary will make additional holsters for other handguns. I have a treasured stainless 3" S&W K Frame .357 that I have had since the early 80's and can shoot it as well as my 4" version.


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