IT’S IN THE BAG

The edi­tor looks at an in­no­va­tive field bag that might just suit his needs

Air Gunner - - Contents -

Phill Price finds a ‘bag for all sea­sons’ in the Heli­con in­no­va­tive kit-bag

H unt­ing on foot means that we need to carry ev­ery­thing we’re go­ing to need. I’ve tried bum bags and ruck­sacks, or just stuff­ing ev­ery­thing into pock­ets, and each method has its ben­e­fits and draw­backs, but whilst look­ing through Mil­i­tary 1st’s web­site, I saw some­thing dif­fer­ent – the Es­sen­tial Kit­bag from Heli­con. I’ve used a few pieces of Heli­con kit over the years and the dura­bil­ity and de­sign have im­pressed me, so I hoped this novel bag would too. Ba­si­cally, it’s a small bag you wear over your shoul­der, but in use it’s much more than that. The shoul­der strap is wide to spread the weight com­fort­ably.

For me, the best part is the choice of pock­ets, their lay­out and de­sign. When set­ting off hunt­ing, I take a knife, multi- tool, spare pel­lets, spare mag­a­zines, in­sect re­pel­lent, a pocket cam­era, my phone, some food and very im­por­tantly, some­thing to drink. Even in cold weather it’s im­por­tant to keep hy­drated, so a small bot­tle of wa­ter is vi­tal.

IN THE FIELD

I found that they all fit­ted com­fort­ably and the weight spread across my shoul­der wasn’t too no­tice­able. An ad­van­tage this de­sign has over a ruck­sack is that when you need some­thing from the bag you can pull it to the front and ac­cess the pock­ets with­out need­ing to take it off. The com­pro­mise is that it can swing around as you stoop whilst stalk­ing, so I pushed it be­hind be­fore start­ing. Bum bags al­ways slide down an­noy­ingly, but my mid­dle- aged tummy might have some­thing to do with that. You can choose to carry this bag on your belt by un­clip­ping the shoul­der straps and us­ing the twin loops on the back to at­tach it.

The con­struc­tion ap­pears strong, and top- class materials have been em­ployed, such as Cor­dura fab­ric and YKK zips, both known for dura­bil­ity and per­for­mance. I haven’t heard of the Pen­cott GreenZone cam­ou­flage pat­tern be­fore, but the ran­dom dig­i­tal mix­ture of greens and browns look just right for my part of the world.

This is a great bit of kit for my needs, es­pe­cially in the warmer weather when I’m not wear­ing a coat with lots of pock­ets that might carry my nec­es­sary equip­ment. Ev­ery­thing I needed fit­ted with ease, de­spite the ap­par­ently small di­men­sions, and there was plenty of spare room for a change of gloves or an emer­gency Mars bar, too. This is a re­ally use­ful and prac­ti­cal car­rier and one I’m sure will see plenty of use very soon.

“This is a great bit of kit for my needs, es­pe­cially in the warmer weather”

TOP: All the kit I needed fit­ted in com­fort­ably and was easy to ac­cess

ABOVE RIGHT: I liked the easy ac­cess a shoul­der bag of­fers

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