Hill People Gear (HPG) has released the details of their new Decker Pack Frame. The Decker is built on the same proven frame used in the Ute and qui-Ya backpacks but with the adaptability of a pack frame.
The Decker features an array of 8 compression straps (3 on each side and 2 on top) and a central compression yoke that serves as a hub for attaching the side compression straps. This yoke is easily replaced with an HPG pocket or pack like the Tarahumara, Tarapocket, Palspocket, and similar. The Decker Pack Frame also features a hypalon capture flap/shelf that can be tied into the frame in multiple locations.
The applications for a relatively lightweight but still very robust pack frame like this are many and varied. HPG states that it can handle everything from awkward loads like jerry cans to multi-day loadouts. It can also be coupled with something like a large ultra-light dry bag to create a very lightweight pack system (less than 4 pounds).
You can expect to see HPG continue to develop the Decker Pack Frame into an entire load carriage system by introducing other accessories designed to work with the frame. One accessory already in the works is a Decker Pocket that will be a large capacity pocket with a sewn in hypalon yoke that docks in place of the Decker Pack Frame’s included yoke.
The Decker Pack Frame will be available soon (it is already listed on the website but not available to purchase). You can sign up for email notifications at Hill People Gear.
Gadsden Dynamics is in the process of finalizing the design of their first production plate carrier along with updates to their chest rig line. The ALPC or Adaptable Lightweight Plate Carrier will have some clever features in keeping with Gadsden Dynamics’ other low-profile load carriage gear.
The ALPC and updates to the chest rig line will roll out in March. Stay tuned for details. GadsdenDyanmics.com
Son: Where do Mission Spec EC2’s come from?
Dad: Well son, when a craftsman really loves his Cordura nylon…
Mission Spec just released a video that gives us a window into the amount of work that goes into a single EC2 carrier. The video is shot in time lapse so it is just 30 seconds long. It is mesmerizing and worth your time.
Before I dive into this review of the Blue Force Gear Tracer Pack, I should give some context for my time with Blue Force Gear Dap Packs. I have been using their packs going all the way back before 2012 in their original line of Dapper compatible packs. I still have and use a Micro Dap Pack and Skye Dap Pack.
In the intervening years, Blue Force Gear discontinued their packs with the larger models being the first to go. They continued making their hook backed pouches in the Dapper line until the recent reintroduction of the Dap pack line to include the redesigned Jedburgh and finally, a new large Dap Pack, the all new Tracer.
The full panel loading Tracer Pack was designed to be an EDC/Travel/Office pack with a heavy dose of tactical stirred into the mix. The exterior appearance is fairly “low profile” though it does have a loop field and MOLLE compatible panel.
The straps are straight and thin but well padded. The rear of the pack is stiffened with a thin HDPE frame sheet so the pack holds its shape under a load and items don’t dig into your back.
It weighs in at 2.5 pounds and has 36 liters of capacity. That capacity is spread over the large main compartment with laptop sleeve, a front admin pouch, and a top stash pouch.
The Tracer Pack also feature distinctive and easy to grasp rubber zipper pulls. A very comfortable and grippy grab handle that is textured rubber over webbing so it is bull strong and two tweave water bottle pockets.
The interior back of the main compartment is completely lined for use with Dappers. The interior front of the main compartment is mostly lined as is the back of the front admin pouch.
Observations from Use
The Tracer Pack has been serving as my travel and EDC pack for almost 3 months now. That includes 2 full cross-country trips via air. It still looks mostly new which is not a surprise given how BFG builds these packs. The quality is excellent with great materials and attention to detail.
There is a lot to like in this pack. I especially like BFG’s use of tweave material. The water bottle pockets are excellent. They are deep and tightly retain bottles up to 32 ounce Nalgene diameter. They thoughtfully tapered the opening so it is lower on one side which makes bottles easy to retrieve. BFG also backed the upper stash pocket with tweave which allows it to stretch a bit when stuffing with oversized items.
I also like the use of BFG’s MOLLEminus to reduce the visual signature of the MOLLE field on the front of the pack. Most people wouldn’t know that they were looking at which helps the pack blend in a bit.
The fact that this is a panel loader makes great sense. It gives the user the ability to fully line the main compartment with Dapper pouches and then lay the bag fully open to access each pouch. I tend to like packs without a ton of built in organization so Dap Packs suit me. I can add the organization features that I want, where I want them.
Perhaps the best thing about this pack is the Dap Pack concept itself. If you like a big, wide open bucket of a backpack, you can do that. If you are more of an everything in its place kind of guy, you can do that. The organization features are completely flexible. I should also note that the admin pocket is a perfect fit for BFG’s really excellent Admin Dapper of which I have several because they always seem to find a place in my hook and loop style backpacks.
I don’t normally rave about grab handles but I will in this case. The Tracer Pack’s grab handle is a thick rubber coated webbing with large bumps for texture. It is comfortable to carry even when the back is heavy. It doesn’t roll in your hand like tubular webbing or cut into your hand like flat webbing.
This pack has a very good laptop sleeve. It is easy to access and well stiffened which is nice because my laptop is often the heaviest thing in the bag and the stiffened back panel helps support that load.
