Archive | Outdoor Gear

Review: OC Tactical KGB and KGB 2.0

I’ve used an OC Tactical Kickass Grocery Bag (KGB) for years now to carry just about anything. It’s a great do-all bag for everything from firewood, to gear for a range session, to groceries (which, ironically, I have never carried in it). I have come to love the simple utility of that bag so when OC Tactical rolled out a new and improved KGB 2.0, I couldn’t resist trying it out.

KGB (right) and KGB 2.0 (left)

Overview and Improvements

The KGB is kind of like those reusable grocery bags available at a lot of higher-end grocery stores… except its actually made in such a way that the handle won’t blow out on the second time you use it (or ever). The original KGB featured 1000D Cordura Nylon construction with a one-piece, seemless Vinyl Coated Polyester bottom that is completely waterproof. The handles are made from 1.5″ wide webbing and are long enough to put on your shoulder.

The new KGB 2.0 has all of that but also has some additions. It has a removable shoulder strap (the strap is included). It also has an internal lanyard clip so you can hang items like keys inside the top edge of the bag. Finally, OC Tactical added a slip pocket on one side and a zippered stash pocket on the other so you can organize smaller items.

Zippered pocket on KGB 2.0
Stash pocket on KGB 2.0
Internal swivel on KGB 2.0

Observations from Use

I have similar overbuilt grocery/carry-all style bags from other makers and the KGB and KGB 2.0 stand out among them for one big reason – the waterproof bottom. The bottom of this bag is totally waterproof (really) which means you can set it down on wet snow without fear of water soaking through. On a recent adventure with Ivan at KitBadger, I used these bags to carry firewood for a pack stove, placing the bags directly on nasty, wet snow without fear of dampening the wood inside.

The waterproof bottom also has another benefit which is probably my favorite thing about the KGB. The vinyl bottom is stiffer than the 1000D Cordura used in the rest of the bag and it gives enough structure that the bag will actually stand mostly open and mostly upright on its own. This makes loading the bag a lot easy than bags with no structure.

These bags are extremely durable and versatile. You can basically store whatever you want in them within reason. I’ve used them to store winter gear like gloves and hats, as range bags, to pick up brass on the range, to carry gear like a chest rig and belt to a carbine course, as totes inside a pulk sled, to carry firewood, to carry river rock from the creek on our property for landscaping, to hold recovery gear in the bed of my truck, to hold emergency winter layers in a winter vehicle kit, and basically anything other than carrying groceries. If it fits and you can lift it, it probably won’t hurt the bag.

This KGB keeping firewood dry in some challenging conditions.

Wrap Up

Think of these bags as a big Cordura bucket. They are as versatile as can be and just about bomb-proof. I review a lot of gear that I “like” and some that might even be my favorite pieces of gear of a certain type. The OC Tactical Kickass Grocery Bags are among my favorite pieces of gear, period, regardless of type.

Check out the KGB and KGB 2.0 here:

KGB at OC Tactical.com

KGB 2.0 at OCTactical.com

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Simple Theory Gear Pack Stove FAQ Videos

I recently covered the release of the Simple Theory Gear Pack Stove (see the previous post) which is different than most any twig stove on the market. Simple Theory Gear recognizes this and has taken steps to educate its customers (and potential customers) on their stove with a new FAQ series of videos.

I am a long-time twig stove user. While the basics of building a fire in a little metal box are familiar to me, there are some major differences in the setup, tear down, and functionality that the Pack Stove offers. For instance, the Pack Stove can be quenched with water or snow in order to quickly cool the stove for cleaning and to allow handling sooner than just cooling with air. Most flat pack style twig stoves would warp badly with this kind of treatment (ask me how I know). The videos show this and just about everything else I wanted to know about the stove.

I am planning to spend some quality time with one of these stoves and I found this FAQ video series to be informational and easy to digest. You can view the series on YouTube: Simple Theory Gear YouTube Channel

SimpleTheoryGear.com

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Simple Theory Gear Pack Stove

The Pack Stove, from Simple Theory Gear, is a clever and subtly different take on the twig stoves that now quite common on the market. Many twig stoves pack flat by hinging or separating into individual flat pieces in order to take up as little space as possible in your pack. The Pack Stove takes a different approach, nesting on a pot or water bottle, in order to take up even less space and require less setup.

The cylindrical shape of the Pack Stove allows it to nest on many common water bottles or cook pots like the excellent and affordable Stanley Adventure Cookset. This allows it to be stored in a water bottle pocket on your pack, which is space already occupied by your cookpot or bottle.

The stove is basically always ready to use. There is almost no assembly or take-down other than installing or removing the grate if required for your pot. The grate stores on the bottom of the stove when not in use.

The Pack Stove can also be used with alcohol burners and fuel tabs. Its weight is on par with steel flat-pack twig stoves at 11.5 ounces.

SimpleTheoryGear.com

Tuff Possum Gear Dispatch Rig

Tuff Possum Gear’s new Dispatch Rig was designed in collaboration with Instagram user @n_e_wilderness. The rig is designed to turn ALICE Pack shoulder straps into an H-harness for use with load-bearing belts.

The Dispatch Rig features closed cell foam padding for comfort. It has an 8 column PALS grid that is laser cut from Velcro/Cordura laminate material so that it can be used to attach patches, hook backed pouches, or MOLLE compatible pouches.

Tuff Possum Gear on Etsy

Hill People Gear Pocket Frame Sheet

Hill People Gear is now offering HDPE frame sheets that are precut for their pockets like the Pals Pocket, Admin Pocket, and Tara Pocket. It also fits packs like the Tarahumara and upcoming Junction Pack. These sheets are a simple and inexpensive way to make these pockets more comfortable when used as a standalone pack.

The sheets add some stiffness to the pack which helps it hold its shape instead of rounding when stuffed and helps prevent the wearer from feeling odd-shaped cargo pressing through the back of the pack. You can also find other uses for them once you are in camp like a cutting board or a way to keep dry tinder off a wet ground.

I previously used a Tarainsert for the same purpose. It adds a significant amount of organization capability but costs and weighs more. The new HDPE inserts are certainly a simpler, less expensive option.

HillPeopleGear.com

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