Review: Helicon Essential Kit Bag
- Credit: Archant
The editor looks at an innovative field bag that might just suit his needs
Hunting 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.
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Model: Essential Kit Bag