There are a few things I wish were different. The shoulder straps are straight and simple which is not a bad thing in and of itself. They are padded enough to comfortable but they are mounted very close together. it would be nice if they were spaced apart just a bit more. As they are now, they can ride up onto the start of the wearer’s neck and they feel shorter than they actually are.
Additionally, I recommend end users remove the little metal BFG logo plaque on the shoulder strap. When you don a pack, you often slide your hands down the shoulder strap as your pull it on your shoulders. That metal plaque has diced up my hand a couple of times. It is easily removed and I only put it back on for pictures.
The Tracer Pack leverages Blue Force Gear’s already well proven and flexible Dapper system so it is extremely functional right our of the gate. The shoulder straps could be spaced just a bit further apart but the build quality is typical Blue Force Gear which is to say that it is great. The materials used for the pack are smart, unique, and functional. I also happen think it is probably the best looking Dap Pack yet.
If you have been awaiting the return of the larger Dap Packs, wait no longer.
If you want to take a deep dive into the new features of the new Advanced Slickster from RE Factor Tactical, check out the video below. This plate carrier was created in conjunction with Ferro Concepts and is available now: Advanced Slickster at REFactorTactical.com
The Helikon Tex Swagman Roll Poncho is an insulation layer with a number of uses. This insulated poncho is constructed from Helikon’s Windpack nylon with Climashield Apex insulation and YKK zippers. It features a large zippered closed front pouch, insulated hood, and cinch straps that allow the Swagman Roll to be gathered around the wearer.
The Swagman Roll is 57″ x 78″ and weighs in at 26 ounces. It can be packed into a stuff sack or into its own pocket (which is printed with suggestions for use). At that weight, you won’t mind taking it along in your kit for use as a quick access insulation layer when you stop moving, as a light sleeping bag, or to add insulation to your normal sleeping bag. It is compatible with USGI pattern ponchos for use as a bivy.
Check out the Swagman Roll Poncho at Helikon-Tex.com.
Alonso Defense is changing their name to Ciguera Gear Company. The change appears to mark a shift toward a new product line of high quality, affordable outdoor gear. They are still offering the Emissary Gun Belt for which they are well known.
Stay tuned for updates.
Bushcraft Outfitters’ Koretemp line of lightweight, modular, multi-use shelter components is about to receive a very interesting addition – the Koretemp Hooded Poncho Liner. This insulated poncho liner has features that make it extremely versatile as both a stand-alone insulation layer or for enhancing your existing outdoor kit.
The Koretemp Hooded Poncho Liner is made in the USA from from mil-spec quilted batting faced by coyote fabric, webbing, and thread. It weighs 40 ounces and is 62″ by 93″. It has an integrated hood with drawstring closure, a sewn in chest pocket, and 2″ channels at the top and bottom that can be used to close the ends into a foot box.
All of those features mean that the Koretemp Hooded Poncho Liner can be used in a number of ways. You can cinch up the hood and a foot box to use it like a warm weather top quilt (like a sleeping bag). It can be used inside the Koretemp Poncho as an insulated bivy or hung over head to protect from the heat of the sun. It can be used as an insulation layer that can be quickly be donned over your thinner shell layer and pack when you take breaks on the trail or stop to glass for game. Even if you already have a well sorted out sleep system, the Koretemp Hooded Poncho Liner can serve to increase the temperature rating of your sleeping bag.
Regular poncho liners are already very useful as I am sure you are already aware. With the addition of a few thoughtful features, Bushcraft Outfitters has taken that concept to the next level.
The Koretemp Hooded Poncho Liner will be available soon (and will likely sell out fast) at BushcraftOutfitters.com.
ABERDEEN, N.C. – (February 2019)- Proven Arms & Outfitters has the new Magpul PMAG 27 GL9 in stock and available online and at all locations. The PMAG 27 GL9 is 27-round Glock 9mm magazine compatible with all full-size, compact, and sub-compact double-stack Glock 9mm variants with some protrusion below the grip.
Sig Sauer FOXTROT365 Weapon Light for P365 is now in stock and available online now and in stores soon! The FOXTROT365 mounts to the P365 models. The weapon light is ideal for home defense, law enforcement or military applications and should fit most holsters designed for handgun lights.
FN 509 Midsize w/Night Sights is now in stock and available online and in stores soon! The 9mm pistol ships standard with 15-round capacity and is compatible with all FN 509 magazines with use of a sleeve. It is the ideal upgrade for your EDC needs.
Don’t miss the Winter Clearance Sale, all Magpul Apparel is 50% off or more! Virginia and Tacoma locations have 5.11 Tactical Outerwear at 40% off!
Sign up for our email list and you’ll see the promotions and announcements first! These exclusive deals are while supplies last, so don’t miss out.
Stay tuned and look forward to more exciting announcements coming from Proven Arms & Outfitters very soon!
About Proven Arms & Outfitters:
Proven Arms & Outfitters is a leading supplier of apparel, gear, and firearms to Enthusiasts, Law Enforcement, First Responders, and Military professionals. We have the PROVEN selection of products designed to help you perform at your peak. For a complete and current outfit for your weapon, build out existing kit, or gear up for your next adventure, choose us for our practical knowledge, experience, extensive selection, and exceptional customer service.