Sunday, June 30, 2013

HPG Tarahumara Pack Review

We have covered many different offerings from Hill People Gear and I just recently picked up the Tarahumara Pack for a Rim to Rim to Rim trip in the Grand Canyon. This would be my day pack for Hydration, Two days of clothing, first aid kit, and food I would eat along the way. This worked out to 25 miles each way and have since carried over the pack to weekend trail runs now that it has heated up.

Tarahumara Fully Loaded (Bright Angel Creek-Bottom of Grand Canyon)
You will not find many personal reviews here, because for one we are not going to cover products we sell, which would be disingenuous and we generally turn down review requests, since we typically don't have the time for a proper assessment or simply won't use the product as intended in a rigorous fashion. However for the Tarahumara pack, I can properly say it has taken a good workout for its intended purpose and proven quite useful.

HPG Tarahumara Pack
The Tarahumara Pack has a simple layout with a main compartment for load carry and a hang tab to secure a hydration bladder. There is also a full top-open slot  facing your back for added storage.  I used this section for my hydration carrier. I carried a 3 Liter Hydraform Bladder which fit snugly when the pack was full to the gills. This made for even more padding.

There are two external side pouches to slide water bottles of various sizes, snacks, tools, phone, or other items you want quick access too. I used these for snacks, phone, keys, and hand sanitizer. These are secured by a compression strap that runs across the lip of both pouches, which is buckled and pulled taught. A secondary compression strap is present at the tap of the pack to keep anything from shifting. There is also a cord system with a cord lock at the base of the pack to secure a sleeping pad or other small items. I utilized this for a jacket.

Tarahumara Pack Rear
A distinct part of this pack is the shoulder harness which rides across the top of your back/shoulders to evenly distribute weight rather than have straps ride on your shoulder alone. This pack does not have a waist belt, but given the small load, the harness system proved to be enough for a full pack. However, it can be tied into their Prairie Belt if you need the additional support. Hill People Gear also has a running harness, which you can utilize to replace the standard version and tie into their Kit Bag for additional storage as well as carry a pistol at your chest. The standard harness has proven sufficient for running when carrying a bladder alone while providing a snug fit to your body, which is aided with a sternum strap that can be tightened against your chest.

Hill People Gear offers additional configurations with their other packs to provide a variety of modular load carry options. The only problem I could find thus far is the lack of a drain hole at the base, which only became an issue due to a fault with the bladder, which soaked through to the main compartment. A little DIY could fix this if it became a major issue. You can purchase this pack online  in Coyote, Foliage or Ranger Green at

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