Frost River vs. Hill People Gear Comparison After A Week

Hill People Gear Comparison After A Week

I’m really new to this whole outdoors thing and understanding how that shifts my focus on backpacks is something that has to evolve.

There’s something about being out in nature that makes all these plastic buckles and nylon materials out of place. They are absolutely technically superior in almost every way from weight to durability.

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Hill People Gear Comparison After A Week

It turns out that both of these packs are on the small side for what I want to do. Camping outside (not long hiking trying to go ultralight, 1-mile hike to the campsite) requires a lot of gear, and large bags even just for a night or so. The Hill People Gear is better because there are a lot of different ways to attach stuff externally. None of these packs have anything that would resemble “quick access”. For that, it’s just best to hang things off your belt.

Nonetheless, it’s been the Frost River that I first reached for when I would go into town. It has a sleeve in the back that I would struggle to call a laptop sleeve – I did slip in a seating pad into that sleeve and it immediately offered a lot more structure (and comfort) to an otherwise unstructured bag. With weight in it, I really miss a sternum strap. It’s got a great compression system and it just feels great to sling around. The leather Frost River uses is the nicest I’ve felt in any bag.

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Hill People Gear Comparison After A Week

I’m going to call it a great large daypack.

For my first day building out my campsite, I carried the HPG Connor V2. The organization is terrific in this bag. I like the mostly clamshell opening, I love the laser-cut Hypalon wings. The structure is rock solid, and the Hill People Gear harness is legendary for comfort. with stuff strapped all over the pack, it was probably 20-25 pounds, but really comfortable even without a waist strap.The back panel inside is hook lined, so I brought with me a velcro laptop sleeve in case I wanted to use this as EDC in town. I also velcro’d in one of A19’s organization panels that I use for a flashlight, knife, pen, etc. Obviously, when I went out camping, I took out the laptop sleeve.

However, it is really slim inside, and I didn’t make some of the right choices in packing it – so I had to leave some things behind. I should have brought more carabiners to hang things off the molle.

Hill People Gear Comparison After A Week

One of my lessons is that short-hike camping requires a BIG bag, and knowing what I do now, the Aston House might have been a better choice of Hill People Gear bags. Similarly, the Isle Royale would have been a better bag from Frost River.

One other wildcard – I was at a LL Bean outlet in New Hampshire, and they had a waxed canvas bushcraft pack (Continental Rucksack) that is no longer made on a steep discount. I completely didn’t need it, but I bought it anyway. It’s larger than either the HPG or Frost River. I was going to take it out today, but… rain.

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